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The Beer Circle » Breweries, Half Acre Beer Co. » Half Acre Beer Company – Chicago, IL

Half Acre Beer Company – Chicago, IL

It’s that time of year where my semester is over, and I’m back in the midwest for the holidays.  I typically drive back by myself, so I always stop in Chicago for at least a night, sometimes a few days, just to catch up with friends and drink tasty beer I can’t get in Pennsylvania.

Outside HA

4257 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago IL

I usually get to chose where we go when I’m in town. Half Acre’s taproom is relatively new, but I had always written it off because of the notion that it wasn’t close to any train lines. Wrong. It’s only about a 15 minute walk from the Montrose stop of the Brown Line, making it really convenient for those who reside on the North Side.

When Geoff and I walked in, we were carded and asked if we had ever been there before. We hadn’t, and so the guy working the door gave us a useful rundown: no servers except on Fridays and Saturdays, they don’t have food, but you can order delivery from anywhere you wanted, and credit cards can only be used for purchases of $10 or more. He even suggested Bad Apple for food, which is where we had dinner– a great, reasonably priced beer bar kitty corner from the brewery that also happens to have excellent food.  The taproom is a really cool combination of concrete and wood– it’s industrial and natural at the same time and, with the soft lighting, it was really inviting and warm. The  bar itself was concrete too, which looked really slick, and had coat/purse hooks underneath, which has become my new standard for the amount of thought that goes into bar design. Kudos, Half Acre, for the hooks. Geoff also noted that there were shelves above the urinals in the mens restroom for setting your beer, which he thought were cool.

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The slightly creepy bear made festive!

Most of the tables are communal, made of nice wood in the style of picnic tables but with backs on the benches.  We eschewed them for the bar– almost anyone who’s ever drank with me can attest that I’d rather sit at the bar when drinking than at a table– I blame the years bartending.  Geoff hates hops, hates them. So sometimes finding a beer he likes can be a challenge.  Despite having “only” six taps, there was beer that he enjoyed, especially the Hammer, the Bullet, and the Vise English brown ale (which is all one beer). I went with 5oz tasters of: Space IPA, Two Tugs brown ale, Alpenglow winter dark ale, and Hearth’s Ablaze stout. Sadly, they were out of the barrel-aged Baume, and had replaced it with a less enticing extra special bitter, so I passed. Prices were really reasonable, with 5oz tasters being $2-3, 13oz $4-5, $5 for 16oz, and $6 for 20oz, depending on the beer.

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Alpenglow

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Space IPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a good time in the taproom; the staff was really nice and attentive. Afterwards, we stopped by the giftshop because the taproom can’t sell beer to go when the giftshop is open.  I picked up bottles of Big Hugs and Quakerbridge for Russ and myself respectively. The guy checking us out was kind of snippy with me, which was unnecessary, but I’m going to chalk it up to it being almost the end of a long, and likely busy shift.  If you’re in Chicago, especially looking for good beer right off the El, I recommend checking out Half Acre!

Halfacre Giftshop

Half Acre’s Growler Station in the Giftshop

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Written by Paige Deckert

Paige is a fifth year graduate student at Penn State; she received her craft beer education while bartending during undergrad at the University of Illinois. Over several months, Rogue’s Dead Guy served as her gateway beer, because it was $2/pint on Thursdays, and thus offered the highest ABV/$. This eventually turned into enjoyment, and everything is history from there. Her first legal beer was Robert the Bruce on cask at the Blind Pig in Champaign, followed by the Duchess de Bourgogne. Paige has visited over 15 breweries, including Great Divide, Bells, Jolly Pumpkin, Three Floyds and Dogfish Head, with plans to add more in 2012 via trips to San Diego, Phoenix, and Austin. Paige became friends with Russ (and subsequently Garrett) when they became friends on untappd. She clearly remembers seeing a check-in of his and thinking, “Who is this clown checking into Miller Light at the Shandygaff?” Soon thereafter he introduced himself at a Zeno’s beerfest, and they bonded over their beer geekery (sans adjuct lagers). Find Paige Deckert on Google Plus

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2 Responses to "Half Acre Beer Company – Chicago, IL"

  1. Kissinger. says:

    Paige should come to Evanston’s Prairie Moon for our homebrew club’s Thirsty Third Thursday. It’s tonight!! 7-10. Free beer.

  2. Kid Carboy Jr. says:

    With all the great breweries in Chicago, it’s saying something that of all of them, I think Half Acre produces what is regularly my very favorite beers.

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