This past Saturday, Goose Island’s Wrigleyville brewpub was packed to the gills for Day of the Living Ales. Beer enthusiasts eager to sample excellent examples of cask-conditioned real ale were treated to a wide range of 40+ inventive brews, most of them local, from Finch’s curry-infused Mahatma IPA to Goose Island’s cocktail-inspired Tonic the Hedgehog. Last week, we interviewed Day of the Living Ales cellarmaster Steve Hamburg about the finer points of real ale. We also checked in with Elliott Beier, above, Certified Cicerone™ and beverage director at Owen & Engine about his take on cask service, because he’s doing it best year-round.
There’s so much more complexity in a cask beer it’s incredible. Cask ale is meant to show a beer for what it should really be, exactly what malt you’re tasting, exactly what hops you’re tasting and the symphony of all that complexity. – Elliott Beier
Check out the real ale feature at Chicagoist, and read on for the all-local Day of the Living Ales winners.
1st place: Half Acre Baume, a chocolate rye stout
2nd place: Goose Island Tonic the Hedgehog, a barrel-aged raspberry saison with Brettanomyces, dry-hopped with Amarillo, blended with tonic water and gin-inspired botanicals
3rd place: Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout, an imperial coffee stout aged in bourbon barrels
Cellermaster’s Award: Goose Island Brewpub Bitter Cold, a traditional English-style bitter