Half Acre, in my opinion, is the best brewery in Chicago and possibly the Midwest right now. Their year round lineup is incredible and their limited releases are equally as great. Double Daisy Cutter is the bigger version of their year round pale ale Daisy Cutter. Same basic malt bill but the hop additions are increased quite a bit. This beer drops only a few times a year and I look forward to it every time. Double Daisy Cutter comes in at 8% ABV.
Appearance: Hazy, golden copper with a 1 finger head. Frothy and nice sticky lacing down the glass. Always great artwork on these releases.
Nose: Dank resin, pine, some citrus, passionfruit, sweet candy notes and some pineapple. It is huge dank and citrusy with some juicy notes as well. It is like a beefy Zombie Dust.
Taste/Mouth: Tropical and citrus fruit notes, passionfruit, pineapple, grapefruit and orange. Nice dry bite of bitterness. It is really balanced nicely considering the huge amount of hop flavors. Good cereal and caramel malt notes as well. It is super balanced but full of such great hop flavors.
Price/Availability: $10 for a bomber at the brewery.
Overall: This is another bomb Double IPA from Half Acre. They continue to impress as Chicago’s best brewery in my opinion and this is a must have from them. There distribution foot print becomes bigger and bigger so it becomes easier to get, if you see it around definitely grab it.
Managed to get some more stuff from Other Half from my friend back East in one of our recent trades. This is Other Half’s collab with Holy Mountain out of Seattle called By and By, it is a Brett IPA and comes in at 6.5% ABV.
Appearance: Huge fluffy 3 finger head. Milky, hazy golden orange color with lots of active carbonation. It retains the head for a while and then settles in to a thick layer with sticky lacing.
Nose: Fruity, yeasty aroma with pear and green apple. Smells a little Belgian-esque at first but the Brett is definitely present and you can pick it up as you dive deeper into it. Peach, pineapple and fruit punch aromas are very present as well.
Taste/Mouth: Just slightly tart with some pineapple, lemon, orange zest and lots of floral hop aromas. Some bready and yeasty flavors as well. It feels very carbonated. The mouthfeel is kind of harsh and the amount of carbonation kind of takes away from the flavor of the beer. You get some heat and it finishes really super clean.
Price/Availability: As far as I know this beer has only beer brewed one time, I got it in a trade.
Overall: This beer kind of locked in my feelings toward Brett IPAs, I am just not a huge fan. I had heard only great things about this beer and was obviously super excited to try it. Even with my doubts after having some Brett IPAs in the past that I didn’t love, I went in with an open mind. I found parts of this beer I really loved but it felt slightly overcarbonated and despite having some really nice pineapple and floral flavors it was harsh on the palate and felt hard to drink at times. I am glad I had it but I don’t think I need it again.
It seems like my readers wanna see more hype. Ask and you shall receive, here is another beer from Other Half out of Brooklyn. This is Baby Diamonds, the session version of their Green Diamonds IPA brewed with Galaxy and Amarillo. Baby Diamonds comes in at 4.8% ABV.
Appearance: 1/2 finger head which dissipates quickly, some good lacing and super hazy light golden yellow/orange color.
Nose: Tropical, lemon, pineapple, grapefruit, piney, floral and earthy hop aromas. You can pick up some biscuit malt as well. Covers most of what you would expect from Galaxy and Amarillo, not a huge dank nose.
Taste/Mouth: Good hop presence in the flavor for a session IPA with lemon, grapefruit, earthy and some pine/resin notes. Pretty big dose of bitterness for a session IPA. which I didn’t mind. Finishes dry and bitter but also crisp and slightly chewy. Medium carbonation and easy to drink while staying rather complex for a session IPA.
Price/Availability: Rotating brewery release got in a trade.
Overall: This is a pretty great session IPA. Galaxy and Amarillo always make for a nice flavor profile. It is more complex and has more depth than most of the session beers out there today. That being said I like my “session beers” to be easy to get and something I can just grab at the grocery store or liquor store. Not sure it is worth waiting in lines at the brewery but if it came my way again I would certainly drink it and enjoy it.
Navaja is another Half Acre beer I look forward to every year when it is released. This year they moved this beer to some super sexy 4 packs of 16 oz cans. Similar to other annual releases like Beer Hates Astronauts and Double Daisy Cutter, these beers are where Half Acre really flexes their muscles in my opinion. Navaja comes in at 10% ABV.
Appearance: Glowing bright orange color with a 1 finger head and some great lacing. Super hazy beer. Amazing can artwork and the feel of the can is nice, it’s like matte.
Nose: Huge citrus and tropical fruit on this one. Pineapple, mango and passionfruit dominate this super juicy nose. Some sweet malt in the back and you can pick up more orange notes as it warms up. This is a dank double IPA.
Taste/Mouth: Just like the nose this is super juicy with loads of tropical fruit flavors. Big hits of bitterness throughout and finishes juicy and tropical. It also finishes rather dry. Warmth from the alcohol is present but adds another nice dimension to the beer. Really great flavor and feel all around.
Price/Availability: Limited once a year, middle to end of Summer I believe. They did more than one run of it this year. It is $12/4 pack.
Overall: Half Acre really crushes these big hoppy beers. Like Beer Hates Astronaunts and Double Daisy Cutter this one is a huge hit, and probably deserves more hype than they get. The huge citrus and tropical fruit nose and taste that follows it closely make this 10%er almost sessionable. Don’t move through the 4 pack too quickly though, you’ll be on the floor. Another release from the premier Chicago brewery I can look forward to every year.
Hype, hype and more hype. Other Half seems to magically collab with every great brewery in the US. For this beer they took their talents to Chi-Town and brewed Rainbow Never Ends with the guys from Half Acre. What did they come up with? A dank, juicy double IPA of course. Rainbow Never Ends comes in at 8.5% ABV.
Appearance: Hazy straw yellow gold with super sticky lacing and a half a finger head. Really awesome label design on these Half Acre exclusive bombers.
Nose: Nice big juicy citrus and tropical notes. Fresh hop nuggets, some piney and earthy notes. Idaho 7, Equinox and Citra were the hops used and they seemed to be used to perfection here. Pineapple and passionfruit are also rather prevalent. Spent a long time just enjoying the great aromas from this beer.
Taste/Mouth: Nice tropical fruit up front. Melon, citrus fruit, mandarin orange and mango. Get some kolsch yeast flavors as well and it finishes slightly dry and sticky. Good dose of bitterness throughout the feel and a little heat from the ABV. Nice flavors, good balance and a thoroughly enjoyable drinkable beer.
Price/Availability: $10/bomber brewed once and only available at Half Acre brewery.
Overall: The hype is real with this one. Other Half and Half Acre deliver a great DIPA with Rainbow Never Ends. I haven’t had a ton of Other Half stuff but to me this just feels like a really well executed Half Acre Double IPA which I am more than okay with (see my reviews of Beer Hates Astronauts and Navaja). Glad I was able to make it to the brewery and pick up some bottles when it was released, would grab it again if they decide to bring it back.
Half Acre makes some pretty stellar hoppy beers, especially their seasonal IPAs and Double IPAs. Beer Hates Astronauts is their all Citra and Vienna Malt IPA which is “The official beer of the comic God Hates Astronauts”. This is a very anticipated annual release from Half Acre. Beer Hates Astronauts comes in at 7% ABV.
Appearance: Hazy golden deep orange color. Really nice head and lacing, a great looking beer. Love the label as well, this year along with past years have some fantastic artwork.
Nose: Big nose, tropical fruit, pineapple, citrus, grapefruit and juicy berries. Also has some floral and sweet malt notes. One of those beers you smell the second you crack open. The pineapple and grapefruit notes are amazing.
Taste/Mouth: Juicy tropical fruit, orange, grapefruit juice and grapefruit rind. Some floral and earthy flavors as well. Great feel with a nice bite of bitterness, good light malt presence from the Vienna malt. Super easy drinking IPA. Midwest juice bomb.
Price/Availability: $9 for a bomber, limited annual release usually early summer. Pretty difficult to get and often sells out pretty quickly.
Overall: Awesome IPA from Half Acre and certainly one of my favorites from them. Half Acre continue to put out super quality beers and make a serious push to be my favorite Midwest brewery. All Citra and Vienna malt make for a simple yet incredibly delicious juicy beer. Seek this one out, it is certainly worth it and I look forward to its release every year. Beer Hates Astronauts is perfection.
Finally got my hands on some Other Half hype, this is a collaboration beer (which most of their beers seem to be) with Cellarmaker an SF based brewery. All Dank Everything features Nelson Sauvin, Motueka, and Citra hops. I can get on board with that, let’s see if this lives up to the hype. All Dank Everything comes in at 8.3% ABV.
Appearance: Hazy golden yellow with a nice fluffy 1 and a half finger head and super sticky lacing. Other Half always has some really nice clean looking can designs with great art.
Nose: Earthy, resin, some tropical fruit, peach and pineapple. I was anticipating this to be super dank, it was not as dank as expected. The peach and pineapple notes are quite nice though.
Taste/Mouth: Very interesting. Crisp and light feeling but also slightly dry and bitter. Resin, earthy and some citrus hop notes coming through. White grape from the Nelson is quite noticeable as well. Some malt sweetness and the ABV is masked well. Very deep with flavors.
Price/Availability: I think as of now this was a one off collaboration but wouldn’t be surprised if it returned. Not very easy to get.
Overall: My first Other Half beer, bottom line is I am not sure it lives up to all the hype. It is certainly possible this is a lesser Other Half beer and some of the other beers like All Green Everything or Green Diamonds do, I will have to track those down to find out. As far as All Dank Everything is concerned I thought it was a solid beer and I was very glad I got to have it but not one I would jump through hoops to have again.