Beer Man

Chicago's Goose Island will brew some of its signature 312 beer in Colorado's 970

Update: In addition to tentative plans to brew beer in Colorado (see below for the original story and an update from a Goose Island spokesman), the Chicago brewery also plans to distribute all of its beers in Colorado beginning September 1, including its rare and highly sought-after brews. "You will receive all of our classics, like 312, Honker's Ale and our IPA," says spokesman Mark Mahoney, "And you'll also be getting a limited about of Bourbon County Stout, and the other beers from our Vintage Reserve line -- the wild and sour ales like Madame Rose, Juliet and Lolita." Denver's Euclid Hall will host Goose Island brewer and innovation manager Tom Korder on Monday, August 20 at 8 p.m. for an event that explores the Goose Island portfolio and its relationship to food. Korder will also tap and taste some of the brewery's Vintage Reserve beers, while Euclid Hall Chef Jorel Pierce has paired his menu with some of the beers.

Go to the next page to read the original story.

Goose Island, a Chicago craft brewer that was bought last year by Anheuser-Busch InBev, hopes to brew some of its signature 312 Urban Wheat Ale at the AB InBev plant in Fort Collins, according to a federal filing. 312 takes its name from the Windy City's area code and is described on Goose Island's website as "Inspired by the city of Chicago and densely populated with flavor." President Obama famously used his hometown beer as part of a bet with England during the World Cup.

But according to a filing with the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, at least some 312 could be made in the 970 at the large plant near Fort Collins. AB InBev applied for a license to package the beer in kegs.

Goose Island spokesman Mark Mahoney says the plans are tentative. "We are taking a serious look at the Fort Collins brewery to brew some of our 312, but we want to make sure they can match the flavors and the quality control we have in Chicago," he explains. "Geographically, it's a great location for us. 312 is our number-one seller and it is growing in popularity and demand all the time."

AB InBev bought Goose Island in March 2011 for $39 million, a corporate-minded move that upset a large share of the independent-minded craft beer industry.

Goose Island, known for Belgian-style beers like Sophie and Matilda in addition to its highly sought-after Bourbon County Stout, had been a darling of that industry.

Goose Island told reporters last year that 312 would continue to be made in Chicago; however, founder John Hall, who is still with the company, said recently that the beer is now being brewed at AB InBev's plant in Baldwinsville, New York.

AB InBev didn't return an e-mail.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes