July 30, 2011. Anheuser-Busch announced they were moving their newly acquired Goose Island 312 brand of beer from its brewery at 1800 W. Fulton St. in Chicago to Baldwinsville, NY. Anheuser-Busch purchased the wildly popular Chicago company and its brands earlier this year. Goose Island Beer Co., founded on Friday the 13th in 1988 in Chicago, says they will still be brewing their other, smaller brands in their hometown. It’s only their largest, most popular brand – 312 Urban Wheat Ale – that’s being moved to New York.
The Chicago Tribune pointed out that 312 is the third Goose Island beer to leave Chicago. The two other brands, India pale ale and Honker’s Ale, have already moved to Portsmouth, NH.
“We explored contract brewing with ten breweries before the AB deal” Goose Island’s founder and CEO John Hall told the Tribune, “One of the principle reasons we aligned with AB is you need capacity to grow and you need money to build capacity. I don’t have the money to build a 500,000-barrel brewery here.”
On the bright side, the new open capacity at the Chicago brewery won’t go unutilized. The company plans to bring back or expand some of its other seasonal or dormant varieties to offset the loss of 312.
One other optimistic observation from Goose Island’s CEO is his hope to one day construct a large, modern brewery right here in Chicago and move the company’s entire line back to its birthplace. Today, Goose Island brews an innovative selection of 50 craft beers distributed in 26 states and Europe.