Beer of the Week – Goose Island Beer Co.’s Honkers Ale

By Jonathan Hatchman, Food Editor, @TLE_Food

Strength: 4.3% ABV

Brewed: Chicago, Illinois

Set up in 1988 by founder John Hall, inspired by his travels of Europe, through which he managed to experience some incredible tasting beers from the continent, Goose Island is now one of America’s most popular craft breweries. Operating from Chicago, a city that was at the time an ideal start with plenty of rapidly evolving tastes, not to mention the largest fresh water system on the planet as well.

Since beginning, Goose Island have brewed a staggering variety over time, but its their Honkers Ale from their core range that’s recently caught our attention. Heavily inspired by British bitter, this is their take on the drink – of sorts. When poured, the beer has a warming deep amber complexion with a creamy body, topped with a medium head. On the nose, there are slight elements of bread and yeast, but it’s the taste that’s by far the most complex aspect: boasting notes of caramel and toffee providing some sweetness, with subtle after notes of citrus and a slight coffee bitterness. What’s most impressive, however, is the exceptionally balanced finish, with a lingering mouth feel that’s both pleasantly sweet but comfortingly bitter.

Further information on Goose Island Beer Company and their stockists can be found at

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