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Hop Savant - Crooked Stave Brewery & Taproom

Not Rated.
Hop SavantHop Savant

Educational use only; do not reuse.

98 Reviews
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Reviews: 98
Hads: 583
Avg: 4.11
pDev: 23.84%
Wants: 43
Gots: 39 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Crooked Stave Brewery & Taproom visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mebuzzard on 05-14-2013

This brew is made of a blend of different hops (36% Citra, 36% Mosaic, and 28% Simcoe). To keep things interesting, each batch is dry hopped using different experimental hops varietals. The bottles are marked on the back to show which strain was used for that specific batch.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 98 | Hads: 583
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at drewone's tasting.

Batch 344.

Pours a murky golden orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, funk, and Brett aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour fruit, funk, and Brett flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of wood bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a pretty intense but well done Brett presence in the aroma and flavor.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

so unfortunate that this beer is in a bottle for seven bucks. if it were in an affordable twelve pack it would be in my regular wheelhouse. it pours a real pale straw yellow color, cloudy but still bright somehow, with a short but lacey white head. the nose is real bretty, but also nicely hopped, which to this point has not been crooked staves thing. its got citra type hops with lemon and grapefruit bitterness and acidity, as well as a light pine variety that's just lovely. the taste is just like the nose, but sort of finishes quick and dry, which is not exactly what I like in this style, but this is a genre bender anyways I guess. would like it to stay on my tongue awhile, so I can ponder its complexity, but its just gone. a lot like some of their other saison types. this one is super complex with all the brett funk and the intense hop flavors, reminds me a bit of the anchorage galaxy white ipa, which is still legendary to me. a little lighter than that one, a little less active feel wise, but still very well carbonated, and super easy drinking. I wish I could get this in large affordable quantities, it is really excellent. sharing a little bottle is torture, because I just want it all for myself...

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Photo of brentk56
4.56/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013/Batch 2
Aroma Hops: Centennial and Simcoe
Dry Hops: Centennial and Simcoe

Appearance: Pours a cloudy honey color capped by a massive head; fairly good retention and lacing action

Smell: Tangerine, peach and pineapple; earthy farmhouse tones, underneath

Taste: The malt presents a clean palette on which the hops can present their complex melange of fruit; tangerines are dominant but peach and apricot tones are strong; just a hint of pineapple, in the finish; all the while, the Brett is adding another dimension, bringing leathery and earthy barnyard tones and a touch of Band-Aid; the finish is somewhat acetic

Mouthfeel: Medium body with spritzy carbonation

Overall: What a terrific beer!

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Today's formula for success: citrus and tropical hops, earthy yeast character and dry Belgian-eque spiciness. This is the path that Crooked Stave has taken and it is working marvelously.

Hop Savant starts with a bright burnt orange color and the signature yeasty haze to cast a soft peach glow. As the carbonation releases, it forms a creamy off-white head to cap the beer. Partly fluffy, it structure holds true to form and laces with spotty buttons of lace with each swirl of the glass.

Its funky-fresh aromas are must, dirty, rustic, earthy... and ooh so bright and delicious! Because on the other side of the scent are the bold citrus tones of slightly under ripened fruit peels, passion fruit, pineapple, and fresh cut grass. All that hop character is wrapped in an aura of corkish must, saddle leather, herbal sandalwood, and weathered oak and other wood spices.

To taste, the short-lived malt sweetness is quickly supplanted by juicy citrus-type acidity. Fresh and vibrant white grapefruit, dried oranges, pineapple and apricot. Lightly briny in the mid-palate, the ale is lemony and minerally. The fresh fruity taste reels in alcohol flavors of cider and chardonnay before diving into a bone dry taste of wood spices, French oak and the bitterness of grass and wet hay.

Its effervescent body springs from the tongue and chases in a faster finish than the curious taste would have liked. But this explosive dryness makes the musty and earthen spices more appreciated in aftertaste than on the early palate. But the quick dryness is spicy, lightly tannin and pleasantly warm.

Crooked Stave is certainly leading the way in more daring brettanomyces fermentation and high hop character. And its this combination that wins over discerning beer palates over and over again!

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Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Batch #462

Hazy orange with champagne carbonation, thin layer of white foam with a lacy collar that never seems to break. Delicate and spindly lacing that has a sea foam quality to it.

Complex aromas of oaky sandalwood, tropical fruitiness of pineapple, and wet hay funkiness.

Lightly tart, crisp and dry in the finish. Plenty of oak, dry grassy finish, notes of tropical fruitiness, but subtle. Full bodied but spritzy and clean. Unripe peach and subtle grassy hops. Overall a great Brett pale ale with nice tropical touches.

Thanks very much to Joe for this one!

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Photo of jlindros
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had at The Festival in Portland.

Light fluffy head, honey yellow orange slightly hazy color.

Nose great funk, barnyard like, floral, nice tropical fruits, light sweet grainy malts

Taste lots of Orange juice, tangerine, grapefruit, bursts with fruit, nice funk on top, light bready slightly sweet malt, smooth delicious. Very well balanced between funk and fruity hops.

Mouth is med bod, nice carb.

Overall a big time winner, I love beers like this that mix tropical fruit, hops, and Brett.

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Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: bottle as an extra from Corey. Thanks!
Galaxy-hopped version.

Cloudy yellow-orange pour with a firm white layer of head that laced nicely. Piney hop aroma, funky, earthy, already getting some big oak notes. Piney hops in the taste, oily citrus rind, lots of oak, a touch of coconut, dank grass, earthy and bitter finish. Interesting and complex, though I thought the oak was just a little overpowering. Much like CC's oaked Jai Alai, I wonder what this would be like with a little age on it. Medium body, snappy mouthfeel. Overall quite good.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A pleasure to drink. Well, it was a pleasure to drink. I enjoyed it enough that I went right through it without really taking notes. Great citrus tones on this one. They come out more as time goes on. Makes me wish this was a 750 instead of this smaller bottle. Mild wild tones. More of an accent. This ended up being a great beer. Glad to have gotten a chance to try it.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From 08/30/13 notes. Have seen this around NYC a lot lately so bought a bottle at Ginger Man. Poured from a 375ml bottle into a tulip, bottle number 344 on it.

a - Pours a hazy, golden orange color with two inches of medium white head that leaves quickly, and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of brett, oranges, citrus hops, earthy notes, tropical fruits, light oak, and some light pine hops. Nice nose, more hops than I was expecting.

t - Tastes of brett, sour fruits, oranges, citrus hops, wheat, spice, tart apples, and floral hops. Little more sour than the nose and more brett, a slight step up from the nose.

m - Light to medium body and moderate to high carbonation. Pretty easy to drink overall.

o - Overall a very nice bretty pale ale. Loads of brett and citra hops so if you like those, you'll like this one a lot. I don't know if it is worth the price stores and bars charge for it, so I won't pick it up often, but it is a very good beer.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Chris (spycow). Thanks! Served in a snifter.

A - A finger-plus of white foam settles to a thin cap, thick collar, and tiny specks of lace. Transparent, pale, golden body.

S - A delightful mix of earthy and slightly dirty brett, tropical fruit hops, oak, and a bit of the musky, sweaty horsey funk. Not a ton of malt character here.

T - The taste has more of the tropical and citrus hop flavors, and a bit of the doughy malt backbone peaking through as well. Not nearly as dirty or oaky as the aroma, with more of a clausenii tropical brett character pervading. Surprisingly clean finish for a brett beer.

M - Pleasant, dry, medium body, with soft carbonation, and a clean finish. No perceptible alcohol.

D - Really great stuff. I could have gone for a bit more dry hop aroma, but I have no idea how fresh this bottle was so perhaps it's a function of age. In any case, a very successful hoppy brett pale ale that I would happily drink again. Wish we got Crooked Stave here in Illinois.

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Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to my Buddy Mitch in Colo. for the load of CS bottles he sent me. My first CS beers and so far I'm impressed.

12.7 oz. bottle

This one pours clouded medium tangarine, moderate off white head, collar and tiny bubble film

The nose is whee things get interesting. Nice citrus, tropical fruits and a bag of fresh hops come to mind. Also a bit of musty barnhard in the rear.

Creamy and quite smooth on the tongue, more soft citrus notes with lime and melon up front. Tart in the finish with cut grass, cat piss, biting hops, more lime and again some mold/must. Complex and simply delicious.

Crooked Stave please begin distributing to NY state as soon as possible.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.36/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer is quite the enigma, go figure. Chad loves hops, but not bittering and this is labeled as a Pale Ale. So gonna review based on Pale ale stuff

Looks fantastic, a bit cloudy. Golden pour, huge white fluffy, soapy, rocky head. Nice lacing

Aroma is, well, Crooked Stave-ish. Funky. Some odd ball cheese. Stone fruit, grapefruit. Persimmon. I'm gonna say it: kumquat. There

Flavor is more subdued. Like most CS offerings, the aroma and flavor rarely match exactly. Great fruit flavor that is mild and not in yo damn face. Hints of florals. Mostly peach and apricot. Some grapefruit. Small touch of pine. A mild yet complex flavor profile.

Feel: well, it has very little bite. The hops are there for flavor (Mosaic, Citra, Simcoe) as there is little bitterness. But, that makes this beer quite easy to drink. The beer is done when it leaves the mouth. Maybe a little peach residue, but it's gone. Better take another sip.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.79/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

375 mL bottle poured into a chalice. 462 is written on the bottle. Batch or bottle number, I'm not sure.

Appearance - Bright orange. Hazy. Nice white head, maybe 2 fingers. Lopsided chunky collar and some nice surface wisps. A bit of lacing clings to the glass.

Smell - I could smelled the brett as soon as I poured it. Slightly earthy and the smallest amount of acid coming through. Tropical fruit hops push through in the background and combine with a bit of doughy malt sweetness.

Taste - The brett is much more dominant here. Much more of a tangy flavor that builds throughout the sip. Citrus hop up front with a bit of that grainy, earthy brett flavor. It turns more tangy until it overwhelms the malt and finishes with a lingering slight sourness.

Mouthfeel - Pretty dry. Medium carbonation. The only flavor that lasts on the palate is the tang from the brett.

Overall - I bet this would have been a phenomenal pale ale without the brett. I think the brett just manages to mask the hop and malt profile. Regardless, it's still pretty nice.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.63/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2013 Batch 2. Opened July 2014.

A - Beautiful golden wheat body. Pure white head towers above the glass with great retention and nice lace.

S - Great nose. Well balanced brett, not overwhelming. Oak, plant stem hop character, pollen, lemon, dandelion, tool shed, and wax.

T - Wow, a lot more sour than I was expecting. Really interesting. Sour orange, pinot grigio, dry grass, banana leaf, oak, and a tangy brett finish.

M - Pretty much perfect. Well carbonated, with a fantastic medium-full body for the style.

O - Not a session brew, but a great example of what well executed brett beer can be.

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Photo of aasher
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This one pours a light bodied clear tangerine with a one finger, soapy and sticky head. The nose is dry, citrusy, and has a nice amount of Brett. It has a little dried peach skins to it. It smells pretty similar to Luciernaga from Jolly Pumpkin. The flavors are dry and fruity up front. There are dried peach and apricot notes before it goes into an off dry Brett character. The level of Brett is perfect in my opinion. It has great and well rounded flavors without any aspect really dominating. It drinks light and off dry and leaves just enough Brett in the after taste. Overall this is a near perfect beer for the style. I could drink this all the time if it were more easily available. Great job by Crooked Stave once again.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottles opened on 7.28.13
Score to reflect batch '462'

A - Hazy medium orange with a small white head that moves to the edges.

S - Pineapple, melon, subtle oak.

T - Sour melon, tangerine, a bit odd.

D - Lower carbonation with a medium body.

O - Smells nice, but in a inbetween stage now. I need either more Brett or more Hop.


A - Pours a very cloudy, very light orange with a foamy off-white head with good retention.

S - Tart lemon, Brett, oaky.

T - Lemon, grass, Brett. Subtle tartness, nice.

D - Good carbonation with a lighter body.

O - Tart lemon, crisp oak and Brett. A lot nicer than #344.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375 ml bottle, 2013/Batch 2. Served in a Prairie Teku glass, the beer pours a hazy golden/orange color with an inch off-white head. Head retention is good, and there's a decent amount of lacing. The brew smells like citrus (orange, lemon), tart fruit, oak, funk, and some hay. Taste is similar to the aroma, but with the addition of some green apples, grassiness, peaches, and a bit of bready malt. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick with a good amount of carbonation. I thought this was a pretty good brew, I liked it. Definitely worth trying if you come across some, I know I'd like to pick some more up the next time I find it! $8.99 a bottle.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours hazy gold under a persistent clingy dense 2” moussey, pillowy white foam cap
S: Tart, funk, faint wet horse blanket, spice, citrus.
T: Very well rounded with delicate lemony, funky Brettanomyces flavors and textures balanced by rich light malt and the array of hop flavors (citrus, piney, tropical, melon) and an assertive bitterness.
F: Exceptionally creamy, exceptionally finely bubbled carbonation, exquisite Brettanomyces texture.
O: In a lot of funky beers the brewer will balance the wild yeast flavors out with fruit. Here the brewer does the same thing with malt and hop flavors to a very ncie effect.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Curran at his tasting.

Bottled sometime in the fall of 2013.

Pours a rustic looking orange color, with a one inch head, and a good amount of lacing down the glass.

Smells quite funky and barnyard-y, with some lemony citrus and grass.

The taste is similar. At this age, a little bit less than a year old, the Brett has taken over, so it doesn't taste very hoppy anymore (I don't know hoppy it was when first bottled, so can't make a true comparison here, but I'm guessing it was at least somewhat hoppy). Lots of bracing Brett flavors, slightly tart (not sour) with some lemon, hay, and lots of funk. There's a bit of orange and pineapple flavors as well. Slightly cider-like, too.

Fairly light bodied, this one goes down very easily. It's spritzy, with some good carbonation as well.

I'd like to try this fresh, but this is still a very tasty and well done wild Brett beer.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pour is lightly hazed golden amber with a tight white head and a few larger bubbles. Nose is heavy citrus bret, lots of orange juice aromas an some citrusy hops. Some light notes of leathery dusty bret as well. Taste is similar, not quite as bright. The citrus is all around with dusty leathery bret in back. Light bitterness and some hop citrus with a moderate carbonation and a very light, delicate body.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks to ablackshear for this beer!

poured into crooked stave tulip glass.

Appearance: A golden straw yellow bodied beer with a slightly opaque body. 2 fingers of frothy head that drops down to an uneven cap.

Smell: Yep! Just as advertised hops and brett! Citrus, tropical fruits, oak, mild funk, earthy, grass and hay.

Taste: Mildly bitter pale ale. Oranges and mild tropical fruits mix with floral and grassy hops. Earthy and dusty brett notes with a hint of woodiness. Maybe even a hint of white pepper and fruity yeast. Wheat malts. The hops taste fairly green.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Carbonation is more on the soft and delicate side, but it no doubt ample. Slight creaminess in the mouthfeel. Very drinkable. Very clean beer with minimal aftertaste.

Overall: This ones really good, just not great. I was hoping for a little bit more because my two favorite hop varienties are Citra and Simcoe hops. Guess they dont play that well together as I had hoped for/'would have liked in this beer.

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Photo of popery
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours pale gold with some cloudiness. Big white head. Lots of fine foam. Lots of lacing and good retention. Nice looking for something that has spent time on wood. Aroma is a mix of oak, tropical and citrus hops and brett fruitiness. Big peaches, pineapples, mangoes, mint, tangerine. Also, a light mineral note and some gentle earthiness. Nice and clean like a good all brett beer should be. Taste is fairly dry but there's some hop juiciness counterbalancing that. Lightly bitter. Lots of wood. Light fresh malt flavor. Brett fruitiness and earth. Flavorful hops - big on peaches, juniper, lavender and limes. Light on the palate. Pretty gentle carbonation. Clean hop-brett finish. Another very nice beer from CS. I continue to be impressed with their work.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.51/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Dogfish traditional oversized snifter. Back label says June 2015.

A- Pours a hazy light amber color with a 1/2 inch white head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves large clots behind.

S- Super funky, musty Brett collides with bright, earthy hops. Stinky, dank, pungent. Lots of green olive and a hint of baby diaper...for real.

T- Flavor brings forth citrus notes that's punctuated yet contrasted by the green olive notes brought on by the Brett. Tangy and vibrant with moderate bitterness.

M- Dry and zesty with a somewhat milky texture. Medium carbonation and a lightish body.

O- Pretty much everything I look for in a Brett IPA. Big hop presence along with a solid funk aspect. Cheers.

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Photo of dar482
4.57/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer has a orange golden color with a light head.

The aroma has tons of Brett that gives it tart aroma. The barrel surely comes through with tons of woodiness. The hops don't immediately come out for me and are floral if anything.

The flavor has citrus fruits, but also a tart flavor from the Brett. There is a good breadiness on the back, but then a grapefruit bitterness on the finish. I do get the Citra and maybe the Simcoe. However, the hops are not clearly picked out. The Brett really melds with them really well.

This beer really surprised me. I loved how different this beer was. You get a familiar hoppy pale ale, but there's also that Brett and barrel woodiness.

Having this again on tap at Torst, the flavors on this other batch seemed to be more woody and funky, without being as refreshing. Still a wonderful beer however.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.16/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

375ml bottle $6.49. For a pale ale...ok. Bright orange-yellow color, sort of hazy, very good head. Aroma is overwhelming brett, slight bit of plastic, more brett, and then brett. Flavor was mostly brett, hints of lemon, slight bit of fruity hops, meh. I'm sorry but I think I'm done with Crooked Stave. The WWBI was a winner and I've had a couple good beers but most have been letdowns and considering the price tag I just can't support what they are doing. I think they've got very cool ideas but the beers are overpriced and not usually well executed. I know CS is the hype brewery of the moment but I'm going to come right out and say they are overrated based on what they are selling on shelves.

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Hop Savant from Crooked Stave Brewery & Taproom
91 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.