If you’re a gardener…stop rejoicing. This beer has nothing to do with daisies.

Not that I didn’t wonder about the name myself when I first picked up a bottle; I thought maybe it had something to do with gardening, or perhaps even brewing the beer with flowers. But after a little sleuthing, I found out that “Daisy Cutter” was actually a slang term used for the massive 15,000 pound bombs the U.S. dropped in Vietnam and Afghanistan to decimate forests and create huge helicopter drop zones. So…yeah. I wonder how many people bought this brew thinking it would be a pleasantly floral experience, and instead got a taste-bud-clearing hop explosion.

And really, that definition isn’t far off. Half Acre describes their signature brew as “a west coast Pale Ale chock-full of dank, aromatic hops” and touts it as “a screamer”. In terms of your run-of-the-mill APA, I think it’s pretty accurate. Daisy Cutter is a dull, almost murky looking reddish-brown beer with awesome head retention and a very “wet” hop aroma. I love the word Half Acre uses…dank. Not exactly pleasant sounding, but it’s true here. The hops are pungent, almost musty. Yet somehow, this beer is radically fresh, as if they were picked straight off the vine and plopped in right before you decided to open it. The dry hopping gives it more of a floral note in the nose, but the taste is all citrus; a bitter grapefruit explosion. And not the sweet tangy zip of red grapefruit. This is akin to taking a huge bite of white grapefruit, rind and all. It truly is chock-full of hops, and the damp/soggy yet unbelievably fresh bitterness they impart to the beer has to be tasted to be believed. IBUs aren’t listed; my guess would be between 60-75. Right on the verge of giving you that dry, filmy chalk tongue. And malts are pretty much nonexistent. But trust me, you’ll be looking forward to the next sip too much to notice (or care).

This is a truly remarkable Pale Ale from a brewery that many of us here at the PHM are lucky enough to have access to. If you’re a Chicago-area resident and want to know where to buy it, go here. And if you’re not from the Chicago-area and you find a bottle, don’t think twice about snatching it up. Also, keep an eye out for Half Acre’s new venture, Daisy Cutter in cans!

ABV: 5.2%

Grade: A