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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

163 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 163
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 9
Gots: 14 | 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: 163 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

03-27-2013 14:57:55 | More by t0rin0
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

2.85/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. On tap in August 2009.

Pours a moderate brown color with a slight rusty tint. Short white head. The nose brigs some fruits and lift caramel plus a small amount of hops. Bad news underneath though. Just like other beers here, we were unfortunate to get somethig bad going on, as the taste here was quite buttery as well. Luckily this hadn't pervaded other aspects of the beer all that much. It's too bad as I really enjoyed their barleywine and that had no off flavors at all. Maybe we just happened to catch a bad time either with brewing or bad lines. It was at the brewpub though, so either way I have to say that it's on them.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2010 20:26:29 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

10-26-2012 21:41:07 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

11-16-2013 06:22:41 | More by jaydoc
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this several times at the Free State, however, this review comes from The Brick Oven in Topeka.

A - Poured a copper color with a foamy, off-white, two-finger head that left some nice lace.

S - It smelled of hops and bittersweet malt.

T - This tasted quite hoppy and had a smooth roasted malt flavor.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good alt and yet another good brew from the Free State Brewery.

Serving type: on-tap

01-22-2008 02:29:45 | More by zeff80
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my cousin for breaking out a surprise growler of this at the family smörgåsbord. Into my new Free State pint glass (also courtesy of my cousin) this poured a nice bright amber color, good clarity, with a generous cap of puffy offwhite foam. The lace was sticky and stayed around for awhile.

Aroma was mainly malty with mild multigrain and sunflower seed notes. Flavor was similarly bready with some light sweetness that finished dry. There were some notes of earthy hop as it came to room temperature. The body was light for an alt, but this rendered it very drinkable. I drank my half of the growler no problem. Free State is on my radar, hope to visit the brewpub someday.

Serving type: growler

12-26-2009 04:39:10 | More by emerge077
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

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

Serving type: bottle

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

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Maryland

3.58/5  rDev -3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2012 15:46:16 | More by drabmuh
Photo of duceswild
duceswild

Maryland

3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

03-12-2014 01:11:09 | More by duceswild
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard

Colorado

4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served warmer than I would have liked.
Head was missing in the beer, but the color was nice. Medium red/brown, good glow
Aroma of hops, lemon and roasted malt. Molasses a bit.
Taste was a good balance of malt and hops, citurs and nut. Good finish, wanted more

Serving type: on-tap

01-30-2006 20:14:23 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of afsdan
afsdan

Colorado

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

05-21-2014 20:42:56 | More by afsdan
Photo of Tone
Tone

Missouri

4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2011 02:47:48 | More by Tone
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brought back by a friend after a recent trip to Kansas. Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a deep, rich ruby-brown color without much head, likely due to transportation factors.

The aromas were full, rich, earthy and malty, with hint of fruit ( plum? cherry?). The taste built upon the foundation set, being smoothly full and malty, just slightly sweet, without a noticeable fruit taste, and a pleasant hop tang on the finish.

The body was full and well rounded, not heavy and very smooth. Drinkability was great, if available to me, this would be a regular quaff. Overall, a wonderful beer that makes me want to visit Kansas.

Serving type: growler

08-16-2009 20:41:19 | More by beertunes
Photo of Duff27
Duff27

Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

08-13-2012 00:45:59 | More by Duff27
Photo of KAF
KAF

Iowa

3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

07-09-2014 01:24:45 | More by KAF
Photo of Brenden
Brenden

Ohio

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.

Serving type: growler

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

California

3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2011 16:07:50 | More by FosterJM
Photo of Deuane
Deuane

Pennsylvania

3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Copper with a medium off-white head that left moderate lace.

S-Muted aroma of peppery hops and a bit of spiciness.

T-Roasty malts and a bit of hop spice. Overall rather dull though.

M-Medium-light body with a nice sharp crispness.

D-Not a bad beer but this one was a bit too boring for me. I found nothing exceptional about it. A good "training wheels" craft beer

Serving type: on-tap

07-21-2008 12:11:12 | More by Deuane
Photo of Whiskeydeez
Whiskeydeez

Kansas

3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

01-26-2012 06:46:32 | More by Whiskeydeez
Photo of Boto
Boto

Connecticut

3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught: Mine poured a clear amber color that was tinged with red. It had a bit of an off-white head that left a decent amount of lacing down the glass. The aroma was a bit weak, while still nice. It was somewhat malty and a bit grassy. The taste was much better. A decent maly body without any real sweetness. A bit of a roastiness to it with a hint of coffee. A fair amount of biterness to it. This is really a decent brew.

Serving type: on-tap

10-12-2006 00:30:45 | More by Boto
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2012 03:58:04 | More by Dope
Photo of emmasdad
emmasdad

Colorado

2.98/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks Dan (and Ratman) for sharing this one last night. Although I sincerly appreciate it, I did not enjoy it. Poured a dark amber color with a little bit of head on top. Aromas of cardboard, nuts and caramel. Medium bodied, with flavors of cardboard, roasted nuts and caramel malt. Kind of sad, maybe this one sat for a while.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2011 23:16:20 | More by emmasdad
Photo of birchstick
birchstick

Colorado

3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-08-2011 03:36:34 | More by birchstick
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 04:25:49 | More by sulldaddy
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Ad Astra Ale from Free State Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.