Half Acre Gossamer Golden Ale

Half Acre Brewery is a great little local brewery that sits on a half-acre of land (two city lots) in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago. It puts out a three year round canned brews and several more seasonal offering. I’ve only had two of their beers, The Daisy Cutter Pale Ale and the Gossamer Golden Ale, but both of them are top-notch.

I first had The Daisy Cutter in a bar right after the O’Fallons 5 Day IPA. What immediately came to my mind is that the daisy Half Acre Pale Ale is significantly hoppier than the O’Fallons IPA, which should give you an idea their hop ideology. More in the tradition of a California and Oregon brewery  than a Midwestern brewery. The hoppiness didn’t waiver when I bought some Gossamer Ale cans at the grocery store.

You immediately notice the beers as some of the few tall boy 4 packs in the grocery store. Cans are definitely gaining in popularity in craftier brews – I can usually find a case of Goose Island 312 cans in the grocery store – but the vast majority of the craft beers  that make their way beyond the brew pub still only come in bottles. Of course, those who knows me know my preference for cans, so Half Acre immediately gets some brownie points before I even open the can. In my imaginary world where I open up my production brewery, all my beers, not limited to bars, are going to be available in cans (probably tall boys).


The hop aroma hits you like a pale ale would. There is some citrus as you would expect from American hops, but it is subtly followed by pale malt. Once the beer reaches your mouth, it’s the same story all over again, with a wham of citrus hops up front, with a tiny amount of maltiness somewhere in the mix. It’s a cloudy beer, which would probably take a point or two away in a competition, but I don’t much care about having a clear beer. It reminds me more of homebrew. The beer does produce a nice white head, with a medium carbonation.

In the end, it is a very crisp and refreshing beer. Perfect for sipping in the back yard on a hot summer day. One of my favorite beers for summer.

Beer is Healthy Part 2

If the heart healthy benefits of alcohol, or the whole grainy goodness of the ingredients weren’t a good enough reason to take up beer drinking, don’t worry, I’m not done with the health benefits yet. I was reading Runners World Magazine the other day and it looks like drinking beer prevents colds. They did a study on people who were going to run a Marathon. I know from personal experience that training for a marathon puts a huge toll on your body, and people who are training are more likely to get colds because of the stress you are putting on your system. The study had half the runners drink a beer a day for 3 weeks before the Marathon and for 2 weeks after the marathon. The beer drinks had less respiratory tract infections and more T Cells. They used non alcohol beer, so we know that the benefits didn’t come from the alcohol like with heart disease. Meaning, it was a benefit you can’t get from other alcoholic beverages. So drink your beer, eat your barley, and live a long healthy life.