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Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale (Big Beer Series) - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale (Big Beer Series)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

398 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 398
Hads: 660
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 17.27%
Wants: 47
Gots: 41 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  8.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 02-12-2006

15 IBU

2008 - 7.0%
2009 - 8.8%
2010 - 9.3%
2013 - 7.0%
2014 - 7.2% brewed with Pineapple Sage
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale (Big Beer Series) Alström Bros
Reviews: 398 | Hads: 660
Photo of OldIronLungs
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the Big Beer release at the brewery - really enjoyed it so here's a bottle review.

Poured into a GI stem glass a light honey color with a finger of head that falls to a lumpy ring around the glass.

Nose has some light apple notes along a breadier base.

A sip is crisp and sweet - more of that apple from the nose but leaning towards some banana and the spice of clove; only a hint of mustiness one might expect in the style, but all in very nice harmony. Carbonation is delicate but fitting. No trace of the abv, which is a little unreal. This a big saison for sure, but dangerously drinkable!

Oh and it's $6.95 for a bomber! All things considered, Smutty has knocked another Big Beer out of the park.

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Photo of ElGallo
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. Bomber poured into a Hill Farmstead long stem snifter.

Color is a slightly hazy yellow orange with a finger of head and a little lacing.

Smells of bread, under ripe fruit and subtle spice, with some mild mustiness too.

Taste is of bread, mild spices, apple, and pear.

Medium carbonation in the mouthfeel with some spicy bite in the aftertaste.

Overall a nice and somewhat prototypical American farmhouse ale/saison. Worth trying if you like the style.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours like a cloudy, mid-day August sun... a one finger, off white head floats on this golden brew. Brilliant sticky lacing left behind as it quickly fades away.

S- Honey, yeast, banana, clove and some spicy black pepper. A nice sweet maltiness prevails. Very unusual for this style! Really nice grassy earth flavors... like laying in a field of hay!

T- WOW! Sweet... Black pepper heat... nice fruity banana, peach, green apple, and a yeasty, caramel nuttiness! Is this Saison really over 9%? The sweetness really cuts the heat, and the grassy hops lend a nice balance of bitterness!

M- Just a touch of sparkle on the tongue. A hint of sweetness, sour and bready yeast! A really nice bite of Rye bread runs all over the mouth. Very sweet, but very spicy as well!!!

O- I can't wait to get some more of this fantastic brew! I've been in a Saison mood lately, and this is certainly one of the better ones! At $5.99/22oz... this is a steal!!!

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Photo of match1112
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: cloudy straw in color with a half finger head.

s: lots of sweetness, everything from citrus to apple to bready yeast.

t: more sweetness from citrus and tart apple, little spice and some earthyness.

m: smooth and creamy with a clean crisp finish. carbonation is good. little heat from high abv, but this is a big beer series.

o:excellent saison, will go and get more for cellar.

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Photo of output01x
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle (Bottled In 2009) into a tulip glass.

A strong pour yields a 2-finger cream-colored head that slowly recedes to a decent dusting and thick foam ring. The body is a slightly hazy golden orange with a few small, slowly rising carbonation bubbles. Thick foam lacing clings to the sides of the glass in small, randomly placed clumps.

A sweet and rather tangy green apple is the dominant aroma in this beer. Lemon peel, pineapple and a little bready malt add character and backbone to the nose. While the aromas are not necessarily strong, they are pleasant and enjoyable.

A watery apple juice with a slight vinegar note sums up this beer pretty well. There is a graininess with the malt and a little citrus, but watery, vinegar apple juice is the long and short of it. A slight alcohol warmth lingers in the back of the throat but is not immediately noticeable.

Light to medium bodied with crazy carbonation, this beer fizzes like Pop Rocks in Mountain Dew. It is very easily drinkable (I could chug this beer like a glass of Strawberry Kiwi Juicy Juice) but of course is more enjoyable sipped.

While not unpleasant, this beer was still lacking in my opinion. The look and mouthfeel were both good, but a stronger nose and more complex flavor would have helped this beer significantly.

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Photo of ianjsullivan
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

ST: 22oz bomber poured into an oversized wine glass. The bottle does not list the alcohol percentage, and it does not have a fresh by date. It does mark when the beer was bottle conditioned (2010).

A: Hazy honey gold with a thin white head that is gone within 20 seconds of pouring (it leaves a slight spiral on top like oil on water). You can see a few slow carbonation bubbles.

S: Honey, citrus, earth, sweetbread, floral notes.

T: Starts with lots of citrus, then prunes, earth, spice, fruit cake, slight bitterness from hops, and a good bit of warming alcohol.

M: Medium and semi-sweet, but a bit flat (it needs more carbonation).

O: My biggest complaint about this beer would have to be the alcohol. It is very high for a saison, and the alcohol is obvious when you consume the beer. The alcohol could have been blended better. I am not always against heavy warming alcohol (winter is a perfect time for such beers). But since this beer is meant to be consumed in the late spring and summer, the high alcohol of this beer is not as pleasing. I do enjoy bitter and earthy aspects of this beer, but they are almost drowned out by the alcohol flavor that takes over the finish and rests in the back of your throat. The beer is also a bit flat and needs more carbonation to add zing to all the complex flavors. Still the beer does deliver nice flavor, especially if you prefer spicy and earthy characteristics in your beer.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.61/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale gold colour with enough haze to blur the light shining through. Head is nice and fluffy; sinks slowly but surely and leaves a thin crown of big bubbles. Steady bead, pleasant lace. Looks great.

Smell is very rubbery at first. An unpleasantly bitter phenol comes through which, with training, evolves into a lighter, enjoyable citrus aroma, with tangerine, orange peel and some frangipani as well. Too subtle to wow me, but it's pleasant enough.

Taste is a fairly odd one. Starts a little 'off' with some rank funk giving an almost spoiled-milk flavour, but it's too short-lived to be truly bad. Refreshing early on the palate with subtle citric notes that then turn into more funk, with rubber, marzipan and a savoury, gristly note as well. Touch of barnyard and a slight hint of floral camomile on the back helps lift it late. Can't help but feel like the flavours here would be nicer and blend together nicer if this weren't such a big beer. Not all beers need to be so big and complex, and as a result of it being so, this beer is just a bit overblown.

Bit sharp on the front, smooths out on the middle then very dry on the back. Not bad; suitable for the style.

Yeah, this beer is slightly dour in parts and as such it's just less refreshing than I would like from a saison. Otherwise a decent construction.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased in the good ol' US of A, and brought back to Sydney. Cracked open with @LaitueGonflable.

Pours a deep, hazed golden colour, that looks a lot darker when not held to the light. Head is full and frothy, although it vents its air and collapses relatively quickly, leaving a pure white veil on the top. Lacing is patchy, and the body is very heavy for a saison, but otherwise looks good.

Nose is light and slightly tart, with green appleskin characters the main event, along with a touch of slightly sweet vinegar. There's a little peppery vegetative character like arugula or something else slightly herbal, and it gives it the slight organic edge a saison needs. Not bad, but certainly not as good as the best.

Taste is also pleasant, and vaguely stylistically correct, without hitting the high notes. Slight peppery phenols through the centre and a dry, yeasty Belgian finish. Some herbal, organic notes, but only if you're searching for them. Lacks the slight touch of acidity and the true rustic funk of a good saison, but again, it's kinda on the right tracks.

Not a bad beer, and a surprisingly supple one for a saison this big, but the phenols and booze hints it gets from the extra alcohol are not supported by a really good base beer, so it feels big for no reason. I'd prefer more funk and less booze, thanks.

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Photo of burnstar
4.11/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty orangish gold. Slightly murky. Huge persistent dense white head. Smell is yeasty. Some spiciness and phenolic notes. Taste has a little sweetness in the beginning. Spicy. Again lots of yeasty flavors here. Nicely balanced. Great crisp well carbonated mouthfeel. Very drinkable. This is really good for an American belgian.

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Photo of eat
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brought over by either ritzkiss or bobsy, I forget who's this was. 2008 vintage consumed summer of 2010. Thanks guys! From old notes: Opaque honey/amber coloured body with a good cover of white head and bits of lacing.

Pineapple, caramel, candy malt and strawberry shortcake all make for a sugary, malty nose.

Quite sugary in the mouth as well, with light caramel and candy sugar. A little dark, earthy hops and a very subtle spicing round it out. A little alcohol shows on the finish, though this is still crazy smooth for its weight. Too sweet and not as much complexity as I like to find in a saison.

Medium-light body with low carbonation. Okay feel.

This one is just sweetness with a mostly characterless bitterness. Very smooth for the ABV but I don't think I would pick this one up.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage.
Pours a deep golden color with a decent sized white head that laces all the way down. Smell is fruity, herbal, and spicy. Pears and green apples, honey and bread, pepper and spicy yeast are all found in the nose. Taste is sweet and fruity up front. I get some honey like malt sweetness mixed with bits of pear and maybe peach. She turns spicy in the middle with an herbal earthy peppery bite that then hits with some warming alcohol. Moderately dry finish with a lingering fruity sweetness. Medium body with a healthy level of carbonation and a slick sweetish mouthfeel. I enjoyed this beer, but then again I usually enjoy Smuttynose beers. I think this beer has definitely benefited from the age as I usually find the big beer series a little hot fresh. Great brew.

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Photo of begforme4484
3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very golden ale color. Little head, less than a finger width.

Smells of a bit of malt and floral hop, but mostly over taken by the sourness.

A bit of doughy malt, not much hop detectable, but a lot of sour.l

Medium bodied, good carb.

Overall a decent beer.

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Photo of Satchboogie
2.71/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle (2010 vintage) poured into a Portsmouth tulip

A: Pours golden, just a little opaque, with about a finger and half of fluffy white head that quickly dissipates. Leaves just a touch of lacing.

S: slight funky pale malts, spicy floral hops, slight sour apple (in a good way), white grape skin, lots of alcohol. A white-grape infused cider aroma.

T: Not nearly as 'bright' as the aroma would suggest, tip of the tongue is the funky malt with cider and lots of apple juice right behind it. A strong white wine (white grapes) character appears in the middle. Finish is basically a boozy, bitter white wine. Dry grape skin and unpleasant, harsh and hot alcohol. Very stringent and unpleasant finish. (from the alcohol image) Not digging it much. Delicate flavors that are trashed with too much alcohol and not enough refinement.

M: Light body, moderate to very slightly high carbonation. Not as effervescent as I was expecting. I generally like the style to have a crisp and refreshing finish with some nice citrus qualities, this seems the antithesis: not very crisp, boozy, with almost no citrus.

O: I'm not digging this at all. Even at 8+ months old, it's still incredibly boozy. This isn't a saison, it's an Imperial Saison and not a pleasant one. I had trouble drinking this in a cool room, I'd be toast trying to drink this out in the 90 degree weather. I like ya' Smuttynose, but this thing is a mess...

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Photo of Rifugium
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at the Khyber, Philly, PA

Poured a honey color with a decent white head that retained fairly well and a bit of lacing. Toasted malts in the aroma, hay, and yeast, with some fruit and spice noticeable, but more just semi-stale funk that ends up taking over. Sweet pale malts and yeast in the taste at first, with some grass and hay moving in, and slight notes of citrus. Light-medium body, and pretty easily drinkable.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into tulip. 2010 vintage

A - This beer pours with very little to no head. A nice rich deep orange with lighter yellow edging. No lacing.

S - Funky Belgian yeast, some farm funk. Pepper, lemons, oranges.

T - Lots of nice fruits, lemons, oranges, tangerines, banana, some clove. A nice funkiness from the yeast is present. Some grass and grain.

M - Crisp, refreshing. ABV hidden well

O - I really enjoyed this saison. It was very easy to drink and is a great spring/summer beer. Would love to have this again.

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Photo of superspak
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip, 2010 vintage. Pours clear golden amber color with a 1 finger dense white head with great retention that reduces to a thin lacing cap. Decent lacing on the glass as well. Aromas of spice, pepper, apple, grape, lemon, grass, and a small bit of funkiness and leather. Great aromas here, very interesting as well. Taste of big lemon, pepper, grape, and apple; with big spiciness on the finish with small bit of tartness and booze in the back. Some lingering notes of fruits and spices after the finish. Medium-full bodied with medium carbonation. A small bit of noticeable alcohol on the taste, but it smoothed out as it got a lot warmer. Fairly large alcohol warming ofter the finish. Overall an excellent saison, big on flavor, and great balance.

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Photo of jettjon
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Out of a bomber scored “Bottle conditioned in 2010” into my Sam Adams glass (thanks, guys!). Hazy, cloudy yellow color with a thin pale head. Sweet malt up front with spicy, bready, and yeasty notes. Very faint hint of alcohol. On the tongue it’s sweet, spicy, peppery, with elements of cloves and a bit of booze toward the end. A bit of alcohol heat, and faint hint of dry, bitter hops at the end. Mouth is bubbly, crisp, sharp, and complementary. Overall: A decent saison, though a bit over the top for me, a bit too alcoholic but enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottle enjoyed in May 2011.

A – Gold amber. Nice white head with great lace and nice retention.

S – Cider with tart peach, sweet nectar, and a barny hay note.

T – Fruity sweetness brings out pear on top of apple. Grassy mid with a crisp peppercorn and light booze backend.

M – Net-sweet finish. Medium body – perhaps medium/full for the style. Leaves a syrupy coating on your palate.

O – It’s an interesting take on a double saison. It’s definitely a delicious beer, but relative to the world of saisons I’m not sure I would have pushed as hard in the direction of sweet, thick, and syrupy when making a double. That said, I still enjoyed it : )

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Photo of Matt1516
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the BIG bottle--2009 vintage.

Not my favourite style but good example of it.

Hazy golden orange appearance. Tons of head and lacing throughout. Smells of yeast, bananas and cloves. Medium mouthfeel.

Very malty with yeast and strong carbonation. Peppery notes, lots of fruit, like lemon zest. Some earthiness and bread notes too.

A heavy beer with a hot ABV. If the origins of this style are true, I don't know how the farm workers would get anything done after drinking this.

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Photo of busterthecat
3.37/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- Pours a nice hazy slightly golden hay hue. A white foamy head forms with leaves quickly.

S- Nice full banana, spike and yeast. A touch of boozy heat. Some subtle musk. Lemon and orange zest is present.

T- Orange and citrus zest with a slight sweetness upfront. Fades to the notes found in the aroma (spice & yeast). Gets a dirty bread/ earthy tone in end and finish. Hot alcohol is there.

M- Medium bodied and lingers well. The alc does sit on palate and stays in throat. Too hot.

O- The alcohol really detracts from this beer. It seem to ruin the delicate notes and makes drinking, what should be a refreshing beer, a tiresome chore. I would strongly suggest aging this beer to aid with the flavor profile.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear golden-orange color with a big finger of super frothy white head. The head fades slowly down to a small layer lacing nicely in the process.

S - Aroma is full of pepper and spices alongside lemon peel and earthiness. There is some yeast and bready elements also mixed in.

T - Starts off with building lemon pepper flavor. There is some yeast and some fruit flavors that come in as well. Through the middle, some stronger yeast and spices with some stronger fruit flavors as well. Finish is strong with the spices and funk, with the lemon and yeast providing some depth. The flavor lingers nicely.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Nice tart and slightly sour elements. Finish is just a touch sweet which is nice.

D - Very drinkable. The flavors are nicely balanced and work well together, the mix of slightly tart and slightly sour especially.

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Photo of July2Nov
3.44/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Orange-gold with a mostly clear, with some opaqueness look. Good amount of carbonation which helps with the continual lacing that glazes the top of the beer.

Smell: Sweet, malty and buttery with a bit of spice.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Some dryness upfront and frankly last the entirety of the beer. Very clean, big mouthfeel of alcohol at the end lingers a bit too long. The beginning has some sweetness, fruit and grass-like flavors...tends to acquire a buttery bent as it progresses.

Overall: Very good and simple beer and my first from Smuttynose Brewing Co. Really like the down home vibe of this working man's beer and the connotations that are adherent with it. The higher abv is very well-hidden for the most part. Worth a try.

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Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin white head that quickly dissipated leaving a thin film of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of fruits, spices and yeast in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has a bit of sweetness in the initial taste; the finish has a light amount of bitterness and spicy flavors. The fruity flavors stand out slightly more in the taste compared to the smell.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some dryness in the finish.
O: Considering its strength, this beer is remarkably easy to drink because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

Note: 2010 vintage

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Photo of pitasoup
3.08/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thanks to SkinnyElvis for this bomber, dated 2010.

A: Straw-like golden yellow. Could be mistaken for generic bmc lager in color and clarity. Slightly more than a finger of fine white head. Second pour is murkier - dregs have been shaken.

S: Typical Belgian saison yeasts - hay, peppery, and the smallest hint of vegetal. Floral esters linger on your tongue afterwards - lavender and dandelion.

T: Taste is more American saison, slight lemons, peppery. Alcohol is very present and distracting. Wheat malts linger as you get past the initial yeasts.

M: Body is medium but lingering mouthfeel is oddly thick from alcohol. This is very distracting - like drinking malt liquor.

O: This is a less aggressive saison in terms of peppery-yeasts, but it compensates with alcohol hotness. I am overwhelmed by the warm and fusel nature of this beverage. There are subtleties in the smell that I quite enjoy but the taste does not back them up.

I am thankful for having been able to taste this but would probably not seek it out again.

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Photo of bum732
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

S: Spicy and phenolic, earthiness, some yeastiness, touch of fruitiness.

L: Cloudy orangish-yellow, white head that dissipates.

T: Fruity malt up front with some spiciness on the backbone. Pils-like sweetness with a medium spicy hoppiness. Finishes with some spicy alcohol drying slightly.

M: Medium bodied, crisp medium-high carbonation. Some alcohol present.

Quite sweet and big bodied for the style. Nice effort, but not my cup of tea.

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Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 398 ratings.