Indie Pint Adventures

We're on the pursuit of hoppiness.

Half Acre Brewery Tour

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On May 10, we ventured to Lincoln Square to check out Half Acre Beer Company. The brewery holds tours each Saturday at 11 a.m., and they only allow 60 people inside. We arrived around 9:30 and ended up being first in line. The queue grew quickly, so show up early and bring your coffee.

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Be prepared to drink 3 pints in about an hour and a half–you’re going to get quite tipsy. Going to the Bad Apple down the road and then getting a double piercing at Mastermind are great ways to sober up! The tour costs $10, and you’ll get a golden souvenir ticket and an owl pint glass to keep.

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Fun Facts:

  • The man who started Half Acre lived in Colorado for a while and made a living by blowing glass. He was exposed to Colorado’s craft beer scene while he lived there, and when he ended up in Chicago, he noticed the lack of craft beer and decided to start a brewery with his business partner, an Italian-American man who still works in the tap room sometimes.
  • Half Acre uses quite a few older, used tanks from other breweries, and since these tanks are a bit older, their temperature settings aren’t as accurate as newer ones. After using these tanks for a while, the brewers realized they were actually mashing (when crushed malts get combined with hot water) at 6 degrees off the strike temperatures they thought they were at. This has led to Half Acre brewing dryer beers than originally intended.
  • Daisy Cutter takes 14 days to produce from start to finish. Pony Pilsner takes 44.
  • The name originates from haunted land in New Jersey–Devil’s Half Acre. During the industrial revolution, it was home to a tavern, located in the spot because no one else would give the owner land. Half Acre’s founder appreciated the spirit of the owner’s perseverance in the face of adversity, one of the reasons he chose the name. Devil’s Half Acre may be spooky with the amount of buried bodies there (we were too sloshed to remember where these came from), but its serene mountain view (another reason for the name) beats the creepiness.

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  • The brewers use different hops in Daisy Cutter based on what’s in season.
  • Instead of numbering the fermentation vessels, they distinguish each one with artwork. One features an image of the founder’s daughter as a baby.
  • Half Acre is the first brewery in Chicago to can beer, which they started doing in April 2010.
  • Lots of bearded hipster men work at Half Acre. We like this. But there really should be more ladies on site.

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Tasting Notes

Daisy Cutter
[American Pale Ale, 5.2% ABV]
Caroline: I’ve always loved DC, and there’s nothing better than getting it fresh at the brewery. If you like something lighter but hoppy (we’re hopheads here), then DC is perfect for you. I could smell its nice and refreshing aroma all day (hop candles should be a thing). It’s the Half Acre classic in my opinion.

Get Right
[Kölsch, 4.7% ABV]
Caroline: Or as they call it at Half Acre, Get Ripe. I believe they classify it as “styleless” because, although it’s a Kölsch, it’s unlike any other. Light and flavorful, it’s the perfect match for a warm summer day in the backyard.
Megan: Get Right is the kind of beer I want to drink on the porch on a warm summer evening. It is super light and carbonated with a low hop presence. If you’re new to the world of craft beer, this would be a great one to try because it’s approachable and refreshing.

Akari Shogun
[American Pale Wheat Ale, 5.5% ABV]
Megan: This one might have been my favorite taste of the tour. It’s a light, fruity American Wheat and goes down super smooth. Plus, there’s a pretty good hop presence, which doesn’t tend to happen much with wheat beers. Win.

Over Ale
[American Brown Ale, 6% ABV]
Caroline: I haven’t been to the dark side much, but I actually really enjoyed this brew. It has a nice balance of maltiness and bitterness. What makes me want to go back to it is its dry quality.
Megan: I’m not usually a drinker of darker beers, but this one isn’t even super dark. It’s more malty and sweet than my usual beers of choice, but with the great balance between malts and hops, I was happy. It’s a pretty light beer with the slightly bitter finish I love.

 

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You’ve seen our review, and here’s one we liked when we were checking out what others said about their Half Acre experiences. Cheers, Jason.

 

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This entry was posted on May 21, 2014 by in Brewery Tours and tagged , , , , , , .

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