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Beer Wed Mar 12 2014
Today is March 12, aka 3/12, and Goose Island has decided it's the perfect day to launch its latest beer. The new 312 Urban Pale Ale is described as having a balance of malt and citrusy hops, and comes in a green variation on the recently redesigned 312 Urban Wheat Ale labeling. The beer is 5.4% ABV and 30 IBUs, available nationally on tap and in bottles and cans, and will be brewed in parent company AB Inbev's Baldwinville, NY brewery.
This new Urban Pale Ale takes the Goose Island's popular 312 Urban Wheat Ale and turns it into a brand family, which may raise some issues for the brewery. It's a risky move to take a popular brand and dilute it like this, especially when the full name of the original is mostly ignored by consumers. Now when someone walks up to the bar and asks for a "312," the bartender is going to have to ask which kind -- requiring customers to remember that the original is an "urban wheat ale" and recognize the difference between that and "urban pale ale." And are the two similar enough to be considered part of a family?
The local in me wishes Goose Island named this new pale ale 773, but that wouldn't have worked on a national level. You can ask about that and other questions when the brewers do a Q&A on Reddit's IamA board today at 3:12pm -- or if you were lucky enough to score tickets, at a release party tonight at Salvage One.