Bright Ale

Half Full Bright Ale
1 12 oz can, $1.89, 5.2% ABV

Purchased at Harvest Fine Wine, West Hartford

This was my very first Half Full beer. At least I think so. I did speak at some event in Stamford a while back, right when Half Full opened, and was served complimentary Half Full beer. I think it was the Bright Ale, but it may have been their amber.


This was my very first Half Full beer that I ever bought. How’s that? As if you look for such accuracy in reporting from a father who takes pictures of his son dressed like this?

At first introduction to Half Full, I immediately noticed the very busy can label. They cram a LOT of stuff on this thing: a map to the brewery, the brewery’s backstory, all the legal stuff, the logos, and the story of the Bright Ale. Incredibly, it all sort of fits despite its busyness.

I’ve come to learn that each successive Half Full label tells the next piece of the Half Full story; a fairly clever labeling/image tactic.

Half Full Says:

That bright idea. You know the type… you mind races. Your stomach flutters. You feel alive. A confluence of events sparked my idea; beers on a night in New York City, A life-changing trip, and a push from a friend all led to… “I’ll open a brewery!”

Half Full Bright Ale, the perfect inspirational pairing for whenever you want to entertain that bright idea.

Okay! Wow. That’s pretty awesome! Dude goes to New York for a night (if dude lived in Stamford at the time, this would certainly have been a regular thing) and got buzzed (at the least) and “decided” to open a brewery.

Dude must’ve had some Fairfield County money at his disposal.

Which is all fine and dandy, but the most important thing is to determine whether or not dude should have invested in his neighborhood hedge fund or if he and his friends had the chops to just up and open a brewery.

Which brings us to the Bright Ale, one of Half Full’s flagships beers. My first question is… why? Why start off with a “local” “craft” Bud Light? They say it’s a “blonde/pale ale hybrid,” which, okay, I guess I buy that.

It’s an ale, not a lager. It is unfiltered. And there are claims of hop additions adding citrus to the aroma and taste. Countless beer review reviewers note the “grapefruit” in this beer.

To which I say… Really? I mean… really? Just because the can co-opts the Fresca look and feel doesn’t mean it magically imparts grapefruit flavor. The Bright Ale has no grapefruit flavor.

Look, this isn’t a terrible beer. In fact, it’s quite a nice little ale to have after, say, mowing the lawn in June or whatever. The crew at Half Full seem very nice and their whole positive attitude is adorable. And I hope they succeed and take over lower Fairfield County – where they are currently the only operating brewery in 2014.

But when it comes to Bright ideas, pumping out this Bright Ale stuff may not be the best one of them. It’s just boring and slightly grassy and entirely soulless, which is ironic for a brewery so rich and full of “soul.”

Overall Rating: C+
Rating vs. Similar style: D

Half Full Brewery
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