Dining & Drink

Goose Island’s Innocuous Beer

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Beer O’ The Week: Goose Island Honker’s Ale

Wamp’s Wisdom

Photo: J.T. Wampler

Goose Island Honker’s Ale is brewed by Goose Island Beer Co. in Chicago. This brewery is one of the latest acquisitions of the Belgian beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev.
This American example of a British bitter pours amber with a brilliant white head. Aroma is mild with hardly a hop presence at all. Taste is fresh and flavorful with a nice balance of bitter and malt. It finishes crisp with a slight burn on the back of the tongue.
This is a good, innocuous ale that would appeal to people who don’t like bold beers. Pair with spicy Thai or Chinese food.

Rating: 4 caps

Rico’s Reaction

Some beers stick out in your mind because they’re so phenomenally delicious, such as Anchor’s Humming Ale or Sierra Nevada’s Estate Homegrown Organic beer. Others get pinned to your neurons because they’re such an anathema to your palate you want to make sure you never pick them up again, such as Crown Valley’s Big Bison Ale.
Then there are those you forget without even trying. Five minutes after finishing Goose Island Honker’s Ale, the only thing I could tell you about the beer was that there was some kind of fowl on the label. No, it’s not because Honker’s has a high alcohol content with memory-erasing scrubbing bubbles. This ale was just largely unnoticeable, like a shy World of Warcraft nerd sitting at the back of the gym during junior prom. (Why are you all looking at me that way?)
In talking with Wamp, he explained Honker’s is such a wallflower beer because it’s designed to be that way. The beer is fashioned after a simple table ale recipe — a brew that’s meant to be innocuous so it can go with any meal.
Honestly, this ale was hardly memorable for me and almost so devoid of character I was tempted to rate it lower. However, being inconspicuous isn’t a flaw when that’s exactly what the beer is designed to be. I’ll simply be satisfied to put it on my personal don’t-bother-purchasing list.

Rating: 3 caps

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