By the time April rolls around, Chicago beer heads will be able to sip the wildly popular Bourbon County Stout—and other rare and new Goose Island beers—on draft and in growlers to-go at the forthcoming Goose Island Tasting Room at the Fulton & Wood brewery. 20 years after the facility first opened, Goose Island is planning to unveil its new tasting room, an elevated "Tap Deck" bar in the brewery itself, and brewery tours to the public by the end of the month.
In a front ground-floor area that was once storage, the main tap room, a slick area lined with subway tile and exposed brick, holds eight draft lines, one cask, and bar and table seating in a space that peeks into the brewery through floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Visitors will be able to taste a variety of exclusive brews before they leave the facility: Fulton Street coffee pale ale, two versions of cucumber radler, and Honkers Ale on cask were some of the available beers at a media event on Friday, for example. Roughly 100 seats will be available.
To start, the tasting room will be open to the public three days a week for limited hours (Thursday and Friday from 2:00-8:00 p.m.; Saturdays from noon-6:00 p.m.) with expanded hours on the docket in a few months. Tours, which include different educational and drinking elements, will be held four times a day during public hours for $12 each. A different Bourbon County Stout will be on draft in the tasting room every third Friday, and a limited-release sour will be poured every Saturday.