Feb 24, 2014

Brooklyn Brewery 1/2 Ale

One of my all-time favorite Brooklyn Brewery products is their Sorachi Ace, a Belgian-style saison that gave a great deal of attention to (and was named after) a hop variety that I had never encountered before. The Sorachi Ace hop variety carries a strong lemongrass quality that really makes that beer a standout in the many that’s I’ve had through the years.

So, when a couple of samples of the company’s 1/2 Ale (Session Saison) arrived last week, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it also used a good amount of Sorachi Ace hops in its creation. But this isn’t just a knock-off of that tasty saison. 1/2 Ale only weighs in at 3.4% ABV, making it more than sessionable — a beer that you can sit down with for a period, enjoying a couple of pints with friends.

The brewery further separates this from its bigger sibling with the inclusion of perle, amarillo and simcoe hops to accompany the slightly tart and lemony sorachi ace. The result is a beer that is crisp, downright quaffable and full of life.


A very pale straw yellow in color, the beer sits with a large stack of rocky, white foam.

Brooklyn Brewery 1/2 Ale photo


You can definitely pick up the Sorachi Ace and its distinct lemongrass presence as a light barnyard funk, citrus and soft spices mingle in the background.


A solid dose of lemony, grassy hops arrive immediately with a decent zing on a wave of crisp carbonation. Hay, a light barnyard funk, yeast and distant cereal come in shortly there after to complete the well-rounded flavor. The beer is refreshing with a moderate hop bite that lingers wonderfully in the drying finish.


1/2 Ale isn’t just a watered down version of it’s bigger sibling. This is a full-flavored little beer all its own that packs a decent amount of hop character and refreshment into a quaffable package ideal for the warmer months to come. I thoroughly enjoyed the samples the brewery was nice enough to send way — they were perfect after getting through the first attack on the garden and yard this past weekend.

Rating: 3.75/5

This is a review of a promotional sample from the brewery.

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