Way down at the end of the craft beer aisle, where all the canned beer was on display I hit a mini-jackpot. I spotted a beer that I’ve heard quite a bit about but never found. The beer was Half Acre’s Daisy Cutter Pale Ale and there were only two 4-packs remaining on the shelf. I snatched ‘em.
At the check-out I mentioned how I heard a lot about the beer and how good it was. The guy behind the counter said that they only will get one case every so often and it flies off the shelf. I was puzzled as to why Half Acre chose to can this highly revered beer in 4-packs of 16-ounces.
Half Acre is a local Chicago brewery that’s making a name for itself. Its beers are big sellers and the brewery is finally on the verge of expanding. They are leading the way for the other new Chicago breweries and establishing themselves in the Illinois beer culture.
Now, pale ales are not really my cup of tea (pfft!) I usually gravitate to the IPAs and beers that are a bit higher on the ABV scale. But I’ve heard so much about Daisy Cutter on the beer forums that I just had to try it for myself and share the experience in a review.
It may be of interest that a daisy cutter was the nickname of a military bomb capable of clearing out a small patch in a forest for helicopter landings. Don’t know if Half Acre knew this or, if so, how it relates to the beer. More info on the bomb here.
The beer poured with a nice golden yellow color and brought up a huge head in the warm glass. I could see in the clear liquid that many of the carbonation bubbles raced to the top. The aroma was nice and beery with a slight hint of hops.
The first sip was delightful, a nice pale ale with a few bready, biscuity notes rising up right away. I’ll have to wait and see if I can dissect the flavors after a few sips.
The beer had a medium mouthfeel but no one characteristic overpowered any other. The hop aroma with my nose in the glass was not there in any portion of the taste. The majority of what I got as the sips went on was that slight bread flavor and just a touch of hop bitterness at the swallow.
This was a real easy drinking beer, one that would go over well on a hot day. Just enough of everything and not too much of anything. The Half Acre website’s description is misleading:
A west coast Pale Ale chock-full of dank, aromatic hops. This one’s a screamer, hoard it.
I didn’t get a chock full of anything. How can the hops be classified as dank when I could barely taste them at the swallow. Hoarding any beer of this style is not a good idea because whatever hop flavors there are, they will fade over time. It’s a nice, well-rounded middle of the road beer, tasting just like it’s classified, a pale ale.
Anyone can pit a number of different pale ales in a side by side comparison tasting. Many will taste the same but a few will stand out with one unique characteristic it calls its own. This Daisy Cutter is like that. More than just a “beer,” but rather a beer with a unique flavor all its own.
Goose Island’s flagship beer is its 312 Urban Wheat. You can consider this Daisy Cutter as Half Acre’s flagship what with its increasing popularity.
As I said, the beer is very easy to drink and there is no one flavor that turn you off. At 5.2% alcohol, the beer could be had in quantities with little worry. The one beef I have with this beer is the 16-ounce cans that come with that goddamn hard plastic carrier.
The big can will fill a glass and have a little left over. The few ounces in the can will probably sit out in the sun in its aluminum heat sink and would probably get warmer over time than the glassful. I’d like to see this beer in 12-ounce cans, 6 at time. Give us 72 ounces rather than 64. One can would fill the glass and then be crushed and tossed into the recycle bin with no worries.
Daisy Cutter is a great summer beer and once you taste it, you’ll want it as an after work beer all year round. If you find yourself around Chicago way, by all means get yourself a couple of 4-packs and enjoy. It’s really damn good.
The SixPackTech summary for Half Acre Daisy Cutter Pale Ale:
Style: Pale Ale
Taste: A nice, uniquely tasty beer.
Smoothness: Hops are subdued, malts carry the show.
Drinkability: They go down easy. Bring ‘em on.
Bang for the buck: Not bad.
Amount paid: $9.99 per 4-pack of 16-ounce cans.
Get it again? Yes, if I can find it.
Wife’s all-encompassing opinion: (Sniff) Smells lemony. (sip) I don’t get that tart lemon but I get that white part. (sip) It’s ok, a little dry though. If it were just a tad sweeter. (I have no idea where the lemon came from.)
Half Acre Beer Company [5:31] – (Link) – embedding disabled.