Half Acre Celebrates a Decade of Daisy Cutter
April 5th 2019 | From Union
What started out as a very small operation in 2006, Half Acre has grown into one of the most recognizable breweries in Chicago with product demand across the nation. This month, Half Acre celebrates the 10th anniversary of Daisy Cutter, the dank, dry Pale Ale that put them on the map for beer drinkers everywhere. Co-founder Gabriel Magliaro tells us about his journey over the years, his memories of Daisy Cutter and how he hopes Daisy Cutter fans celebrate this milestone.
Where did your love of beer start? You’ve spent time in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Colorado and Illinois.. Was there a specific place that pushed you towards brewing? Or maybe a specific person?
While I loved drinking beer and have always appreciated the art of catching a buzz, it was the culture of beer that drove me to create my own access point into the industry. Brewery life and the vast opportunity for creative manifestation was the way I wanted to live and find personal success.
How would you compare brewing in 2006 to operating the brewery now?
Nothing about today is like 2006. That can be said of our brewery and the industry as a whole. That said, we’ve tried to maintain the same reason for being — the fulfillment of creative action. It was hard back then because the industry hadn’t yet bent toward small brewers, but it forced us to make large choices that provided us a clear identity. Today, the path is very well worn and its harder to enact change and individualism in such a cluttered world. That said, you still know it and feel it when you come across distinct voices. It was a hard sport then, it’s a hard one now. We still feel lucky to be inside it and making our living with and amongst friends.
Daisy Cutter really put you guys on the map. How did Daisy Cutter come to be? What was the inspiration for it and expectation for it?
Daisy was dry relative to most hoppy beers being put out back then. It was a cool hop and grain blend for that time and pinched a nerve for people. It’s been an early touchpoint for a lot of people and carved out a place in people’s lives. It’s surfed time well and evolved with people. It’s still a good gateway beer, while also being an historic option connected to people’s past experiences. It’s a thread beer — connecting you to yourself along the trail.
Why do you think Daisy Cutter gained such a strong following, not only in Chicago, but all around the country?
It circulated amongst beer people early. It was all over the rating sites and gained prominence early on in our history. What’s wild is that we’ve made more of that beer year over year every year. That even now the world has morphed as much as it has, it still has a place that’s vibrant and real.
We’re now celebrating the 10th anniversary of Daisy Cutter. What does that mean to you? How do you want to celebrate it?
In a lot of ways it’s a celebration for our brewery. Our industry moves fast, beer drinkers interests move quickly. With an exploratory nature as fundamental to beer as it is, I’m very thankful that our brewery and Daisy Cutter continues to find relevance and reason for being. I’m really proud of everyone at Half Acre and appreciative that people buy our beer. Celebration for me is acknowledgment and affording myself some sort of check-in moment. We all run around everyday, I hope to stop and take stock of how great it’s all been.
Half Acre will be having two big "Decades of Daisy Cutter" events here in NYC at As Is and Blind Tiger. What do you want fans and consumers to take away from these events?
I’d ask for one, big reflective moment, asking themselves what role beer plays in their life. To consider what’s important about beer and how they can protect it, improve and enjoy it. What type of legacy does their experience and relationship leave for the next person drinking their first Daisy Cutter? Then, they should wipe all that out of their mind, talk about other things and have a great time.
Click below for event details: