Next Round: Even more rare ‘Black Friday’ stout

By Mike Snider. This story originally appeared on USA Today

Beer lovers may shop on Black Friday but they seek a different prey: stout.  Specifically, Goose Island Beer Co.’s Bourbon County Brand Stout and the brewery’s other annual special barrel-aged releases.

Every year, fans of the beer scout out locations and line up the day after Thanksgiving for their shot at getting a bottle or two of the limited quantities available.

Just as there’s competition for doorbuster deals on big-screen TVs and other holiday gifts, so it is with the BCBS beers. What’s the big deal?

Well, the Chicago-based brewery, an independent purchased by Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2011, led the way in the process of barrel-aging of beers — a now-common process done by craft breweries across the U.S.

“Goose Island was one of the early pioneers of making a great bourbon barrel aged stout.  They also went a step further by introducing inventive variants that pushed the boundaries of taste,” said Tristan Chan, creator of the web site. “And perhaps more importantly, they have created their own tradition and demand around it.  BCBS is only released once a year, the beer is always in limited quantity, and they chose to release it on Black Friday, a time already associated with buyer’s hysteria. BCBS is a really great beer, but part of the hype lies in just how well they’ve been able to turn its release into a spectacle.”

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