2016 Big Hugs by Half Acre brewing

15732638_10103858710145900_5244024419511028187_oRating: 5.75/6

2016 Big Hugs by Half Acre brewing is a 10% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Dark Matter Coffee


This beer is a thug. Big and chock full of tender embrace.

A specialty brew. Grab it when you see it. 10% ABV.

…Big Hugs has grappled with natural order and twisted the pillars of existence. While you hang in the balance, steal time to sit steady and spill this black rumble into your center. Big Hugs Imperial Stout is liquid char scraped from the bowels of eternity, soaked with the free spirit of an adolescent feline. Heed him and rejoice.

The time has come to release our annual homage to the accidentally violent, disastrous fly swatter we call Big Hugs. In its 8th year, Hugs has managed to break through the worm hole and find itself up against the real monsters – human kind.


As a huge fan of this crazy Kaiju Cat, I feel it is my duty every year to bring forth news of the return of a monster. A giant cat that can only suit its feels with hugging and massively destroying to the human race. Of course, he is loved by many. Who wouldn’t? Which makes me wonder how he would fare against Godzilla. To be honest, they would just be the best of friends. Who knows, maybe Big Hugs is Godzilla’s cat and no one knew it. Regardless, this one is one that you have to embrace. Take it on like a quest of dragons…err… cats. Like previous years, I hope to bring the beer to the site. Even if it is just the basic one. I think they do something different every year. Also, since I bought this years Dark Matter Coffee with Pink Himalayan Salt, I wonder if it will actually have that. Although, there is a version like that already. Anyways, let’s take on this Catastrophe!, Cheers!

Chocolate milk shake, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, fudge chocolate, roasted coffee, mocha, fancy coffee, espresso, dark fruit raisins, plums, prunes, currants, dark cherries, blueberries, coconut hints, tobacco, molasses, anise, leather, toffee, pecan pie, mild peanut butter and banana hints.

Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Baker’s Chocolate, German Chocolate, salted dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, toasted coconut hints, dark fruit raisins, plums, prunes, currants, dark cherries, blueberries, roasted coffee, mocha, fancy coffee, espresso, vinous grape notes, Kahlua Liqueur, brownies, pecan pie, bananas, malted chocolate, chocolate mousse, oatmeal cookies, smokey notes, anise, port wine, earthy notes, cookie dough ice cream, pecan pie, toffee, rock candy, salted chocolate, tobacco, leather, brown sugar, fudge chocolate, hazelnut nectar and pralines.

Finishing rich with caramel, sea salt, vanilla, dark chocolate, peanut butter, Fancy Coffee roast, spicy coffee complexity earthy notes and dark fruits. No alcohol in the taste, Dark like the abyss of nothingness dark body, Smooth, velvety and creamy mouthfeel and almost easy to drink despite the ABV.


I find it very interesting that this version of Big Hugs, while very exceptional and delicious as always, it had some salty notes like that of the Salted Chocolate version of the beer. It is interesting because the actual coffee does have Pink Himalayan salt, yes, the little baggie in the pictures. Makes wonder if they did use the same coffee as they did in the past years or if this is a new blend. Needless to say, still one of my favorite beers and the salty notes surely does add some complexity to the beer. Now while I did love this one, I am sure the variants are even better ofcourse. This one should still be seeked though as it is the original. Here watch this Cat Video from them to find out why you need this beer in your life. LOL Cheers!

Big Hugs from Meredith Anderson on Vimeo.

Anime Corner:
Ark Angel MR or evil Mythra from Final Fantasy XI was used in this pairing as I used her in the last pairing. The original idea had to do with the whole Big Hugs. Since she is a gray cat lady with crimson eyes, it would have fit with the Mecha Hugs Label from back in the day. The fact that she is an Ark Angel, she fits even more perfect with the evil Big Hugs and the whole Big Hugs as she squeezes the orange Mythra representing the colors of the original Big Hugs cat.

I also included original character Kisha the furry cat (character created by Kisharra of DeviantArt.com) as her color represent Christmas. This beer is released for Christmas so I figure this would work out since I found a picture of her hugging another furry cat on Christmas. Also, with that sensual stare, who wouldn’t want to hug up against a warm cat. Ofcourse, just like Big Hugs, big cats in real life are dangerous, just like the ABV on this one.

HAMAJANG collaboration by Jolly Pumpkin, Evil Twin, Mikkeller and Leelanau brewing

13244868_10103263294129370_6314592800520696239_nRating: 5/5

HAMAJANG collaboration by Jolly Pumpkin, Evil Twin, Mikkeller and Leelanau brewing is a 5.8% ABV American Wild Ale Blend with SeabuckThorns/Seaberries and Strawberries.

That’s Messed Up, Bro.
That’s right, I blended them.
So sue me.
Ron Jeffries
Founder and Chief Squeegee Operator

This brew is a blend of “Sea Buckthorn Fandango Sour Ale” which is a sour ale with Sea Buckthorn Juice and was a collaboration with Mikkel Bjergs of Mikkeller Brewing and Jolly Pumpkin. The other being “Innovatorman Sour Ale” which is a sour ale with Strawberries. This collaboration was with Jeppe Bjergs of Evil Twin Brewing and Charles Psenka from Leelanau Brewing Company. I do believe there has been a rivalry between the twins (Mikkeller and Evil Twin) so in order to make this brew which shouldn’t even exist, Jolly Pumpkin blended those 2 beers together and now we have the Hamajang Sour Ale Blend. Sneaky sneaky but awesome. I really wonder what the twins thought of this or even if they agreed upon it. It doesn’t matter though. We have the beer here now. Hamajang is Hawaiian slang that translates into “That’s messed up bro.” So it fits so damn well in the context of the collaboration. For the first time a brew with both their names. Let’s see how it is, cheers!

Stone fruit apricots, peaches, peppercorns, honey, farmhouse hay, strawberries, grapes, tropical fruit kiwi, guava, passion fruit, dragon fruit, mango, lychee, lemon peel, lavender and hibiscus flowers.

Funky farmhouse hay, peppercorns, bananas, clove spice, floral hops, hibiscus flowers, lavender, oranges, lemon peel, Strawberries, Cranberries, grapes, wine grapes, tropical fruit kiwi, guava, passion fruit, dragon fruit, mango, pineapple notes, lychee, honey dew melon, prickly pear tunas, stone fruit apricots, peaches, honey, coriander spice and clove spice.

Finishes dry with Tropical fruit, honey, funky hay, wine grape hints and stone fruit. No alcohol in the aftertaste, pale gold clear body, effervescent, crisp and refreshing mouthfeel and easy to moderate drinkability.

A perfect saison in my opinion with enough sour and funky notes to make it interesting. The variety of berries and complex fruits make this quite the unique brew. The label alone was enough for me to get it but just having it, I would definitely want to try it over and over again. I wonder what the brothers would do if they really did do a true collaboration. Only time will tell. For now, do yourself a favor and get this possibly once in a lifetime collaboration!
Anime Corner:
Mephistopheles from Shinra Bansho, Daena and Sierra from Legend of Mana and furry character Kisha were all used in this pairing to represent the devil and the red cat from Jolly pumpkin. With Daena and Sierra representing the twins as well. In the case with the dark cat, I like how some of the colors go along with the hop demon and the red for the red cat.