Goose Island Presents New Recipe for Holiday Cheer
It’s tradition at Goose Island Beer Company to introduce a new Christmas Ale every holiday season, each one with a flavor and a personality of its own. “We always craft them as English Brown Ales,” says Goose Island brewmaster Greg Hall. “But each one is unique, just as each passing year is unique. They’re made to celebrate a single holiday season.”
This year’s Goose Island Christmas Ale will also get a new label. “We wanted the packaging to match the elegant appearance of our recent releases like Matilda and Pere Jacques,” says Hall. “It’s a cleaner, simpler design. But the goose will still be wearing his Santa hat, of course — that’s the tradition.”
Like Matilda and Pere Jacques, this year’s Christmas Ale will be sold in a 650 ml bottle. “It’s the perfect size for gifts,” Hall explains. “You could bring a bottle of Christmas Ale to a holiday party the same way you might bring a bottle of wine. It’s also a nice size for sharing with someone special over a holiday meal. With this new gift sized bottle I expect that this year’s Christmas Ale will sell out even faster than usual.”
In the spirit of the holidays, this year’s Christmas Ale will make a gift to a Chicago charity. A portion of the selling price will be donated to the Christmas Ship, an organization that gives free Christmas trees to disadvantaged Chicago families. “They use the Coast Guard icebreaker Mackinaw,” Hall explains. “The Coast Guard brings more than 1000 Christmas trees down from Wisconsin, they decorate the whole ship as if it were a Christmas tree itself, and we give the trees away in a big event at Navy Pier. It’s one of those things that really gets you in the Christmas spirit — you can see why we’d want to be part of it.”
A complex brown ale like Goose Island Christmas Ale pairs well with rich flavors like ham and lamb, or aged gouda and dry jack cheese. It will develop in the bottle for up to five years and is at its best when served at a temperature of about 40 degrees.
Tidings and Tides of Good Will
It has been the tradition at Goose Island to change the recipe of our Christmas Ale so that each year we can share a newly brewed gift with our friends and community. Starting in 2009 we’ve decided to extend the tradition of giving with a gift to a Chicago Charity that helps to spread holiday cheer. We are donating a portion of the profits from this years Christmas Ale to the Chicago Christmas Ship. Each year the ship sails from the shores of Michigan to Chicago with a hull of Christmas trees to be given to many disadvantaged families in Chicago. This year by raising a glass to toast the holidays with your friends and family, you can help us raise a tree – and the spirits of another Chicago family.