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Half Acre + Three Floyds Shewolf IPA
Written by Tom
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.
Grade: AHalf Acre + Three Floyds Shewolf IPA,