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Hoperation Tripel Cross Belgian IPA - Phillips Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hoperation Tripel Cross Belgian IPAHoperation Tripel Cross Belgian IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

51 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 51
Hads: 133
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 10.69%
Wants: 9
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Phillips Brewing Company visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: canucklehead on 02-13-2011

You can almost hear the sirens as you pop the cap on this bomber. This IPA slams hop first into a classic belgian yeast to create a super fortress of flavour.
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Reviews: 51 | Hads: 133
Photo of byronic
3.15/5  rDev -19.8%

Pours a lightly cloudy yellow haze with an incredibly large white puffy head. Lively carbonation leading to good retention. Mild notes of hops, some citrus fruits but mostly yeasts. Tastes of a mixture of grasses and yeasts with an almost soapy consistency. Some notes of fruits such as melon but unfortunately overpowered by the off-putting mouth feel.

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Photo of smittybu
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Nothing to write home about, in my opinion. Nice color - typical IPA smell nothing stands out there - it is the mouth-feel and the aftertaste that I like most about this beer - at first seems like a pretty standard IPA and then you get that nice Belgian yeasty second wave, also - very creamy, not sure if that was because the bottle itself was poorly carbonized or is the way the beer naturally sits, however I enjoyed the somewhat flat texture that I got after pouring it into a standard pint. Lastly, my other quarrel with this beer is that I feel it might be overproduced, or rather has traveled a bit too far for my liking if I am in Toronto buying it. It is from Vancouver Island, next time I visit my in laws will certainly give the actual brewery itself a look see.

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Photo of Intrinsic
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

PHTC pours quite clear for a Belgian IPA, with a thin head that manages to leave some nice lacing. The most noticeable smells are the Belgian yeast and the hops, however mild. The flavour is actually a little watery, but still representative of a Belgian IPA. Again, the yeast and hops are what stand out here. It finishes nicely, not dry, mild carbonation. Overall, its ok. Not a homerun though.

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Photo of chickenm
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly cloudy golden color with a big fluffy white head. Aroma has Belgian yeast, hops, fruits, and sugar. The taste is kind of all over the place, with an almost cloying sweetness coliding with bitter hops. Light body with good carbonation. Overall it's not bad but I've had much better Belgian IPA's.

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Photo of smekermann
3.39/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Edit 2: Nahhh, they've definitely changed the recipe or something. The new taste is way too consistent to be old batches and it definitely doesn't taste old. It just tastes... horribly mediocre. It's time for a dreaded re-review of this.

Ok, so first off I'm pretty sure they started filtering this beer, because it's pretty much crystal clear nowadays. It looks like a slightly darker shade of lager than the original iteration of the beer. Also a pretty decent white (not off-white, but white) head.

Smell is grains. There's no hoppiness to the smell, it's just grains and way off in the back there's some belgian yeast/candi sugar.

Taste is kinda hoppy, but not the right kind of hops. It doesn't taste like the hops they were using about a year back (floral, grapefruity, alpha acid-y hops), they're using some really awful, probably European bittering hops that do nothing to either stand out, or help the beer in any way. The beer tastes bitter and kinda earthy, with a thin body and low carbonation

Mouthfeel is mediocre. I won't say this is an undrinkable beer nowadays, because it's certainly drinkable. Compared to what this beer used to be, though, this is a fuckin disgrace. They literally took away everything that this beer unique: amazing hops? gone; awesome belgian yeast/candi sugar backbone to balance out the hops? gone. Hell, even the body feels thin and watery now. And they're filtering it, for some ungodly reason. Who the hell ever heard of a Belgian anything being filtered, unless we're talking bottom of the barrel macro beer?

Anyway, I'm done with this beer. It used to be one of my favorite beers out of BC, so I'm pretty sad to see it end up like this. It's actually quite baffling that they'd even change it like this. Why not just retire it and release a new beer under a different name? It'd feel less like a "fuck you" than this does.

Original review left for posterity, back when this beer was really good (the good ole days, imho :( )
I've had a few of these Belgian tripel/IPA hybrids before which tasted similar yet sodomized your palette with an unholy collection of widely disparate tastes and flavors that had no business trying to meld together (basically, the less said about Stone's Cali-Belgique abomination, the better), so I initially approached this beer with caution.

Beer pours a hazy, slightly pale orange, with a decent off-white head and persistent lacing on the glass. Smells of floral hops and Belgian yeast sort of assault your nostrils. First thing you taste is hops: a really strong, floral aroma that somehow manages to smoothly give way to Belgian yeast and Candi sugar with almost no beta acid bitterness. Despite the somewhat sweet aftertaste, the beer manages to feel fairly dry: the dryness of the initial hop aroma and the sweetness of the Belgian malts and yeast make this a fairly neutral beer in this respect. It also hides its alcohol content really well; I doubt many people would say this is over 6-6.5% in a blind tasting. Basically, this beer will make you think you could handle three bombers because it's so delicious and easy to drink and the next thing you'll remember is waking up on a park bench somewhere the next morning.

Overall, this is one of my hoppy mainstays, especially since it's fairly easy to find in the Lower Mainland. The hop profile is actually pretty gorgeous, especially for a Canadian beer - it's reminiscent of something you'd see brewed in California, although probably a bit mellower compared to the usual fare down there. Undoubtedly my favorite beer from Phillips Brewing and one of the better examples of this style of beer.

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Photo of kevinlater
3.41/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle into nonic pint. best before november 12, 2014, printed clearly on the neck. consumed on july 9, 2014

a: clear golden yellow, three fingers of off-white head

s: smells belgian. yeast and mild spice up front. a bit of citrus cuts through. not a lot going on

t: tastes very belgian. yeast, bananas and spices to start off. lemon, pineapple, peach, and grapefruit notes mid-palate, with pine and a strong hop bitterness. malt comes out towards the end but doesn't stick around for very long. finishes piney and really dry

m: medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation

o: my first belgian IPA. i've always been iffy about trying this style of beer -- i love belgian ales and i love IPAs, but i never thought the yeasty flavours and esters from the former could mesh well with the citrusy hop notes of the latter. after trying this brew... my thoughts remain the same. i'd rather have both styles separately. this beer actually has a fantastic fruit profile but i could do without the yeast characteristics. still worth a try, especially for hop fanatics

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured slight hazy beige with some orangey color notes with a large foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of floral hops notes with some sweet malty notes. Taste is a bit sweeter then I had expected with some notes of dry hops with light citrus undertones. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Finish is quite dry and interesting though malt profile is a bit too sweet with not much complexity; Belgian yeast didn’t real come through. Interesting though lacking some balance and not something I would drink on a regular basis.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice take on a Belgian take on an Northwest version of a UK beer. :)

Clear amber with a thick white head. Hops, malts and a Belgian yeast and candi sugar nose. The taste is a little bit too bitter, and strays away from both the Belgian and the IPA character. It doesn't mix well with the malt sweetness.

Good carbonation, but the higher ABV and the ill-balanced sweet and sour and hop taste is kind of distracting. Not bad, but certainly not my favourite Phillips beer.

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Photo of timtwoface
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is one of those brews that really walks the line for me. While I 100% respect the style of the Belgian Tripel, it's not really my forte; that said, I 100% love the Northwest Hop-Bomb IPA, so I still had to give this one a try.

Besides, the label is eye-catching and just friggin' awesome.

THe first sip is filled with hops but also all the fruitiness that a Belgian tripel is known for - to be fair, it took a while to get used to, but with subsequent sips it died down and I "got used to" it.

If you're a fan of either Belgian Tripel or the hop-bomb IPA style, I suggest you give this a try to see what you think!

Merry Christmas!

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Photo of liamt07
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle from Rutager, 650ml into a tulip. Thanks Brad!

Hazy yellow body, couple fingers of soapy white head. Good fluffy retention, and nice lacing. Nose has a soft lemony citrus and floral bouquet, some Belgian notes as well. A bit of spice, light grains. Taste is a bit of step down, some grassy herbal hopping. Lighter citrus, some zest, a bit soapy and some Belgian yeast. Reminds me a bit of the Cuvee Houblounee III from A La Fut in terms of the yeast character. Medium body, medium high carbonation. An OK beer but I'm not a big fan of the way the yeast comes through.

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Photo of Long813
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy golden body with one finger of white fluffy head.

S: Loads of pine, mixed with citrus fruits, apples and some earthiness.

T: Very strong notes of earthy pine, which over powers the subtle notes of fruit.

M: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. Very dry and bitter aftertaste with subtle notes of alcohol.

O: Intensely hopped IPA, which was good in the hops domain, but felt that it could have been better balanced and had more of the fruitiness come through. Easy to drink none the less.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New beer from Phillips that takes their imperial IPA and adds Belgian yeast to the mix. The beer works pretty well though I found the bitter finish a little distracting at times. The beer is big and hoppy but quite drinkable. The Belgian yeast adds an intersting flavour to the mix

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Photo of spinrsx
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bomber from the Ottawa LCBO for $5.50

Appearance - Gold colour with a gigantic size white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Hops, yeast, breads/grains, lemons

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste breads/grains, hops, and a peppery spice mix. There is also lemons, coriander/clove, and a bit of a grassiness.

Overall - Very good.. just a few notches below being something special. Refreshing and a good summer beer. The ABV is well hidden and it has a balanced flavour. Not noteworthy enough for me to pick up more though.

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Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Vancouver private store. Initially hoppy, and then a good balance, malt and yeast. Tasty, great drinkability. Would like to get more bold citrus hoppy flavour, but still one of the best of this style.Pours cloudy light orange body with a generous head and lacey.Smooth mouthfeel.

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Photo of mick303
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle into a tulip glass. Poured a cloudy golden colour with a large dense cap of creamy white head, showing really solid impressive retention and lacing. Looks really great.

S- grassy and passionfruit are forefront, Lot of fermentation esters off this, belgian funky yeast, drying esters of souring bananas and tannic florals, Some fruits, muddled banana and pears mixed with some spice, clove, cinnamon, yeasty.

T - more banana, then more grapefruit citrus coming forward, over a creamy nearly wheaty body, lively to start with noticeable hoppy florals, blackcurrent, some pine maybe thrown in, then it starts to dry out and the fully fermentation esters come drying through the palate. Weird banana, mixed with lavender? also some noticeable alcohol spice. Finish dries out and is actually more succinct than expected. As it warms, pale british malt, with a spiced honey character, leather, yeast notes meld together.

M - quite creamy and full bodied, some alcohol astringency to it, moderate carbonation. Satisfying feel to it, with a slight kick of spice, big and full upfront then a more creamy yeastiness to it. Somehow managing to finish smoothly.

I initially didn't take to this, but it managed to grow more on my over the course of a glass. It doesn't fit a typical BIPA, this one actually tasted slightly infected at points, and the yeast is aggressive, notes of fermenting banana skins did appear at points...The hops were fruity and floral and the beer did start to develop some attractive coherency to it. The yeast and malt make up an interesting duo on the palate, while the high abv ramps up this beer. I feel that while a good beer, they might have just bitten off too much on this. It didnt really have the balance I would associate with the tripel, in fact balance was really the only aspect missing that could have really improved an otherwise very flavourful offering. As it settled in the glass it came much more into its own, the alcohol mellowed, the aroma became more nuanced, the grapefruit and florals interplayed in the spicy clove and yeast, the finish became fuller, and it really developed some interesting complexity. This taught me not to judge by a cover.

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Photo of Svingjo
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a nice golden colour with a thin head. Definitely hops on the nose with some lime and earthiness. Not as hoppy on the tongue as I was expecting with some banana/pineapple flavour in the back end.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.85/5  rDev -2%

Large format bottle poured into a tulip glass. A cloudy golden yellow with ample creamy white head on top and the expected Belgian IPA aroma of spicy medicinal phenols, fruity esters, and floral aromatic hops. I am getting clove or perhaps allspice, banana peel, pineapple gummy candy, cidery apples and pears, and something tropical (presumably from the hops), guava perhaps? Palate features a rather pungent array of phenols, I am even getting some so-called "bandage" flavor here and there amidst the aforementioned spices and fruits. Not bad at this level but this as an assertive Belgian yeast that threatens to push its luck a little. Initially I was tasting the malts up front as well, honeyed cereal perhaps, but these flavors rather quickly receded into the background as the yeast and hops essentially stomped them into the pavement. This brew developed nicely over the course of a pint, with dry floral aromatics, grapefruit, sour tropical berries and unripe pineapples wrestling some control away from the yeast. Comes across as thin of body and quite fizzy, with a strong lingering dry finish of yeast special effects and the aforementioned floral/citrus hops. I certainly have had more refined examples of this style (or of tripels proper for that matter) but I am enjoying this on its own merits. Cool label concept as well. This is indeed a bit of a bomb run on the tastebuds.

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Photo of peensteen
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale blonde colour, 2 fingers of white head, lots of lace on the glass. Smell is of spicy belgian yeast, fruity citrus, lemon zest, grapefruit and oprange. Taste is bitter and hoppy upfront, grapefruit and citrus, earthy mid palate, yeasty and spicy finish with a long fruity aftertaste. Medium dry carbonation, medium body. Solid stuff, nothing midblowing but certainly good for the style and quite drinkable.

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Photo of BeerWatcher
3.89/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

650 ml bomber with an awesome label. Pours a clear, filtered golden colour with a big pillowy white head and a fair amount of carbonation. Fruity Belgian yeast wafts across the room as soon as this is opened. Tastes are of pine, yeast, honey, with hints of caramel.
Overall, an interestingly hopped beer, that has above average aromas and flavour. The only real knock I have on it is that huge Belgian head, that resists settling. This one is worth purchasing more than one of.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%

650 mL undated bottle at 40 degrees into imperial pint glass
Aroma of floral hops
Head large (7cm), white, frothy, very sloooowly diminishing to an uneven frothy layer > 1 cm thick
Lacing OK – partial rings with stalactites, medium islands, all with tiny to medium bubbles
Body light yellow, clear
Flavor begins with a floral hoppiness ending in a refreshingly bitter aftertaste; no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, lively carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 3.75, Flavor 4, Palate 3.75, Overall 3.875. Final weighted score: 3.9
This is an interesting beer – a Belgiun IPA that only tastes like a straight IPA, ie no yeast phenolics detected. This is a good thing. The alcohol is well hidden and is only showing up in its effects, not in the nose or taste. The nose is hoppy – too bad it’s floral rather than coniferous – but that’s just my preference. Great head that lasts and lasts and lasts. Overall, a pretty darn good brew from the Great White North.

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Photo of Shadman
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has kinda become my go-to Hop fix lately so maybe a review is in order...

Pours a slightly cloudy dirsty straw amber( hey!..it's what I see) Sticky, merangue-like head that leaves gobs of lacing the size of some small Pacific Islands on the sides of the glass

Can certainly pick-up the citrus and a wiff of spiciness. Some grain dust malts as well.

Starts with some of that spicy, sweet Belgian action before the dry hops open the door and holler, " Get the hell out of my way"! Explosion of citrus and dry hops that threaten tastebud genocide before allowing a hint of malt sweetness to sneak in the back door. Not even a hint of 8% ABV until the finish.

Will echo Hoser in that this is great Belgian IPA for the buck, mind you at $.95 more than he's paying...;))

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Photo of LampertLand
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Phillips Brewing 'Hoperation Tripel Cross Belgian IPA' @ 8.0% served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $5.50
A-pour is a light/pale gold from the bottle to clear gold in the glass with a medium size white head leaving a streaky lace along the pint
S-not as potent/smelly as 'Electric Unicorn'
T-mild & mellow tasting Belgian IPA ,
MF-low/mild carbonation , big full body
Ov-ok beer , good Belgian IPA , I will visit again
prost LampertLand

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Photo of LazyL
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark golden straw colour with nice IPA orange highlights. The white head disapated almonst instantly leaving only a slight trace around the edge.
The smell is subtle. Slight hint of grapefruit but predominently boozy honey notes with resiny fruit influences.
The taste is hoppy IPA up front with a hint of grapefruit then hits you with a malty sweet middle followed by a finish of Belgian fruit.
The mouthfeel is good and nicely carbonated with a finish that is dry with a soft IPA bitterness.
Very easy drinker for 8% and very well balanced. I would even say that this beer is elegant and I love the label of the old bomber dropping hop bombs.

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Photo of Muhly
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on April 1 according the label. Poured from a bomber into a round beer glass.

Pour a slightly cloudy yellow with a nice white tight-knit head and strong lacing to boot.

I can smell both a good dose of light bready malts and a yeast smell that borders on funky, but doesn't stray into Saison territory. Hops are present in the background emanating a pine and earth smell.

Bread, malts, mildly phenolic peppery notes and a good, but reasonable dose of hop bitterness.

The quaff is round and smooth and coats the tongue a bit. Finishes with some astringency, but allows some sweetness and pepper to shine through as well.

I don't think throwing a bunch of hops in a belgian pale ale or whatever is a terribly inventive or creative thing anymore, but Phillips does a great job of it here. It is more or less what you expect, but everything works together in concert to provide a nice beer.

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Photo of biegaman
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hoperation Tripel Cross has a cloudiness that's typical of British Columbia, albeit a golden colour that's actually quite sunny; striking highlights are plainly spotted and shadows can readily be made out on the other side. Its head blooms outwards, leaving riotous marks of lacing on the glass.

The combination of Belgian yeast and American hops always makes an interesting dynamic between fruit and spice. This particular example has a nice play between white pepper and white grapefruit, with a supporting cast of tangy green apple, lychee and roses; those who like Gewurztraminer will fall in love with these spicy, orchard fruit and floral aromatics.

Despite a consistently appreciable hop presence, the palate reinforces the emphasis on 'Belgian' with a bit of the 'sugar and distillate soaked white bread' maltiness that characterizes so many Duvel-inspired beers. As noted, however, a varied list of citrus and tropical fruits are never out of mind; the aftertaste, especially, resounds with hop-gifted notes of mango and mint leaf.

That green, minty profile rings throughout the finish, but does so with considerable competition from the phenolics; yeast-infused pepper and dried herbal qualities factor big time into the overall impression made by this ale. Alcohol plays a part too, despite the relatively manageable 7.3%, contributing to a spicy dimension that contrasts the sweet malts and fruity hops.

The fact that I not only enjoyed Hoperation Tripel Cross, but would herald it as one of the top Canadian examples of a Belgian IPA, comes as no surprise - Phillips is a great brewery and has been for some time. It's hard to go wrong with their lineup and this offering is no exception. Those who like the style will have no issues finishing the bomber. I sure didn't!

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Hoperation Tripel Cross Belgian IPA from Phillips Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.