Beer Review: Goose Island Brewing Company Sofie 2013


Brewery: Goose Island Brewing Company
Beer: Sofie (2013)
Style: Belgian-Style Farmhouse Ale/Saison
ABV: 6.5%
Character: Fermented with wild yeasts and aged in wine barrels with orange peel
Metal Connection: OPPRESSOR – Seasons


This is the third Goose Island beer to grace my website. The first being a 2.5 skull rated IPA, and the 4 skull rated Pepe Nero Belgian-Style Farmhouse Ale, a darker version, which was more roasty. I’m sure by now, that you have figured out that I do not like to support beers that are owned by AB inBev (Anheuser-Busch), but since these are my first go rounds with anything from Goose Island, I thought I’d give each one a try. I have tried to find as much info as I could on this beer, and I have found a lot of articles talking about how AB inBev stil give the Brewmasters at Goose Island creative control on their beers, especially their Vintage Ales collection which includes Matilda (Belgian-Style Pale Ale), Pere Jacques (Belgian-Style Abbey Ale), Pepe Nero (Belgian-Style Farmhouse Ale), Juliet (Belgian-Style Sour Ale), Madame Rose (Belgian-Style Brown Ale), Lolita (Belgian-Style Pale Ale), and of course, Sofie. I hope this is true, and i hope they will always let the Brewmasters at the Goose Island facility in Chicago be free to experiment and come up with new exciting ales. Now onto the beer….

Using my Boulevard Brewing Smokestack Series tulip glass for this session. Sofie poured a hazy golden color with a two finger wide fluffy white head. The head retained greatly throughout, leaving an excellent sticky film lacing down the glass.

I really like the aroma of this beer, as it was all over the place. My nose was working overtime here. I picked up all the characters here. Earthy, hay, some would say barnyard smells of the Saison style are here. I also pick up notes of green grapes, a bit of sour apples, a champagne like aroma all caused by the aging of this beer in wine barrels , I assume. The orange peel is faintly present in the nose as well, along with some spices, and a vanilla-like/banana smell caused by the wild yeast to brew this beer. This one took a few whiffs, ad a lot of concentrating to get to all these characters, but they were all present and accounted for!

The taste was just as complex as the aroma, the wine barrel again showed up with the apple, green grapes flavors, and of course the champagne-like taste as well. There was an overall tartness to this beer, giving this elements of a lightly soured beer. I mean really light, so don’t expect this to knock you out with sourness or anything. The Saison flavors of barnyard or hay come in next, taking up the bulk of the flavor palate for me. This one finishes with a lingering vanilla/banana-like flavor. A few sips, and some big gulps really helped me pick out the flavors with this one, but just like with the aroma, all the characters were there.

The body was a medium thickness, with a crisp peppery bite with good carbonation. There was a slight dryness at the end of the drink, giving the flavors a bit of a push on the tongue.

Overall, I must admit that I really enjoyed this beer. It was so unique, that is wasn’t just a beer. There is a lot going on here. I a a huge fan of experimenting and unusual beers. Sofie is just that, an unusual beer. As AB inBev being the brewery’s new owners, I am only afraid of what they will do to such beers as this. I guess only time will tell. Seriously though, until they start fucking with the good stuff, go out and find yourself a bottle of Sofie, and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Metal Connection: Keeping it local to the brewery’s home city, I went with an old Chicago based band that was one of my favorites in the early 90’s, Oppressor. Oppressor released their debut album, Solstice of Oppression on Red Light Records in 1994, and the song “Seasons” is the opening track from this album. This was such a perfect way to begin this CD, just right in your face up front right from the first second, and note played with no intro needed.  Check out this tune. If you are a fan of Technical Death Metal from the old school, none of this garbage that is out now, then please get schooled by Oppressor.

On a sad side note, Oppressor wrote two more full length albums, the last one being in 1998. The band went on to form the radio friendly band Soil (along with Broken Hope bassist, Shaun Glass), which had a successful song called “Halo” from their 2001 album called Scars, which was released on J Records (Alicia Keys, Jamie Foxx, Pitbull)



Author: BeerMetalDude

Owner of Beer Metal Media. Creator/Host of The Beer Metal Show Podcast & It Came from the Cellar Podcast

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