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Izard, Goose Island Debut Black Wit

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Apr 25, 2011 3:20PM

Chuck Sudo/Chicagoist
Jared Rouben's collaborative beer series at Goose Island Clybourn keeps on rolling. Last week Rouben debuted Curbside, an amazingly subtle saison he brewed with Time Out Chicago's Heather Shouse for the release of her book on Food Trucks and the Food Truck Summit. While we were there we also got a sample (actually, a growler courtesy of Rouben) of a beer he worked on with Stephanie Izard that's now on draft at Goose Island Clybourn and Girl & the Goat. It's called Black Wit and it's one of the more curious collaborations Rouben's done. We asked Izard via email about how the collaboration came to pass.

"I mentioned to Jared that I loved beers like Allagash White and other wheat beers," Izard wrote. "He suggested we brew a dark wheat beer. It's fun how it plays with your mind a bit as it looks like it is going to be very rich, but it turns out ot be very light and drinkable."

And there is that. But the real mind tripping starts once the beer hits the tongue and is overcome with a tingling sensation. Izard said she approached this the same way she does dishes at the goat, with an eye towards balance, but with layers of flavor. Izard used Thai chiles for a bit of heat; mustard seed and black peppercorns for a couple of different approaches to spice; orange zest and yuzu for a little bit of acid. Orange pulp was also added for some sweetness.

It's almost a shame that they're releasing the beer now. Izard is spot on about the balance and flavor. But with its lightness and 6 percent alcohol content, Black Wit is a summer session ale of the highest order. Izard said that the beer is much better directly off the tap than in a growler, and we're inclined to agree. Get it while it lasts.