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As one of Chicago's first-on-the-scene brewers, Half Acre's story is one of many starts. Everything Gabriel Magliaro and his working partner Matt Gallagher learned, they mostly had to learn themselves. To start a craft brewery in Chicago in 2006 was to start in obscurity, and like so many brewers at the time, their challenge wasn't in standing out - they had to fit in. They had to convince people that the beer they were making was worthy of the term "beer" at all.
Almost unrecognizable from those beginnings today, Gabriel and the growing Half Acre team are one of the most sought-after, standout brands in the city, and the team is ready to make a major leap to a second production facility on Chicago's north side. Their second city location has 90,000 square feet to produce more Daisy Cutter than drinkers have had to date, and frees up the original brewery space for a kitchen, lab, and experimentation. But don’t wait to visit until the Balmoral location opens its doors to the public. The current tap room is one of the chillest, friendliest spots to have a heady pint of hop-driven beer, and you can easily make a day of it with a few friends and a pack of cards.
Before or after visiting Half Acre, check out El Asadero, the adjoining store that will fill up your growler and supply you with Half Acre attire, repping the work of in-house artist Phineas Jones. He's making some of the best beer illustrations out there, embodying the work-to-the-bone, ready-to-get-rowdy spirit that defines this Big Shoulders brewery. Also not to be missed is Half Acre’s Big Hugs Imperial Stout. Released annually in December on “Big Hugs Day,” the beer is as beloved as the orange tabby cat that adorns the label.