Goose Island Brewpub
After visiting London in the 1980s, John Hall was inspired by the craft beer he had sampled in the Big Smoke and decided to set up his own craft beer operation in 1988 in Lincoln Park, Chicago and named the brewery after a nearby island.
Goose Island has been a driving force in the craft beer revolution and now boasts brewpubs in in Toronto, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Monterey, Mexico, Philadelphia and since the closing of their Balham brewpub, right here in the Shoreditch neighborhood.
The bar itself has a number of different seating options depending on whether you are breezing through for a swift one or dining in a group. It seems to be a favourite for after work groups to sample their wide selection of taps and their fanatics 16” sharing pizzas. The brewery lies behind a wall of windows in the back of the pub cranking out Goose IPA, Shoreditch Porter and Golden Goose among other classic and new recipes.
The taps are always on rotation and sampling before buying is common, they usually hold a few guest taps alongside the Goose Island staples and specials. On this occasion we opted for a Midway IPA and a Thirty Watermelons sour. The iconic goose-headed taps plucked strait from Chicago was a welcome sight for Gina who got to feel a bit of her mid-west roots among the Windy City skyline murals and giant Chicago flag painted onto the brick wall opposite the bar.
We met Gina’s friend Starlynn, a Chicago native and transplant to London. She was surprised to hear that there a Goose Island had opened in London less than a year ago and was excited to check out the vibe.
You must not visit Goose Island without sampling one their gigantic sharing pizzas. Crispy this bases are the order of the day, supported by a range of traditional and experimental toppings. Being with Starlynn who is vegetarian, we tried the Aubergine pizza with barbecue sauce, fresh tomatoes and red onion. The star of the show was by far the chimichurri sauce which was splashed liberally over the dish adding elements of contrasting color and explosions of fresh spicy flavour, lifting the palette from the sweetened of the caramelised onion and red tomatoes with a citrus and coriander twist. Easily enough for 3 people, their sharers also offer great value in both quality and quantity.
The pizzas are cooked in a brick oven on the premises and while we opted for thin-crust there are Chicago-style deep dish pies on the menu as well as small plates including wings, fires, chicken strips and mac’n cheese.
Located in a prime spot on the high street and with a range of flexible options, don’t plan it, just drop in and enjoy.