For the past few years Goose Island Beer Co. has been honoring the largest shopping day of the year with the official launch of its Bourbon County Brand Stout and its variants. Today things began a bit early in Southwest Portland when John’s Marketplace opened its doors at 6:00am selling all three 2016 BCBS varieties. Throughout the rest of the day other local beer spots will be getting in on the celebration that will continue over the next few weeks and we have compiled a list of all of these venues in and around the Portland area below.
As you may remember, 2015 was not the best year for Bourbon County Brand Stout as the brewery voluntarily recalled a few of its offerings due to a few instances of infections. The infection was one that was very difficult for the brewery to pinpoint. Its own labs and that of its parent company, Anheuser-Busch could not find the exact culprit. We learned that the brewery ended up sending it to an independent lab for analysis and confirmation. Fortunately for consumers the Goose Island stepped up to the plate and offered refunds on the batches that experienced these issues.
To make sure this infection issue does not happen again, Goose Island began to flash pasteurize all forthcoming batched of Bourbon County Brand Stout. This process is done by other craft brewers such as Deschutes Brewery to make sure that its high end, high dollar, barrel-aged beers hit the marketplace in top form. And an additional step taken is in the barrel cooperage itself. We also learned from a source at Goose Island that the brewery will only accept bourbon barrels that still contain a bit of bourbon left inside the barrel. This will also reduce the possibility of any undesirable bacteria growth since the alcohol will keep that at bay.
Now onto to this year’s Bourbon County Brand Stout. Originally brewed to celebrate Goose Island’s 1,000 batch of beer, 2016 BCBS definitely lives up to its legendary status. It pours a deep, dark black with a slight tan head that is full of flavor and richness. If you’ve enjoyed any of the other BCBS releases from the past decade, the 2016 BCBS will not disappoint.
Here’s rundown on the three Bourbon County Brand Stout varieties that are hitting the Portland area market.
Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout
Style: Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels
Malts: 2-Row, Black Malt, Caramel, Chocolate, Munich, Roast Barley
Coffee: Intelligentsia Flecha Roja
Bourbon County Brand Barleywine
Style: English-Style Barleywine Aged in Bourbon Barrels
Malts: 2-Row, Black Malt, Caramel, Chocolate, Pale, Roast Barley
Here’s a list of Portland area release celebrations for Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout.
John’s Marketplace, Portland, OR – November 25 (6:00am)
23rd Avenue Bottle Shop, Portland, OR – November 25 (10:00am – Midnight)
Saraveza, Portland, OR – November 25 (11:00am)
Belmont Station, Portland, OR – November 25 (2:00pm)
N.W.I.P.A., Portland, OR – November 25 (2:00 – 10:00pm)
Chill N Fill, Portland, OR – November 25 (4:00pm)
CyBEER Tuesday – November 29
Caps N Taps, Camas, WA (5:00 – 8:00pm)
Ben’s Bottle Shop, Vancouver, WA (7:00 – 10:00pm)
Thirsty Sasquatch, Vancouver, WA (9:00 – 11:00pm)
All locations will be pouring BCBS Stout alongside some other rare treats from Goose Island.
The Upper Lip, Portland, OR – November 30 (4:00 – 8:00pm)
Hoppy Brewer, Gresham, OR – December 1 (6:00 – 8:00pm)
Hop N Grape, Longview, WA – December 2 (5:00 – 8:00pm)
Tin Bucket, Portland, OR – December 12 (5:00 – 8:00pm)
The BeerMongers, Portland, OR – December 13 (5:00 – 8:00pm)
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 25 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in the archives of Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter and Instagram at @hopapalooza.