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30th Anniversary - Grand Cru | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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30th Anniversary - Grand Cru30th Anniversary - Grand Cru

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

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by GratefulBeerGuy on 11-04-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 464 | Ratings: 796
Photo of AScribjr
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When you pop the cork in a nice fresh pop You knowthe will pour will be alive,I just love the look as it poured into the sniffer glass. the smell was as matching as the looks. the taste that leaves on your tongue and definitly the way the beer leaves you feeling...Congradulations Sierra nevada on your 30th anniversary ale....Can't wait for the Fifty.

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Photo of nickhiller
4.92/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: slightly hazy copper with a thick, straw colored, creamy one and a half finger head with exceptional head retention and heavy lacing. Good visible carbonation too.

S: the freshest hops imaginable, it's like sniffing a hop flower on the vine, lemon zest, nutmeg, vanilla bean and clove, pine

T: strong spices, nutmeg, anise and vanilla bean--it's like sipping on eggnog, both in flavor and in body--orange peel, boozy whiskey and oak. The fruity hops and sweet malt contrast with the bitterest finish imaginable (and I mean that in the best possible way). It sips more like a glass of the finest Kentucky bourbon than a beer. A wonderful amalgam of my favorite spirits: bourbon, anise, brandy and rum.

M: full, syrupy body and mild carbonation are backed by a warming alcohol so intense as to convince you that you must be drinking single malt whiskey.

D: simply delicious. This is the best beer I've had in such a long time. I'm totally enamored of every aspect of this beer. From the great head retention, to the fresh hop aroma, to the spicy bittersweet taste, to the dense warming body, everything about this beer is a work of art. As my past ratings will attest, I am a pretty hard person to please, but this beer is perfect. Thank you Sierra Nevada, you have once again reaffirmed my love of beer!

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Photo of Lornee56
4.92/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared this beer with one of the foremost beer afficionados in south central Pennsylvania John "Jay" Miller. Poured it into a glass and drank the beer.

Of the 4 beers in the Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary collection (Imperial Stout, Helles Lager, and Black Barleywine)...this was by far the best, and quite possibly one of the best beers I have had this year. The balance of this three beer blend was impressive. The taste was sweet, malty, and hoppy, but the hops came in at the end. Bought two bottles and would buy a case if I come across it again. I was very happy to ingest this beer and suggest buying it.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.92/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance: golden, amber, reddish

smell: tons of hop flavor, vanilla from oak

taste: this beer is loaded with hops. very solid double with heavy citrus flavor mixed with oaky vanilla.

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: my gosh. talk about hitting a homerun. This is a beer to masterbate over!

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Photo of scottiesq
4.89/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, and amazing!!! Just had this beer with two excellent winter "offerings." It blew them away. It may be the only time I could not stop thinking I was tasting "pine" and still thought it was balanced (clearly, it had a lot more going on).
I am going back to the store and buying many.

Appearance: Hazy, golden brown

Aroma:Three winter brews in, hard to discern, but it was definitely pleasant from the first sip on.

Taste: Hops and pine, and never better in terms of balance, with enough malt to keep them in relative check.

Mouthfeel: Nice balance again. Definitely carbonated, but not overly so. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: It is outstanding! I am glad I tried it in a large bottle format because it was definitely better after it warmed a bit from the fridge.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
4.88/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a goblet. Pours a beautiful mahogany color, with amber hints and a 1" thick creamy head that slowly dissipates.

This beast has a pungent aroma, full of alcohol, yeast, and bready malt. It has a buttery toffee smell up-front, sweet and sticky in its nose weight. Underneath there's an oak/maple smell so thick, you'd think you were in your grandfather's wood shop.

Mmm, quite complex; starts with a somewhat bitter, leafy taste, before smoothing to a buttery, malty middle, and ending with a subdued hop finish. This is peaty, woody, and warm, with a dry, tobacco earthiness that gives it real gravity.

Rich and full, this has a velvet smooth body akin to a good scotch. The finish is dry, and leaves you wanting more of this ale to satisfy that thirst.

This is an excellent beer; I've cellared it for some time, along with two of the other 30th anniversary brews, and simply couldn't wait any longer. If you can find this, definitely pick it up; it would not surprise me that Sierra Nevada would have a reserve held back, like it has done with its Bigfoot Barleywine.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.88/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle into The Bruery tulip.

Pours dark copper-brown with a 4-finger khaki head; excellent retention, amazing lacing.

Nose is very nice - pure C-hop citrus goodness belts you from the first sniff, bit of minty pine in the backdrop, and a beautiful underlying malt sweetness hints at caramel-drizzled sweetbread.

Taste is everything expected. Beautiful, masterful blend. Light piney hops up front carry nice array of grapefruit notes, quickly picking up a bit of mint, but a surge of beautifully rich caramel malt sweeps through next. Amazing depth to the malt - caramel and toasty bready flavors pick up a brightness from the citrus, and vanilla from the wood aging provides a clear, rich smoothness that complements everything perfectly and adds depth. Finish is long, moderately bitter, lingering toasty caramel and piney, minty hop notes. Absolutely perfectly balanced - my favorite Strong Ale in a long, long time.

Mouthfeel is fantastic as well. Crisp, tiny, soft bubbles caress the tongue, providing a dry, fluffy sensation helped along by a bit of a tingle from the prickly hops. Body is full, though never heavy or ponderous. Again, perfect.

Drinkability is stunning as well. Barely any trace of alcohol, and yet flavor that is just over-the-top huge. Massively complex, satisfying, enjoyable, and perfectly balanced. This is an absolutely phenomenal beer.

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Photo of mempath
4.83/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

though 'different' in style, this is as impressive as nugget nectar and sublimely self-righteous....beautiful to gaze at, lacing like a striptease, nose of sweet mincemeat and dried marinated dark fruits...taste is a hop blast tempered by a more level-headed brother-in-arms...the battle continues due to incredible mouthfeel...not thin like a barleywine, but just as heavy handed...yet smooth and chewy...the abv is hidden, so this is drinkable. and drunkable. yow.

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Photo of JK4Stout
4.83/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a wheat glass...i know not really the best, but I love the glass wear.

A: Nice rich amber color, but even a shade deeper than that. Great head that just won't go down!

S: MY GOD!!!! This smell gives up its hoppiness faster than a 18 year old at her first frat party. It is gorgeous, but sweet too.

T: Loving this right now. Wish I'd bought a case. Sweet but with a good hop bite on the tale end. Reminds my almost of a traditional ale...which makes sense I suppose.

M: Not too shabby. very...uh...meaty? Yeah, that sounds fine.

D: Yeah, I think I can fully see myself sitting around with my girl sharing a bottle of this. I mean, that's a pipe dream, because she'd never drink this strong of a beer, but that is the vision I have for this.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For me this is by far the best release of Sierra Nevadas 30th Anniversary beers. The beer was served in an Imperial Pint glass.

Appearance: Epic appearance! Dark ruby caramel coloration. Very thick resiliant head at least 3+ fingers high. The head is a nice biege coloration. My beer glass looked like it had been dipped in pancake batter.

Smell: A very nice spicey vanilla citrus grapefruit, pineapple, mango, caramel aroma escapes my glass. The hops are epically well done! Very fruity and very floral notes in the aroma.

Taste: A nice vanilla oak pine hop bitterness assaults my palate. Nice citric hoppyness with a great combo of malt.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The body of the beer is full bodied. The carbonation levels are perfect. Nice hop forward beer with very resinous hops. The beer left my glass far too fast. I want this beer as a year round release!

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Photo of generalnotsew
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Been waiting forever for this so I may have hyped it in my mind a bit. Deep rich mahogany coloring with fat 3 finger off white head. Smell is a bit sweet and spicy with whiffs of oak. Kind of has a fruity essence. A bit of grapefruit with mild hop soapiness. Initially a great deal of hop bitterness but quickly fades away to the malty goodness of the Bigfoot with traces of oak. The bitterness does make a comeback in the end. All kinds of things going on in this beer. It is delicious! Highly drinkable and satisfying. Well worth the wait.

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Photo of MrOH
4.77/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

deep copper, bordering on reddish brown, nice tan head, decent lacing, bright

grapefruit, pine, sugar, caramel, mown grassy, spice, bread, green grapes, apples

vanilla, oak, grapes, pine, caramel, bourbon, spice, raisin

round and smooth, slightly sticky, buttery, medium carbonation, slight tannins from the oak

very smooth bitterness, big but easy drinking, the beer world's answer to a Napa Cabernet

from notes, sometime late November 2010

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep dark orange color with an amazing 2 fingers of foam that leaves great lacing

S: The oak comes straight to the front, smells delicious. Get some great hops from the celebration and pale ales and a nice malt from the bigfoot as well. These are definitely the highlights, but notes of citrus also come through

T: Wow... extremely complex, with the oak making itself present along with a great bitterness from the hops. Both linger on the tongue but aren't overbearing. Extremely balanced between all 3 beers, as none of them really stick out but are noticeable in their own ways

M: Medium body with medium-low carbonation. Extremely smooth

D: At 9.2%, I still put down the 750 pretty easily. Difficult to put down, and you'll want more when you're done.

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Photo of Radiodred
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I loved this beer. This could be an everyday beer for me. A beer with some back bone but not to harsh on the palate. Great blending job. I am usually not a big fan of a barrel age and fresh beer blend but this one is doing it for me. It looks like a fresh beer and taste like a rainbow of beers. The wood and hops come through in a perfect blend. It smells delicous like wood and hops and mouth feel is not viscous and well carbonated. Cheers.

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Photo of ykncornelius
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, this thing must be brand new? Passed by the slot in the store most-recently reserved for 30th Ann. Barleywine, and this little green label Grand Cru caught my eye. Lo and behold, I'm review #2. Should be some more glowing reviews to come.

On the subject of glowing, this deep honey mahogany beauty looks fantastic, with an enormous frothy light tan head leaving tons of chunky lacing in my goblet. Delicate aroma of floral hops and juniper, no alcohol heat. Smells nice, but it belies the intense flavor.

Lots of layering for the taste buds! Citrus-y, pine-y, a bit dry--like a great IPA--but very subdued bitterness. Once it warms in the glass a bit, some caramel malt comes through with just a touch of roasted sweetness. Quite complex, absolutely delicious.

Rich and velvety feel, light on the carbonation with a long-lasting "effervescence" on the tongue, for lack of a better term.

The fact that I keep pouring and downing is testament to the ceaseless drinkability. It goes down like a run-of-the-mill IPA, which is to say easily. The 9.2% ABV doesn't even attempt to make its presence felt, which I can really appreciate. The girlfriend test went: "Tastes really great. But I thought you liked super strong alcoholy beers?"

Overall, an absolutely stellar drink. I'll probably grab a few more for the season and for the cellar!

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Photo of apbarwood
4.71/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well for starters, this beer just looks sensational. Deep copper color approaching light brown with a thick creamy head of foam. Copious amounts of lacing stick to the inside of the glass. The nose is somewhat more subdued then I would have expected. There's a faint pine resin aroma that's pleasant though perhaps a bit understated and lots of clean grassy and herbal notes. I'd like a little more intensity in the bouquet especially for a dry-hopped beer but it's nice at any rate. On the palate, there's an initial sensation of sweetness that's no doubt derived from the oak. A definite vanilla flavor comes first and blends nicely with the hop citrus flavors. The balance of the hops and oak lends a bit of a bright orange quality that slowly fades into a dry, bitter grapefruit/orange peel. The malt provides a nice base but doesn't go any further than I want it to. All in all, very nicely balanced and interesting flavors that keep me wanting more. There's a lot of nuance here and as it warms, more flavors are opening up. The finish becomes slightly more earthy and pine-like over time and I can taste a bit more of a toasty oak. Across the board, this beer is very smooth and exceptionally balanced. There's a lot going on, but nothing sticks out too much and I find myself wanting to taste it again and again. It's too bad this beer is a one time thing, because I could definitely see myself drinking this again and again.

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Photo of jsapunor
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rich, smooth, sweet, malty, hoppy, mellow and oh so drinkable. Sierra Nevada has nailed it with this great beer.

The Bigfoot smoothed out the Celebration bitterness and turned this into liquid gold.

Where is the alcohol? The ABV on the label is way up there but there is no evidence of it in the glass.

This is a prime example of what a great brewery can do. The bottle was empty much too soon. I hope it's not a one time thing because it's just too good to let go.

Thanks, SN and happy anniversary!

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Photo of russwbeck
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep amber color with a large white head. Very nice retention and lacing.

S: The smell is really interesting. Piney hops mostly, but it definitely has an underlying sweetness.

T: Smooth up front, hoppiness come up second. Nice smooth aftertaste, not as dry as I would have expected. Warming alcohol feeling as you drink. Very balanced, I believe the oak ads a nice balancing sweetness to it.

MF: Medium bodied. Feels wonderful to drink.

D: Unbelievable. Definitely my favorite SN 30th Anniversary. Gonna pick up a few more of these bad boys.

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Photo of lnashsig
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been cellaring this for about a year, been really looking forward to trying it with a little age on it. Had it fresh and loved it. Opened up the cork with a loud pop. Poured into my brooklyn snifter, pours a beautiful dark amber color. Thick, frothy head just stays around forever. Smell- caramel, pine, toffee, nice bready aroma. Taste- a nice bitterness on the front of the tongue, sweet vanilla and caramel notes on the side of the tongue. This is just sooo smooth, the age has really done it well. On the end, there is a nice bittersweet finish. Mouthfeel- still plenty carbonated, but has a nice thickness to it (guessing it is from the bigfoot?) that gives it a syrupy feel. Drinkability- 0 alcohol is detected, which is dangerous because this is 9.2%. So smooth, wonderful. I have another bottle, I'm going to give it another year and see what happens.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is Sierra Nevada's 30th Anniversary Brewer's reserve Grand Cru- a mix of oak aged Bigfoot, Celebration ale and Fresh pale ale!! Dry hopped. yowza!

The color is a glowing amber with amazingly bright red hues. the head is crazy, a thick 3" high at first, perfectly khaki color, very dense and thick with a creamy crown and lace all over the place!

The aroma has a combo of very aromatic hops,classic pine-tree and citric effect and some wild red fruits..very sweet with some earthy pepper underneath and a heady sweet malt effect. The malt is sweet but also has a bit of oak aroma from the aged Bigfoot.

The flavor has major complex malt layers including relaxed, aged Bigfoot heftiness, oak and dry maple syrup comes to mind. The hops just crush your face!! a wonderful dry-earthiness and classic piney and citric fruit flavored hops. The oak-aging relaxes the bitterness from the hops, not at all like fresh Bigfoot. The blend of three classic styles really works here, The classic Pale ale tones everything down and adds balance. This one is just out of this world. The hearty hoppy aftertaste is simply rightous and very mellow as it fades.

The feel might be my favorite aspect of this beer, the head is sooo incredibly creamy and thick it adds multi dimensions to it's enjoyability, delivering the thickest, creamiest feel I can think of. a relaxed aged feel but also with plenty of life so it doesn't ever feel flat. A lucious, smooth and full-bodied feel the whole way. Sip and enjoy!!!

Sierra Nevada has created a masterpiece. Happy 30!!

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Photo of BuckeyeOne
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a snifter a rich amber with a fluffy off-white head that lingered and left a web of lacing down the glass.

Could smell the vanilla from the oak barrels, quickly followed up by the bready and biscuity malt sweetness from the Bigfoot then the citrus and pine of the Celebration and Pale Ale.

The malt sweetness and sticky pine of the Bigfoot dominates the flavor right away. I was worred at first that the Bigfoot would overwhelm the blend but the citrus and pine of the Celebration broke through in the back end and held it's own. It finished with the dry, crisp hop bitterness of the Pale Ale. The Sierra Nevada yeast strain is easily distinguished. I love the flavor of this beer. The alcohol heat is a welcome addition on a cold winter night.

Thick and oily and somewhat heavy mouthfeel. Could use just a tad more carbonation to hold up the hops.

Very much enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of FarmerJohnny
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Beautiful amber/red color with a thick two finger foam the lingers a bit.

S: Some hops, good amount of caramel

T: Smooth, malty upfront. Can taste the smokiness and caramel notes from the bourbon aged ale throughout. Small hop bite on the finish. Not much alcohol taste for being 9.2%.

M: Perfect, exactly what I want in my beer. Clean, refreshing, tasty, with a medium body.

O: A fantastic beer. I wish this was a regular from Sierra Nevada. Every sip the beer gets better and the bourbon aged Bigfoot adds a fantastic twist to the beer. This beer is an instant classic. Cheers!

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Photo of Schwoopty
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought this about a month ago and let it warm up a bit before popping the cork.

The pour is thick as the carbonation raced to the top forming a tall, off white head. The aroma is full of citrusy and pine hops. A slight alcohol aroma is present as well. My first taste is bold to say the least. Lots of chewy hops mesh together with the strong bitter finish. The oak shows up towards the end but is very restrained. A nice touch to add complexity. Very viscous throughout and not overly sweet where you wouldnt want to go back for another sip.

Overall an excellent compilation. You can find parts of each of the three beers used to blend this anniversary ale. Im looking forward to tasting the one Im aging!

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Photo of UA8
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This here is one heck of great way for Sierra Nevada to cap off their 30th Anniversary series WELL worth the price. I will be picking up a few more.

Pours a gorgeous reddish amber body with a big frothy cream colored head.

Scents of citrus, caramel, sweet wood, mango, and vanilla.

Mellowed out bigfoot with soft and silky tones or vanilla. The malt really step up to the plate and beautifully balances and accentuates the citrus and pine flavors from the hops in the pale and celebration.

Silky and smooth with soft carbonation

This is incredible and I'm still thinking about giving it a perfect 5. So well crafted and exactly what I enjoy in the balance and flavor profile of this style of beer, not to mention the incredible mouth feel.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Winding down an awesome beer tasting night (corked bottles only) and thought I'd crack open another corker.

Appearance - cloudy, bubbly reddish amber. A finger of manila foam on top like melted ice cream. Nice lacing.

Aroma - sticky sweet orange and pineapple, bready malts creep in a bit after setup.

Taste - dark fruit and toasted bread open up the beer. Pineapple and mango at first, giving way to moderate bittering. A great toasty, coffee-like flavor flavor kicks in at the swallow and hangs around through the afterttaste. Oak on the aftertaste and into the finish, what a fun ride this beer is! Ends with dry lingering bitterness, oak, and toasted grain.

Mouthfeel - moderate carbonation and weight. Feels crisp without being too heavy for a strong ale.

Overall - wish I had bought a few more of these. Outstanding. Here's to the BCBT group, good beers tonight, guys.

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30th Anniversary - Grand Cru from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 464 ratings.
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