The launch of Atlanta’s Goose Island Migration Week was held at Joysticks Gamebar. Migration Week is when Goose Island chooses a city and introduces their beers to as many potential new customers as possible (and shares some of their more rare & exotic beers with long-time fans) to raise awareness of the distinctive Goose Island brands from Chicago.
All four of the draught lines at Joysticks Gamebar were pouring Goose Island brews for the evening.
• 312 Urban Wheat Ale
• India Pale Ale
These beers are all available from Goose Island year-round. Blond in color, 312 is brewed with light wheat malts, has refreshing citrus & sweet malt tastes , and a faint hop finish. India Pale Ale has an amber appearance, and caramel malt flavors combined with a pronounced hop bitterness. Both Sofie and Matilda are Belgian-inspired brews that are vintage dated and can be aged up to five years. They both have complex taste profiles that tend to appeal to wine drinkers. Aged in wine barrels with orange peel, Sofie is a golden saison and tastes of subtle spices, white wine with a crisp dry finish. Matilda, a Belgian pale ale, has rich malt flavors of dark fruit with a semi-sweet finish.
Two impressive, dark & rich beers were served from 22 ounce bottles.
• Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout
• Cherry Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout
Bourbon County Brand stout is an Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon barrels. The Goose Island website declares, “One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer.” Rare BCBS was brewed and aged 24 months in 23 year old Pappy Van Winkle barrels. If you are fortunate enough to find some, expect chocolate and faint vanilla flavors along with bourbon notes that become more intense as the beer warms. Cherry Rye BCBS ages the imperial stout in rye whiskey barrels with whole Michigan cherries. This was my favorite brew of the evening. Subtle tart cherry and vanilla flavors combine nicely with the chocolate, and the rye barrels add a hint of spiciness.
Joysticks Gamebar, on the Edgewood Corridor in downtown Atlanta, touts itself as “The only spot in Atlanta dedicated to classic arcade games, good beer, killer cocktails, and Illegal Food.” About a dozen classic arcade vidogames and a few pinball machines occupy the main bar area. In the adjoining area, patrons may sit in big comfy sofas and play either some old-school Atari games on a console television, or boardgames.
Learn more about Goose Island beers, and suggested food pairings at GooseIsland.com.
To find out upcoming events at Joysticks Gamebar, check their Facebook page.
Guest post by Eric Thornton. Eric (BeerGeekATL) is a source for information about Atlanta breweries, beers, and festivals. He has been involved in the Atlanta beer scene since its beginning. Using his extensive knowledge, Eric offers educational sessions in both beer styles and social media.