This bourbon-style beer is gaining celebrity status across Europe
LONDON: Epic car journeys. Bottles sold on by sketchy traders for hundreds of dollars. Hours spent in line, or watching and waiting on eBay. No, I’m not referring to the “worst organised festival ever” in Finsbury Park this summer (though reader, it really was almost as hard to get a pint). This is the world of limited-edition craft beer. When a beer is deemed so delicious or boundary-pushing that it gains cult status, it’s rarely put to bed for good. Scarce quantities are produced and releases become eagerly awaited events among fans and collectors. Few have had the impact of Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout (BCS)—the first imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels— which commands round- theblock queues on its annual Black Friday release in the States, and prompts an online scramble around the globe. When I visit Chicago to try the fabled nectar, I realise how little I know about the brewery, which was a key player in the American craft beer movement—2018 marks its 30th anniversary.