Ambrosia | Half Acre Beer Company

37 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Half Acre Beer Company
Illinois, United States

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Ambrosia is an interesting beer, and we're pleased with the results. Citrus snap melding with Hibiscus sweetness and warm malt notes. 6% abv gives it backbone, but clearly sessionable.

Added by BeerLover99 on 03-16-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 37 | Ratings: 58
Photo of ommegoose
4.48/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler fill picked up earlier today, poured into a Samuel Smith's imperial pint glass.

This is a gorgeous looking beer. Big frothy head on top of a brilliant crimson body that turns toward orange as the glass tapers. Just the right amount of haze. Laces an even sheet around, and holds a cap of foam well.

What an aroma too. Very potent. The floral notes really pop. I'm not a member of FlowerAdvocate, so I'm having a hard time digging much deeper. I trust it's the hibiscus. Soft and like perfume. Citrus zest shows up too. A really raw sweetness is buried way down.

This is much less wheaty than I was expecting, in fact, I might not have even guessed if I didn't know. Floral flavors really dominate upfront, but sweetness is a bit or the low side, or at least matched by a bitter kick at the end, likely a blend of the orange peel and hops. Citrus finish (sharp grapefruit rind, tangy orange, even some lemon) lingers at the end with some spiciness. Herbal notes here too, like a strong tea. I don't think hops were an afterthought here; they add lots of complexity. I would not be surprised if the hop bill has a lot in common with the recently departed Callow Knife. This is bold for 6%. As a fan of sweet beers, I salivate at the idea of the maltiness here ratcheted up. I would kill for a big sticky imperial version of this. As is, I'd prefer a touch more sweetness. This is a minor quibble as complexity keeps coming with each sip. Toasty malt and peppery yeast. As it warms the yeast character comes through more and more, and makes me wonder what a Belgian version would be like.

Juicy. Light tingly carbonation, medium-full body.

There's basically too much going on here for this to be the kind of beer I would drink all night long, but it's so interesting that I'm sure to revisit it and make sure my friends get a try while it lasts. I honestly can't think of a comparable beer, and that's a great sign. Those who bash the American Pale Wheat Ale style need to reconsider. Then again, this maybe is entirely its own thing. And the more of this I drink the better it gets. I really hope this gets consideration for being an annual, if not a full-time brew. Up there with Big Hugs as the finest limited release from Half Acre to date.

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Photo of LacquerHead
4.24/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This had a really nice color. It was like a light colored chia tea with a little bit of haze.

The aroma was one of the best parts of this brew. It went through some subtle changes as it warmed up. At first it had citrus zest mixed with some herbal tones and a light candy-like touch. As it progressed the aroma began to move towards a toasty side. A little bit of a caramel emerged along with a dried flower scent.

The flavor was similar to the aroma, but with some slight differences. It was earthy in the sense that it reminded me of a garden. At first it had a lively orange citrus zest. It started off with a cranberry like tartness and dryness. This taste eventually gave way to a toasty flavor. The caramel and dried floral nature came through at the end.

Conclusion: If you can appreciate little subtleties then this will be a beer for you. The aroma and taste went through slight changes as it warmed up which kept things interesting. It had a zesty tartness in the beginning and finished with a slightly sweet dried floral flavor.

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Photo of codsmith
4.21/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Wonderful amber color with perfect and thin white foam head. The head retention is superb.

Smell - You can smell the sweet fruit and floral notes coming through, but not overly done and very clean smelling. I was expecting a little more nose, but it fits the taste profile perfectly

Taste - The sweetness from the Hibiscus mixes perfectly with the malt making for a great starting flavor. The taste is very similar to the smell until the finish when the bitterness of the hops comes through to finish it off, but not overly done... just the right amount and it doesn't linger.

Mouthfeel - medium to light body at the begging with a very smooth finish. Perfect carbonation. It thins out at the end to leave a perfect taste in your mouth

Overall - A very good beer! I better stock up while I have the chance

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Photo of uberez8
4.16/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Arrived at Half Acre on the first day of it's release and it was most definitely worth the trek from the suburbs. I was hoping to find a beer of theirs I'd like as much as their over ale and this is definitely on par, if not better.

A beautiful, light red body with a slight yellowish head about two fingers high when poured. It had a distinct floral smell that hit you before even sipping. The flavor itself, complex and more welcoming with each sip. The floral hints, acidic citruses and hibiscus flavors did not pop right away due to a slightly hoppy finish but became further pronounced the further in. An amazingly easy drinking beer with hilariously great label art to boot, this has the makings of a champ. I really hope this becomes a seasonal, if not year-round beer of Half Acre.

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Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.13/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a bright orange with a fluffy white head.

S: Orange and citrus with a hint of medicinal herbs.

T: Orange comes through here a lot. Wheat tang is subdued, but present. Hibiscus is present as well, but doesn't pop out too much. Finishes with a sweet tea aftertaste.

D: Very easy drinking and tasty. It's a great hot weather beer and goes down easy.

Overall: Interesting beer. The flavours blend well and it is very unique. It has a pleasant "citrus iced tea" character which does a lot to redeem its oddness. Overall, this is a great summer beer, but its bomber-only availability will keep me from purchasing more.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bright golden amber with lots of haze and cloudiness and some sediment gathering on the bottom. A very fluffy large head of white formed on the top and this gradually gave way to copious side glass lace. A great aroma hear, very light with lots of floral light hop[s in the back a really nice grassy and yeast like front to it. This translated over very well to the flavor. A very light floral and bright flavor dominated by grass like flavors, punctuated with peaches, and orange hop flavors

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Photo of GbVDave
4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my trusty Loterbol tulip.

A: Pours a gorgeous looking, ruby tinted deep orange. Sitting on top was two full fingers of off-white cream that displayed excellent retention. Thick curtains and rings of lace coated the entire inside of the glass. Carbonation was plentiful with many steady columns of bubbles feeding the healthy collar.

S: Right out of the bottle, this smelled heavily of mildly toasty wheat and tart citrus. When its' temp rose some subtle complexities began to emerge. A touch of clove, lemon rind, herbal hops, and perfumey dried wildflower that must be the hibiscus.

T: The taste mirrors the smell with maybe a bit more clove that lingers on through the finish.

M: Suprising grainy fullness that leads immediately into bright, tangy citrus and then dry/spicy/herbal floral notes. Peppery, yeasty finish is a nice counterpart to the tart-ish citrus.

O: A cool experiment where the earthy/spicy/herbal components aren't necessarily from the hops. Although, I'd love to see a dry hopped version of this some day...

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Photo of aasher
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a burnt orange with strawberry red highlights. It poured light but cloudy. It smelled of orange, spices, lemon zest, honey and some berry that I couldn't quite pick out. The flavors are a mix of wheaty yeastiness, orange, lemon, and strawberry. The sweetness is very subdued. It tastes good and has a light hoppy bitterness in the aftertaste, which is surprising. You don't get any of that in the nose. It drinks light and is pretty typical of a wheat. This beer could definitely be sessionable, you don't get any alcohol from it at all. To me, this is similar to Lost Coast's Great White (which I really like) but with a berry component and light hoppy aftertaste. It's a solid beer by Half Acre.

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Photo of CMB2012
3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle - grabbed out of the first case Binny's (Lakeview) got, before it got onto the shelf (in other words, pretty d**n fresh). Poured into open mouth wine glasses and shared with the girl.

A- Hazy orange/dark peach color, little white head that dissipates quick and leaves some lacing, not much of a beginning for a wheat beer, but I like the color.

S- Bright, crisp, orange and wheat, herbs, some banana, but not too complex.

T- Clean tasting. Wheaty, biscuity, fruity orange, melds into crisp hop ending that has a gentle bitter character. It takes a while for me to recognize the hibiscus, which attaches itself to the hops adding to the dry aspect of the beer and to the somewhat significant linger in aftertaste. Herbal and grassy.

M- Light, crisp, sparkling, a bit astringent (slightly negative, but OK).

O- I like it, it's refreshing, different, intriguing, possibly a bit too dry though. I would like a bit more juice overall. I will drink it again.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: semi-cloudy orange, hue of amber, beautiful 2 finger pillow top, gorgeous lacing encases the pint glass.

S: wheat, floral aroma (must be the hibiscus referred to in brewer's description), slight earthy pine

T: sweet floral, hint of orange, firm wheat body, slow bitter lingering

M: med/light body, slightly oily/sticky

D: I'm honored to be the 1st one in line filing up my growlers the day this beer dropped.

Nice fine wheat ale and perfect for the excellent 60 + Sunny weather here in Chicago. Hope this beer makes it as a sessional brew.

I could drink this all day cooking around the grill with family and friends.

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Photo of emerge077
3.91/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An aggressive pour straight down the middle generates three fingers width of fluffy white foam. The surface texture is creamy, and it coats the sides of the glass with intricate lacing. Color is an attractive dark copper orange shade. The clarity is somewhat sharp, though it's shot through with a wheaty haze.

Aroma is a bit phenolic and yeasty at first, seems a little "green" at first, fresh and raw. As it warms, after the second pour, the spicy sweet hibiscus surfaces. They had dried hibiscus at the brewery to smell, so that was good as a point of reference. It's subtle, though the orange isn't very apparent.

Wheat figures prominently in the flavor, forming the backbone, with some yeasty notes, and fruity ones in the back from the orange and hibiscus. Spicy, earthy, and lightly floral, not sweet in the least. Some complexity from the hops and hibiscus, but not much overall. Light feel, vaguely astringent at first, becoming supple and easy drinking after the first initial sips.

A simple session beer, tailor made for warm spring afternoons.

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Photo of 1noa
3.89/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On pour it is deep apricot in color and has hints of cinnamon and citrus aromas. Tops off with a nice head and evaporates into pronounced lace. Its immediate taste does not reflect the initial robust aromas, but it has a subtle, clean taste with a bite of hops at the end. Drinks very easy and crisp.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Pawola22 for sending this bottle my way.

The beer pours a hazy orange color with a white head. The aroma has a lot of wheat and orange citrus notes, with some additional floral notes which I assume are from the hibiscus. The flavor is more of the same. The floral and orange citrus notes go very well together, with the wheat backbone also adding a little flavor to the overall experience. The beer is very easy to drink. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of sidetracked
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, light amber orange-yellow. Lots of foamy tan head. Good retention with lots of lacing.

Smell is slightly sweet wheaty malt. Second pour has a stronger floral hibiscus aroma.

Taste upfront is slightly sweet bready malts with a little orange peel. Wheat, orange peel, and floral flavors at the finish. Lingering hibiscus floral flavor that seems quite unique for a wheat beer.

Light to medium body, slightly oily, moderate carbonation. Clean finish.

Really good take on a wheat beer. The orange and hibiscus make it unique and interesting. Easy to drink and sessionable with lots of flavor.


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Photo of homebrew311
3.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Couldn't pass this one up at the store- awesome label.

A: deep clear gold, white head with large bubbles, some lacing.

S: lemon, wheat, coriander, and orange peel all come through. The bready wheaat character is big and bold, the fruit and spices complement it nice.

T: fruity citrus flavors are in your face, predominately orange peel. Some bittering hops come through in the middle which balances nicely with the sweetness. The fruit character is a little over the top for my liking.

MF: light body, high carbonation

O: not a bad wheat beer. Ambrosia is a nice example of the style, but isn't quite as memorable as Little Sumpin Sumpin or Gumballhead.

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Photo of lm0406910
3.81/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this beer on the first nice summer day in Chicago

Appearance- hazy reddish copper color, with a nice thick 2 inch foam head.

Aroma - bready almost a fresh wheat baguette, citrus, floral bouquet

Taste - cararmel sweetness, followed by a mild orange flavor with hints of berry, there was also a hint of something earthy, could put my finger on it.

Mouthfeel - co2 present,medium bodied, a little chewy

Overall - A well rounded beer, nice summertime wheat, it left me wanting just a little more

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Buffalo Bills shaker pint glass.

Thanks to VDubb86 for sharing this bottle!

This bottle was cracked during the preparation of some pretty tasty rainbow trout. Props to the fishermen. It pours a lightly hazed blood orange topped by a finger of ecru foam. The nose comprises mandarin oranges, orange zest, blood orange, strawberry, sweet flowers, wheat, and something that approaches corn. Everything comes off pretty sweetly, like a sugary, fruity cereal or some kind of fruit sherbet. Pleasant all around. The taste holds notes of bitter orange peel, light orange zest, light lemon zest, and a spearing of that distinct flavor of chlorophyll. Things aren't as rich and entertaining as in the smell, but it's nowhere near bad. The body is a hefty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta dry finish. Overall, a pretty nice wheat beer, something good and enjoyable, though not necessarily eye-opening.

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Photo of BrewerB
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

MarkFy sent me this beer in a recent trade. Cheers and thanks, Mark!

Pouring into a Three Floyds pint glass. Semi-cloudy, medium orange in color with yellow highlights. Formed a tall, rocky off-white that's retaining well and leaving lacing on the glass.

Sweet orange rind along with a harder to identify floral presence dominate the nose on this brew.

Flavors include a mild toasty malt and a more prevalent orange rind. Moderate level of bitterness and a dry finish. Slight spiciness.

Medium-light bodied with a moderate level of carbonation.

Overall glad to have sampled this but nothing overly impressive. A well-made beer but not something I'd go out of my way for.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.66/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed a bottle of this at Lakeview Binny's - saved me a trip to the brewery which was nice considering the miserable cold weather in Chicago recently. Served appropriately in a Half Acre pint glass.

A - Pours with a finger-plus of faintly pink-tinged creamy foam that features excellent retention and eventually settles to a thick cap. Body is a hazy dark reddish-orange that actually displays some light purple glow to it. A few big stray bubbles are visible, and there's nice splotchy lacing.

S - Hibiscus tea, unmalted wheat, flowery and herbal, with a faint lemony citrus note. As it warms some malt sweetness of the treacle and honey variety emerges. I don't generally like this style, but this example at least shows an attempted a balanced beer and spice flavors.

T - Very yeast and wheat heavy, with mild citric bitterness in the finish. Hibiscus moves far to periphery, and this ends up tasting largely like a typical honey wheat ale.

M - Crisp, active carbonation that avoids being harsh. Medium, juicy body, with a light residual sticky finish. Quite good for the style.

D - It's an above-average wheat ale that in my opinion would be more drinkable without the hibiscus. Perhaps treat the next batch differently? I know we don't need more Gumballhead clones, but surely there's something else they can try. I had no problem with 22oz, but I won't be buying this one again.

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Photo of sholland119
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for Kegatron for this growler.

A-Clear amber pour with a large frothy off white head and no lacing.

S-Floral notes dominate with some citrus (tangerine and orange) as well. Some grainy wheat is detectable as well.

T-Rather sweet from the hibiscus, with some tangerine hoppiness and a grainy wheat base. Nice.

M-Light bodied with moderate carbonation.

O-A nice beer. Perhaps a bit too sweet, could use some additional hop bite. But still quite enjoyable.


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Photo of Kegatron
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a pint glass. Big thanks go to goodstrongbeer for hooking me up with yet another of these unique Half Acre releases.

Pours a deep hazed copper, with several foamy fingers of rich off-white head. This retains with a sudsy looking near finger, which soaps the sides of the glass with robust sticky lacing. The aroma is flowery and tangy in the nose, with the sweetness of the hibiscus and the crisp bready notes of the wheat giving this some snap in the nose. A touch of soft and ripe orange citrus hangs on the edges but the hibiscus really has a presence here.

The hibiscus also carries over to the taste, with an almost flowery sweetness to it but it doesn't seem to be as strong as it was in the aroma. This instead seems to be controlled by a combo of tangy wheat character and some tart lemon flavors. There is also a pithy bitterness to this that borderlines on almost veggie-like at times. The soft fruitiness of the oranges is present but I think that I would actually like to have had a little more of it. The finish here is dry and bitter. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a smooth easy crispness that keeps this gliding along nicely in the mouth and generally helps counter the richness of the flavors and the slight fullness of that 6% ABV.

Well this was certainly interesting, with the mix of flavors here coming on a little too strong at times yet this didn't have quite the definition to the flavors that would have made this really memorable. This was my first experience with hibiscus in beer and it was certainly unique. I'd like to ultimately see them continue to work with this one though.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass

This beer pours a hazy orange color topped by a very generous portion of white foam. The aromatics of it are rather interesting. There is the clear smell of orange zest, caramel and honey, and the strong aroma of what appears to be flowers and cut grass. I assume the later aroma to be the hibiscus. The taste however isn't all that great. It's got many great components, but in my opinion they don't really work all that well together. There is a strong taste of orange syrup accented by a light flowery honey flavor. The grassiness of the hibiscus and the hops really don't belong in the flavoring because it contrasts too strongly with the sweetness. The mouthfeel is still solid, the right high amount of carobonation. Overall this is drinkable, and not all that bad, I just think they really missed the mark as far as flavor combinations on this beer.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

Poured into a Homer Simpson weissbier glass. Pours a deep amber and orange hue with a huge fluffy light tan head that slowly drops, leaving some lacing behind.

Aromas of wheat and orange. And flowers. Check the label, hibiscus. Some phenols.

Flavors are...interesting. Orange peel, wheat, flowery, and a Captain Crunch sweetness (must be the label), with a firm bitterness. But not like a hop bitterness, a little astringent. Coppery. The more I sip this, the more it gives me an image of a bitter wit poured over Captain Crunch cereal. The finish is long with a coppery astringent bitterness. Freaky as all hell.

Mouthfeel is a light puckering bitterness, with a metallic tinge.

Overall a very interesting beer. Not sure if I would choose to drink it again. Could not session this, so will likely have to ding its overall rating.

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Photo of trappistlover
3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(I brought this to Dak’s Memorial Day tasting. Courtesy of jcnd9803!! Thanks jon!). Pours a hazy, light amber color with a thin head. Aroma has flowers, citrus and some cracker. Taste is semi-sweet with a bitter finish. Thin bodied with an oily texture. This one was a bit disappointing; I was expecting it to be sweeter with more floral and orange notes, but the bitterness overpowered the other flavors.

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Photo of Florida9
3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a cloudy orange amber. Darker than one would expect for the style (possibly a tinting from the hibiscus?). Forms a sizable off-white head that leaves lots of lacing. Good initial retention.

S: Faint. Sort of a blend of fruit cocktail, oranges, and grapes.

T: Lightly sweet wheat beer. Slightly spicy blend maltiness with a bitter orange pith finish. Some floral hibiscus notes as well, but the pithiness dominates.

M: Medium bodied, a bit heavier than would be expected, but not a heavy beer. Appropriate carbonation.

D: A decent beer. Drinkable. Tasty. Interesting. However, in the end, I'm not so sure this one worked out so well and I couldn't see wanting another.

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Ambrosia from Half Acre Beer Company
3.56 out of 5 based on 58 ratings.
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