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Goose Island – Honker’s Ale

In Beer Review on July 1, 2011 at 9:08 pm

As we here at inthefridges continue our review section of our blog you may be forgiven for thinking, why review beers that could be described as easy drinking or even boring?! As you may have noticed, the tone of our previous posts is of a call for more accessibility within the craft beer community to give those who want a way in a chance of finding somewhere to start. Therefore Honker’s Ale is going to get the once over and hopefully give someone out there a push in the right direction.

Chicago’s Goose Island Brewery was established in 1988 by John Hall. He opened a Goose Island brewpub in his home town of Chicago in an attempt to create beers to not only cater to his customers tastes but to challenge them as well. I’m not going to go into the current situation at Goose Island but who can argue with those humble beginnings?

Goose Island Honker’s Ale – inspired by visits to English country pubs is part of the description on the bottle so you would think we would have no trouble enjoying this one. On pouring an almost amber beer appears from the bottle with a relatively creamy head for an American craft beer. The aroma is sweet and fruity and on first sip these notes continue to be prominent. On further drinking a smoothness with a lingering sweetness prevails that leaves a pleasant mouth feel. I don’t think you can describe this beer as English in style as it is most definitely American, the aromatic hops and sweetness are the give away.

As I said before I think there is need to rediscover some of the standard beers of breweries which can provide an introduction to all things craft. Sierra Nevada’s Pale, Brooklyn’s Lager and Anchor’s Steam are all widely available and I for one think are good drinking.

As more and more breweries endeavour to create beers that hit you in the face on tasting I think there is a definite skill in producing beers that are balanced and smooth but still full of flavour. So I guess this is a call to not get too carried away with the big hitting brews and be thankful for ones that can be enjoyed with a little less thought but with just as much enjoyment. Honker’s Ale is just that, nice and smooth and perfect to offer someone for their first American craft experience.

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