For the last year or so, Goose Island has been partnering with some of Chicago's top chefs, like Paul Kahan, Mindy Segal and Chris Pandel, to collaborate on limited-edition, small batch beers that are sold on site at the chefs' restaurants and in Goose Island's brewpub. The beers are crafted with food in mind and it's a win-win situation for everyone involved, especially the customers.
Goose Island is gearing up to partner with another batch of top toques throughout the year. Longman & Eagle's Jared Wentworth teamed up with Goose head brewer Jared Rouben in January to brew Pork Soda, a Belgian double IPA. Then, about 10 days ago, Rouben hooked up with Rick Gresh from David Burke's Primehouse to produce a blood orange Belgian blonde called the Citron Bombshell.
Goose Island has chef collaborations scheduled through September, with two chefs brewing in June for a double feature (although they're each doing their own). Basically, the chefs get together with Rouben to discuss what they want to do; sometimes inspiration doesn't hit until they meet. They brew one month, the beer goes through fermentation and is then released the following month. Wentworth's beer hit Feb. 8 and Gresh's, which is currently mid-fermentation, will come out likely toward the end of March. Up next: Stephanie Izard will create a beer in March to be released at Girl & The Goat in April.
"We're excited that Chicago's best chefs have such an interest in craft beer," said Goose Island brewmaster Greg Hall, "and we're thrilled to be a part of their vision of pairing beer with food."
So who else is gonna brew? Here's the list so far for 2011:
· January: Jared Wentworth/Longman & Eagle
· February: Rich Gresh/Primehouse
· March: Stephanie Izard/Girl & The Goat
· April: Dirk Flanigan/The Gage and Henri
· May: Francis Brennan/L20
· June: Giuseppe Tentori/GT Fish & Oyster
· June: Stephanie Prida/RIA
· July: Tony Priolo/Piccolo Sogno
· August: Jared Van Camp/Old Town Social
· September: Andrew Brochu/Kith & Kin
[Photo: Giuseppe Tentori, Dirk Flanigan, Francis Brennan]