I'd heard that Goose Island Brewing Co. in Chicago was going to release a Harvest Ale this year instead of an Octoberfest. I've been on a bit of amber ale kick lately, so I had to try it.
The Harvest Ale is a good looking amber ale (about the same color as the old Octoberfest) with a fairly thick white head that falls slowly, but never quite disappears, leaving a little lacework on the sides of the glass. I'm impressed with the leafy hop aromatics and how they mingle with aroma of what seems like toasted and caramel malts. The sort of Vienna malt character that seems fitting for an Octoberfest is present here, but with what tastes like English and American west coast hops mixed together for a spicy, piney combination. The bitterness is pleasant and just right for this rather sessionable beer. Perhaps a touch thin, but otherwise a delicious new seasonal brew from Goose Island.