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Chicagoist Visits Half Acre's Brewery

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Apr 20, 2009 4:40PM

We paid a long-overdue visit to Half Acre Beer Company Saturday at owner Gabriel Magliaro's invitation to check on the progress of their brew house at 4257 N. Lincoln Ave., and to drink some beer, including their limited edition release Baume' rye stout and the amazing, soon-to-be-released Daisy Cutter Pale Ale.

It wasn't that long ago that Magliaro went from contract brewing Half Acre's lager in Wisconsin to the ongoing construction at the brew house. Even with all the dust and construction, Magliaro and Head Brewer Tommy Nicely still find time to brew beer for their growing lists of local accounts. "It seems like it's taken forever to get here from my perspective," Magliaro said Saturday. "I've been putting in 18-hour work days to whip everything into shape." Half Acre bought its brewing equipment from Colorado's Ska Brewing Company. Before Ska, the equipment was owned by Uinta Brewing in Salt Lake City. It's got some mileage on it, but Magliaro and Nicely said that Half Acre's equipment can produce 3,500 barrels a year. They're also slowly phasing out the contract brewing. "We're in the process of buying a bottle line so we can bottle twelve-ounce bottles in house," said Magliaro (they currently have a hand bottler for the Baume' bombers).

Half Acre will also have a retail store, complete with an in-wall draft box for customers to sample their brew. "The hardest part of all this has been dealing with the city on all this, but the reward is worth the risk," Magliaro told us. In the meantime, they're having some fun with tastings and their ongoing "Half Acre Hunts." These scavenger hunts for a Half Acre-branded capsule entitle the winners (ostensibly of legal drinking age) to free beer. More info can be found on the hunts and the ongoing construction at Half Acre's blog.

1:33 p.m. UPDATE: For those asking about where to find Baume', Magliaro said it's available on draft at Map Room, Jerry's, Long Room, Sheffield's, Twisted Spoke and Small Bar. You can find it retail at the Boys Town Whole Foods, Binny's South Loop, Armanetti's on Lincoln, Drinks Over Dearborn. he also said to be patient with the bottles, as they just went out today, so they'll be in more locations than what's currently listed.