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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.

176 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 176
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 10.03%
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: 176 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jwmarcum


3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

02-15-2012 21:19:25 | More by jwmarcum
Photo of TastyIsBeer


3/5  rDev -18.7%

01-31-2012 04:38:21 | More by TastyIsBeer
Photo of Whiskeydeez


3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

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


3.85/5  rDev +4.3%

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.

01-26-2012 05:35:11 | More by MTNboy
Photo of katiesusie


4.5/5  rDev +22%

01-07-2012 22:01:45 | More by katiesusie
Photo of SirPlunkett


3/5  rDev -18.7%

01-05-2012 23:25:56 | More by SirPlunkett
Photo of Allurex


3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

01-05-2012 01:24:12 | More by Allurex
Photo of Grebdioz


3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

12-28-2011 01:50:30 | More by Grebdioz
Photo of campofapproval


3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

12-20-2011 20:58:17 | More by campofapproval
Photo of goates


4/5  rDev +8.4%

12-10-2011 00:50:09 | More by goates
Photo of AJD1201


4/5  rDev +8.4%

12-04-2011 03:34:14 | More by AJD1201
Photo of Tone


4.03/5  rDev +9.2%

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.

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


3.55/5  rDev -3.8%

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.

11-01-2011 23:51:43 | More by tronester
Photo of FosterJM


3.6/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

10-30-2011 16:07:50 | More by FosterJM
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 jmbranum


4.45/5  rDev +20.6%

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.

07-23-2011 21:51:31 | More by jmbranum
Photo of sulldaddy


3.18/5  rDev -13.8%

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.

06-25-2011 04:25:49 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of birchstick


3.18/5  rDev -13.8%

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.

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


2.98/5  rDev -19.2%

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.

02-12-2011 23:16:20 | More by emmasdad
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 jmvecchio1


3.65/5  rDev -1.1%

The beer pours a deep rusty copper with a rocky white head. The head dissipates to leave a sticky lace on the sides of the glass. The smell of the beer is pure malty sweetness. The beer tastes of sweet roasty malts with a good balance of hop bitterness on the back end of the drink. The beer finishes relative clean, with just a slight malty sweetness. This is one of those great sessionable beers. Well worth picking up a six pack of.

01-26-2011 00:55:45 | More by jmvecchio1
Photo of nicdub


3.88/5  rDev +5.1%

A- dark amber in color, like coke with cherry in it. noticeable carbonation. 1 finger off-white head that quickly recedes. no lacing. translucent.

S - Biscuit malt, caramel, molasses, medium to rich on the nose

T - Biscuit malt again, not too robust, but just right. medium body. aftertaste is more of the original taste and the smell. a nice well balanced brew. masked hops and alcohol add depth.

M - Nice carbonation, medium body, not quite "fluffy" but well balanced nonetheless. Really crisp and smooth.

D - Not a true session beer for me. 3 would be about right. CAn't knock it too much though.

O- This is a nice fall/winter beer. I really like this and it would be good as a dinner pairing as well, with a burger or steak, or BBQ. A nice example of the "altbier" style.

01-17-2011 07:04:15 | More by nicdub
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 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
Ad Astra Ale from Free State Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.