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Ad Astra Ale - Free State Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Ad Astra AleAd Astra Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

173 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 173
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 10.3%
Wants: 9
Gots: 17 | 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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-14-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 173 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by mdcrouser:
Photo of mdcrouser


3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

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.

05-08-2011 03:47:46 | More by mdcrouser
More User Reviews:
Photo of mnewth

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

06-18-2012 21:22:37 | More by mnewth
Photo of DuckDodgers


3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

12-04-2012 21:40:29 | More by DuckDodgers
Photo of tjthresh


3.48/5  rDev -5.7%

Re-Rate: I have a keg at my home now. Fresher than before. Bumped the aroma, flavor, and overall up 1 point. This is a much better product than is served at Old Chicago.
As Astra is a pretty good session beer. Not a lot there to overwhelm, but enough to make it interesting. Dark red to brown in color, served with no head. Aromas of backed goods, and some brown sugar. Light sweet toasted flavor with decent bitterness. Light inthe body.

08-26-2005 13:12:18 | More by tjthresh
Photo of juicebox


3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

08-05-2014 03:20:33 | More by juicebox
Photo of Soonami


3.58/5  rDev -3%

Ad Astra Ale is a beer I got from a Reddit Secret Santa gift. It is a nice looking reddish brown beer with just a little lace of rocky head. The beer smells darkly toasty like pumpernickel bread and also a little sweet caramel malt. The beer is a little fruity, very nicely malty and accented with good german hoppy bittering. This is a good beer with a nice aftertaste that I definitely enjoyed.

12-13-2010 05:52:07 | More by Soonami
Photo of rcm5693


4/5  rDev +8.4%

07-23-2014 04:44:34 | More by rcm5693
Photo of JuniperJesus


4/5  rDev +8.4%

01-26-2013 05:10:51 | More by JuniperJesus
Photo of sgttibbs


4/5  rDev +8.4%

02-21-2012 15:13:59 | More by sgttibbs
Photo of beatenbyjacks


3.33/5  rDev -9.8%

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

05-05-2014 20:37:42 | More by beatenbyjacks
Photo of Brenden


3.85/5  rDev +4.3%

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.

07-15-2014 21:09:50 | More by Brenden
Photo of ZebedeeDuBois


3.78/5  rDev +2.4%

I had this on draft from my local craft bar.

It is a deep reddish brown, with clarity. The head doesn't last long. It smells and tastes malty, and reminds me of a marzen style beer. It drinks smoothly and cleanly, excellent for accompanying food. A definite favorite.

03-07-2010 18:36:10 | More by ZebedeeDuBois
Photo of KansasNate


4.33/5  rDev +17.3%

This copper hued ale was the first to be brewed in Kansas since the wild west days. This is an easy drinking beer, with a slight sweet edge that is balanced nicely with the hops. Perhaps too easy drinking on a monday night with $1.75 pints on tap. This is excellent beer.

03-09-2005 00:30:45 | More by KansasNate
Photo of zachpaschal


4/5  rDev +8.4%

08-19-2014 02:39:44 | More by zachpaschal
Photo of GMUPatriot_inKansas


3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

05-27-2013 02:30:25 | More by GMUPatriot_inKansas
Photo of Chirpie


3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

01-08-2014 23:28:06 | More by Chirpie
Photo of dbossman


4.1/5  rDev +11.1%

A: Ruby brown; clear and bubbly with a thin quickly dissipating head; leaves a faint film with nice lacing

S: Sweet caramel malts; tea leaves and lemon juice linger on the back end

T: Nice subtly sweet maltiness rich with caramel and wet grains; backed by lemon and tea; lingering pleasant aftertaste

F: Good even mouth feel; even a bit of sediment left on tongue that is pleasant

D: Very nice, drinkable beer; first beer from Free State but hopefully not the last

01-03-2011 02:41:49 | More by dbossman
Photo of Rymish


4/5  rDev +8.4%

07-29-2014 04:39:27 | More by Rymish
Photo of jheezee


3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

12-11-2012 22:37:17 | More by jheezee
Photo of hooliganlife


3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

08-14-2014 22:20:20 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of midwestbrewers


3.3/5  rDev -10.6%

A: Pours kind of copperish with a 2 finger head. Nice and frothy head with little lacing though.

S: Immediately your nose is rushed with sweet malts. Not much if any hop characteristics.

T: The taste is very malty and sort of sweet. Maybe a little hop bite on the back but very lack-luster.

This is an OK beer. Too sweet and malty for me. The lack of any hop character is a downer for me. Great beer but not in the category for me. Very smooth and goes down easy is a plus though. Great beer Free State Brewing!!!

01-08-2011 04:50:54 | More by midwestbrewers
Photo of russpowell


3.3/5  rDev -10.6%

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

10-03-2011 01:45:49 | More by russpowell
Photo of Chuck_25


4/5  rDev +8.4%

08-03-2013 22:03:15 | More by Chuck_25
Photo of Kegatron


3.65/5  rDev -1.1%

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. This is from a selection of Free State Brewing beers send to me by JeepCop. Thanks Dale!

Pours a clear coppery amber, with a ½ finger of off-white head. This retains with a thin creamy film that stays frothy when swirled leaving back some nice looking foamy swathes of lacing. The aroma is floral and leafy smelling, with some green citrus flavors that mingle with sticky caramel malts and a fairly prominent deep roasted feel that fills the back of the nose. This is decent, if maybe a little too heavy on the roast at times.

The taste is similar to the nose, with a mix of caramel, toast, and bitter citric fruit that gives the overall profile a bit of a green tangy feel. There is some darkness to the flavors but they seem less pronounced than in they were in the aroma. Leftover hops linger on the tail-end with some lingering dryness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a smooth easy crispness in the mouth that definitely helps keeps this quite drinkable.

This was quite an interesting beer, with some characteristics keeping this closer to traditional Amber Ale and then others finding their over more over to the Altbier category. It never really seems to find it's footing in the middle of the two. That being said though, this is by no means a bad beer in any way and just seems a little confused. There is still more than enough flavor and drinkibility for you to take a chance on it. Worth a look.

02-03-2011 20:27:31 | More by Kegatron
Photo of bditty187


3.05/5  rDev -17.3%

Clear, dark reddish/slightly bronzy hue, served with a thick off-white head, excellent retention, laced well. Clean nose… there was a slight dull maltiness… disappointing, mute invitation. Moderately flavorsome palate, the maltiness is the focal point, accomplished, the hops play a minor supporting rule, they do add a touch of bitterness. Some caramel and nut hints too. Nicely balanced if not too soft. Modest carbonation. The finish is clean… decent enough to drink. Not really that impressive of an offering… try something else.

08-11-2003 01:19:57 | More by bditty187
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Ad Astra Ale from Free State Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 173 ratings.