This party is a friendly reminder that January is the last month we will be without baseball until November! The 2020 version of your annual kickoff of the baseball season moved to the Skyline Ballroom at McCormick Place this year from its previous location at Hilton Chicago.
It’s a wild experience leaving the water fountain to run into Ozzie Gullien, Bo Jackson and a parade of White Sox legends exiting the escalator.
Goose Island debuted ‘The Official Craft Beer’ of the 2020 campaign, White Sox Golden Ale. We joked that with temps near 40 degrees most of March; you could easily pour Bourbon County Stout in the Goose Island section all month long. Of course the turn up would be way too real if that happened, so this Golden Ale is the functional choice.
As far as we know, this is the first time the Sox have packaged a locally produced beer. The 4 pack box on display at the launch features a black and white design with the iconic exploding fireworks scoreboard in center field. Selfishly, I want this beer to only be on sale for game days so we can get those attendance numbers up at the park . But the truth is this beer needs to be everywhere, the distribution rollout to stores and bars makes the most sense.
President Todd Ahsmann, a life long White Sox fan, saw this as the perfect reason to party at SoxFest all weekend. Brewmaster, Keith Gabbett mentioned that this might be the first Golden Ale for the crew that they have brewed since the old days at Clybourn before the latest renovation. There’s a small of rye in the mash bill, a blend of three hops, including Cascade to make things interesting on this 5.0% crusher.
Local beer stalwarts ABV Chicago and The Beeronaut (Mark McDermott) were on hand for the festivities as Ozzie Guillen took the first sip, then proceeded to pour his cup in a Goose branded water bottle before meeting the media. Mark and I hit up a late September game in 2018 to enjoy the last Baderbrau South Side Pride ever at the park. The Bronzeville, Chicago brewery located just a half mile from this event had announced it was going out of business earlier that month.
This is Goose Island’s third season as a White Sox beer sponsor. Last year saw the installation of a 10-foot goose in right field and a literal island surrounding large leather seats. The CTA inspired train car at the rear of that section offers eight different offerings from the oldest brewery in town.
These are exciting times for the South Siders who have committed to nearly $196M in free agent contracts this offseason. The club is shaping up to be the most improved MLB team in 2020. Those new additions along with the return of the AL Batting Champion (Tim Anderson) and AL Batting Champion (Jose Abreu) means we are clearly in the win now mode of the rebuild.
On August 13th the White Sox and Yankees will play in the first ever Field of Dreams Game in Dyersville, Iowa. Inspired the movie where Kevin Kostner converts his farm into a baseball field. An 8,000 seat stadium will be built just yards from the film set.