Our Barrels
Our Barrel Aged History

A lot has happened since Greg first aged the first 6 barrels of Bourbon County stout in the Clybourn Brewpub. Here are a few highlights of what Goose Island has done with barrel aging over the years.

1992

Bourbon County Brand Stout was first brewed in celebration of the 1000th batch of beer brewed at Goose Island.

1995

Bourbon County Brand Stout was entered into the Great American Beer Festival. It was disqualified due to the beer not fitting into style guidelines of any beer categories at the time. However, it was awarded an honorable mention.

The Fulton Street Brewery opened and began brewing beer for Goose Island fans to enjoy our beer outside of the pub.

2004

Trials of Bourbon County Brand Stout began at the Fulton Street Brewery.

2005

Bourbon County Brand Stout was packaged for the first time and released in Chicago.

2009

Juliet, a Belgian inspired wild ale with fresh Michigan blackberries is released. It is the first new release to come out of a newly formed innovation team at Goose Island. Juliet features 100% secondary fermentation in wine casks with fresh fruit additions.

The first Bourbon County variant was served at the Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers in Chicago.

2010

Goose Island expanded the barrel program to a warehouse directly across the street from the Fulton Street Brewery. Barrels were filled in the brewery, and transported across the street on forklifts.

Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout was released. It kicked off a collaboration partnership with our next-door neighbor Intelligentsia Coffee. We used their Black Cat Espresso for the first Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout. Each year we work with Intelligentsia to feature a new coffee bean.

Bourbon County Brand Vanilla Stout was released. The beer was aged in bourbon barrels with hand scraped vanilla beans. Each year we develop new variants to highlight flavor profiles inherent in the Original Bourbon County Brand Stout.

Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout, aged for two years in 23 year old Pappy Van Winkle barrels was released on Black Friday – starting the tradition of lining up for Bourbon County that lives on today.

Lolita, a Belgian Style Wild Ale with fresh Michigan raspberries is released.

Madame Rose, a Belgian Style Wild Ale with fresh tart Michigan cherries is released.

2011

King Henry, an English-style Barleywine aged in the 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle barrels that aged Bourbon County Stout Rare. You may think this beer was named after the many King Henry’s of England but it was actually named after John Hall’s grandson.

2012

Goose Island expanded the barrel program to include an adjacent warehouse solely focused on alternative fermentation beers in wine casks with fresh fruit.

2013

Halia, a Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale with fresh whole peaches fermented in wine casks is released.

Gillian, a Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale with fresh strawberries, white peppercorn and local honey fermented in wine casks is released.

Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout, a special variant released only in Chicago to show our immense gratitude to our hometown friends is released for the first time. This beer will feature a new recipe developed by the Goose Island brewers each year.

2014

The Goose Island Barrel House on Chicago’s West Side is opened. The Barrel House is over 130,000 sq. ft. dedicated to the art of barrel aging beer, and was designed and built to the specifications of our brewers.