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Ad Astra Ale | Free State Brewing Co.

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Ad Astra AleAd Astra Ale

Brewed by:
Free State Brewing Co.
Kansas, United States

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This ale is the first brewed in Kansas since pioneering days. The name "Ad Astra comes from the Kansas State Motto - Ad Astra per Aspera, Latin words meaning "To the Stars through Difficulties". We've blended Pale, Caramel, and Munich malts for a rich amber beer. The hops balance this malty sweetness, and we've chosen Northern brewer and Fuggles hops for their flavor.

24 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-14-2002

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Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 265
Photo of beertunes
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brought back by a friend after a recent trip to Kansas. Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a deep, rich ruby-brown color without much head, likely due to transportation factors.

The aromas were full, rich, earthy and malty, with hint of fruit ( plum? cherry?). The taste built upon the foundation set, being smoothly full and malty, just slightly sweet, without a noticeable fruit taste, and a pleasant hop tang on the finish.

The body was full and well rounded, not heavy and very smooth. Drinkability was great, if available to me, this would be a regular quaff. Overall, a wonderful beer that makes me want to visit Kansas.

 625 characters

Photo of Deuane
3.46/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Copper with a medium off-white head that left moderate lace.

S-Muted aroma of peppery hops and a bit of spiciness.

T-Roasty malts and a bit of hop spice. Overall rather dull though.

M-Medium-light body with a nice sharp crispness.

D-Not a bad beer but this one was a bit too boring for me. I found nothing exceptional about it. A good "training wheels" craft beer

 369 characters

Photo of Goliath
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber in color with one inch of yellowed head sitting on top. Good retention and some nice lacing.

Nice aroma with caramel and a little hop spiciness.

Flavors are nice, with caramel and chocolate. A slight hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability is fairly high with good flavors.

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Photo of zeff80
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this several times at the Free State, however, this review comes from The Brick Oven in Topeka.

A - Poured a copper color with a foamy, off-white, two-finger head that left some nice lace.

S - It smelled of hops and bittersweet malt.

T - This tasted quite hoppy and had a smooth roasted malt flavor.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good alt and yet another good brew from the Free State Brewery.

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Photo of SafeAtFirst
4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic pint glass. The appearance of this beer is a deep clear ruby/amber color with a slightly off-white head. There is not a lot of aroma - some light roasted malts and earth are all I can pick up. The flavor is much better a good toasty malt base with just enough hop bitterness and carbonation to wash it all away and send me back in for another sip, perfectly balanced.

Overall this is one of my "go-to" beers at Free State. It's a real smooth, easy drinking, award winning beer.

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Photo of Boto
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught: Mine poured a clear amber color that was tinged with red. It had a bit of an off-white head that left a decent amount of lacing down the glass. The aroma was a bit weak, while still nice. It was somewhat malty and a bit grassy. The taste was much better. A decent maly body without any real sweetness. A bit of a roastiness to it with a hint of coffee. A fair amount of biterness to it. This is really a decent brew.

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Photo of karst
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear deep copper with a persistant 3 finger head that persists.

Aroma of nutty malt and Hallertauer hops.

Flavors of crystal 60 and toasted nutty malts balanced by moderate IBUs

Medium body, active carbonation and unfermentable dextrins yield a satisfying mouthfeel with a dry finish from hops. Ad Astra is an excellent Alt bier a style that I have began to delve into.

Most drinkable!

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served warmer than I would have liked.
Head was missing in the beer, but the color was nice. Medium red/brown, good glow
Aroma of hops, lemon and roasted malt. Molasses a bit.
Taste was a good balance of malt and hops, citurs and nut. Good finish, wanted more

 262 characters

Photo of tjthresh
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Re-Rate: I have a keg at my home now. Fresher than before. Bumped the aroma, flavor, and overall up 1 point. This is a much better product than is served at Old Chicago.
As Astra is a pretty good session beer. Not a lot there to overwhelm, but enough to make it interesting. Dark red to brown in color, served with no head. Aromas of backed goods, and some brown sugar. Light sweet toasted flavor with decent bitterness. Light inthe body.

 439 characters

Photo of Dansting
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draught at Old Chicago in Overland Park, Kansas. Excellent altbier. Pleasant malty aroma and flavor, with nice, rich dark reddish-brown color. Light head that disappears rather quickly. Nice orange aftertaste to go along with initial terrific flavor.

 253 characters

Photo of KansasNate
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This copper hued ale was the first to be brewed in Kansas since the wild west days. This is an easy drinking beer, with a slight sweet edge that is balanced nicely with the hops. Perhaps too easy drinking on a monday night with $1.75 pints on tap. This is excellent beer.

 271 characters

Photo of Rio
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed as on tap since the growler was filled from a tap. Nice brown ½ gallon growler with Free State Brewery logo on the front, and a bit of history about Free State and brewing in Kansas on the back.

Poured a deep brownish color with a nice head with good retention. Bit of maltiness to the smell, but all in all, not that impressive. Main flavor seems to be the maltiness, with a bit of hoppiness and perhaps a flavor of nuts under it. Decent bit of carbonation to it, but otherwise nothing distinctive in the feel.

A good beer, Free State's first, and I believe possibly the first beer brewed in Kansas after it became legal again. A good one to try, and probably try again, but not really that outstanding.

 720 characters

Photo of bditty187
3.04/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, dark reddish/slightly bronzy hue, served with a thick off-white head, excellent retention, laced well. Clean nose… there was a slight dull maltiness… disappointing, mute invitation. Moderately flavorsome palate, the maltiness is the focal point, accomplished, the hops play a minor supporting rule, they do add a touch of bitterness. Some caramel and nut hints too. Nicely balanced if not too soft. Modest carbonation. The finish is clean… decent enough to drink. Not really that impressive of an offering… try something else.

 537 characters

Photo of maxpower
2.63/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Deep clear amber color, nice white lasting head, malty bready aroma. Light and sweet caremel malt flavor, some light hop flavor stand out in a clean dry finish, light body and a thin, watery mouthfeel, a good one for microswill drinkers just to bland for me.

 258 characters

Photo of beernut7
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This American amber ale possesses a deep amber color with no head. The very insignificant aroma is slightly of malt. A nice smooth heavier body supports a sharp malt sweetness and a lingering bitterness. The sweetness becomes a bit harsh toward the bottom of the glass, but a latent fruity spice helps to curb it some.

 321 characters

Photo of marc77
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark orange / copper in color and very clear. Impressive, thick and sticky head. Nutty, lightly roasted malt aroma, w/ a mild green and floral Hallertauer nose. Toasted and dark caramel malt flavors are accompanied by moderate hop bitterness. The medium body and fairly high carbonation make this brew quite effervescent and refreshing. The finish is quite dry and tannic, but in a pleasant way. Ad Astra is an all around very drinkable beer and a fine example of a style that isn't brewed enough.

 503 characters

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Ad Astra Ale from Free State Brewing Co.
3.7 out of 5 based on 265 ratings.
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