One of the biggest days of the year for beer fans is right around the corner.
Over the years, the day after Thanksgiving has become more than a day for sales on clothes and electronics, with various breweries in the industry deciding to take advantage of the holiday to release special beers. This year’s Black Friday will feature releases from numerous breweries, including Jester King Brewery, The Veil Brewing Co. and Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
But perhaps the most famous Black Friday release in the beer world is the one that started it all: Goose Island Beer Co.’s Bourbon County Brand Stout.
The Chicago-based brewery has made an event of Black Friday since 2010, and all but two of the different Bourbon County Brand variants will be released nationwide starting on the day after Thanksgiving, which this year falls on Nov. 24.
The exceptions are Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout, which has always been exclusively available in Chicago since its debut in 2013 and Bourbon County Brand Stout Reserve 2017, which will be shipped exclusively to the states of Kentucky and Illinois.
The brewery also hosted its annual Proprietor’s Day on Nov. 19, where it sold attendees not only bottles of the Chicago-exclusive release, but also bottles of Bourbon County Brand Stout Reserve 2017.
For 2017, there are six variants of Bourbon County Brand Stout being released:
- Bourbon County Brand Stout 2017 — imperial stout aged in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels
- Bourbon County Brand Stout Reserve 2017 — imperial stout aged in freshly 11-year-old Knob Creek bourbon barrels
- Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout 2017 — imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels with Black Cat Espresso coffee from Intelligentsia Coffee in Chicago
- Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout 2017 — imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels with bananas, roasted almonds and cassia bark
- Bourbon County Brand Northwoods Stout 2017 — imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels with blueberry juice and almond extract added
- Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale 2017 — barleywine ale aged in fresh bourbon barrels
A seventh variant—Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale Reserve 2017, a barleywine ale aged for 20 months in 35-year-old Heaven Hill barrels—was announced with the other six, but on Oct. 19 Goose Island announced that it would not be releasing the beer due to the fact that it did not “taste like what we wanted it to.”
These newest incarnations of the Bourbon County releases will be packaged in 500ml bottles. In 2015, Goose Island introduced new 500ml for the Bourbon County Brand family replacing the 12- and 22-ounce bottles that had been used for years.