After a flurry of reports regarding off-flavors in Goose Island Beer Co.‘s 2015 Bourbon County Coffee Stout and Barleywine led to a recall in January of 2016, the Chicago-based brewery announced that it will pasteurize this year’s Bourbon County releases to ensure unwanted microbes are kept at bay.
According to a post from brewmaster Jared Jankoski on the company’s blog, the brewery invested in a flash pasteurizer, which employs a gentle heating and subsequent cooling of the beer within a short period of time to kill off microbes that can lead to off-flavors.
While this is the first time in Goose Island’s nearly three decade of brewing that it will pasteurize one its beers, many large breweries around the country employ pasteurization for some of their beers—including New Belgium, Deschutes, Anchor and New Glarus, according to the Chicago Tribune. Drinkers don’t have to worry about flavor being affected with the new pasteurization process, says Jankoski.
“Thus far, many teams of trained sensory panelists have participated in blind triangle tastings and been unable to determine which beer had been flash pasteurized and which had not. As one extremely experienced taster noted, ‘it’s the only test you want to fail’,” wrote Jankoski.
And for those who will be tucking a few bottles of Bourbon County into the beer cellar, the pasteurized versions will still develop over time just like previous releases.