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Abrasive Ale - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Abrasive AleAbrasive Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

3,097 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,097
Reviews: 805
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 8.19%
Wants: 1,928
Gots: 281 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Was "16 Grit Ale," but now available in cans and renamed "Abrasive Ale".

Sure we're abrasive. We were abrasive long before we were Surly. If you visit the brewery you can still see remnants of industrial manufacturing factory Omar's parents ran for 35 years within those same 4 walls. Bandsaw blades, grinding wheels, and a sanding discs came long before ales and lagers. But let's be honest, this is a lot more fun. Pale in color, this over-hopped, under-brewed Double IPA has almost twice the amount of hops & malt crammed in the can.

(Beer added by: Buebie on 12-27-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,097 | Reviews: 805 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kels
4.45/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Have I ever mentioned that pwoods is the greatest BA ever? Oh, I have? Well let me thank him again for sending this one unexpectedly. Love you buddy:)

Pours a warm shade of honey-caramel. The initial finger of toasted white foam fades only slightly and retains at a thick, frothy skim. Loads of lace swathes the sides of the glass. Beer is somewhat hazy, but the loads of carbonation bubbles seen within float continuously to the top.

Nose is full of the aroma of juicy and sweet pineapple. Slightly bitter citrus and crispy toasted malt come through just under the sweetness.

The sweetness from the nose carries over nicely into the beer with a strong predominant flavor of juicy pineapple. It can't, however, conceal that abrasiveness underlying the whole flavor of the beer. Super pithy-bitter citrus hops make it known that this is a DIPA. The malts are toasty while still having some of the sweetness of caramel. Feel gives away the hop-load as well, with an oily slickness that sneaks up in the finish, initially masked by the creamy, mouth-filling carbonation.

Super tasty beer with a lot of different dimensions. Would definitely satisfy any IPA lover while adding a new dimension to the taste experience.

kels, May 02, 2010
Photo of alleykatking
4.25/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks go out to mothman for this one. This was a extra treat Ben...see you at Darkness Day!

A- Pours a orange amberish color. Massive 3 finger off-white head from a hard pour. This stuck around for a long time before dying all the way down. Nice sticky clingy lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Tons and tons of citrus-y hops in the front with a big dash of grapefruit. The aroma is insane with these hops. Light pine hops behind this. Upon second sniff I can make out the caramel malt backbone which in turn balances this out a little bit. Very nice smelling to say the least.

T- Hop kick right off the bat but not how I thought it would be. More earthy style hops in the front of this (pine and almost a little floral as well). The bready malts come into play next and balance this out a lot. There is another kick of some bitter hops in the backend. The alcohol is faint for the style I thought flavor wise.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Crisp flavors through the entire beer with a little standout with the piney hops. Hops left on the palate and into the aftertaste with a sprinkle of caramel malts. Hop resin was left all over teeth, palate, and even on the lips.

D- This was another very drinkable beer from a company that I am growing to love more and more with each and every beer I try from them. Do yourself a favor and pick this up next time it is at the store. You will be glad you did.

alleykatking, May 01, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
4.28/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz. can into my SN 30th Anniversary tulip. Received as an extra in a trade with cope0021, thanks!

a - Pours a red-amber color with two inches of white head with nice rentention and lacing. Moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus hops, some sweet fruits, oranges, and smooth malts.

t - Tastes of sweet fruits, pineapples, oranges, citrus hops, pine hops, bready malts. Quite enjoyable.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, very smooth.

d - I thought this was a very enjoyable DIPA, but it wasn't quite what I was expecting. There was a lot more sweet fruit smell and taste to it than I was expecting, and not nearly as much bitterness as I was expecting with a name like Abrasive. Great feel to it and could not tell it was 9% ABV. Would have again.

mdfb79, Apr 30, 2010
Photo of Greencoat
4.35/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can from a DLD trade. Thanks, random person! Pours to a nice amber with a perfect white head. Nose is very strong, and full of citrus and piney hops. The taste is a medley of hop perfection. Very fruity, like a succulent mango, robust with flavor but not as bitter as the name "Abrasive" would imply. I imagine the folks at Surly loaded up the late hop and dry hop additions to achieve this hop-head's dream beer. This isn't the driest of the style, but I think the lingering sweetness adds something special to its flavor profile.

This is damn fine beer. If this was available in Ohio, I'd be a regular customer.

Greencoat, Apr 30, 2010
Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed on 4-17-10
Reviewed cold from a can to a glass

A - Caramel color, 2 fingers of foam, nice lacing ring, carbonation present

S - Hops, citrus sweetness, orange peel with a slight malt backbone

T - Hops present, slight piney bitter after taste but finishes very smooth

M/D - Another tasty brew from Surly. Well rounded brew with a lot of hop presence but not overly power full. A brew that you can have more than a couple of in a sitting. A great representation of the DIPA style and it comes highly recommended. Try and get your hands on it since it is almost gone

FreshmanPour77, Apr 30, 2010
Photo of Wisconsinality
3.53/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 16oz can into a Duvel tulip.

A- Pours a nice blood moon orange that has a fair amount of haze to it. A nice one finger head that leaves a small cap on the beer and leaves some spotty lacing. Streams of tiny bubbles rise from the side of glass.

S- Not as big of a hop burst as I was expecting but decent nonetheless. More along the lines citrus hops, lemon and maybe a little pineapple. The malt is present in the nose which is less common in DIPA's.

T- A good amount of citrus hops but not tongue splitting. A little bit of pine and a good malt backbone which makes this pretty balanced. Also there is a nice bready after taste that smooths it out a little bit.

M- Like mentioned before, not tongue splitting bitter, so some might be disappointed. Medium bodied with good carbonation that might just be a little dry on the finish. A little warming on the way down from the alcohol.

D- A good offering that is well balanced for a DIPA. The alcohol really only presents its self once it warms and you are almost finished with the can. I was excited to try this at DLD but by that time my palate had already been destroyed. When I received a four pack of this I was a little let down. I think I will stick to Furious.

Wisconsinality, Apr 30, 2010
Photo of aglose45
4.95/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A HUGE thanks goes out to BDLbrewster for hooking me up with this in our latest trade. You are the man Matt! Poured from a can into my Russian River snifter.

A: Pours a beautiful golden brown, with a one and a half finger, off-white, head, that sticks around for pretty long time.

S: The nose is fantastic. From the first whiff, I was extremely excited to indulge in this wonderful smelling brew! The initial scent is of sweet pineapples and tangerines. Following the fruit is some pine. Backing up the hop assault is a biscuity malt backbone.

T: Just like the nose suggested, tons of sweet pineapple and tangerine flavors dominate the palate. There is also a hint of tart white grapefruit and pine on the finish. There is very little malt backbone in the taste, but that's how I prefer it!

M: The carbonation is a bit lower than I would like. However, the lower carbonation does helps leave a creamy mouthfeel.

D: If "Abrasive" refers to the insane amount of hops in this beer, the name is spot on. This is one of the best DIPA's that I have ever had, and I'm glad that I have seven cans left!

aglose45, Apr 29, 2010
Photo of RaymondMode
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Can poured into a snifter.

Pours a brilliant copper color with a white head that has great retention, lingering for quite some time.

The aroma is a bit sweet and fruity with pine resin and somewhere in the distance I can smell the caramel malts. Very pleasant.

The taste is excellent with lots of citrus and floral notes coming through, a bit resiny. Earthy. I didn't really notice the alcohol until the beer had warmed a bit more.

Mouthfeel is sticky yet smooth, very balanced with the hops not completely overpowering. The drinkability is ridiculously good and I had to force myself not to have another glass, at 9% it would be a bad idea to try to session.

I loved this brew, which is what I have come to expect from Surly. Highly recommended for people not necessarily looking for a hop bomb (they are there), but looking for a well-balanced IIPA.

RaymondMode, Apr 29, 2010
Photo of alcstradamus
4.1/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a glowing copper with a finger of head and a bit of lacing.

The aroma is a nice mix of floral and earthy hops. There is a strong caramel malt backbone providing some good balance, but making this not quite seem like a DIPA

The flavor is juicy with floral and pine hops, however they are not dominant and instead are met with a big caramel and bready malt backbone. The hop profile here is very tasty, but someone who likes their DIPA's to be pure hop bombs may be a little underwhelmed. I am not one of those people though....I prefer balance and drinkability as long as there is still enough hop flavor there to satisfy and that is exactly what this beer provides. The finish is bitter and resiny, and a lingering bready maltiness sticks around.

The body is medium and the carbonation is soft. Quite sticky on the roof of the mouth as well.

Overall I think this is a finely crafted beer, but one that does not necessarily live up to the moniker of "imperial"...your enjoyment of it will entirely depend on what type of IPA you prefer.

alcstradamus, Apr 28, 2010
Photo of badbeer
3.9/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark apricot color with a white head that doesn't last and leaves very little lacing. Smell is herbal and a bit grassy, pineapple and apricot come through as well. Tongue gets a large blast of hop oils, some orange marmalade, pineapple, grapefruit and some herb to it too.
Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Pretty good and fairly drinkable. I'd have another.

badbeer, Apr 28, 2010
Photo of CHSLBrew
4.4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

16 oz. can poured into a snifter.

A-Quite clear amber-orange beer. Bright, off-white head was huge off the pour with a slight orangey hue, great retention.

S-Huge, bright grapefruit-citrus hoppiness with a bit of herbal pine. Aroma is dominated by an immense hoppiness.

T-A big resiny-piney-citrus, in decending order of magnitude, is the initial wallop of flavor. Hop bitterness follows, which is predictably aggressive (dare I say abrasive...). Malt presence is there, semi-sweetich with some fruity esters contributing to this perception.

M-A little bit of boozy warmth. Medium body is full, sticky, with amedium-low carbonation.

D-I'm certainly glad I gave this one a chance (and had a chance at this one, for that matter, since it flew off the shelves). Quite easy drinking, relative to its style, with a very enjoyable, complex flavor that makes me want to come back for more.

CHSLBrew, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of Mistofminn
4.53/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Been waiting for a long time to try this ever since I had 16 Grit when it first came out. So glad they decided to can it and distribute it.

Pours a beautiful amber orange color, completely clear and filtered. Lively carbonation and a nice off-white head sit on top with good retention and leaving some nice lacing.

The nose is super hoppy with floral and fruity hops. Pretty much all I could ever ask for in a DIPA. Alcohol is nowhere to be found, and it's kind of shocking (and scary) when you realize this is 9%.

Tastes wonderful, huge citrus and pine notes, with floral hops in the background. Caramel malts come out more here than they do in the nose, and it has more substance and body, and a slight tinge of alcohol. You can start to feel the alcohol as it warms.

Mouthfeel is about medium, kind of lighter than I remembered 16 Grit being, but that might just be a foggy memory. Sticky and hoppy, with surprisingly little bitter aftertaste. Goes down smooth with a hoppy bite. Drinkability is amazing.

Overall, I haven't decided if I like this better than the first recipe. Wait...did they even change it? Because it seems pretty similar to me. I'm sure they tweeked the recipe a bit, but this is basically the same great beer that I had last year, except this time around it's in a can.

Mistofminn, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of callmemickey
4.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can poured into an oversized tulip glass

A: Beautiful pale amber body with a steady stream of carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass. Large, creamy off-white head composed of billions of bubbles. Great retention and significant sticky lacing.

S: On first sniff this was very reminiscent of HopSlam with large blasts of grapefruit and a honey undercurrent. With each successive sniff I got more pineapple, mango and tropical fruits. A dense vegetative component also started to come out, not so much piney, but like trees in the fall.

T: Very hop forward with lots of grapefruit and other tropical fruits. Good floral/green characteristics too. Good malt presence to balance out the bitter assault. Caramel and some roasted malt. In the end this is anything but abrasive. It is simply delicious.

M: Medium-full bodied. This is a big, creamy, resinous dIPA. Nice bitter finish that lingers just enough to give you the full flavor profile.

D: A very enjoyable brew. Glad I was able to get a fresh four pack fairly quickly after the release.

callmemickey, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of nickd717
4.28/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can at DLD thanks to translucent, who hooked me up with a whole 4-pack in a trade, 3 of which I popped open at DLD to share.

This is a great lookin' one. Pours hazy light amber with a nice-sized whitish head that lasts. Good lacing.

Aroma is really solid. Very citrusy hop profile - orange, tangerine, and grapefruit, maybe some tropical notes - as well as a little sweet malt.

Flavor is a little maltier than the great west coast IPAs, but still very hop-forward. Being from the east coast originally, I don't mind the malt. Big citrus, orange and grapefruit mainly, with some slight pineapple and earth. Just a little sweet caramel.

Excellent mouthfeel: mildly dry with medium body and lots of hop resins.

Very drinkable. A great DIPA overall. Hopefully Surly brews more of this one.

nickd717, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of CosmoHopHead
4.53/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: pours dark golden with a nice one inch creamy white head.

S: smells wonderful. super pungent hops, dank, dark citrus fruits, honey. fills the room with it's wonderful aroma

T: tastes wonderful. hops come through first followed by a nice malty backbone. bitter on the tongue and cheeks but very well balanced with the malts.

M: feels think, oily, chewy. dry and bitter yet refreshing and perfectly carbonated.

D: at 9% abv there is no burn at all. very smooth and extremely drinkable. I could drink this all night long actually.

Overall, other amazing brew from the people at Surly. I would highly recommend all hop lovers try this beer!

CosmoHopHead, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of Sean9689
4.45/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

*Previously reviewed on-tap at 16 Grit.

Big thanks to my MN homie, younger35, for the hookup. Poured from 16oz can into my GI pint glass.

A - Pours reddish/gold copper color with a white head. A fingers-wroth of foam disipiates down to a thin cap on top with some bubbles here and there and a thicker ring along the sides of the glass.

S - Big hops, sweet malts, citrus, grapefruit. Everything you'd expect from a big DIPA from Surly.

T - Piney citrus hops with not too much malts. I'm so glad this isn't overly sweet. I'm so tired of DIPA's that are huge malt-bombs. This one has the huge hops with a nice subtle sweetness on the finish. Nice sweet orange finish with a touch of bitterness.

M - Medium bodied, light carbonation, crisp and refreshing.

D - A very well-done DIPA by Surly. Probably one of the best I can remember in the past few months. I only have a few cans left, but I'll make sure they're gone before it looses the wonderful hop & malt mix.

Note: I prefer this one to Furious.

Sean9689, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of ThaBobfather
4.38/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a solid golden color with a nice twinge in the middle- a solid ring around my glass of white head.
Smell is highly hopped- earthly swirled with bitter malts.
Taste is highly transitional. Started with a flower flavor- hits me with a bitter sweet malt- then finish with crystal hops.
Finish is dry- the after-taste has a slight bite- but the hoppy after-taste lasts well.
Drinks great- with all the hops here and 9%- the smooth malts keep this very drinkable.

ThaBobfather, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of mwa423
4.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Clear golden color with white head. I could see a full pint of this on a billboard. The color is so clear and pure I can read through it.

S - Hoppy, hoppy, oh, and more hops. Delightful aroma that filled the nose immediately upon opening the can.

T - Bitter, Sweet, Floral, and Citrusy hop goodness. Fills the mouth with that dirty and earth flavor that sticks to the roof of the mouth.

M/D - Mouthfeel is hard hitting and biting as we would expect from a quality IIPA. This is as drinkable as 9% IIPA's can get, other than the kick in the teeth, I could drink this all day.

mwa423, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of degerbah
4.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly orangish yellow, similar to a sunset in the bottom of a glass. The aroma is very stronly hoppy. When I taste the beer, the hop flavor isn''t overpowering at all. Much more subtle than I would have thought under the circumstances. Really drinkable. It goes down as easily as a standard pale ale. This is flat out amazing. If I had regular access to this, I would have it stocked in my fridge at all times.

degerbah, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of Gtreid
3.98/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to mothman for sending a few of these down my way. 16 oz. can poured into my CCB snifter.

A: Cloudy light copper color. The pour dropped a finger of eggshell white head that receeded to a thin rim and left great lace.

A: Very citrusy, not so much grapefruit, more of a light tangerine and orange peel nose. A nice amount of crystal malt backs up the big hop presence.

T: Big hop profile, citrus, some light grass, and honey sweetness. Malts balance it out some, but let's not kid ourselves, this one is a huge hop bomb. Finishes dry and bitter, just as it should.

M: Medium body and good amount of carbonation. Kinda tingely as it slides around the palate.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is pretty nice. Overall, I think this is a solid example of the style. I would have liked a little more malt to cut some of the hop bite, but, all in all I really liked this, and am happy I have 3 more cans. Skal.

Gtreid, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of homebrew311
4.93/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well I tried this one a while back when it was called 16-grit, but never got around to reviewing it. This time, I am having the canned version, received via trade with guyinchicago- thanks!

A: pours a deep amber, gold, with fluffy white head, about 2 fingers worth on the pour, leaves huge amounts of splotchy lacing, nice head retention

S: the hop assault starts from arm's length away, this beer certainly challenges the hoppiest beer in a can claim made b y OB's Gubna... notes of grapefruit dominate the nose with other citrus fruits in there as well, smell is reminiscent of Furious which is a great thing! The smell is delightful. Perfect hoppiness with no overwhelming resinous character

T: the front features some caramel malts and juicy hops in the form of tropical juice...notes of orange, mango, lemon, and grapefruit, these flavors give way to a deliciously sweet malt profile providing hints of caramel and toast, the abv is ridiculously well hidden

MF: medium body, medium to high carbonation, everything works well with the beer

D: step aside Hopslam and Double Trouble, I have found a new favorite DIPA. The balance is amazing and the hop profile is assertive yet very palatable. This beer is damn near perfect.

homebrew311, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of VonSteinhoist
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured one into a Duvel glass. Light foamy head disappeared into lace. Appearance is like light maple syrup. Smell is aromatic with pronounced citrus and pine and also a savory umami note. Taste is hoppy pineapple with hints of umami (referred to in other reviews as a garlic note, but I think it's more akin to miso). Flavor profile is complex but quick. Clean finish for this style with minimal hints of caramel. Neutral hops at the very end. Clean and dry. The high ABV (9 - 9.7) WILL catch up with you. My opinion is that this DIPA is even better than Great Divide's Hercules. The reviewer suggests stocking up on this outstanding brew because the production date, as supplied by the brewery website, is April only. Outstanding!

VonSteinhoist, Apr 24, 2010
Photo of Fitzgerald
4.35/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured the Surly pint can into my trusty old Hamms glass, color is a golden orange with a nice white shaving cream head that lasts and leaves a nice sheet of lacing.

S- A nice grapefruit,orange and other citrus type fruits hits you right away along with the aroma of fresh cut grass maybe some floral scents as well not a big pine smell like some of the other hopped up beers.

T- Taste is a lot like the aroma lots of citrus fruit taste grapefruit,orange but with some of the malt coming through to balance the hops.

MF- Dry, a little pucker power some carbonation clean finish no aftertaste.

D- Great ale very refreshing, a beer you sit down pour into a glass watch the Twins and enjoy, because of the 9% abv a pint is just right, Surly another great reason to live in Minnesota.

Fitzgerald, Apr 24, 2010
Photo of DrewHodges
4.03/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A-clear copper-brown with 1-finger tight foamy head, left very little lacing

S-lots of fresh citrus and floral hops, grapefruit, honey, caramel malts

T-powerful taste, sweet on the tongue, grapefruit and pineapple, then bitter hop aftertaste

M-alcohol leaves lingering burn, overall mouthfeel is great for DIPA

D-very drinkable, but I would drink Furious over this any time, and probably wouldn't drink too many of these bad boys in a row

DrewHodges, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of mikey711
4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my man Doug for this one!

A: Its a rich amber color, with good transparency and lots of rising carbontion. The head pours pretty thick at an inch and a half but leaves nice rings as it fades.

S: I could smell it as soon as i opened the can! A whirlwind of tropical fruit is present, mango, papaya, pineapple, some apricot and peach notes are present as well. There is also a nice caramel sweetness in the background.

T: Did i mention this one has tropical fruit going on. its like i just bit into a ripe papaya that had an orgy with a mango, peach and pineapple while the creepy grapefruit was slightly bitter that it had to watch in the background. There is also a nice bready malt profile present which provides some balance

M: The body is on the thicker side and there is a tough of heat. Some roughness in the feel as well.

D: Another winner from surly that I would like to add to my regular rotation of brews. I couldnt give this a five because of the abv and i think furious is vastly more drinkable, but this is a stellar brew that I plan to trade for regularly.

mikey711, Apr 23, 2010
Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 3,097 ratings.