“We don't want to be the only beer you drink; we just want to be the best beer you drink” — it’s such a self-confident slogan, and we’re feeling it. The beers offered at Goose Island Brewhouse which opened in Yeoksam-dong last month are simply heavenly, letting us almost forget about the high price tags that come with them. At the moment, the menu includes 5 types of drafts, 12 types of bottles and a few non-Goose Island draft beers (mostly from Elysian Brewing Company and Blue Point Brewing Company, both of which are subsidiaries of Anheuser-Busch). There are also beer cocktails and spirits. The food menu (priced at 15,000 won – 23,000 won, except for steaks) includes mac & cheese, beer-battered fried calamari, beef tartare, smoked chicken wings and salads. They’re all no-frills, with quite generous portions. As for space, the brewhouse has a rooftop area and a reservation-only “barrel room,” on top of two spacious floors with table and bar seatings.
One of the drafts that are currently available is Goose IPA (5.9% ABV), which is pretty light with subtle fruity notes. There’s nothing insane about it and that’s a great thing, in this case of overall well-balanced beer. If you’re into farmhouse ales, you should go for Sofie (6.5% ABV). Aged in wine barrels with citrus peels, it’s got an almost blissful aroma of elderflower with a hint of coriander and a subtle note of vanilla to finish. Sour, sweet and spicy without any domineering flavor, it’s such a deliciously gentle beer; diverse elements are in their own place, showing their character at the right time whilst dynamically forming a well-balanced orchestration. Currently, it’s only available as bottles, but the brewhouse does offer kegs whenever they’re imported. Last but definitely not least, Bourbon County Brand Stout (14.5% ABV) is available here. With very low carbonation and almost no head, this pitch-black elixir offers a sublime combination of vanilla, caramel, dark chocolate and charred oak. Its price tag of 75,000 won (for a 500ml bottle) is in no way friendly, but we couldn’t find another beer that's as perfect as this one to cap a celebration.
‘Creative’ doesn’t mean ‘odd,’ and Goose Island surely lets us know that with its delicately complex beers. In the domestic beer market where "different” seems like a major pursuit, Goose Island also offers a nice clue for competitiveness. Many of the newly released beers have been unfortunately only good for trying once out of curiosity, and we're glad we have these special staples. Like the slogan, Goose Island probably won't be the only beer we drink, but we certainly wouldn't mind if it were.