The brewpub has been going since October 2018, working on bringing new and creative brews from the established Goose Island Brewery in Chicago to the people of Shoreditch. The place looks pretty neat, with a rustic, modern feel… a red brick interior and a slick bar complete with 12 classic goose neck taps. In the corner, behind the bar is an ingenious dispensing system for the barrel-aged brews (originally developed by Dogfish Head Brewery), poured directly from the large wooden vessels the beer has been aging inside, plus 2 regular cask lines. Behind this was a slightly raised area, leading to dining seating and the brewing tanks right at the back.
We met up with Head Brewer, Andrew Walton, he’d just finished the clean on the brew kit and man it was gleaming. After pouring tasters of Restrictor Plate (DIPA), a double version of their house IPA and London Fog Bowl (Hazy Session), brewed for Craft Beer Rising, we sat down for a chat…
Originally from Canada, Andrew has spent the past 3 years in the UK, coming over to the brew pub from Fourpure;
“I actually went to brew school in Chicago so there’s a bit of a connection there. I spent way too much time in the Goose Island Brewpub over there and took the Fulton St. [Brewery] tour, one of the most magical places on earth!” Andrew said, leaning back and looking up, reminiscing.
“You guys founded a fantastic British brewing culture and the founder [of Goose Island], John Hall, was over here drinking in pubs back in the 1980s. I was personally inspired by British brewing culture when I went to school here in 2003 and was down in Sussex. I had a pint of Harvey’s and it was like nothing I’d ever had before!”
“I’m sort of trying to capture that same experience, using the same amazing ingredients mixed in with what I learnt from the school of brewing I was raised in, with hop-forward beers and unique styles, sours, a bit of barrel ageing.”
Andrew then picked up his Sour Cherry & Tonka Porter that he had picked out to enjoy while chatting to us, looking slightly smug after every sip by the way that it had turned out. He then continued…
“Goose already has a core line-up of beers, along with some barrel-aged stuff. We have room for eight barrels downstairs, so we’ve got an English Barley Wine ageing in a couple of Heaven Hill bourbon barrels. We’re also brewing a Flanders Red, which we’re putting in a couple of Spanish red wine barrels for a few months. We also have a couple of collaborations lined up, too.”
“We’re just a small brew pub that wanna put a twist on things when we can. Our Cantaloupe Gose was sort inspired by hanging out with my mom when I was younger, she always used to put a sprinkling of salt on her Cantaloupe… it’s a weird thing to do but really delicious. The beer already had that acidity in it, we just needed to puree 50 kilos of cantaloupe and then blast it into the tanks.”
Andrew then showed me around his 3.5 barrel shiny new kit, it looked fantastic but the beer was even better!
Leaning on one of the tanks, Andrew looked over at the nearby dining area, visible to the brewing kit, “People love being able to sit out there when we have a batch brewing, being able to smell the beer brewing while they enjoy their drink.”
Overall the place was bloody fantastic, whether you’re looking to pop in for a quick beer with friends, having a casual dinner or something a little bit more formal, this is the place to go. They offer a great range off the Chicago-themed menu, especially their Chicago-style pizza. So next time you’re in the big smoke, be sure to check out this epic dig!