Update: According to Goose Island reps, Austin Whole Foods will now begin selling Bourbon County at 7 a.m. rather than 9 a.m.
Since its inception, Black Friday has built a reputation as a pseudo holiday marked by turkey hangovers, impossibly long lines and Wal-Mart tramplings, but this year, for beer nerds anyway, it sounds like there’s something worth lining up for.
That’s because Goose Island will be releasing its famed Bourbon County Stout (plus, its flavored variants) at select retailers in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and right here in Austin, TX that morning.
The Austin release will take place at the downtown Whole Foods location.
While the beers will officially be released at
9 a.m. 7 a.m., the brewery anticipates a line beginning to form as early as 6 a.m 5 a.m. The first 100 people in line will receive Goose Island swag, including limited edition Bourbon County snifter glasses.
Intelligentsia Los Inmortales coffee, the coffee used in this year’s Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout, will also be available to keep attendees warm and awake while waiting in line.
Courtesy of a recent press release, here’s more information about each of the Bourbon County variants that will be available on Black Friday:
- Bourbon County Brand Stout is one of the most sought-after beers in the craft beer world. It has been recognized by judges at the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup. BCBS is dark and dense in a powerful yet silky body made to be sipped. Its nose is an intense mix of charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and smoke; finishing with a signature bourbon heat only this bold stout could harness. The beer is 14.5 percent alcohol-by-volume, develops in the bottle for up to five years and is sold in four packs of 12-ounce bottles.
- Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout is brewed using coffee roasted from Intelligentsia Coffee, our next-door neighbor at the Fulton Street brewery. This world-class roaster puts the same passion and skill into their coffee as Goose Island does with its beer. Each year, our brewers collaborate with the coffee experts at Intelligentsia to select a new bean. In 2013, we feature ‘Los Inmortales’ coffee beans from El Salvador. The beans were roasted and cold brewed just days before being blended into the stout. With the change in coffee comes a change in the flavor profile, making each release truly unique from the previous years. The beer is 14.3 percent alcohol-by-volume, develops in the bottle for up to five years and is sold in four packs of 12-ounce bottles.
- Bourbon County Brand Barleywine is new in 2013 and is aged in the third-use barrels that were once home to Kentucky bourbon and then Bourbon County Brand Stout. This traditional English-style barleywine possesses the subtlety of flavor that only comes from a barrel that’s gone through many seasons of ritual care. The intricacies of the previous barrel denizens – oak, charcoal, hints of tobacco and vanilla, and that signature bourbon heat – are all present in this beer. Hearty and complex, Bourbon County Brand Barleywine is a titan and a timeline; a bold, flavorful journey through the craft of barrel aging. The beer is 14.2 percent alcohol-by-volume, develops in the bottle for up to five years and is sold in four packs of 12 ounce bottles.
- Backyard RyeBourbon County Brand Stout is new for 2013 and was inspired by the berries our brewers first remember eating from the trees in their backyards. Aged in Templeton Rye whiskey barrels with fresh mulberries, marionberries, and boysenberries. Full of dark, spicy and pleasantly sweet flavors, this trio of berries nicely complements the flavors imparted from the barrel resulting in a smooth, jammy stout perfect for sipping on your back porch. The beer develops in the bottle for up to five years and is sold in 22-ounce bombers.
This year’s Austin Beer Week just so happened to coincide with Goose Island’s recent Migration Week festivities in Austin, and during that time we got to sit down with Goose Island Brewmaster Brett Porter to hear all about these new releases. Perhaps the most interesting tidbit we learned, was that the mulberries used in Backyard Rye were actually harvested by the Goose Island crew from Chicago city parks.
Last year’s Chicago Black Friday release drew roughly 400 people in freezing weather, so make sure to arrive early if you want to get your hands on some bottles.
(In case you live under a rock, Austin’s downtown Whole Foods is located at 525 N. Lamar and Black Friday occurs on the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 29.)