Today I’m reviewing a beer that has had an extensive amount of name changing in less than a year’s time span. Half Acre Beer Company out of Chicago, Ill. created an IPA that would be their first regular production beer in that style. Half Acre named it Heyoka India Pale Ale and released it in November 2013. It went on to win the silver medal at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival for the American-style India pale ale category.

Only a couple months after this event, the company opted to change the name after a brief but insistent campaign by the American Indian Movement who took up issue with the name.1

Half Acre Senita IPA can

The campaign was brief because unlike a certain NFL team, the brewery felt it was better that it just changed the name and didn’t fight it or defend their use of it. Heyoka IPA was then changed to Senita IPA, after the senita cactus, which fit in with the beer can’s artwork and allowed the brewery to maintain some sort of continuity in the branding of the beer.2

Continuing with Half Acre’s branding misfortune for this particular IPA, just this month on June 11, the brewery again announced a name change. Another brewery took issue with the Senita name, as they believed it was too close to one of its beer’s name,3 and so after some discussion over its options, Half Acre decided to once again change the name, this time to GoneAway IPA. Since the can I’m reviewing says Senita though, for ease of understanding that’s what I’ll be calling it.

Pouring the Senita into my glass, I’m greeted with a bright golden tangerine color liquid that is crisp and clear. A thick half inch head tops it off that slowly breaks down over the next few minutes, leaving thick lacing around the edge of the glass. Bringing the glass to my nose notes of hops, sweet grapefruit, citrus, resin and a touch of bitterness make up the aroma.

Half Acre Senita IPA

The taste is a lot like the nose, but less sweet and a little bitter. Sour grapefruit, more generic citrus, lots of resin and some puckering bitterness cover my tongue and mouth with each sip. The mouthfeel is highly carbonated and light—not watery, but borderline so. As the taste lingers in my mouth, the finish is quite bitter, with more sour grapefruit and resin.

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Half Acre Senita IPA
BREWERY: Half Acre Beer Co.
LOCATION: Chicago, Ill.
STYLE: American IPA
ABV: 7 percent
IBU: n/a
PRICE: $2.50
RELEASE DATE: Nov. 26, 2013
AVAILABLE IN: 16-ounce cans
BEERS POURED: One
For an award-winning beer I had my hopes up, but I can’t say it really fit my style. It was good, but not what I would call great. The bitter and sourness of the profile was more prevalent than what I thought should belong in an IPA. Unfortunately there isn’t a canned date or a drink by date, so I’m not actually sure how old this particular can of beer is, which means I don’t know if the profile is intentional or had gone bad. It did have a beautiful appearance and a decent mouthfeel and aroma, but the taste just didn’t hit home for me. I’d love to try this again to make sure I’m drinking it fresh, but I’ll have to make sure I’m up to date on what the name is and what to look for.
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