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Half Acre / Short's Captain Fantasy | Half Acre Beer Company

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Half Acre / Short's Captain FantasyHalf Acre / Short's Captain Fantasy

Brewed by:
Half Acre Beer Company
Illinois, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed in collaboration with Short's Brewing, this ale was constructed using a Saison yeast and pears, then twisted with Sorachi Ace hops from Japan. Another nod to the band Ween.

Added by wschmit on 07-15-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 73
Photo of KMcG
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This review is from notes last night. Had it on the deck at Pike Hill Farm! 

A: Great straw color, nice carbonation rising up from the bottom of the glass, fluffy head that relaxes but hangs onto the glass edges. 

S: citrus hop essence, pear and apricot at first, then after it warms more phenols come through.  The base nose characters hang in there as it warms.

T: Lemons, bready malt, parsley, and strong pear in the after taste. And hints of banana and other mellow fruits like peach are present. 

M: light, dry, good carbonation, easy summer drinking!

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Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A very nice pour that makes the beer look like it came from Belgium; clear goldenstraw, a massive head and plenty of lace

Smell: Floral lemon sparks from the Sorianchi Ace hops, with pepper, pear and hay underneath

Taste: White bread and pear, up front, with the tart lemon and pepper elements adding a phenolic character in the middle; something a little funky, after the swallow, flays the tongue and leaves a bitter, herbal aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: This beer has some very nice elements, but the aftertaste is not one of them and, unfortunately, is the one that leaves the final impression

Thanks, jodan, for the opportunity

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Photo of BrewerB
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

MarkFy sent this my way along with loads of other Half Acre goodies during a recent trade. Cheers and thanks again, Mark!

Pouring into a Jester King tulip. Slight haze runs through the straw colored liquid and a 1-2 finger crop of off-white foam settled on top leaving some lacing behind as it retreats. Retention is fair.

Big fruit in the nose. Primarily pear but also detecting shredded coconut after the initial fruit burst. Lemon peel. Mild cinnamon-like spice.

Crisp, lemon fruit on the palette up front with a mild toasted malt. Bartlett pear is here too but not as prominent as I'd expected from the aroma. Finishes dry and clean. Bitterness is moderately low and I'm not detecting a strong hop presence.

Medium-light bodied with a moderate-high level of carbonation.

A crisp, refreshing saison that delivers a light lemon/pear fruity presence. Missing some of the ester complexity we should get from this style and the foam formation could be improved as well.

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Photo of sidetracked
3.24/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear light gold with an off-white head. Head lingers as a thing film.

Aroma is light fruity esters, black pepper, candied pear--almost like a pear jelly belly. Both slightly bitter and sweet at times. Something weird going on before it warms a bit.

Upfront taste is slightly bitter grassy and citrus hops with a light pear flavor in the background. More pear-like fruitiness in the middle. Bitter finish of grassy hops, pear, lemon, and black pepper.

Light to medium body with medium carbonation. Slightly oily. Dry finish.

Decent and easy to drink. Pear is a nice touch. Strays a bit from the Saison style. Worth a try.


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Photo of beagle75
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Hazy, medium golden color with less than one finger of diminishing white foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass and intermittent bubbles rise quickly in the column.

S: Bready yeast and mild phenolics disguise malt character, while bright citrus hops remind of lemon pie.

T: Begins very dry, with early grapefruit peel and white peppercorns. Faint vinous fruit is bright and acidic into the middle where citrus flavors turn toward aggressive lemon that struggles with honesty. Lemon qualities persist into the finish, broadcasting more authentic--but somewhat pithy and astringent--peel. Bitterness is intense for the style with a peppery bite.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, lively and acidic on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This citrus bomb has a tendency to forget its Belgian roots, showing more yeast character in a single sniff than it does across the entire flavor profile. It screams lemon, a little too loudly at times, channeling artificially-scented furniture polish. Any trace of pear fruit is buried deeply and camouflaged well, perhaps contributing to the fleeting vinous qualities but otherwise unnoticed. Still it is an exciting experiment in hops and saison yeast, reminding of the more polished collaboration between Cismontane and Taps during Spring of 2011.

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Photo of bashiba
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a bright clean yellow with long running carbonation and a nice white head.

The smell is a nice mixture of lemony hops and spicy saison yeast.

The flavors are dominated by the lemony sorachi ace hops, very grassy and herbal with a long musty and slightly spicy finish. I don't taste any pear at all, and even the saison spiciness I would expect is over taken by the hops.

Very crisp with lots of carbonation and a great dry finish.

This drinks much more like a good belgian Pale than a saison. I'm still enjoying it though, I love the Sorachi ace in this.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up this bottle while on business in Chicago in August.

Good looking beer. Bright clear brass/gold color with some light carbonation rising to the surface. Lots of fluffy & sticky white head that begins to deposit lace all over the glass. Head starts fluffy and collapses fairly quickly.

Aroma is pretty nice as well. Lots of fruit that undoubtedly gets a kick from the pear puree. I am getting quite a bit of a ginger aroma with other spices. A whiff of lemon peel.

Sadly the flavor doesn’t live up to the early positive characteristics of the beer. The initial fruit/pear flavor gives way to spice and then a bit of a medicinal flavor. A touch of plastic as well. The yeast is clearly having a large influence on the flavor. The finish is a little weird and frankly a bit empty. Just abruptly ends.

A hint of carbonation, lays on your tongue

I had high hopes here and sadly they did not materialize. Oh well.

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Photo of KDawg
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured this from bottle into a bordeaux stem. Poured a very light yellow-gold color with a smaller head

different aromas than what I expected with pears, spices, orange peels and papaya. More tropical for the aromas

medium bodied, but slightly on the lighter side. Very tropical flavors with some guava, pears and papaya

This was good, but not what I expected from a saison. It was a little too light for me on the feel, but still very tasty and good overall

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Photo of Guden
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- fairly light pale blonde with an average head and weak lacing, nothing exceptionally exciting but looks drinkable.

S- Largely lemon with some pear, grass and bread in the mix as well, maybe a hint of bubblegum.

T- Up front there is a huge mouth of pear, followed by a mix of grains and lemon which fades into pepper. Not particularly good or balanced, just all over the place.

M- Dry and bubbly, seems to style for a saison.

D- This is something that I was happy to try, but it isn't a particularly good beer. The flavors are all over the place and do not complement each other or add up to make this one worth buying.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up on a recent trip to Chicago; looking forward to trying it, as I've recently gotten really into saisons.

Pours a light golden yellow, clear, with a big frothy white head. Great head retention, pretty good lacing. A thick stream of bubbles rising up through the glass. Very nice all around.

Has a strong tart fruit smell - like barely ripe pears and apples. Hops are there, lending a bit of citrus (lemon). The typical Belgian yeast / light funk are there in the background. A hint of spice, a tinge of must. Smells like a nice fruity saison, and one that I'll like a lot if it tastes like it smells.

Whoa, taste is not what I expected. It's really heavy on the fruit, much moreso than I picked up in the smell. Strong pear flavors, some lemon, a mix of tart and ripe juicy sweetness. But there's also a bitterness that clashes with all that fruit. This feels like an experiment in blending flavors that didn't quite come together. It's not bad, but it's not as good as I'd hoped. Quite dry and slightly prickly in the finish - wow. That prickle lasts and lasts, as if someone is repeatedly tapping my tongue with dull pins.

Mouthfeel is enigmatic. It's medium-bodied, but feels both sugary sticky and really dry (which to me seems like a paradox). Carbonation is medium-high, probably a bit too much, as it accentuates that prickly sense, which doesn't go well with the fruity and earthy notes.

Generally pretty good, but there are some sharp edges. I wish the fruit and the hops were better integrated into the whole. Though as it warms up, I'm liking it a little more.

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Photo of tewaris
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a Duvel tulip. Thanks AgentZero.

Clear and golden with a medium sized creamy alabaster head. While the head itself wasn't too impressive, the retention and lacing certainly are.

Smells more like a BSPA than a saison to me. No saison smells good enough after Fantome I suppose :/ There's a good fruitiness present and it's no surprise that it actually has pears. Also, knowing that Sorachi Ace hops are present, I smell a hint of lemons; but that could be the "power of suggestion". Eventually the saison yeast profile appears but not assertively.

Taste is fruity and sharp with a bittering finish. Quite inoffensive except for the fusel notes, which are really out of place in a 7% ABV beer. The body is medium but the crisp carbonation keeps everything nice and clean.

Pretty run of the mill for a saison with entirely missing tartness and spice. Not as bad as the local Honeymoon saison but not as good as a good saison either.

4, 3.5, 3, 4, 3

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a slight hazy pale yellow body with a thick creamy white head that last and sticks to the glass for a bit before sliding back onto the beer. There is a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles that glide to the surface.

S- The soft sulfury note gives way to a dry saison yeast character and a green dry finish. There is some grapefruit pith and juice hops that come through and grow just a bit before it warms.

T- The green sweet dandelion hops is followed by a nice yeasty character in the finish. There is a soft pungent bitterness that lingers a bit after each sip.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft fizz bite and the alcohol is well hidden.

O- This beer has the nice dry saison yeast character and a good dry bitter hop pungency. It is a nice summer sipper but I'm sure the alcohol would creep up on me. After the carbonation dies a bit it is more enjoyable. I didn't get any sorachi ace or pear juice in this but it was a nice beer.

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Photo of CliffBrake
4.82/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to immobilisme for the bottle.

A unique beer. Not sure how I'd rate it as a saison; I'll rate it as a fruit beer or maybe on its own right. If it needs to be rated to an exact style, it would be worth inventing one for this beer.

Bright yellow color with a tight white head that lingers for a bit before dissipating.

Fruits and bready malt on the nose yield to a tasty fruit blend on the palate. Pear, bananas, lemon, all well integrated and balanced with a modest bitter hops backbone.

Round but not heavy mouthfeel is buoyed by a perfect carbonation. Very drinkable, balanced, and well integrated. The fruit is very prevalent but does not seem overdone as it does in so many fruit beers. It blends with the hops and malt perfectly. This beer reminds me a bit of a fine champagne. Very festive and refreshing. Well constructed and highly recommended.

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Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Adam for the bottle and Bobby for sharing his.

A: The pour on this one is a pale yellow color with a rather tall white head.

S: A very nice fruit aroma to start this one off. Tons of pears and apples with a light dosing of spice. The hop notes are subtle and there is plenty of yeast and bread, the latter of which adds a bit of sweetness.

T: As with the aroma, a strong flavor of pear, apple, and even some citrus and sweet apple juice. There is a very light pepper flavor as well as some bread and sweet, pale malts. There is a fair bit of yeast and a light hop bitterness.

M: The body is medium and the carbonation is just above medium.

O: I really enjoyed the fruit notes that this beer had. A bit sweet for how I like my saisons, but overall very well done.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My last bomber of this :tear:

Pours into my glass a beautiful clear golden yellow with a quarter inch of white bubbles atop the brew. Aromas kick off with a great mix of crisp, slightly spicy malts along with lemony hops. Earthy accents along with plenty of pear underneath as well.

First sip brings crisp semi-sweet malts with a nice underlying peppery spiciness. Lemony, citric hops roll in (Sorachi Ace!) and mix with some earthy, grassy tones. The pear melds in as well and adds a great extra dimension to the brew that I really like. Just slight twinge of sourness on the way down.

Mouthfeel is smooth and easy drinking with great carbonation. On the lighter side and on par for a saison, albeit one with a unique American twist. Another really tasty Short's / Half Acre collaboration beer. These guys just need to keep doing more collaborations so I can keep drinking them :)

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: golden/straw yellow/mild cloudy, finger head, tight
column lacing

S: spices, big pear aroma, yeast, floral

T: plenty of crisp pears, earthy yeast, floral, spicy smooth finish

M: med/light body, slight prick/good carbonation

O: Half Acre has impressed me again.
This is a very nice Saison and would
recommend this collaboration.


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Photo of Scrumtralecent
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a tulip.

A - Hazy golden yellow with a soft white head. Lots of carbonation floating to the top in this one.

S - Lemony farmhouse scent, some banana clove, pretty lively and refreshing smell. Would like to smell more of that Belgian yeast and funk, but that lemon scent can take over a little. But still nice aroma for a summer night.

T - Kind of a mess for a saison. The lemony Belgian taste is there, but the hop bitterness is riding over the taste. Shame really, I can feel that crisp saison, with some lemon sweetness, but the hop is a little over the top on this one. Subtlety would have done this taste better.

M - Light body, but really carbonated. Makes the finish feel a little dry and that bitter hop keeps popping and leaving a bitter aftertaste. Not as drinkable as I expected.

O - A decent beer, but some glaring mistakes with the hop infringing on some good flavors they had going on, and possibly a little overcarbonated. It has some refreshing flavors for the summer, and did have some nice citrus lemon flavors going on behind the bitterness.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Chambord shaped pint glass.

Thanks to taiyed for providing this bottle!

A case o' this randomly popped up at the local Binny's, and Alex was kind enough to grab a bottle and share it after our fantasy football draft. It pours a mostly clear gold topped by over a finger of white foam. The nose comprises pear (surprise, surprise), light saison funk (you know what I'm talkin' about, right?), spicy herbs, and a touch of booze in the background. The taste holds notes of pear, honey, Belgian yeast, rye bread, lemon zest, and tangelo peel. There's that distinctive B.O.-lemon that can only come from Sorachi hops (I didn't know for sure they were in here when I was drinking it, but I suspected as much after tasting it...dammit...). The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda watery feel. Overall, I can't say I enjoyed this beer that much. I held off a bit considering I'm not a huge fan of pears, but that part of this wasn't so bad: It was the Sorachi, I tell ya! Those things can torpedo any beer, can't they? It all just didn't come together well on my tongue, is all. That, and it was kinda thin, too...

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Photo of Cavery
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of SpdKilz. The last box he sent me hooked me up way beyond what I am currently able to pay back. Yet he seems to do this every time! Cheers for being such a good BA.

Poured into a Lost Abbey tulip

A: very light almost frosty looking pear skin with cobweb lacing that stands where the two finger head once reigned. Very light yellow/orange that almost appears like grape skin. Thin cloudiness that is homogenized throughout the drink for a consistent theme. Extremely nice looking beer. A DIPA head on a peachy saison body.

S: Hops spike a juicy white grape and pear punch. Floral alcohols add some spice to the punch. Really interesting nose in the sense that it seems as fruity as it does seasoned. A little bit of coconut milk and funky yellow curry powders mix with witbier-like funk for a head scratcher. Really very interesting, and I can't say I've smelled anything like it. It's overly fruity, and super hoppy -- but it works in that they each balance each other for a saison on steroids.

T: Super incredibly hoppy, this thing would put a lot of IPAs to shame. However this really does taste more like a witbier to me than a saison. It could be the pair character, but really the hops cut through the fruit with a sharp spiciness that fades to a linger of funk and dark greens. The juiciness of the beer appears behind the hop character, and creates a fruity minty tea.

M: For the style this is very full. Really very chewy with the carbonation folding in layers like a velvet blanket in the mouth. This really lets the hops shine with a vibrant character. The alcohol is barely evident in the absolute tail end of the beer. Super strong mouth, but I find more IPA here than I do saison.

O: The flavors are pretty good, but perhaps a little muddy. Furthermore, I just can't pick out the saison in this beer. More specifically, I find the mild funk present in this beer to be more suggestive of a witbier than a saison. Add this to the fact that there's pear in there and the association only grows stronger. I imagine the styles have quite a bit of overlap, but the ingredients really tip me to the witbier side. That said, without being a stickler for style thing this is really solid. The hops taste plucked off the vine and the pears are crisp. The white grapes and pear flavors burst at the seams with juiciness. The alcohol seems about as perfect as it could be. Excellent balance on this beer, but I wouldn't have minded more identifiable saison characteristics.

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Photo of Vonerichs
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clean and clear light gold color with a generous white head.

The smell is extremely herbal and grassy, reminding me of lemon basil. The pears add fruity aspect, but it's sharp and acidic.

The fruity aspect of this beer carries on in the taste and the pears are evident. It has a slight vinegar edge to it and the herbal notes are just as prevalent in the taste as they are the smell. Finish is lightly bitter.

Mouthfeel is crisp and thin, leaving behind a little sweetness on the palate.

I give props to Half Acre for putting out yet another creative beer, but this one is far off the mark for the style. It's a good beer, but it doesn't have the phenol and spice that I gravitate to in a saison.

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Photo of Florida9
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Crystal clear golden yellow in color. Forms a sizable inch plus of fluffy white head that slowly reduces to just a ring around the edge. Very little lacing.

S: Smells minerally, like a chardonnay. Pear, lemon, herbal grassiness, a little spice and a faint yeastiness.

T: Sweet and juicy, this one reminds me more of a fruit wine than a saison. Fruity pear, Fruity Pebbles, lemon, and some light malts. Sweet, but not sugary. There is a mild bitterness on the finish.

M: Light in body with appropriate carbonation. Mild bitterness on the finish.

O: I was really looking forward to this beer, but in the end, I'm not so sure about this one. There is a lot of fermented pear juice in this beer, so much so I believe it could pass for a fruit wine and, as usual, the Soriachi Ace doesn't do much to help this beer out. Not bad and certainly drinkable, but not one of HA's best offerings.

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Photo of LordGavhopkins
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Even though saisons are my favorite style and Half Acre's in my 'hood, and its a Short's collab, Captain Fantasy has all the body and spunk of Wallonia's finest - barn and lemon on the nose, a little sour honey mid-palate and a truncated bitter finish to get your tongue chasing some hidden golden delicious apple notes. Could be a bit more effervescent. But then it wouldn't be an American take. Sail the ship. She's a respectable one.

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Photo of iadler
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A- Pours a slightly hazy gold with a two finger head that dissipates in a thin cap with no signs of lacing.

S- Lemon juice, lemon zest, belgian yeast, grass, herbal hops, biscuit malt that finishes with some sweet pear.

T- A good deal of lemon with some pear, peach, belgian yeast, biscuit malt and some herbs. A bit sweeter than the nose suggested.

M- Medium carbonation and body. Finishes slightly dry and bitter with a bit of booze.

O- Another unique offering from Half Acre. The pear puree was quite noticeable. It got a little too sweet after a while, but is still one of the better Half Acre bombers I've had recently.

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Photo of seeswo
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler provided unexpectedly by a buddy. Nice!

Pours a light orangey color with a very small whitish head. The nose is an orangey pear and a touch of lemon. The taste is an orange hoppiness, pear which comes off almost like crystal malt (or maybe both), a very mild pepperiness. Pretty interesting (odd?) combination of flavors. The saison yeast mostly hangs in the background. Pretty sweet and totally lacking the dryness that I expect out of the style. The hoppiness is enjoyable. The mouthfeel is pretty sweet, lower carbonation. Overall, there is a ton going on in there that makes for a pretty interesting beer. Certainly never had that combination of flavors before. That said, its not really what I think of from a saison. Not sure that everything that is in this beer comes together either.

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Photo of Jayli
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Acquired this from GBVDave from our most recent trade, so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!
Consumed 7/29 poured in to a nonic pint glass.

A: This beer pours a deep yellow/golden color with a one finger of sudsy head. Head recedes quickly leaving nice light sheets of lacing.

S: Nose is yeast, coriander spicing, and light fruity pear notes.

T: Taste starts with a lot of pepper and yeast. Hints of coriander are also present. A grapefruit citrus with light alcohol notes come through the middle. The finish is pear at first but then apple notes really take over and dominate far through the finish.

M: Medium body, lower carbonation - a little too low in my opinion. Starts off rather dry but then becomes somewhat oily and slick.

O: Goes down easily, tasty, decent kick, nice adaptation of the style. Overall, this is a nice beer that really, the lack of carbonation is the only thing lacking in this beer.

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Half Acre / Short's Captain Fantasy from Half Acre Beer Company
3.8 out of 5 based on 73 ratings.
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