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Great Lakes Alberta Clipper - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Alberta ClipperGreat Lakes Alberta Clipper

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

110 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 110
Hads: 458
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 19.08%
Wants: 19
Gots: 87 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Porter | 7.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: irishmoss on 01-18-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 110 | Hads: 458
Photo of VncentLIFE
4.79/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh Alberta Clipper. I love you with all the depths of my heart.

I hate that the carbonation level was too high. Full inch head on all 3 pours from the keg at Sams in Durham. God bless Amanda!

Smell has hints of porter, a good helping of dark chocolate, and loads of raspberries.

The taste is about as balanced as a dessert beer can be. Raspberries dominate, but the dark chocolate bitterness keeps all of that in balance. The porter comes in only to make its presence known. Doesnt want to take over. Ive always said this thing is scary good. Perfect dessert beer.

The sweetness from all of the raspberries and chocolate fade, leaving a clean finish that begs you to buy another. Holy hell I love this beer.

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Photo of sliverX
4.58/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pub only on tap
Muddy water black nice light tan head that fades somewhat rocky. Ok lacing.
Smell is faint roast and raspberry but in the pub there's a lot of other distracting smells.
Taste is raspberry, bitter chocolate backed with a less hoppy version of ed fitz. Delicious.
Good body and easy drinking dangerous at 7%
Overall a really good beer and would love to see this bottled on occasion.

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Photo of maedhros09
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Dark brown-black, average to light in color for a porter (like Edmund Fitzgerald). The tan head wasn't too impressive on pouring but it leaves a fairly resilient film.
Smell: Roasty cocoa that blends very nicely with fresh raspberry aroma.
Taste: The roasty notes in the nose are mirrored in the palate, going hand in hand with a bright raspberry acidity. Sweetness and hops presence are average for a porter.
Feel: Medium body, nice carbonation that goes well with the fruitiness.

Overall: It seemed strange to me to put out a spring/summer seasonal porter, but the raspberry addition gives it a fresh summery quality. The raspberry combines with the roasted malt much in the same way as it would with dark chocolate - it is very complementary.

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Photo of Caveworm
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great Lakes Alberta Clipper - Great Lakes Brewing Co. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this brew's head is two fingers thick and eggshell brown , with secular lacing, and a rather dark brown/deep red body.

Smells like nicely roasted malts being nicely complimented by the added chocolate of this brew. Just a lighter hint of the raspberries. Not much with the hops going on here, but one should not except too much of that going on with an American porter. Enough of my yappin', let's see how it tastes.....

I taste, again, rich roasted malts combined with semisweet chocolate. Not AS pronounced as I'd thought it would be going into this beer headfirst (no pun intended, albeit a good one). The raspberry is more of a backbone to this taste as it turns out. These elements all blend and balance out quite nicely.

The mouthfeel of this beer is cleaner than expected, but you do get just a bit of chewiness to it. Besides that, a clear finish without lingering notes.

Overall, I'll choose a 4.5 for Great Lakes Alberta Clipper - Great Lakes Brewing Co. For those randomly chilly nights of summer, this was a good choice.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Listed at the brewery @ 7% ABV. A winter porter brewed with Belgian chocolate and raspberries.

Aroma: Cocoa powder, carmel coffee, and roasty grains.

Appearance: Deep chocolate brown pour with shoe leather edging. A sudsy white head persists well.

Flavor: Bittersweet chocolate, roasted grains, rich coffee, and a light raspberry finish. A wonderful balance of sweetness and roasted bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied with medium carbonation and a creamy, lingering finish.

Overall impression: One of the best "fruit beers" I've ever had. Just enough fruit impression to let you know it's there but not overwhelming. Great balance and another great porter from a world class brewery.

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Photo of Jojosaute
4.46/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow let me say I love this beer.
A- a cloudy brown with a very light tanish white head. Poured from a brand new keg so it was quit a bit of head. Small lacing more like bubbles. But I'm drinking it from a rocks glass.
S- cocoa and raspberry slight roasty/ coffee nose
T- similar in taste to the Edmund fitz accept with a chocolate raspberry kick. The Edmund has a syrupy sweetness but this Is a fruity sweetness. Not over the top but you know it's there and it sits in the back of your throat a bit.
M- very rich and full but smooth and can be easily drank
O- I think that Great Lakes has some shining examples of what beer should be. I continually try and love their beer. This is no different. From first sniff to last sip this beer leaves a lasting impression. Great nose of cocoa and raspberry. With the taste following up with the same. Get some while you can !

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Photo of irishmoss
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I made it to Great Lakes this past weekend and was very elated to see a new porter being offered. A beautiful dark brown body with a medium brown head. The head stuck around until a ring remained around the edges of the glass, then clingy patches down the sides of the glass. The aroma was sweet roasted malt, a little orange, and a good deal of chocolate. The taste was chocolate with subtle tones of chocolate, orange peel, and even a slight suggestion of coriander. This finishes clean, yet leaves a slight taste in your mouth that wants you wanting more. This porter has a medium body that goes down smoothly. This is a exceedingly drinkable offering, I was so impressed that I broke down and bought a flip-top growler of this to take home. Great Lakes always seems to hit the nail on the head when it comes to style examples, so it’s equally satisfying to see a variation of a style to come out so good.

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Photo of Infamous7100
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark brown, near black. Finger width tan head.
S: bittersweet chocolate, light coffee notes and subtle fruitiness. Awesome.
T: follows nose impeccably. The raspberries really add something to the chocolatey notes. Throw in the coffee flavor and you really have something.
M: started a bit carbonated but beautifully changed into the viscosity of a milk stout as it warmed. Great.
O: fantastic effort and glad i was able to catch this while it was available. It's like the dessert version of the Eddie Fitz. Kudos to great lakes.

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Photo of drunkenmess
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark with hues of dark crimson. Moderate tan head with adequate amount of lacing. Smells like dark/burnt chocolate and sweet fruit, raspberries I'm guessing from the label description. Taste is delectable and refreshing. Hints of chocolate and slight tartness washed over with a sweetness of berry. Not too heavy for a porter yet enough there to make it one. Finishes sweet with a fruitful after taste. Yummy, GLB company becoming one of my faves... Cheers

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Photo of schoolboy
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I first had this a few weeks ago on tap and then the bottles started coming so I bought a pack. I was immediately impressed with this ale. Blind tasting it I put it as a great porter with raspberry. It is luscious.

It opens typically dark and not too thick looking. The aroma is a beautiful clean fruity porter smell (malty and somewhat roasty),

The taste is exceptional. Raspberry and chocolate are is concert with the hops and malt. It is a perfect union. The aftertaste lingers nicely. The whole thing is a great experience.

Highly recommended.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours jet black with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid two fingers of beige head with decent retention. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing.

Smell: A roasty and sweet dark malt driven aroma with a scent of chocolate and raspberries. Dark roasted barley malt with hints of chocolate, coffee, toast, slight smoke, caramel, and yeast. Big scent of sweet raspberries. Also some sweet hints of cream and sugar. Hops are pretty light. A pretty nice rich aroma.

Taste: Like the smell previews, a nicely roasty and sweet dark malt driven taste with notes of chocolate and raspberries. Dark roasted barley malt with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, char smoke, toast, caramel, biscuit, and yeast. Fruity and sweet notes of raspberries. Sweet notes of sugar and cream. Light background earthy hop notes. A really solid taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation. Very creamy and silky with a smooth finish.

Overall: A pretty good twist on an American Porter. Nice mix of charred dark malt notes with raspberry sweetness. A nice fruity companion for the great Edmund Fitz.

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Photo of DMarlinJ
4.34/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I love chocolate and raspberry combinations and this beer is nicely balanced with those flavors. Not too sweat either. I am very impressed with the depth and combination of flavor. The feel is a bit thin though for a porter. Don't serve it too cold. Overall I am going to go get more just because of the flavor is what I love but price and the mouth feel is what lowers my approval of this beer.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Paid the price on this one $3.75 for the single. Into a pint glass.
A - Some ruby color on the edges but a very black porter. Good head on this one a 1/2 inch of deep mocha goodness. Lacing is nice.
S - Good bits of chocolate and roasty malts. Smells not too sweet with a touch of cherry...?
T - Ah I see the fruit aspect is more raspberry forward and it shows in the beer. Semi sweet chocolates, touch of hops, and a slight roasty twang. Good porter shows no dry finish which I enjoy.
M - Creamy medium bodied yet easy to drink.

Overall a great porter I will have to get my hands on more. Love when fruit is used right in a beer,

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Photo of neenerzig
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another on-tap only "pub exclusive." I first had this at the brewery 2 years ago, and had it again twice recently. Served to me in a pint glass. this beer is a clear, dark brown, mahogany color with ruby highlights when held to the light. has a tan head 1/2 inch when drawn before settling to a nice surface layer with a good tan ring lining the inside of the glass. good lace here too. Roasted, malt coffee, and chocolate aromas with hints of fruit such as raspberry and or plum are present. Has a roasted, malty sweet flavor upfront withe the aforementioned coffee and chocolate flavors followed by a bit of raspberry. Taste is rounded out by some modest noble hop bitterness. Excellent balance of flavors here! Has a crisp, very smooth, and creamy full bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Drinkability is superb! A real winner here. I may like this porter even better than the Edmund Fitzgerald. I really wish this stuff would be bottled, even if just as a seasonal/rotating release.


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Photo of jampics2
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the pub, late January 2010.

Looks like Ed Fitz gone wild! Not really, looks just like Ed Fitz. Black with a cappuccino head.

Smells of chocolate, raspberry, perhaps some light esters from Belgian yeast, but dominated by sweetness.

The chocolate in this beer makes it very reminiscent of Ed Fitz, but the sweet raspberry adds a unique twist. I liked how this wasn't overboard like the Thirsty Dog's Raspberry Leghumper. This has a nice amount of sweet malt, roasted malt, deep chocolate, and raspberry without being cloyingly sweet.

Nice carb, body is just a tad light but very close.

Good beer, nothing extreme, just a nice change of pace at GL.

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Photo of rhinos00
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glad I made it up to GLBC to try another pub exclusive beer. Alberta Clipper is a porter made with Belgian dark chocolate and raspberries. Poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a dark fudge color, almost black. Produced two fingers width of mocha colored head. Throughout consumption it reduced to a thin layer. Random lacing patterns stain the glass.

S- Reminded me of Edmund Fitzgerald, but with a raspberry sweetness. Initially you pick up moderate amount of raspberries. This quickly is washed away with a subtle amount of chocolate and big roasted aroma.

T- Much like the aroma, but more pronounced. The moment the beer touches the palate, a raspberry sweetness comes forth. I loved the fact that it actually tasted like the fruit, instead of a puree. This quickly transitions into a bitter, chocolate malt flavor. Joining to the end is the familiar roasted malt flavor found in Edmund Fitzgerald.

M- Light to medium bodied. Good carbonation. Could have been a little thicker.

D- I drank two pints of this pretty quickly. Went down very smoothly.

Overall, I'm not one for fruit flavors in my porters or stouts, but this was pretty damn good. Not overdone in anyway, but just a nice twist on what is already a fantastic base beer. The flavors meshed together perfectly. Give me more!

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Photo of ChrisSchlosser
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

I was surprised when I read other reviews saying this was fairly bitter and the raspberry taste wasn't that prevalent. I thought it was fairly sweet and I could really taste the raspberry. I think a little less raspberry would even be better.

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Photo of DuqTroops
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a beer that they just created in the past few weeks. It is only on tap at the brewery and is less than a week old tapped. It is a chocolate and rasberry porter.

Aroma: chocolaty and roasted grains.

Appearance: not much head atop the beer, just a rich looking dark beer.

Flavor: chocolate flavor and a rasberry aftertaste. Great body, very smooth.

Mouthfeel: little finish, not much carbonation and very smooth.

Great beer!

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Photo of Mitchster
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bought a 4 pack of this, not sure how much. 7.8% ABV per the bottle, 40 IBU's per the website, brewed with chocolate and raspberries, but no other specs per the website.
Pours out to a clear near black, very dark brown, forming a creamy dark tan head with excellent retention and lacing. Carbonation is medium, ~2.5 carbs or so. The nose full with the obvious chocolate and raspberries, cleanly fermented, suggestions of vanilla and light roast character. Mouthfeel is very smooth with a balanced acidity from the raspberries and the roast, and a medium - dense body. The taste is predominately roasted malts, followed by subtle raspberries and dark chocolate. Not a fake "herskeys syrup" chocolate flavor...tastes more like cocoa powder. Bitterness is well balanced, enough to let the raspberries show thru while balancing the acidity. The acidity is a bit peculiar overall at first, but mellows out towards the finish. I think it would be better with a tad less roast (chocolate malts, black patent, roast barley, etc) and maybe some crystal malts instead.

Overall, a very nice brew. I'm glad I picked up a 4 pack of this. Great Lakes brews great stuff, and this is no exception.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass at ~40 degrees F.

Appearance: See my notes for the Eddie Fitz - pours a deep dark brown that turns black in the glass, forms a thin head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Roasted black grains and berries leap out of the glass, with hints of coffee and chocolate swirling about as well.

Taste: At the beginning, while cold, this beer tastes as if one had a cup of weak coffee, dropped in a significant amount of burnt toast crumbs, and then mixed in a bunch of a slightly sour, unsweetened berry syrup. As it warms, the berry flavors fade a little, allowing for some dark chocolate to emerge and mingle with the other flavors, and the burnt edge comes off the grain bill.

Mouthfeel: As always, Great Lakes nails the porter mouthfeel, yielding a light, drinkable beer that never strays into "watery" territory.

Overall: Not up to the standards of the Edmund Fitzgerald, but still not a bad porter at all. The chocolate and raspberry serve less as focal points, and more as accents to the blackened and coffee profile.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.26/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wow.....I like this one....it reminds me of the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake form the Cheesecake factory.....or Graeters Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Ice cream.....HELL YEAH. The beer poured an opaque black with thin ecru head that is not lacing. The scent has great raspberry flare. The taste is where the chocolate is....as well as raspberry. The mouthfeel in medium with smooth carbonation. Overall.....YUMMY!

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 Oz brown bottle with excellent glbc style artwork. Forgetting the harsh winter and welcoming spring with open arms. Poured into a authentic GLBC stemmed snifter.

A - darkest of browns with dark ruby brown corners. Tan head pours quite nice leaving thin rings of stick on the glass.

S - roasted malt, dark chocolate, juicu ripe raspberries, and a GLBC porter like character. Superb

T - flavor is like those chocolate covered raspberry jelly truffles you get during the holidays. It's spot on. Bittersweet dark chocolate with hints of milk cocoa flowing about. Raspberry notes provide enough tartness yet remain incredibly fruity. Roasted malt and a nice sweetness to balance the bitter chocolate and raspberry tart.

M - medium bodied and carries an excellent texture. Thickness is as I'd expect from GLBC while remaining ridiculously drinkable. I seriously felt as though I could session this all day long.

O - what a fantastic release! I've always held Great Lakes close to my beer drinking ways, but this may be their best new rotating bottling yet. Sticks true to the great porter style while providing a great unique raspberry tartness and still finds a way to balance perfectly. Pick it up!

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Photo of bsp77
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Very dark reddish-brown with thick, frothy tan head.

Smell: Chocolate, molasses and a light raspberry touch (at least at first). The raspberry aroma gets stronger as it warms. Some chalky aroma as well.

Taste: Very nice integration of chocolate, molasses and raspberries that produce both sweetness and tartness. A light raspberry taste lingers after each sip.

Feel: Relatively low carbonation with a body that is smooth, creamy and strangely somewhat light. I expected it to be fuller but then decided that it fit. The finish is not quite as dry as I would prefer, but the light tartness makes up for that.

Overall: This is a very unique early summer seasonal that is perfect for a cool summer evening after a busy, warm day.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

8/7….pours pitch black, light layer of tan foam. Vanilla bean, light chocolate, slight fruit. Hearty roasted taste, slight fruit tart in between. Coffee backed. Very smooth Clean finish.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap in a small Great Lakes snifter. The pour is dark brown, not quite black, with very little light escaping through. The head is fine and tan and very pronounced. The nose is all raspberries with just a hint of roasty cocoa-like notes.

The beer is medium-bodied and has a nice firm feel. Up front, I get flavors of fresh raspberries and just a hint of cocoa. It's almost like a fruit beer. At mid-palate, more of the porter characteristics arrive. More roastiness and cocoa take over, but the fruit flavors never completely depart and contribute a red wine or port-like character to the porter flavors on the finish. The beer is very drinkable and walks a fine line between refreshing and hearty.

Overall, a really nice twist on a porter that I wouldn't have believed appetizing if I hadn't tried it myself. I spoke to a GL rep who said that it's likely this beer won't be brewed again for a while because all those raspberries really make a mess and the brewers hate working with them. That said, if you like porters and have an opportunity to try this one (and have an open mind), don't pass it up.

Bottle Review...
App 4.0, Nose 4.25, Taste 4.0, Feel 4.0, Overall 4.0
Porter brewed with chocolate and raspberries. Poured from a bottle into a Founders tulip. The beer pours out very dark, but allows some light to escape through, resulting in ruby-red highlights. It sports about a finger of frothy mocha-colored head that quickly dissipates. I love the nose on this beer. The raspberries dominate, but you do get the chocolate and some of the roasty notes you'd expect from this style.

Medium body with a pleasant flavor that combines tart fruity notes, rich chocolate, and roasty bitterness. Nice firm feel supports all these flavors nicely, and they are well-integrated. Up front I get some of the chocolate, then the raspberries with their sweet and tart notes join in. Around mid-palate, some of the roasty notes kick in and remind you this is a porter. Everything seems to carry through the finish and the raspberry and a bit of the chocolate linger.

I had this beer on tap once and am glad GL decided to put it into bottles. GL has long been one of those brewers any of whose new offerings I always want to try. I don't see that changing anytime soon. Very, very glad to have access to their beers. They will always have a place in my fridge.

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Great Lakes Alberta Clipper from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 110 ratings.