By Josh Noel
7:14 AM CDT, March 31, 2014
After 25 years, Goose Island finally has a home field advantage at Wrigley Field.
Chicago’s longest-tenured beer maker will be abundant at Clark and Addison this season for the first time, with both 312 Urban Wheat Ale and the newly released 312 Urban Pale Ale to be sold by vendors throughout the stadium, according to the Cubs.
Goose’s Green Line (a pale ale available only in Chicago and on draft), Matilda (a Belgian-style pale ale) and Sofie (a saison) will also be available at Wrigley in 2014.
Until now, craft beer has been rare at Wrigley Field, leading to a reputation as having one of baseball’s least interesting beer selections. The addition of Goose Island gives the stadium one of its most diverse beer menus in recent years, even if the Colorado-based Brewers Association does not consider Goose Island a craft brewery due to its place in the Anheuser-Busch InBev beer empire.
The 312 beers will replace Old Style as the non-Budweiser option carried by vendors through the stadium. Both Budweiser and Bud Light will continue to be available from vendors. Vendor beers cost $8 or $8.50, depending on the beer. Old Style will remain available inside the stadium, the Cubs said.
The Cubs announced an exclusive sponsorship deal with Anheuser-Busch last September that all but guaranteed a reduced presence for Old Style and an increased footprint for Goose Island, which has never had more than a trace presence in one of its hometown’s most notable stadiums since launching in 1988. Anheuser-Busch bought Goose Island three years ago for nearly $40 million.
Wrigley’s beer lineup will lean heavily on AB products, including the company’s beer-margarita hybrids (like Raz-Ber-Rita and Staw-Ber-Rita), Redbridge gluten-free beer and Johnny Appleseed Cider.
Wrigley will also launch its most ambitious cocktail menu to date to honor the stadium’s 100th anniversary. Available at section 109 on the main concourse and on the left field bleacher patio, the cocktails will be unveiled throughout the season, and will include an Old Fashioned, a gin rickey and cocktails honoring Ernie Banks (vodka, Blue Curacao and lemonade, served with a slice of lemon and a cherry), Ryne Sandberg (a margarita) and Sammy Sosa (a “Dominican-inspired cocktail made with island flavors including Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Meyers Silver Rum, pineapple juice and coconut water”).
On the other side of town, U.S. Cellular Field will again be dominated by MillerCoors products (Miller Lite, Coors Light, Blue Moon and Redd’s Apple Ale), but will again feature a solid and varied lineup of craft beers that includes Bell’s Oberon, Revolution Anti-Hero, Rogue Dead Guy Ale, Lagunitas Daytime and Sierra Nevada Pale.
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