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Craft Beer: Goose Island Matlida and Imperial I.P.A & Great Lakes Brewing’s Elliot Ness

Posted on March 1, 2008
Filed Under Beer | 6 Comments

Goose Island MatildaI have been meaning to write about craft beer on this blog for a while and now is as good a time as any to get this recurring theme together. I like craft beer. Over time I have begun to appreciate a wider range of beers and I think beer could possibly overtake wine someday. Why do I think that? Simply because beer has a far wider range than wine and can hold up to a wider variety of foods.

I don’t have a master palate but I know what I like and don’t like and I can express why I feel that way. Due to that fact these reviews won’t be like those of master tasters but I hope they help you find some beers you enjoy and, if you’re not a beer person, I hope these reviews inspire you to give craft beer a try.

Goose Island Matilda - Chicago, IL:

This beer is a very flavorful Belgian style brew. If you are looking for something a little lighter, still hoppy and more concentrated on the malt side of things this is one for you. Like any good Belgian beer you also get some berry flavors in the mix and the bouquet (whooaaa - that was a pretty fancy word) is very aromatic. This is one of my favorite local craft brews and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Goose Island Imperial IPA - Chicago, IL:

If you’re a beer person you’ll know that the IPA (India Pale Ale) is a staple of craft brewing. While Goose Island does have a great IPA it is their Imperial IPA that really steals the show. This is like no other IPA you have ever had. The flavor is robust and not too hoppy (but the hops are still there) and there are notes of fruit, citrus and berries, layered in subtley to the overall experience. This is another beer not to be missed and it is one even non-beer lovers will enjoy.

Great Lakes Brewing Co. Elliot Ness Lager - Cleveland, OH:

This is one of the best amber lagers I have ever had and that is saying a lot since Sam Adams Boston Lager is in the same category (and I am a die hard Sam Adams fan). Elliot Ness has a brilliant copper color and a great aroma. The beer is full bodied and is hoppy like a lager should be. There are some great toffee and nutty flavors in the beer and it fades away with a very earthy taste (thanks to the hops). Great beer, no question.

Do you have any beers you think I should try? Send them along and I will review them here. Perhaps I can even compliment Gary someday and have Beer Library TV.