At the rate they're going, Goose Island may soon partner with every great chef in Chicago to create special beers. Next up for the Chef Collaboration Series is Bristol chef Chris Pandel. One might expect Pandel, a big fan of nose-to-tail cooking, to somehow work a pig part into the beer, but fortunately he and Goose Island head brewer Jared Rouben will stick to the basics. Well, almost.
The duo began working on a brew a few months ago, but two weeks before the brewing process was set to start, they met and the plan took a left turn, according to Pandel. "We decided to do a black I.P.A. instead of our original plan," he said. The result? A Beer Named Sue.
Black I.P.A.s are fairly uncommon and they are mysterious in their presentation as their dark color would lead the drinker to believe they're about to take in a heavier-tasting beer. The resulting flavor, however, is brighter, and in this case offers mango and pineapple notes due to the use of Citra and Sorachi hops. Rouben and Pandel used dark malt husks to achieve the darker color.
Pandel said when Rouben first showed him other black I.P.A.s he'd made, he was intrigued and liked the taste, but was definitely confused. "It's a bit of a mind fuck when you are looking at something so dark and the flavor is somewhere else," Pandel said.
Bristol owner John Ross told us the beer was inspired by Chicago native Shel Silverstein's poem "A Boy Named Sue," which was then popularized in song by Johnny Cash. The poem tells the tale of a father who names his son Sue to toughen him up, but instead it went much further and the boy grew to be a mean son of a bitch. "Sue isn't exactly what you expect from a Sue, as this black I.P.A is not what you expect from a dark beer," Ross said. "It is a surprise when the dark beer hits your palate and looks like a porter, but tastes like a rich version on an American I.P.A." The other tie-in here is that the Bristol's anniversary falls on Silverstein's birthday.
The release date is still not set, but the beer will be an exclusive, limited offering at Goose Island's Clybourn brewpub and the Bristol.
· All coverage of the Bristol on Eater Chicago [~EChi~]