Chicago-based Half Acre Brewing Co.’s churns out consistently excellent offerings, but its fall/winter seasonal GoneAway IPA is a masterpiece. While it took three tries to get the name right, the beer itself has always been spot on, even taking home the silver medal in the crowded American-style IPA category in its 2014 Great American Beer Festival debut.
GoneAway pours from a white can with a colorful Southwestern motif. A white foam builds on top of the active golden body, and the fluffiness of the head hints at a possible wheat addition in the malt bill. A slight haze clouds GoneAway, catching every bit of light to give the beer a radiant quality in the glass.
The aroma is just as vibrant as the appearance. Huge notes of grapefruit and pine lead the way in a classic combination that never goes out of style. GoneAway’s aroma is very assertive—a room-filler that stings the nose with punches of bright citrus and dank resin.
GoneAway is the kind of beer that deserves long lines at every release but luckily doesn’t generate them.”
Half Acre continues to hammer away with an effective pairing of grapefruit and pine, but GoneAway also features flavors typically only reserved for fresh-hopped beers like grassy green strawberry, bright tropical fruit, and citrus. Anchoring those bright notes are deep hits of sappy pine and earthy resin. GoneAway is aggressively bitter with all of its citrus rind and dank hoppiness. It remains in balance with a hefty malt presence that tastes like the best floral honey smeared over a dry biscuit.
GoneAway blends the best of East and West Coast IPA philosophies. It’s boasts big, fruity hop flavor and aroma that is backed by classic IPA bitterness and crackery sweet malt. Airy and medium-bodied, its clean, dry finish wraps up each sip quickly and begs another. GoneAway is the kind of beer that deserves long lines at every release but luckily doesn’t generate them. Do yourself a favor—skip the long line for the latest haze and head to the beer store before seasons change and this one has gone away.