Half Acre’s Far And Away: Beer List Breakdown
This past Friday, Half Acre released the beer list “as we know it” for their first invitational beer fest, Far and Away. The festival, which takes place on Saturday, October 13th atop the Harris Theater in Millennium Park, is comprised of all non-Illinois breweries and features over 40 breweries who are pouring beer in Illinois for the first time (according to Eric Kapraun on The Beer Temple Insider’s Roundtable podcast).
The festival is still not sold out, and some feedback online mentions the cost of tickets being a prohibitive factor. The cost ($88 before fees) isn’t much more than FoBAB’s (which also hasn’t sold out – I’m sensing a pattern), but the experience promises to be worth skipping two nights out (or a few 4-packs of that fresh hazy jazz) to cover the cost. The brewery and beer list is worth it.
In fact, we’re not attending as media. As soon as we heard the brewery list, we jumped on purchasing tickets to ensure our attendance. I also bought a ticket for my wife, as it takes place on our 6th anniversary. As a couple who toasted at their wedding with a stout instead of champagne, we thought it seemed an appropriate way to celebrate. So that’s all to say that we have no obligation to promote this fest other than the fact that we’re totally geeking out about it, and we hope you can attend. (Go here to buy tickets.)
Anyways, here’s a slightly more fleshed-out beer list based on what Half Acre has posted, complete with our comments on some of the notable listings based on our experiences. Keep in mind that, according to Half Acre, this list is subject to change, and beer is limited at each session. There are also a few more breweries at the fest than in the list below, and their beer list is currently TBA.
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FAR & AWAY: The Beer List The beer list as we know it today is up on our website and above. Beers will be added, are subject to change, and will be first come first serve at each session. We’d also like to take this chance to welcome @brasseriedelasenne to the participant list. In just two weeks we’ll be drinking on the roof in Millennium Park, hope you join us.
3 Floyds Brewing Co. (Munster, IN)
Thicc Bois (Double IPA w/ lactose and experimental hops)
CheerTeam (IPA w/ experimental hop extracts)
Allagash Brewing Co. (Portland, ME)
Saison Gratis (Saison ale hopped in coolship)
Alvarado Street Brewery (Monterey, CA)
Mai Tai P.A. (100% Mosaic-hopped IPA)
Contains No Juice (Sacch. Trois yeast-driven Double IPA w/ Citra, Mosaic, and Galaxy hops)
This one is new to me, and I’m excited to check them out. They’re pouring two GABF medal winners from this year, with the previously decorated Mai Tai winning its second gold medal in International Pale Ale and Contains No Juice taking a bronze in the juicy or hazy double IPA category.
American Solera (Tulsa, OK)
Somebody Loves You In Cophenhagen (Sour ale refermented on cherries and aged in Danish cherry wine barrels)
Barrel Aged Dilemma (Blend of 6 barrel-aged milk stouts)
Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. (Gilbert, AZ)
Abundansea (Imperial stout w/ lactose, roasted cacao nibs, and seaweed)
Aslin Beer Company (Herndon, VA)
Bale (Collaboration w/ Casa Agria Imperial stout “inspired by peanut butter Turtle candies”)
Totally Canon (Collaboration w/ Hidden Springs Ale Works, Sour Ale w/ raspberry, hazelnut, and chocolate)
This is another brewery relatively new to me despite having heard much about them. These offerings sound intense, and we hope that’s in a good way.
Bagby Beer Company (Oceanside, CA)
Sweet Ride (Czech Pilsner)
Goof Troop (IPA)
Another one we tried at GABF, Bagby makes some really impressive lagers from what we experienced. I’m looking forward to something to soothe the palate with that pilsner.
Beavertown (London, ENG)
Tempus Project: Metamorph September 2018 (Dry-hopped Brett. IPA)
✌️Mango Milk Power Breakfast IIPA (Double IPA w/ mango, coconut, lactose, and vanilla)
Bellwoods Brewery (Toronto, ON)
Pink Guava Jelly King (Sour IPA w/ pink guava)
A mysterious entry, as the Half Acre post lists “Fruit Jelly King” and “Pink Guava” – neither of which exist in exact terms. But a beer named “Pink Guava Jelly King” does exist and is currently being produced by the brewery, so we’ll put our money on that.
Breakside Brewery (Portland, OR)
#MOREFRIENDS #MOREMEMORIES (Wood-aged sour ale w/ raspberries)
Wanderlust is a multiple award-winning IPA and Breakside as a brewery certainly must have an impressive trophy case with their well-decorated 8-years of brewing.
Bunker Brewing Company (Portland, ME)
Machine (Czech pilsner)
Burial Beer Co. (Asheville, NC)
Fresh Hop Shadowclock (Fresh-hopped pilsner)
Fall of the Rebel Angels (Blended aged saison w/ chokeberries)
Casey Brewing & Blending (Glenwood Springs, CO)
Fruit Stand – Apricot (Oak-aged saison w/ apricots)
Velvet (Collaboration with Side Project – oak aged saison w/ apricots)
Craig’s been a Casey fanboy for years now, and I can’t disagree with him, though I may occasionally contend that some of these push the boundaries of sour a bit far for me at times.
Cigar City Brewing (Tampa Bay, FL)
Coconut Marshal Zhukov’s (Russian Imperial Stout w/ coconut)
Guayabera (Pale Ale)
Creature Comforts Brewing Company (Athens, GA)
Arcadiana (Mixed culture saison aged in wine barrels)
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project (Denver, CO)
Surette Reserva Juniper and Ginger (Saison aged in gin barrels w/ juniper and ginger)
Sour Rosé (Wild ale aged in oak w/ raspberries and blueberries)
Brasserie de la Senne (Ville de Bruxelles, Bruxelles Belgium)
Taras Boulba (Hoppy blonde ale/Belgian pale ale)
If you don’t stop to drink this beer several times, then I don’t understand you, and we can’t be friends. This is one of the best beers in the world. You don’t love Belgian beers or saisons if you don’t love Taras Boulba.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company (Paso Robles, CA)
SLOambic (Wild ale fermented with Ollalieberries)
Dark & Stormy (Mashup of Helldorado and Velvet Merkin aged in rum barrels w/ lime and ginger)
Fonta Flora Brewery (Morganton, NC)
Whippoorwill (Witbier w/ oranges, coriander, and earl grey tea)
Scuppadine (Appalachian wild ale w/ native grapes)
Another brewery we’ve featured in the past, they use interesting local ingredients to carve out a unique sense of place in their beers.
Forest + Main Brewing Company (Ambler, PA)
Dochter Seizon (Wine barrel-aged saison)
Solaire (Blended saison)
This is a must stop for us. We’ve had the Solaire on the show before, and it’s legit – a wonderful saison comprised of foraged ingredients.
Fremont Brewing (Seattle, WA)
The Rusty Nail (Imperial oatmeal stout w/ licorice and cinnamon bark, aged in bourbon barrels)
Field to Ferment: Citra (American Pale Ale)
The Rusty Nail is a challenging beer that becomes more rewarding with every sip. The first one brings a lot of heat and sharpness, everything screaming at once. Subsequent tastes mellow and reveal this stout’s depth while thawing out your insides. It’s good.
Gigantic Brewing Company (Portland, OR)
Big Brett Love (Collaboration w/ Alesong, Saison w/ Brett. aged in French oak and vermouth barrels)
Green Cheek Beer Company (Orange, CA)
West Coast IPA Is Dead (IPA)
Attack With Love (New England-style IPA)
We were certainly impressed with former Noble Ale Works brewmaster Evan Price’s new project back at GABF 2017, and since they were absent from that fest this year, we’re excited to see what they’ve been up to since then.
Hacienda Beer Co. (Baileys Harbor, WI)
L’été (Saison aged in wine barrels w/ Brett.)
DDH Everything Eventually (New England-style pale ale w/ El Dorado hops)
Highland Park Brewery (Los Angeles, CA)
Wonder Cloud (Hazy IPA w/ Mosaic and Nelson)
Help Yourself (Rustic saison aged in guava and passionfruit barrels)
With some of the best hazy IPAs from the West Coast, and some of the only L.A. parking lot-aged beers you’ll have, Highland Park is a growing name in big flavored beers that may not have the lines of certain other California breweries but are certainly worth your time.
Holy Mountain Brewing (Seattle, WA)
King’s Head (Imperial brown ale w/ oats)
Offertory (Oak-aged saison aged on Malbec and Syrah pomace)
This brewery makes some pretty amazing stuff (as evidenced here), and the saison sounds like it could be a real standout.
Industrial Arts Brewing (Garnerville, NY)
Wrench (New England-style IPA)
Splice (Kettle sour)
Interboro Spirits & Ales (Brooklyn, NY)
Overtime (Double IPA)
Bushberg (Hoppy American pilsner)
J. Wakefield Brewing (Miami, FL)
BluebRaker (Collaboration with Parish; Sour IPA w/ blueberry and coconut)
Boss Tycoon (Collaboration with Horus; imperial stout w/ honey, macadamia nuts, coconut, vanilla, cocoa nibs, coffee, and marshmallows)
If you’ve yet to experience the particular brand of flavor terror that Johnathan Wakefield and head brewer Maria Cabre bring, you’re in for a treat. And as you can tell from the beer descriptors, subtlety is not their thing. There should be a line at this station, so beware of the beer running out early.
Jackie O’s Brewery (Athens, OH)
Apple Brandy Oil of Aphrodite (Imperial stout w/ walnuts aged in apple brandy barrels)
Bourbon Barrel Brick Kiln (Barleywine aged in Woodford Reserve barrels)
This is rich, decadent stuff with great barrel integration. Jackie O’s has an incredible barrel program, so we suggest you check it out. (We did.)
Jester King Brewery (Austin, TX)
Abscission (Collaboration with Scratch; 100% spontaneously fermented beer w/ grapevines, fallen leaves, spicebush, juniper branches, laurel and sassafras)
Commercial Suicide (Oaked Farmhouse Mild)
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales (Dexter, MI)
Turbo Bam (Sour farmhouse w/ peppercorns and lemon peel)
Friends with Benefits (Collaboration w/ Playground; oak-aged saison with blackberries, black raspberries, and raspberries)
Kane Brewing Company (Ocean, NJ)
Galaxy Punch (IPA w/ Galaxy hops and guava)
Vanilla Sunday Brunch (Imperial milk porter with vanilla, Rook coffee, cinnamon, and maple syrup)
Vanilla Sunday Brunch, from what I can tell, doesn’t exist. Yet. So, if this is a debut variant on one of Kane’s best adjunct dark beers, I’m even more in than I already was. Here’s the one where we drank a bunch of their beers.
Lawrence Beer Co. (Lawrence, KS)
BIG Peach (Saison w/ peaches)
Maine Beer Company (Freeport, ME)
Son of Sapping Mammoth (Collaboration w/ Half Acre; IPA)
Post Ride Snack (Session IPA)
SpontanDoubleRaspberry (Sour ale)
Modern Times Beer (San Diego, CA)
Yellow (Collaboration w/ Hawkshead; saison aged in wine barrels w/ apricots)
Fellowship of Xul (Barrel-aged dessert stout blend w/ cocoa nibs, coconut, almonds, vanilla, & peanut butter)
Fellowship of Xul might be the best beer you have at this whole fest; but that’s if you like dark chocolate fudge brownies and peanut butter and just like, joy in general, you know?
Monkish Brewing Co. (Torrance, CA)
Space Food (Collaboration w/ Tired Hands and Omnipollo, Milkshake DIPA w/ milk sugar, cookies, lemon zest, pineapple, coconut flakes, and Tahitian vanilla bean)
Galactic Rhyme Federation (Triple IPA w/ 100% Galaxy hops)
This one will have a line. (Are lawn chairs allowed at the fest?) But you probably knew that. Their beers have eluded us, but they might be the most-hyped hazy producers at the fest.
New Belgium Brewing Company (Fort Collins, CO)
Voodoo Ranger (IPA)
Transatlantique Kriek (Collaboration with Oud Beersel; Kriek Lambic)
Other Half Brewing Co. (New York, NY)
DDH Broccoli (Hazy DIPA)
Rice Proxy Treats (Collaboration w/ Angry Chair, Imperial stout w/ toasted rice, marshmallow & cacao nibs)
Another highly-hyped brewery, throw in an Angry Chair collaboration, and you have an almost guaranteed short window of time to drink these before they are all gone.
Perennial Artisan Ales (St. Louis, MO)
Prodigal (Imperial oatmeal milk stout w/ cacao nibs and vanilla beans)
Prairie Artisan Ales (Krebs, OK)
Prairie Noir (Whiskey barrel-aged imperial oatmeal stout)
Pink Guava Funk (Kettle sour w/ Brett. and pink guava)
The Referend Bier Blendery (Pennington, NJ)
Berliner Messe: Gloria Grand Cru (American wild ale dry-hopped with Galaxy)
Tender Buttons (Lambic-style w/ raspberries)
This small blendery won GABF for us, as their whole table of five spontaneously-fermented lambic-style Berliner Weisse hybrids were masterful and complex, each variation exhibiting its own fully-realized identity. (If you love romantic prose about natural souring techniques and optimal coolship temperatures, spend an hour on their website.) The Gloria Grand Cru was in my Top 10 Beers at GABF, and I can’t wait to try it again. But the Priests are also bringing a Framboise-style, and I’ll jump at the chance to try more of their World-class sour beers.
Sante Adairius Rustic Ales (Capitola, CA)
Recency Effect (Gin barrel-aged saison)
This brewery occupies the same place in my brain as Cantillon or Hill Farmstead – I’m giddy about the idea of drinking their beer at a festival in Chicago.
Shared (St. Louis, MO)
Fanny Pack Fashion Show (IPA)
Tommy Fresh Batch #2 (Triple dry-hopped double IPA)
Side Project Brewing (St. Louis, MO)
Derivation Blend #10 (Rum barrel aged imperial stout with coffee and Madagascar vanilla)
La Ruche Blend #2 (Oak-aged saison w/ alfalfa honey)
Not-so-bold prediction: Derivation 10 will be the first beer to run out at the fest and will draw the longest initial line. We’re prepared to wait.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (Chico, CA)
Trip In the Woods: Bourbon Barrel-aged Chocolate Chipotle Stout
El Dorado Session IPA (Single Hop)
Sun King Brewing Company (Indianapolis, IN)
Pachanga (Mexican-style lager)
Afternoon Delight (Bourbon barrel-aged doppelbock)
Superstition Meadery (Prescott, AZ)
Cherion (Cherry, blackberry, raspberry, and blueberry mead)
BBA Amante (Mead w/ cinnamon, cacao, and red chili)
Threes Brewing (Brooklyn, NY)
Logical Conclusion (Citra, Simcoe, and Mosaic IPA)
Far Between (Foeder Fermented Festbier)
Transient Artisan Ales (Bridgman, MI)
When You’re Here You’re Here (Aperol Spritz-inspired sour ale oaked w/ herb, sweet cherry, and rhubarb)
The Juice Is Loose (New England-style IPA)
Not a stranger to Illinois but always worth the attention. (Hey: remember when Juice unanimously won our first ever blind hazy beer show? Well, now you do.)
TRVE Brewing Company (Denver, CO)
Cursed (Mixed culture sour pale ale)
Solid Hex (Mixed culture foeder saison with watermelon)
Upslope Brewing Company (Boulder, CO)
Spruce Tip (IPA w/ spruce tips)
Tropical Fruit Sour (Golden sour w/ passionfruit, blood orange, and guava)
The Veil Brewing Co. (Richmond, VA)
Young & Pure (IPA)
We Ded Mon (100% Citra-hopped Triple IPA)
There’s no information out there about Young & Pure, so the mystery alone makes this one interesting. This brewery is making incredible hoppy beers not to be missed, as has been our experience.
WeldWerks Brewing Co. (Greeley, CO)
DDH Juicy Bits (New England-style IPA)
Mexican Achromatic (Imperial stout w/ with roasted cacao nibs, cinnamon sticks, vanilla beans, ancho chiles, guajillo chiles, and lactose)
This isn’t the first time WeldWerks has poured in Illinois, thanks to the last two FoBABs. But they won’t be back at FoBAB again this year, so this’ll be your only chance to try WeldWerks in Illinois this year, and we suggest you don’t miss out. Both of these beers are exemplary.
Wiseacre Brewing Co. (Memphis, TN)
Tiny Bomb (Pilsner)
Astronaut Status (Barrel-aged imperial stout)
Tiny Bomb is the best American pilsner. Fight me.