The First Pour: Goose Island Mild Winter
Cicero’s understands that when it come to beer, most people’s favorite is the latest and greatest new beer. Very few beer lovers drink the same beer over and over again. Sure, you might go back to an old standard, but you always try the latest beer first. For that reason, and others, Cicero’s changes their menu every week. When kegs kick, we change them up, unless we decide to keep it tapped for a while longer because it kicked so fast. With that in mind, we strive to keep you, our customers informed on our weekly changes. As this is a work in progress, I have decided to change the name of this series of blogs from “Just out the Keg” to “The First Pour”. This series of blog posts will highlight and review the newest beers we have on draft for you. Again, we have a happy couple writing these posts for us. If you see them around, make sure and thank them for their hard work.
By Alaina Kantner and Mike Vecchio
Availability: November to February
Bitterness: 28 IBUs (Willamette & Tettnang hops)
When you think of Chicago, what do you imagine?: a towering skyline, historic neighborhoods, and deep dish pizza? All are fitting, but dwell also on Chicago’s truly unique ethnic history. Chicago is well-known for having played home to just about every immigrant group in the US, and is still known for having a vibrant Polish population. This Polish influence (think of Polish rye bread) may, we’re speculating here, be part of the influence for another Chicago staple – Goose Island’s Mild Winter Ale.
The beer pours out clear and deep brown – walnut – with a nice rich head. The aroma is very light, but is yeasty and reminds us of rising bread and nuts. The taste is of sweet malts and – true to the style – nicely spiced rye. It’s an extremely enjoyable and slightly spiced beer that isn’t overpowering, but is just complex enough. Because it’s not overpowering like some winter seasonals, this really is a great session beer. Alaina and I have been known to grab at least one growler of this beer from Cicero’s when one of our good friends comes in and visits in the winter times.
About the Authors – Alaina and Mike moved to St Louis from Ohio in 2008 and quickly jumped into the craft beer scene. Alaina has gone from drinking light lagers almost exclusively to enjoying maltier beers – most notably porters and stouts – and hefeweizens. In her free time Alaina enjoys reading, running, and attempting to teach their dog tricks. Mike has evolved from drinking highly hopped IPAs to enjoying a wider range of pale ales and traditional hefeweizens. Mike enjoys trying to teach his dog not to bark at anything that moves, reading about crime and gangs, and home brewing with his co-workers. Both Alaina and Mike have been attending Cicero’s Beer School for a year and credit it to helping them expand their knowledge of craft brew and assisting them to take the plunge into home brewing with their friends. Hopefully, they will bring in some of their home-brew one day.