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Black Friday 2015: Goose Island BCBS Release


UPDATED 11/10/15 — Vintage BCBS info!

UPDATED 11/17/15 — Bloomington and Champaign info.

UPDATED 11/19/15 — Goose Island Bourbon County Snifters.

UPDATED 11/25/15 — Goose Island Bourbon County Prices.


Ah, November. The month of mustaches, cold weather, unlimited stuffing and – of course – the ultimate shopping day. We say this every year, but Goose Island has outdone themselves with an even better lineup of barrel-aged beers than ever, and an eventful Black Friday planned for beer lovers in Chicago. Binny’s locations across Chicagoland will all release Bourbon County Brand Stout when doors open on Friday, November 27, with the grandest release of them all right next door to the Goose Clybourn brewpub at our Lincoln Park location. Here’s what you need to know:


Goose Island BCBS 2015


Goose Island BCBS Grand Release
Binny’s Lincoln Park
Friday, November 27th


Join us at Binny’s Chicago – Lincoln Park for the biggest Goose Island BCBS release in Chicago. How it works: People will start to line up early. Once the line forms, Goose Island staff will pass out numbered tickets. These tickets give you the chance to purchase up to the full allotment – you don’t have to take everything, but you’ll get the chance to buy two 16.9 oz bottles of Bourbon County Brand Stout, plus one 16.9 oz bottle of each of the following: Barleywine, Coffee Stout, Regal Stout, Proprietor’s and Rare.


…And that’s not all. Be sure to show up early. We can’t disclose all the specifics, but those at the head of the line will have extra special perks, including Goose Island gift bags, coffee, donuts, giveaways, and even the opportunity to purchase Bourbon County varieties from previous years pulled from the vault specially for this occasion. Again – that’s just for folks at the head of the line, and only at Binny’s Lincoln Park.


UPDATE: Vintage BCBS at Grand Release


We can now confirm that Binny’s has secured a large enough allocation of vintage BCBS to allow all ticket holders in line at Binny’s Lincoln Park to purchase one 22oz or two 12oz vintage bottles of their choice. This allocation includes the following:


2009 Bourbon County Brand Stout – 22oz
2010 Bourbon County Brand Stout – 12oz
2011 Bourbon County Brand Stout – 12oz
2012 Bourbon County Brand Stout – 12oz
2013 Bourbon County Brand Stout – 12oz
2014 Bourbon County Brand Stout – 12oz
2013 Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale – 12oz
2014 Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout – 12oz
2014 Bourbon County Brand Stout Proprietor’s – 22oz
2013 Bourbon County Brand Stout Backyard Rye – 22oz
2014 Bourbon County Brand Stout Vanilla Rye – 22oz


More stuff: The most popular vintage bottles will sell out first and will not last long, but there will be something special for everyone. No, we aren’t going to publish specific allocations or prices ahead of the event.


UPDATE: Goose Island Bourbon County Snifters


Goose Island Bourbon County Snifter Glassware Binny's

Goose Island Bourbon County Snifters will be available for sale this year at all Binny’s locations. They are high-quality snifters made by Spiegelau, a prominent glassware brand. Binny’s is the only place you’ll be able to purchase these snifters, besides the Goose Island pubs. They are first come, first served while quantities last.



When will the 2015 Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout variants be released?
When doors open on Friday, November 27th at all Chicagoland Binny’s locations.


Will I have to stand in line?
Yes. It’s sure to get cold, so don’t forget your hat and gloves! Protip: Head to the Binny’s Lincoln Park Goose Island BCBS Grand release where we’ll have our largest allocation. It’s no secret that Goose has increased production of their Bourbon County Brand Stout, but unfortunately we haven’t seen this increase in some of the variants – supply is limited.


Can I call my local Binny’s ahead of time?
Sure, but all of the information you need is right here. We can not hold bottles.

What can I buy?
Depending on where you are in line, we will offer the opportunity to purchase the full allotment that is available at each location. If you head to Lincoln Park, every person who receives a ticket in line will have the opportunity to purchase the full allotment.

Will the Binny’s Lincoln Park or South Loop Tasting Room bars be open?

UPDATE: Can people share open bottles or drink in line?
No. Absolutely not.

UPDATE 11/17: Will Bloomington and Champaign get all varieties?
Sorry, it looks like our distributors in Bloomington and Champaign won’t be able to get us Prop or Rare this year. We’ll have everything else, though.

What BCBS variants will be available this year?


Bourbon County Brand Stout


The one that started it all. Goose Island’s imperial stout, aged to perfection in bourbon barrels.


Bourbon County Brand Barleywine


Another Goose Island classsic, this English-Style Barleywine is aged in bourbon barrels


Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout


The variant that keeps you on your toes. The 2015 incarnation features Intelligentsia Los Delirios coffee from Nicaragua.


Bourbon County Brand Regal Rye Stout


New to the lineup, this variant was a collaborative effort among the brewers. This unique blend was brewed with with blackberry juice, cocktail cherries and sea salt, and finished in bourbon barrels.


Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout


An imperial stout brewed with maple syrup aged in bourbon barrels, toasted pecans and guajillo peppers. Proprietor’s continues to be a homage to Chicago residents.


Goose Island Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout


Goose Island took their classic Bourbon County Brand Stout and aged it for two years in 35-year-old Heaven Hill whiskey barrels.


Questions? Ask below or send us an email. Don’t forget to use #GooseBlackFriday when sharing photos on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

204 thoughts on “Black Friday 2015: Goose Island BCBS Release

  1. Why would people need to continue to wait in line if you’re giving out tickets? What happened to the option to do this all online now that you are able to legally sell tickets now that the bar is in place? What are the prices of the variants?

      • Why are you eliminating the lottery system for vintage bottles? This seems to encourage folks to skip out on Thanksgiving if they want to be “guaranteed” bottles of stuff from the cellar.

        • Logistically, it makes a lot more sense on our end to run things this way. And if people skip Thanksgiving, man, they should probably recheck their priorities, right? Their choice though.

          • I’m confused, how hard is it to pull numbers ahead of time, hand out numbered tickets, and as people are checking out, they check to see if they “won” the right to buy a vintage bottle? Your system seems to be encouraging people to get in line as early as possible with language like “Be sure to show up early…Again – that’s just for folks at the head of the line.”

          • Your idea is great, but we have already decided to reward those who are in line first.

  2. Will the allotment per customer be the same at the release in the suburban Binny’s (2 regular BCBS and 1 of each variant)?

  3. Is it safe to say that all or most Binny’s locations will be BC and all the variants, just at lower quantities that the Lincoln Park location?

  4. So if you are in line when tickets are handed out, you will know if you are not getting anything if you are not handed a ticket? Last year we waited in line after the store opened for over an hour only to find out the items were sold out when we were still 60 people away from the register. Hopefully the stores will give people fair warning on the max line length when it is reached.

    Other than that, LOVE Binnys! Keep up the great work.

    • Definitely – a ticket at Lincoln Park confirms the ability to purchase the full allotment.

      Thanks for the feedback – cheers!

      • What do you mean by “or what is left of the allotment” – wouldn’t receiving a ticket GUARANTEE a full allotment?

        • Tickets will ONLY be passed out at Binny’s Lincoln Park and guarantee the full allotment.

          If you shop at any of our suburban locations, tickets will not be passed out. The full allotment is first come, first served until variants begin to run out.

          • All stores should consider letting folks know when the allotments of each variant are going to run out, in some manner. Getting something/anything is great, but missing out on the one variant you really wanted stinks after waiting in the cold for hours.

      • Or what is left of the allotment? So ticket possibly does not guarantee a full allotment? Thanks for explaining all of this here.

  5. Suburban Binny’s will allow you to purchase the full allotment? Last year I was first in line and was told I had to choose between prop or vanilla rye. Will that be the case again at suburban stores or if I am first in line and my guaranteed one of everything

      • Hillary, are you a representative of Binny’s ?
        If I am first in line at a suburban store and I am told I have to choose between variants can I refer the manager to this article and you. So that I am guaranteed one of each

          • Awesome thanks for the feedback. Last question. is every Binny’s location going to get every variant obviously there will be limited amounts but for every Binny’s have all six to choose from.

          • Any chance the store managers will receive an email letting them know it is a full allotment per person so that they don’t make us choose between which ones we want

          • Scott thank you for being persistent! I was wondering all the same things! Hillary thank you for being crystal clear!

  6. I do not recall ever seeing so much useful information and helpful answers to questions regarding a beer release. Great work Hilary!

  7. Hilary, when are the tickets going to be passed out? Will i be able to come get in line, get my ticket, and then come back when the store opens? Or are the tickets going to be passed out right before opening? Thanks for your help!

  8. Thanks for all the info so far.

    1. Do you know how many full allocations will be available at LP?
    2. Will anything be done to avoid 1 person waiting and a group joining them as it gets closer to release?

      • Too bad, Hilary said above that you would announce an approximate number of tickets for LP. I think you should, especially if, as she said, there is plenty to go around. It will keep people from camping out all night for no reason one way or another unless they want to get the goodie bag.

  9. I know that people will have other people stand in line for them and then once tickets start being handed out they’ll join their friends in line. Thus, there is a chance of those behind them not getting a ticket. I say, no budging or holding. But easier said than done. What will Binnys do to ensure fairness in the lines?

      • There’s a lot of DIShonor in that system. I only bring this up because at a similar event, people entered the line when they were never in line to begin with once the line started to move and I was THAT GUY who was behind the last couple who got the last Vanilla Rye and was left with only regular. Not wanting that to happen again.

        • Absolutely right. Without anyone looking after the line, the situation could turn ugly, especially given the info here stating that tickets aren’t going to be handed out until the morning (big mistake), allowing for folks who weren’t in line earlier a chance to slip into the line just before tickets are handed out.

  10. At LP, after you went through the lines will you be able to then again be able to get back in line for regular or whatever other variants are left?

  11. Any guess as to when a reasonably “safe” time to get in line at the st. Charles location to at least get some allotment? I know their isn’t a perfect answer here but a best guess?

    • Last year we had about 15 people already lined up at 6:00am at our St. Charles location. If you just want “some” of the allotment you might be safe getting there later than that, but the earlier the better!

  12. It says all Chicagoland locations but when I follow the link, it also shows the Bloomington and Champaign stores. Will they have BCBS bottles too?

  13. Brian, keep an eye on the blog as we plan on releasing more information on the vintage Bourbon County and variants in the coming days.

  14. Last year a couple Binny’s did the release on Saturday and not Black Friday.. Will that be the case again and if so, which ones?? Thanks.

  15. So if I were only able to make it out to a location by midnight and were staying near Millennium Park, would that be cutting too close for going to the Lincoln Park location? Also, will there be a way to call and speak with someone to gauge if it would be a waste of time to make the trek or will there be relatively timely updates on the internets like this board? Cheers…

  16. Will The BCBS variants only be available for purchase exclusively at Binny’s locations on black friday? or will customers nationwide be able to purchase them as well? and If so, where?

  17. I will be going to the Binny’s in Orland Park. I just wanted to see if you knew when the lime started to form at this location last year and also will they get all variants including proprietors and rare?

    Thank you!

  18. Hilary, any chance you can get the Store Managers from all the local downtown and suburban Binny’s stores to post on this bog that their store will honor the proper allotment that you’ve stated above? Since this is the Binny’s blog, I wouldn’t think it’d be a big deal for them to post. Obviously given the popularity of the beer, along with the time people are looking it invest in purchasing your product, I’d think that would be an easy way to GUARANTEE they are fully aware of your stated policy.


  19. Is the same amount of BCS bottles(know it’s all variants) shipped to each location that isn’t Lincoln Park, such as Lakeview, Skokie, Niles, etc? I’m debating which location I should go to, since I’d prefer to avoid narrowly missing out on the special variants by just 2-3 people, like what happened at Lakeview in 2013.

    I take it I should go as early as I can, though, and would rather go early in the morning into one Binny’s line, over camping out overnight at Lincoln Park.

  20. Are there any updates on whether the Bloomington or Champaign Binny’s will have all of the variants and what their allocations will be?

  21. Based on similar turnouts in year’s past (and the fact that that turnout gets a little bigger each year), are you expecting to have enough beer that everyone in line will get a full allocation (at LP Binnys)? Or are you planning on having to turn people away at some point? Also, since you are saying that everyone who gets a ticket gets a full allotment and you are not passing out tickets beyond that, does that mean if Rare, or Prop runs out, that’s it? Or would you get the chance to buy everything else but that?

    • There will be enough product to match the number of tickets passed out. If you receive a ticket at Binny’s LP, you have the opportunity to purchase the full allocation. If you do not receive a ticket at Binny’s LP, you will not be able to purchase anything. The FAQ in the blog post above should help answer your questions as well.

      • I thought you said the ticket guarantees full allotment, now if you don’t get a ticket, you won’t get anything? So if you run out of Prop, you can’t buy regular or coffee?

  22. Pingback: Goose Island 2015 BCBS Release & Event Info! | Chicago Bar Specials | Bar Native

  23. Thanks for all of the great information. One question regarding the times on the lines forming: When you said last year the lines started forming around 6am (i.e. – St Charles/Highland Park, etc…) did you mean on Black Friday, or the day before?

  24. Any updates on number of allocations at LP or Time that you will pass out tickets? The problem I see is what happes to the person who shows up at midnight and gets potentially shut out after waiting for 9 hours.

  25. Other thank Goose Island Bourbon County beers and vintage beers…are there any other special beers or whiskeys that will be release to the first people or any people on black friday?

  26. Are the aforementioned allotments the minimum or maximum an individual could receive? Asking because, I have seen other stores in different parts of the country, post a larger allotment. Thanks for being as helpful and informative as you have been.

  27. Is there a limit on the Bourbon County Snifters at LP? I assume there is, but hoping it’s more than one as I’d love to get two.

  28. Hello,

    Thanks for all the detailed information! Will the Buffalo Grove location have all six versions of Bourbon County beers as well?


  29. Hi. Will the Elmwood Park and River Grove Binny’s have the full allotment? And did they have big lines last year? What time about did they form? Thanks!

  30. Hi Hilary,

    Can you tell me if the Lake Zurich Binny’s will be open on Friday for the BCBS event? In years past it was open for this on Saturday. I just don’t want to show up on the wrong day.
    Thank you.

  31. Regarding the restroom situation at Lincoln park – will Goose Island be open all night to accommodate those hardy campers? Or will it only be port-o-potties for the all-nighters?

  32. By getting a ticket to the event at LP after buying a full allotment of this year’s Bourbon County is there a limit on the quantity of each of the previous years bottles you can buy? Can a person buy each of them if available? Can multiples of each be purchased?

  33. From the previous comments, it seems like the LP Binnys will have lines forming the previous day. The question I have is if someone comes at a time like 4am, is there a high chance of them not being able to get any bottles? After waiting in line for 5 hours.

  34. Can we buy 1 of every varient or do we have to choose a varient and just get one bottle of the varient? How much was the beer last year?

    • You’ll get the chance to buy two 16.9 oz bottles of Bourbon County Brand Stout, plus one 16.9 oz bottle of each of the following: Barleywine, Coffee Stout, Regal Stout, Proprietor’s and Rare.

  35. Last year at the LP location, did you sell out of all of the beer (all variatals) on Black Friday? Or, was there anything left over for the following day?

  36. Pingback: A Guide to the Goose Island Black Friday Bourbon County Stout 2015 Official Release | Guys Drinking Beer

  37. I am new to the city, and would love to try and get some of these. i live next to the South Loop location. What is a safe time i should show up at that location to get at least a few of the bottles?

  38. Just want to say thanks to Hilary, Greg, Kyle & Binny’s for their great information on this blog. A standard allotment across all stores is a great approach imo. Now let’s hope for a smooth release for everyone on Friday. Happy Thanksgiving to all and cheers!

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