Goose Island IPA

Review Date 7/15/2014 Last Updated   5/1/2020    By John Staradumsky

Hey there Goose Island India Pale Ale! What are you doing on the  draft menu today? I have to admit I hadn’t had Goose Island India Pale Ale in ages, so I went ahead and ordered up a mug. Their beers are good, don’t get me wrong, but I have avoided them ever since they were gobbled up by Anheuser-Busch. To be fair, though, Ab seems to have left Goose Island alone, and the quality of their beers has remained high.

I last took notes on Goose Island India Pale Ale on September 1st of 1997:

Wow! This beer grabs you from the get-go, and never lets go. Goose Island is a world-class brewer, and their IPA is a world class brew. Deep orange in color with a thick rocky head, this bottle-conditioned beer is very well carbonated and boasts spicy hop nose. The malt in the palate never really has a chance, the hops dominate it with their phenolic, very fruity spiciness. Wonderfully aromatic, with a lingering bitter finish. An extremely enjoyable IPA.

The Goose Island India Pale Ale I’m drinking tonight is the same beer (they have several IPAs), classic GI IPA if you will. Here’s what the brewery says about the beer:

Our India Pale Ale recalls a time when ales shipped from England to India were highly hopped to preserve their distinct taste during the long journey. The result is a hop lover’s dream with a fruity aroma, set off by a dry malt middle, and long hop finish.

Ingredients also from their website:

Hops: Pilgrim, Styrian Golding Celeia, Cascade, Centennial

Malts: Pale

Goose Island calls this an English style IPA, although I would add with some American flair. We’ll see why shortly. Goose Island IPA has an alcohol content of 5.9% by volume and 55 IBUS. I paid a very reasonable $5.25 for my20-ounce mug.

My mug (OK, they brought me a 16-ounce pint and a 4-ounce shot glass) of Goose Island India Pale Ale arrived a rich orange amber color with a moderate sized head of rocky foam and an appetizing nose of grapefruit and resin. Taking a sip, there’s a solid caramel maltiness up front followed by the interesting hops from new world and old. I get grapefruit and resin from the Centennials and Cascades, but then the Goldings and Pilgrims provide some herbal, grassy hop aromas and flavors in the finish. The beer finishes very dry and makes me want to take another sip.

All in all, this beer went extremely well with my order of hot wings, as the dry bitter finish cut right through the peppery bite of the wings. Definitely a beer I will buy again, in the bottle next time just for fun.

Update 5/1/2020: I do not get out much these days (do any of us?) But I did have to go in the gas station the other day and picked up a few $2 pint cans of beer. Goose Island IPA was one of them. It is not the beer it once was, even from 5 or 6 years ago when I last opined here. There is still resin and grapefruit, but nowhere near as much malt as there used to be. Before you go blaming ther Evil Empire, however, AB did not take the malt out. Today's beer crowd did. Let's be honest about it, how many small brewers today make IPAs with no malt to them? I'm sorry to see Goose Island IPA added to their ranks.

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.