Half Acre + Three Floyds Shewolf IPA

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Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Beer Profile

  • Brewery: Half Acre Beer Company Three Floyds Brewing Company
  • Website:
  • Country: United States
  • State: Illinois Indiana
  • Style: American IPA
  • Malts:
  • Hops:
  • ABV:
  • IBUs:
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  • PHM Grade: A

Half Acre + Three Floyds Shewolf IPA

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Half Acre and Three Floyds are at it again. After their one-off release of Invasion (a Helles Bock) these breweries teamed up a second time to create an IPA. I was excited to hear about this given that 3 Floyds is known for its hoppy beers and Half Acre produces a mouth watering APA. The release date was scheduled for June 2nd at 4pm. I started my drive into Chicago at about 2pm (normally a 30 min trip) and got there five minutes before said release. As you can probably infer, traffic sucked. I was tired of sitting, and the repetitive stop-and-go had given me a headache.

All that was alleviated when I was offered a sample of this collaborative brew as it cleared my sinuses, awakened my palate, and melted away my driving woes. On Half Acre’s blog they mentioned that the goal for this brew was to make it with “fewer raw materials” but do so in a big way. I think their aim was to keep it as simple as possible, yet create a power packed IPA.

I must say, that goal was achieved! First things first, the label art is ridiculous. The picture captures Spartan-looking men being weaned on the teats of a giant female wolf. A little awkward at first given the imagery, I did appreciate the detail and creativity that went into the artwork.

Pouring the initial glass from my growler brought forth a huge bouquet of hops and a golden liquid. It almost looked like Mead or a Pilsner as the color was slightly hazy gold/straw in nature. The head was fluffy and white producing a nice lacing down the glass.

I was really intrigued by the aroma. It was definitely a hop blast with tangy fruity-citrus overtones. I’d say it was almost a combination of two aromas from 3 Floyd’s Dreadnaught and Half Acre’s Daisy Cutter. There were hints of peach, lemon, grapefruit, orange, and pineapple along with an herbal mint quality that gave it some spiciness. It was grassy and very fresh. The malt profile was simple, light, and bready like a Pils. I could pick out a faint alcoholic smell from the 7.8% ABV, but it was very minor.

The flavor and drinkability of this IPA was great. It was simple, yet brilliantly crafted. There seemed to be only one malt used allowing me to focus on the hops, which while on the lighter spectrum of pungent, still come out strong. I’d say it had the classic Daisy Cutter appeal with 3 Floyds hopping handy work. Most of the hop profile hit my nose in a big way right before the sip. The opening flavor was a fruity/herbal bitterness-minty (had a mouthwash tingle). If you let it sit for a while the ABV does come out. Shewolf reminded me of Goose Island’s IPA in its approach. The minty quality might be from a piney hop used which gave an interesting dynamic to the fruity hop flavors. The light pale malts roll over the middle providing brief sweetness that eases into a bitter finish which is also herbal (minty), tingles the throat, and was drier than most IPAs I’ve had. The aftertaste has a definite hoppy quality that is somewhat resinous, but allows the minor bready malts to shine.

I really enjoyed this IPA in all its uniqueness. It was different than most out there and hope they offer it again in the near future. If you have a chance to make it out to Half Acre pick up a bomber or growler…you won’t be disappointed.

ABV: 7.8%

Grade: A

Half Acre + Three Floyds Shewolf IPA, 4.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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Comments
  1. I’ve got your 4pack of Daisy Cutter waiting. Dare we attempt a parking lot trade after work tomorrow?

    Noel — July 6th, 2010, 11:57 am
  2. Hey Tom,

    Nice review. How does Shewolf rate on your list of top IPAs?

    I thought it was an ipa that was ‘rawer’ than most i have tried. When i tried it i tasted wet, sharp grass and faint caramel malt. The aroma was definitely as varied as you describe it to be.

    Any idea when the Half Acre + Shorts Brewing Co. + Jonathan Cutler collaboration is coming out? http://inyourguts.blogspot.com/2010/06/ween-beer.html

    midwestbeerblog — July 10th, 2010, 6:50 am
  3. Ethan,
    Shewolf makes it in my top 10 favorite IPAs.

    I have found that I like my IPAs to be on the dry side with lighter malts (i.e., pale) and just a hint of caramel flavors. In my mind an IPA should just be a higher hopped Pale Ale (could utilize different hops). A brewery should take their pale and amp up the hops rather than trying to reinvent the brew. While you need to balance the higher bitterness with sweet malts, I’d argue you can do this while keeping it light and simple (i.e., Shewolf, Goose Island’s IPA, New Glarus Moon Man, Ale Asylum Hopalicious). Take Stone for example, I loved Levitation and Ruination, but failed to get on board with their standard IPA partly because of the malt profile.

    In addition, after years of sampling imperial IPAs I’ve found that many of them are only “imperial” because they have a boosted ABV (which means they will be sweeter due to all the malts used). Each time I’ve tried a new imperial IPA I have the expectation for a drier, boldly hopped beer more so than a typical IPA. Unfortunately, the results turn out that most of them were closer to Barleywines.

    While I’m rambling, I’ll say that many “American” Pale Ales should be classified as IPAs. We in the US have this ‘bigger/more is better’ mentality that I feel carries over into brewing (not a bad thing at times). Why drink an overly hopped Pale Ale when I could get my hop fix by just drink an IPA? Maybe it’s because Pales have a lighter malt profile? I’m still exploring and trying to figure out where that line is between Pale Ales and IPAs (both English and American).

    I believe Half Acre should be posting something soon regarding the Guava IPA.

    Tom — July 12th, 2010, 2:49 pm
  4. I’m excited about the Freedom of ’78. I was at Half Acre a couple weeks ago and saw the big tubs of guava. Very exciting. I did a little write up on the joint: http://gozamos.com/2010/07/half-acre-brewery/

    Also, I agree with Tom regarding the fact that most American-made Pale Ales should be considered IPAs. More hoppy than necessary (for the category).

    Becca Bretana — July 12th, 2010, 8:45 pm
  5. Thanks for the post Becca…nice article. I notice your picture was from the CCBW closing party Half Acre threw. Where you there?

    Tom — July 13th, 2010, 9:15 am
  6. I was not there, but that photo was graciously provided by Half-Acre. It’s a really cool place though. I have to limit by beer gatherings every year since they tend to accumulate (between Chicago and Milwaukee, there is always something going on). I do plan on being at the AHA Rally at Goose Island at the end of this month, however.

    Becca — July 13th, 2010, 4:45 pm
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