Ok maybe I’m the last to know, but 312 isn’t brewed in Chicago anymore…
Okay, consider this a much belated “What the F#@* Chicago!?”
But this hasn’t really occurred to me until I was having on a 312 before a concert at Reggie’s Rock Club. They have ‘em on special for $3 on Friday nights, and that’s not too bad for a Friday, so why not? But some text on the bottle caught my eye: “Brewed and bottled in Baldwinsville, N.Y.” ….Baldwinsville, New York? 312, A Chicago beer, “brewed and bottled” in New York? What the hell dudes!
Goddamn! Chicago’s trademark beer, 312 (“which is named after the area code in downtown Chicago”), has been brewed at some Anheuser-Busch brewery in New York since 2011. Once a credible craft beer, is now brewed right along side other greats such as “Bud ICE” and “Natural Light.”
Which, I know from experience in my early college days, are both really, really, gross beers and I feel bad for anyone who has been subjected to them at a college party or a friends’ friends BBQ or something like that. There’s nothing more depressing than opening a cooler of free booze and finding piles of luke-warm Natural Light or Busch beer. Gross. And now Chicago’s 312 has been added to that club. Sad times. Maybe they want you to use 312 as some kind of chaser for the other beers, I don’t know.
But I do know Goose Island was bought by Anheuser-Busch in 2011 for $38.8 million. This made the former owner of Goose Island so happy he urinated in bar glasses at a pub downtown. Which is probably exactly how anyone would celebrate a $38 million buyout. I hope someday I get to party that hard…
Anyway, a deal’s a deal, but did they really have to outsource the brewing? I guess they do save a ton on taxes as part of the move, rather than continue expansion in the tax-riddled Chicago area. So, there’s that. But if this is the case can it still be called a “Chicago beer”?
Survey says, no.
Well, I say no.
No, because there’s plenty of alternatives if you’re looking to down some hometown booze. If you haven’t already, try Half Acre Beer Company, Three Floyds Brewing, or Revolution Brewing. Most Chicago bars have ‘em on tap. And it isn’t shipped in from New York next to kegs of Nattie Light.