Columbus Creeper - Columbus Brewing Company

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Columbus Creeper
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BA SCORE
98
world-class

237 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 237
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.56%
Wants: 65
Gots: 32 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Columbus Brewing Company visit their website
Ohio, United States

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

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: prototypic on 02-06-2010

"Triple IPA"
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 237 | Reviews: 42
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.21/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

where the bodhi was super subtle in showing its alcohol strength, this big boy is anything but. its in your face in bitterness and booze, and while it all seems real well put together, its just an enormous beer. aromas of sliced overripe mangoes and dried grassy hops, its quite the explosion. the flavor has a lot less tropical fruit to it, and a lot more vegetal hops. malt seems pretty basic, two row and a touch of maybe 60 crystal for color. there is a ton of bitterness here but its isnt unpleasant, and as it ramps up, some of that mango thing comes back, balancing it out and giving it just a boost of sweetness. full body, honey texture on the palate, sharply bitter in the finish, active carbonation, and one heck of a buzz coming on. i see why they call it creeper...

Photo of mikesgroove
3.95/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

hazy dark, burnt ruby amber. Very intresting hue as the reddish tint was very noticeable even though the haze made it almost opaque. A one inch head formed on the top upon pour, that faded almost immediatly. What was left was a thin film of decent quality lace that circle around the glass. Smell was very sweet, caramel sugars hitting almost immediatly. The deeper smell after some warming indicated a nice bready, earthy malt back with a hint of alcohol, which at 10%abv and being a barleywine should be expected. The taste for me was just too light. I expect barleywines to make me sit down and to be a definite sipper, but this just did not have the fullness I would have expected. The finish on it was very dry, and did last a good bit though. The taste itself was very hoppy, with piney flavors the most noticeable, a slight malt back was trying to form with flavors of grain and bread, but was just too thin to really be noticed.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

32 ounce growler picked up from Blacklick Wine and Spirits earlier today. They just tapped the keg yesterday so I assume this is a fresh batch. Served in a Dogfish Head IPA glass, the beer pours a hazy golden/orange color with a couple inch white head. The head sticks around for a long time, and there's also a lot of lacing. Aroma is very nice, the brew mostly smells like citrusy (tropical fruit, grapefruit, orange peel) and pine hops, and some bready malt. The taste is similar to the aroma, but there's the addition of some peppery spice and herbalness. The tropical fruit bittersweet finish lingers for a very long time. It's creamy and slick with a good amount of carbonation. Well, I'm very happy I picked up a growler of this on the way home from work. Definitely worth trying if you come across some! $10.99 a growler fill.

Photo of prototypic
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

February brings us the second installment of the 2010 Hop Odyssey series. Let's get to it.

Creeper pours a gold, straw looking color. It's very hazy and has a slight orange tint with backlighting. I'm surprised there's not more copper, amber, or red, but alas, there is not. An off-white head caps it off. It stands over a finger tall and is very slow to dissipate. Lacing was very sticky, but moderate in volume. Not bad, but seems a little off in color for the style.

Hops are very strong in the nose. They're responsible for a nice mix of grapefruit, pineapple, and orange scents, as well as a healthy dose of pine. Smells delicious. The hops are countered by a sweet, malty smell. Caramel and toffee notes are very much in the mix. I'm not getting much in terms of dark fruit, which also is a little surprising. Perhaps it's just buried in the avalanche of sweet malt and hops scents. Alcohol is noted, but doesn't seem all that strong.

The flavor is very good. It's better than the nose, but I'm wrestling with how much. I'll ponder that point. It's sweet and malty up front. Caramel and toffee flavors are tasty and anchor things down nicely. Hops waste little time getting into the mix. I don't know the profile that was used, but they feature citric grapefruit, pineapple, and orange flavors. Pine comes through loud and clear. Perhaps stronger than the citrus flavors. It's nice and bitter, but that bitterness is countered nicely by the malt presence. I'm getting a little raisin-esque flavor. It's secondary, but it adds nice depth and complements the other flavors well. Alcohol is blended very well. I'd never guess this has a double digit abv. It finishes bitter and a little dry.

Creeper has a medium body, but not by much. It feels a tad thin, but gets better with a little warming. It is smooth, but doesn't feel quite creamy. Drinkability is good. The flavor here is impressive and it goes down easy. Too easy for a beer this big. I'll have another glass, but an entire growler is a little much to handle solo.

I'm really impressed with the Hop Odyssey series thus far. Creeper is a really tasty American Barleywine. The color seems a tad off and the nose would benefit from a stronger dark fruit presence, but the flavor delivers. This is good stuff. I've long thought Barley's brewed the best beer in Columbus. I haven't changed my mind yet, but Columbus Brewing Company is giving me a lot to think about. Creeper is impressive. Keep it up, guys.

Photo of buschbeer
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

32 ounce growler
Served in an oversized wine glass

L - I'm going to call this a golden color. It is hazy. I cannot see through it. It is topped with two inches of off-white head.

S - The smell is amazing. I get citrus and tropical fruit. Pineapple and mango are the first that come to mind. There is some grapefruit as well.

T - The taste starts out fairly balanced. I taste a malt backbone. Then the citrus tastes over. Grapefruit grows on my palate with each drink. The grapefruit eventually begins to drown out the other citrus and tropical fruit flavors. The bitterness increases as well. The alcohol is well hidden.

F - It has a medium feel.

O - At first this beer reminded me a lot of Bodhi. Then the grapefruit asserted itself. This beer is more bitter. I loved how it smells. The bitterness satiates the hop heads. This is a very good beer, but I think I prefer Bodhi by a hair. Columbus Brewing seems to do no wrong when it comes to IPA's.

Photo of Adamostella
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's back baby!

Definitely have to say I am on the side of those thinking it's a DIPA, moreso than a barleywine. If you are expecting Bigfoot, this wouldn't be for you.

Big nose up front, beautiful whiff of Summit and who doesn't love the 10.5% abv. One of the standouts of the monthly hop odyssey 2010 they've brought back for 2011, damn February for being so short!

Photo of nrbw23
4.29/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours what I thought was really odd and not at all what I was expecting a light murky golden orange. I thought I was looking at an IPA instead of a Barleywine. Head was really nice, had great retention and left some great lacing.

S- Oh yeah, tons of hops here. At 10% I couldn't pick up any alcohol. I could smell tropical fruits, grapefruit, a peppery spice and just a bit of caramel malts.

T- Not bitter at all. A good balance between the hops and the malts. Again almost everything here says IPA. Again the ABV is hidden very well.

M- Full body for sure on this one. Carbonation maybe a tad on the high side.

D- Super easy to drink and it will sneak up on you...trust me. I drank a couple at a sitting and started to feel this one. A great brew for sure.

Photo of jampics2
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Update - 2013 batch - This beer has gotten WAY better than when I had it in 2011. The malt is next to invisible save for a huge sweetness. Slamming citrus hop candy taste. Insanely well hidden ABV. Taste gets bumped from a 4 to a 5, and overall to a 4.5.

World freaking class. Reminds me a lot of (unnamed) West Coast beers than people line up for hours to try!

On tap at Fat Head's Brewer's Brawl. I drank this first and boy did it take a few glasses of water and crackers to get my palate straightened. But it was SO worth it!

Not as dark as I expected. A golden color with orange highlights. Small head. Doesn't look like a barleywine. More like a barelywine ;)

Smell is citrus hops with pineapple and guava taking the lead. Peachy as well. Some serious sugared candy malt backs it up. Very tropical and sweet, with a touch of spiciness, maybe some grains of paradise? Or just peppery spice from the hops. But nice nose going on here, I have to keep telling myself it's not a DIPA.

Nice barelywine taste, though. Caramel, toffee, raisins, and some nice fig are the base for the hops to build on. Citrus and pine hops. Not too resinous up front, but a bitterness that lingers. But the sweet malt makes it acceptable. I like this, very much an American take on one of my favorite beer styles. This is huge, unapologetic, and kick-ass.

Sticky and chewy mouthfeel. Not too heavy, but seems right for the style.

Not the most drinkable as it's a bruiser, but a good beer and one I'd try again in a heartbeat! Nice one CBC!

Photo of Ryan011235
4.27/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap, in a chalice at the brewpub on 2/4/10

At a glance, this seems rather light in color for a barleywine. Moderately hazy, it is apricot-hued with pale golden highlights a la pineapple juice around the bottom of the glass. I had two glasses; the first poured essentially no head with only a minute ring of foam clinging to the inside perimeter of the glass. The second poured a thin layer of bubbly foam. This time around retention was thin but mostly consistent & lacing was rather good.

Not surprisingly, the nose is very hop-forward. Immediately noticeable are potent citrus aromas which definitely showcase their acidity. I'm picking out grapefruit, lemon zest, orange peel & maybe a hint or two of pineapple. The hop profile comes across as mostly tropical & slightly floral with a tendency toward juiciness. There's a subtle spiciness in there that makes me think white pepper or some such. This doesn't seem particularly malty so far; just a few notes of medium-light toasted sugars - namely a spot of caramel. Even at 10.5% abv (what the barkeep told me), the alcohol isn't very appreciable in the nose.

At first taste the whole "barleywine" thing becomes apparent. Creeper offers a lot of dry bitterness upfront courtesy of grapefruit pith & a healthy dose of pine. There is some lemon zest & orange peel too, though the high acidity found in the nose is a bit restrained here. Just a bit, though; no doubt this is a hoppy barleywine - it doesn't hide its intentions. Catering to style there is a sturdy malt profile that, while on the lighter spectrum, is still appropriate. There are plenty of toasted malts that at times give a faint notion of near-burnt bread, which is fine by me. I get the impression of caramelized sugars - sweet, but not cloyingly so. It has a quality that calls to mind sugar cookies. All of which is accentuated by a pervasive spiciness.

Creeper is medium-full bodied that has a decent amount of density & chewiness. Moderate carbonation adds a touch of prickliness though the beer generally moves slowly & with purpose. Alcohol is apparent immediately, providing a notable warming sensation. However, this becomes less pronounced as the beer warms & with acclimation. Lingering are a few hints of bitterness & toasted malt.

I must admit this seems an interesting take on the style. I get the impression that at times Creeper wants to be a DIPA. If I recall correctly, this has many similarities to their Bodhi DIPA from last year. In any case, the purpose of the Hop Odyssey is "an exploration of the relationship between malt & hops" while "celebrating" the latter (quotations from 2010 Hop Odyssey promotional material). To this end, Columbus Brewing Co. has succeeded indeed. This is a very tasty beer, albeit one that should probably be sipped. Recommended.

Photo of schoolboy
3.7/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I tried this a few weeks ago - just a taste - but today I am having a couple real glasses. My first impressions were not strong and it is only slightly better in the full drink.

The brew looks and smells really great. The head is huge and it is a nearly clear yellow. The hoppy aroma is full and sweet. All hops.

The taste is disappointing. It is syrupy and sweet like many of the weaker versions of the style. The finish is balanced and not very bitter.

I waited until this was almost gone before trying it. Had I missed it I don't think I would have missed much.

Photo of Spider889
4.39/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this a few times last month, both at Bodega and at the CBC restaurant.

The beer is very cloudy, a golden orange color with visible yeasty particulate floating about. Low rising head with spotted lacing.

The smell is just fantastic though. My first tasting revealed an aroma built upon pineapple and finished with a huge onslaught of tangerine. At the brewery all I could smell was pineapple - juicy, wet, fresh-cut pineapple. And it was goood! Mild hints of wet orange rind lend a mild pithy bitterness on the finish.

The taste is pretty damn hoptastic. It's not an outright hop bomb like some DIPA's, though a grenade? Maybe.

Bitter, just shy of proving to be too much, the hops provide a bite that will knock you over if you think this is a mere barleywine. Last I heard CBC was calling it a Triple IPA this year. Citrusy orange and grapefruit mingle with resinous pine. This is all backed up by light doughy malts. The alcohol is sweet and slightly acidic.

Creeper is a very creamy, smooth beer that has a nice hop/alcohol bite on the finish. Relatively dry. Very drinkable for the style and abv. Find it fresh, and find it early, and you will not be disappointed.

Photo of MbpBugeye
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

By far the best of the Hop Odyssey series.

This is a wildly unique looking beer. Super hazy, to the point of being opaque. The color is a vibrant, glowing orange. It looks thick and smooth. The small head is sticky though the whole glass.

Big aromas of fresh sliced pineapples, the most pineappley beer out there. Some citrus blossom, mango and tangerine.

Just as the looks lead on, Creeper has a full, softer body. Alcohol will peek in and out but it really does creep up on you. Bitterness is never and issue, despite this being a 100 IBU beer. Its mostly a juicy citrus bomb.

I hate to see this one go again but I don't think the guys at CBC will let it be gone for long.

Photo of ONUMello
4.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a tulip
A: Pure, clear orange with a 1.5-finger head
S: Lots of hops- a mix of citrus, floral and pine along with sweet dried stone fruits and some caramel notes
T: I agree this is fairly sweet- caramel up front followed by tropical fruit and grapefruit rind
M: Medium to full-bodied, a bit sweet & bitter though fairly balanced given its 11% abv
O: I would prefer it a touch less sweet but overall this is a fantastic DIPA, well balanced and certainly worth a try

Photo of BB1313
3.82/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

32oz growler filled at Save-On Craft Beer in Mentor, OH for $4.99

Poured into a tulip. Pours a transparent golden with a small white head that leaves decent lacing and nice retention. Nice clarity with the color. The aromas have alot of burnt rubber going on. There's also a nice combination between it being citrus and tropical. The malts take a backseat in the nose, but come alive in the flavors. I'll start off by saying that this isn't some malt bomb though. The hops really shine. Strong bitterness followed by a subtle sweetness. I'm picking up a decent amount of pineapple. It's slightly spicy. Possibly some rye or black pepper in the mix. Mouthfeel is very nice. It's full-bodied, but light and extremely smooth. There's a bit of an alcoholic note, but barely. It's really not hot or boozy at all. You might catch a subtle warmth, but it's subtle and enjoyable. The alcohol goes unnoticed. This is fun to drink and it's dangerously drinkable.

This is a nice "Triple IPA". It's similar to Green Flash Green Bullet. I only say that as a reference to what this beer is like. This might not be my favorite IPA/DIPA from Columbus, but this is no slouch at all. The craftsmanship is off the hook like all of Columbus' beers, but I personally would take a Bodhi over this all day. This is good though and definitely worth checking out if given the opportunity.

Photo of mattcrill
3.94/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Floral and citrus hop notes abound. Clean fermentation character. All hops. No malt character, alcohol, or fruity esters. Clean and hop driven.

Appearance: Cloudy light amber pour with hazy straw edging. Good white head that retains well.

Flavor: Floral and citric hop punch up front. Notes of lemon zest, orange rind, and a touch of pine all blend and assault the palate. Balance is firmly bitter with no malt character at all. Finish is clean and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. Slightly oily and no astringency.

Overall impression: I have to knock it a little just b/c it has zero malt character and lacking and ABW characteristics. That said, I love the beer but was just hoping for an ABW and not a Double IPA. Good stuff. Just having a little identity crisis.

Photo of Ohiovania
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From beginning to end this was an amazing beer. The hop palate was perfect. i tried it next to Gemini from southern tier and the Gemini couldn't even come close. I hope we start seein bottle of this soon. The malt stood right next to the hops so if you don't like malty DIPA's this one isn't for you. Also, barely any heat if any at all. It even tasted solid poured cold but only go better as it warmed up.

Photo of PDXHops
3.68/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler courtesy of Ryan011235 (who reports this is now a DIPA, so I will review it as such). Even in an oversized snifter, a nice finger+ of creamy off-white head is easily raised. It's not shy about sticking around, either. It settles down into a skim eventually, leaving a nice amount of soapy and sticky lace. The body is somewhat reminiscent of fresh apple cider, copperish orange and hazy.

Smells like something that's gonna get me in trouble (and it may very well just do that before the night's over). Fresh and yeasty, like fresh bread dough, but with a ton of citrusy goodness bursting through. Like a bowl of fresh sliced pineapple, mango and tangerine that happens to be sitting beside a bowl of rising dough. The alcohol presence is alarmingly muted.

Creeper admirably avoids the acute case of caramelitis that seems to affect most high ABV DIPAs. However, the yeasty/doughy combo is persistently potent and becomes somewhat distracting as it warms. After a text exchange with Ryan, I suspect it has suffered somewhat along it's journey. It's still pretty damned good though. Columbus is certainly a brewery that's not afraid to throw an extra bucketful of hops into the brew kettle. Tons of juicy citrus is followed up with an impressive blast of bitterness. The modest carbonation and thick body lend to a very soft feel that works well with the abundance of citric juiciness. The booze sneaks up on you in the finish.

Overall impression: Mildly frustrating in that it doesn't achieve the hoptacular heights of Big Frank or the regular Columbus IPA. Or, to put it a different way, the outrageous hoppiness is somewhat thwarted by the doughiness. Still, it's pretty tasty. I'd love to sample it fresh at the source sometime (if it makes a return).

Photo of Hoptometrist
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Buckeye Beer Engine into a snifter

A-Poured a semi-clear bright golden color with a frothy head that leaves lots of chunky lace

S- Big grapefruit, pine, mango, and bready aroma. Pungent and aromatic

T- Big juicy grapefruit hop flavors, some pine, little bit of a tropical hop notes, big breadiness, and some caramel

M- Soft and fuller bodied, but not quite syrupy

O- This was described as a Double IPA/Blonde Barleywine. Really big juicy and hoppy beer. Definitely gets most of its flavor from hops but there is a really nice big bready backbone. Really great crossover style beer and very drinkable with no trace of alcohol for 10%. It does creep up on you.

Photo of ohiobeer29
4.05/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Like bodhi on steroids smells great drinks great and I'm a stout guy so an ipa has to be very solid for me to speak highly of it and this one is a very well done ipa

Photo of zimm421
4.73/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a fresh growler into a tulip. Appearance is a great, hazy, orange, with a nice white head that leaves great lacing.

Nose is wonderful - full of pine and citrus, but also good malt undertones. The nose right after pouring is simply spectacular. Taste is great, it finishes very bitter, but it doesn't go overboard . There is a nice malt sweetness that helps balnace things out a bit, but the hops still dominate.

The mouthfeel is nice and smooth, and has a creamy texture. It is ridiculously drinkable, and the alcohol is so well masked, it can really sneak up on you. Overall, this beer is simply amazing, and another great brew from CBC.

Photo of WesMantooth
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy, golden yellow color with a white foamy/frothy head combo that left a very nice ring and lacing in the fat tulip glass.

Tons of hops on the nose. Mostly citrus.

Taste is almost all hops. More pine than I would have guessed, and way less malt as well based on appearance. Grapefruit, orange, and lemon rinds to me. Very, very bitter during and after. Noticeable alcohol and a little bit of a peppery note. Almost like a farmhouse. A nice dankness though.

Medium bodied. Average carbonation.

I am kind of confused by the amount of people noting it is a Triple IPA. Everything I have seen has it listed as a DIPA. I know we get hung up on the styles/definitions too much, but I would score it lower if comparing to other
triples I have had. This really just came across kind of harsh to me. Not nearly as balanced as Bodhi (or Hop Ju Ju and Chillwave for that matter). This is a seriously hoppy brew. I like it a lot, but I have had several better. I would take Bodhi alll day and its not even close.

Photo of DeFaz
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Consider this Bodhi's brother, this DIPA is a bit stronger and with more fruit flavor rather than pine. The smell and taste feature orange, mango, and grapefruit. Not overly sweet and with alcohol that is fairly well concealed, this does "creep" up on you. A bit more carbonation may have been better, but overall this is up there with the best DIPAs. Super flavorful.

Photo of sitarist
4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hazy, pale orange in color. Minimal pure white head falls to a light dusting with a small ring. Spots of lacing linger. Smells like a tropical fruit smoothie, sweet & fruity...pineapple, vanilla, mango, it also has some floral notes. Complex, yet balanced flavors...tropical fruits, white & green peppercorns, herbal. Medium body, it borders on astringency, clean, and dry.
Two years ago this beer wowed me, and it has again. A fresh wonderful surprise. Creeper is a sleeper...a must have beer. Words cant explain the aroma, and flavors of this beer!

Photo of ne0m00re
3.61/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a brandy snifter at Betty's in Columbus.

A: A clear blonde, golden orange, with a thin lace of a head.
S: Bright, pine-like hops with citrus. No malt or yeast smell apparent at all.
T: More of the same: spicy hops with citrus and warming alcohol with a notable sweetness. The hops linger.
M: Cleansing foam cuts through the thin-syrup sweetness.
D: This is really a brandy-snifter sipping beer, but it is definitely lighter and crisper than the usual barleywine.

Overall, this beer seems to be in the wrong style classification. DIPA, anyone?

Photo of rapayn01
4/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a small sample at a Heinen's in Cleveland. Very high ABV. Tasty though.

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Columbus Creeper from Columbus Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 237 ratings.