The Inaugural Half Acre Far & Away Invitational

a creative gathering at Harris Theater

Up to this point the only notable beer party over this way is the annual Harvest HopDown Fest at The Plaza on Millennium Park. It’s an October gathering where Park Grill’s PR staff coordinates distributors to come pour packaged mainline offerings from popular regional breweries. It’s a decent party and certainly better than having no bier fest at all on Michigan Avenue.

What we saw on the rooftop of Harris Theater at that same park was a completely different animal. The mighty Half Acre Beer Company invited 61 of their favorite breweries that never make it to our corner of the earth. The lineup was so stacked that you could walk right up to 2018 GABF IPA winners Alvarado Street and Green Cheek with no wait.

Wiseacre, Memphis, TN*

Saturday 10.13.18*

FFF, Munster, IN*

Perennial, STL*

My favorite beer of the fest was probably the understated brilliance of Jester King & Scratch’s Abscission (spontaneously fermented ale with spicebush, grapevine + juniper).

It was less about rankings and more about appreciating what releases your favorite beers snobs are hysterical about. Beers that up to this point many of us only get to read about. Nothing will top seeing the founders of Dark Matter Coffee and Half Acre joyously sharing pours and thanking us for attending. Half Acre’s Benthic three ways (espresso, iced coffee, stout) was hard to deny and had us thinking how lucky we are to live in the same town as those two crews.

This was like attending a beer event for the first time. There were 16 brewers we legit had never even heard of. The sentiment was felt among teams that made the trip to pour their own beers like Pennington, New Jersey’s Referend Bier Blendery. They admitted not being familiar with all the breweries in attendance.

We never party this hard in The Loop. Finally a festival that the bottle share crowd can appreciate. The good folks at Half Acre have set the bar for what a modern beer gathering should feel like.

–Nkosi

Orange County, CA

Referend Bier Blendery

Pennington, New Jersey

Other Notes:
-Side Project, Monkish, Casey, Other Half had insane lines during session one.

– During our hot pursuit of Perennial’s Maman and the Other Half/ Angry Chair collab Rice Proxy Treats, we missed out Tired Hands Guava Lavender Milkshake IPA and Kane’s Vanilla Sunday Brunch

-Far & Away participant beers were around town for the weekend at The Beer Temple, Kaiser Tiger and Beermiscuous

-*denotes photo courtesy of Brad Chmielewski

-Enjoy this remarkable collection of beers

3 Floyds Brewing Company
THICC BOIS / DDH LACTOSE IPA
CHEER TEAM / IPA

18th Street Brewery
BLEND / A BLEND OF RUSSIAN IMPERIAL STOUT, MILK STOUT + BARLEY WINE AGED IN BUFFALO TRACE BARRELS
SCRATCH AND DENT / IPA

Allagash Brewing Company
ALLAGASH WHITE / BELGIAN-STYLE WHEAT BEER
SAISON GRATIS / SAISON-STYLE ALE

Alvarado Street Brewery
MAI TAI P.A. / TROPICAL IPA
CONTAINS NO JUICE / JUICY DOUBLE IPA

American Solera
SOMEBODY LOVES YOU IN COPENHAGEN / FRUIT BEER
BARREL AGED DILEMMA / BARREL AGED STOUT

Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company
REFUGE IPA
ABUNDANSEA / IMPERIAL STOUT

easily the best lineup of the year*

 

Columbus Brewing*

Aslin Beer Co
BALE / IMPERIAL STOUT
TOTALLY CANON / SOUR ALE

Bagby Beer Company
SWEET RIDE / PILSNER
GOOF TROOP / AMERICAN IPA

Beavertown Brewery
METAMORPH / BRETT IPA
MANGO MILK / MANGO MILKSHAKE DIPA (OMNIPOLLO COLLAB)

Bellwoods Brewery
FRUIT JELLY KING / DRY-HOPPED SOUR WITH PINK GUAVA

Breakside Brewing
WANDERLUST / IPA
#MOREFRIENDS #MOREMEMORIES / BARREL AGED RASPBERRY SOUR

Bunker Brewing Company
TERRARIUM / IPA
MACHINE PILZ / CZECH-STYLE PILSNER

Burial Beer Company
FRESH HOP SHADOWCLOCK / PILSNER
THE FALL OF THE REBEL ANGELS / SOUR RED WITH CHOKEBERRIES

Casey Brewing & Blending
APRICOT FRUIT STAND / ALE AGED IN OAK BARRELS WITH APRICOTS
VELVET / ALE AGED IN OAK BARRELS WITH APRICOTS

Cigar City Brewing
COCONUT MARSHAL ZHUKOV’S / IMPERIAL STOUT WITH COCONUT
GUAYABERA / CITRA PALE ALE

Columbus Brewing Company
BODHI / DOUBLE IPA
CROCODILE TONGUE / BARREL AGED SOUR ON PEACHES

Creature Comforts Brewing Company
BIBO / PILSNER
ARCADIANA / SAISON

De La Senne, Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Belgium

Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project
SURETTE RESERVA JUNIPER & GIN / PROVISION SOUR ALE
SOUR ROSE´ / WILD ALE

De La Senne
TARAS BOULBA / BLONDE ALE

Firestone Walker Brewing Company
SLOAMBIC / WILD ALE WITH BLACKBERRIES
DARK & STORMY / BLENDED ALE WITH GINGER & LIME

Fonta Flora, Morganton, NC

Fonta Flora Brewery
WHIPPOORWILL WIT / BELGIAN WITBIER
SCUPPADINE / APPALACHIAN WILD ALE

Forest + Main Brewing Company
DOCHTER SEIZOEN / SAISON
SOLAIRE / SAISON

Founders Brewing Company
KBS / BOURBON BARREL AGED STOUT
MOSAIC PROMISE / SINGLE HOP PALE ALE

Fremont Brewing Company
THE RUSTY NAIL / BOURBON BARREL AGED IMPERIAL STOUT WITH LICORICE AND CINNAMON BARK
FIELD TO FERMENT – CITRA / FRESH HOP PALE ALE

Gigantic Brewing Company
KOLSCHTASTIC / KOLSCH
BIG BRETT LOVE / BRETT SAISON AGED IN VERMOUTH AND FRENCH OAK BARRELS

Great Notion Brewing
WIGGLE / HAZY IPA
KEY LIME PIE / GOSE WITH KEY LIMES, VANILLA BEANS AND MORE

Green Cheek Beer Co
WEST COAST IPA IS DEAD / WEST COAST IPA
ATTACK WITH LOVE / HAZY IPA

Hacienda Beer Company
L’ETE / BARREL FERMENTED SAISON
DDH EVERYTHING EVENTUALLY WITH EL DORADO

Half Acre Beer Company
ABOVE & BEYOND / DDH IPA INFUSED WITH MOSAIC
VANILLA BENTHIC / BARREL AGED IMPERIAL STOUT WITH COFFEE, COCONUT + VANILLA

Harris Theater Rooftop, Millennium Park

Highland Park Brewery
WONDER CLOUD / HAZY IPA
HELP YOURSELF / BARREL FERMENTED SAISON

Holy Mountain Brewing
KING’S HEAD / BOURBON BARREL AGED DOUBLE OATMEAL BROWN ALE
OFFERTORY / ALE AGED IN OAK BARRELS ON MALBEC & SYRAH POMACE

Industrial Arts Brewing Company
WRENCH / NEIPA
SPLICE / DDH SOUR BEER

Interboro Spirits & Ales
OVERTIME / IMPERIAL IPA
BUSHBURG / PILSNER

J Wakefield Brewing
BLUEBRAKER / SOUR IPA
BOSS TYCOON / IMPERIAL STOUT

Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery
APPLE BRANDY BARREL OIL OF APHRODITE / BARREL AGED IMPERIAL STOUT
BOURBON BARREL BRICK KILN / BARREL-AGED BARLEY WINE

Jester King Brewery
ABSCISSION / SPONTANEOUSLY FERMENTED FORAGED ALE (COLLAB WITH SCRATCH)
COMMERICAL SUICIDE / MIXED CULTURE MILD ALE

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
TURBO BAM / RYE FARMHOUSE ALE
FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS / FRUIT SAISON

Kane Brewing Company
GALAXY PUNCH / INDIA PALE ALE
VANILLA SUNDAY BRUNCH / IMPERIAL MILK PORTER

Lawrence Beer Co*

Lawrence Beer Company
LECTRIC / IPA
BIG PEACH / SAISON

Maine Beer Company
SON OF SAPPING MAMMOTH / IPA
POST RIDE SNACK / SESSION IPA

Mikkeller
SPONTANDOUBLERASPBERRY / SOUR ALE WITH RASPBERRIES
TBA

Modern Times Beer
YELLOW / SAISON AGED IN WINE BARRELS WITH APRICOTS
FELLOWSHIP OF XUL / DESSERT STOUT

Monkish Brewing Company
SPACE FOOD / COTTON CANDY SPACE COOKIE DOUBLE MILKSHAKE IPA (COLLAB WITH OMNIPOLLO + TIRED HANDS)
GALACTIC RHYME FEDERATION / TRIPLE IPA

New Belgium Brewing Company
VOODOO RANGER JUICY HAZE IPA / UNFILTERED IPA
TRANSATLANTIQUE / KRIEK

Other Half Brewing Company
DDH BROCCOLI / IMPERIAL INDIA PALE ALE
RICE PROXY TREATS / IMPERIAL STOUT (COLLAB WITH ANGRY CHAIR)

Oxbow, Newcastle, Maine

Oxbow Brewing Company
SASUGA / STAINLESS-AGED SAISON WITH RICE
BOBASA / BARREL-AGED SMOKED FARMHOUSE ALE

Perennial Artisan Ales
PILS / DRY-HOPPED GERMAN-STYLE PILSNER
MAMAN / IMPERIAL STOUT

Prairie Artisan Ales
PRAIRIE NOIR / BOURBON BARREL AGED IMPERIAL STOUT
PINK GUAVA FUNK / SOUR ALE WITH PINK GUAVA FRUIT

The Referend Bier Blendery
BERLINER MESSE: GLORIA GRAND CRU / SPONTANEOUSLY FERMENTED PALE WHEAT ALE
TENDER BUTTONS / FRAMBOISE

Sante Adairius Rustic Ales
WOVEN / BARREL AGED BLONDE ALE (HALF ACRE COLLAB)
RECENCY EFFECT / GIN BARREL AGED SAISON

Shared Brewing
FANNY PACK FASHION SHOW / IPA
TOMMY FRESH BATCH #2 / TDH DIPA

Door County, Wisco

Side Project Brewing
DERIVATION BLEND #10 / BA IMPERIAL STOUT
LA RUCHE BLEND #2 / BELGIAN SAISON

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
TRIP IN THE WOODS CHOCOLATE CHIPOTLE STOUT / BARREL AGED IMPERIAL STOUT
SINGLE HOP EL DORADO / SESSION IPA

Sun King Brewing
PACHANGA / MEXICAN STYLE LAGER
AFTERNOON DELIGHT / BOURBON BARREL AGED DOPPELBOCK

Superstition Meadery
CHERION / MELOMEL
BBA AMANTE / SPECIALTY MEAD

Threes Brewing
LOGICAL CONCLUSION / IPA
FAR BETWEEN / FOUDRE-FERMENTED FEST BEER

Tired Hands Brewing Company
HELLES OTHER PEOPLE
GUAVA LAVENDER MILKSHAKE IPA

Transient Artisan Ales
WHEN YOU’RE HERE YOU’RE HERE / COCKTAIL INSPIRED OAK AGED SOUR
THE JUICE IS LOOSE / DOUBLE IPA

Troon Brewing
HI, CHICAGO / HOPPY ALE
BYE, CHICAGO / KETTLE SOUR BREWED WITH LACTOSE, RE-FERMENTED WITH MANGO + PASSION FRUIT, CONDITIONED ON MADAGASCAR VANILLA BEANS

Trve Brewing Company
CURSED / MIXED CULTURE PALE ALE
SOLID HEX / WATERMELON SAISON

Upslope Brewing Company
SPRUCE TIP IPA / AMERICAN INDIA PALE ALE
TROPICAL FRUIT SOUR / FRUITED BARREL AGED SOUR BEER

The Veil Brewing Company
YOUNG & PURE / IPA
WE DED MON / TRIPLE IPA

Weldwerks Brewing Company
DDH JUICY BITS / HAZY IPA
MEXICAN ACHROMATIC / MEXICAN STOUT

Wiseacre Brewing Company
TINY BOMB / PILSNER
ASTRONAUT STATUS / BOURBON BARREL AGED IMPERIAL STOUT WITH CINNATTMON AND VANILLA BEANS

 

nkosio

Beverage Consultant, Host of the Chicago Brew Bus, Co-Host of the Chicago Beer Pass Podcast, Co-Founder and heartbeat of the Chicago Beer Geeks..@nkosio on twitter

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