If you’ve been here before, you may remember the last time I worked with Goose Island on beer pairings for Thanksgiving. Not only do they make some great beer, but they really know their stuff when it comes to matching it up with food. This time I’m talking about their 312 Urban line, an homage to the city of Chicago’s original area code and the place the Goose Island Brewpub was founded in 1988.
In order to get some well-rounded feedback, we invited a few friends over to sample the 312 Urban beers and taste the cheeses the rad people at Goose Island sent our way. There’s something about spring that makes you want to trade in those heavy winter dishes for light snacks, cold beer and some time outside. The 312 Urban beers are perfect for just that.
In addition to the beer and cheese, I made soft pretzels, white bean hummus and a simple cured meats plate.
312 Urban Wheat Ale was the first in the line and is hugely popular today. It has a slightly fruity, sweet flavor and is super refreshing to drink. It tasted great with everything, especially the goat cheese – its tangy flavor matched perfectly with the wheat ale’s fruity hop flavors.
On March 12 (312 Day!) of this year, Goose Island launched its 312 Urban Pale Ale. With a nice balance of malt and hops, it’s a bit more subtle in flavor than your typical pale ale. The dry, slightly spicy hop flavor pairs well with a soft, salty blue cheese, like cambozola.
The pretzels were perfect with the beer – especially dipped in spicy brown mustard. If you have a stand mixer, they’re relatively easy to make. I used this recipe from The Kitchn. BONUS TIP: the pretzel dough recipe is basically the same as my favorite pizza dough recipe from A Couple Cooks. Make a double batch and you’ll be all set!
The next time you’re craving a cold brew, give one of these a try. You won’t be disappointed! They are available year-round and in most places you normally buy beer.
Disclosure: I was provided samples of the beer and cheeses, but was not otherwise compensated. The opinions in this post are my own.