Oct 16, 2013

Goose Island 25th Anniversary Ale

Most times, a brewery will celebrate their anniversary — especially one as momentous as a 25th year in business — with an over-the-top exploration of flavor and alcohol, usually something barrel aged. But, just as Brooklyn Brewery did with their Silver Anniversary Lager, Goose Island decided to commemorate the occasion with a relatively simple brew — one that reflected the beers that inspired founder John Hall to first open for business back in 1988.

25th Anniversary Ale is a 6.4% ABV ESB that is not only well crafted, but incredibly full flavored and refreshing. The brew is refined without being snooty and serves as a wonderful testament to twenty five years spent honing ones skills. This isn’t some Bourbon County Brand behemoth here, just a great drinking beer.


Copper in color and clear, the brew is topped by a dense cap of light tan foam.

Goose Island 25th Anniversary Ale photo


This beer smells great. It’s wonderfully balanced between biscuity malt, caramel, orange and a floral hop character.


Like I stated in the intro, the beer may be relatively simple, but it’s got a classy, refined character. Orange, grapefruit, caramel, bread and a light grassy hop presence combine for a smooth drinking beer. There’s a moderate amount of bitterness that lingers a good long while in the clean and lasting finish.


Not every celebratory beer needs to push envelopes. Both Brooklyn Brewery and Goose Island understand that. Celebrate that which got you started, that which inspires and deliver a well honed product that is tasty and flavorful. 25th Anniversary Ale is just that. I need to pick up some more before it’s all gone.

Rating: 3.75/5

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