Pony | Half Acre Beer Company

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Brewed by:
Half Acre Beer Company
Illinois, United States

Style: German Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Pony Pilsner is a firm take on the classic German style aimed to quench the masses.

German hops and malts are braided together to release the crisp awakening your summer self needs.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 403
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #87 (Apr 2014):

Balanced, Quaff, Delicious

This tallboy American brewed German Style Pilsner comes off extremely complex, nice hop bite meets a full graininess and then a faintness of sulphur to keep things interesting. Its clean enough to be well within style and the hop character sticks to the palate for a good while.

STYLE: German Pilsner | ABV: 5.8% | AVAILABILITY: Year-round

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Photo of joe1510
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint Can
Binny's Willowbrook

Another Half Acre package with the typically awesome Half Acre artwork. Pony is a bright golden pilsner with that handsome glow. Slightly hazy throughout does nothing but accentuate the shimmer. The pure white head is crackly, craggy, and firm with impressive stick-to-itiveness. The foam leaves behind thin, sticky lace that will have to be scraped from the glass.

The nose is runs along those typical German pilsner lines. Clean chalky grains lead the way, freshly husked, some a little damp. The hop profile runs mostly fresh cut grass and hay with a nice, clean, buzzsaw effect. A squeeze of lemon brightness bolsters the entirety. Enticing for sure.

While the nose is enticing the flavor cleans up even more, becoming crisp and pure. Freshly cracked grain starts it off with a solid lemon brightness. The fresh grains push throughout, you can taste the sun, while the grassy finish leaves behind a lingering bitterness that leaves you wanting more. Very good!

The body leans toward the moderate side of medium and light and when combined with a lively, but cushy, carbonation makes for an incredibly easy beer to put away in mass quantities. Soft sweetness upfront gives way to buzzsaw bitterness that lingers long after each sip and the drying finish accentuates that bitterness. Drinkable to say the least.

Half Acre seems to do everything well, Pony Pils is no exception. It's clean, to the point, appropriately hoppy, and unquestionably drinkable. Being able to find a Pilsner of this quality from a local brewery this fresh is a treat indeed and it often graces the shelves of my fridge. Way to be Half Acre, way to be!

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.57/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

one of the more prevalent half acre packages around chicago right now, but a rather safe beer from these guys, who demonstrated to me just how capable of blissful magic they are. this one is pretty straight forward. a pilsener lager with a cream ale richness and lightness at the same time, which was my favorite feature of it. the grain is clean, more belgian pils than german pils in the malt side i think, and the hops are pretty darn light, a little dried grass or hay, and an arid late summer vibe, but its not a bitter beer at all, and its flavored predominantly by the light but textured malt. not as dry as others, which i almost prefer in this context, and the carbonation is really charged up. refreshing and drinkable, but at the end of the day its still a basic pils, which is hard for me to get overly excited about, despite its high overall quality.

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Photo of bobv
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Revisited 1-9-2016
Moderate pour yields a 1/2 inch head that is down to a ring in a few minutes with an ever so slight haze colored body. Nose exhibits traces of flint, grain, and hops. Taste follows with an ever so slight trace of sweetness. Adequate mouthfeel and overall a more than decent Chicago Pils.

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Photo of KFBR392
3.84/5  rDev +2.7%

Appearance: Pours with a light golden yellow color. A finger of crisp white bubbly head is produced. Active carbonation is surprisingly low for the style.

Smell: Butter and doughy malts shine on the front. Straw hop accents follow quickly after. There are some light, yet well complimenting fruit accents of pineapple, kiwi, and grapefruit. The dough and crisp yeast brings this brew full circle.

Taste: Big front of earthy malts and grassy hops. The hops take on some more herbal accents on the body as creamy doughy malts carry on the undertones throughout. Crisp wheat and yeast shine on the back end with some lingering hop notes.

Mouthfeel: Creamy front yields to a crisp hop and yeast finish. Carbonation is lower then expected but still has a potent impact.

Overall: A tasty creation from Half Acre. I always look forward to trying their lesser known options and am usually very pleased. Plenty of hop complexity to keep the drinker interested, yet has many checkpoints I look for in a great pils. Well done.

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Photo of MinisterCurry
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Half Acre is doing really cool stuff with beer here in Chicago, a solid Pils offering.

A - golden, straw and hay, off-sunflower yellow color. Bubbles abound at pour and a healthy, off-white head gathers not too generously at the top of the pint. Mild lacing indicative of the style upon consumption. Effervescence continued throughout enjoyment.

S - noble hops, straw and dried grasses, cotton linen, baked bread, cedar closets.

T - hits palate with a rush of grassy notes that unfold into equal balance of brioche, bread and butter, prairie grasses and hops. Gives subtle notes of lemon and grapefruit eventually.

M - Medium to off dry finish, mouthfeel is overall refreshing, but with no residual sweetness. It's somewhat lactic like butter at first with a later, drier quality like you're running in a field of wheat or prairie grass in late summer.

O - an enjoyable Pilsner that seemingly presents a slightly more prairie and buttery offering in this usually hop driven category of beers. Perhaps more seasonal to spring and summer, food pair it with fish of various preparations, light stone fruit like pear and apricot on a cheese plate or even warm cheese salads and crab or fish cakes.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours a clear yellow color with a bright white, frothy head. Long ropes of lacing along the glass.

S-Aroma is true to style. A nice cracker and cereal maltiness and some noble hoppiness. It is fairly aromatic with a certain zestiness to the nose.

T-I wasn't all too enamored with it upon first sip. During the second sip and there after, I became more impressed. The hops remain noble in flavor but I also go some tangy citrus. The cereal and cracker malt is very nice.

M-Light, crisp, drinkable. Everything a Pils should be.

O-Not bad. Surprised to see a Half Acre offering in these parts. I will always gladly try a Half Acre beer.

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Photo of bylerteck
4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pint at Strangelove's in Philly. From notes.

A - Poured light yellow with a bit of haze. Two fingers of fluffy white head on top with spotty lace and half a finger of retention.

S - Lemon and grass, noble hops, ginger. Nice.

T - Nice malt character, orange, lemon, grass. Good hops and a nice malt character. Well balanced while being hoppy and assertive.

M - Mild but present bitterness with a nice light to medium body and good carbonation.

O/D - Good stuff. A solid pils with a great flavour and big drinkability. Good balance.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When I think pilsner this is what I think off.
Appearance wise you can't really get any better.
It poured a brilliantly clear deep straw. The head formed high and tight and coated the glass with loads of lace. This beer was also well carb'd with never ending streams of bubbles floating to the top. Excellent head retention to the bitter end.
The aroma is dry, sharp with piles of pilsner and pale malts I'm sure. Standard fare here.
The taste was very good from top to bottom. A good solid malt base with plenty of flavor. Hopped enough with german hops to give this beer a subtle hoppy bitter bite, but not alot!
Malts counter with some sweetness.
On the palate it finishes dry and sharp with a semi bitter finish. Carbonation gives a light and prickly feel and ends very clean. It's crisp and refreshing.
This was an excellent well made beer in every category. As of last week I thought Pivo was but this is much better.

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Photo of IronLover
4.31/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pale, straw yellow in color with a slight haze. Poured with a tall, bright white foam that reduced to a soapy cap. Earthy, biscuity, pilsner malt aroma with grassy notes. Lemon zest and herbal hop aromas in the background. Medium bodied with slightly subdued carbonation with a crisp, dry finish. Biscuity malt flavors encapsulated with herbal hop bitterness that intensifies through the middle to the end. A slight hint of lemon zest as this finishes crisply and dryly with a lingering herbal hop aftertaste. Crisp and refreshing, this was excellent.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a stemmed strange)

A- This beer pours a pure white creamy head with a clear golden yellow body that has a swirl of micro carbonation working toward the surface.

S- The touch of sweetness to the pils malt gives it a nice fresh quality with some flinty character to follow. There is a dry hop note in the finish and a hint of corn cereal aswell.

T- The hint of mineral water gives way to a clean lagered Pils malt followed by a green hop bite in the dry finish.

M- This beer has a light crips fizz and no alcohol heat.

O- This beer is a great American Pilsner and very sessionable, especially as the weather warms. Perfect in the 16 oz. cans or growler.

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Photo of tone77
3.59/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to the legendary woodychandler for this beer. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is sweet, malts, a bit floral. Taste is malty, lemons, not nearly as sweet as the smell, again, some floral notes. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

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Photo of USAF77
3.79/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a different type of Pilsner and I like it.

Yeah "floral" sums up the smell right. With just a tad of skunk. The color is a tad light for my taste but it foams and laces nicely, "besides you dont drink the color". A nice "fast" Pilsner pour with good carbonation. Maybe medium or a tad over.

Its the taste that makes this Beer. Its got a bite of a premium lager and a dry finish like one. The ABV is fairly high for a Pils so you feel it going down to your stomach. Over time the grain comes thru to the top of your mouth to a dry after taste that leave plenty of saliva ready for the next sip.

Im raising my rating as im typing. Now I overall prefer a maltier Pilsner but I find myself liking this one too. Its expensive but worth it if you want to try a pils just a little different.

This is a quality brew. Im not sure it would match with food well but I find myself liking it a lot.

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Photo of jawlessbody
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden yellow with a thick, fluffy 4 finger head, which dissipates fairly quickly and leaves a good bit of lacing.

Scent: Sweet and grainy on the front, but also has a very prominent hop spice and just a tad bit of floral aromas.

Taste: Light malty sweetness with a prominent hop characteristic. Accompanying those flavors is also a light lemon grass flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very light body, like most Pilsners, and a middle of the road carbonation. Very crisp.

Overall: Very balanced, but pretty bold and complex, especially for a pilsner. Would recommend.

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Photo of Treebs
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap at the taproom. Served in a becher.

A: Pours a clear yellow color with a foamy white head forming on the pour. About one finger in height the head sticks around with some nice retention. Sticky lace is left down the glass.

S: Cereal grain sweetness with a crisp hard water. Light hop profile with a nice noble character to it. Slightly spicy as well.

T: Same as the nose. A nice grainy malt sweetness with a noble hop character. Lightly spiced with a little floral note to it.

M: Light bodied with a medium carbonation level. Sweet finish.

O: A very solid pils. Nicely balanced with a great malt sweetness.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Once more, I will reiterate the point that if you are transiting through Union Station in Chicago and you have some time to spare, head over to Binney's (South Side Loop). I CANnot imagine that you will be disappointed. I have never been more appeased in my life than when I am leaving there.

The Crack revealed another brimful craft CAN and I was kind of jonesing for a beer, so I went with an inverted Glug to get things started. This resulted in two dense, foamy fingers of bone-white head with decent retention. Color was an oh-so-slightly hazy lemon-yellow (SRM = 4 -5). Nose had a slightly sour malty quality accompanied by a light grassiness. Curious. Mouthfeel was slightly thin, but not out of bounds for the style. The taste was not precisely sour, but it had an odd bite to go along with the biscuit-y maltiness and the grassiness of the Noble hops. I am not even sure that it was flawed, but perhaps instead just the way that the hops and malt were interacting with the yeast. I feel like I have experienced this in a GER Pils before, but I CANnot remember when or in which beer. Finish was semi-dry and really not a bad beer, but I think that, for me, this is a one-trick Pony.

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Photo of Vonerichs
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Vibrant clear yellow body with nice contrasting white head.

Grainy and buttery scent. Light floral perfume.

The perfume is strong in the flavor. Lilac. Grain.

Crisp and clean mouthfeel. Lighter body.

A very nice pilsner. Not much to it, but simplicity is good here.

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Photo of Libationguy
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Light straw color with a slight haze.

Yeasty, white bread, white flowers, rice, yellow apple, mild dankness.

Light cabbage, creamed corn, moderate malt tones.

Medium bodied and crisp. Beer finishes with a light bitterness. Mild carbonation for the style.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.41/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz can, pours a pale straw color, slightly hazy and is topped with a fluffy white head, good head retention leaving thick soapy lacing as it fades. Aromas are mild with hints of pilsener malt, esters, grassy. Tastes are fuller with grassy noble hop, biscuity pilsener malt, a little soapy. Light-to-medium body, modest carbonation, finishes with an ample sharp, clean bitterness. Overall, a good American brewed German Pilsener.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tasted in a Spiegelau pilsner glass from a 16 oz can on June 9, 2013. Tasted again on September 4, 2017. Complex blend of crisp hop bite and creamy sweet malts. A great interpretation of the German pilsner style. Recommended.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.47/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served in a shaker pint glass at Bigby's Pour House.

Ah, Ginuwine, what happened to your dulcet rhymes? Anyway, this stuff pours a clear sunrise straw topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises light leek, flowers, very light biscuit, and some mild powdered sugar. The taste brings in more of the same, with the flowers center stage and a bit of grass crashing the auditorium for good measure. The body is a hefty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, a nice little pils, nothings outstanding, but I could see drinking a few of these on a hot Chicago night.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16 oz can poured into pint glass. Appearance is incredibly pale with a tint of yellow. White head forms and retains leaving a thick layer of lacing. The aroma features dry bready malts with light earthy hops. Notes of grass and lemon zest sit atop a sturdy cereal malt profile. Taste has a light sweetness up front with a decent hop presence which comes next. The taste is finished with strong bready malt notes. Incredible balance here makes for a light, refreshing, and flavorful pils. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of robwestcott
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Big thanks to ppohio for this one. Cold from the can a crisp, translucent popcorn gold to a three floyd's alpha king shaped imperial pint with a long lasting foamy white head with nice retention.

Aroma of popcorn and a hint of grassy hops.

Medium bodied, refreshing, bittersweet, popcorn, subtle malts.

Nice, easy drinking, reasonable example of the style.

Rock solid label art !

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Photo of MasterSki
4.04/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Can from the source. Served in a New Belgium tulip at Mark's place.

A - White foam settles to a thin cap, thicker collar, and specks of lace. Transparent pale golden body.

S - Zesty and grassy noble hopping, sharp toasted grains, and some buttered biscuit pilsner malt that comes out a bit more as it warms up. Aroma is quite potent and jumps out of the glass. Classic pilsner here.

T - The taste is quite similar, with perhaps a tad less malt sweetness and a bit more grassy and herbal bitterness. Malt is a bit more cracker than biscuit here.

M - Smooth, medium body, with crisp, pleasant carbonation, and a lightly bready and dry finish. Quite refreshing actually.

D - A solid, classic lager. I'd much rather drink this knowing it is fresh than take a chance on a number of bottled German offerings in the stores. Will be nice in the summer and will definitely appeal to more conservative palates. Think I prefer this to Flywheel actually.

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Photo of emerge077
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16 ounce can poured into a half liter mug.
Brilliant gold, shining with bright clarity and completely free of haze. Rising trails of visible carbonation feed into a fluffy head of cottony foam. Five minutes in and there's still a finger of foam across the top. Surface texture is creamy with sticky collar that deposits drippy lace in the glass.

Aroma is crisp and clean, slight initial hint of sulfur from the lager yeast, becoming grassy and grainy after it sits for a few minutes.

Firm grassy bitterness with a crisp snappy bite, smooth and clean tasting. Very fresh and quenching, dry and not sweet. Flavors of crackers and grassy hops lending to a dry bitter finish. Truly sessionable and food friendly. A pretty nice textbook Pils that hits all the hallmarks with a slightly amped up hop bitterness for American palates. Subtlety is the name of the game. Nice to see Half Acre put a solid session lager into their rotation.

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Pony from Half Acre Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 403 ratings