Brooklyn 1/2 Ale - Session Saison | Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn 1/2 Ale - Session SaisonBrooklyn 1/2 Ale - Session Saison

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brooklyn Brewery 1/2 Ale hearks back to traditional farmhouse ales, which used to quench the thirst of farmhands and other laborers on hot sunny days. These saisons were complex yet clean, low in alcohol and high in refreshment.

Brooklyn Half Ale is an unfiltered, clean, and balanced saison, with a hazy, pale yellow pour. It packs a symphony of citrusy hops over a gentle malt base that clocks in at a pleasantly restrained 3.4% ABV.

Added by Jason on 03-14-2014

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Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 184
Photo of Quencher
2.92/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Ok looking bottle (very American) , pours Ok, very sedimenty almost weis beer looking. Citrus /fruity smell.. had to read the ingrdients to get orange..( I got mango out of it) . definitly to be drunk cold. Good thirst quencher but it left a short bitter taste once it fell of the tounge.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.29/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at blend.
Lemony aroma and taste, but not complete lemon.
Slight hops in the taste, but not an IPA. No strong esters, yeasts, so not really a saison.
Feel is light and crisp; unlike most saison.

Not sure what this is, but it is not bad.
Nice football beer.


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Photo of Malt_Man
3.82/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served cold from 355ml bottle.

L) Pale yellow, cloudy, a few small bubbles, thin film.

S) Light fruit cocktail, maybe pineapple and orange. No funky like a typical saison.

T) Very light, pineapple sweetness, grapefruit sweetness / bitterness. Not really much like a true Belgian saison. A bit of yeasty bitterness at the end. Pop.

F) Very light and refreshing, easy drinking, just a touch of bitterness to round it. Good.

O) Is this what a saison tastes like in the USA? If so, give me Belgian every time. Having said that I could neck a few of these cold on a hot day and enjoy them. A summer beer drunk in October.

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Photo of woomThomas
2.12/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The beer is not clear and light yellow in color. The foam is white and will properly. The foam is large to medium bubbles. The foam makes no direct traces in the glass. The aroma is fruity with some hops and malt. Here is some orange peel, lemon, apricot some papaya. Some spices and a little pine. The flavor is quite intense in the early fruits. There are lots of citrus, orange, then comes the little papaya and apricot. Is a little thin malt and some hops flavor. But pretty much carbonic acid. The taste is very fruity and intense in the beginning but decreases quite fast. The flavor seems a bit "artificial" and feels more like being appointed. Light to medium body. High Carbonic. Crispy and dry small. The flavors and feels artificial added.

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Photo of vinicole
3.34/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy straw colour. Gently rising bubbles.
Mild citrus hop smell. Malt present.
Initial astringency mellows later.. Rather sour. Spicy yeast. Somewhat medicinal.
Medium carbonation.

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Photo of ManapuaMan
3.52/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Is that pickle juice? Tastes like pickle juice. There's a little sweet and tart layer on top of the light peppery spice of the saison. Probably the way I interpret the spice/hop/orange peel flavor combo. Cereal on the backend. Odd beer.

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Photo of PhillyB
2.74/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I found this beer truly unexceptional.

Look: Looks like a hazy pilsner. Very light yellow with a bubbly head.

Smell: Struggled to get much if anything from it. Soft hay, maybe some cereal grain.

Taste: Initial swig is of a decent ale but disappears after a second or two. It's so brief I had difficulty naming any distinct flavours. Leaves a finish of stale cereal.

Feel: Barely carbonated soda water.

Overall: A sessionable ale that I personally couldn't finish one of. The results were the same for the rest of my household, specifically "I'd rather session a Pabst."

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Photo of woodychandler
3.61/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Here comes the Bottle Backlog, again! I had been CANcentrating on The CANQuest (tm) to winnow that down, but I hear the call of the bottles, crying to me from the depths of Chez Woody & I feel impassioned to put them out of their misery. 1/2?!? Just 1/2?!? I am reminded of being a Fleet Returnee to Storekeeper (SK) Class "A" school in Meridian, MS in late-1985/early-1986 and marching back from class one evening. Most of our classmates were straight outta Boot, yo, & shoulda done better, but on this occasion, they were marching like Frankenstein! My buddy, "Big Guy" Bigham & I were bringing up the rear when I decided to call out, "Hey, Big Guy, how fast are we marching?" "I dunno, Wood. How fast?" "Half!" "Half?" "Yeah, half fast!" "ANNNND HALT! Bigham, Chandler, front of the line! Show us how it's done!" Not only that, but we got some nice Extra Military Training (EMT) that night to reinforce the idea. It was worth it!

From the bottle: "We love all kinds of farmhouse ales. But the original farmhouse ales weren't big beers - they were beers you could drink while working in the hot sun all day. Our 1/2 Ale reaches back to that tradition - it's a dry, hoppy, citrusy, and delicious saison[,] all at 3.4% Alc, by Vol. In fact, you CAN hav everything."

I Pop!ped the cap and let fly with a heavy-handed pour since I am not into crystal Saisons & I wanted to rouse the lees. This brought forth three fingers of puffy, rocky, Eggshell White-colored head with decent retention. I watched in rapt fascination as it slowly fell, leaving great lacing in its wake. Color wa a cloudy Golden-Amber (SRM = > 5, < 7). Nose held a light funk underlain with a lemony citrusiness. Mouthfeel was kind of thin, not watery, per se, but very light. The taste was slightly tart & funky with a lemony-biscuity flavor on the tongue. Finish was dry, still lightly funky, but not challenging. I could certainly see this on a hot summer's day. Now, if that is their intent for this beer, why not put it in a CAN?

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Hazy, bright yellow color with white head. Aroma has intense dill notes, fresh and herbal. Taste is also herbal and slightly hoppy and bitter. Body is medium and well carbonated. Really nice session saison, fresh and easy to drink.

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Photo of Act25
3.9/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A must try from Brooklyn. Seeing more of these - see list to right.

A: Very hazed, straw body with a frothed, white head and active carbonation, not much lace.

S: if you let it warm to cask temperature, it's a citrusy, herbal hops bomb with the earthy, spicy accents from dominating yeast. Also light pilsner maltiness. Great smell, great with cheese. I could definitely cook with this beer, and it's a cook's brew!

T: Follows aroma with light, soda cracker pils maltiness that rolls into a barnyard, but now sour, rustic, grassy herbal hay and lemony citrus core.

F: Medium bitterness. peppery phenolics. Nice minerality on the dry finish. Medium-light body. Moderate, lively carbonation, soft in texture.

O: Very drinkable, quite refreshing

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.21/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(bottle stamped FEB2015 - poured into my Chouffe tulip)

L: very tall, very loose stand of spongy white foam atop a fairly hazy, pale yellow-amber liquid... little strands of craggy, sparkly lace left here and there... the foam suggests bottle-conditioning, and I am only now noticing sandy sediment in the bottom of the bottle - swirled it up, poured it in - oh yeah, this looks the part

S: wonderfully fragrant smell with the orange peel and Sorachi Ace coming through with force... I'll say right up front that this beer smells very much like most of the (lighter-colored) Hitachino Nest brands - pretty damn uncanny... also coming through is an unripe banana peel, some pink peppercorn, perhaps a touch of clove, strawberry taffy - things like that

T: vague champagne notes, which I wanted to suggest where on the nose, greet you up front... the middle and finish is noticeably light and dry, with little true naked malt flavor... the bitterness can come across biting and is coated in a citrus acidity... the aftertaste has a pleasant tartness that could suggest infection, but seems perfectly fine for this style... the Sorachi is really potent here, and the addition of the sediment is a must... minimal sweetness

F: super-ghostly light bodied underneath, softly foamy on top, dry altogether but with a good amount of hop resin and/or yeast sediment left behind on the palette

O: isn't exactly the perfect weather (here on 20 Nov) for a beer like this, and one would perhaps want about twice the alcohol on a chilly day, but this turned out to be rather nice as a palette and skull refresher prior to cooking dinner... high(er) marks on flavor, surely because of the Sorachi and yeast profile, though I'm curious how good this would be if they removed that hop... I'll almost certainly revisit this come summer

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Photo of barczar
3.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I like big beers. This is not one.

Aroma is fairly musty, grassy, and floral, with earthy and citrusy hop notes. More than expected.

Flavor is light, with a crackery malt base, a light lemony citrus presence, and a lightly bitter finish.

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Photo of 911CROFT
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

355ml bottle into an oversized wine glass. Paid £2.00 for a single bottle.

Pours a hazy, pale, straw-coloured body with a one-finger in height, bubbly, white head. Despite an excellent amount of visible carbonation it reduces quickly to a patchy film and leaves behind only a small amount of frail lacing.

On the nose, light pilsner malts and citrusy hops are the most noticeable aromas. Fragrant oils from grapefruit and lemon peels dominate but also recognisable are gentle floral notes, fruity apricot, and light Belgian yeast. The taste follows suit, leading for a short time with pale malts and crisp sweet grains, before quickly handing over to the citrusy hop profile. Like the nose, grapefruit and lemon peels dominate the flavour but there is also a herbal touch and some grassy bitterness from the mid palate onwards. In the mouth a light body and plenty of carbonation give a thin, crisp and lively feel that starts and finishes semi-dry. Towards the end, Belgian yeast adds a subtle dry, spicy, earthy, peppery character before leaving grapefruit and lemon rind bitterness to linger on the palate.

Overall this is a decent beer. It’s bright, clean, crisp and refreshing, but ultimately let down the malt body which is lacking in balance, character and depth. I can’t see myself picking up another bottle to drink on its own, although it might pair well in the summer with a light lunch.

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Photo of Antg8989
2.83/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Very light straw. Minimal head. Aroma of pilsner malts. Lemon grass, slightly spicy. Light bodied. High carbonation.
Horseradish. Peppercorns.

3, 2.5, 2.75, 4, 2.75

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Photo of BranfordBound
3.42/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank this one tonight, from 12 oz into a pint glass. Nice looks to it, golden and a touch cloudy with great head retention. Pretty light aroma, some typical saison smell to it, funky with that spicy yeast. Flavor is good, but there's something on the back end that's nagging me. It starts sweet and then goes into the farmhouse yeast spice, but the spice isn't the best, it's got a weird aftertaste to it like plastic or something medicinal. It drinks super light and easy to crush it, but I can't get past the aftertaste.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, best before July 2015, served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Cloudy golden yellow with a 1/2" thick rocky persistent head. Lots of bubbles coming up through the beer. Persistent thick strands of lacing.

Smell: Strong lemon juice and orange peel.

Taste: Lots of citrus going on: lemon, orange, lemon rind. Plenty of other fruit flavors as well: papaya, apricot. Cracker-like malt just barely there. In fact, there isn't enough malt here. This beer is good, but it comes across more like a hop carbonated infusion than it does a saison.

Mouthfeel: Spicy prickly carbonation on the tongue. Smooth but airy underneath.

Overall / Drinkability: Great looking and great smelling beer, and the initial sips are quite nice....but then it becomes a bit of a chore to finish by itself because there is almost no malt for balance. Maybe with the right food this would be a beer I'd reach for another of, but for now one per evening is enough. It has the airy character of a saison, but it's missing the other yeasty and malty flavors you get from a full strength saison. So is it sessionable? Yes, I would say so, but particularly so in that one per session is enough. The more I drink it, the more I think it needs to be paired with food. I'm not sure I'd find it so enjoyable after a hot day working outside. So in the end, not as impressive as it sounded, but I will give it high marks for appearance and aroma.

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Photo of Lagerhouserules
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Lots of flavor packed into this saison for 3.4 percent. Way more than expected. Mouthfeel isn't as thin as you would expect either. I applaud Brooklyn for brewing a low alcohol beer that is not a session ipa. Nice beer!

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.81/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours slightly hazy straw with a small head.
Nose shows light lemon and farmhouse notes, some elderflower too. Very faint.
Flavours are dominated by sorachi ace derived custard and dill notes followed by a very dry, easy-going finish.
Insanely drinkable.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.16/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Brooklyn chalice.

Appearance: Pours a hazy yellowish orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of white head that settles into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A juicy and spicy Belgian style aroma with good hints of juicy hops, fruit, and spice. Belgian yeast with hints of white pepper, clove, and farmhouse funk. Scent of Sorachi Ace hops along with some zesty citrus hints of orange peel, lemon, and tangerine. Also some fruit hints of green apple and white grapes. Malt hints of grains, cracker, and straw. A pretty solid zesty aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a crisp, fruity, and spicy taste with notes of citrus fruit and spice. Belgian yeast with some spice notes of peppers, clove, and farmhouse funk. Good hop presence with a good kick of Sorachi Ace. Citrus fruit notes of lemon zest, orange, and tangerine. Also some Belgian style fruit notes of green apple and white grape. Soft malt notes of cracker, grains, and straw. A pretty nice juicy crisp taste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a high level of carbonation. Juicy, spritzy, and pretty drying on the finish.

Overall: A pretty solid session version of a Saison. Nice zesty fruit flavors for such a light bodied brew. It’s just like a light session version of Brooklyn’s Sorachi Ace.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 7/2015. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy pale golden yellow color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, pear, apple, light pine, peppercorn, cracker, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good complexity and balance of citrus/earthy hops, fruity/spicy yeast, and light-moderate pale malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, pear, apple, light pine, peppercorn, cracker, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Good amount of herbal/yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, pear, apple, light pine, peppercorn, cracker, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Very nice complexity, balance, and robustness of citrus/earthy hops, fruity/spicy yeast, and light-moderate pale malt flavors; with a great hop/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and light bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Not overly dry or watery feeling in flavors. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 3.4%. Overall this is a very good hoppy table saison. All around good complexity, balance, and robustness of citrus/earthy hops, fruity/spicy yeast, and light-moderate pale malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.72/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

5/31....pours cloudy hazy very pale yellow. Fast fizz and light layer of white foam. Very faint nose, small citrus. Very light taste; some citrus, belgian hop leads to a tiny bitter. Refreshing.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.41/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Don't you ever wish that you could simply enjoy a glass of saison and keep the dry fruity, peppery and effervescence of the Belgian ilk, but in a modest content of alcohol? Na, me neither, but those folks do exist and for them, Brooklyn's session ale does just that.

Bouncing in the glass, the beer's playful carbonation gives the light golden ale a lively appearance, similar to champagne. As its dry grain sweetness lunges onto the tongue, a perfume of apple, dried orange, lemon and white grape are all given a tingle of white pepper and grassy hops.

With the grain, wafer and bread sweetness quickly dissolving, the middle palate becomes a stage for fruit and spice. Its dry citrus, orchard and vinous tang resonates with the peppercorn, faint cumin and herbal balance, just ahead of a grassy, spicy bitterness that sharpens the taste before finish.

Seriously light and spritefully prickling against the tongue, the strong carbonic bite of the beer ensures a delightful dry finish. Its bubbles highlight the beer's mineral, spice and grain character to reveal flavors that remiss of tonic water.

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Photo of J-Rye
4.43/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had a pint at Tavern on the Lake in Hightstown, NJ. Great example of a 1/2 ale. Very, very similar to DuPont Brewery's "Avril." Perfect lawnmower or table beer.

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Photo of hopsputin
3.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: its a murky grain color with some hazy yellow notes. 1 1/4 finger solid white head

s: a very dainty aroma. lemongrass. green apple and some effervescent grains. theres a nice smooth coriander aroma in here as well. providing the backbone to the aroma are big juicy citrus notes and some bready malts

t: taste is very mellow compared to the aroma. watery grains, coriander, some earthy bitterness upfront. in the middle of the mouth is mellow lemongrass, pepper, citrus, and a bit of vanilla-ish flavor. on the end of the mouth there is some residual bitterness

m: light mouthfeel, almost watery. just enough carbonation to make the citrus pop

o: its a really light beer, a little watery. the use of spice and citrus is whats making the beer worth it. i paid $8 or $9 for the 6 pack, and probably won't but it again for that price. just not worth it given the extremely low ABV here

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.71/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: cloudy; pale straw in color; 2 finger mousy white head that receded slowly to a wispy cap; very little lacing;

S: coriander, black pepper, and citrus are front and center; tough to get anything beyond those three;

T: flavor is more subdued; coriander up front, with a bit of lemon before mid-palate; from then on, it's a slightly harsh grapefruit with mild bitterness to the finish;

M: light bodied; highly carbonated;

O: easy drinking and refreshing;

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Brooklyn 1/2 Ale - Session Saison from Brooklyn Brewery
3.61 out of 5 based on 184 ratings.
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