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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,926 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,926
Hads: 10,063
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 22.78%
Wants: 408
Gots: 2,235 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 11-15-2000

This is an aggressive ale. You probably won't like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. We would suggest that you stick to safer and more familiar territory–maybe something with a multi-million dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing you it’s made in a little brewery, or one that implies that their tasteless fizzy yellow beverage will give you more sex appeal. Perhaps you think multi-million dollar ad campaigns make things taste better. Perhaps you're mouthing your words as you read this.

At Stone Brewing, we believe that pandering to the lowest common denominator represents the height of tyranny - a virtual form of keeping the consumer barefoot and stupid. Brought forth upon an unsuspecting public in 1997, Arrogant Bastard Ale openly challenged the tyrannical overlords who were brazenly attempting to keep Americans chained in the shackles of poor taste. As the progenitor of its style, Arrogant Bastard Ale has reveled in its unprecedented and uncompromising celebration of intensity. There have been many nods to Arrogant Bastard Ale…even outright attempts to copy it… but only one can ever embody the true nature of liquid Arrogance!
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Arrogant Bastard Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,926 | Hads: 10,063
Photo of treedoctor5002
4.92/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As I pour this beer I remember how grateful I am to Stone for finally coming to Michigan. How lucky am I to be able to try all these great beers!
This beer pours a dark red amber color with a huge head that last forever...literally, with tons of nice lacing.
Smell is a nice roasted malt/carmel/fruity flavor. Very complex. I sure hope it tastes this good.
Wow! The sweetness of this beer is very nice. I can taste some pineapple/grapefruit and some nice malt flavors coming throught. The finish is dry with some of those great west coast hops really shining through. This beer sure has a lot going on! I think this might be one of the best beers that I have tried.

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Photo of Baraka
4.92/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Dark shade of brown with a substantial head that leaves beautiful lacing on the glass

S: Carmel, biscuit, citrusy hops. Intense smell.

T/M: Really hoppy to start but finishes with a delicious carmel sweetness. Wow, I'm kind of blown away by this beer. The hop bite is substantial- resiny bitterness abounds, but this is balanced with an impressive malt profile. Thick, complex mouthfeel that really allows the complexity of this brew to shine. A bit of an alcohol warming, but the ABV is concealed rather well with all of the other flavors.

D: This is one of the best beers I've ever had, and if Stone distributed to Missouri, a beer that would regularly be in my fridge. Extremely complex and delicious.

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Photo of trep
4.9/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Mother of God, thanks to Stone for making this delicious beer.

Pours from the 22 dark red, like beet juice. Nice blonde colored head foams up and as it settles leaves a nice bit of lacing around the top of the goblet. Dark brown and clear, with the tan head sitting atop it, it looks like some yum.

Smells of grapefruit, flowers, piney and citrus hops dominate the aroma. Alcohol in the nose, doesn't take away from the beer in the least bit. Cereal malts in the background, but very faint. Smells wonderful I really can't say enough about the grapefruit smelling hop character. Juicy is really the only word that does it justice.

Refreshing hop bite initially that lasts forever and a day. A schpeil of flavors present themselves through out the bitterness. Pine, sweet fruits, and citrusy hops are very prevalent. Sweet malts give the hops a nice backbone to hold it up. To me, the feel of this Bastard on my pallate is perfect. Not syrupy, but not thin either. A bit chewy, but you won't need your spoon to drink this. About as close as you can get to perfection.

This beer would have been all 5's if it would have been a bit easier to drink. The hop bitterness really lasts throughout and destroys your pallate. But it is worth it. Without question one of my top 5 of all time.

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Photo of keytones
4.9/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very inviting dark color with a honey-colored head about an inch high that sustained throughout the drink.

S: Like walking into a brewery and being smacked in the face with a sack of hops.

T: Very strong flavor that lingers well after the sip. Malty with even a bit of citrus. My friends were convinced that I had squirted some lime into my mug

M: Thick, almost like molasses. Hearty and goes down smooth.

D: Very delicious but the higher alcohol content and strong, thick content of the beer keeps me from drinking more than a couple.

Overall I would suggest that you try this beer if you ever have a chance.

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Photo of TheOtherMike
4.9/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

As Stone is now one of now my default beer choices, I decided to try another one of their offerings. I found a 220z. bottle of this sitting on a shelf at a shop I had never been to before.

Wow! Even though this is a strong beer by my standards, it is very enjoyable and drinkable.

The color is a beautiful deep ruby red. It has plenty of head and the carbonation won't quit. It leaves a nice lace on the glass.

The taste is strong but very good. I was worried that it would be too much to remain pleasant before I could polish-of the bottle, but to my surprise it was quite good to the end - maybe it even got better!

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Photo of gcasher
4.9/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I love this beer.
The appearance is a deep reddish brown.
The aroma is hops in your face with a spicy scent.
The taste is upfront and personal with a dank hoppy punch.
The mouthfeel is heavy and rich.
There is nothing sweet about this beer. If you love bitter hops and a strong ale, this is for you.

Poured out of a bottle (with an Enjoy By date by the way - August 8, 2015) into an old fashioned glass.

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Photo of Grimes
4.9/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've had this beer many times on tap, but for fear of coming across as the pretentious a$$hole in the bar, I have yet to review it. I finally found it bottled and decided to give it my utmost attention.

I smelled it first in the bottle because I couldn't wait, and my mouth is watering.

Pours a deep, dark amber with a pillowy off-white head.

Smells of huge amounts of piney hopsand bright citrus notes. If only I could find a cologne with a similar smell, I'd probably spend many a night home alone :)

Taste is sweet and bright with a powerful hops bite at the very end.

I'm in love with this beer. If Stone has a musician endorsement program, someone please let me know because I would drink this beer on stage every night!

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Photo of Jonmoore89
4.88/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a dark amber, with a tan/cream colored one finger head that stuck until the very end. The aroma was the only thing that I found disappointing. I picked up some sweet/herbal hops and a slight bit of malt, but nothing too special. The first taste... aggressive hops, citrusy, piney, floral, herbal, and mildly malty. The complex taste definitely made up for the lack of aroma. Its medium body and carbonation was perfectly in tune with the taste. Still a sipping beer though. I was interested in trying Arrogant Bastard for a long time and I must say that it lived up the the hype. The story on the back of the bottle is a nice touch as well.
Awesome Beer!

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Photo of velosuds
4.88/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From a 22oz bomber

A-pours a beautiful copper red brown. This produces a substantial cream-colored head with strong retention. Lacing is even all the way down the glass. The bottle is a work of art, as is this exemplary brew. Never see comments about sound, but this was music to my ears from bottle to glass.

S-enticing, menacing. Even suggesting I am not worthy. Beckoning me to determine if I have the sophistication to appreciate this brew (you gotta read the label).

T-I'm too much of a neophyte to describe all the subtleties I enjoy reading from other reviewers. However, I immediately knew this is a substantial brew to be reckoned with. This is a complex, balanced, quality beer I will definitely be wanting again. Hop bitterness at the beginning that finishes with a pleasant sweetness. Can't fully describe the taste in between, but I think I am arrogant enough to be worthy of this very fine brew.

M-substantial yet smooth, even delicate. A definite sipping beer because you don't want to rush past any of its nuances. I love this beer.

D-22oz tonight will be enough since it is quite filling. 7.2% ABV is dangerously masked. I don't notice it in the taste. Very drinkable. So much so that I am actually glad it cost $5. I will treasure this one in the future, albeit sparingly, looking forward to each time with anticipation.

I have wanted to try this for some time now. Been in my fridge about 3 weeks. Tonight was just the right setting. In Salem, Oregon, we got an exceedingly rare tornado warning about 4:00 this afternoon and the storm that blew through disrupted my outdoor activity plans this evening. I wasn't arrogant enough to challenge the elements on my bicycle. So when I looked in the fridge and saw the gargoyle, I knew this was the right time. I had high expectations and was not at all disappointed. Except, when the last sip was over.

I love reading the label. I ain't ever going back to "tasteless fizzy yellow beer."

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Photo of Fatheranderson
4.88/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. I just drank a 1 liter of this with a big juicy Tbone steak, and all I can say is wow, what a perfect match.

Appearance: Thick, dark, reminds me of a very good Porter.

Smell: Bitter hops, slightly burnt smelling which was absolutely the only complaint I had about this brew.

Taste: Arrogant, powerful, aggressive. Mildly sweet, but very bitter. It reminds me of a very good strong black coffee with about 3 teaspoons of sugar... add some 90% cocoa dark chocolate and you've got a decent approximation of the flavor (though that really doesn't describe the whole flavor... you've really got to try it to catch all of what I mean).

Mouthfeel: thick, hearty, slightly sticky. Very smooth overall with just enough carbonation to enhance the flavor without damaging it.

Drinkability: Wow... this is a hard one. It's definitely not an accessible beer (people that aren't used to IPAs or generally good beers need to avoid this one like the clap). That said, this beer deserves to be a fixture in the beer cooler/cellar of all true IPA lovers. This also isn't something you can just shotgun in 30 seconds and be done with it. The complicated flavor really demands that you slow down and appreciate every sip while you savor every new aspect of it.

Overall: This beer is just too complicated for anyone that isn't used to good beer. If you want a simple, easily drinkable beer, this isn't the brew for you, but if you want something to savor that will really make you pause and consider it's characteristics, this is definitely something to look into. I'd say it's a sterling example of the IPA style.

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Photo of sinistersteve
4.88/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Heed the warning on the label non-believers, because this is one tough beer that is only meant for the big boys. The pour was dark and thick, the head was dark and thick, and the taste is like a malt explosion in your mouth. Stone is probably the God's of mixing water, hops, malt and yeast together. They haven't failed me yet.

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Photo of Brad007
4.88/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the beers in a trade with Nathan15.

Beer pours a nice reddish hue with ample head. Aroma is very strong and malty, even hoppy.You can easily tell that this one is gonna be a slobberknocker. The taste starts out all innocent and malty but once it hits the back of the throat, the alcohol comes into play, leaving a nice but dry aftertaste. However, I detected a hint of raisin in the beer, if not much.

Strong, malty and definitely not like anything I've had from around this area. I can easily see why beers from the Stone Brewing Company are held in such high regard. I especially like the aftertaste it leaves. Very good!

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Photo of mevett89
4.88/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Appearance: opaque dark copper with a light tan head.

Smell: hops and malt mingle, with strong pine notes backed up by caramel sweetness.

Taste: caramel malt with bitterness and pine from the hops. Some roasty notes as well. Strong presence of both malts and hops, with a nice balance achieved between them.

Mouth Feel: smooth and heavy. Low carbonation. This ale coats the tongue and mouth, and thus the taste lingers for a while.

Overall: damned delicious! Smooth and deep in complex flavor, and well balanced. Sticks to the tongue, but not enough to be too sticky.

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Photo of becktone
4.88/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer looks great and also looks very appetizing when poured out of the bottle and into a glass. It has a dark brown reddish color and is crystal clear. When held up to the light the nice red color comes out very nicely. It froms a beautiful large head when poured that never gets smaller than about a 1/4 of an inch. The creamy head also has a good amount of lacing which adds to its appetizing look. I don't think that they look much better than this.

The aroma of this beer can be characterized by one word, hops. The aroma of hops is overwhelming in this brew, it dominates not only the smell of this beer but the flavor as well.

If you like really hoppy beers then I think that you'll love this one. There is almost no hint of any malty or sweet flavor in this beer. There is a small malt flavor but it is really unbalanced by the amount of hop flavor this beer has. Other than that I can't really describe the flavor of this beer. I taste something that lingers in my mouth afterwards that reminds me of wood, like I have been chewing on a stick or something.

This beer feels good on the palate. It is a full bodied beer and feels heavy on the palate. The level of carbonation is low, which is in my opinion appropriate to the style. It is not a beer that can be chugged, rather it has to be drunk over time. Its a great brew to sit down and enjoy. This beer is really a gem, one of the best brews I have ever had, I'll always respect the bastard and will always find myself coming back to this brew again and again. It is definitely worth the money and a try. Go ahead and see if you're worthy.

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Photo of Aaron_Ramson
4.88/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Appearance as poured into a 20 oz pint glass is stunning; a khaki head of foam that does not fall after nearly 5 minutes of sitting, a reddish brown color with absolute clarity that appears almost blood red when held to the light. Smell is very potent and powerful with equal part resiny, herbal hops and dark malts; dried fruit, prunes, leather, botanicals, pine and resin. The taste is bitter, dark and satisfying with a burnt sugar, caramel, toast, roasted cereal grains and black coffee, offset by earthy and resinous hop character, ending astringent and slightly drying. It sits heavily in the mouth, coating; medium carbonation that is completely fitting. This beer is good to the last drop, a combination of IPA, amber ale and Imperial stout in my opinion. It's a classic that has stood the test of time and one that I come back to over and over again.

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Photo of sabinelr
4.88/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I bought this at Cost Plus on a special occasion (1 year anniversary at my job). I was intimidated by the commentary on the label, but after a bottle, I said to myself "This is what beer should be." A slight bitter taste reminding me of orange peel, but enough to make it beer and not something ghastly. The smell makes you think "I'm getting into something dangerous." The aftertaste says "give me another bottle, and don't ruin this by eating anything." This is the Owsley acid of beer. Don't ever be content with anything less unless you are cheap or poor.

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Photo of nortmand
4.87/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep ruby-red with a brilliant white head. Beautiful.
Deep, rich malty caramel smell, supported by a citrusy hop aroma.
Huge grapefuit up front, followed by a more mellow citrus-caramel malt infusion. Ends with a grapefruit reminiscent tart bitterness. Mmm... Tasty.
Smooth, silky drink that I will come back to again and again. Unfortunately as of now, I have to travel to find this beer. But it is well worth the trip.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.87/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! I could swear that every time I picked up my class for a sniff or a drink, I was drinking a different brew. The first sips were quite hoppy, though not overbearing. The next few drinks contained caramel and toffee, and the next few drinks after that contained orange and other fruity tastes. This is a very complex brew. It is a shame that the text on the label is true for the majority of beer drinkers, at least in the U.S. I particularly loved the following: "Questions or comments? If you don't like this beer, keep it to yourself -- we don't want to hear from any sniverling yellow-beer-drinkin' wimps, 'cause this beer wasn't made for you."

Anyways, back to the review... the beer poured a dark nutty brown color. The head wasn't nearly as impressive as the Stone IPA I sampled the previous night, though it seemed to leave at least a quarter inch of foam throughout the whole 22 ounces, so the beer was at least protected from the O2. The lacing was unlike any I'd ever witnessed, however. The smell, as I mentioned earlier, seemed to change from time to time, though it always kept a pleasant hoppy aroma.

The taste was so dynamic I couldn't not give it a 5, along with the complexities of the mouthfeel as the brew is swished to different parts of the palate. Although I wanted another one immediately after finishing, the drinkability isn't quite perfect for such a heavy and complex brew, but it is damn near. I only wish I didn't have to order Stone brews off the internet to enjoy them from home.

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Photo of poluti
4.87/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer bottled and enjoyed it immensely. I decided to hold off on the review until I could find it on tap. It pours a cloudy tan head with a deep amber color- with a tinge of orange. This beer smells bittersweet. It has a very deep floral scent and multiple layers of hops. The hops definitely do not match the color of the beer. The smell prepares you for the hoppy bang you get from your first sip. It has a fantastic kick on the back of the tongue with the malt gently balancing it at the tip of the tongue. The tongue is lightly coated before it kicks you. This is a very hoppy, very potent beer. I would only recommend this to people who love hops and would advise them not to rate any beers for awhile after having this one because the hops dominate your tastebuds for awhile.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.87/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Holy mother of all things holy. This... wow. Pours a cloudy amber brown, a beautiful color, good sized creamy, thick, light tan head. Aroma is just fantastic. My friend said it best; "I could simply smell this beer all night long." As it came out of the bottle, could smell it and thought it'd be just potent, a little too much. Sat down and started with it, and it isn't actually that .... er, arrogant. Its actually just about right, between assertive and obscene. At once its heavily malty, a dark deep caramel malt thats more reminicent of barleywine malting, but perhaps thats me taking a whiff of the fantastic pine hop overtones that play center stage. If anything, this aroma is rich with subtleties that aren't subtle at all, complex, fantastic, and pretty much making my mouth drool.

Taste is what it should be, what it says it is; in your face, uncompromising, unyielding loads of hop, malt and just a little tug on the soul. It grabs you, invites you to chew on it, eat the malt, and oh ya, there are those boat loads of hops too. This is an all out war on the tongue, and mine has given up. Not as its too powerful, but its just perfect. That balance between the sizable hop load, bitter but not bittering, just a bite that lets you understand that its there, and its huge, but its not going to kick your ass, at least not yet. And the sweet caramel malt, practically making me smile, I lean my head back and say 'this is the best thing of my entire day.'

Most of this talk is rubbish. And I dont' care. One of the best beers I'll ever have.

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Photo of Kelpius
4.87/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite bottled beers. Considering some of its qualifying competitors come from the same company, you can't go too wrong with any Stone beer. Delightful mouth feel, superb flavor and tremendous overall quality. A bit pricey, but worth the splurge. Try it. It might become your favorite beer. If you like something a bit hoppier, try the IPAs from Stone. Seriously, a brewery we can only hope is around to stay.

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Photo of HossMcGraw
4.87/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer almost brought a tear to my eye the first time I tried it. It's that good. The intense hops and malt in AB are just beautifully balanced and complex. The hop bite in the flavor is remarkable. The head is enormous, and the aftertaste is amazing. This just might knock Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout out of the coveted "Best Beer I've Tried So Far" designation. The only question is where do I go from here? Be careful when you're drinking beer that's this good.

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Photo of grayburn
4.87/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a frothy dark amber, thick head and heavy lacing.

Notes of caramel and citrus in abundance, I took a minute to put on my wonder woman underoos at this point, and continued with caution. This is a big beer.

The taste is a wonderful balance of over-hopping and over-malting that continues all the way into a strong lingering finish. This is an arrogant bastard of beer that is hard not to love. It is powerful shit that doesn't need to offer apologies.

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Photo of zuggy9
4.87/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a strong solid ale that is strong. Dark copper reddish poir with a tan head with mild retention. It has some citrus esters as well as a nice sweetness, coupled with good hoppiness. The taste is strong, robust and citrusy, with malt sweetness. A bit heavy mouthfeel, and adequately carbonated. Good drinkability, though it can sneak up on you!

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Photo of cmaloy
4.87/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The best way to explain this beer is to say that it punches you in the face after you drink it. The hoppy bite in the aftertaste is strong and I really enjoyed the long lasting taste this beer left in my mouth.

The appearance was dark brown and maintained a foamy head on top.

You could smell the perfect blend of malt and taste the bitterness of the hops on the finish. When first drinking this beer you start off with a kind of creamy thickness and end with a bitterness you would expect in a strong beer. You can also taste the alcohol in the after taste.

I would recommend drinking this beer with red meat. Actually I would recommend drinking this beer period. This beer was great and is the beer to beat in this class.

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Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,926 ratings.