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 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 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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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 AgentZero
3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Really dark for a wheat ale, particularly one called pail. Big, frothy white head with good retention that left the sides of the glas clean.

S - Nice wheat qualities, the hibiscus comes through quite well and smells a bit like tea. Citrus comes through from the orange peel, got a lot of character going on for a wheat ale.

T - Tastes like a wheat beer with a bit of stuff going on. Flowers, tea, hibiscus, all mixed together. Some orange mixed in. It's got some pop for a wheat beer, given the spice and tea notes, but it's not particularly great. Experiment that wasn't great, but not a failure.

M - Crisp, fairly clean, good carbonation.

O - An interesting beer, but not a great one. Easy to drink, might be better on a nice summer day with some food.

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Photo of jrallen34
3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Growler provided by AZ, drank from my Narke glass... This pours a very dark orange, too dark for me. A bright off white head, thick ring and a thin cap, good retention... The aroma is very strong and not appealing, tons of tea, very herbal. On the back of the finish you finally detect a bit of orange and wheat. Blah... The taste is equally blah, just don't find this appealing at all. Stale wheat, very herbal hibiscus, fruity, and alcohol. Not a fan of this at all.

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