Halia | Goose Island Beer Co.

HaliaHalia
BA SCORE
93.3%
Liked This Beer
4.15 w/ 950 Ratings
HaliaHalia
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
gooseisland.com

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with the Saison and farmhouse ales of Belgium in mind, we added fresh Georgia peaches and Brettanomyces claussenii to a fresh white wine barrel and aged the Saison base for 9 months. Stretching the boundaries of the traditional style, we decided to put our own little spin on it.

Formerly known as Mae.

Added by sidetracked on 04-24-2011

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,550
Reviews:
150
Ratings:
950
Liked:
886
Avg:
4.15/5
pDev:
8.19%
Alströms:
-
 
 
Wants:
80
Gots:
229
Trade:
26
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 950 |  Reviews: 150
Photo of Sammy
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of jaydoc
3.79/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 8/9/13.

Pours a clear yellow with a foamy white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is slightly sour with malt, peach, funk, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour peach, funk, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and dry mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink, but I am not getting any barrel aged characteristics other than wood.

 591 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

easily one of goose islands best, halia is a wild belgian saison type aged in wine barrels with peaches. im guessing chardonnay barrels here, the acid is right on for that, as is the body infused into an otherwise rather light wheat based brew. great color, hazy burnt yellow color, shining bright brass when i hold it west towards a setting sun, crowned by just less than an inch of frosty white lace. the nose is peachy, awesomely so. a million peach beers taste fake or no fruit at all, this is right on, juicy and ripe, and the effervescent carbonation tickles my nose, a welcomed addition and improvement over some others in this series, wine tannins are there, white for sure, and the saison yeast and brett complex is remarkably more tart than anticipated. the flavor too has a great tartness to it, low on acid, but high in pucker. the peaches stay strong from the nose to the flavor too, especially in the finish when their sweetness and softness is front and center. wine barrel character is enormous, sharp but also mellow from the oak, a nice dichotomy of textures. finally, the proportionality of it all is what impresses me the most. not too much peach, not too little. dead on between wild ale yeast and saison or belgian yeast. not too much barrel, but certainly prominent time in them. a great balanced and interesting beer, that seems perfect for the first real warm night of the season. maybe overpriced, but i like this a whole lot, and appreciate the extra 15ml in these bottles, that last sip really is sweet!

 1,531 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of nmann08
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is hazy light yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that died down, leaving a patch of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge, and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of sourness from the brett are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste starts off sour but also has notes of whitesome hints of peaches.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I found this to be saison that is easy to drink and has lots of interesting complexities, neither of which are too strong.

 664 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

As Goose Island continues to up their game in the sour arena, this abhorrently priced American "wild" ale employs Georgia peaches as its Belgian lambic inspirations show true form despite its gross misrepresentation on the label- it vague "farmhouse" moniker indicates nothing about its sour underpinnings.

But Halia opens with a glowing pour of golden and canary hues. Despite its mild yeasty haze, the beer simply seems to light up right there in the glass. As a dainty and delicate lacy sheet rises to cap the beer, its foam structures dissolve into a simple collar about its edge. Random and spotty lacing temporarily hangs on the glass before collapsing back into the beer. Its a common appearance where the beer's head character has been compromised by by its own acidity.

Mouthwatering aromas of tart fruit, dry cider, light vinegar and must fills the nose with olfactory-piercing intensity. As any short-lived sweetness contributes only a dry whole wheat type of breadiness and "Sweetheart" candies. But soon its lemon, lime, white grape and white wine acidity wafts over the nose; carrying with it the scent of musty, dried fruit, sea air, and a glimpse of damp hay.

To taste, that thin sweetness and breadiness only gives a lift to the fruit- giving it a modest ripeness before it trails. In its absence, the acidity has full control from the middle palate onward: minerally white wine, dried limes, crab apples, earthy brine and mild apple cider vinegar. Its dry and acidic taste is clean, sharp and palate-stripping. It shies away from the richer and earthier "funk" flavors of traditional lambics in its preference of cleanness and crispness. Its dry fruit taste only reveals any notions of peach as the ale finishes and echoes of its Georgia fruit return in aftertaste, accompanied by wheat.

Dry from start to finish, its early carbonation carries away any sweetness with ease- leaving only acidity to scrub the palate late. Mild alcohol warmth is wrapped into the acids and light barrel tannin with soft spice and powdery oak to finish.

Halia is a wonderful sour ale but misses an opportunity to express more earthen character. Though I like its expressive and clean acidity, it seems overly simplified. It would certainly provide a perfect counterpart to rich french reductions in entrees.

 2,312 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.35/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

"Belgian style farmhouse ale." 7.50% ABV confirmed. Bottled 06 Aug 13. "0855." "Ale aged in wine barrels with peaches." Expectations are high given its $21ish price point. 765ml brown glass bottle with classy understated label art and orange foil-ed over branded pressure cap acquired at Argonaut Liquor and served into a slender stem-tulip in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, CO. 2013 vintage.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it pours.

Pours a four finger wide head of white colour. Somewhat thin. Lacking creaminess. Spotty lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is good - about 4 minutes.

Body colour is a slightly hazy yellow of average vibrance. Appears well-carbonated.

Overall, it looks okay for a saison and average for a wild ale. I'm not really sure what it is at this point. Not unique or special, but there are no egregious flaws.

Sm: Lemongrass, faint lemon peel, faint brettanomyces-induced funkiness, floral hop character, fruity hop character, a white wine tone, and peach fruits (along with accompanying esters). Light bready and biscuity malts. Some biscuity yeast character replete with vitamins. Some hay.

A clean fragrant pleasant aroma of moderate strength. I really wanted some tart fruit or sourness from this. There's none of the nuanced white pepper or milky notes you'd expect in a good saison, and none of the notes you'd want in a sour.

No alcohol presence is noticeable.

T: Floral and fruity hop character. A backgrounded white wine tone is present and adds little; it doesn't even guide the beer or lend much cohesion, but rather distracts. Faint hay. Golden malts. Some biscuity and lightly funky brettanomyces yeast. No real sourness or tartness at all. Light peach fruit; it's not particularly evocative - it isn't juicy orchard fruit or anything. Has an unwelcome kiss of lychee. Sadly, there aren't any real barrel notes at all - no rich oak wood or anything.

Decently balanced, but certainly not gestalt. Fair complexity and decent subtlety. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour.

If they were shooting for a saison, they flat out missed the requisite subtlety, intricacy, and nuance. There's no white pepper, spice, or milky notes here at all. If they were shooting for a wild ale, they flat out missed the requisite sourness and the beneficial tart fruit.

Even the highlights here - the peach fruit and the brettanomyces yeast - feel like wasted potential. Subdued for a saison.

No alcohol comes through.

Mf: Lightly coarse - unnecessarily so. Wet. Somewhat refreshing. A bit overcarbonated. Decent body and thickness. There's nothing terrible here, but it just doesn't complement the flavour profile as well as it ought to. Gets the job done, but it doesn't feel custom-tailored specifically to the taste. Fair presence on the palate.

Not oily, harsh, astringent, gushed, hot, scratchy, or boozy.

I'd like the mouthfeel to be dry, juicy, and vaguely refreshing like an orchard fruit, but it falls well short.

Dr: Certainly drinkable, but at this price point it just isn't worth it. Frankly, the wine barrel aging isn't helping the base beer at all, and I figure that's probably what drove the price up in the first place. This is disappointing work from Goose Island, but only because it's priced unreasonably. It'd be fine at $8.99. It drinks like a good-but-not-great saison. Hides its ABV well. The peach notes in particular were disappointingly reticent. I'll easily kill this bottle alone, but I definitely wouldn't get it again, nor would I recommend it to friends.

B-

 3,775 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015: 4.25 Draft version is awesome. Oaky vanilla, ripe peaches, moderate sourness. Don't age this.

2013 vintage:
Revisiting this one, found a place selling it for $18 and remembered I liked it.
Bottled Aug 6, 2013, so almost a year old at this point.

Looks and smells the same as the 2012 test batch described below. Not a hugely fruity nose or taste, but it's definitely a sour peach wild ale, not at all muddled, the peach still comes through. After almost a year in the bottle though it seems to have thinned out and attenuated a bit, very dry and very carbonated. Flavor still has plenty of peachy acid and peach pit tannins. Still quite good, but not really worth the high price tag.

01-07-2012
appearance 4, smell 4.50, taste 4, mouthfeel 4, overall 4.50

Unlabeled, purple-waxed 22 oz. bottle, huge thanks to Dave & company for sharing this on the brewdeck at Fulton. Second time trying this, first time taking any notes on it.

Pours a lightly hazed gold, with rapidly streaming carbonation. Frothy white foam laces a little bit around the edges into a spotty sea foam pattern. Plenty of carbonation visible through the side of the glass.

Softly funky aroma of wild yeast, reminds me of Upland lambics right away. Lacto and mild Brett, minerals and damp hay, some soft peach fruitiness bleeds through behind it.

Tart and crisp with zesty carbonation, it has a certain depth to it, and not just a one-note sour ale. Peach pit with bits of clinging flesh, wild yeast elements, light acidity. A touch more oak presence in here would be nice. Crisp with a pleasant dry finish that triggers the salivary glands. Light bodied and refreshing. It would be easy to finish a bottle solo, hope they release this eventually.

 1,733 characters

Photo of oline73
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of largadeer
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

765 ml bottle into tulip, bottled on 8/12/2013. Pours moderately hazy bright golden amber color with a 2 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big tart peach, pineapple, lemon, pear, apple, white wine, clove, pepper, hay, straw, grass, musty funk, wheat, cracker, bread, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of peach, yeast, brett, and moderate malt notes; with great strength. Taste of tart peach, pineapple, lemon, pear, apple, white wine, clove, pepper, hay, straw, grass, musty funk, wheat, cracker, bread, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Fair amount of earthy tartness/spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of tart peach, pineapple, lemon, pear, apple, white wine, clove, pepper, hay, straw, grass, musty funk, wheat, cracker, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity of tart peach, yeast, brett, and moderate malt flavors; with a great fruity/spicy yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome brett fruited saison. All around great complexity and balance of peach, yeast, brett, and moderate malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,545 characters

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Halia from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 93.3% out of 100 with 950 ratings
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