Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

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3,258 Reviews

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Reviews: 3,258
Hads: 11,629
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 8.54%
Wants: 2,388
Gots: 2,629 | FT: 62
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beernbbq on 04-14-2004

Starting with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, Bell's Hopslam Ale possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell's repertoire. Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale Ale style.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 3,258 | Hads: 11,629
Photo of BarrytheBear
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with a bottle on date of 1/26/12. Have had this beer many years running but never reviewed it from the bottle.

Moderate orange, light haze, and some clumpy islands of surface coverage.

Heavy dose of green apple, pineapple sweetness, touch of yeasty spiciness, sourdough bread, honey, and a pretense of big alcohol.

The worker bees have been busy doing their sinful bee-like business here. Moderate is both sweetness with a crisp green apple bite. Pineapple rind lends a raw bitterness at the finish.

Touch syrupy, low carbonation, and sticky.

Overall, I tend to annoy easily when discussing whether a recipe has changed or so-and-so is less hoppy than last year. Looking back on a past on tap review, I loved this beer. Maybe it was time and place, a food pairing, a moment in time. I do know that at times I had been enamored with HopSlam and others, I've been, shall we say, underwhelmed. Right now, it's a pretty solid DIPA, but doesn't stand as a favorite in the style. (993 characters)

Photo of dgfair
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle. Batch 10127. Bottled january 11, 2011. Poured into delirium tulip.

A - bright golden color with a thin white head that dissipates rather quickly leaving some sticky looking lace on the walls of the glass. The body is extremely clear and looks pretty nice, but the head is slightly lacking for such a hoppy beer.

S - very resinous pine and grapefruit hops with a sugary sweet backing. Very slight notes of honey and pollen that meld with a bit of an alcohol ester. Not much else here but a little more residual sweetness and hop resin. Fairly one dimensional.

T - there is a decent pop of hop bitterness upfront, mostly grapefruit, pineapple, and touch of sweet orange. The flavor of the honey is fairly apparent with a nice flavor of wildflower honey that balances the bitterness very well. Bordering on slightly too sweet, the beer walks a thin line between a sweet boozy mess and a well-balanced masterpiece. I really enjoy the flavor, but i don't quite out this flavor up there with the better DIPAs I've had.

M&D - the mouth is nice and fairly slick, but not too oily. Might prefer it a touch drier in the finish. The drinkability is pretty high for a 10% beer, but i wouldn't want to see what happens in the morning if i drink a number of these.

Overall, a really nice beer, but there are plenty of other less hyped DIPAs with similar qualities that can be had. Not quite worth the chase in the end. (1,422 characters)

Photo of WeedKing4
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sep 20, 2009
12oz bottle. Pours a dark cloudy orange, with little floaties in the bottom. Very strong bitter and hop taste up front. Slight alc.% burn towards the end though. Great smelling and looking beer, and very solid overall. Mine was bottled back in Jan. though, so I would like to try some fresher Hopslam.

Picked up some fresh Hopslam recently and gave it another go. Its a decently good beer, but i'm not seeing the hype. Its very smooth and tastes like honey with a malt backbone. But where is the bitterness and the hops that I was expecting? Maybe I am just becoming immuned to ipas and imperial ipas to be blown away anymore. This does go down easy though, no hint of the 10% alc at all. (703 characters)

Photo of evantwomey
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, thanks to Cindirene's in Ayden, NC. Served at around 45 F. Poured into a big snifter. Pours an amber-gold with about 1/2 an inch of head, which dissipates slowly and leaves spotty lacing. Aroma heavy on the citrus - grapefruit mostly. But its not as intense as I was hoping. Some honey and alcohol aroma as it warms. Taste is very nice - the first thing that hits you is a massive amount of hop flavor, again very citrusy. The finish is actually pretty sweet, mostly what comes through is the honey (which is an awesome addition to this beer). Surprisingly, I found this beer to be not that bitter at all, and the honey really helps smooth everything out. The drinkability is off the charts for a 10% beer, I could easily burn through a 6-pack of this in a night.

Overall, a very solid beer. I definitely wouldn't call it my favorite DIPA, but it is one of the most quirky beers I've had in a while and they pull it off. (935 characters)

Photo of evansrdbrew
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Drank on: 2/12/10

12 oz. bottle in pint glass

A= Pours a nice translucent light gold color. Provides a nice thin layer of foam. Tiny CO2 bubbles here and there.

S= Fruity aroma of mangos and some malt sweetness. Very refreshing.

T= Fruity hoppiness at first which is joined by a sweet heady hop zing. Nice piney, resinous hop bite in the middle. Tangy hint at the end. Has a wonderful hop flavor with a good bit of bitterness which mellows with time. Honey is noticable but wonderful.

MF= Nice heavy feeling on the tongue. Coats the tongue and throat with a thick layer of hop oil leaving a wonderful alcoholic warmth behind.

D= A few of these and you'd think anything was possible. This beer begs to be drank and to be respected.

Overall a wonderful beer from Bell's laced with great hop flavors and a nice honey sweetness. (832 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

on tap at sams in Durham into a bells pint glass.

pours a beautiful golden color with an inch thick white head. smell is of honey and citrus and hops. exquisite aroma. honey is very prominent. taste is quite balanced. in your face hops at first followed by the honey and sweet malts. alcohol undetectable. criminally easy to drink. medium bodied with medium carbonation

overall a great DIPA , though 2 hearted isn't much different, and is everywhere year round. (463 characters)

Photo of JCarey
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a bit lighter than what I like to see in the style. Still a beautiful golden orange, with a healthy dose of head on lacing. Little tiny carbonation bottles flowing from bottom to top, lively.

I'm drinking this a little late, okay a lot late, for this beer, but it has been kept well, though the nose suffers a little bit. It's not bad, it just doesn't have that umph that you'd expect. Lemony sweet honey, some herbal hops, not a big malt nose, but the typical character is there.

Man this thing is good. A bit drying thanks to the honey and I feel like the bitterness helps with that, as well. Still a fairly medium-full bodied beer. Pretty boozey(hot vodka-ey alcohol), but the malt/hops cover it up fairly well and it doesn't really detract from the character of the beer. Noticable honey flavor which I like; I find a typical smoothness from a honeyed beer.

BA reviews at 100? Far from a perfect beer, but 94 from the bros sounds about right. Overall, this can fight on it's own against any of the top DIPAs, but I still don't find any character that makes this a standout, very unlike a lot of Bell's other beers.

If you see it, pick it up, but I wouldn't going searching for it. (1,194 characters)

Photo of Crosling
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled a few different batches thusfar. Lovely hints of grapefruit and lemon on the palate. My only complaint is its a bit medicinal and herbal and I just don’t like Double IPAs with that character. But, it has a lovely malt character. Wish it was a tad bit brighter, but its a lovely DIPA. It’s no dreadnaught, but it’s a dawn good brew. (342 characters)

Photo of Atron67
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- looks pretty solid, light amber color with lots of bubbles, sticky white head on top, kept low by a gentle pour in a big glass

S- pretty decent piney hops strong, little citrus

T- has a pretty light malt flavor, nice and smooth, tinge of the honey i guess, then the hops, very resiny, citrus and pacific hoppy

M- pretty light body for a 9.3 %'er. pretty high carbonation

d- solid ale, ill still take furious when i can but this is very good (447 characters)

Photo of Nerudamann
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass.

Look - slightly light amber color, with about two fingers worth of off-white colored foam that dissipates slowly. Fairly clear.

Smell - wow, indeed extremely hoppy (smells like Cascade hops, mostly) as the name suggests. Toned down by a hint of something sweet...for some reason grapefruit comes to mind.

Taste and Mouthfeel - Still very hoppy-tasting, but not as bitter as I was expecting. I still taste something sweeter, but still slightly bitter throughout like grapefruit. Bitterness is most intense in the finish, but the aftertaste is mellow. Texture is very well-balanced.

Drinkability - maybe not a favorite of mine because I don't love bitter beers, but still very good in style, complexity, interesting progression. Very good brew! (789 characters)

Photo of HardcoreKeith
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Paul at Underground Bluz for getting this one on tap.

Poured a medium gold, small head, some lacing. The smell was mostly citrusy hops, but my smell is not refined enough to tell which. The taste was rather amazing. I expected this beer to be much hoppier than it seemed, but the hop flavor was indeed quite pronounced, and was balanced with a very sweet malt flavor. To contradict the reviewers below, it did indeed taste rather alcoholic to me, but then again, well, it is! HopSlam was certainly no chugger for me but I really enjoyed sipping it over the course of 30 minutes or so. (595 characters)

Photo of jdprmd
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pored in Boulevard Tulip Glass, bottled 2/2/12

A - finger length in head, golden color, head quickly goes away

S - Big Citrus notes, as the head settles pine and soapy smells comes through, as it warms I am getting the fruity notes, specifically plum.

T - Clean and Hoppy, the hops give it a citrus taste, after swallowing more of the bitterness comes through. Very similar characteristics as the nose with pine coming out after swallowing. I had this out of a cask a couple weeks back and I have to say I enjoyed it much more... the cask seemed very fresh, having more fruity plum notes, as well as other great hop characteristics that made the beer seem more complex as a whole. Out of the bottle there is a very slight alcohol burn, which I don't remember from last year... probably due to the increase in honey (from what I have heard)

M - Sharp, crisp and bitter yet somehow smooth ... yum.

O - All in all... very solid, I'm being picky and thats because I really really enjoyed it out of the cask more. For $20 bucks a 6 pack kinda disappointing compared to last year but still damn good. Depending on what your tastes are, you might enjoy this 5 times more out of a cast... it literally blew my mind. If I were giving a cask review it would receive about a 4.8 (1,273 characters)

Photo of 1Adam12
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I haven't hardly reviewed a beer since the new "rate a beer" thing came out, but I felt the need on this one. Bypassing the normal etiquette of things here. This basically tastes like a hoppier version of gumballhead. Huge nose on it, however, the taste is very wheaty, grassy, with lots of hops, just like gumballhead. I'd be curious to taste them side by side some day. I realize this is classified as a DIPA, however, the wheat stands out, the hop finish stands out, and it reminds me totally of gumballhead. I will say this is very good, however I will also say this is severely overpriced and overrated.

Edit: Well that was very difficult to read. Now that I actually know what I'm talking about, ignore the previous review lol. Very sweet DIPA. Crazy hoppy. Not very bitter. Just a big overflow of hops, but in a good way. Awesome mouthfeel. Very full bodied and creamy. I've noticed it tends to be a bit boozier on tap than it is in the bottle, but it is still good both ways. Totally worth the price. Can't drink a whole bunch of it at one time due to how sweet it is, but 2 or 3 is all you need at a time anyway. Drink it as fresh as possble, and enjoy. (1,163 characters)

Photo of BillyB
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am not a huge hop head but this beer really hit the spot for me.

Pours a nice hazy golden color with a thin, wispy white head.

I am overwhelmed by the aromas in this one. Piney, citrusy, grassy, fruity hops. A slight hint of maltiness in the background. So hoppy that it may be a bit unbalanced but it is a double ipa after all.

Again a slight hint of malt character but this is a bitter, sharp, bighting, carbonic hop attack on the taste buds.

Very drinkable, especially since I lean more toward maltier beers usually. I could easily have a few of these. (570 characters)

Photo of mtstatebeer
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. Pours a hazy golden amber color with a small off-white head that quickly disappears, pretty good lacing. Aroma is mainly hops; pine, resin, grapefruit, and a decent caramel malt backbone. Flavor is also mainly hops. I get grapefruit, resin, honey, and a touch of alcohol. Very strong bitter finish puts action to its name. Very good beer, warms pretty well also. (403 characters)

Photo of bucko
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a light transparent orange color with a small white head that quickly diminished leaving fine lacing and a tiny head. Lots of suspended floaters in this one, even after a careful pour. The aroma is heavy with citrus, pine, punch and pineapple. Taste is more of the same with a huge hop/citrus punch. The bitterness is nice, but reasonable for a beer of this magnitude. Mouthfeel is nice... smooth, playful on the tongue. HopSlam is surprisingly drinkable for a beer this size. If it weren't for the alcohol, I could easily enjoy a few of these. Nice beer. (571 characters)

Photo of Nesued
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - A clear amber/orange coloring with an ample head forming upon pour. Head retains for many minutes after the pour, with lacing begining to form as I watch (and smell) this offering. I fine carbonation feeds the head, allowing the robust head to continue for a fair bit.

Smell - Don't need to bring this to my nose to get a wiff of this bad boy. Lively grapefruit, bright citrus notes abound. If only this could be bottled and sold as ambrosia. What a lovely burst of pineapple and fruit aromas. So very inviting.

Taste - Resin and oily entry, coating the tongue with the expected presence of hops to the max. Suprisingly the ABV is exceedingly well hidden. I almost (almost!) taste some sweet malt backbone here. Perhaps I'm reaching, however there is a relief here from the hop onslaught.

Mouthfeel - Slick and coating, as you would expect from a hop-bomb. There is a density here with ample carbonation assisting.

Drinkability - The ABV is well-hidden here, giving the feeling that you could continue enjoying these one after another. Not sure, my taste buds are pretty much "nuked" after this and anything more mild would have a hard time being noticed. (1,176 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Packaged on 1/11/2011 enjoyed on 2/12/2011, thanks to mixylplik3 for sharing this with me.
Pours a slightly cloudy deep golden amber color with a thinnish white head that dissipates too quickly. Smells of pine resin and citrus up front. Hints of sweet fruit, grass and honey lie deep underneath the resinous onslaught. Taste is sweeter than the aroma leads you to believe. There's a solid malt backbone here with a sweet honey taste that drives this brew. Pine, citrus and tropical fruits add to a spicy/herbal taste in the fairy sweet finish. Medium body and carbonation level, sweet less than syrupy mouthfeel. I've sampled a couple of IPA's tonight and this one is the sweetest. Very flavorful, very tasty, Matt should get me some more. (739 characters)

Photo of engagechad
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I received this bottle as a single from a BA ramseye4 in person in Richmond, VA (Thanks! :) )

This beer pours beautifully with an easy to manipulate head. Golden color with hints of amber, only slightly cloudy and perfect carb.
In my opinion the smell on this beer is the MVP of the lineup. It was amazing.. So much so that I think I spent more time smelling the beer than drinking it. It smelled of fresh lemon zest and pine and as it warmed I got notes of warm brown sugar, like fresh cookies which was most likely a result of the honey used in the brewing.
The beer tasted very good, bitter but also smooth however the mouthfeel got a bit harsh nearing the end with the ethanol burn.

Hype is for the most part justified but for a DIPA I would prefer a Ruinition. I would recommend anyone that hasn't had it to seek it out for the nose alone, Bells nailed it. (866 characters)

Photo of throwitallaway
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's Hopslam Ale (12oz. bottle): Thanks to saucya or aksorak for this! Poured from bottle into pint glass. Golden color with a small head that recedes quickly. Aroma of sweet citrus hops, with a little resin and sweet malt underneath. A little tropical fruit too. Very nice smell. Taste hits you with bitter, resiny, hops at first, then a little citrus and bready malts. This beer has a medium body and is lively in the mouth. Drinkability is fairly high if you're into the style, which I increasingly am. Overall I'm pretty into this beer. Exactly what I was looking for today. (580 characters)

Photo of EveningCordial
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A very tasty IPA, but it's hasn't got the smoothness or hop profile to keep up with the other greats. If I put this up against Artaic, another honey IPA, the hop slam gets blown away. It's really good, just packs a bitter punch with a heavy malt profile, two things I personally don't look for in a great IPA. I would drink again though and as I mentioned, it is tasty. (372 characters)

Photo of RedneckBeerz
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd agree with a few other reviews that I have read off the top. This is a well balanced D/I IPA. Problem, every take on an American Double/Imperial IPA calls for a heavy Hop forward brew in smell, taste, and bitterness; none of which apply to this brew.
Tasty, Indeed. But much like Pliny the Elder (to me) it is to well balanced to be a world class D/I IPA.
Disagree ? I'd gladly trade you my 5 pack for two 4's of Gandhi Bot or a couple of 6's of Ithaca Flower Power.
To me this brew is way to balanced to be considered more than an excellent D/I IPA. Cheers (562 characters)

Photo of becktone
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Admist studying for exams(I've got three tomorrow/today-its midnight) I find I needed some relief. What better way to sojourn in the calm before the storm than with a Double Ipa?

To my eyes this beer is fairly attractive. It pours with a orange color, and is pretty clear. The beer appears to be alive with carbonation. The head pours to a little less than one finger's width. It then receeds to just a thin skin on the surface of the beer. Lacing is great and makes up for head retention and formation. Head retention and formation really brought this one down for me.

To the nose this beer is very floral and it should be! Oh yes a nice and strong pleasing floral aroma, also a bit of spiciness and some citrus notes as well. There is also a strong malty sweet backbone to support the hop aromas. Alcohol is a bit hot in the nose.

An assult of hops on the palate, that's how I'd describe this one. First characteristic of this beer that hits you is its bitterness, after that a somewhat balanced malt and hop flavor comes through and is in turn followed by a very potent hop flavor-floral and herbal. Alcohol is noticeable, and extremely upfront. All in all flavor is good but the alcohol is, in my opinion, way to extreme. Would be much better in my opinion if it were hidden a bit more.

Higher levels of carbonation help this brew out as it is heavy on the alcohol. Alcohol is evident and warms as it goes down and it somewhat lingers after swallowed in conjunction with a hop aftertaste. This beer is definitely something to be sipped, its too extreme to just quaff one after the other. I really don't think that I could drink a six of this in one sitting, the alcohol is just to upfront. The brew itself is good, but the alcohol ruins it for me. It'll be a long while till I come back to this one. I'd really like to try more DIPAs before coming back. (1,871 characters)

Photo of Phillyduke
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured into a Nonic Pint Glass. Beer is a hazy pale orange color with a thin one-finger head of off-white foam that quickly dissipates leaving a fine layer across the surface of the beer. Fine lacing clings to the side of the glass.

Smell: Strong nose of piney hops with floral and citrusy (grapefruit and orange) notes. A hint of mango peeks in here and there. I could smell this all day...

Taste: Hops, hops, and more hops. The malt body here is tough to find amid the pine and bittering hops, as is the honey this is supposedly brewed with. Surprisingly, the citrus and floral nose I detected isn't very apparent in the taste. If you search for them, you can find them, though. "Tongue-bruising" qualities diminish as beer warms. Finish is short with a bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, thin, crisp, lively and carbonated.

Drinkability/Overall Impression: I actually liked this beer a LOT better when I had it on tap. I really wished this tasted as good as it smelled. I do enjoy my hops, but I prefer more balance between the bitter and floral/citrus varietals. Although I do enjoy this offering, I'm not sure how many I could have in one sitting before the 10% ABV caught up with me. That being said, would I have it again? Absolutely. I look forward to picking it up next year and working it in with my other IPA/DIPAs. (1,352 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cloudy, deep golden colour, Hopslam looks like honey. It has little carbonation and can appear almost sludgy depending on the angle. No head ever forms. The highlighting is dulled too, despite that it is light enough to allow moderate transparency.

Some IPAs simulate the effect of sniffing a baggie of hops; this IPA simulates standing dead center of a hop farm. You'd think you were submerged under an entire Pacific Northwest harvest. I don't like taking my nose out of the glass - I'll need a snorkel if I'm to drink this again. It is minty, herbal, and showcasing a lot of lime fruit.

The taste has pungency and a good amount of spice. That said, it is considerably less bitter than it let's on. The honey is surprisingly appreciable. Flavors of honeycomb and toffee are, believe it or not, more pronounced than the hops' contributions of leaf, lime, and pine. There's as much toasted caramel as there is grapefruit or flower petal.

The mouth feels privy to a lot of bark, rind, and resin - all goods features so far as IPAs are concerned. It is dry and to the uninitiated might feel like pine flavored sand paper as it runs over the palate. There's a dosage of alcohol esters noted as well, but they aren't entirely distracting. Still, it's not exactly what I'd call refreshing, all things considered.

As much as I have always enjoyed Bell's Hopslam, I can't help but say of it that it's the right size but the wrong shape. What I mean by that is that it has the right amount of bitter, tropical, herbal hoppiness but it all falls way to an overall toasty, sweet, and malty persona. Relative to similar stock in Bells lineup (and hype), it falls short of expectation. (1,683 characters)

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 3,258 ratings.