Imperial Nut Brown Ale | Tommyknocker Brewery

351 Reviews
Imperial Nut Brown AleImperial Nut Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Tommyknocker Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Commemorating the 10th anniversary of Tommyknocker Brewery, this special brew is meticulously crafted with pure maple syrup, the highest quality chocolate and crystal malts and is accented with the finest blend of European and American hops. Imperial Nut Brown Ale, at 9.8% alcohol by volume, is a bigger, bolder version of their Maple Nut Brown.

Added by Bierman9 on 12-17-2004

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Reviews: 351 | Ratings: 638
Photo of RoamingGnome
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yo Dr. K... Thanks for the beer.

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a tulip style pint glass.

A) This pours out a burnt brandy color. There was not much head, but a thin layer of foam did stick around. Not much lacing.

S) A strong sweet malt aroma. Maple syrup and nuts. It made me want a plate of pecan pancakes.

T) Follows the nose pretty closely. There is a bit of booze to this one, which wasn't a surprise based on the ABV. I would have liked it to be slightly less detectable.

M) Pretty full bodied, not much carbonation. It was fairly smooth. A boozy aftertaste awaits.

O) A nice effort here. I liked the maple syrup. I'll probably just stick to my old standards as far as brown ales are concerned, but this imperial was a nice change of pace, and worth a try.

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Photo of ncketchum
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Duvel Tulip

A - Pours a dark brown with a chocolatey head large amount of head which hangs out for some time. Fairly translucent.

S - Smell is malty, sweet with a little bit of hops, and a bit of chocolate, alcohol, some dark fruits

T - Taste is malty up front with a good amount of maple syrup sweetness, slightly bitter in the end

M - Thick, very smooth with a little bit alcohol bite at the end.

D - Drinkability is very high, excellent nut brown, the best I've had in this style

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Photo of litheum94
3.32/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Best by 5/14/12.

Very deep brown in color, lighter on the edges, but nearing black in the middle. Active, khaki head bubbles up to a finger and a half, then settles out to a misty cover.

Hazelnuts, dark bread and some cola on the nose. Maple syrup sweetness as well. No apparent hop profile.

Full, bready malts, with a nutty body. Semi-sweet chocolate and maple syrup. Woody and slightly bitter towards the finish. Creamy vanilla finishes out the flavors.

Good flavors, but honestly, nothing that new or spectacular.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.83/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle - $2.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body, clear, and with a short-lived, light beige head.

Smell: Moderately sweet-scented and, with just a bit of warmth, adds a noted fusel tone to tickle the nostrils beyond the modest notes of maple, store-brand cola, unsweetened chocolate powder.

Taste: Sweet tastes of brown sugar, molasses, and alcohol-soaked toasted bread crumbs as well as the aforementioned maple syrup. Dark fruits. Faint, bland chocolate hint. Very low hop character. It just doesn't seem particularly complex, folks. Growing sweetness as well as an alcoholic bite culminating in a sweet, warm finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: It's been a good, long while since I last tried INBA. About 6 (six) years by my guess. I fully recall not digging it then, and I'm just not really digging it now.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.86/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

First had: bottle from Pinocchio's beer garden, Media, PA

Poured a dark brown color, moderately hazy, with a decent cap of off-white head that left a bit of lacing. Woody aroma, nutty, and a little soapy, some booze. Taste of roasted malts, nuts, a little much on the boozy side, with just a hint of maple sweetness and brown sugar. A bit on the harsh side, and somewhat watery. Might have been better if, well, it wasn't a brown ale. Medium mouthfeel, and overall just a bit lacking in flavor, due to the general blandness I usually experience with brown ales, and with the alcohol thinning it out too much. I probably wouldn't want to drink this again.

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Photo of shand
3.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic.

This isn't really a looker, a deep brown with a tiny head that doesn't hang around for long. The aroma is pretty good though, a nice roasty, alcoholic malt smell, with a bit of nuttiness. The taste is pretty good, a nice roasted malt with a bit of nuttiness, which leads into a strong finish with alcohol and nuts. The mouthfeel and drinkability are both solid, if unexceptional. Overall, this is a pretty solid brew from Tommyknocker, you could do a lot worse than this if you're looking for a nice nut brown.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

App- This brown has an opaque dark chocolate body with lighter mocha highlights. There is one finger of a bubbly and tawny head. It is a very dark brown ale.

Smell- A sugary sweet maple is very present. There is also some earthy hop smell, that is almost vegetal in nature.

Taste- A roasted malt is the most defining characteristic. The malt sweetness isn't really in the taste. As the drink heads to the finish, a pepperiness mixes with that earthy, vegetal hop. The alcohol makes the finish warm and almost harsh. The malt should be less roasted I believe. The warming and over roasted malt doesn't do this any favors.

Mouth feel- This beer has a decent medium bodied feel, but would be helped out immensely by toning down the alcohol.

Overall- This is an interesting beer that tastes more like an RIS than anything. It certainly doesn't taste like any brown ale I've ever had. I know I'm harping on it, but the alcohol is masking what could be a much better brew.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.96/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Tommyknocker's Imperial Nut Brown Ale last week for a $1.79 at The Lager Mill. I have tried their Maple Nut Brown Ale before and I thought it was average, so I am hoping that an imperial version of that beer will be better, so lets see how it goes. The bottle had the number two and eight notched on it, I don't know what that means, but this beer seems like it will hold up for a while so I'm not worried. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- This label looks plainer then the other Tommyknocker beers, but at least it doesn't have those cheesy looking dwarfs on the label. It poured a deep brown mahogany color that had some nice ruby highlights when held to the light. It had a half a fingers worth of off white head that died down to a really thin ring that stayed till the end.

S- The first thing I pick up in the aroma is a large amount of caramel malts that have a pretty high amount of sweetness to it that blends into a pretty noticeable amount of maple syrup. I can also pick up a medium amount of booze in the aroma, the aroma pretty much consists of sweet malts, maple syrup, and alcohol.

T- At the start I pick up a good amount of caramel malts and a little bit of nuttiness that is quickly followed by a nice and noticeable amount of maple syrup that helps this beer live up to its name. Alcohol is still present but not nearly as much as it was in the aroma. I didn't pick up much hops in this brew but I did get a nice small amount of dark fruits that along with the caramel and bready malts, kept the sweetness in check and made for a pretty balanced and complex beer.

M- Smooth, slightly warming, on the heavy side of being medium bodied, and it had a light amount of carbonation that worked pretty well with this beer.

Overall I thought that this was a pretty damn good American Brown Ale. This beer can definitely hang with the other higher alcohol Brown ales like Palo Santo Marron. This beer was much better then their Maple Nut Brown Ale, the imperial version did a great job at making all the flavors from the original more robust and tastier, the maple syrup actually stuck out in this beer as opposed to not being able to find it in the base beer. What I liked most about this beer was the taste, I liked how the maple syrup flavor showed up and all the other flavors made for a pretty complex beer. What I liked least about this beer was the aroma, it wasn't bad, it was just very sweet and not nearly as complex as the flavor. This beer had awesome drinkability, there was a little alcohol warmth, but it was pretty low and not that noticeable, I could probably drink two of these in a sitting, which is pretty good for a beer over 9%. I will for sure be going back to the store to buy some more, for $1.79 this beer is a steal, with the combination of smoothness, flavor, and price, this may be my go to Imperial Brown Ale. I highly recommend this beer, if you are starting to get bored with all the average American Brown Ales, give this one a try. I wasn't all that impressed with the original beer, so I really didn't know what to expect with the imperial version but I was pleasantly surprised with how well it turned out. So far this has been my favorite beer from Tommyknocker and I would say it's right up there with Palo Santo Marron as my favorite Imperial Brown Ale. Good job Tommyknocker, you guys really surprised me with this one, keep up the good work.

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Photo of keethrax
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice dark brown with hints of red. Decent sized head that is short lived with minimal lacing.

Smell: Mainly maple and malt. Some alcohol, but not a lot considering the strength of the beer.

Taste: Again lots of maple sweetness and now bread. Enough bitterness and warmth from the alcohol to offset the sweet keeping it form being cloying.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, a touch syrupy. Alcohol warmth, but not harsh.

Overall: This is the first maple beer that I've actually enjoyed. It seems like such a good pairing, but there area lot of bad executions of the idea.

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Photo of rundocrun
3.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a pint glass. It should be noted that this bottle is listed at 9%, not 9.8% ABV. I'm guessing they just modified the recipe a little bit for this year.

A - Pours a deep brown with a ruby tint. Has a very thin head that disappears quickly. Some nice alcohol legs are present here. No lacing.

S - Lots of caramel and (unsurprisingly) nuttiness. Also has a pretty heavy fruity ester and alcohol aroma reminiscent of an old ale. Smells quite sweet, intensely malty and a little boozy.

T - Very sweet up front. I get a hint of maple along with some mild date-like sugariness. Alcohol becomes noticeable toward the middle, providing some bitterness and warmth. Flavors of toasted bread, almond and raisiny esters toward the finish. Good balanced flavor, but nothing that really jumps out at me.

M - Medium body with a warming (but not hot) booziness. Pleasing carbonation that doesn't overwhelm. Leaves a residual syrupy coating on the tongue after each sip.

Overall - I honestly didn't know what to expect for an "imperial" brown ale. This was a style that always struck me as a low-alcohol, drinkable session-type beer. This is definitely more of a sipper, but they still managed to catch a noticeable nutty flavor amid the booze and maple.

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Photo of 57md
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep chocolate-colored brown with very little head. The smell of bread, nuts and a slight whiff alcohol is present. The most noticeable taste is the maple syrup, but there is a strong malt profile here as well. Alcohol is hidden rather well in this one, but you get a slight alcohol burn in the finish as the beer warms. This is a solid effort from Tommyknocker that quickly ranks among one of the best brown ales that I have tasted in some time.

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Photo of bens0n
4.67/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a rather clear dark mahogany color with a fair amount of creamy light tan head that leaves some spotty lacing.

Right off the bat I can pick up on the deliciously sweet maple syrup aroma. It reminds me of french toast drenched in maple syrup, not boozy at all. Surprisingly smells more bready than nutty to me.

Flavor wise, it does not disappoint either. The maple syrup is there, but not overwhelming, just enough to give it some sweetness. The nuttiness comes in near the end. The aftertaste is quite pleasant given the high ABV, the nuttiness really lingers on your tongue. For a brown ale, its really lacking in the hop department though, not really a bad thing in my book though.

I really like the viscosity and carbonation level in this beer. Its got a substantial thickness to it but its not completely flat; just the right amount of carbonation.

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Photo of DavidST
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours very thick, and is a dark brown with a nice mocha head (this also is listed at 9% instead of the 9.8 listed above, there should be a freshness mark, but this isn't notched).

This smell is nice, maple syrup, caramel malts, nutty, this smells very rich and sweet with little hops to back to balance it out, I expect a malt bomb. Feel is thick and somewhat syrupy, very nice. The taste is a little lacking (while everything else is so great). First the ABV isn't well hidden at all, I get plenty of alcohol taste on the finish (more than anything else), this isn't quite the malt bomb I expected (although it has plenty of malts), I get some maple and caramel, perhaps a little toffee, its good except for the very dominating alcohol after flavor lessens its appeal, its still good but I thought it was going to be so much better from the pour and feel. (It is something I'll buy again when I'm in the wee heavy type of mood).

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark brown, with a touch of a ruby tone filled up the glass rather quickly. A smallish head was lifted up onto the top, but this was quickly replaced by a thin layer of film across the top. Carbonation was visible in the very clear brew.

The smell was rich and sweet. Predominant aroma was a caramel with a touch of an earthy malt. A light feeling was released by this, so you really did not think you were going into anything too terribly heavy. As it warmed you could pick up a roasted or burnt smell coming though as well as a touch of a hop note rounding out the back. caramel that you caught right up front along with a burnt or roasted wood flavor. Almost had a touch of oaked flavor in it. Some hoppiness in the finish, but nothing distracting from the primary notes. A good solid brown ale flavor as best as I can describe it. Finish was a little nutty and dry

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.27/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe glass.

Appearance - Dark brown/black body. Light brown head with lots of lacing.

Smell - Sweet. Maple. Nutty. Toffee.

Taste - Sweet up front. Malty body with a slight metallic witch hazel astringency in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Slight astringency. Medium-bodied, but seems almost light at times.

Overall Drinkability - Decent beer. Rating it in style, it's pretty good, but I haven't had many.

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Photo of JMad
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank out of a smapler glass...

The beer is straight brown with a thin filmy light brown head that left lacing. Smell is a bomb of caramel, nuts and maple with some earthiness. It tastes the exact same as it smells but it also has an alcohol bite and an earthy bitterness. The beer is incredibly smooth with low carbonation and a dry finish. This is my first Imperial nut brown and I thought it was very good, I would like to try more from this brewery.

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Photo of ebrauser
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep mahogany brown with a tint of ruby. Thin brown head dissipated quickly

Smell: huge malt nose with strong showings of burnt caramel, molasses, brown sugar, all mixed in with an overhanging earthiness

Flavor: sweet and earthy with loads of brown sugar, molasses, and maple syrup. Some smokiness exists and their is a residual flavor of powdered malt towards the finish. Very little hop character.

Mf: full bodied and syrupy. A little difficult for a summers day, but has great potential for a winter warmer!

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Photo of justintcoons
3.57/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a murky dark brown with a thin head that dissipates quickly. Some debris float around. Beer clings to glass and leaves a nice residue on the side of the glass.

N: Sweet toffee, molasses, maple syrup and perhaps some grapefruit.

T: Deep, roasty sweet malts really shine through. Toffee, semi-sweet bakers chocolate, wood, maple syrup, molasses and rounds out with a really rich nuttiness. Finishes slightly bitter with earth and I even detect a little barnyard in the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, silky and soft.

O: The alcohol is hidden quite well. Sweet, roasty and earthy tastes dominate the palette with a decent bitterness in the finish. This is a nice sipper but not really sure if I would revisit this again in the future.

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Beertopia for 1.79 served in a Celebrator glass.

It's an intriguing cloudy dark brown that has low carbonation and leaves almost no lacing. The brew gives an impression of having sediment but it miraculously disappears when you get to the bottom the glass.

The aroma has a notable amount of maple along with some toffee. The taste is even better. Lots of maple and some extra sweet malt. The flavor is prominent but not overbearing, very enjoyable. It's quite smooth and I teared up a bit when it was finished.

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Photo of Duff27
3.1/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours murky brown with a thin light tan head.

Not unlike an un-imperial brown. Malty.

Real malty. Has a kick to it. 9%abv seems about right.

Medium to medium-thin mouthfeel...unexpected for something with so much ballz. Decent carbonation.

Meh. Not bad, nothing special. After being spoiled by Cigar City's and Surly's browns...this just doesn't compare. Thanks to TATURBO for the Tommyknocker tick.

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Photo of nickthetick
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a clear, dark brown with brick red highlights into an
American shaker with half a finger of khaki head that doesn't leave any lacing.

S: biscuits, roasted-salted nuts, and a good amount of pine.

T: surprisingly hoppy for a nut brown, but it compliments the nut and salt quality well. Caramel and biscuits with a grassy/pine finish.

MF: medium body with a well balanced carbonation, warm and a bit astringent.

O: Great nut, heat cuts back a minuet bit on the overall "drinkability", for lack of a better word, but it would be great on a cool fall day on the deck.

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Photo of tone77
3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, alcohol, a touch of maple. Taste is the same, alcohol is definatly present, some malts and a touch of maple. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

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Photo of mjurney
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruby brown color, clear. Good amount of carbonation. Head looks alright.

Very malty. Caramel, toasty, some little chocolate.

Very malty up front with slight dry bitterness at the end. Nice amount of malts, I’m getting tons of caramel malts, toasty, slight hint of nutty and bitter chocolate. There’s some hint of brown sugar and maple in the taste, it’s not overly sweet like their Maple Nut Brown Ale. Body is medium to heavy with a medium carbonation.

Dry finish that lingers. Very smooth. Drinks like a 6% beer.

Not bad. I was expected a little more sweetness from the malts.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a pretty clear looking dark brown color that is a bit hard to see through and how clear it is for real. There was a very small head (~1/8") after a pretty aggressive pour, and the head faded back into the beer about as quick as I poured. Afterward, the beer is quite still looking.

Aroma: I initially got a healthy amount of toasty/nutty malts along with some maple syrup accents. The dark malts are coming out more as the beer warms and is giving it some dark fruit character. As the beer warms up the alcohol is coming out even more so much that this beer is reminding me of an Old Ale. Interesting.

Taste: The flavor is very malty and nutty as you would expect, but the beer is medium bodied with low carbonation so with the alcohol, it comes across the palate a bit thin. There is evident warming on the back of the throat after drinking. The malt is taking on a mild syrupy edge, and with the maple flavors, it is making me think a bit of breakfast. The toasty notes from the malt are contributing to this sensation. There are evident hops in this beer that are especially noticeable in the onset of the flavor, but the alcohol brings it to its knees quickly. The finish is sweet with little hops, and the balance is provided as much by the alcohol and darker malts as any hops. There is spice from the alcohol in the finish that lingers forever and seems to get stronger as the beer warms.

Opinion: This is an OK beer, but the alcohol is high for what all else it has backing it up. Having about 4x the carbonation would definitely help bring this beer to life. As it is, it is strong and sweet and hits the palate rather hard, yet there are no off flavors or palate sensations. It is just alcoholic with low carbonation. It would probably be a lot better to try this beer on tap where the carbonation would be more. Either way, this is a pretty decent beer, and I am glad that I tried it. I wish it was a little fizzier, but as it is still worth a shot.

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Photo of AngusOg
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, rusty orange to light brown in appearance. Little head, but what little there was left a trace of lacing in the glass. I could definitely detect the maple syrup in the aroma, but also some notes of sweet malt, chocolate and caramel. Taste was quite similar to smell, although the maple wasn't too overpowering as i feared it might be. Just enough to make a tasty presence. It finished with a nice alcohol warmth, which i think also helped preventing this brew from seeming too overly sweet. Seemed to have nice carbonation, which combined with the flavor and alcohol made for a nice mouthfeel. Went down way too easy for a 9+ abv, definitely an enjoyable brown ale.

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Imperial Nut Brown Ale from Tommyknocker Brewery
3.71 out of 5 based on 638 ratings.
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