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Boatswain American I.P.A. - Minhas Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Boatswain American I.P.A.
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66 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 66
Hads: 170
Avg: 2.85
pDev: 41.05%
Wants: 0
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Minhas Craft Brewery visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: smcolw on 12-17-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (111) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 66 | Hads: 170
Photo of zoolou
1.37/5  rDev -51.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.25

Tastes like a 'hoppy' forty. The smell reminded me of bad college parties and the taste didn't do much to help. Smell has a corny/syrupy aroma with some indistinct hops, and the taste is a little better, especially when it warms up a bit, but misses the mark completely when compared to even 'middle of the road' IPA's.

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Photo of DmanGTR
1.47/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.25

Bottle from TJ's. Was only $2.39 for a bomber so I thought nothing to lose...

Poured a deep amber, very clear, with a short lived billowing off-white head. Scant lace left behind as the head receded. It kind of looked dead after the head died down. Giving a sniffy sniff, I must say that it was superbly underwhelming. Nose is faint overall even though I poured the beer slightly below room temperature. Bit of malt and biscuit in the backbone and mild herbal notes. Bit of fruit that seems like a blend of dried orange peel, lychee, and bitter herbs. The flavor is very much like the aroma but there is a metallic distastefulness that sends it all down the drain. Barely any citrus or pine notes that I would expect in an IPA. I'm struggling here to find anything appealing about this beer. Body is pretty hefty for the mild carbonation, almost a slick feel to the beer. The beer kind of starts off with the sweetness of malt, then picks up the herbs and mild citrus, then dies, leaving only a scant bitterness in the finish.

I found water to be more appealing than this.

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Photo of Ryan011235
1.49/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured into an Allagash glass on 8/24/12

The appearance is a dirty brown tangerine; very cloudy, too. The head is a hair under two fingers, though retention is thinner. Some drippy lace remains.

This thing smells pitiful. Burnt grains and biscuit, piney aerosol cleaner, shoddy citrus pith and peel. Perfume and hints of metal shavings. This smells a lot like its big brother; that ain't a good thing,

I can't believe just how unpleasant this is. It's a slick, almost syrupy concoction of candy made from chintzy fruit and sub-par hops oils. Toasted grains and adjuncts. Sure, there's some bitterness on the latter half, but it's generic and not overly enjoyable. The feel is terribly coating on the finish. The appropriate level of carbonation is about the only thing going for this beer.

Boatswain does disappointment really well.

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Photo of jooler
1.5/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1

Holy cow. This tastes like straight up doody. Extremely malty with no hops. It kind of tastes like grazier from hess brewing company. Boatswain should be embarrassed to call this an ipa

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Photo of Broseph
1.67/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I purchased this beer from Trader Joe's in Saint Louis Park, Minnesota after finding Steel Toe Brewing closed on Monday so I couldn't fill my growler. There was a sharply dressed man stocking up on these in 22oz form so I asked how it was. He replied favorably so I grabbed one for the fridge. At $1.99 for 22oz of 6.7% IPA, I had little to lose, right? Lesson learned. This was a classic "if it sounds too good to be true, it is" scenario.

The next day I poured half the bottle into my trusty pint glass and could immediately smell the boozy aroma. It poured a nice dark golden with a very small head that dissipated immediately. At first sip I was overpowered by the alcohol taste, which never improved and made it tough to finish my glass. As the beer warmed from fridge temp, it only got worse and I had to dump the bottle. Not much going on here for hops to mask this either.

If anyone from Trader Joe's in SLP reads this, please realize that the best IPA in the state is brewed 1/2 a mile from your door at Steel Toe Brewing. Yes, its more money, but Boatswain is giving a bad name to your selection and American IPAs in general.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
1.77/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

22 ounce bottle - $2.29 at Trader Joe's in Roswell, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, polished copper body with a two finger-high, off-white head.

Smell: Bready malts, some odd umami hints, but also a cutting sniff of alcohol, leaving me worried for a repeat Boatswain beer experience. Some beers would already be getting two thumbs up at this point, this one's just getting the double eye roll. Ugh.

Taste: The bready, simple, lightly sweet malts underneath are ruthlessly beaten back immediately with a revolting ethanol punch to the tongue. Unpleasantly astringent. This line would be better served in tall, paper bag-wrapped cans and sold at gas stations.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: I tried the Trader Joe's HLV yesterday. Really did not like it, finding it a poor value at even Trader Joe's prices. This was equally as embarrassing and fairly undrinkable. Avoid!

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Photo of SolaceBrewing
1.86/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1.75

22 oz Bottle from Trader Joe's

Appearance - amber/orange in color; one finger head that disappears within a minute; somewhat darker than I would expect for an IPA

Aroma - faint alcohol; little to no hop aroma; hints of sweet malt

Flavor - bitingly sweet malt flavor; if this was homebrew, I would think that I needed to repitch yeast to continue fermentation; subdued hop bitterness, with little to no hop flavor

Mouthfeel - syrupy; carbonation level is good--a good balance of tingly and smooth on the tongue

Overall - I'm glad I didn't pay more than $2 for this. It is not something I would drink again. It is also lacking in hop flavor, aroma, and bitter/malt balance I would expect from an American IPA. I couldn't finish the bottle and dumped it.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
1.93/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.75

Can't believe I'm trying another one of these Trader Joe's beers, after the revolting experience I had with the Boatswain Twin Screw Steamer Double IPA. This one can't possibly be any worse. From that perspective there's definitely room for improvement, but that's not saying much.

22oz bomber for $2.49 at Trader Joe's in Newington, NH. Served cold in a tulip. Code 13 310 14 stamped on the bottle, whatever the hell that means. Hopefully that's not secret code for "ass beer".

A: Hazy reddish copper brew, fizzy light brown head 1 finger high from a moderate pour. At least it looks like beer so far.

S: Immediately upon pouring it put up a decent amount of rough hop aroma, but this faded away too quickly for me to really get a handle on it. What's left is a clean semi-sweet light malty backbone with some raw starchy grain aspects. Smells almost like a cheap Euro Dortmunder/ Export lager. Hops are completely gone at this point, like a fart in the wind. At least it doesn't smell like asparagus piss like the last one did. (Sorry, still hung up on that nasty Twin Screw Steamer).

T: This is pretty rough. A tad bit of coarse malt and a mild generic hop, combined with an equal amount of green vegetable stuff and a really pungent EtOH peppery heat. Tons of fusels. Wow. Like half as nasty as the other one. Yes an improvement, but nowhere near enough of one that I'm glad to be drinking this. Borderline drainpour material. Really unrefined, raw, choppy. What a train wreck. Who the hell is making this stuff??

As it warms/ airs, counterintuitively, it seems to improve a bit. Maybe some of the offensive volatile stuff is burning away, who knows. A light syrupy sweetness emerges to balance out the raw grain. Some mildly tropical thing going on in the body. Not much hop still... just a tad bit of generic bittering hop in the finish, mixed up with the fusels and rubbing alcohol.

M: Unbelievable how poorly-hidden the EtOH is. It's only 6.7% but I'm pretty sure you could dilute rubbing alcohol down to this point with pure water and it'd go down more smoothly. Carbo is appropriate. At least it's not flat or overly fizzy, so at least I can give them that much.

D: A step up from the Twin Screw, but again that's not saying much. Not worth $2.50. If I was a homeless bum and this was $1, it might be an option versus MD 20/20 or Boone's Farm every now and then.

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Photo of seagullbeer
1.95/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A- Rich dark cloudy orange

S- Sweet dried apricots, peaches

T- Syrupy, sweet, very fruity ipa not very hoppy. Fruit sodaish. Taste a bit stale.

M- Smooth, fades quickly but the tail end of each sip reveals the flavors I disliked the most.

O- Didn't care for it. Its 2 dollars for a tall bottle at trader joes so wasn't hoping for much... it wasn't much. I'd rather just go for light beer in a can.

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Photo of HippyJonny
2.03/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

There is some confusion going on here. Two beers are being reviewed on the same page. The "Extra IPA" and the "American IPA" are different beers sold in different markets. Some stores got one and other stores received the other. The photo on the page is the "Extra," while the stats are for the "American."

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Photo of dabeanman310
2.14/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

If you like craft beer dont buy! Is it horrible. To me yes. I mean I rate it better than a bud or miller lite but I dont buy something that is marketed as a craft beer and tastes like crap. Okay... If you are into the american beers ( miller, bud, busch) look the other way because this is a real improvement. Here it goes if you actuall like actual all malt beers.

Aroma was sweet and honestly straight up awful! Smells like a hopped up bud. The taste isnt much different than the added some darker color grains (along with there rice). Really hated this beer just because its market in trader joes as a craft beer and sewer. Craft my ass!! My beer is 100X better than this shit. I buy craft beer to be inspired not to have a beergasim and die of this shitty beer!

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Photo of EricMango
2.16/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Only OK.

Doesn't taste like a typical IPA.

Smell is slightly skunky

initial taste is ok but the after taste is disappointingly flat.

Carbonation is good but doesn't make up for the lack of flavor.

Would not recommend this beer to an IPA lover

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Photo of BucannonXC5
2.31/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.25

Type: 22-oz. bomber
Glass: Firestone restaurant glass
From: Trader Joe’s in Grossmont Center (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $1.99
Purchased: April 4, 2013
Consumed: April 4, 2013
Misc.: N/A

Poured a caramel copper hazy color with two fingers of off-white head. Reminded me of an packaged Lipton iced tea. Good amount of sporadic lacing on the sides of the glass. Very good retention (thick and white) on top all the way down.

Smelled surprisingly (but not surprisingly considering it’s a Boatswain) malts more than hops. Got bread, roasty nuts, caramel and toffee malts. Earthy, grainy hops, probably more resin than grass. Definitely some skunkiness in there.

Medium body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt, bitter finish.

About what I’d expect from Boatswain, but it was $1.99. Had to give it the old college try.

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Photo of spokeydonkey
2.32/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Got a bomber of this at Trader Joe's for under $3. Bottle claims 75 IBUs, 15.46 plato starting gravity and 6.7% ABV, which would make a pretty dry, hoppy IPA. Unfortunately, it tastes like none of these things. Their "appearance," listed as "brown" is spot on (bear in mind, this is an India PALE ale).

Appearance: Dark amber-brown. Definitely not a pale ale of any variety. Looks fairly clear wit a decent off-white ead.

Smell: Lots of caramel malt and some citrusy hops.

Taste: UGH! There's only a few beers I've poured out, but this is one of them. Syrupy caramel and cloying sweetness. Can't detect much in the way of hops. Way out of balance for the style and for any beer in general.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy. Didn't get past that and didn't want to.

Overall: Barely drinkable. The sweetness and lack of hop flavor is offensive. I dumped it. If you like sweet, low-bitterness beers relying heavily on caramel flavor, this might be up your alley. If you're looking for an IPA, look elsewhere! I dumped this and grabbed a Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye for my hops fix.

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Photo of ESPNman
2.36/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Purchased at Trader Joe's (for a couple of bucks), served in a standard pint glass.

A - Orange, bordering on copper, with a thin white head that stuck around for a bit. Some lacing.

S - Corn, sugar, and that's about it. Nothing that sould make me think that this is anything other than a malt liquor. Zero hops.

T - Much like the smell, it reminded me more of Steel Reserve than Sierra Nevada's Torpedo. Thick corn and syrup malts cut by the faintest hint of floral hops. An IPA this is not.

M - Not bad, actually. Decent carbonation with a just-right thickness for the style. Definitely the highlight for this beer.

O - Do not recommend. It's pretty awful, and not a true IPA. Do yourself a favor and keep moving if you see this on the shelf, there are better representations of this style out there.

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Photo of BuzzLitebier
2.39/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

OK, I'm not going to disparage this beer. Suffice it to say that my expectations were low for it, and they weren't met. It poured nicely with a decent head and a dark copper color. However, the nose wasn't there. Even though it was carbonated nicely, the taste was yeasty and unsatisfying. Would I buy it again? I'm sorry to say NO.

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Photo of EgadBananas
2.4/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Oh, no, Minhas!! :/

This looks nice. A clear coppery color with a tanish head. Nice lace.

Malty aroma. Too malty. Caramel, sweetness, corn? No real hop notes.

Slight bitterness, corn-like sweetness, caramel and maltiness.

Creaminess, and medium in body.

No dating, so unsure of freshness, but this is not good. This is better than the swill that Minhas produces, but craft wise, this is poor.

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Photo of samie85
2.41/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clear reddish amber color with a two finger white head into my Duvel tulip.

Smells of piney and orange hops with light hints of caramel and burnt sugar.

Tastes of sweet caramel malt with bitter note and slightly alcoholic finish.

Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a drying feel with an alcohol warmth.

This, like the Heavy Lift Vessel from Minhas is alcoholic and disappointing in its flavor profile. It has the bitterness of an IPA without the pleasing hop notes that typically go with an IPA.

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Photo of markipa1
2.47/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is so far from what I think of as an "American IPA", that name is almost laughable. If you are a true fan of American IPA's, just avoid this. It's drinkable, more like an amber, but has none of qualities one would associate with a decent IPA.

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.54/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Trader Joe's attempt to make craft beers for the budget minded consumer takes a hit with this heavily malty and timidly hopped ale.

Bright amber in color, the beer builds a moderate off white creamy froth that retains well after reducing to a sheet across the glass and providing lacing patterns on the glass. The beer certainly looks like well crafted IPAs.

Fruit, caramel, and a whiff of faint floral and herbal hops waft over the olfactories with a scent that much more heavily favors non-descript English ales than anything hop forward.

Grainy sweet to taste, the flavors of toasted barley husk and simple caramel provide the majority of taste while any attempt to balance with hops leaves the beer feeble and unsupported. Fruity fermentation character makes the beer taste like candied apples, cherries, and grapes. Lightly floral to start, the beer turns lightly herbal before a woody, grassy, and soapy bitterness finishes the beer shy of even-keel, where the style expects complete hop dominance.

Full and sticky from residual malt sweetness, the beer's procession across the palate is slow and lumbering; never developing the dry malt, clean resin dryness, or refreshing closure that I look for when reaching for IPAs. Only the light impression of alcohol resembles anything pale ale.

Where I appreciate Trader Joe's price pointed intentions with craft beer, they should try to more aptly name their beers not with intent but with how the beer actually tastes. An English strong ale dictation would have yielded a kinder review.

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Photo of mactrail
2.62/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Very dark hazy amber in the New Belgium tulip. Really nice cloud of foam on this with plentiful lacing and sudsy mouthfeel.

The sweet flavor is kind of a shock. It's sweeter than a bock beer. It's like a DIPA missing the hops. I'm always complaining about abusive levels of bitterness, but hot this one. It's so unhoppy I'd have to call it insipid, like a malt liquor. There is a leaf mold sort of smell, with a bitterish murky taste that must have something to do with hops.

Overall, this has that nasty sweet 'n' bitter combination that usually signals "drainpour" for me. However, I had a bottle of Knee Deep Simtra open, which is a ticking hop bomb. Mixed fifty-fifty it wasn't a bad combination. But what do you want for two bucks? Rubber biscuit?

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Photo of scaliasux
2.63/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - Amber. A little cloudy. Head is just off-white, foamy, and persistent.

Smell - Medium roasted malts. Only moderately strong piney hops.

Taste - Somewhat sweet medium roast malt. Hops prominent, but not nearly as strong as many in the category. Piney. Lingering sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Medium-light. Well carbonated.

Overall - Not being a hophead, the relative mildness of the hops in the beer isn't a big problem for me. Like some of Minhas other beers, though, this suffers from excessive sweetness - sweetness that lingers past the hoppiness. Not bad, but I wouldn't seek this out.

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Photo of woemad
2.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

NOTE: the beer pictured here is another beer from the same line of beers brewed by Midhas for Trader Joe's.

22oz bomber purchased at Trader Joe’s in Spokane. I forget what I paid for it but it wasn’t much. No freshness date on the label, which, incidentally, includes the o.g. (15.46) and the amount of IBUs (79) and lists the beer’s color as “brown.” A brown IPA?! FWIW, the label states this beer was brewed by Rhinelander Brewing Co., but I suspect that's a shell name for Minhas.

Despite it’s supposed brownness, this beer pours a slightly hazy, copper-amber color with a big, fluffy white head.

Surprisingly grassy-ish hop scent to this beer. As it warms up a little, some bready malts can be smelled as well. I’m guessing this is not going to be much of an IPA.

…And my guess would be right. Now, it’s not exactly bad tasting, but I have no idea how someone could taste this beer and label it an IPA. There’s a grassy hop flavor that is initially at the fore, but it is almost instantly matched by a flavor that is not unlike…cloves(?!). There's an earthy grain taste in the background. The hop character remains grassy and herbal throughout, with a very tiny bit of a dry hop zap at the swallow. Very, very weird.

Strange beer, with a strange mouthfeel. Almost light bodied, with a mouthfeel like a hefe.

Could this be an attempt at an English IPA? More likely, a crummy attempt at a contract-brewed beer, brewed by people who don’t brew IPAs for people who don’t know what they taste like. Drinkable, but why bother?

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Photo of daliandragon
2.73/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Another beer from Trader Joe's in a different label and bottle but it seems like the same old song: well priced but mediocre. I hope this is an exception, of which there are a few (Stockyard Stout comes to mind) but I probably shouldn't get my hopes up.

Color is correct, with a healthy bronze glaze and solid head and lacing. The nose is not quite on point however. i get no hops but instead a heavy dose of medium malts dense with alcohol and burnt brown sugar.

The flavor is similar. No hops to speak of but plenty of alcohol and burnt sugar. You definitely taste every drop of that 6.7%. There is some oily bitterness up front and the texture isn't bad but could could stand some thickening. This is a half decent American strong or double brown but what is IPA about this beer?

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Photo of TriggerFingers
2.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First, the bottled currently pictured is for Minhas' DIPA, not IPA.

Tasted their IPA for the first time the other day in my attempts to find a good one in a bomber for $2. I will have to keep looking.

Color was darker than most IPAs.

Some Citrus and Pine in the nose, but very faint.

Taste is where this really takes a hit. Minhas probably just used a truckload of hops like chinook that tend to give a "harsher" bitterness when used in excessive proportions and combined it with adjuncts to raise the ABV.

So you get a harsh + boozy quality with minimal malty backbone. You could probably pick any other IPA in the aisle, do a side by side, and like the other one more.

I guess I just don't "get" their philosophy or recipes they use for making their IPA and DIPA. The only thing I can gather is that they are truly trying to save $$$ by using a minimal amount of hops, good barley + grains, while boosting adjuncts like rice or sugar to raise the alcohol.

Is it lacking? yes

Disjointed? uh huh

Bottom Line: For an IPA, this is toward the back of the pack for the style. Most decently executed "kit beer" comes out better than this.

Its a generous C-

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Boatswain American I.P.A. from Minhas Craft Brewery
69 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.