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Making Marisol

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Star chef Rick Bayless’ custom Goose Island brew designed for his Mexican eateries.

Goose Island has teamed with more than 20 of Chicago’s biggest culinary brass to craft brews in keeping with each chef’s menu, poured exclusively at their restaurants. Now, one of the series’ greatest successes is getting the glass treatment: Marisol, a Belgian blond brewed with Mexican-fare mastermind Rick Bayless and previously available only at his Frontera Grill and Topolobampo eateries, will be bottled and sold in the Windy City and beyond. We caught up with chef Bayless to get his take on the beer.

What were you looking for in a house beer?

We offer an extensive sustainable seafood bar at Frontera Grill and Topolobampo that features fresh oysters, ceviches and seafood cocktails. We wanted to add a beer to our list that pairs well with those dishes’ bright and citrusy flavors.

How did you decide on a Belgian blond?

We started with the food. We met with [former brewmaster] Greg Hall to taste our food and to discuss key ingredients. We narrowed down a vast list of flavoring ingredients to lime, grapefruit, green coriander and green tea. Then the Goose Island team, led by Greg and Jared [Rouben, head brewer], developed eight options, and we conducted extensive tasting with the Frontera Grill team to select our final recipe. We were drawn to the bright and tart notes offered by Belgian yeast.

What’s your favorite dish to pair with Marisol?

Our Trio, Trio, Trio, a beautiful sampler platter at Frontera Grill with three styles of ceviche: our classic Frontera Ceviche with lime-marinated olives; a Yucatán ceviche with shrimp, calamari and habanero; and a tropical tuna cocktail with chunky avocado-tomatillo guacamole and tangy papaya-grapefruit salsa.

 

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