On Friday, Nov. 28, Chicago-based Goose Island Beer Co. will release its Bourbon County Brand Stout (BCBS) line of barrel-aged beers through special beer-centric Black Friday events in nine cities including Boston; Chicago; Dallas; Philadelphia; Phoenix; San Francisco; Los Angeles; and Jacksonville, Fla. Black Friday has become a beer drinker’s holiday and a true reminder that good things come to those that wait, according to the brand of Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), Leuven, Belgium.
“The magic of our Bourbon County Brand Stout is the time and unpredictable weather conditions our beer experiences in the belly of each hand-picked bourbon barrel,” said Brett Porter, brewmaster at Goose Island, in a statement. “Our brewers, much like our fans, are passionate about Bourbon County, and we’re counting down the days until Black Friday when we can all enjoy the new variants of the Bourbon County family.”
Goose Island first began crafting barrel-aged beers in 1992 and continues to develop diverse new beers under its Bourbon County Brand platform. This year’s Bourbon variants include the following beers:
• Bourbon County Brand Stout: The original beer in the BCBS lineup features a dark color and the smells of charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and smoke. It will be available nationally in four- and 24-packs in 12-ounce bottles.
• Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout: Each year, this coffee is made with a different coffee from Goose Island’s next-door neighbor Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea. The 2014 incarnation features Rwandan coffee and will be available nationally in four and 24-packs 12-ounce bottles.
• Bourbon County Brand Barleywine: Aged in third-use barrels that were previously used to make Kentucky bourbon and Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout, this traditional English-style barleywine possess a subtle flavor that comes from its barrel that have received many seasons of ritual care, the company says. The beer features notes of oak, charcoal, tobacco, vanilla and bourbon heat and will be available nationally in four and 24-packs of 12-ounce bottles.
• Vanilla Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout: Goose Island first brewed this variant in 2009 for the festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer in Chicago and brought it back a year later because of popular demand. To answer the consumer requests received since then, Goose Island is bringing back the beer this year. The 2014 version features a twist of aging the stout in rye whiskey barrels hand-picked from four different distilleries instead of in bourbon barrels. Each rye barrel features a 2-pound mix of Mexican and Madagascar vanilla beans. This limited Vanilla Rye will be available nationwide in 22-ounce bottles.
• Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout: The second-annual release of Proprietor’s is aged in rye whiskey barrels and features panela sugar, made into syrup with coconut water, Cassia bark and cocoa nibs. This special variant will be available only in Chicago in 22-ounce bottles.
This is the fifth year Goose Island is releasing Bourbon County Brands on Black Friday. At the brewer’s 2013 Chicago release event, more than 500 people lined up to try the Bourbon County brews. The brewer also expects a greater turnout this year, as it is hosting nine different events with special Black Friday events in additional cities featuring unique collaborations with local artisans from coffee roasters to donut makers, the company expects an even greater turnout.