I’m usually not a beer lover, but I’ve found the first beer that I can say that I love! Gillian is Belgian style farmhouse ale for wine lovers. This sour ale is brewed by Goose Island and it’s only available as of today at the LCBO Summerhill location or online!
So, what makes this beer so special? Like wine, Gillian is aged. Gillian starts as a farmhouse ale that is then put in a barrel with 40 pounds of fresh local strawberries from a family farm in Michigan and Belgian wild yeast. The beer goes through a second fermentation in the barrel for 2 weeks, and then rests for 2 months in neutralized red wine barrels.
After that, the beer undergoes a rare third fermentation with champagne yeast, 25 pounds of honey from an organic farm in Illinois and 50 grams of white pepper. Finally, the beer sits in the barrel for up to 8 months.
This is a very involved process that you can taste in the complexity of the beer. The flavours range from sweet, fruity, sour and effervescent. I really enjoyed it!
Fun fact: the name Gillian is inspired by a beautiful actress that worked at the original brewpub…who then went on to be Sully from the X-Files!
Gillian pairs perfectly with food. I enjoyed a tasting menu at the Drake 150 that brought out the various flavours of the brew.
Chef Jon Pong did an amazing job pairing the flavours of the beer with his selected dishes! The Drake 150 will be serving Gillian while quanities last, so go and try it! Better yet, get your own bottle at the LCBO while it lasts!