Goose Island Black Friday is the only thing worth lining up for after Thanksgiving

Goose Island Black Friday Goose Island Black Friday is the best excuse in the world to get away from your family the morning after Thanksgiving. There’s fresh air, no bickering, and you walk away with arms full of amazing beer. Or you could go to Walmart, get trampled to death, and gurney away with regular old beer.

The Bourbon County lineup will be available nationwide on Goose Island Black Friday, but the big show is always at Binny’s in Lincoln Park. The doors open at 9am but people will be lined up early to get their hands on the full allotment and to have fun hobnobbing with fellow beer lovers.

Goose Island staff will pass out 1000 tickets which ensure you the option to buy the full allotment (the last ticket was handed out around 8am last year), but number 999 is not equal to number 99. Why? More perks! The first 200 will receive a Goose Island BCBS tote bag, BCBS poster, and Intelligentsia Black Cat coffee.

If you’re number 201 on Goose Island Black Friday you’re still not SOL though. You still get to buy the full allotment, Intelligentsia will be serving free coffee, and the newly renovated Goose Island Brewhouse that’s a mere stonesthrow away will be serving banana bread made with the Chicago-exclusive Bourbon County Brand Proprietor’s Stout. Not a bad way to wait.

All bottles are 16.9 ounces (perfect for splitting we me), and the full allotment you can purchase is:

  • 5 Bourbon County Brand Stout
  • 3 Bourbon County Barleywine
  • 2 Bourbon County Coffee Stout
  • 2 Bourbon County Proprietor’s
  • 1 Bourbon County Brand Northwoods Stout
  • 1 Bourbon County Reserve Brand Stout

I’ve now tasted through the entire lineup twice, and it’s a damn fine show this year. They definitely went big and bold. No hints of this and whispers of that to be found. From ingredients alone I thought a couple might be too sweet for my taste, but that wasn’t the case at all.

Prop tastes like the best slice of banana bread you’ve ever had dunked into BCBS. It’s happiness in a bottle. Northwood is really big on the blueberries, but the almond balances it nicely. Reserve is absolutely the top of the pile for me. It’s similar to standard BCS but with the whiskey notes pumped up to max. The Knob Creek fan in me was perfectly satisfied.

Don’t sleep on the annual offerings though. Coffee was stellar yet again, the barleywine was better (to me) than in recent years, and you really can’t beat the original BCBS… especially when poured from a backpack keg.

And if you want the official word on each Goose Island Black Friday beer rather than some guy on the internet’s opinion, this comes from the brewery:

Goose Island Black Friday Lineup

Bourbon County Reserve Brand Stout
Delicious with the familiar notes of charred oak, vanilla, caramel, and smoke, but with added depth contributed by 11-year-old Knob Creek Bourbon barrels.

The original collaboration between Greg Hall and Booker Noe has now come full circle with the 2017 release of Bourbon County Reserve Brand Stout. Aged in 11-year-old freshly emptied Knob Creek Bourbon barrels – the Small Batch Bourbon created by Noe himself in 1992 – this beer is simultaneously a celebration of Knob Creek’s 25th Anniversary and a toast to the chance encounter that brought Bourbon County Brand Stout to the world.

Limited release in Chicago and Kentucky.

Bourbon County Brand Original
Aroma and taste are an intense mix of charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer. Barrels were second use, fresh-unrinsed, 5 to 7-year-old bourbon barrels. Brewed in honor of the 1,000th batch at our original Clybourn brewpub. A liquid as dark and dense as a black hole with thick foam the color of a bourbon barrel.

Bourbon County Brand Barleywine
Medium-bodied with hints of oak, charcoal, tobacco, vanilla, and the signature bourbon heat that is the hallmark of this barrel-aged Barleywine. Barrels were second use, fresh-unrinsed, 5 to 7-year-old bourbon barrels.

In years past, Bourbon County Brand Barleywine was aged in third use bourbon barrels that previously housed our barrel-aged stout. This year’s Barleywine was aged exclusively in freshly emptied, second use bourbon barrels, so expect this vintage to have a slightly higher ABV and an enhanced bourbon character.

Bourbon County Brand Stout Coffee
This year, we are using Intelligentsia’s Black Cat Espresso. Black Cat Espresso was the bean we used in the first Bourbon County Coffee release in 2010 and we are excited to bring it back!

Bourbon County Brand Northwoods Stout
Aromas of rich dark chocolate, fresh blueberry and nutty marzipan. Barrels were second use, fresh-unrinsed, 5 to 7-year-old bourbon barrels.

The concept for this year’s National Bourbon County variant has been bouncing around in Goose Island Brewmaster Jared Jankoski’s head for a couple years. Bourbon County Brand Northwoods Stout combines some of his favorite flavors—blueberry and almond. The addition of almond extract lends a marzipan-like fruity character that complements the blueberry note. It was challenging to dial in the levels and ratios in this beer, but the result is well worth the effort.

Bourbon County Brand Proprietor’s
With a flavor profile that is evocative of the classic bananas Foster recipe, this year’s Proprietors has balanced aromas of banana, cassia bark and roasted almonds, and gives a great depth and integration of flavors. Barrels were second use, fresh-unrinsed, 5 to 7-year-old bourbon barrels. Brewed by Goose Island brewer Quinn Fuechsl and available exclusively in Chicago.

Happy hunting, and enjoy Goose Island Black Friday!

Colin Joliat
About Colin Joliat 347 Articles
Colin Joliat is the brains behind this rinky-dink operation. He covers the alcohol industry with two parts information, one part comedy, and one part WTF is wrong with this guy. He's written for Brobible, Guyism, Thrillist, CoolMaterial, Craft, and more.