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Half Acre Beer Company – Over Ale

March 28, 2010

I finally made it to the Half Acre Beer Company at 4257 North Lincoln in Chicago. After enjoying many of their offerings on tap around town and purchasing their Lager in bottles at numerous retail spots, getting into their combined shop, tasting room and brewery was an experience long overdue.

Not surprisingly, the shop/tasting room had the perfect ambience of a beer aficionado’s version of a kegger. 8-10 guys in jeans, sneakers, and various headgear of ski hats, beanies, and baseball caps sipping out of small tasting cups while standing on the raw concrete flour in a rough semi-circle around the taps emanating from the wall. I laughed out loud at the sign proclaiming the taps were not self-service. Damn (maybe they’ll rent out the front room for parties?).

The beer is available for purchase. Year round offerings and seasonal, with the 4 taps for tasting and sale of growlers. They are upgrading their facility to eliminate bottles and sell their beer in improved packaging of 16.9 oz can 4 packs. Thus consolidating the need for both bottles and bombers and eliminating any concern of beer quality deteriorating from damaging UV rays penetrating glass.

While there, I purchased a 6 of their recent “mass” release, the Over Ale.

The Over Ale is described by Half Acre as:

what we call an American Style Bitter. This deep brown beer is brewed with six varieties of malted barley and balanced with three generous hop additions.

I found the Over Ale smooth and rich, but not too heavy. I read many reviews calling the Over Ale a very heavy Extra Strong Bitter, so I was pleasantly surprised by how smooth and enjoyable it is. If it wasn’t for the 6% alcohol, I’d consider classifying it a session beer. However, the 6% punch will make for too short a session to qualify. Caramel color and aroma, some hops, malt and a smooth finish.

Make the trip, have a taste, buy something. Repeat as necessary.

Beer rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

One Comment
  1. el_pedro permalink
    March 28, 2010 3:11 pm

    The growlers are absolutely a bargain – four pints of fresh, quality beer in a reusable container. Highly recommend their Gossamer Golden (do I save mine for the Duke game, or wait for the Blackhawks tonight?).

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