Green Acres – The Pinnacle of Our Cream Ale Journey


Melanie Wiesen


New Beer Release Post

Acres & Acres walked so that Green Acres Could Run

If your memory serves you well, then you may recall a “lawnmower beer” on the menu a few summers ago. It was light and refreshing enough to crush a couple while doing some yard work during the dog days of summer. Hence, the lawnmower beer label– a lighter beer that you could enjoy while mowing your acres. 

Stylistically, the aptly named Acres & Acres was actually a cream ale, and made its second appearance on the menu as such. Less aptly named, the cream ale is an American-born style that was greatly influenced by German lagers and English ales. It drinks light (like a lager), but has more character, with no ‘cream’ in sight. It has since become something of a staple on our draft line.


For us, the constantly evolving character of Acres & Acres has been the result of our brewers’ inclusion of corn and experimentation with hops. It has allowed them to create versions of Acres that have defied the expectations of a typical cream ale.

It began with Red Acres, a since-retired offshoot that was released last fall/winter. At the center of its conception were Barbe Rouge hops and Bloody Butcher corn. Barbe Rouge is a French hop variety that yielded flavors of red fruit and zesty citrus. Bloody Butcher corn kernels are blood red with dark red stripes. Pretty visceral. The beer itself remained true to its easy-drinking cream-ale self, but with an intricate autumnal twist.


Greg Winget, Director of Brewing Operations, said that the initial idea for Red Acres was that the beer be named after the color of the corn. So, prior to the creation of Green Acres –the newest offering in the Acres & Acres pool– Greg had Oaxacan green corn in mind. Although it does make an appearance on the can, they couldn’t get ahold of the product. Instead, they opted for Grüngeist hops, a new-school German hop. It means “green ghost,” and is one of Greg’s all-time favorites.

“Some of the newer hops that [Germans] are developing are more than just fresh herbs and spice flavors,” Greg said. “Grüngeist has kind of a peach thing. It tastes like Fresca or Peach Rings. And, fresh herbs of course.” 

Grüngeist is a really low alpha acid hop, so it yields a really low bitterness. The brewers put almost two pounds per barrel in the dry hop, which is as much as they’d use in a lower grade IPA or pale ale. They also dry hopped the beer cold, which can give it a better aroma/flavor and eliminate any hop creep.

So, the peach and herbal elements, as well as the florality of Grüngeist, results in the same cream ale that we’ve come to know and love–just leveled up a bit. And, surprisingly, a lower gravity. At only 4.3% ABV, Green Acres is more complex in the way of flavor, but easier-drinking than even its primordial form.

Greg says that even though cream ales are a lesser know style, Acres & Acres (and whatever variation of it) is here to stay.

“This is very much a Midwestern thing,” he said. “But, being as that’s my background, we’re always gonna make a cream ale. I just love the style.”