BC Review's picture

312 Urban Wheat

Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
5 / 6
32 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
15 / 20

John Hall decided to thumb his nose at convention and started business on Friday the 13th. More than 20 years hence, Goose Island is a landmark brewery, producing distinctive beers that are anything but conventional. Its 312 Urban Wheat, which won a gold medal from the 2010 Great American Beer Festival, is a fine example. Tantalizing aromas of slightly tart wheat and ever-so-gentle spicy hop notes waft from the glass, presenting a refreshingly clean nose. Lee appreciated the “light lemon essence tamed by creeping biscuity malt,” and felt the aromas harmonized to present a perfectly balanced nose. Tom found the interplay between wheat tartness and bready malt sweetness intriguing, yet found the hop aromas lacking. He likened the overall impact to that of “light, sweet, clover honey.” True to the style, 312 pours a pale, straw yellow, throws just the slightest haze, and is crowned by a long lasting, yet airy, snow white foam stand. Wheat tartness is also the key flavor note, supported by hints of lemon peel, fresh baked bread, and just a hint of lavender. Tim liked the refreshing tartness and the counterpoint of a faint warm sourdough note. Praising the delicate, “gingery” hop spiciness, Tim wanted “more bitterness to balance.” The malt flavor struck Pete as “clean and neutral,” but he felt it lacking in complexity to be truly interesting. He enjoyed the flavor profile’s overall fruitiness and the scintilla of “zingy, citrus-lemon” in the aftertaste. Thirst-quenching and exceedingly drinkable, a good brew to take the edge off scorching summer days.