Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Daisy Cutter

Half Acre
Chicago, IL

Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 5.2%

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Outstanding within its style.)

A few years ago, I paid a visit to Half Acre Beer Company’s taproom shortly after it opened. At the time they couldn’t technically sell beer due to the Gordian knot of Chicago alcohol policies, but they did have three beers on tap to sample. One was their blonde ale, Gossamer, the other their darker, yet still mild, Over Ale, and the last tonight’s entry into the Beer Dorks multiverse, Daisy Cutter, a pale ale. There were a few other people in the taproom, all of whom were requesting tastes of the Gossamer. I asked for the Daisy Cutter.

“Going right for the big one, huh?” the brewer (he still had his rubber boots on) commented with a grin. Jaded beer dork that I was (and still am), I had to stifle a chuckle at the thought of a mere pale ale being referred to as a “big one.” But it does offer a glimpse at the brewing philosophy of the Chicago city proper’s oldest packaging brewery not owned by AB-InBev. Their brews are for the most part subdued and subtle. There are a few specialty releases that’ll poke at the boundaries a little bit, but the flagships are decidedly low key and approachable.

A lot has changed since that trip to the taproom years ago. Instead of being contract brewed in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, their beers are now brewed and packaged in their Lincoln Square facility, and they can finally sell beer in their own taproom. What hasn’t changed is that Daisy Cutter is still their flagship brand, and it’s still a damn good beer.

My 16-ounce tall boy can pours a very hazy, dark gold, crowned by a giant pile of white, fat-bubbled foam. A huge citrusy nose dominates as I pull the can away. Deeper sniffs have trouble getting through the redolence of hoppy goodness.

The sip starts off zippy, with carbonation and bright hop bitterness up front. A musty malt middle lets the buds get a break just before a brisk, short, hoppy finish.

Crisp and snappy, Daisy Cutter is a medium-bodied, very drinkable, very enjoyable pale ale. On tap it’s even brighter and livelier, but it’s great canned as well. Half Acre has come a long way over a short period of time, and a big reason for that is this beer. Drink and enjoy.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on June 19, 2012.
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