CHICAGO, Ill. — Goose Island Beer Co. is partnering with award-winning Chicago chef and restaurateur Paul Kahan to create a special beer that honors tradition, complements food and proves to be super sessionable. The Windy City is in for a treat — Petite Matilda Belgian Style Session Ale debuts just as the 26th Annual James Beard Awards arrives in town.
A trip Chef Kahan took to Belgium with friends sparked the idea for Petite Matilda. There, Kahan first tasted Petite Orval — an experience he still remembers. He and former Goose Island Brewmaster, Greg Hall, toured one of the oldest Trappist breweries, drank Orval and its unassuming lower-alcohol version, which the monks made for themselves in limited quantities. Those unexpected, flavorful characteristics of Petite Orval inspired Petite Matilda.
“Paul Kahan has been a friend of Goose Island Beer Company for years. When it comes to beer and food, his appreciation and talent are some of the reasons Chicago’s culinary scene is so amazing,” says Ken Stout, Goose Island President and General Manager. “We all love this beer and are super excited to share it with the city at a time when all of the best chefs are coming to town.”
The concept of creating a more easy-drinking beer to enjoy throughout a meal resonated with Goose Island’s brewers and Chef Kahan, so they decided to create their own with one of Kahan’s favorite Goose Island beers. “Brewer and Innovation Manager Mike Siegel, Big Star’s Beverage Director Laurent Lebec and I set out to capture everything that we love about Matilda, but in a super sessionable package,” Chef Kahan explains. “As Matilda takes its inspiration from Orval, we followed suit by crafting a beer inspired by Petite Orval, which is served only at the brewery in Belgium.”
Like her big sister, Matilda, Petite Matilda honors the traditions of Belgian farmhouse ales. The Belgian Session Ale is fermented with Brettanomyces. Brewers use a Belgian pale malt base, followed by caramel malts to add a dose color, sweetness, and body. For the twist — Petite Matilda is dry hopped, utilizing the new German Hüll Melon hop. Its addition melds perfectly with the Belgian yeast to give soft notes of ripe melon and a bright berry aroma. The Belgian Session Ale is set to come in at around 4.5% ABV and 20 IBU.
Petite Matilda debuts Monday, May 2 during a special James Beard Awards after party. Afterwards, the special brew will have limited availability in Chicago restaurants, including Big Star.
About Goose Island Beer Company
Goose Island Beer Company is Chicago’s original craft beer company. Since 1988, the brewery has thrived on continual innovation and a reliance on quality of ingredients. Goose Island pioneered barrel-aged beer with the renowned Bourbon County Brand Stout which sits alongside the well-balanced and award-winning portfolio of beers including: Goose IPA, Goose Four Star Pils and the barrel-aged saison, Sofie. Access to the largest contiguous hop farm in the U.S., Elk Mountain Farms in northwest Idaho, provides the Goose Island brewers with everything they need to live up to their mantra: We don’t need to be the only beer you drink. We just want to be the best beer you drink. For more information on Goose Island, please visit www.gooseisland.com and be sure to follow @GooseIsland on Twitter and Instagram.
About Paul Kahan
Executive Chef/Partner Paul Kahan of One Off Hospitality Group has become the nationally recognizable face of Chicago chefs. Passionately seasonal, unconventionally creative and dedicated to the inspiration of classical cuisine, Kahan has received international acclaim for Blackbird, avec, The Publican, Big Star, Publican Quality Meats, Nico Osteria, Dove’s Luncheonette and Publican Quality Bread. Awarded Outstanding Chef by the James Beard Foundation in 2013 and Best Chef of the Midwest in 2004, Kahan has earned the praise of many who claim him to be one of America’s most influential working chefs.