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Ad Astra Ale - Free State Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Ad Astra AleAd Astra Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

213 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 213
Reviews: 57
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 9
Gots: 42 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Free State Brewing Co. visit their website
Kansas, United States

Style | ABV
Altbier |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-14-2002

This ale is the first brewed in Kansas since pioneering days. The name "Ad Astra comes from the Kansas State Motto - Ad Astra per Aspera, Latin words meaning "To the Stars through Difficulties". We've blended Pale, Caramel, and Munich malts for a rich amber beer. The hops balance this malty sweetness, and we've chosen Northern brewer and Fuggles hops for their flavor.

24 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 213 | Reviews: 57
Photo of DevAJ
2.49/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It looks nice, but I'm starting to think that maybe I got a bad one or it's expired (picked up in a build your own six pack). The smell is very metallic. The taste is of burnt malt, but then the aftertaste is slightly metallic as well. I am a little disappointed as I was actually looking forward to this one after finding out the style.

Photo of Juicer1982
4.79/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Slightly sweet with a firm bitterness that balances nicely. Great brew.

Photo of BeerWithMike
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampling on 2/15/15. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a "Free State Brewery" pint glass.

This 'Altbier' (German for 'old style') style brew pours a pretty copper-amber in color with close to a finger of a off-white foamy head. Some 'ring-like' lacing is seen when sipped that sticks to the sides of the glass. The aroma is of mostly nutty roasted malts. Pretty much is said for the taste as well with good very light bitter finish that doesn't last too long. Medium-bodied with good carbonation. Overall a tasty brew.

Photo of Beer_Borg
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber color, small head which dissipated quickly

S: Moderate, nutty/sweet aroma

T: moderate hoppy flavor to nutty notes. At first it finishes so clean there is almost no aftertaste but as you continue it leaves a subtle bitterness.

M: Not quite crisp, more of a carbonated feel

O: Overall not a bad ale but not remarkable

Photo of Brenden
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This one's a red-brown-orange color, translucent at about the exact point between transparent and opaque, with a soft but firm off-white head roughly half a finger high. It holds up pretty well and drops down a mixture of patches and spotting.
Malt-forward, this presents some toasty, honey-like and caramel notes with earth and grains as well as a balance from notes of young wood and herbal leaf.
The flavor is likewise malty and almost nutty, a little bit of not savory but meaty sort of an element present along with earth, leaf and herb with a touch of black pepper. Underneath is a soft sweetness like the flesh of ripe white fruits. It finishes dry as the leafy hops linger nicely.
The medium body has both crispness and smoothness to it, though it leans light and the soft carbonation keeps up at the end of the session slightly less than it began.

Photo of beatenbyjacks
3.34/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - Nice rich red amber colorado with a head that quickly leaves.

Smell - Lots and lots of malts. Sweet bitter finish.

Taste - again you get a lot of the malts you smelled with a nice bready finish.

Mouthfeel - leaves a nice sweet taste in your mouth.

Overall - glad I got to try it

Photo of AmyfaceNYC
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a solid (if not particularly memorable) local beer from Lawrence, Kanasas. This is a rather dark beer with a small fuzzy head, and, as advertised, a great balance between malts and hops. The malts will hit you first--smooth, coffee-flavored, full-bodied. Then come the grainy, spicy hops. The flavor is rather pronounced but neither element is very strong. Great beer.

Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep copper color in the body with a fairly good sized, 3 finger head. Body is almost completely translucent, despite the darker color. Retention and lacing are very good on the light tan head.

S- Starts off with huge caramel malts right off the bat. The scent quickly turns darker and displays some milk chocolate scents as well. Throughout the smell, there is a fair amount of sweetness underlying the caramel and chocolate scents.

T- Surprisingly dark in flavor, just like the scent was. Starts with a dull, only slightly sweet caramel flavor. Chocolate flavors creep in and darken the drink's flavor and up the sweetness a little bit. Slight brown sugar sweetness peeks in before the caramel malt returns to prominence to end the drink.

M- This beer is smooth as silk with low to medium carbonation levels. Incredibly smooth and easy to drink.

Overall, I think there is one way to describe this beer; an awesome American take on a German style that might beat the native Germans in terms of a smooth drinking lager.

Photo of scomstock55
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

the beer poured ruby red/brownish. The head was thin and not too hearty as is disappeared quickly. It did maintain a little head to the finish but the lacing was scant. The taste was somewhat bready with a hint of molasses. Mouthfeel was really nice..very crisp with a medium amount of carbonation. Overall, a very good beer for a hot day. I wouldnt have a problem drinking a few of these!.

Photo of WunderLlama
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams pint glass

A: Pours a reddish brown caramel with a small foamy cap that quickly settles down. Faint lacings on the glass

S: Fresh beer with a nice scent of hops. Very appealing.

T: Fresh smooth start with a hint of spice finish.

M: Medium to medium light body with small bit of carbonation

O: A nice , drinkable beer that would be great on a hot day. A nice well crafted beer.

Photo of acelin
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a glass.

Pours a nut brown with no lacing, and barely a head. Nothing amazing here, but doesn't look nasty.

Smells of malt, molasses slightly, nutty tones.

The malts make a good display here, with rich nutty sugary flavors. Maybe a little light roast coffee. Slightly bitter from the hops.

Mouthfeel is average. Drinkability is wonderful.

Photo of UnkleFester
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a deep amber, a little over a fingers worth of off-white head that doesn't stay not much lacing with this one.

S: Biscuit malt, earthy hops and molasses on the nose.

T: Much like the nose with a hint of spice towards the finish.

M: Light to medium body with a light amount of carbonation, has a smooth and creamy finish.

O: Another solid beer from Free State this one doesn't do anything mind-blowing but is still a very well crafted beer and a good representation of the style.

Photo of drabmuh
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer shared by my cousin in his man cave, served in appropriate glassware even. Thanks. At the time of this review, this is #34 on the "Top Beers - Altbier" list on beeradvocate.com.

Beer is dark brown, hazy, tan head, small and medium bubbles. Some lacing. Looks good.

Aroma is very malty and sweet with a nice yeastiness.

Beer is medium in body and strong. It has a nice finish to it but not my favorite alt I've had. A little roasty on the back end. Eh. I might have it again.

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug.

The beer is a light mahogany/ruby color. A cream colored head dissipates quickly but leaves decent lacing. The beer smells toasty, nutty, and malty. The taste is an exercise in thinking. It tastes malty in a nut brown way, but there is a touch of cherry tartness. Maybe a faint hop finish. The beer is medium bodied.

Overall, I like it. I just may not have this one very often. It's an easy-drinking beer, and well crafted from this brewery.

Photo of facundoCNB
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a beautiful deep amber pour with a half inch of head. smells of floral hops, caramel sweetness and honey. tastes of chocolate, cherry, caramel.. really sweet! light body crossing over to medium body with moderate carbonation. very easy to go down, very tasty, and very enjoyable overall.

Photo of Dope
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A fairly dark brown pour with a very light tan head. Head is dense and retains very well. Lots of thick lacing on the glass.

S: Sweet caramel, toasted malt and some earthtones. A touch of dark fruit? Chocolate as it warms.

T: Toasted malt mixed with some caramel and chocolate. Earthy aftertaste.

M: Pretty light, to be expected for a 5.6% ABV beer.

O: Honestly not bad, a pretty simple and malty beer. Drinkable and inoffensive.

Photo of MTNboy
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a transparent brown body with a thick sandy head. A bit more tha average carbonation to the body.

Smell: It has a fruity hop aroma.

Taste: A bit yeast spicy at first then it is toffee like and then it finishes with mild grapefruit bitterness and roasted malts.

Mouthfeel: Dry and sweet brought together in a medium body.

Overall: It was a bit more complex that I thought it would be. I liked it and if I was reaching for something out of my norm I would drink it again.

Photo of Tone
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, brown color. 6/4 inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of slight earthy malt, slight caramel malt, hops, slight sweet malt, and a hint of citrus. Fits the style of an Altbier. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, hint of citrus, hint of grass, slight earthy malt, hint of caramel, and a hint of honey. Overall, good appearance, aroma, feel, and blend.

Photo of tronester
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep dark brownish red with a creamy tan head. Smell is a bit of dark fruit and freshly cut hay. Taste is initially some munich malt sweetness, followed by a cinnamony, rye bread middle, and a slightly tart, earthy finish. Mouthfeel is rich, cask like carbonation. Overall a good beer. Not too often you find an altbier in the USA.

Photo of FosterJM
3.61/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

907th Review on BA
Bottle to Pint
12 oz

Purchased from: On the Rocks, Lawrence, KS

App- A dark dark amber with a 1-1/2 finger head. A bit of an off white color with some good cling all the way down the glass. Falls to a ring of pond bubbles.

Smell- A bit thick malts and a touch of heavy cream on the nose. A bit earthy with some grainy notes as well.

Taste- Much like the nose but has some coffee and more grain taste to it. It's tasty but more spicy malty than would be expected.

Mouth- A medium body and a medium carbonation level. A bit of malty caramel with a touch of that heavy cream and spice.

Drink- It's good. I liked it, but needs to even out with some pop behind it.

Photo of russpowell
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes,

Pours an effervescent amber with brown/tan head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Toasty malt, leafy hops & pears

T: Follows the nose, along with grassy & peppery notes up front. Pear note dominate as this warms. Finishes crisp & fruitty

MF: Light/medium body with firm carbonation, decent balance

Drinks easy enough, but nothing special as Alts go

Photo of jmbranum
4.43/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought at The Library in Manhattan, Kansas, enjoyed at home in Oklahoma City.

Pours a brown liquid with a huge, huge, super-smooth fluffy tan head. Excellent bready-aroma.

Flavor is interesting. Lots of roasted notes, some brown bread, a tiny bit of caramel but that is offset by the bitterness and a little bit of acidic prickle. Some coffee. Lingering bitterness with some slight hint of chocolate.

Very smooth. Reminds me just a little bit of a nitro-can Guinness, but this is much better.

Yet another superior Kansas beer. I'm becoming quite the fan of KS beers I must admit.

Photo of sulldaddy
3.24/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a pint glass. A gift from my friend Ragingbull.
The beer pours a clear beautiful mahogany color with ruby highlights and a 1 cm creamy beige head. The foam receds slowly to a sturdy surface layer with very tight lattice on the sides of the glass. Very appealing looks.
Aroma is caramel and some grainy malt with a bit of spicy and grassy hops in the background, but this is a malt driven nose.
First sip reveals an average bodied beer with very fine yet tingly carbonation.
Flavor is grainy and husky malt with a touch of toffee. I also get a little bit of grassy hop but the beer finishes with an almost tangy malt hit, more like a wheat twang than caramel. The finishing flavor is a little weird as it is out of balance with the rest of the beer.
No hint of any booze on this one and the beer drinks very smooth and easy.
I like the beer overall but the flavor on the finish is a little strange.

Photo of birchstick
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an amberish copper with a creamy white head on it. Smells of toasts malts with a bit of nut character. The taste is close to the nose with a nice toasted malt but deviates from the aroma in that it has a stronggrassy hop bitterness. I don't lnow if it my palate or this brewery but I am getting a lot of grass hop on their beers. As Ith their other beers, I really enjoy the story behind the name and appreciate the effOrt put into the beer but it isn't one I would necessarily go out of my way for. Worth a try, though?, definitely.

Photo of mdcrouser
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper-tinted brown pour, with a faint light white head, lacy fingers scratching their way down the glass.

Bready malt dominates, leaving little else to the imagination. Smells alot like a brewery, actually.

Highly bready - caramel, woodsy, pumpernickel, with only an allusion of citrus - grapefruit, orange.

Crisp and hearty, with ample carbonation.

Not a great beer, but I certainly could drink a lot of them.

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Ad Astra Ale from Free State Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 213 ratings.