That New Glarus Brewing and Pelician Pub & Brewery earned “brewery of the year” honors at the Great American Beer Festival by winning the same categories in 2006 as 2005 with the same beers shows stunning consistency.
Goose Island Beer Co. in Chicago, on the other hand, seems to have mastered a different sort of consistency. The brewery won for the 10th year in a row at GABF when 312 Urban Wheat took a gold medal. Goose Island has now won gold in 10 different categories.
The brewery has won with Matilda, a Belgian-inspired beer that with a notable addition of Bretanomyces, a wild yeast that just a few years ago no American brewer would have (knowingly) gone near. It’s won with Bourbon County Stout, an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels – something almost unheard of in 1995 when Goose Island brought the beer to the GABF.
It’s won with a lot of less “extreme” beers as well, standing as an example of what we mean when we talk about American brewers ability to marry innovation and tradition.