The Fifth Day of the Week

Mike Grabowski, June 07, 2013

It’s 5:01 p.m. on a Friday. I’m sprung from work, but there’s a crush of traffic on the freeway. It’s an endless length of pressed red break lights that spills from the exit ramps. It’s gridlock and madness and horns and those helpless looks you give when someone wants around you and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s the everyday life of a commuter, where the faster you go, the quicker you get to the next stoplight. And I realize this, but I’ve got a 5:25 train to catch to the city, so I’m a tad restless.

In a brilliant stroke of luck, the pace picks up. The sea parts in that really weird way where you realize you were stuck at a dead stop, but cars 200 feet in front of you were going 45. It makes absolutely no sense, but you’re just happy to be moving again. Thankfully, when I was apartment hunting, I chose a spot close to work and a short walk from the tracks, so I make it home with enough time to swoop in to the store for a 4 pack of Daisy Cutter for the train ride in.

Having a fresh, cold brew on the train after work is a pleasantry that separates us from the animals. You loosen your tie, pop the top and exhale. On the first drink you get a tuft of foam on your nose and crunch the aluminum a little bit because it’s a release. And Daisy Cutter, by Half Acre Beer Company, is as good of a travel companion as you’re going to find for this situation.

Daisy Cutter is brewed for the can and sold in a can and best drank right out of the stinking can -- it’s a challenge to the notion that everything good to drink must pour out of a bottle. It’s sophistication wrapped in cheap, flimsy armor. It’s labeled an American Pale Ale (APA), but it’s overly hoppy, malty, and a shade too dark for such a benign categorization.

Unsurprisingly, my spirits are up as I step onto the platform at the Irving Park stop. I walk down the ramp into the deafening hum of the city. I stroll under an overpass that’s caked in bird feathers and grime and momentary darkness. It’s 6:47 on a Friday night. I walk with purpose. A friend is idling around the corner and hungry for dinner.

We pass Pulaski, then Kimball, Kedzie and California. We hang a left on Western to Montrose -- I’m being specific because Half Acre’s brewery sits at 4257 N Lincoln in Chicago, Illinois and is a stones throw from the B.Y.O.B. we’re headed to. You see, I’m all about supporting local business and sustainability and what have you.

Mostly I’m about good beer, and Daisy Cutter is a good beer. It’s heady and earthy, but has the zing of some citrus and spice to lighten it up. It has substantial smell and taste, but drinks smooth. Now don’t go labeling it a “train beer” on account of me. That’s not even a real thing. It’s plenty good when we get it poured out of a tap on solid ground. There’s just something a bit more magical about it after 5:00 p.m. on a Friday night.  


appearance = 3.9/5

A two finger foam cloud perched above hazy, golden lake.

smell = 4.0/5

Citrus mixed with strong hops. Some flower, some pine. 

taste = 4.2/5

Fantastically hoppy. Citrus cuts through. Just enough bitterness.   

mouthfeel = 3.9/5

Carbonation gives it some chew, but finishes dry. A tad watery. Slides down nicely. 

overall = 4/5