Shrub Tundra | Half Acre Beer Company

very good
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Shrub TundraShrub Tundra

Brewed by:
Half Acre Beer Company
Illinois, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by MasterSki on 11-06-2013

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Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 95
Photo of jzlyo
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is nutty malts, coffee/chocolate and mild toffee/caramel. The flavor is nutty malts, fruit/mild dark fruit, coffee/chocolate and a mildly sweet finish.

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Photo of laketang
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

pours out brown with a red hue
when held up to the light
puffy tan head
very deep in color but not murky
good roasted malt smells,yeasty bread dough
tastes of :
caramelized sugar atop flan, toffee, some nuttiness,
nice caramel tones, roasted coffee, peanut brittle
medium chewy mouthfeel
tangy tingle on the tongue

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle, no perceivable bottled on date. present. Acquired the bomber from the local beer shop. My first big bottle from Half Acre, looks very Three Floyds-ish, everything from the bottlecap, artwork, & font screams Three Floyds worship. "Coffee Brown Ale". Bottle lists a 6.30% abv.

Poured into a Duvel tulip snifter.

A - A deep dark brown-black pour, just a few shades away from opaque, with some light showing brown near the surface. Finger of frothy tan head falls to a thick soapy ring, leaving minor scattered fluffy lacing. Appears well carbonated. Looks decent for what it identifies as.

S - Aroma doesn't exactly scream coffee, nor 'brown ale' for that matter - comes off more like a lightly robust porter. Coffee is in there, but not my first impression - notes of milk cream, & notes of charred / burnt chocolate malts. Only very slight nuttiness. Prominent notes of burnt / charred malt.

T - Taste follows the nose: definitely comes off as more of a porter than a brown ale. Coffee content is faint at best: notes of roast, dark burnt chocolate malt, cream, oats. Not particularly nutty or yeasty in any way, no notes of freshly grinded African / exotic coffee varietals. Subtle notes of dark fruit do appear (plum, fig, dates), along with subtle notes of herbal hops. Prominent roasty dark malt bitterness. Decent depth and duration of flavor, but somewhat disappointing for a "coffee brown ale".

M - Feel is smooth & creamy, with crisp, appropriate levels of carb. Very bitter & roasty on the finish, but more in the sense of malts than any coffee.

Overall, i was a bit let down - comes off as more of a porter than it does a brown ale, with very little actual coffee bean coming through.

Half Acre Shrub Tundra -----3.5/5

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Photo of Kgoldsbe
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This brown has a rich roasted coffee flavor and aroma. On the front is a very pleasing nutty malt and it finishes with a touch of bitter black coffee. The medium body of of this ale make it go down quick and not be too filling.

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Photo of FBarber
3.74/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a reddish clear brown, thin off white head that quickly dissipates. Some spotty foam sticks around on the top.

Smell has aromas of brewed coffee, coffee grounds, some caramel like malts and a bit of alcohol.

Taste is brewed coffee upfront giving way to some nice sweet caramel, malts and unroasted coffee taste. Bitterness on the finish that might come from the malts but to me taste like a bitter astringent coffee. Aftertaste is a pleasant sweet caramel coffee flavor.

Feel is a bit thin, even for a brown ale. Drinks like cold brewed coffee. Medium carbonation tingles the tongue on first sip.

Overall a decent brown ale. Drawbacks are the thinness, sweetness, and rather bitter stringent coffee flavor. However its decent and very drinkable.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark opaque brown, thick toffee colored lacing.

S - Earthy with a dark coffee roast aroma.

T - Follows the nose with earthy, nutty, roasted malt and some bitter coffee on the back end.

M - Big medium body with a somewhat velvety mouth feel.

O - Solid brown ale.

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Photo of Damayor
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On nitro at The Bavarian Lodge in Lisle. Great nose with coffee & malt. Those also come through on the taste which being on nitro was insanely smooth. Great balance with the perfect balance of coffee to malt. Outstanding and well worth seeking out.

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Photo of Ednelling
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had a pint of this on tap at my local establishment. Good representation of style.

Aroma: roasted malt, with notes of chocolate and caramel; coffee presence was faint, but detectable; no hops or fruity esters

Appearance: dark brown in color; very hazy, almost opaque; very low, fine tan head

Flavor: roasted malt dominates; similar to aroma, notes of chocolate, caramel, and coffee; no hops; finish is slightly dry

Mouthfeel: medium body; moderately high carbonation; slight creaminess and faint alcoholic warmth

Overall: very smooth and drinkable brown ale. I was expecting a slightly higher coffee presence, but the notes were there. I recommend it.

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Photo of joe1510
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber
Binny's - Willowbrook

Shrub Tundra is a coffee tinged beverine. Coffee black. Chestnut highlights run the edges of the glass with a faint ruby hue when backlit. The foam took a second t materialize but when it did it showed the cascade effect of nitro. As a matter of fact, as the khaki head settles it shows that amazing creaminess of a nitro pour. Lacing clings to the glass in waves. It's a great looking beer.

The nose has a nice roast of the bat, soft but certainly there. Robust bready malts lay underneath the roast while way in the back a tendril of smoke rises. A mild pine needle hoppiness adds some depth and an earthy character. A touch of cream and pecan pith play in the middle while the coffee evens out the beer as a whole. The coffee is very well integrated instead of hitting you over the head. I like that for a change of pace. Good balance.

The flavor profile follows the nose fairly closely. It's big and bready off the bat, brown bread, with a softly roasty kicker. That well integrated coffee I mentioned earlier pops up mid palate and with it comes the nuttiness and a dash of cream. A mild earthy, pine needle hoppiness rounds it all out on the swallow. It's a complex, well crafted brown ale.

The body has a good viscosity. The weight sitting above moderate with a mouthfeel that's pure velvet. It's a luxurious feeling beer to say the least, rich and plush. A soft roasty and hoppy bitterness remains after each drink. This beer goes down like a champ.

What we have here is a nicely complex, rich, robust brown ale that's pure luxury on the tongue. Shrub Tundra is a good beer from the folks at Half Acre. It's good to see it finally bottled. Pick it up if you see it, I'm sure you will be a fan.

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Photo of Qbdoo
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark nut brown with a thick creamy head. Aroma is caramel, nuts, and toffee, with only hints of coffee and you have to be looking for it. The taste is similar but more complex and powerful than many brown ales which I find way too understated. The coffee adds just a touch of flavor to the malts. Texture is light and creamy. I don't drink brown ales much but this is the best I've had.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted in a 12 oz snifter from draught at Firkin on February 5, 2016. Look is brown with a thick tan head and lingering lacing. Smell is roasted malt.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sprawler Series bottle. Pours a cola brown with some red tinges. Couple inches of head that turns to some sticky lacing. Smell is nutty (walnuts, pecans), toffee, lots of coffee (a sort of traditional medium roast Indonesian or Columbian flavor profile, earthy, lower acidity). Any darker roasted coffee would have dominated as would something from a high elevation that's packed with fruit flavors, citrus, and acidity. Flavor brings in subtle dark fruit, hint of chocolate, but the roasted malt is the backbone. Medium body, finishes dry. Incredibly well done brown.

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Photo of kevanb
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

650ml bottle, Sprawler Series bottle, poured into a Half Acre willibecher glass.

The beer pours a dark cola brown color, not quite black but a nice deep brown, burgundy hues with a thick, khaki head, about 2 fingers high that has decent retention and leaves light spotted lace behind. The aroma is great, loads of rich coffee, mild roast, light acidity, a bit of toffee, big rich grains, a touch of chocolate, nougat and stone fruits. The flavors echo the nose, loads of coffee, rich with a light roastiness, fruity acidity, caramel, brown sugar, nougat, toffee, dark malted barley with a linger of pitted fruits. The mouthfeel is nice, quite carbonated, but still fairly gentle, coats well enough, lively zip at the finish that is a bit dry.

Verdict: A nice brown ale from Half Acre that really emphasizes the coffee. That being said, the bean chosen was a smart one, not overpowering, lightly acidic that really highlights all the richness of the brown ale base, nicely balanced and very enjoyable.

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Photo of BNLTandem
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Brown (surprise), dark, not at all cloudy. Light almond colored head. Poured from a 3 day old growler, the carbonation was still very intact.

Smell: Rich malt and coffee aromas. Very minimal hops on the nose.

Taste: True to the nose, this brew tastes of very good coffee, a tiny bit sweet or maybe its just the richness and the malt. Minimal bittering hops and I really no hoppy flavor. True to the style except for the VERY welcome addition of the coffee. I really like this beer!

Feel: This has a thinner than expected feel which is probably accurate for the style, but with all that great maltiness and coffee flavor a little bit of (more?) oats or something to add some mouth feel.

Overall: Wow. Very impressed with this brown ale. A really nice change from big thick coffee stouts, but will h lots of the great features of that style. I can't wait to try this fresh from the tap!

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.51/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

this could very easily be the best brown ale i have ever had, and i mean that. use of local coffee in heavy dose makes this a one of a kind beer. almost no bitterness to the smell or taste of this very very dark brown, eggshell luster brew with a tall tan head. lots of highlights in the aroma from old leather to sweet vanilla bean to dried blueberry to espresso crema to belgian chocolate to paper ash. its a complex but totally cohesive aroma, and the coffee is like nothing else, it has a richness in the taste, like coffee ice cream, although i dont think there is milk sugar in this beer. the brewer said it isnt cold pressed coffee either, so i am amazed at the low acidity of this beer, its easy down and palate coating and never once gets weird in the belly. a wonderful winter beer and a wonderful morning drink. i get a puffy flavor and feel in here too, expansive for its abv, like a coffee marshmallow is the best way i can describe it. the coffee flavor is so different and high end and complete, i just want more and more of this as i flesh out this review. im not sure ive had a coffee beer i enjoyed more than this one. i wish this was available in the colorado market, this has gold medal written all over it, and is the best beer i have had from half acre as well. truly incredible example of the style.

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Photo of blankenhoney
4.01/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed a growler of this filled two days ago from a regular ole pint glass

A: Pours dark brown with a foamy, light beige head

S: Nice mix of roasted coffee beans and sweet, almost carmel-y and cola-like roasted malt.

T: Rich, bitter coffee with a very mild, chocolate-y sweetness in the background. Deliciously coffee-forward, with the sweetness held in check and playing a nice supporting role.

M: Very light, which might feel strange for a beer with such strong coffee and chocolate flavors. But it's perfect for the brown ale style, and the beer is extremely crushable.

O: A fantastic, coffee-forward brown ale. I love coffee-forward beers that aren't overwhelmingly sweet, and this beer is just that. Really enjoyed how flavorful and drinkable this one was; dat mouthfeel and dat flavor working seamlessly together.

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Photo of EinSteinBitte
4.99/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drinking from a 3 day old Howler. Coffee is pronounced but not overpowering. This is a clean Brown that keeps your attention. The body is light enough to drink it fast but I'm taking my time. This is one that I definetly recommend you try and I would surely visit again.

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Shrub Tundra from Half Acre Beer Company
4.1 out of 5 based on 95 ratings.
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