The Beerspotter: Goose Island Matilda Belgium, by way of Chicago

Goose Island Matilda

Where Spotted: D’Vines, 3103 14th St. NW

Price: $12/four-pack

liege of reason: Beer that’s “Belgian-style” isn’t necessarily good—it could be little more than a really fizzy beer with spices. But Matilda is one of the finest Belgian golden ales on either side of the Atlantic. It’s got serious allspice and an apricot sweetness that’s a touch funky, even sour. Serve it in a proper glass, and your friends will never guess it comes from the suburb of Brussels known as Chicago.

Hot (Van) Damn: Wonder why the word “spice” is in every Belgian beer description? Germany’s purity law requires its beer to be driven by malts. Conversely, Belgium’s brewing tradition is in spices, like coriander and allspice, and yeast, which adds funky fruity notes and makes your nose feel funny. This allows you to describe a beer as “strawberry with hints of baking spice” and actually be kind of right.

Our Readers Say

I decided to try out this beer on the strength of your review (I also live a block from D'Vines, which helps). After a sampling a couple of bottles, I have to point out that you neglected to mention this beer's uniquely rubber-y aftertaste. I'm going to have to go back to picking beers based on pretty labels.
I didn't get any rubber flavors, but to be fair, it also has a pretty label.
Does anyone know if D'Vines carries any other Goose Island beers? Or any other outlet in DC?
The sketchy liquor store right on the corner of 6th & H NW has Honkers Ale and also a Goose Island IPA that I hadn't had before. In the fridge next to the fridge with the malt liquor.
It's funny cuz Bar Louie, a Chicago based chain, a half a block away says they can't get Goose Island even though it's on their menu, cuz the distribution doesn't come this far east. But the scary liquor store on the corner has no distribution problems at all...

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