Goose Island opened its doors in Chicago in 1988 when the craft beer boom was in its infancy.
In recent times, this brewery has introduced a range of Belgian-style ales, and this one definitely fits the profile. A wild yeast strain gives this offering its spicy flavor. Lemon and clove come through in the rich aroma, and the addition of granulated beet sugar further adds to its Belgian-like character. Like the iconic Belgian Orval, Matilda is made with pale and caramel malts, as well as Styrian hops, and is fermented with a Brettanomyces yeast strain that imparts spice flavors and aroma. Further evidence that it’s inspired by Orval is this beer’s name: Matilda was a young countess who lost her wedding ring during a visit to the Orval monastery. However, this Americanized version is a tad more aggressively hopped and more malty-sweet than tart. This bottle-conditioned 7 percent ABV ale will mature in the bottle for up to five years, and will gradually develop some of the farmhouse funk of its Belgian cousin.