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Humulus Lager | The Bruery

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BA SCORE
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157 Reviews
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States
thebruery.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
India Pale Lager, but closer to Imperial Pilsner than IPA, according to the brewery.

Added by vacax on 08-02-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
157
Ratings:
1,013
Avg:
4.32
pDev:
23.38%
 
 
Wants:
183
Gots:
50
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 157 | Ratings: 1,013
Photo of jvillefan
4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this beer on tap at Pangaea Two Brews Cafe in Sacramento.

A: The beer is a light golden yellow with a three finger white head that lingers for a long time.

S: This is one of the most pleasantly fragrant beers I have ever had. The smell of hop, citrus, and pine hit you in the face before your first sip.

T: Despite being a pilsner, this beer has a similar taste to Pliny the Elder. There is stong but not overpowering hops with a touch of pine in the aftertaste.

M: The carbonation is not a lot but is perfect for this beer. This viscosity could be a little bit more but is. Still above average.

O: Unexpectedly great for a pilsner. I highly recommend this beer.

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Photo of Overlord
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a mostly golden yellow with hints of orange in it. Paler than a normal IPA/DIPA, maybe cause of lager yeast, maybe not. Not sure. Big billowy white foam head.

Very good aroma. Tons of complex floral notes, and a bunch of citrus that ranges from lemon (pilsener influence?) to tangerine and white grapefruit.

The taste, once again, is across the spectrum. I typically found that IPA-style brews tend to come across is either more dry and bitter, or more fruit-y and citrus-y. The best run the gamut, and this does. Very good sweeter tangerine and grapefruit, mixed with an almost lemony, pungently bitter crisp citrus and hop bite. Interesting, and complex. Maybe the lager yeast is adding the crisp, somewhat earthy/lemony component? Not sure.

Finish is somewhat drying and astringent rather than lush, which is, again, different from what I see in the IPA family tree. Engrossingly drinkable, really good.

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Photo of richj1970
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured on draft at Public house in Las Vegas.

A: Light honey yellow and crystal clear. Big three finger head leaving heavy lacing that covered the glass.

S: Floral hops with a touch of grain aroma. Lager yeast is barely detectable in the nose.

T: Pine, and light citrus. Lots of hop goodness.

M: Light body. Steady bubbles even 10 minutes after pour.

O: Very nice, and very easy drinking. This drinks almost like an IPA but with a slightly different mouthfeel.

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Photo of nickd717
3.95/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap at the '09 Bistro IPA Festival in Hayward, CA. India Pale Lager, eh?

This beer is a hazy straw color (not pale lager like) with a lasting white head.

Aroma is malt/grain and some citrusy hops. Smells very nice.

Flavor is pale malt and grain with grapefruit and pineapple. Nice and pleasant for an imperial pilsner of sorts, or an IPL, but not overwhelmingly awesome.

Light-medium body. Drinkability is very high. Pretty good overall, as I've come to expect from The Bruery.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

6oz pour into wide mouth short glass at Fireworks Pizza

A-Pours clear golden with a large creamy beige head that dissipates slowly with nice lacing.

S-Aroma is light pine, citrus, Passionfruit, guava, musk melon.

T-Flavor follows, light sweet and medium bitter, fruity, tropical, a bit dank. Pretty nice finish with lingering tropical bitterness.

M-Medium body, oily mouthfeel. Nice carbonation. Very clean

O-Impressive imperial India pale lager. Would really enjoy in the summer!

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.09/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bold and crisp golden body with a perfect head. Smell is piney and bright. Really sharp and biting bitterness with a really clean and crisp lager body. Reminds me off a bigger and more bitter Jack's Abby hoppy lager. Booze is hidden well behind grapefruit rind, light pine, and some mango.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2 liter growler from j47paco (thanks so much for the opportunity to try this!). Filled 2/23/14. Served in a Bruery snifter.

Pours a brilliant golden straw yellow with a fluffy two fingers of near white head. A hearty layer of froth persists and leaves large sheets of lace caked on the glass.

Crisp aromas of leafy orange citrus, piney hop resins and faint lemon with a mild cracker and dry yeast character.

Bright piney and cirtrus rind hops are the stars here. Pine, grapefruit rind, orange pulp, cracker, soft lemon, dry biscuit, pepper and mild yeast. Herbal and slightly grainy with no dicernable alcohol. Very easy to drink.

Fairly light body with healthy carbonation. Dry with a bitter finish of grapefruit skins, pine and crackery malt.

Further proof that lagers can be quite flavorful. Bitter and oily like an IPA with the refreshing, dry crispness of a pilsner. A hoppy departure from The Bruery's standard fare and good stuff in a very different way than what I typically drink by them.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.74/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tried at the Bistro IPA fest and at the Toronado anniversary party. Notes transcribed later from memory, typed up now.

A: Pours a hazy golden orange with pretty minimal head and short retention. There is a ring around the brew that leaves some streaks here and there.

S: The one at the IPA fest was definitely skunked, but the Toronado pour was very aromatic and impressive. Orange peel with hugely floral backing behind it, and not-insubstantial grassy note. There was something herbal in there (weed?) but I couldn't put my finger on it.

T: Has all the qualities of the nose and then some. A great hop profile, with the barest hint of some pale malt character swimming around underneath. Starts off with citrus and floral hops, but by the finish it becomes more grassy and herbal. A slight lingering bitterness.

M: Light-medium bodied, moderate carbonation, and very dry. I would never have pegged this for a pilsner, imperial or not, from these characteristics. It goes down very easily and is quite clean, although it does have some sticky resin to it.

D: This offering pleases the hophead in me. I demand more.

I know it has "lager" in the name, but I was still surprised when I found out this wasn't an IPA. A damn good beer.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Surprise find at McLadden's in Northampton.

Served in a pint glass, the pour is a darkish copper/brown with an off-white head. It retains pretty well throughout, just about dissipated by the end, with good lacing.

Smell is nice, big potent hops - definitely lots of citrus, grapefruit, earthiness. Some sweet and bready lager scent to it.

The taste is more well-rounded with more of a pilsner presence for sure. Good mix of sweet, almost buttery malts with some crackery malts, grain and bready tones. Hops are nice, not overpowering, and have decent complexity. A bit of a grassy tropical feel with citrus, grapefruit, lemon, earthy and some piny hops.

Mouthfeel feels a bit slick, could use more carbonation. Not much alcohol presence here, good balance of bitter hops and lager-y finish.

A nice beer that is an OG hoppy lager if I remember correctly. Enjoyable to drink, and one of the more balanced+interesting 'IPL's I've had. Hops are very flavorful but not overpowering.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Publick House. 16oz serving in a pint glass. This was a nice treat to see and something I've been wanting to try for awhile.

A- Golden orange, translucent with some haze, decent carbonation that is fairly consistent, about 2 fingers of pure white foamy head that has great retention but slowly recedes and leaves nice layered lacing.

S- Lots of tropical hops with pineapple, oranges, light greeny/slightly earthy hops, and a bit of pine coming out. Fairly aromatic and very pleasant smelling.

T- Again lots of tropical fruits with pineapple and oranges being the most dominant followed by a slight hint of sappy pine and a light malt presence hiding under the hops that adds a hint of sweetness. Finishes with a light bitterness that is by no means overpowering and a nice lingering fruity aftertaste. Overall has a nice flavorful fruity presence while still maintaining a decent balance.

M- Very easy drinking, refreshing although not quite as crisp as some lagers I've had, decent carbonation.

O- This was a great hoppy lager/pilsener with a very nice tropical fruit presence however I'm not sure if it's necessarily better then some of the other hoppy lagers I've had such as Kiwi Rising and HF's Mary. Overall though I thought this was great, I'm glad I had the chance to try it, and I hope The Bruery does more hoppy beers and sends this to Boston again in the future.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Whole Foods Pasadena. Pint glass.

A: Pours a medium golden color with a half inch of very fine, sand colored head. Leads a wall of lacing on the glass. Looks beautiful.

S: Nice hoppy citrus and tropical notes, with caramel and crystal malt backbone. Slight sweetness. Almost a honey like aroma coming from the glass.

T: Lager yeast is offset with a nice hop kick, citrus and some herbal and floral notes, a little caramel and crystal malt underneath gives a hint of sweetness, finishing on the palate with moderate bitterness and not much flavor.

M: Medium-light body and medium-high carbonation with a nice bite.

O: A very good hoppy lager. Glad to see the Bruery with something approaching an IPA, but why don't they just brew this as an ale?

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Photo of SierraFlight
3.74/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at The Bruery, poured into taster. Hazy yellow in appearance with thin white head that settles to a persistent film. Leaves some lacing. Aroma is hop-forward with citrus, floral, and pine. There is a little grain, too. Hops carry the day in taste, too, with a moderate bitterness that is less than expected based on the nose. A thin ribbon of sweet malts is perceptible in the background. Nothing shocking in the palate: medium body, crisp texture, average carbonation, dry bitter finish.

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Photo of WoostaBia
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had a glass of this beer at the Nor'East Beer Garden in Provincetown, best lager I've ever had and top 10 beer. Awesome beer. Well balanced, perfectly hopped, sweet malt and corn backbone, crisp and refreshing. I wish this was available in 4 or 6 packs along the other distributed bruery beers.

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Photo of bump8628
4.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another fresh from the tap beer at the Bruery's tasting room, and this is certainly a beer that is sublime fresh.

Pours a hop-hazed gold with a lovely, pure white head of suds that sticks, clings, and clumps.

Mega-hoppy all around, this is essentially a big-ass West Coast IPA brewed with a lager yeast and some rice. I'd argue that the yeast and rice is just a way for The Bruery to claim this isn't an IPA, and I guess it technically isn't, but I compare it to the best that Russian River and the other great West Coasters are throwing out there. And quite frankly they can call it whatever the hell they want when it's this good.

Pine, citrus, the intense perfume of flowers; all the usual American hop suspects are there and I'll spare any further description of their character since we all know what American hops are all about. They're everywhere. Leaping from the glass to my nose, coating my palate, and lingering into a long, smoothly bitter finish. Malt doesn't even dare to rear it's head. It knows its place. Clean, dry, and bitter on the finish. This could just as easily be Chico as a lager strain. I don't give a damn what yeast they use it's still an IPA that's all about the massive hoppiness in my book. Get it anytime you have the opportunity.

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Photo of GJ40
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at the Toronado in San Diego.

A - Golden and hazy with and a small white head. Not much lacing.

S - A very unique hop aroma that included a burst of spearmint along with some floral and citrusy scents.

T - Floral and citrusy hop flavors with a crisp, dry finish. There's a little spearmint in the flavor as well but not as much as in the aroma. There's not much bitterness though there's a tinge in the finish.

M - Creamy with a nice low carbonation.

D - I'm really glad I happened across this unique and flavorful beer.

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Photo of bennetj17
4.12/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright gold color, thin white foam head. Floral, citrus bouquet with west coast flair. Clean without much coming from the malts. Just a very hop forward smell.

The taste has an intense citrus bite with a grapefruit twang and melon sweetness. Quite bitter in the finish as the citrus kind of hangs for awhile. A nice presentation of hops but something is very one dimensional here. Good carbonation, the mouthfeel has a slight syrupy feel but is otherwise lighter and smooth.

Not sure if its because its not an ale, but this beer lacks complexity and the flavor begins to weigh heavily after while. Still a hoppy monster though and was glad to try it, but its perhaps a bit overrated.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

32 oz growler from Whole Foods, poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a hazy golden color, topped with an inch of creamy white head, has decent retention and leaves tons of lacing.

S- Wow, lots of fresh tropical fruits, mango, peach, grapefruit, and a floral, grassy hop aroma. This is easily the hoppiest lager I've ever smelled.

T- Similar to the aroma, lots of vibrant tropical fruit, although in the flavor these take slightly more of a backseat to the floral, grassy and dry hop flavors, a bit of earthy hop flavors as well. There's some sweet, cracker-like malt. The finish is dry with just mild bitterness.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth, crisp and dry.

O- An excellent beer, has a really wonderful hop character and is highly-drinkable, one of the better hoppy beers, lager or otherwise, I've had in a while.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.06/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to beachstrength49 for the growler.

Appearance: Perfectly clear dark gold. Head is bright-white, pillowy, and massive. Drops to a wispy cap with a thick collar with a tight bubble structure. Moderate carbonation on the pour. Some streaks of lacing.

Smell: Pine, crisp light malt. Some underlying bready and earthy notes. A hint of sweetness. Citrus pushes through adding some grapefruit. Loaded with resinous pine. Oily and bitter. A touch of yeast. Deeply floral with a small hint of spiciness in the back. A bit juicy. Iffy retention.

Taste: Crisp clean pale malt. Nice lager yeast finish on the back. Hoppy and bitter. Oily pine lingers. Bitter pine needle. Big push of floral hops with a backing spicy earthiness. A solid depth to the hops. Malts are lightly sweet with some caramelized malts on the back. Some tropical elements in the back, mostly pineaplle. Slight bready malt through the middle. Mint builds a bit with each sip and as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light body. Moderate carbonation. Clean and easy drinking.

Overall: A solid ode to the hop.

A bit of a restrained beer from The Bruery. It's in that hoppy lager vein and they did it well. Relatively easy to knock back a few glasses, but the ABV creeps up quick. Definitely a solid summer beer.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.68/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the bruery
Was not impressed and my notes reflected that until I got back and read the description... I am reviewing this with the consideration that it is more an IPL than an imperial pilsner

Pours a pale hazy yellow golden colour. A nice foamy white head. Looks pretty solid.

Smells hoppy and earthy. Some nice light grassiness on the nose. There is a wheaty yeastiness on the nose that I am not a fan of.

Tastes light and hopy. The earthy, grassy undertones are nice but the hops don't meld well with the beer. There is an awkwardness to this beer that I'm not pleased with. Lagery yeast flavours. Orange, lemon, maybe some other citrus on the tongue. The flavour profile is interesting but unbalanced

Solid mouthfeel. Well carbonated.
Overall the beer has a lot of potential it just feels really rough around the edges to me

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Map Room served in a tulip.

A- pours gold with a 2" thick white head. Huge rings of lacing that coat the glass.

S-bread, honey, lemon, citrus rind

T- pale malts, light honey, bitter citrus, some sourdough.

M- medium body and carbonation. Very creamy feel.

O- excellent pilsner and I am not a fan of pils but would drink this.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, bright golden color with a large, white head that hangs around for a bit. Scent is very hoppy for a beer that labels itself as a lager. Tons of citrus and pine. Taste is extremely piney... drinks a lot like an IPA (don't really have the palate to say what is an ale and what is a lager). There is a ton of fresh hop flavor...absolutely delicious. Nice and bitter! Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated. Drinkability is very high. Overall, this is my first encounter with this lager. Maybe after I have it a bunch of times, I will be able to distinguish why this is not a hoppy pale ale or an IPA. All I know is that it was yummy as shit.

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Photo of beagle75
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft service into a shaker pint glass at Beachwood BBQ.

A: Clear, medium golden color with over one finger of white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Powerful juicy grapefruit citrus fills the nose. Additional floral and lesser tropical fruit notes round out the intensely hoppy scent.

T: Begins dry, with juicy grapefruit flesh and moderate citric acidity that matches the smell exactly. The middle sees a gradual tapering-off of the hop aromatics, with whiffs of lemon and melon developing then vanishing. Malt is never able to emerge and distinguish itself amongst the swirl of hop qualities. The finish is moderately bitter but very clean, with fairly intense grapefruit peel still representing the hops component.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, wet and acidic--but not uncomfortably so--on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: Unlike most of the amped-up American-brewed pilsners that come and go, The Bruery's Humulus Lager chooses to turn its back on the traditional noble cultivars of hops in favor of our own pungent kinds. The result is nothing short of amazing, with very focused citrusy hops on point from start to finish. It turns out that the pale lager base is a great vehicle for showcasing such qualities, which is what the enthusiasts of traditional, full-flavored pilsners have been telling the rest of the beer world all along.

As an aside, I had the opportunity to try Alpine's new imperial pilsner the last time I traveled to their pub, and while a good beer, it was not able to approach the seamless intensity of this beer. This beer smells and tastes like it was brewed by Alpine, such is the mastery over the hops demonstrated here.

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Photo of kevanb
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at the Bruery Tasting Room, review from notes.

Pours a nice copper color, orange, amber also come to mind, golden hues when held to the light. A finger of so of head appears, recedes quickly, minimal lacing. The aroma is all hops, piney, sticky, resinous, some floral and citrus notes come out, but I really like how earthy the aroma is, compliments the sweeter malt bill very well. The flavors are great, bitter earthy hops, notes of pine, dirt almost, sap, resin, bits of citrus fruit, more like lemongrass, very dry flavors. The malt is certainly there, sweet yet light cereal grains, cracked peppercorn and some richer sweeter malts, munich or caramel perhaps, all come out. Very complex flavors, balanced well, certainly the Bruery's best showing with a hoppy beer. The body is big and rich, I don't really like saying that honestly, could use more carbonation, a bit too syrupy at times.

Verdict: Carbonation aside, this is a knockout. Great hop profile, easy to drink, refreshing, spot on. The Bruery isn't known for their hoppy beers, but this leads me to believe they have the potential to make a really fine APA or IPA.

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Photo of Etan
4.14/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Surprisingly on tap at a new local place.

A: Nice mellow orange gold. S: Big citrusy punch, a bit of biscuity malt. T: citrusy with a grassy edge, followed by smooth breadiness. Yum.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-dark yellow wit a sticky white head

S-wow! hops and grapefruit! so strong and beautiful!

T-comes in with a very bitter taste of lager-like grains. ends with a good taste of grapefruit and grains. great, but more subtle than the smell.

M-creamy low carbonation with a semi dry finish

O-one of the best lagers i have ever had, including all pilsners. this is just great. its something i want again...and again.

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Humulus Lager from The Bruery
4.32 out of 5 based on 1,013 ratings.
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