I stumbled into this Chicago brew at a Walgreens
in Marion, Arkansas. This Walgreens had one of the largest selections of beer wine and liquor that I have ever seen, it was amazing. Anyway, the beer is 312 Urban Wheat Ale bottled by the Goose Island Brewing Company out of Chicago, IL. It was really smooth and very pleasing to the palate. I am not the ephicianato (sp) tha MG is and am certainly not as eloquent so here is the link and description.
Densely populated with flavor, 312’s spicy aroma of Cascade hops is followed by a crisp, fruity ale flavor delivered in a smooth, creamy body. This gives 312 a balance of flavor and refreshment that never fills you up and won’t let you down.
Style: Urban Wheat
Alcohol by Volume: 4.2%
International Bitterness Units: 20
Color: Hazy Straw
Hops: Liberty, Cascade
Malts: 2 Row, Torrified Wheat
Preferred Glass: Tall
Food Pairings: Salads, Fish
Cheese Pairings: Fresh Chevre, Buffalo Mozzarella
Cellaring Notes: Enjoy within 180 days (Just for you TWC)
and a review from a beer geek...312 Urban Wheat pours a hazy yellow gold that is about two shades darker than straw, and is topped by two fingers of white foam. Since this is hoppier than most wheat ales, that foam stays around for quite a while and leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass. Though this "unfiltered" wheat beer looks a tad bit too filtered to score a perfect 5/5 for the style, it nonetheless looks quite healthy. A 4/5 it is then.
The aroma is not much---like most other beers of the style. It is hard for me to find impressive American wheat beers (except for a few witbiers), especially when they're pale wheat ales. The slight hint of Cascade hops I smell makes this a little better than others of this style, but not much.
The taste is a different story. The Cascade hops are more prominent on the tongue than in the nose, and 312 is a better beer for it. The hops give a slight citrus flavor. I also taste the "torrified wheat" this is made with, though barely. There is something akin to vanilla in there too, perhaps from the yeast (which is otherwise completely neutral). The mouthfeel is the least impressive part here---too light without that fluffy feel you get from a good German wheat beer. This is not supposed to taste German though, so it gets a pass.
312 Urban Wheat gets a lot of flak from beer geeks for not being flavorful enough, for not tasting like a hefeweizen, for being bland. Well, it isn't supposed to be (and the company does not claim it is) a hefeweizen, or anything German for that matter. At 4.2% alcohol, I don't think Goose was intending to brew a flavor-packed beer, and in the realm of American pale wheat beers this is about as flavorful as it gets. It is not gold, but it is refreshing.
My take, it is good, got a buzz on only 4 (was working in the sun all day) and would definately drink it again and still am enjoying No. 5.
312 is what got me into beer, originally. However, its still a bit...commercial. Especially since its been sold to one of the major companies (cant remember which one). When I first had it, I thought it was amazing. But, now, a few years later, that I've gotten really into micro and craft brews, its simply decent. Nothing to write home about, but vastly, vastly better than Bud or Miller or such.