For a few years now Goose Island brewed the award-winning IPA at an East coast Craft Brewers Alliance brewery and part of the Honker’s Ale at the same facility.  I should note that CBA is partially owned by ABinBev.  Following my post that  Goose will likely move production to Baldwinsville, NY it has been confirmed.  John Hall told the Chicago Tribune the expansion is necessary for growth.  Not sure why growth is necessary, but ok I can accept his desire to grow.  I do not believe is that 312 and all Goose beer will be exclusively brewed in Chicago again.

Comments on the Tribune site have been pretty negative.  Many are even referencing the financial difficulties experienced by Macy’s after taking over Chicago’s Marshall Fields.  Chicagoans are fierce in protecting their hometown goods, and when it is no longer local, sales fall.  Will this make Goose Island a bad investment?  Probably not.  ABinBev more than likely is trying to push 312 more nationally than they will in Chicago.  Any loss of Chicago sales will likely only be a bump in the road instead of a roadblock.

If local brewers are smart they will try to capitalize on this move.  I doubt it though.  Craft brewers seem unable to attack another brewer.  My theory is that 312 will drop in price and begin to be a “value-craft beer.”    This move will certainly drastically reduce the cost of production.  Imagine 312 or other Area Code Ales selling at a Bud price point meaning small brewers may have something to worry about.


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