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Beer Review: Goose Island x Ridge Rock Brewing Co. – Loud Barn Lager

The launch for Loud Barn Lager took place Saturday at the Goose Island Tap Room, where Hawks’ fans gathered to taste the beer, meet Calvin de Haan, and watch the Blackhawks defeat the Florida Panthers.

Photo: Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks’ defenseman Calvin de Haan owns a brewery called Ridge Rock Brewing Co. located in Carp, Ontario, Canada. Unfortunately, de Haan is shut down for the season due to a shoulder injury, but in that downtime, he teamed up with Goose Island Beer Co. to create a beer that encompasses elements of Chicago and Canada. The result? Loud Barn Lager.

de Haan and a few Goose Island employees elaborated on the name and the beer itself in the video below.

The launch event for Loud Barn Lager took place on Saturday at the Goose Island Taproom, where Hawks fans gathered to taste the beer, meet Calvin de Haan, and watch the Blackhawks take on the Florida Panthers. I made the trek up to the city to attend the event, and it did not disappoint.

Loud Barn Lager comes in at 5.2% ABV, has a nice golden color, and presents a bit of a hoppy, earthy aroma upon first whiff. The first sip brings the slightest bite, but it finishes smooth. By the third sip, it goes down like water and you’ll be ready crush these all night. I did just that as I watched the Blackhawks take on the Florida Panthers and win in a shootout.

The beer was great, but the event itself was even better. Blackhawks’ public address announcer Gene Honda was there to hold down the fort on the microphone, and DJ Cabrera was spinning on the decks to provide a true Blackhawks atmosphere.

Just as the first period was getting underway, some of de Haan’s teammates who are also on injured reserve walked through the door. A motley crew of Brent Seabrook, Andrew Shaw, and Zack Smith all came out to support their teammate and take in the game with Blackhawks fans. They enjoyed some of the new beer, mingled with the crowd, and couldn’t have been more courteous.

Throughout the game, there were various raffles with some awesome Ridge Rock Brewing Co. prizes. I was lucky enough to win a hat autographed by all the Blackhawks’ players who were in attendance.

After Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane made quick work of the Panthers in the shootout, the celebration was on at the Goose Island Taproom. DJ Cabrera blasted Chelsea Dagger to get the party started, and then the crowd was treated to a special surprise. Calvin de Haan is a man of many talents, and manning the Hawks’ blue line and brewing delicious beer are only two of them. He also likes to DJ, so he jumped behind the decks for a 30-minute set to keep the good vibes rolling.

Good times, great beer, and a Blackhawks winner. Is there any better way to spend a Saturday night? I think not. If you weren’t able to attend the release event, no need to worry. The limited-edition lager will be available exclusively at the Goose Island Taproom through March, and all proceeds will benefit the Blackhawks foundation. The Goose Island Taproom is located just a few blocks north of the United Center, so if you’re heading up to a Blackhawks game down the home stretch of the season, I highly recommend stopping by to try a pint of Loud Barn Lager.

For more stories from the event, check out the latest episode of the Four Feathers Podcast. You can tune in on Apple Podcasts and Spotify among several different platforms in addition to the embedded media player below and as always on the podcasts tab of the website.

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BS-Broadcast Journalism - University of Illinois 2016 | Editor-in-Chief at | Panelist on Four Feathers Podcast and Sox On Tap

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