I ♥ 312: Chicago’s Goose Island Brewery Tour

Like anyone who went to college in Chicago, I have a serious soft spot for Goose Island beer, whether that be an ever-present case of 312 or a chilled, $8 Matilda. So when Goose Island offered me a private tour of their brewery I was jumping up and down like a little kid. Or like a college student who just got free beer.


The brewery tour began with a behind-the-scenes glimpse at production. From the brewmasters….

The brewers who spend all day creating and sampling new beer flavors. No wonder they’re smiling!

…to the bottling process.

As our lovely tour guide explained, John Hall, Goose Island’s CEO and founder, was inspired to start a brewery by his trip to Europe in the 80’s. During his travels he fell in love with the craft beer culture he found in Europe and came back to the Midwest with a mission to brew the same quality beer he had tasted overseas.


It was particularly interesting to learn all about the beer aging system as Goose Island was one of the first breweries to age beer in wooden barrels. Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, one of their highest percentage alcohol beers, is aged in former bourbon barrels which lends a distinctive flavor and scent. Goose_Island_11



My favorite part of the tour was naturally the tasting at the end. (You guys know how much I love beer, right?) The best brew of the day, in my humble opinion, was Oktoberfest, a light seasonal beer that reminded me of the lagers of my beloved Germany. I also loved all of the classic beers that I have tried before like Sofie, Maltilda and Green Line.



So bottom line- if you’re ever in Chicago you have to try Goose Island! It really is the city’s most beloved beer and is a great representation of the city’s love of beer and microbreweries.

Thanks so much to Ana and Goose Island Beer Co. for hosting me on this tour. All opinions are my own, I really do love 312 this much!

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Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is an American travel blogger and freelance writer who moved to Paris at 21, traveled the world for a year and now lives in Denver. She's usually in pursuit of skiing, languages and perfectly ripe cheese. Her writing has been featured in National Geographic, Viator and Jetstar Australia.
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    • Ah I love seasonal beer too! I can’t wait for fall :)

  1. What a fun experience!

    • It was really good! I love brewery tours in general and this was no exception :)

  2. While I’m from Milwaukee and tend to prefer local Milwaukee brews, I do love Goose Island and was extremely jealous of your private tour when reading this. Oktoberfest beers are my favorite too, even though I haven’t been to Germany – yet! Next time I’m in Chicago I’ll have to check out their tour! If you’re ever in Milwaukee,make sure to check out the Milwaukee Brewing Company tour.
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    • I’ve actually been meaning to head up to at Milwaukee because I have heard the food/beer scene is excellent! Thanks for the tip- I will definitely check out Milwaukee Brewing :)

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