Based on the Northside of Chicago, Half Acre Brewing has just recently made its way to New Jersey and started arriving in our stores. Since starting in 2008 they operate two breweries, one on Lincoln Ave that features there original tap room, a retail store and a kitchen. Their second location on Balmoral was built in 2015 and the just recently opened Tap room and Garden. I had the chance to visit the Lincoln Ave location while in Chicago this past summer and recommend it to any one visiting the area. Plenty of different styles beers on tap along with some killer homemade potato chips from their kitchen.
www.halfacrebeer.com “This beer has classic IPA heft. Many hop forward beers of the modern are defined by omission. GoneAway shines from raw material impact on both sides of the equatorial flavor hemispheres. Big grapefruit, green strawberry, resin, pine, dank, light honey, cracker, tropical mango/guava, assertive bitterness, pine sap, clean, dry finish.“
ABV: 7% IBU’s: 60
Head: Small of white head, fades quickly. The pour is slightly cloudy with an orange hue and mild carbonation.
Nose: Mostly floral with sharp pine, plenty of hops and a little bit of lemon and tropical fruits.
Palate: Medium Bodied and smooth. Hops show the most with a slight resin like feel. The finish is crisp with a good acidity.
Overall: Really tasty stuff, everything you want in a hop forward IPA while staying very drinkable. I was excited when I heard this was making its way to New Jersey after trying a handful of their beers in Chicago and looking forward to more to come.
Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Pints
Steve Hindy and Tom Potter founded Brooklyn Brewery in the mid 1980’s. In the beginning, most of the beer was brewed on contract sites in upstate New York, until they found space in Williamsburg for a functioning brewery. It all started with Brooklyn Lager, but today the brewery produces over 16 year-round brews with and multiple seasonal selections throughout the year. They have grown well beyond their microbrew roots, to one of the most recognizable brands on the market today.
brooklynbrewery.com – “Brooklyn Bel Air Sour is full of surprises. Our sour ale starts up with bright notes of tropical fruit yet finishes crisp and gently tart. It’s a trip that’s laid back, breezy, and completely refreshing.”
Pour: Light yellow in color and slightly hazy with a good amount of carbonation. A small off white 1 finger heads forms before fading quickly.
Nose: A good amount of fruit, pineapple really stood out to me, and floral hops. There’s really nice tart aroma with some wheat behind it.
Palate: Very smooth and balanced making it easy to drink, has more of citrus taste to it mixed with wheat and lemon grass. Tart but not but overly sour, the finish is clean with no acidity giving it a refreshing feel.
Overall: The sour style has been huge last two years and is still growing with bigger breweries joining the party, including Brooklyn last year. This was a seasonal release last year and I can see why they added to the year round line up, very refreshing and easy to drink.
Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.4 out of 5 Pints
Chris and John Trogner have been working hard to get Central Pennsylvania on the brewing map. Since 1997, these two Mechanicsburg natives have been handcrafting world-class beers that combine traditional English brewing techniques with eclectic American brewing style. One of their newest brews is a happy little Belgian Dubbel named Jovial.
The beer pours an opaque amber brown color with garnet highlights. The two finger frothy khaki colored head has amazing retention. Even after thirty minutes a one finger frothy cap remains atop the beer.
Aromas of Belgian yeast, candied sugar, toffee, biscuity malts and caramel are all perfectly balanced. A bright citrus undertone can be found lurking underneath a plethora of dark fruit notes like raisin, fig and prune.
The palate echoes the nose rather seamlessly. Caramel malts and Belgian yeast flavors provide the framework. Sweet notes of dark fruits dominated by fig are definitely front and center and are elevated by a hint of toffee. A touch of citrus adds a slight tartness and also works to brighten the beer. A little bit of spice is discernible on the finish.
Well balanced and extremely flavorful, Jovial is a great take on a Belgian Dubbel. Try pairing this one with Gouda, braised short ribs or chocolate ice cream.
The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Out of 5 Pints
Allagash Brewing Company started in 1995 as a one-man operation in a small space on the outskirts of Portland, Maine. Founder Rob Tod had worked in a brewery before, and recognized a void within the craft brewing movement. He designed a small 15-barrel brew-house, gathered the finest array of authentic raw materials, and began his quest towards the production of traditional Belgian style ales. Today, Allagash is known coast-to-coast for an amazing portfolio of delicious Belgian inspired brews. One of our favorite year round offerings is a stout named Allagash Black.
The beer pours a deep dark brown, just a touch light of black. When viewed in the light, a hue of dark cherry wood is visible towards the edge of the glass. The one finger frothy head show little retention. Once the head dissipated completely, a light swirled lacing remains.
On the nose, roasted chocolate and coffee aromas hit with notes of dark fruits. Earthy herbal and yeasty notes along with candied sugar, bready malt and cream notes bring complexity and character to the bouquet.
On the palate rich roasted coffee flavors are heightened with hint of chocolate. Spices, dominated by cloves, mix with feisty yeast notes and a hint of earthy hops build on the mid-palate. Dark fruit, vanilla and caramel notes add a recognizable sweetness and provide balance.
Kudos to Allagash for this silky, well balanced masterpiece. Perfect for dark beers lovers and Belgian beers lovers alike. Try this one with Gorgonzola, steak with fries or tiramisu.
The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4.0 Out of 5 Pints
Please check with your local Bottle King store for current inventory!
As we continue our tour of craft brews from the land of 10,000 lakes we find ourselves with another offering from Badger Hill Brewery. This family owned brewery has been at it since 2011 and has gained quite a following since then. One of their year round offerings is their MSB or Minnesota Special Bitter.
The beer pours slightly hazy amber color with orange hues. The thick two finger off white head dissipates at a steady rate and leaves behind a consistent layer of lacing a top the beer.
On the nose notes of breads and biscuits combine with sweet malts. Floral and herbal hop aromas peek through the biscuit and malt notes and are met by a resiny hop note. A hint of orange peel complements the rest of the bouquet nicely.
On the palate a clean and solid bready and malty backbone is well balanced by the same hop notes found in the bouquet. Mild floral and citrus hop notes are detectable amidst the strong herbal hop flavors. A bitter piney hop note carries over a mild fruitiness to the finish. A hint of black pepper spice is also noteworthy. The finish is bone dry and satisfying.
A great take on a Traditional English ESB or Extra Special Bitter style beer. A great easy drinking beer that acts as further proof that the Minnesota craft breweries are forces to be reckoned with! Try pairing this with a mild Swiss, beer battered Cod or bready pudding.
The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.0 Out of 5 Pints
Please check with your local Bottle King store for current inventory!