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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.
BA SCORE
83
good

186 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 186
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 10
Gots: 21 | 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: 186 | Reviews: 54 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by zhanson88:
Photo of zhanson88
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark copper color, almost brown, with ruby highlights. About a finger of light caramel head forms, reducing down to a fine film of lacing.

Smell: a lot of caramel malts and earthiness is present with slight piney and floral hops.

Taste: lots of caramel malts up front, with floral and piney hops. Maybe a hint of a coffee on the back end. This is a pretty balanced beer, lots of earthy tones with slight hops. Not the most flavorful beer overall, but still a nice offering.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: in between light and medium bodied and pretty smooth drinking overall. This is definitely a beer that I could drink a few of, pretty nice. Looking forward to trying more from Free State.

zhanson88, Dec 13, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of mnewth
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

mnewth, Jun 18, 2012
Photo of DuckDodgers
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

DuckDodgers, Dec 04, 2012
Photo of tjthresh
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

tjthresh, Aug 26, 2005
Photo of juicebox
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

juicebox, Aug 05, 2014
Photo of Soonami
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Soonami, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of rcm5693
4/5  rDev +8.4%

rcm5693, Jul 23, 2014
Photo of JuniperJesus
4/5  rDev +8.4%

JuniperJesus, Jan 26, 2013
Photo of sgttibbs
4/5  rDev +8.4%

sgttibbs, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of beatenbyjacks
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
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

beatenbyjacks, May 05, 2014
Photo of Brenden
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Brenden, Jul 15, 2014
Photo of ZebedeeDuBois
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

ZebedeeDuBois, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of KansasNate
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

KansasNate, Mar 09, 2005
Photo of zachpaschal
4/5  rDev +8.4%

zachpaschal, Aug 19, 2014
Photo of GMUPatriot_inKansas
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

GMUPatriot_inKansas, May 27, 2013
Photo of Chirpie
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Chirpie, Jan 08, 2014
Photo of dbossman
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

dbossman, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of Rymish
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Rymish, Jul 29, 2014
Photo of jheezee
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

jheezee, Dec 11, 2012
Photo of hooliganlife
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

hooliganlife, Aug 14, 2014
Photo of midwestbrewers
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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!!!

midwestbrewers, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of russpowell
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%
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

russpowell, Oct 03, 2011
Photo of Chuck_25
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Chuck_25, Aug 03, 2013
Photo of Kegatron
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Kegatron, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of bditty187
3.05/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

bditty187, Aug 11, 2003
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Ad Astra Ale from Free State Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 186 ratings.