Monday, April 27, 2009

Daisy Cutter Pale Ale has arrived!

Hello!  This is a guest post from Kate, letting you know that our new beer, Daisy Cutter, will be on draft at the Hopleaf tonight!  It's a West Coast Strong Pale Ale, focusing on the aromatic qualities of the hops.  A master blend of 5 different hops creates a powerful nose and a dynamic flavor.  Check it out starting tonight!

Half Acre Beer Co
Chicago, IL

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Good & Bad

We're wrapping up a big week here at Half Acre.
The good news is that the Baume' is out there and finding its way into your bodies. The response has been great.  Check out the review on the Chicagoist here.

The bad news is that we'll have to cancel the hunt this week and next.  
Matt, one of my partners in crime around here is at the Craft Brewers Conference in Boaston, and I'm about to skip out of the country to soak up some far away rays.  So, even though I could have hidden the capsule today, I realized that I wouldn't have been able to call off the hunt, so you guys would be forced to look and look and look.

 A big reason we do the hunt is get people having fun and outside.  Today you need no motivation.  The weather is beautiful, so go look for something anyway.  Have fun and we'll catch up in a couple of weeks.  Don't forget about Half Acre Horseshoes.  

Half Acre Beer Co
Chicago, IL

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Sorry for the delay, but....

Baume', the Commemorative, American Chocolate Rye Stout that we brewed to celebrate the new brewery is out in the world.  We only brewed a small amount of this beer so get it while you can.  

I know that Armanetti's at 3530 N. Lincoln now has the 22oz bombers on the floor and ready to sell.  Others are and will carry it while it lasts, but I'm not sure exactly who, just yet.

The kegs have all sold out and will be pouring at:  Map Room, Small Bar, Long Room, Twisted Spoke, Jerry's 2 and Sheffields.  It's up to them when it goes on, but they own then now...

Be sure to check out this beer.  We're proud of it.


Half Acre Beer Co
Chicago, IL

Monday, April 20, 2009


So.... how about May 9th?  Meet at the brewery located at 4257 N. Lincoln at 1:00pm.  If it's raining, lip up, it's on.  If it's pouring, then check the blog for possible cancellation.

What we'd like is for people who are interested in playing to email  We'll make a list and get prepared for the appropriate amount of folks.  We're prepared to supply the horseshoes needed, but if anyone has any then please let us know in your email.  We'll sample some beer here at the brewery then head on over and throw.  Following the competitive play, we'll hop over to a local haunt for beers.

We're going to think of a way to structure it so that there are prizes and a reason to aggressively take down your opponent.  

Request:  if you have any stickers, bumper, interesting, funny, ridiculous, educational, scratch & sniff, etc, then please bring them to give to us (band stickers subject to band approval).  If you don't have stickers, then it might be best that you get some.  We're covering one of our vessels in stickers and need quantity.  It's your opportunity to leave your mark.

Half Acre Beer Co
Chicago, IL

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hunt Winners

Yesterday's hunt winners display their find before bringing it home.

We posted the clues a little late yesterday. Sometimes the day just runs away on you. Yesterday's hunt was the longest one yet. It took the winners upwards of six hours to find it. It was the fifth or sixth time we've done it and we're trying make it interesting for everyone involved. If you guys out there have any comments or suggestions on how to make the hunt better, more enjoyable, more difficult, etc, then let us know. If not, we'll continue to do things in whatever way we see fit.

Enjoy the weekend.

Half Acre Beer Co
Chicago, IL

Friday, April 17, 2009


The capsule was found moments ago at the corner of Milwaukee and Hubbard below the grasshopper mural.
Congrats to Tracy and Ken.

Half Acre Beer Co

The Hunt is on once again

You know the's out there again.  Bring it back to us and you get a free case of beer and a 22oz bomber of the the special release, Baume'.

Here's today's clue:

"Look to the foot of the grasshopper where Dance and Algonquian names meet."

Good Luck

Remember to call or text 773 351 5709 or email to notify that you've found it.

Half Acre Beer Co
Chicago, IL

Beer Wars

There was a lot of talk about this film, and there seems to be just as much now that it aired.

The craft beer industry and the struggle between large and small is nothing new, and most of the people that went out for this event were likely at least fairly informed on the issue. It's my opinion that if you're going to make a documentary on the topic, then you should be prepared to delve into subtleties that highlight new aspects.

It’s hard not to be charmed by Sam’s story and how he’s brought Dogfish up in the ranks. He’s a great ambassador for craft beer culture, and a sincere example of someone who’s built a company with passion.

Rhonda was an odd choice I thought. I didn’t pick up much of an interest for beer, malternative or not. And although the struggle between Moonshot and the big three certainly exists, she was seeking out their presence in her company, financial or otherwise. If it’s war, and that’s obviously the claim the movie was making, then one has to be sure what side they’re on – especially when focusing a large portion of the film on her. I had the nagging feeling that Anat felt a likeness and sympathy for Rhonda, and that somehow clouded her vision when bringing this film to life.

The big Three, which are now the big….well, I’m not sure with all these mergers and buyouts. It’s easy to paint “The Macros,” as the evil overlord, and in some ways it’s inevitably true. They make beer that has very few characteristics whatsoever because actual characteristics create the opportunity for genuine dislike. It’s not that anyone actually loves or hates the taste of Bud Light, it’s that it doesn’t possess any dimension at all. You buy into the notion and overall marketing machine and pass the unobtrusive liquid down your throat, or you decide you’re looking for actual qualities to discern and require something more for your sensibilities. These companies have been around for a long time, passed through generations of people, all of whom have different goals and ideas of what should and shouldn’t be. Will Sam’s son or daughter want to keep Dogfish an intimate company of beer lovers or will they want to maximize profit and compete on another level? Who can tell, but 150 years will allow for a lot to happen.

Three-tiered structure. Here in Illinois, we live and die by these same laws. It’s my belief that brewers should be able to sell directly to retailers or use a distributor depending on how they want to structure their business. This is one of the more complex topics that Anat covered, and touching on this point or that doesn’t really do the larger topic justice. There’s no question it’s a bitch, and many small brewers face challenges as a result of Macro distribution networks, but it’s not all bad. To be clear, New Belgium, Boston Beer, Dogfish (depending on market) and Half Acre for that matter, all use distribution houses dominated by Macro brewers. I won’t speak on their behalf, but I will say that our little company gets a fair shake at making a go of it in this market. They even go out of their way to make it easier for us to weather some of the storm related to being a start-up brewing company / business. I just think it’s really easy to point the finger and say Macro influence is all bad; it’s a topic that deserves closer inspection.

Last but not least, and again, in my opinion (and believe me, I’m biased), it would've been great to also highlight a tiny, just breaking into the world of craft brewing, brewery that is facing this big wave of issues at its onset. Dogfish and Stone are great brewing companies, but to their credit, these guys have a substantial foothold. Every step of the way there are a particular set of hurdles, and highlighting the larger spectrum might have given viewers a larger understanding. There are innumerable dynamics that go into the beer business; our little company continues to learn about them on a daily basis. Topics that people are so eager learn should be handled with care, and hopefully add to the level of understanding….

I enjoyed the panel discussion. Papazian is a pimp.

Someone else should make a follow up, a competitor film that aims to beat the pants off Beer Wars – Beer Documentary Wars.

Half Acre Beer Co
Chicago, IL

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Grain

Like all other breweries we use Malted Barley in our brewing process.  We'll use roughly 1000lbs per brew in order to extract enough sugars for fermentation, and what that means:  We have a lot of spent grain at the end that we need to dispose of.  

A lot of brewers look to farmers to come and pick up the grain to feed to their livestock, but we fall into a strange middle-ground where we don't have enough for most farmers, but too much for most other uses.  We had a mushroom farmer that was eager for a bit, but he became concerned about a quality of bacteria that might jeopardize his shrooms.  

So, we've been throwing our grains in the dumpster every week.  It's not a horrible thing to do; they are very biodegradable and fall into a more positive bracket of things one can find in a landfill.  However, these grains have the potential for a very positive secondary use.

We're strapped for time here at Half Acre so we've enlisted engineering students from Northwestern University to mull over this dilemma.  Above, you can see three members of each team of four that will take the next two months to develop a secondary use for these grains.  They've been provided a budget, a list of considerations and let loose to battle it out.

They're doing it as part of a class and have to prepare a formal evaluation and proposal, but we're looking at it more like a reality TV program.  Kind of like that insane MTV show with Sean Combs / Puff Daddy / Diddy where he demoralizes hip-hop hopefuls on their road to never attaining an actual rap career.  Well, maybe not like that, but maybe some long, ridiculous motivational talks in our non-existent board room urging them to be the engineering change they want to create.  

Thanks to Northwestern University for working with us, and to each of the eight students that aim to eek the other team out of the engineering spotlight.  Best of luck to both teams.

You'll see that I numbered them.  Please feel free to comment on who you think has the gumption to take the glory and get that grain re-used.  All I can say is that I met with all of them personally, and they seemed hungry.

Half Acre Beer Co
Chicago, IL

Friday, April 10, 2009

Capsule Found

The Capsule was found outside Muskies located at the corner of George and Lakewood.

Apparently the staff at Muskies was puzzled by the group of people scavenging through their bushes. I'm sure it spiced up their day.

Congrats Jason.  Everyone else -- better luck next week.

Half Acre Beer Co.
Chicago, IL

Capsule Hidden

The capsule is out there and waiting for you.  There's a lot going on so be sure to scroll down and check out some of the other posts.  Here's your clue, and remember to call 773 351 5709 or email when / if you find it.

(Capsule Pictured Above)

Winner gets a free case of beer and a 22oz bomber of the new Baume'

Good Luck,

"It's friday and time for a hamburger.  We like the place, but the name is fishy.  At this corner numerous streets collide, think of Seinfeld and water trees.  Bits of nature exist, so look for the bushes and reach deep."

Half Acre Beer Co
Chicago, IL

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Capsule Travel

These days we actually have the capsule very little.  After it's found, hunters take the capsule on tour before bringing it back.  Pictured above, apparently the capsule has found it's way to Pee Wee's Playhouse.  Slightly frightening, but it was delivered back to us today. Tomorrow it will be back out there waiting for one of you to find it.

Half Acre Beer Co
Chicago, IL


The Baume' has been bottled and kegged.  It will drop next week hopefully. 

This American Chocolate Rye Stout is delicious.  Big, but not huge at 7%, this Stout fires off a lot of coffee and chocolate notes.  Balances well, but rides high on hop character at 60 IBU's while the Rye finishes it dry.  

We're really proud of this beer.  It's a commemorative release, so we only brewed 15bbls of it.  Once it's gone, it's gone.  There's only about 50 cases of 22oz bombers and about 10 kegs left.  Greg Hall at Goose Island Beer Co was kind enough to throw it on tap at their Clybourn brewpub, so a sneak peek will likely be available before it actually hits most places.

Seek this beer out.  

Half Acre Beer Co
Chicago, IL

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


We got very good feedback on Horseshoes.  You folks are eager to chuck metal.  So are we.

There was also the idea of "Spanish Horseshoes" tossed out.  Seeing as we might have a large lot of people playing, this could be a secondary ring of competition that doesn't require an actual pit(all the same heckling would still apply).  Either way, we're gearing up for some rowdy fun in the park.

We're going to establish a date for the first outing, arrange a local haunt to invade when all throwing is complete and get all the appropriate ducks in a row.  Once that's been done we'll get back to you with specifics.  In the meantime, practice throwing things at other things.  

And, should you see a horse please knock him over and take his shoes because we don't currently own any.  Thanks.

Half Acre Beer Co
Chicago, IL 

Friday, April 3, 2009


The Capsule has been found.  The hunt is called off for this week.  Good luck next week.

Half Acre

Half Acre Hunt #4

OK, here's today's clue.  It's a puzzler.

Remember to call 773 351 5709 or email when / if you find it so we can alert other hunters that it's been found.

The capsule is pictured above.  3" around and 1"deep

Good Luck:

"Follow the road east, Hagar used it on path to his big debut. Twittering sounds about, and we both feel safe at this Point. Find your way close to the metal tower close to the waters edge. Here the fence has become lazy and a blanket resides. The capsule is tucked under waiting for you."

Half Acre Beer Co
Chicago, IL

Half Acre Horseshoes

Chicago is digging in its heels and pushing away the warmth, but we're sure it's coming soon.  In preparation of making the most of spring / summer we're noodling up an idea.  You guessed it, Horseshoes!

Our brewery, located at 4257 N. Lincoln Ave sits a mere couple blocks from the illustrious Welles Park.  One feature of this park is a legit horseshoe pit with around 10 courts within said pit.  This strikes us as a great opportunity.

Our thought is to meet at the brewery once or twice a month, say Saturdays at 12:00pm.  We "sample" some beer at the brewery, then walk over to the pits and engage in competitive horseshoe play rife with heckling and questionable sportsmanship.  After we have our fill, then we head over to one of our fine local establishments that we have pre-organized and they offer us specials and overall praise.

We want to gauge interest.  If no one responds, then we'll do it without you.  If too many people respond, then we'll likely have tryouts that aim to embarrass and humiliate -- or just take turns.  The more the merrier.

Let us know.

Half Acre Beer Co
Chicago, IL

PS. I think there will be Half Acre Horseshoes Tshirts involved.