Saison, 9.5% ABV
Gillian is a beast of a beer. This Belgian saison is chock-full of strawberries (40lbs per cask, in fact), spiked with Brett Brux to even out the berries' sugar factor, then dosed with 50g of white pepper, 25lbs of Illinois honey, and some Champagne yeast for a lasting, tingly, lip-smacking finish.
"Last year Halia was my favorite, this year Gillian's my favorite," said Platt. "I get the dryness from Champagne, the tartness from the strawberries. Also the honey, that's definitely present -- I think I placed an order for 40,000lbs of honey, if you can imagine. And it's all from the same honey farm."
As it turns out, the bottle's deep-red label is quite fitting. According to company lore, it's an homage to a very special redheaded FBI Agent.
"There's some people that would say that the inspiration behind the beer is Scully from The X-Files," Platt said with a smile. "They named it after Gillian Anderson -- she used to work at the Clybourn brewery. And this year for her birthday, we Photoshopped a picture of her with the beer and wrote, 'Happy Birthday, Scully.' She ended up signing a bottle, taking her own photo with it, and tweeting it back at us. We were so excited."