Half Acre / Struise / Pipeworks Small Animal Big Machine | Half Acre Beer Company

96 Ratings
no score
Send samples
Half Acre / Struise / Pipeworks Small Animal Big MachineHalf Acre / Struise / Pipeworks Small Animal Big Machine

Brewed by:
Half Acre Beer Company
Illinois, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
This beer was brewed in collaboration with De Struise & Pipeworks. Belgian yeast set the scene for a traditional sour mash and loads of currants & cherries.

Added by emerge077 on 06-08-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 96 |  Reviews: 52
Photo of thanmad
5/5  rDev +40.4%

Photo of savagepanda
5/5  rDev +40.4%

Photo of Deeeeezzzzznuts
5/5  rDev +40.4%

Photo of marcosminute
5/5  rDev +40.4%

Photo of markrmoser
5/5  rDev +40.4%

Photo of curtiswvu
4.66/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful beer from Half Acre and new ground from them, sampled on draft (in line) and later in the bottle once I got home from the release:

A: darker than expected, a nice cherry mahogany color. Beautiful white head. Perfect form.

S: Grapes, wine, Carmel and malt, suprising!

T: it own category. A very malty carmel beer but it tastes like it was aged in wine barrels with a Belgian yeast.

M: thick and bubbly all in balance. Bigger than
I expected no magic hat bs here!

 476 characters

Photo of vespahulb
4.65/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a shiny, yet hazy ruddy-brown into a Belgian tulip glass. After reading other reviews, I was careful to serve this one at a nice cellar temperature of around 55 degrees.

Upon first whiff, I get a huge hit of light brown sugar, candy-sweet malts, fresh-cut cherry wood, fresh currant, Belgian yeastys and a final kick of spicy licorice. Damn. This smells so complex and gorgeous.

On the front of the palette, you get that initial sour, bitter and tannnic cherry flavor. Following that, fresh bready malts, sweet brown sugar and wood. As the beer warms up, it gets more intense, really gushing with dark berry flavors and sweet malts. However, the beer is nowhere near dessert-style sweet. As well, the blend of sour is impeccable, really showcasing the sour flavor, but ultimately balancing the heavy malts with a blast of acidity.

To see that it had just 8.5% blew my mind. I was expecting a much higher ABV. I mean, I could drink this all night...and now I see I can! Has all the characteristics of my favorite fruit beers (New Glarus Cherry, Three Philosophers), yet it was distinct and original. This is a tremendous offering from Half Acre/Pipeworks/DeStruise! Unlike anything Half Acre has done, a great introduction for Pipeworks and just another accolade for DeStruise. Well done, guys! It's just a shame that this is a one-time deal, cause I'd be thrilled to drink this every day. This beer made me feel fat and giggly.

 1,440 characters

Photo of GbVDave
4.52/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two St. Bernardus goblets. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a hazy, dirty red color with about 1/2 a finger of khaki colored foam on top. Head quickly melts down to a thin and bubbly collar that leaves small specks of lace behind. Some visible streams of carbonation.

S: Rich aromas of black cherry, vanilla, sweet currants, caramel, milk chocolate, pepper, and spices. Everything becomes more pronounced as it approaches room temperature.

T: Same as above. Temperature is the key with this one. The warmer it gets, the better it tastes. By the end of the glass, the cherry flavors were just incredible.

M: So rich and velvety. Sweetness is kept in check by a slightly peppery dryness. Finishes with just a hint of tartness. Masterful.

O: Wow. This was just killer. Thanks for brewing this, guys!

 845 characters

Photo of wschmit
4.42/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a perfect pint. Released today.

A: A fairly aggressive pour yielded just under an inch of barely tan head that blows itself out loudly and quickly, settling into a creamy ring. It tops a deep amber body with some haze and a fair amount of carbonation up through it.

S: A mild, malty nose, with prominent but not dominant cherry notes. It smells alarmingly like a Flemish red or bruin, despite not really being one. Tart, but balanced.

T: Delightful. A full, melanoidin malt body backs up the mild, dark stone fruit notes. The currant comes through more in the taste, for me, as a grape note towards the end. Some subdued sourness pervades the whole thing. The slightly musty yeast plays a nice supporting role as well. I was expecting something overly sweet and fruity, but this is subtly crafted and very thoughtful.

M: Nice and mouth-coating, with appropriate carbonation--very fine and not too much, so as to let the complexity overwhelm your tongue. If anything, it's a bit alcoholic and hot.

O: Drinking really nicely as is. I wonder how it will age, honestly, given the use of sour mashing vs. lacto/pedio fermentation. If I had to describe this beer, I'd call it a less candy-like version of Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus--less red, less saccharine, and more beer-like and malty. The currants lend yet another dimension to that. Really well executed. I hope HA or Pipeworks manages to get this out again.

Update: Cracked a bottle on 6.11.13: Dried out a bit. Bottle cap popped on opening, be warned if you still have any sitting around--gusher. Billowing brown head, fizzled out, leaving a murkey, crimson-tinged brown body. Taste is mildly fruity, with some astringent bits, I'm guessing from old contact with fruit skins/seeds. The deStruise yeast comes out in fine Belgian style in the end, not unlike a Pannepot Grand Reserva I recently had. This aged pretty nicely, happy to still have one in hand.

 1,939 characters

Photo of bepps
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of Sparky44
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.23/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly darker then your normal ale. Lots of visible carbonation was evident from the start, chains of bubbles rippling up from the bottom of the glass. Lots of haze, literally made this opaque. Nice one inch thick white head receeded rather quicky leaving behind a thin film on top of the glass and a nice amount of lace drooping down the sides.

The smell was strong, and very fruity. Large hint of raspberry was readily apparent from the start. A very sugary aroma aroma was present as was a slight hint of grain in the back, slight hoppiness was present in the finsh, quite dry actually. Very smooth feel, great carbonation, led to that nice silky, bubbly light feeling. Overall the flavors were very very intense, and the fruit and hop flavors made the profile really jump out at you, and made it actually rather ejjoyable as the session wore on.

 853 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served cool at 50º, it makes a huge difference.

Color looks to be a very dark rusty brown, nearly black, but when held to the light it glows a perfect crimson. Initial fingers width of light tan foam that recedes to a skim after a few minutes. The surface of the foam has a fine, creamy texture.

Belgian yeast aroma, reminiscent of a dark trappist with banana, clove, and brown sugar.

Low level natural cherry tartness, well integrated, fruit dominates with some earthy yeast and light toasty malt behind it. Something vaguely roasty or possibly woody in the middle. Low level phenolic spice, clove and cherry are melded well together, leaving a residual dry peppery spice. Full bodied, supple feel, with a tasty dark cherry flavor that thankfully isn't sweet.
I enjoyed it more and more as it came up to room temperature.

SABM is a unique hybrid style, drawing inspiration from Belgian ales like Kasteel Rouge and Cuvée Van De Keizer.
Cheers to Half Acre, Pipeworks, and De Struise on the successful collaboration.

 1,025 characters

Photo of monitorpop
4.17/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown-ish red with a cream ring.

S: Sweet cherry.

T: Malt, Slightly sweet/tart ripe cherry.

M: Clean and smooth with a medium carbonation. No alcohol burn.

O: Unique ale with a nice cherry accent that improves as it warms up. Very drinkable. Plus, the best label art ever!

 285 characters

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

A – Poured a deep reddish brown with beautiful ruby glow. 1 inch head with minimal lacing which quickly fades.

S – Heavy malts and subtle cherry

T – A virtual rainbow of flavors. It started off malty, transitioned nicely to some subtly bitter hops. The hops were quickly overpowered by the tartness of the cherries and surprisingly a good flavor of the currants (I thought the cherries would stand out the most). The tartness was well balanced by the malts. I found the tartness to be well balanced with malty smoothness, not sweetness necessarily. I was led to believe this was going to be a sour beer, which is the only reason I did not rate it higher. I think it was (for some unknown reason) rushed and could have stood to age much longer with some extra bugs to sour up a bit.

M – Medium bodied, with decent carbonation.

O - Overall, very well balanced. A complex deep and flavorful brew, but refreshing enough to down a growler with another friend in one night and wonder if there’s more! I’ve always been a fan of Half Acre, and though it’s a collaboration this favorite Half Acre beer to date.

 1,122 characters

Photo of theminutemen
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Yulles
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of sgoro
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of cadaugherty
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of klipper
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of davidbowers13
4/5  rDev +12.4%

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

Opened the bottle using my thumb... Literally. So overly carbonated that the cap was about to pop! Didn't really foam over but way heavy carbonation.
Pours a reddish brown with lots of tan head. Looks fairly pretty. Smells tart and bitter. Some acidity on the nose. Currants and cherry as well. Tastes like cherry and currants. A nice roasty malt backbone. Pretty solid in my book. Carb issues don't seem to effect the flavour that much. I actually enjoy this beer a lot

 470 characters

Photo of DoctorB2B
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of geoffsm12
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +12.4%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Half Acre / Struise / Pipeworks Small Animal Big Machine from Half Acre Beer Company
3.56 out of 5 based on 96 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.