Drink Goose Island's New Beer; Benefit Healthcare Workers. It's a No-Brainer.
The Sunshine Tomorrow Blonde will raise money for the Chicago Community Covid Response Fund
If you’re anything like us, chances are you’ve been drinking a lot of beer while holed up in quarantine. These are stressful times we’re living in, and it’s nice to unwind at the end of the day with a cold one; besides, these days, plenty of craft breweries need all the help they can get to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, Chicago’s Goose Island Beer Co. has given us yet another good reason to stock up on beer: the brewery’s new Sunshine Tomorrow Blonde, a hoppy blonde ale whose profits will go towards helping frontline healthcare workers.
“Goose Island has always been supported by our local community here in Chicago, and they’ve always taken care of Goose Island and have supported us over the past 30 some years,” Pete Olsen, the lead brewer behind the initiative at Goose Island, tells InsideHook. “So, I thought it was really important that we were in a position where we can give back and we can do something that brings joy to people, but then also can help our healthcare workers and those on the frontline. And so it was a nice time where we could actually give back and try to repay some of that, of what we’ve gotten over the years.”
The beer — a 5.8% ABV hopped blonde ale brewed with Cascade, Chinook and Zythos hops as well as 2-Row, Special Pale, Munich and C-20 malt — will be available exclusively in crowlers for delivery within Chicago or for curbside pickup at the brewery’s Fulton Street Taproom, and all of the profits from it will go to the Chicago Community Covid Response Fund launched by United Way of Metro Chicago to support local health and human services organizations.
In addition to the charitable component, Olsen says he hopes to provide a little comfort, by way of a beer that reminds customers that there are better times ahead.
“When trying to design this beer, I really wanted it to be a reminder of some of the good times before all of this happened and I wanted people to feel hopeful or inspired that we’re going to return to life soon as we knew it, and things are going to get better,” he explains. “And so I wanted to try to build a beer that kind of reflected that. When I think of warm summer beers, I also think of some of my favorite beers that I had that got me into brewing. A lot of those are like the old-school hops, as I like to call them, so like your Cascades, your Citras, your Centennials, things like that. And those are hops that to me always represent the blossoming of craft beer.”
For his take on the ideal summer beer, Olsen drew from simple, familiar components that any diehard Goose Island fan will already know and love.
“I wanted to use our Goose Island house yeast. It has a very distinct character. It’s very bright, almost gives off like a slight biscuit note, but it’s very pretty, very ester-y. It’s a wonderful yeast. And I thought all that together would just make a beer that makes you feel good about drinking it and something that’s light that you can surely enjoy.”
While most of our typical summer activities remain a question mark for the time being, Olsen says he wants this beer to represent a sense of normalcy.
“In terms of style, there’s nothing better than sitting back at a baseball game with a nice cold, crisp blonde ale or something that’s really refreshing,” he says. “So I wanted to create a light blonde ale, kind of reminiscent of Chicago summer and better times ahead … I wanted people here to experience and drink this beer thinking that it’s summer.”