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The Citizen - DC Brau Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
The CitizenThe Citizen

Educational use only; do not reuse.

82 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 82
Hads: 447
Avg: 3.54
pDev: 12.71%
Wants: 11
Gots: 54 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
DC Brau Brewing Co. visit their website
District of Columbia, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: t0rin0 on 07-13-2011

The Citizen Belgian Ale is inspired by the timeless Tripel style ales of Belgium. Using a traditional high gravity "Abbey" yeast strain that encourages the production of highly palatable ethanol notes supported by Aromatic and "The Citizen" also exhibits the noble hop spiciness that is common to most Belgian Ales. Reigning in at 7.0% ABV this is the Brau's strongest offering in our flagship portfolio. Become a Citizen of the world, one sip at a time!
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Reviews: 82 | Hads: 447
Photo of stephenjmoore
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A- Orange body with some amber highlights. A slight haze to the body that prevents crystal-clear transparency, but enough for light to come through. Head is thin and frothy, with a cream color to it.

S- Banana, clove, herbal hops, toast, bready malt.

T- Taste has a pretty diverse mix of flavors to it. The yeast comes in first with some peppery notes, the big toasted malt bill provides lots of breadiness, with banana flavors sneaking in towards the end. Slight mix of herbal hops in the, with a hint of citrus as well.

M- Crisp, medium-full bodied, sticky lingering aftertaste. Finishes dry.

O- The yeast and the malt dominate this one. It's very different than almost all of the BPAs I have had, but not necessarily in a bad way. It's just different. I probably would not get it again, but I didn't hate it.

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Photo of kevanb
2.88/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12oz can poured into a DC Brau Can Glass.

The beer pours a golden corn color, very hazy with lots of bubbles rising to the top of the glass. Atop the beer rests a lovely, soapy, white head, about 2 fingers high that has fantastic retention and leaves some spotted lacing behind. The aroma is heavy on banana, more banana, and some more after that. Yeasty clove and spicey hop are noticeable with lots of pale grain sweetness. The amount of banana is a bit off putting and really masks the rest of the aromas. The flavors aren't much different, lots of banana, clove, belgian yeast, a bit of an unpleasant saltiness, alcohol, pale grain, earthy hop spice, sugary sweetness at the finish. The nose was a mess and the flavors are just as messy and poorly put together. The body is thin, a bit watery, lacking lively carbonation, coats the mouth moderately well and has a soft, creamy finish.

Verdict: A pretty poor attempt at a Belgian Pale Ale from DC Brau. It has bad balance, lots of unpleasantries, and has few redeeming qualities. While I enjoy their hoppy beers, I might be staying away from their Belgian beers until further notice.

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Photo of MacQ32
3.64/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a golden yellow with nearly 2 fingers of white head. Solid retention and very strong lacing. 4.25

S - lots of sweet belgian yeasty candy.  Slightly funky tartness

T - semi sour, a bit of a weak hop character but the sugaryness and sour qualities as very pleasant.

M - Lightish bodied, fatigues the back of my jaw a bit.

O - Taste is not at all what I expected but I dig the sourness

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Photo of GJ40
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a can purchased at Chevy Chase Beer & Wine.

Light golden with a hazy finish and a mass exodus of large bubbles that never really create a sustainable head. Aroma is lemon, black pepper and fruits. Flavor is big on fruity esters with some spicy notes and a moderate sweetness. A moderate consistency but a low carbonation after that initial rush out the door.

This is a tough style to do well; especially given the availability of so many Belgian masters. Drinkable and refreshing but this one needs more work.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.62/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cloudy yellowish gold with two finger head that stuck around a while and left a lace ring. A rather airy, nondescript aroma but I do pick up some spice and grain and touches of bready malt and citric. The yeastiness in this beer helps make it smooth and easy to drink without becoming watery, but I found that the sweet malts are minimal at best (don't expect alot of candi sugar or tropical fruit sweetness or caramel) and that the hops and fruit flavors mostly give off a slightly bitter or acidic crisp bite and offer up some decent citric notes but not too much else. Decent balance so it's not overly sharp or acidic but just one of those beers that seems "watered" down for more mainstream consumption and it was alright but not worth having again.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.01/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Grenade courtesy of Borry....er, Daune. Thanks bud!

Pours a liquid cream corn with a big rollicking winter seas white foam.

Smells of big buttery biscuits, hay, and lemongrass.

Tastes like the Yeaster Bunny ran roughshod on the Banana Hammock District (down on third). Soapy biscuits and light lemon seals the deal.

At yeast we have our health.

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Photo of GoodOmens
3.73/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Can poured into a tulip glass

Pours a hazy orange with bright white head. Strong smell of alcohol and flowers but a nice creamy almost buttery taste.

Not a game changing by any means and as someone said - the lack of bottle conditioning really harms the impact of this beer but don't let that turn you away. It's a great session beer that's perfect for a hot day or a bbq.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.77/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

12 oz can into a pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy amber color with some notable yeast sediment falling to the bottom of the glass. The white-colored head forms a uniform height of one finger, and fades pretty rapidly to a thin film. Lacing is very sparse.

S: Rather buttery and even a bit corn-like. Maybe I can find a touch of fruity esters with proper concentration, but the Belgian yeast qualities are just too hard to find. There seems to be a bit of hoppiness, though, which is good. Quite the disappointing aroma otherwise.

T: Good news is, there is a touch of Belgian yeast on the finish, giving it a (much needed) crisp touch, and some welcome notes of apple, white grape, and pear - but also gives a faint soapiness. Yikes. All told, this seems rather disjointed, as if the yeast and the bready malts are battling each other, rather then melding like a good BPA should.

M: This is the best part of the brew. It features a creamy texture, and is nicely clean/dry on the back end without over-exposing any of the less-than-great flavors. In spite of its slight syrupiness and medium-heavy body, it's pretty drinkable.

O: Not great, unfortunately. There's little here to make me want to come back for seconds. All this does is confirm my skepticism toward canned Belgian-style ales - without bottle conditioning, what do you have? Not much, really.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.54/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from can into tulip. Purchased at total wine in Richmond, va for $1.99.
Pours a slightly hazy golden with 1 finger of head. Aromas of Belgian yeast ever so slightly with macro notes...corn I guess. Taste is simple Belgian yeast that has been dumbed down...its so subtle. Meh, its ok, easy to drink and normal...meh. There is nothing amazing about this brew, its just a super sessionable BPA.

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Photo of harrymel
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Canned: unk - earlier

Nice hazy honey colored ale with a solid sheet of fine whites atop. Smells like grain, sweet grain, pears, flowers, some grass and a little biscuit. Smells fresh, I dig that. Flavor is sweet initially with a good floral character with some juicy fruit, some grain and dough. Like the flavor too. A little fuller bodied than I'd dig, but with the softened carbonation, it has a nice feel overall and an unobtrusive finish. Nice beer, surprised and satisfied.

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Photo of emerge077
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Thanks Fred for this one!

Brassy gold coloration, bright clarity, plenty of light passing through and illuminating the trails of rising carbonation. A finger or so of head initially, which fades to a patchy skim halfway through. Some minor broken lacing left behind at the rim of the glass.

Aroma is yeast driven, estery pear/banana and spicy white pepper. Similar flavors, some banana and pear sweetness, dry spice in the middle that lingers long into the aftertaste with some light residual bitterness. Creamy feel with ample carbonation, medium bodied and smooth. Overall a nice BPA, pretty flavorful and drinkable.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale and cloudy yellow body with a contrasting stark white head. No lacing.

Banana, clove, and grassy smells. Heavy fruity esters.

Over ripe banana, cloves, herbal and grassy hops, and a peppery spice finish.

Clean mouthfeel, crisp, prickly carbonation.

Overall, I thought it was a very nice beer. Refreshing, nice flavor, and very drinkable.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.24/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

I forget who extra'd me this, but thank you to whomever you are. Shame on me for forgetting. This one pours a deep gold, almost-amber color in the center with some bright, banana yellow highlights at the edges. Big, soapy, and frothy is the stark-white cap, settling nicely at just over a half an inch. A decent amount of sediment can be seem floating through the murky, yellow abyss.

The initial whiff instantly reveals what seems like some sort of mixture between a Belgian style triple and and American Pale Lager. Notes like mild clove, fruity esters, and some very light Candi sugar are pushing the tripel front, while some musky, murky hops, heavy grains, and a substantial amount of wheat lean towards a lager. It is evident from the yeast, however (especially upon warming) that this is certainly no lager, though the hops can be deceiving at first. The yeast opens up with some warmth and shows more bubblegum-like notes, though still slightly underpowered, that easily unmask the Belgian nature of this brew.

And as confusing as the nose is, the flavor of this one is even more unexpected. Initially, it hits with a banana-like fruitiness that's accompanied with a mild sugar coating, almost Candi sugar sweet, but not quite there. One good malt charge later and you think this will be like a traditional tripel. But before long, a staunch, hoppy bitterness wafts in and engulfs the palate; musky and dry hops, possibly some sort of Noble variety. Grains come into the scene and play off of the almost astringent bitterness.

Some moderately soft wheat fades in and out, as does a good amount of fusel alcohol notes, somewhat surprising for being only 7% ABV. The finish comes back with another light hint of fruity sweetness - again, mostly banana, possibly joined by a light pear essence this time around. The bold and assertive bitterness of the hops are not to be forgotten, however, as they remain lingering heavily in the background. Some bready malts and grains coat the palate afterwards with a slight touch of yeast, but I keep having the feeling that nothing is really "coming together" for this beer. Thin-medium bodied with high carbonation for a wet, crisp mouth feel.

Not sure if it was the execution or just an odd collection of ingredients, but this one didn't really mesh the flavors well. Too many distinct flavors popping out on their own, seemingly out of place, rather than molding together to form a nice, coherent flavor profile. Far from awful, but probably not something I'd seek out again.

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Photo of Portertime
4.11/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Got this as a free sample from the boss, score! Serving it chilled. Poured this one in my Maudite tulip. Deep golden color with a nice white head. Smells of the tell tale clove, banana, biscuit, pear. Taste had a great tartness that really appealed to me. It was smooth and really drinkable. Notes of tart cherries, biscuit, yeast, and grass.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer pours a lightly hazed golden color with a small white head. The head fades relatively quickly leaving a light level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell-The aroma is a biggest of a yeasty smell with lots of banana, coriander, clove and a little bit of lemon. Mixed with these more standard Belgian smells are some rather sweet candy and bubblegum aromas, giving it a rather sweet smell overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a malty and sweet taste with flavors of yeast present right from the start. The bready flavors create a base of the beer with the sweet initially being of a more sugary candy nature mixed with a decent amount of a tangerine sweetness. As the flavors advance, more yeast and flavors associated with yeast of clove, banana, and coriander come to the tongue. These flavors combined with a big sugary taste as well as a light alcohol at the end to leave a sweet and yeasty flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average to creamier with a carbonation level that was on the average side as well. Both are rather nice for the style and produce a nice balance between drinkability as well as allowing all the flavors of the brew to be sensed by the tongue.

Overall – A niceBelgian that has a taste profile in between that of a Belgian session and a triple. Quite tasty.

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Photo of blackie
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

growler from the brewery

a: large snifter, yeast-hazed honey amber in color, pours out with a small head that retains lightly

s: nose opens with sweet pale malts carrying aromas of apricot, loads of yeasty phenols - bananas and clove

m: carbonation and body around moderate

t: same structure as the nose - sweet pale malts, big banana flavor and clove phenols, quite grainy with notes of toast on the middle and back end

o: I tend to prefer a drier bpa, a fine beer, but not a favorite from the brau

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Photo of MNishCT77
4.43/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. can purchased in the greater Washington D.C. area, unknown birth date, poured into a Rogue chalice, drank 4/3/13 over one hour.

A: 4.25 - pretty golden coloration, minimal clarity consistent with style, really nice white two finger head that resolves into a creamy-appearing 1/4 head for the remainder of the session, small bubbles pouring off the bottom of the glass throughout, minimal alcohol legs

S: 4.25 - lots and lots of lemon/curacao orange peel, spice, coriander...pulling out lots of classic Belgian aroma

T: 4.25 - drinks like a saison instead of a Belgian pale ale to me (good thing...), no detectable hop flavors or bitterness; again, lots of lemon, young citrus and spice on the taste buds, some candy sugar on the back end

M: 4.5 - again, I'm really digging the creaminess, which lingers on the upper lip, tight carbonation, moderate body that is appropriate to style

O: 4.5 - although I'm not crazy about the generally non-committal "Belgian pale ale," definitely approachable and refreshing, especially as the temperature warms in the greater D.C. area; although not their best offering, this is a solid flagship beer from my favorite local brewery...Prosit!

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Photo of elgiacomo
3.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz can, unknown date. Served at around 40-45F.

Pours slightly hazy golden amber with a one finger white head that leaves a ring of lacing and settles to a small cap.

Aroma is belgian yeast, fruity, lemon, banana, touch of bubblegum, earthy, bready. Good to very good strength.

Flavor is fairly hoppy with lemon citrus, a little banana, overall rather fruity, some yeast and bread, sweet malt in the middle and end, mild alcohol, good bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a little sticky, good carbonation.

Normally not a big Belgian Pale Ale fan, but this is pretty good! Nice ’n hoppy with a good Belgian yeast presence.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #62 (Mar 2012):

LOOK: Golden orange

SMELL: Asian pear, taffy, green peppercorn, shortbread biscuits, floral

TASTE: Smooth, creamy, biscuity, peppery, hop bitterness, herbal, faint medicinal phenols, plummy, maraschino cherry, clean alcohol, tangerine pith, bitter semidry finish

A robust “Abbey” ale yeast strain created this brew, so it has the traits of a bigger beer without a massive amount of alcohol. Very complex, this is not one to just knock back as each sip peels back another layer of flavor.

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Photo of Dave1999
3.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours cloudy dark yellow with a white head which died down quickly.

The smell has the usual Belgian aromas cloves and bananas, pretty sweet.

The taste light and yeasty with cloves.

The mouth feel is light to medium bodied with low carbonation.

This is an easy drinking beer, light but tastes decent. The abv is hidden very well.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.82/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

64oz growler into a Westvleteren Chalice. Reviewed from notes.

Pours .5 finger foamy white head with poor retention. Beer is semi-clear goldenrod. Lacing is spotty and sparse. Oily and thin legs. Average.

Nose is clove, Belgian yeast, candied sugar and tropical fruit. Moderately aromatic. Decent.

Opens sweet and sweet throughout. Notes of clove, coriander and other spices, cane sugar, Belgian yeast, citrus and pineapple sweetness and just a hint of lemon. Sweet and yeasty finish with a touch of yeasty bitterness in the aftertaste. Enjoyable.

Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth in the mouth with some bubbles and goes down quenching. Clean finish with a slightly lingering aftertaste. Real drinkable for a 7% beer.

A decent beer all the way around. That this is a flagship for DC Brau says a lot about the brewery. Worth trying and a real sessionable beer despite the rather high abv.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.18/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz can poured into a Duvel tulip
7% ABV, Serve in a tulip, goblet, or enjoy from the can.

Thanks for another local Chaney!

A - Graham cracker golden in color, this mostly clear beer has light carbonation streaming from the glass' nucleation point to it's short-lived white head. The thin skim of bubbles and ring of foam rests calmly below few gnarled fingers of lace. A clean glass at the finish results in a rather disappointing presentation from a Belgian-style beer.

S - Perfumy and aromatic, The Citizen has a distinctly Belgian yeast nose that brings fourth lofty banana esters, earthy clay, white pepper, and cracked coriander seed. Honey drizzled warm muffin rests below with a dense sweetness and hint of herbal hops far on the finish. When the head disappears the yeast nuances go away revealing some buttery creamed corn DMS attributes which weaken the beer significantly - before focus centered here I was genuinely impressed.

T - The beer's strong, perfumy yeast components die quickly revealing the true nature of the beer beneath, allowing same light notes of butter and creamed corn DMS find their way in amidst sweet pilsner and dry biscuit malt. On the flip side the hops that were lacking in the aroma begin to emerge nicely in the flavor, adding more floral, herbal qualities to the beer. I find that the majority of the off flavors seem to really be bothersome in aroma, not affecting flavor quite as poorly.

M - Tight carbonation bubbles dance on the tongue with a nice smoothness that aids the beer in it's already nice smooth feel. The Citizen is balanced, neither bitter nor sweet though leaning towards the latter, the dry finish capping the medium bodied, faintly slick beer nicely.

O - The Citizen has a great opening aroma, boastfully showcasing it's Belgian yeast intricacies but it can't hold it's air and it's puffy chest deflates to reveal some imperfections which hinder it. Not entirely off-putting but present enough to draw attention away from the other great characteristics going on, The Citizen is a great start to what could become a fantastic brew.

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Photo of WillCarrera
3.52/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber, no bottled-on date, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a very murky peach color, produces a thin white head that recedes to a collar.

S- Lots of bready/crackery yeast, some spice and fruit.

T- Lots of yeast, crackers, mild spice and fruitiness and a bit of grassy hops.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth feel with nice carbonation.

O- Not a bad beer and very easy-drinking, although I definitely prefer the Public and the Corruption.

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Photo of raznug
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This pale pours a hazy orange color and is topped with a flurry of big white bubbles that leave quicker than they showed up.
Smell: The citizen is a rather clean smelling Belgian a good malt aroma that is backed with just the slightest hints of yeast.
Taste: The flavor is clean like the aroma and has the slightest amount of yeasty flavors like most Belgian do but this is a very easy drinking beer that goes down smooth but leaves a good after taste.
Mouthfeel: It is a bit on the thin side but the after taste hangs around very nicely well into the next drink and beyond.

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Photo of flexabull
3.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can courtesy of joshdykema, thanks again!

Pours a cloudy light gold color with a pretty nice white head.

Aromas are lemon zest, sugar, and bread dough.

Taste is simple and straight forward, but pretty nice. Light creamy sweetness up front, slightly bready, with hint of lemon citrus. Finish is dry, crisp, and clean, with just a touch of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is full, and soft, with pretty good carbonation.

Overall a pretty mellow but enjoyable little beer. I honestly have no idea what style they were shooting for, maybe some sort of Belgian Wit? Whatever it is, it turned out pretty good.

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The Citizen from DC Brau Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.