Brew Review

Beer Review – Goose Island Harvest Ale


While out looking for a Halloween costume for the boy, I found myself in the same shopping center as Total Wine. So, I thought that I while I was getting something for him, I might as well get something for me. As a part of a mixed six, I picked up a couple of seasonals (Oktoberfests and Pumpkin Ales); one of those was the Goose Island Harvest Ale. I had selected the Harvest Ale as I have had such favorable experience with other Goose Island beers (i.e., the 312 Urban Wheat Ale, the Matilda and the Sofie).

Goose Island is a craft brewer steeped in the tradition of Midwestern mass produced beers. Founded in 1988 as a craft alternative, they have rolled out an impressive lineup of beers. In 2011, Anheuser-Busch upped their ownership from a 32.25% share of the Craft Brewers Alliance’s 40% share to an outright purchase of all of Goose Island. While the purchase had been viewed with great hesitation as craft beer advocates feared that Goose Island would lose some of its craftiness as it was absorbed by a macro brewer. To date, I have found that the only change has been a greater availability as Goose Island has been added to Bud’s distribution channel.

Here is what Goose Island has to say about the Harvest Ale:

Brewed in honor of the Harvest season this copper colored ESB is made with Cascade hops and the richest Midwestern malts. A fruity American hop aroma and a toasty malt character make Goose Island Harvest Ale an extra special beer worthy of your devotion.

I found this beer to be…

  • Appearance: A clear, orange red with lots of foam and lacing.
  • Aroma: A little doughy and a lot of hops.
  • Taste: Light on the carbonation with a refreshing well-balanced flavor followed with a nice, hoppy tang at the finish.
  • ABV: 5.7%

As with the Matilda and the Sofie, I found this to be very drinkable. The flavors were spot on and so well-balanced that I was sad to find my glass empty.

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