As the weather undeniably fades to Fall here in Chicago, and beer interests begin to turn to Oktoberfests and Pumpkin Ales…there comes a brew to salvage the waning memory of the hot, humid, and hoppy Summer that was. To be fair, Half Acre’s Gossamer Golden Ale is actually a year-round offering, and can and should be enjoyed in any season. But after you take your first sip, you’ll be itching for one or two more dog days this year in order to take full advantage of its refreshing qualities.

I always enjoy posting Half Acre’s descriptions of their own beer, because they’re pretty much spot on. They’re also short and sweet. Here’s Gossamer’s: “A drinker. This Golden Ale is a quality travel companion that aims to please with subtlety and aroma pop.” I suppose it doesn’t tell you much about the flavor of the beer, but you definitely know what you’re getting when you crack one open. It’s light bodied, crisply carbonated, wonderfully dry-hopped, and low in ABV. And yes, you do actually get to crack one open…they come in pint cans.

It seems easier to label Gossamer as an APA…I’m not really sure what a “Golden Ale” is. But no matter. It has a character all its own; one that’s unique to Half Acre. Malts are extremely faint…practically invisible to the tongue. But this doesn’t detract, it just allows the clean citrusy hop flavor and aroma to refresh like none other. I’d love to know the hop recipe used; it has grapefruit flavors akin to Half Acre’s Daisy Cutter, but they’re subtle, not harsh. And where Daisy Cutter is very wet and resinous, Gossamer is fresh and dry, almost a touch sour. As the beer warms, you get an ever so slight touch of honey in the back of your mouth, but it maintains its singular hop note throughout. I dig this beer…for the same reason I dig Three Floyd’s Pride & Joy (see review here): it’s simple, unpretentious, and mild yet delicious (not to be confused with mildly delicious). While it’s definitely a “drinker”, it pretty much fits the bill for any situation you can think of. And for the craft beer newbie, it’s great flavor that won’t make you think twice about expanding your brew horizons.

ABV: 4.2%

Grade: A-