Goose Island Brewhouse: Large Group? Meat Lovers? This Is The Answer.

Goose Island Brewhouse: Large Group? Meat Lovers? This Is The Answer.


GOOSE ISLAND BREWHOUSE

ADD: 209 N Maoming Lu

TEL: 021-62190268

OPENING HOURS: 3pm - 10pm, daily

AVER. PRICE: 200 - 300 kuai


Large group dinner is always a pain, for both restaurants and party organizers. If good food comes as the priority, Chinese food might be the best option. I mean it. 

Or, let's go for meat. 

For drinks and meat, you need a large group. At my all-time favorite brooklyn barbeque restaurant Fette Sau, a 30 to 60 min wait in line followed by a fight over first-come-first-served seatings at communal tables is the experience. 

The New Yorkers loved it (and the queue. ) 

Here's the list: Smoked ribs, pulled pork, slowcooked brisket, get 1 pound of each. 2 pitchers of Beer. Slaw, pickles, salad, and the beloved potato buns. Grab your seats, be a man. 

Better drink beer. Wine doesn't count. 

The girl bartender who looks like Frida Kahlo  Beers on tap with knife-shaped handles on the back

The girl bartender who looks like Frida Kahlo

Beers on tap with knife-shaped handles on the back

It's on the rough side but you do crave it from time to time. Back in Shanghai, I haven't had a similar experience. It's not about accessibility to good meat or decent beer. It's more of the vibe. 

Well, for a local yet exotic experience, head to The Shanghai Muslim Market, held each friday on Aomen Lu. The joy of gulping down street lamb skewers and other xinjiang gourmets with your best friends is simple and straightforward. 

Image via Penguin Guide

Image via Penguin Guide

 

For a sit-down dinner, I have found the place for you. Decent food with amazing vibe. Great for team building, girls' night, bachelor parties and beyond...


  The Vibe  

Goose Island Brewhouse is located at a three-story shikumen building on N. Maoming Lu near Wujiang Lu. The ground level features an airy, open LOFT structure, coupled with the exposed bricks and a trendy music selection, readily conjures up a feeling of déjà vu: Isn't this some factory warehouse turned restaurant in Meatpacking, New York? 

Two words: GOOD VIBE. 

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On the right hand side, the taste of local brewed IPA and the view of the giant beer tanks is a guaranteed satisfaction for solo drinkers. 

To the left, the wine barrels and leather lounge sofas formed a comfy fortress, privacy escalated. All you need is a vintage beer straight from the barrel and a whisper into the ear: it's a good, good night. 

In the middle, we have the communal tables and metal bar stools covered with leather cushion. Thanks god, you are allowed to see what's in the plate with a proper lighting. 

I've been to this place 3 times already, and each time I encountered at least 2 large groups (more than 10 pax), overheard someone making a toast as "May our business prosper this following year"...seems like this place has already picked up as a hot spot for (rich) start-up team-building?

My favorite table is a 4 seat one between two pillars along the doorway. The brick pillars adds a little more privacy, and the point is, you've got a wall socket underneath the table! And there's a place for your phone to plug in. 

Second floor bares a little more sexiness. Obviously more suitable for a date night. There's a few tables with a view of the open kitchen - makes a perfect foodie date dinner. 


  The Food  

This is how they develop the menu: 

A table, a few glasses, different beers, fill up and drink!

It's literally pairing beers with the food. Here comes the result: Sour beer was used in making bread, wheat beer as salad sauce, stout to be mixed with mustard, and the mac & cheese has a little hint of the IPA...but my favorites went to the meat dishes. 

A gastropub without a decent burger? Please go die(请狗带!). 

To be honest, the patty was a special treat from the Chef, it's a double. It's so thick and I couldn't get all of it with one bite. I had to use knife and fork. 

Honestly speaking, it's probably one of the best burgers I've ever had. And it has nothing to do with the thickness of the patty. 

A great burger consists of 3 elements: meat, bun, the rest of it. 

The best patty is not just quality and grade, it's about finding the right mix. The specific balance of fat and lean, the cuts. This one has up to 6 different cuts in it and the fat is derived from Iberico pork. Luxury. 

The bun is made in house using Sofie, a vintage sour beer as the yeast, is soft and chewy. 

The philosophy of burger differs greatly when it comes to the French and the American. The Chef believes in Cheese and Meat, the American way. Caramelized onion, tomato dices, melted sharp cheddar, plus smoked ketchup to spice things up. 

I really need to try the blue cheese and bacon version. 

I've never liked classic beef tartare with A LOT OF CAPERS. Seasoning is the spotlight, and meat should be the focus. With this one, the Chef uses lemongrass and ginger, a nod to Asian tradition, to achieve a flavor that's so clean, balanced and elegant. 

Some of you knew that I am a fan of Phenix's tartare with a smoked egg, here the eggyolk is smoked with Goose Island's own Honkers Ale. btw, I've had it 3 times, and it's better have the eggyolk mixed in by the kithcen as they drained the extra liquid befoe serving.  

The eggyolk is quite instagramworthy but I only care about the taste. 

Ribs and Slaw! 

Ribs and Slaw!!

Ribs and Slaw!!!

This is ribs that Shanghai needs. Not the ones coated in marmalade and overcooked. I had my best smoked ribs back in Husk, Charleston, South Carolina. 

And the Chef went, I learned my tricks in South Carolina...

Covered in a barbeque sauce infused with Goose Island Stout, the ribs was then put in a bourbon barrel, smoked for 32 hours straight. I've had my bourbon barrel aged Scotch and Stout, barrel smoked ribs? First time in my life. 

The famous Spanish Grill & Oven brand Josper, is one of the many toys in this kitchen. Believe me, you are gonna love the ribs. 

This beautiful bone-in Chilean wagyu ribeye, comes in perfect medium rare, is the best option for large groups!

Get the bone, it's my favorite. 

Gabriel Rodriguez, can be Spanish or Latin American judging by the name, came from a very mixed blood and root. A medical student turned chef with a star resume filled with names such as Gordon Ramsay, a global trotter for years, Gabo flipped his coin, both literally and figuratively, decided to come to China. Besides work, Gabo enjoys discovering local street food in Shanghai, sampling sesame butter ban mian and xiao long bao alongside the locals.

You have to try his Hong Shan Yu(烘山芋), Roasted Sweet Potato. One of a kind. 


  The Beer  

Besides Qing Dao (or Tsing Tao), E Dao (Goose Island) is the beer that I had the most in my life. 

The two Daos are both related to Rock n Roll music in my history. For a live show, you need 2 beers to get you through the night. What to drink? Among all the beers on tap, the goose head instantly caught my eye. From Mercury Lounge to Webster Hall, Coachella to Lolapalooza, Goose Island has been my faithful live music companion. 

But my knowledge about Goose then was limited to the bitter sweet IPA. Till this date, I was educated by eating at its brewery. 

The vintage ales made perfect pairings for meat. It's aged in a Napa wine barrel for a year, with extra dosage of fresh fruits such as strawberries, raspberries and orange. The final result is a fine balance between sweet and sour, serving as a perfect palate cleanser. 

 

It comes in a few different flavors, all named after girl's names. Sofie, Gillian, Matilda...very imaginative, feel free to pick your drink by the name! 

For example, this LOLITA (light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul.) A Belgian style wild ale fermented with wild yeast (much more expensive than commercial yeast), aged on 50 pounds of fresh raspberries. The clean, tart flavor and crispy, refreshing body with a rose-tinted color, is an instant favorite of the crowd. 

But my favorite still goes to IPA, especially the locally brewed specials. Well those giant tanks are not toys after all...

Upon my second visit at the brewhouse, I became the first person who tasted the locally brewed IPA. Loose Goose IPA is a little sweeter and thicker than the original American IPA, with a hint of cirtus and pine aroma. 

The local brews have fun names too (praise the copywriter! ) Line 12 Wit echos the Line 12 subway underneath Maoming Lu, I am very curious about Wujiang Lu Porter, now still brewing in tank, available next Monday. 

Can I bring my own Xiao Yang Shengjian (a Wujiang Lu native fried dumpling)? 😂

The man behind, the brewmaster who made all the magic happen, is the New Zealand born Fraser Kenndy. Beyond his passion for beer and beer brewing, he does remind a little of James Franco, well, with a beard. 

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