Over Ale | Half Acre Beer Company

very good
139 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Over AleOver Ale

Brewed by:
Half Acre Beer Company
Illinois, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Originally brewed as an ESB, but is now brewed as an American Brown Ale.

Added by beerfairy on 02-18-2009

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 139 | Ratings: 402
Photo of Bennettrox
3.09/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Much thanks to Hawks10 for the can!

A - Dark brown, ruby hues, and a half finger almost soda like head.

S - After an aggressive pour I'm really not getting much from this. Somewhat nutty and roasted malts, but really lacking in this department.

T - Much better than the nose. Almonds, a little chocolate, roasted malts, and a little grainy.

M - Very easy to drink, one of it's best qualities.

O - I really enjoy drinking this brown ale but in the flavor profile, specifically the nose, I'm not getting much. Enjoyed this one but not something I'd seek again.

 564 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean amber-ish to brown color with a light tan head. In the aroma, sweet gingerbread like malt, some small hop presence in there too. In the taste, small orange citrus, mostly a lighter roast of grain and some gingerbread like malt. A small bite and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry grapefruity citrus in the aftertaste. At first I was like eh, but it grew on me. Nice mellow hops, quite enjoyable.

 427 characters

Photo of lstokes
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark brown with red undertones and a nice tan head, the nose is characterized by earthy malts with a little bit of--tea? It's weak overall. The taste is malt heavy, a little bit of smoke, a little bit of nutty character, some lemon/citrus hops. It's actually a surprisingly complex taste but I'm not sure how well it all fits together. Mouthfeel slightly watery, and so overall it's a good beer, but not a great one. Would stick with the other Half Acre offerings.

 473 characters

Photo of EricCioe
3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours medium brown with red peeking through held up to a light, a one finger cream head that dissipates, and only a hint of lace. On the nose there is a mix of caramel and roasted malts with a good dash of earthy hops. The piney hop presence is more like dead pine needles in the fall rather than resiny pine. In the mouth there is a good balance between the earthy hops, but perhaps the malts stick a bit too far forward and get a little too sticky to me. The body is medium, carbonation perfect for the style, and the finish is nicely medium length with the good balance lingering. Overall, this isn't my favorite brown ale, and certainly not my favorite from Half Acre, but if this is as bad as it gets for them then they've got a great brewery.

 753 characters

Photo of BasementBer
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A dark red to hazelnut color with little head retention and light on the carbonation.

S: Slight boozy smell but sweet and light hop notes.

T: A good bittering brown with that american touch. Roasted in the middle and a clean smooth finish.

M: Bittering on the tongue but not enough for the pockets, and the higher alcohol is detectable.

D: A good bitter brown, I like this.

 380 characters

Photo of JamnesCameron
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received from fear025 in my Birthday BIF box. Thanks, Jay!

Poured into a MJ tasting glass. Pours a dark brown, with garnet highlights. Big rocky, light tan head that really stays up. Lots of lacing evident.

Aromas of caramel malt, light toast, some earthy, piny hops. Light citrus rinds.

Flavors of light roasty graininess. Good balancing bitterness, from both hops and roasted grains. Piny hops flavors, but low bitterness. Finish is medium, with roasted grains dominating.

Mouthfeel is medium/light, with a light coating of bitterness. Good carbonation level.

Overall a very good sessionable beer. Nothing aggressive.

 624 characters

Photo of grover37
2.98/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

4 pack picked up from the brewery for $8.99 poured into a mug.

Appearance (3): Clear, ruby brown with two fingers of light cream head. Foam reduces to a patchy layer. Minimal lacing.

Smell (2.5): Grains and light milk chocolate.

Taste (3.5): Milky and light chocolate without much else going on. Very mellow with a bit of sweetness in the middle and a lingering chocolate and maybe pine. The aftertaste is the best part of this beer which doesn't have much else to offer.

Mouthfeel (3): Light to medium bodied and medium carbonation. Creamy but light mouthfeel with a bit of slickness.

Overall (2.5): Not much to it, and pretty watery. Surprisingly 6% as it tastes moe like 4%.

 687 characters

Photo of Mora2000
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Pawola22 for sharing this beer.

The beer pours a brownish-red color with a large, shaving cream like off-white head.

The aroma is a mix of toffee and quite a bit of hops, mainly grassy and piney.

The flavor is more complex. I get a lot of toffee and caramel malt, as well as some dry cocoa powder and some piney hops. The beer has a low amount of bitterness.

Medium mouthfeel and medium to high, prickly carbonation.

 434 characters

Photo of vande
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up 4 pack at the Binny's across from Goose Island down town on Clybourn..

A - A beautiful, rich looking brown that when poured into my special Sam Adam's class, left a 2 finger head floating...

S - A sweetness...hint of nut, more carmelly-malty on the nose.

T - Hops blended with the sweetness of a carmel...

M - thinner than what I thought... the appearance leads one to believe its a meatier brown, similar to a Sam Smith's... so the ligher-to-medium body is pretty easy to drink

O - Worth the buy. I've enjoyed pretty much whatever I've had from Half Acre and was happy to stumble across this one...

 615 characters

Photo of uberez8
4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After having this, I am positive this has to be my all time favorite American brown ale. Poured a perfect woody brown color with a 3 finger head, though slightly worried about the amount of carbonation. That fear was put to rest quickly after tasting it, it was just so exquisitely balanced. Starts off sweet and nutty with just a bit of a hoppy finish but the sweetness carries over in a nice, subtle way. The carbonation also gives a nice mothfeel, keeps it smooth and creamy but not overly bubbly. I will be back quite a bit for these 4 packs from Half Acre.

I know this might be crazy to say, but I think I enjoy it even more than Daisy Cutter. DEAL WITH IT.

 663 characters

Photo of OnThenIn
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A finger and a half of slightly tan head on top a super dark brown head.

S: the beer smells really sweet and nutty. Nice aroma.

T: really sweet nutty flavor with a bit of hop bitterness. The sweetness is through out the beer and even lingers on the tongue. Rather complex with a slight fruity flavor.

M: thin to medium body with perfect carbonation.

D: really solid and refreshing beer that I am truly enjoying.

 418 characters

Photo of tikibeer
3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep mahogany brown out of a 16oz can. Nice head that disappears quickly. Spotty lacing.

Aroma is a punch of nut and alcohol. The alcohol is strong on the nose and kind of burns your nose.

Taste is lots of strong nut and a hint of hops. Body is very light for a brown ale. Has a booziness to it that is warming.

Overall it is not a beer I would seek out again.

 371 characters

Photo of billab914
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16oz can into my Dogfish shaped pint glass. It poured a dark brown, almost approaching black color. It started with a foamy and sticky khaki colored head filling the top inch of the glass. After a minute or so it settled to a thin and spotty layer, but left some great lacing as I drank it.

The aroma shows some sweeter, caramel and toffee notes to it, with just a hint of some darker, roasty, coffee like flavors. I get some very nice and bright hoppiness to it as well with some lemon and grapefruit citrus peeking through. Very nice hoppy, brown ale aroma.

The taste starts off with some of the sweeter, malty, caramel and toffee flavors. The hops show up pretty soon after with some citrusy, juicy flavors. In the finish I get some bitterness with the hops mixing with a slight roasty, coffee like flavor.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall it was a very enjoyable brown ale, definitely hoppier then most, but it worked well for it. Very enjoyable and easy drinking beer, wit ha lot of flavor. Another very solid beer form Half Acre.

 1,094 characters

Photo of SpdKilz
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A big thanks to my buddy Kevin (kzoobrew) for this great beer. Cheers!

Appearance - Pours into my SA Perfect Pint with a light brown, amber color. Over a finger of off white head is achieved that dissipates slowly leaving nice lacing.

Smell - Toasted malts, nuttiness, caramel, slight hops.

Taste - Similar to the nose. A nice bitterness up front followed my roasted malts, caramel, and malt. Floral and grassy notes as well, with a hint of lemon zest.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, fizzy carbonation, finishes a hint dry.

Overall - Pretty good, easy to drink. Half Acre continues to impress.

 595 characters

Photo of nsmartell
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the bottle to a standard pint glass. (From my notes on 05-26-10.)

Appearance: Pours ruby red/brown with a big dirty white head that does not last.

Smell: Bread, malts and pine hops.

Taste: Similar to the aroma with the piney hops, but caramel now comes through.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, crisp with good carbonation on the tongue.

Drinkability: Good, would definitely recommend and drink again.

 464 characters

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.37/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From 16oz can to pint glass on 3/24/11

Cheers to cadaugherty for this one. Thanks, Chad!

A: Signifigantly more red-umber then your straight, by-the-book brown. It's dark, though fairly brilliant. A good pour yields a 1.25 finger head, and better lacing then I was expecting.

S: Nutty with a pinch of malt. Closing my eyes, it smells like an autumn afternoon by the fire pit, with the guys tossing the football in the yard.

T: Nice mild malt that lays down for the walnut and almond extract essence from the late fore to mid. It's all wrapped up with a faint kiss of hops at the finish.

M: It feels like an oil spill in my mouth. It's extremely slick, and quite a bit lighter then I would like. Fairly dissapointing.

O: For a brown, I can genuinely say I liked this one. Did I love It? No, but I'd certainly drink it again if offered. Half Acre's Over Ale is a good, everyday "drinking" beer. It's not overly complex, it's simply a nice can of suds.

 954 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to GbDave for providing this beer in a recent trade.

Pours from the can with a thick/creamy light tan head that shows excellent retention. The beer is a very dark amber color that is clear when held to the light. No carbonation is visible. I am easily able to coax the head to rise well above the top of the glass. Nice looking beer.

Aroma is of dark toasted malt with a thick sense of caramel and a touch of cinnamon.

Chocolate a very brief moment of cinnamon.. Lots of light nutty notes mix with the roasted malt flavor. I like the finish which blends all of these elements nicely. Only after you swallow the beer do you get a nice bready flavor mixed with the nut tones.

Medium body with a little heft to the body. Very light carbonation and mostly very smooth.

A good representation of a fresh Brown Ale. Nicely done by Half Acre. Good beer from a very good brewer.

 887 characters

Photo of GoldenJet
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

While I know it's blasphemous to say this, what with Surly being in my backyard and all, but fuck, sometimes I wish I lived in Chicago just so I cold drink Half-Acre beers ALL THE TIME.

Seriously, their beers never, ever, disappoint me - like this new canned offering of Over Ale. I mean really, how many people just craft good brown ales these days? This one is great - lots of bready notes, some toffee, and a ton of woody and 'nutty' flavors. I don't get the hop resins that some other people do, but I do get a great roasted maltiness throughout.

The best part though, is that I don't get that continuous bitterness that most Brown Ales seem to have, making this a dangerously sessionable beer.

And by dangerous, I mean I could drink pint after pint after pint.

 768 characters

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.59/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Can provided by bauermj. I love Half Acre's label art. I think they are bringing some of the coolest looking bottles and cans to the market right now.

A- This brown ale has wonderful color. Its a clear mahogany, very dark, toasted red. There is a super dense foam of a head with crazy lacing.

S- The aroma is very clean, which is a good thing. I like these smaller brown ales to be super clean. Light chocolate and floral hops. Some candied orange drifts faintly in the background. Toffee and caramel release with a touch of warmth.

T- Nice stuff, pretty clean with no off flavors. Everything seems to know its place. Toffee, milk chocolate and sweet and fruity ale yeast. Its all grounded by grassy and floral hops with a squeeze of lemon.

M- The carbonation is a bit too sharp but it washes everything away leaving a short, crisp finish.

D- Really good stuff. Easy as hell to drink.

 894 characters

Photo of wagenvolks
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to azaaron for an awesome extra! 16oz can into a Stella Artois goblet.

Over Ale pours with a burnt auburn-burgundy appearance. A splotchy custard head builds to a sizable half inch in height before slowly settling to a thick cap and draping nice webs of lace along the glass. Light aroma of English toffee and brown malt. Leathery shoe polish yeast esters and a hint of grassy, floral hops.

Thin, yet flavorful pale brown malts glide across the top of the palate and add notes of sweetbread and caramel. A tinge of piny hops, English yeast, and light booze esters ride out into the finish. Mouthfeel is appropriate for the style with a crisp carbonation level and medium-light body. Drinks easily and doesn't dry out the tongue too much. Over Ale: a sessionable, drinkable brown ale in a can. No frills, no shenanigans, just tasty beer.

 845 characters

Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance -- Pours a nutty brown hue with three fingers of creamy/sudsy beige head. Head retention is good, lacing is - for a brown - phenomenal. Very photogenic.

Smell -- Nutty malt, toast, floral and grassy hops. There's nothing off in the aroma, just vacuous.

Taste -- Base maltiness conjures roasted nuts and golden toast with gentle fruity esters and a mild Scottish-esque caramelization. As brown ales go, this is definitely hop-forward with spring flowers, prairie grasses, grapefruit pith, and a knife tip of pine resin. Upon first blush, it's very reminiscent of Surly Bender, though over time the hops become less omnipresent and toasted malt nuttiness takes the helm.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied with medium carbonation. Tows the line between creamy and harsh rather well.

Drinkability -- With Half Acre's third canning venture - but long-time growler staple - they once again show how a 16oz can should be purposed: a crisp, refreshing, and sessionable. The malting is very much in the vein of the traditional English Brown but with the hop character characterized by Daisy Cutter and Gossamer. I firmly believe this will soon become my go-to quencher for weekends on the town.

Suggestion: Be sure to buy two packs, as the first will disappear rather quickly.

 1,277 characters

Photo of homebrew311
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 16oz can into pint glass.

A: pours a deep dark clear brown with a generous fluffy 2 finger white head. Great retention and a ton of lacing.

S: lots of caramel malts with some roast character in there. A big dash of earthy hops in the back with an almost tea like quality. Notes of brown bread in there as well.

T: The front is all caramel and malt followed by an assertive hop profile. The tea like character comes out at the end along with bready notes. The finish is long and leaves the tast of bread crust on the palate. Interesting interpretation of a brown.

MF: light body, medium to high carbonation

D: this is a well balanced brown ale with lots of character. This is yet another example of Half Acre putting their own spin on a classic style. Not mind blowing by any means, but certainly worth a try...or a session.

 840 characters

Photo of LacquerHead
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up in the 16oz cans a few days ago.

It poured deep brown with an off white foamy head.

S: It had a light malty aroma along with some hops.

T: This had a good balance of malt and hops. The malts are in the forefront. They have a fairly roasted flavor, but on the caramel side. The hops occupy the background giving this a slightly bitter taste and a low level of dryness.

M/F: a little too carbonated for my taste. At times I thought it distracted from the flavor. Sometimes it felt a little thin.

D: easy to drink.

Conclusion: It was good, nothing aggressive. For the most part it was a tad above average for a brown ale. This had a rounded flavor that was enjoyable.

 690 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewery-fresh 16 oz. can, digging the new design, water tower, zeppelin, and classic blackletter type.

Attractive reddish chestnut color, bright clarity, visible carbonation trails rise upward. Drippy lace decorates the lip of the glass. Retention is great, as I left and came back for awhile and the foam remained unbroken.

Earthy malt aroma, bready, fairly clean and straightforward.

Malt forward flavors, again earthy and bready with some apple from the yeast. Some light toast and bitter tobacco. Residual hop bitterness in the aftertaste, fairly light. Bready and crisp like autumn leaves. Easygoing carbonation that lends a bit of bite, a fine local session ale.

 673 characters

Photo of rings
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Their flagship is their Over Ale, which is more or less a brown ale--they call it an American Bitter. It pours a deep amber or light brown in color, with a nice firm head. The beer is a little lighter in body than I expected, but is very clean, with a nice herbal head and spicy bittering finish. It's exceptionally balanced and surprisingly tasty, aside from my initial disappointment at the lack of mouthfeel.

I was actually pretty impressed and can definitely recommend another few rounds.

 493 characters

Over Ale from Half Acre Beer Company
3.83 out of 5 based on 402 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.