30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

661 Reviews
30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by bigbelcher on 03-13-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 661 | Ratings: 995
Photo of halo21
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: I poured this dense viscous black beer into my Spiegelau tulip; it is opaque with a capped nicely at the top with a thick chunky head that came back strong and dense with the swirl of a glass. It left large thick legged lacing on the glass all the way down.

Smell: Big roast up front - malts and fresh ground coffee - with a health dose of hops shining through.

Taste: As full flavored as can be; roast bomb on the front with dark chocolate and coffee beans, followed by a surprising amount of hops - although it is indicative to the Sierra Nevada style. The finish starts off with drying bakers chocolate, and progresses to a black coffee ending.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy, and viscous. A nice level of carbonation keeps the aroma pouring out of the beer and lively on the palate.

Drinkability: For an imperial stout - HUGE. This bottle was very easy to champion and would have followed it up with another.

Notes: This is 1 of 4 specialty beers brewed for the 30th Anniversary of Sierra Nevada. I enjoyed this on the exact 30th anniversary of their first batch of beer brewed - 11/15/2010. It was perfect; in every way. Sierra Nevada's love for hoppy beers comes through in well balanced offerings time and time again. I was just as impressed with their Tumbler Ale - a perfect dose of hops to a brown ale without being an Indian Brown Ale. I would not change one facet of this beer, and if there was only one stout I could drink for the rest of time, it would be this. I need to go get another bottle - or 3.

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Photo of oelergud
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pure black body with a creamy brown head with retention and lace that just wont quit.
Deeply roasted bittersweet chocolate notes of an earthly vanilla character.
Chocolate flavors all over the palate. Vanilla, overripe dark prunes. Plenty of sweet hoppy goodness with a pine kick.
Thick body with lots of residual sugars. Good coating and a dry gritty finish.
Excellent drinkability.


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Photo of Budinetz
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured at 55 degrees F into an oversized snifter. Aged roughly 5 years, as this was a limited, one time, release.

Pours an opaque black color with a khaki colored head that dissipates slowly. Decent head retention, and beautiful lacing all around the glass. Color is like an onyx black...seems to stretch beyond the SRM scale. Smells of roasted barley, caramel and crystal malts, with a slight hint of coffee bean. Amazing nose overall! Tastes of divine roastiness, with a touch of bitterness from the hop balance. Flavor is pretty awesome, and the beer has mellowed out after 5 years of aging. Definitely more malt forward, but you still have a nice bitter finish. Feels slightly prickly on the tongue with a slickness on the finish.

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Photo of BassBone
4.95/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Found at the local BevMo in a 750mL corked and caged bottle with a gorgeous label. Poured into a Chimay goblet because this beer is too big for a pint glass.

A: Dark as night with a thick, dark tan head that hangs around for a while. There is some rather impressive lacing on the side of the glass, too.

S: There is so much in the nose of this beer that it's hard to describe. There's dark, sweet malt, a bit of hops, dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, raisins and caramel and a faint alcohol spiciness.

T: Everything in the nose comes onto the tongue, with the coffee and dark chocolate being the dominant notes and the spicy alcohol and a nice bitterness from the hops at the end. As it warms up the flavors get bigger.

M: Could be a little thicker, but it comes across very nicely and has enough carbonation so it doesn't feel still.

D: Goes down really easily. I could drink this all night. You can tell it's a 9.2% beer, but you don't really care because it's so damned good.

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Photo of Shrews629
4.95/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - A tremendously dark brown/black color. Only the most faint ruby glow at the very bottom of the glass when held directly to the light. A very dark tan, creamy, smooth head that lasted forever. It is tremendously thick. Looks like a milk shake. Unbelievable lacing. I'm in awe already.

Smell - Incredibly well blanced aromas of coffee and chocolate. They are both pronounced, but in no way overpowering and that is a good thing. Some dark fruit notes are mingled in perfectly well to temp me even further. No booze in the nose. Some roasted malt gives it a nice comforting aroma. Perfect.

Taste - The flavor is matched with the aroma. Coffee and chocolate. Not as much of the dark fruit, however none is needed at this point. A wonderful stab of alcohol right at the very end raises the eyebrows and makes me want for another sip. Some dark, roasty fruit notes do make an appearance as it warms a bit. Very well balanced and even with a touch of bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium/full mouthfeel. Very, very smooth. Creamy with a slippery, oily type of feel. Leaves a touch of warmth after the initial swallow. Leaves plenty of flavor on the palate, however I would have liked just an itty, bitty bit more. I'm, by no means complaining because it's still superb. Nicely dry to finish.

Drinkability - I am completely taken back by this beer. Easily the best beer that I have had thus far. Nearly perfect in every aspect in my opinion. I'm in total amazement. I'm giddy. The head and appearance, smell and taste are all truly exceptional. I should really look no further because most everything else from this point on will be a dissapointment. Super easy to drink and it's incredibly enjoyable. I can't wait to pick this up again if they still have it available. Everything about this brew is well balanced. I highly, highly recommend this.

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Photo of gfreed
4.92/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Zowie: what a beer. Beautiful black color with a balsa-wood-like head that provided light resistance. Loads-- and I mean loads-- of smoke in the aroma and the distinct smells of chocolate and ham. Not just any ham, but a well-salted, smoked ham. Some bitterness in the nose as well,. Smoky taste akin to that found in a rauchbier, but the ham... the ham... I've never had such a wonderfully hammy, smoky beer. Although it's a different style, it's on the same level as beer from Schlenkerla. Some powdered cocoa in the taste, finishing rather dryly with just a light bite from the hops. But to hell with all that: this is ham in a glass. Exceptional, and worth keeping one or two in the basement for later. This is not just an A-plus beer: it is in fact the rare A-fucking-plus beer.

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Photo of templar316
4.9/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow!! I hope they brew this again! Pours thick and black with a toasted oak head. Smells awesome; figgy dark fruit, rich chocolate, dark rye. The mouth feel is incredible, it rolls smoothly leaving behind layers and layers of biscutty, bready malts. Chocolate, caramel and bitter rye; there's a depth of flavor and heavy body which makes me wish I'd bought a case!

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Photo of Brent
4.88/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My plea to Sierra Nevada - make this part of the regular lineup, or at least a recurring seasonal! Simply well made on every point. Great color, a touch of creamyness to the mouthfeel, nice roasted malt flavors without chocolate or coffee taking over the show. Just the right balance of hops bittering and a little malty sweetness. One of those where you shake the last few drops from the bottle.

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Photo of ClassicBrad
4.88/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Split a case of this with five other friends. The bottle has an epic description of the 30th anniversary project that Ken and the gang is going to be releasing within the year.

Pours a pitch black with a coffee with cream-colored head that settles to a full finger and leaves some abstract chunks of lace.

Smells of coffee and chocolate with a suggestion of black licorice with some faint hop aroma.

Taste blew me away! This beer champions all of the subtle flavors that make up some of the best stouts that I've ever had and bring them to the forefront; chocolate, coffee, dark and powdery cocoa, and a hint of black licorice. A small glimpse of earthy hop is present in belching.

Mouthfeel is so full! Feels like it coats the mouth and throat like milk when drinking this beer. Adds beautifully to the entire experience.

Drinkability is great for this 9.2% masterpiece. Glad that I have two and I don't think I'll have the patience to age it.

Get your hands on one of these!

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Photo of LTS
4.88/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The cork nearly blew off the bottle due to the carbonation levels. This is probably the only drawback to the beer (at least at this young age).

The beer pours with a huge tan head that lingers for an eternity. I had to pour multiple times just to fill the glass.

There are immediately notes of chocolate in the aroma.

The beer has solid chocolate and roasty notes but at no point approaches being bitter. It is silky smooth and tastes more like a milkshake than a beer. There is absolutely no harshness in this beer.

At 9.2% the beer packs a solid punch but at no time would you be able to tell that it reaches that level of alcohol. For that reason alone I give it a 5 in drinkability. The beer was originally poured at 50 degrees and even as it warmed to room temperature never exhibited a hint of alcohol in the flavor.

Extreme kudos to Sierra Nevada for this beer. I cannot wait to age the remaining bottles.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.88/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a "bomber" bottle into a standard pint glass
Deep,dark, cascading pour leaving a huge,super-thick head of creamy foam that takes its damn time settling so you have to wait impatiently for that first sip. But it's a good thing. A beautiful looking stout that wants you to undress it with your eyes for a bit.
Aroma-Chocolate and roasted coffee notes
Taste-Wow! Big chocolate/cocoa notes, roasted coffee, and a beguiling,ghost-like smoky backbone that fades in and out leaving hop and citrus notes as the flavor curls around your tastebuds. Super creamy and rich, perplexing and mysterious, a shape-shifting delight of of an Imperial Stout that hides its strength in a wonderful tapestry of flavors.
Truly one of the best stouts, imperial or otherwise, that I have ever had. Thank you Fritz and Ken! I raise my glass high-Cheers!!

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Photo of rajendra82
4.88/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From the classy label artwork, fantastic wire cage and natural cork topped bomber packaging, the cascading pour that settled into a pitch black body and a gigantic khaki head, this beer was visually perfect. The aroma was not overtly stout like, as the hops were the first thing evident, there were notes of toffee, vanilla, and chocolate under that blanket, and everything was melded oh so beautifully. The taste was another "oh my gosh" moment as the sip revealed a flavor profile worthy of a king's feast. Toffee, coffee, vanilla, raisins, licorice, chocolate, and possibly even banana flavors raced past my tongue with each sip, and amazingly none dominating the other. Silky smooth across the palette with nary a harsh edge to be found. What a beer this is. I got to get me some extra bombers to lay down. A fantastic way to celebrate the 30th anniversary. You remain a class act Sierra Nevada, with your original vision undiluted despite tremendous expansion.

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Photo of IrieJackalope
4.87/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

After scouring the greater Sacramento area I finally managed to grab a bottle of this at Total Wines out in Roseville. I know it'll make it out to most places around here eventually, but I couldn't wait to get my hands on this.
The bottle opened with a huge pop, shooting the cork clear across the room. I poured a small amount into my snifter and set out to see if the bottles beautiful packaging could be matched by a beautiful beer inside. This baby's black as night with a pretty thick deep brown head. I immediately smell some dark roasty malt character and an aroma that makes my mind associates with chocolate cake. The taste delivers on the aroma. Very roasty, notes of coffee and chocolate are dominant. It amazes me how smooth this one is, especially when you consider that its above 9 ABV. Even after 22 ounces I'm dying for more. Fritz and Ken did good on this one. I'm thinking about making the hour drive again tomorrow to pick up a bottle to age. Can't wait for the next sierra 30 release!

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Photo of megahurts4
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Fritz and Ken's Ale (Stout)

Appearance: Dark-chocolate brown, good lacing, and a large head that retreats.

Smell: Hops and dark chocolate.

Taste: Pleasing balance of hops, dark chocolate, roasted malts, cocoa, with hints of oak.

Mouthfeel: Medium and rich.

This is great! There is a perfect balance of flavors. It is fairly easy to drink with a pleasant smell. It is not as smooth as Westvleteren beers, but this is also not a Trappist. This is not something to pass up. I need to buy another to age. It leaves a lingering richness that makes you want more.

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Photo of Kallessin
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown, almost black. A very full creamy tan head. Great lacing that hangs around for quite a white.

Smells of bittersweet dark chocolate with notes of coffee, caramel, vanilla. The dark fruit is somewhat present as figs/raisins and event a hint of black licorice. Really great aroma.

An amazing chocolaty flavor up front, that's a mix of both sweet and bitter. It's big and roasty with coffee beans. The dark fruit is mostly absent from the flavor, with some mild figs in the background. I also get hints of the vanilla again. The alcohol is certainly present but mainly on the finish as some pepperiness.

It's full bodied and creamy. There is some prickly carbonation. It's pretty dry, but sticky. Some warming alcohol with a very slight burn on the finish.

A really fantastic beer. It looks amazing with a wonderful aroma and full rich flavors. Certainly not a session beer, but great for sitting back and relaxing.

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Photo of Dodt
4.83/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

decide to crack this one open finally
pop goes the cork and into a pint glass
appearance pitch black with a sturdy coco colored head
smell of dark roasted malts and coco
taste a tad heavy almost creamy the blend of chocolate and dark malts just hits right
makes me wish i had grabbed more than one bottle of this brew can't wait for what the 40th anniversary beers will be like

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Photo of TheHoppiest
4.82/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a goblet. Was gifted this by a good friend and am quite eager to see how it stacks up against their 30th Anniversary Black Barleywine.

Pours a very, very dark brown, almost black, with a 3/4" tan head comprised of very tight tiny bubbles that oh-so-slowly reduces to a creamy looking lid with mild lacing down the sides.

Baker's chocolate, dark coffee, alcohol, and molasses first greet the nose. Hints of vanilla, dark fruit (cherry?) and figs are present as well. Smells quite rich, like a sweet dessert.

Tastes very nice, with dark roasted coffee, chocolate nibs, dark cherry, a malty middle, and creamy vanilla. There's a bitter chocolate taste that gives way to a hop bitterness as it finishes, with alcohol vapors wafting up the nose and down the throat.

Very thick in the mouthfeel, creamy up front, with a dry boozy finish that borders on chalky but never crosses it.

An excellent stiout that I'm sure has benefited from the aging it already has undergone. I have one more in the basement that I may give another year or two to see how it does. Thank you Jason for this awesome brew, Cheers!

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bar keep say...If you liked the Grand Cru....you should try the Stout...well WHY NOT...say I!!! And he was right....theis stout was phenominal!!!! It poured a creamy black with perfect tan head. The aroma carried a semi-sweet chocolate and roast. The body was full figured!! and Rich! After one take a swig, and breathes out the earth roast, espresso, and slight tobacco comes to the pallate...but does not linger. The mouthfeel is tough due to the high ABV...this is a perfect sipping brew on colder days. I would session the sh*t out of this beer...high ABV and hang-over be dammed.

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Photo of sillajw0
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Apperance: My friend and I shared this brew for my first time. We poured it in his snifters and both were taken aback by how dark and creamy this beer was. It looked like we were pouring a mildly dark chocolate into the glass.

Smell: Incredibly nutty with the hop back that i think is unique to Sierra Nevada

Taste: It tasted just like it smelled but rather than milk chocolate like it looked this beer tasted like a very thick bitter dark chocolate, it was nutty and had, like i said, the unique Sierra Nevada Hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: Really really creamy.

Drinkability: I have had three bombers of this since it has been out. I am considering buying a case to age but i know for certain that most of the beers in that case will make it a year. This beer is very thick and rich. Delicious but one is enough for a while.

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Photo of PhiloPsych
4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a fantastic stout! Poured dark brown/black from the bottle with a puffy, brown, long-lasting head. The smell is sweet, roasted, chocolate, and caramel. The taste and mouthfeel are both instantly remarkable and are exceptionally good. The mouthfeel is light and creamy--almost mousse-like. It certainly isn't thin, but it is so airy, that it isn't anywhere near as syrupy as many other double/imperial stouts. The carbonation isn't harsh, though; it's soft, like a nitro or a cask-conditioned ale. Lots of flavorful roasted malt, but not a hint of burnt barley. The taste has notes of wood/barrel, coffee, chocolate, and also STOUT. This beer tastes like a stout should taste. Stout, stout, stout. Stout is my favorite style, and this might well be the best stout I've ever had!

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours pitch black with an amazing 2 finger tan head that sticks around for a longgg time and leaves some very impressive lacing

S: Smells like dark malts and hints of dark chocolate and burnt coffee. Amazing! No noticeable alcohol

T: Very nice malt character and definite notes of dark, bitter chocolate. Burnt coffee is only slightly showing, and it's only towards the back end. Alcohol is again unnoticed in the taste, which is hard to do with a 9.2% stout

M: Sooo creamy and smooth, like silk in your mouth (only it tastes much better ;))

D: Can I get another 750 mL bottle, please? But really, I would drink this alll day, even at the $10.49/bottle price.

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Photo of taez555
4.77/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer poured a pitch black body with a thick tan head.

Nose was intense!!! Chocolate, dark malts, coffee, espresso, waves of soft citrus, fresh cracked espresso and coffee beans,

Taste is thick with an immediate crazy mix of dark chocolate, espresso and meat. There's a very strong smokey, or dark brick, actually a fire on a cold winter's night in the woods in a cabin sort of taste. Very inviting, not peety or bacon smoke, more of a natural rauch. Hops are very big in the this beer with a strong bitterness that just sits slightly above the dark malt base. There's a nice mix of earth, citrus, funk, chicory, meat, asprin and fruit. Ends with a lingering bitterness and

This beer is absolutely heavenly. Imagine Sierra Nevada stout, mixed with Anchor Christmas then kicked up into an Imperial stout just slightly smoked. Wow. Wow. Wow. As a huge Sierra Nevada fan I have to say this is every bit deserving of a 30th aniversary. Kick ass.

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Photo of larryi86
4.77/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

25 oz. bottle poured into a snifter

A- A nice, very dark brown, almost black, with a big tan head.

S- A very nice chocolate smell, with hints of caramel and roasted coffee. The cork smelled almost like a milky way.

T- It has a nice big taste of roasted coffee with hints of dark chocolate and a small hint of alcohol.

M- Very smooth and creamy and lingers for a little bit.

D- This is a great brew. It is tasty, smells great, and goes down easy. Sierra Nevada worked hard on this beer and it shows!

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Photo of Impfan
4.76/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The nose isn't spectacular...it's phenolic and powdery with some nice roast creeping in at the back end. However, it's all uphill from there. The body is heavyish, rich, velvety, and creamy with excellent head retention, and very soft carbonation. The flavor is definitely on the roasty side, virtually exploding with espresso, smoked bacon, deep, dark chocolate, dates/figs/plums/ raisins, mocha fudge, and a really huge nuttiness (mainly pecand, and walnuts), and also more than a hint of smokiness, and ash. The balance is almost impeccable, which is no mean feat, considering all that's going on here. There are more than ample, resinous hops in the decadently long finish, although they meld so well with the roatiness that they're hardly overpowering. The feathering of the head, as well as the lacing, is quite impressive, and the complex interplay of bitter and sweet, hoppyand dry, and fruity and nutty (hey, this is a California Imperial Stout, after all ) make this one a rare treat, and certainly my all-time favorite Sierra Nevada brew. I think if this were aged in an Islay single malt scotch barrel for about three months, the result would be nothing short of phenomenal.

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Photo of Vancoubeer
4.76/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Before going into the description, go to their site and learn why this is not just any ordinary stout. Ok now that you did that, you will know why this is the best non bourbon stout on the market. I love stout and my first smell was wow but not a step back. You could smell the roasty stuff in the beer. However when you drink it...oh wow... this is the best. The carbonation is just right. Its head forms fast but let it settle and warm up for the full experience. It gets better the warmer...a sign of a good stout.When it enters your mouth your gonna think this is gonna be thick and flat..but you are wrong. Its got this zip to it that makes you want to swish a bit before swallowing. Now here comes the best part of the beer...its not a stout that makes you sip. You can chug, gulp or whatever, Its a great beer and one of the best I have had in a very long time if not the best ever.

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30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.21 out of 5 based on 995 ratings.
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