I originally commented here on a distinct possibility that some of Goose Islands beers would not always be locally produced.  What I did not see coming and what may be a marketing victory for ABinBev is to clone the beer under multiple names.  They have applied for trademark status on a number of numbers as names of beer and each just happen to be area codes.  ABinBev has applied for the following trademarks:

  • 216- Cleveland
  • 314- St. Louis
  • 412- Pittsburgh
  • 305- Miami
  • 619- San Diego
  • 202- DC
  • 602- Phoenix
  • 704- Charlotte
  • 702- Las Vegas
  • 214- Dallas
  • 415- San Francisco
  • 303- Denver
  • 615- Nashville
  • 713- Houston
The 312 brand is a great entry level producer for Goose Island and ABinBev has a chance here to pound small brewers with fake local beer.  Do we need to revisit my post on honesty again?
Thanks to Ohio Breweries post this morning for the tip-off.

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  1. I rarely leave comments on articles, but your article encouraged me to compliment your writings. Thanks for the read, I will tweet your post and come back occasionally.

  2. Anonymous says:

    They could simply be trademarking the numbers to limit potential me-too brands. Big companies make moves like this all the time.

    • SmallTimeDrinker says:

      That is a possibility, but I think the purchase of Goose Island was not just a simple purchase. They will look to maximize their dollar. Large corporations are not focused on long term profits they focus on the quarterly earning statements that drive up share prices. 312 has been awesome for Goose Island if I was ABinBev I would look for a way to replicate the prior success.

      • Anonymous says:

        Even so – nothing they’re doing here is unethical. So what if they made a whole bunch of area code beers, each unique to that city? That would be a collector’s dream.

        Yes, AB/InBev is a big corporation. That doesn’t justify this “AHA! GOTCHA!” approach to their every move. It seems like you want them to be the bad guy to the point of missing the real story.

        • SmallTimeDrinker says:

          I think it is unethical if they try to pass it off as local beer. They want to call it AB’s 216 or 202 or whatever that is fine. However, with Landshark bars in Florida are telling people to support the local brewery. It is not a local beer it is an AB product.

          As for me missing the story. I might be, that is why I like commenters.

  3. MASGLBC says:

    It would be unethical if they sold the same beer under multiple names. But if each is different it would be a good marketing.

    If they tried to market the beer as local that would be wrong.

  4. […] I predicted months ago that although Goose Island promised to not brew in St Louis.  They were careful to mention St. Louis by name instead of saying “We will only brew in Chicago.”  This could pave the way for a more efficient production of Area Code Ales. […]

  5. […]    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 […]

  6. […] Goose Island announced they will start canning the popular 312 Urban Wheat Ale.  This makes sense now that it is owned by ABInBev who sells a lot of canned beer.  The 312 Urban Wheat Ale will be canned in Baldwinsville, New York.  Cans are expected to be on the shelves by summer 2012 and sold in the 12-oz. size.  The can label with the Chicago skyline has been released but their is no word if the can version name or image will vary by location. […]

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