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Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week": Half Acre Baumé Rye Stout

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Apr 24, 2009 6:00PM

2009_04_baume.jpg In a week that's been very focused on beer over here on the Food and Drink side of things, it seems fitting to end the week where it began: focusing on Half Acre. From the moment the first cases of Half Acre Lager popped up on retail shelves and in bars throughout the city, one question over all others stood out: Can they succeed? Can a beer company calling Chicago home, brewing its product on contract in Wisconsin, be able to tread water until it finds both the equipment and space to start brewing within the city limits?

Baumé answers the question definitively that Gabriel Magliaro is in this for the long haul. A limited edition rye stout named after the French chemist who developed the scale measuring the density of liquid (this beer is 8.2 degrees Baumé), Baumé is a bold leap forward for Half Acre. Most of the thickness coming from Baumé comes from the roasted rye malt, one of the stickier malts with which to brew beer. The sweetness of the rye malt accentuates the traditional hints of chocolate, coffee and dark fruit typical of stouts. Possibly the most surprising aspect of Baumé is its bitterness. Magliaro and head brewer Tommy Nicely threw in three different types of hops into the brewing, giving Baumé a healthy 62 IBUs. With many stouts the malt overwhelms the hops. That's not the case here. Baumé has an amazing balance.

This is a limited edition beer. We listed where to find Baumé in our Monday post on our tour of the brewery. Get it while it's available.