Thunder And Son Brown Ale | Half Acre Beer Company

very good
78 Ratings
no score
Send samples
Thunder And Son Brown AleThunder And Son Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Half Acre Beer Company
Illinois, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.60%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Big, bold, brown, beer. A real hoss great for winter warming and time in your cellar.

Added by emerge077 on 11-13-2010

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 78 |  Reviews: 42
Photo of davidbowers13
5/5  rDev +30.9%

Photo of StoneTSR
4.66/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: Deep, dark brown, almost black. Had the appearance of a stout or porter, and in fact, the first time I had the Thunder and Son on tap, I just assumed it was. It was not until I went to Half Acre to buy a bottle that I realized it was actually a brown ale. Continuing with the porter-like look, the head was thin and quickly dissipating and some pretty and wispy arches laced the glass, particularly at the top.

SMELL: Very impressive and strong. The aroma was intense and very straight forward - toasted, smoky malt. Strong in every sense of the word, not just intensity, but quality as well. Great nose.

TASTE: Sweet, delicious, malty and chocolate-like. This is a fantastic dessert beer that will satisfy a craving for sweet, but stay balanced enough to please any serious beer drinker. I hate to put it this way, but it is not a "girly" sweet, it still has a nice, although mildly bitter aftertaste and undertone. Amazing flavor.

MOUTHFEEL: Oily and smooth, but after letting it sit on my tongue for a moment in order to soak in some more of the flavor, it developed a touch of a sparkling bite.

DRINKABILITY: Wow. Very impressive. Sweet, smooth and ridiculously tasty. I'm not a huge fan of brown ales, but this is motivating me to try some more imperial browns. At 12% the Thunder and Son is dangerously easy to send down the hatch. By far, Half Acre's finest effort and rivals Bourbon County as one of Chicago's best beers.

 1,446 characters

Photo of GbVDave
4.52/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into three imperial pints. Thanks to stevepens for supplying the beer and again to steve and HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a deep, chocolate-y, chestnut-brown. Pretty solid, color-wise, with the barest hint of lighter brown at the edges. Capped with a short lived, yet creamy, light khaki colored head that only left a tiny scattering of lace behind.

S: Whoa! Huge and rich malt aroma. Loads of chocolate, roast, toasted nuts, caramel, and toffee.

T: Exactly as above with the addition of some brown sugar and/or molassas and maybe a touch of bruised plums and wood.

M: Velvety smooth. Extremely well hidden alcohol content that pops up only as we reached the end of our glasses. Deceptively smooth and creamy.

D: One of the easist drinking big beers that I can remember having...and it's not a palate wrecker. Incredible beer! Awesome job, guys.

 884 characters

Photo of Jordanmtate
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

Photo of 2BDChicago
4.47/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I always want to root for the home team. but that's not why I love this brew. HA mostly made great brews, but a few specialties were clunkers. This Thunder is awesome and deserves to be a regular in the line-up.

A: Beautiful clear, dark mahagony appearance.

S: Aroma is enticing to me because of the high Centennial hops (I believe) aroma. Then followed by molasses, some dark fruits, and a little nutiness.

T: Perfect blend of dark malt, citrus hops, dark sugars, and a tad of alcohol fire.

D: It's a big abv, but surprisingly drinkable. I really like this brew, but the label of Brown Ale threw me off for a moment. I like it to the point that I hope HA put into a seasonal rotation.

 690 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Decided to open this one up last night and I will admit it kicked my but! Served cold and into a pint glass this was consumed on 12/20.

The pour was a deep, dark brown with a huge head of creamy tan lacing that really started to shine as it built up. Aroma is heavy, lots of caramel, brown sugar, hints of bourbon? Hmm. Vanilla and cocoa coming through now, really just very, very well done. Creamy and smooth with a deceptive ABV, this came across amazing IMO.

Overall a really good offering that was a pleasure to enjoy, would do it again any day

 550 characters

Photo of cadaugherty
4.41/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Alright I will finally write a review after resisting the temptation for quite a while.

Appearance- Dark, Rich, Chocolaty Brown with tinges of red around the edges when held to the light.

Aroma- Roasty malt character with a light touch of hops. Not my favorite Brown as far as aroma but it is certainly more than adequate for the style.

Taste- Very rich (I hate to keep using that word but it really applies) and deep malt taste, about as good as I have had from a brown ale. A slight bitter aftertaste that is quite pleasant but I am afraid will fade as this ages. There is also a slightly oaky taste that is truly surprising there was no oak aging with this beer.

Mouthfeel- Keep this one simple, such a full mouth coating of delicious rich malty goodness. The mouthfeel is beyond reproach!

Drinkability- Let's be real this is a 12.0% abv dark beer, it is not what I would call super easy drinking sessionable, but I doubt that is the point they are going for. To be fair though the alcohol is remarkably well hidden and I could easily see drinking a bomber of this by myself.

This beer is good now and I imagine will be even better after sitting in my cellar for 6-12 more months. We should all just be thankful that Half Acre is still relatively under the radar and their special releases are still easy to get.

 1,321 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Joe for splitting this brewery-fresh bomber.

Deep mahoghany color that glints scarlet in the light, sharp clarity also. Long lasting tan foam, creamy texture, a drippy ring of lacing along the opposite side.

Heavenly fruity hop nose, cantaloupe and tangerine citrus. Estery yeast notes, with the slightest hint of toasty malt underneath.

Balanced sweet and bitter elements, a really nice hop profile. Extra fruity with a huge malty body. Rich toffee flavors, yet its light bodied. The fruity hop notes of cantaloupe and citrus are really pleasant, aging this would only mute those flavors. Drink fresh to experience the full spectrum of hops being showcased...

Another creative coup by Half Acre.

 711 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark chocolate brown with reddish brown highlights that had a half finger of head and left good bubbly lacing sticking to the glass. The aroma was really appealing consisting of some sweet chocolatey malts, roastiness, caramel, fruit that I can't quite put my finger on, and hints of smokey nutty caramel notes. The fruits in the aroma seemed to be raisin plum like alongside the dominating roasty chocolate flavor but did have caramel, smokey, toffee, and nutty accents with a touch of booze on the backend that was nice and subtle. The brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a roasty, smokey, sweet, slight boozy, but silky creamy finish. It drank really good and was very tasty glad I had the opportunity to try this one. Good lookin out Drew.

 784 characters

Photo of ChrisPro
4.31/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted blind as part of Blind BIF #4

Blind Beer #9 from Khazadum

22 oz. bottle shared on Friday with a couple buddies during some March Madness. Go Bucks!

The underlined word "thunder" on the blind wrapping gave a hint as well as the recent Half Acre brews I had, which is why I decided to share 3 ways.

The first whiff as I opened the cap made me think english barleywine with a huge malt bill.

Pours an opaue brown with a solid 3 finger head that cratered my glass. Some lacing as we drank.

Nose was incredibly complex! We got big caramel and molasses notes as well as some roasted nut and dark coffee. No hops anywhere.

Taste was just amazing. The best way to describe is this: Take a fresh baked biscuit from the oven, top with butter, a huge dollop of dark caramel and a dab of molasses. Then, after you take a bit, take a sip of espresso. That's what Thunder and Sons tastes like.

Very full bodied and light carbonation, despite the monster head. Quite appropriate for the style. Had some interesting butter feeling, but also as it warmed, I picked up a dryness that almost tastes like licking wood, though I don't think this is oak aged at all.

The beer was way more drinkable than I expected. I had purchased a Thunder and Sons when it first came out, but the early reviews all said it was too hot. That no longer holds true. The beer is drinking fantastically well right now and felty like 8% tops. Went down way too easily.

Reveal: Half Acre Thunder and Son

 1,478 characters

Photo of gmendez1122
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of MarkFy
4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz. bottle.

A: dark brown, very thin light brown head that disappears quickly.

S: oak, malt, wood, hint of coffee

T: sweet caramel, rich oak flavor with a touch of vanilla and a ever so slight bitter finish.

M: very smooth, almost velvet like, nice balance of carbonation

D: Although it is 12% and fresh, it's not quite as hot as I expected, but you can still tell it is there. Very easy to drink, sweetness is almost too much but it balances out as the beer warms a bit.

Overall, one of HA's finest darker beers to date. Picked up several bombers to drink and age.

 587 characters

Photo of ravot
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of otrejo
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of mikereaser
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was reviewed blind as part of a blind beer bif #3

Bottle #7 poured into my Bavarian Barbarian pint glass

A - Pours a deep chestnut brown with an inch of tan foam that left some decent lacing
S - im picking up a nice brown sugar and roasted malt aroma, a little bit of citrus as well, as it warms i get some chocolate and a bit of bourbon.
T - roasted coffee, creamy vanilla, cocoa
M - smooth and creamy mouthfeel, med-heavy bodied, light carbonation
D - very enjoyable and easy to drink, very creamy
I'm thinking maybe an oatmeal stout

Half Acre Thunder & Son Brown Ale
wow, a 12% brown ale. I really liked this. I can't believe this is 12%. You don't get that at all. Very nice indeed

 698 characters

Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark Reddish Brown with a finger of Tan head which faded quickly. Head is a 50/50 mixture of large and small bubbles with light lacing on the glass.

S - Smells of Milk Chocolate, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Minerals, Dried Dates and Molasses.

T - Tastes of Chocolate, Vanilla, Cola, Dried Dark Fruit and Alcohol.

M - It is a little bit sweeter than I would have expected but it actually helps.

D - I don't think I drink a whole lot of these but I would like to get more. The Alcohol is very well hidden and in a dangerous way. I didn't even know it was 12% until I happen to look at the style and saw the ABV right below it.

This is more of an aperitif or desert beer than a normal Brown to have with dinner. This is a perfect candidate for barrel aging.

 757 characters

Photo of jhoban19
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle, bought fresh from the brewery, poured into my favorite personalized chalice (10oz at a time).

A: Thunder and Son pours a deep, dark brown with reddish streaks when held to the light. a finger of dense, light brown foam settles quickly into the beer, leaving a good amount of spotted lacing around the glass.

S: initial aromas are strong- dark chocolate, lightly roasted coffee and caramel. The roasted coffee aroma fades quickly, leaving loads of caramel and subtle hints of dark fruits. As it warms, the alcohol making up the 12% abv starts to show itself. At one point I also pick up fleeting notes of nutmeg.

T: the caramel is definitely the dominant flavor in this one. Roasted malt and nutty notes work well to balance out the sweetness, but the sweet caramel flavors stand head and shoulders above the rest.

M: Full bodied and creamy, with a strong roasty, and slightly bitter, aftertaste. That hint of bitterness perfectly balances out the sweet malts.

D: Thunder and Son is way too drinkable for a 12% abv brew. Of course, I'm not all the way through the bomber as I write this so I might change my tune by the time I pour glass #3! It's so full bodied I've had to take a few sips of water to clear the palate, but that's not a bad thing. Anyway, another top-notch offering from Half Acre.

 1,316 characters

Photo of panicspread33
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look-a dark chocolate brown very slight amber hazy in the light

smell-rich smoky malt with a touch of woody earthness

taste-smooth rich oak with a splash of vanilla and a nice caramel sweetness in the back . A little hot but very fresh still.

Mouthfeel-nice carbonation with a silky texture,like the velvet feel in a porter

Overall-can't wait to age one and see what happens. Will be great with this horrible chi town winter!!

 430 characters

Photo of GoldenJet
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So far I've been impressed with almost everything Half Acre does, and Thunder and Son is no exception.

While I was a little apprehensive about a Brown Ale, as it's not really my favorite style, the nose slowly put that apprehension to rest, with big hop aromas and tons of nuttiness! Something sweet there too, but not sure what it was.

The taste though, is where it's at - tons of caramel, chocolate, and nuts, and a sweet molasses-thing going on. Honestly, if you told me this was a Brown Ale, I'd be hard-pressed to believe you - the creamy chocolate and booziness (it is 12% after all) really took over.

Might not be for everyone, but I really think this is a stellar beer.

 680 characters

Photo of paco1029384756
4.01/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown color with a large tan head with some strong retention.

Scent of brown sugar, caramel, earth, roasted malts, leafy hops, and a bit of alcohol. A good scent, but something about it seems a bit off.

Taste of rich chocolate, caramel, earth, brown sugar, sweet hops, a hint of coffee and a bit of warming alcohol in the finish. This is a tasty beer and I think that some age will be very kind to it.

Mouthfeel is heavy and oily with a mild presence of carbonation.

 482 characters

Photo of 77apm
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Pawola22 for sending this bottle to me.

The beer pours a brown color with red highlights and a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the chocolate with some alcohol and caramel notes. Smells like an alcoholic brown ale.

The flavor is more of the same. I get a lot of chocolate and roasted malt. There are also some toffee notes in the flavor. When drinking you can tell that the beer is 12 percent ABV.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 451 characters

Photo of ChainChompsky
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Pellinore1
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +4.7%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Thunder And Son Brown Ale from Half Acre Beer Company
3.82 out of 5 based on 78 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.