Doggie Claws | Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room

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Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws

Brewed by:
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
Oregon, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
"a Barley Wine made in the West Coast style. Big malt and hops make this copper colored ale one of our most popular products. Produced in September and October and released in November, this Beer will improve for years to come. Alcohol: 11.5% by volume. IBU's 70"

Added by mattmaples on 10-12-2001

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Reviews: 551 | Ratings: 1,173
Photo of kmpitz2
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours an interesting dirty straw color with a 2-finger head that falls to a quarter inch over top. I'd like a little darker beer here. The nose is very hoppy...even after 3 years. Nice citrusy orange hop. Big malty base giving me hints incredibly strong bread, caramel, and figs. I dig it. The flavor is all about the malts. Raisin sweetness overlayed with bready character dominates. A light hop carries through on the bitter, but not a lot at all. The feel is moderate to thick with a light carbonation. Very good feel. This beer gives no hint of its alcohol. Very easy to drink even though it has a robust flavor. I like ti. Very good show.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Chris! 12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a hazy medium orange color with one finger of head. There is minimal lacing on the glass. The smell is slightly sweet, with lots of pale malt. There is a great hop aroma. Very citrusy, with some piney hops as well. The taste is very strong, lots of sweet malt, and a good dose of alcohol. There's a nice hoppy finish that has lots of citrus character. The mouthfeel is nice and thick. The drinkability is a little low due to the high alcohol. Overall, a good American barleywine.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.62/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter)
A-This beer pours a deep brown with a mahogany hint and a gentle carbonation. The head is a thin wispy tan that last for a bit

S- This beer has an intense floral hop nose with some earthy resiny notes. There is a nice malt character along with the hops, more caramel to brown sugar aromas. Very nice.

T- The sweet caramel tastes are quickly followed by a burst of fresh vibrant hops. Some roasted malts come through and a nice warm alcohol finish last almost as long as the hop bitterness.

M- This has a nice velvety mouthfeel with a gentle alcohol warmth. No astringency from the hops.

D- This is a leader in American barley wines and it is ready to drink now. The amazing aroma has fresh hops and great malty notes. This is a must try brew.

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Photo of Viggo
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served in a 1.5 liter bottle, took an eternity to finish seemed like. Pours a very hazy orange/light brown with a small head that lasted the whole day. Very strange colour, had some proteins floating around in it. The smell is sweet, fruit juice, nectarines, orange. Taste starts off very sweet but then gets easier, sweet and sour, lots of fruit apples, peaches, mandarin orange. Was very smooth and creamy, had perfect carbonation, very pleasant and I would definately try this one again. Thanks for the opportunity to try this one sammy.

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Photo of Sammy
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A all-day 1.5 litres 2001 Edition bought at The Foodery in Philly. Cloudy hazy orange colour with proteins particularly at end. Creamy with lasting head. Mandarin orange. Bit oxidized, which store warned me of the risk of that disapeared into the overall flavour.
Had the 2004 edition which was very good but not as great an experience. Thanks to Joe McPhee. Had 2004 again a few weeks later and orange hit me right this night.

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Photo of Billolick
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was glad to see this rare tap offering at the BTAH in NYC this past week. It poured an inviting hazy shade of light orangy amber with a thick tiny bubble head. The nose was a pungent melange of hops and more hops. Intricate and well developed lacing. This is a pleasantly strong and full flavor BW. "Yowza, yowza, yowza" came the description from one of my duly impressed table mates! Loads of malt, hops, flavor, complexity, alcohol noted but in check, very fine stuff. Seek it out on tap if you have the chance.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle from who knows where, maybe VA trip Summer 2004.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 2" beige head over the clear, effervescent, bright copper brew. Head is static, regenerating itself for quite some time before finally dwindling (10+ minutes), and lacing is heavy, foamy ,and impressive, especially for the style. Aroma is sweet malts, coupled with some vinous fruitiness. Taste is somewhat sedate for what I was expecting. Light sweet notes, passing through dim fruitsville, and then closing down for the night at a crisp slightly hoppy note. However, mouthfeel and drinkability bring us back to the land of awe. One of the most drinkable 10% brews I've had in a long time. Age has done this one good.

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Photo of beercollector
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a sipping beer. It pours a dark brown with a good lasting off white head. It has an alcohol up first on the nose and then carmel.

It is creamy medium bodied beer with soft carbonation. It is rich and malty, moderately sweet and a nice balance between the hops and malt.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, vintage 2003.

Pours a gorgeous but cloudy deep amber in color with a thick and creamy head with excellent retention, bravo! Nose is deeply flowery, but also quite bitter, lots of hops going on here, I can see that already, also quite a heavy alcohol profile as well, strong stuff. Taste is quite bitter and strong to begin with, not much of the fresh flower smell that was in the nose, just lots of bitterness. The malt is nice, a bit of caramel, smooth but is absolutely annhilated by the hops, but this pretty much goes to style. Finish is actually more malty than anything, but a little on the weak side once the alcohol strength subsides. Speaking of alcohol, this one doesn't hide it, you definatly taste and feel that 11.5. Drinkability suffers, 12 ounces is way beyond enough for me, was difficult to really want to drink the full serving size, not because it's bad but because of this brew's strength. Gargantuan.

Overall a good representation of the style, was an "educational" experience.

Thanks to Skyhand for the bottle!


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Photo of beerceller99
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2003 from the cellar.
Beautiful clear garnet hue with a light brown head. Strong smell of caramel, raisons ; think cinnabon roll. Medium bodied with a full mouthfeel. Taste is a strong raison, roasted pecans, figs, dates with a pleasing alcohol finish.
The intense flowery hop essence of a fresh sampling is gone, but the classic old ale flavors have emerged in good form. Exceptionally drinkable.

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearence: Desipte what the bottle says, it pours a dark ruby with floating yeast chunks with a giant beige head.

Smell: The smell is incredibly hoppy and complex with a spicy alcohol back to it.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is also incredibly hoppy. The hops are floral, earthy citrusy and so much more. Odd focus for a Barleywine, but it works really well. The malts are present but not incredibly obvious, and the alcohol is very powerful. The mouthfeel is thinner than I'd hoped.

Drinkability and Overall: This is a wonderfully unique barleywine. The hops are crazy but they work. In a few years this one will be an absolute gem. But still, it's a breath of fresh air even when young.

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Photo of rkhaze
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep red amber color with a dense, creamy tan head. Great retention.
Roasted sweet malt aroma. Brown sugar, red fruit and fresh floral/citrus hops.
Wow! Big complex flavors. Rich roasted malt, dark caramel, toffee,chocolate and some charred red fruits. Finishes tangy with a lingering licorice and fresh hop bitterness. The alcohol was noticeable but well integrated.
Semi full bodied with a full round mouthfeel. Seemed to have a smidge too much carbonation but it sure helped lighten up the feel.
Great flavors and well hidden alcohol. This is a sipper and a real belly warmer. Great stuff.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Big thanks go out to weefisheads for the opportunity to sample this beer.

Note: I was seriously bummed as I sat down to see the bottle spilling it's contents profusely out. I'm not sure what happened as all I did was pop the cap and set the beer down on the table. I don't think I shook it or anything crazy like that. That being said, I was able to rescue most of it.

Appearance: Muddy, tea-like, and amber in apperance. Ridiculously huge creamy, fluffy tan head. I see little hop flecks floating in the beer...I am mezmerized.

Smell: Like a huge IPA. I'm very intrigued. Very pine-like with mild citrus notes. None of the dark fruits or alcohol notes that I've come to be familiar with in drinking barleywines. Still, this smells like a pine wonderland!

Taste: Like an IPA. Some pine bitterness kicks off the set, a hint of apples or peaches in the background, and then some alcohol and more pine to finish. This is truly a great taste. Again, I keep thinking "IPA".

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy with a dry finish. Leaves a little bit of the pine hops on the back of the palate.

Drinkability: Alcohol is hidden well and I'm sure this would be dangerous to drink more than one. Still, it would be enjoyable to try. This is great!

Thanks again to weefisheads for this lovely beer!

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Photo of oxmasterscream
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy, translucent orange topped by a fluffy, eggshell head that leaves thick lacing behind. Smell is pure candy–caramel and candy apples. Also solidly present, oranges, spice and honey. Hints of vanilla and cherries. The smell was intoxicating. First taste–yow. Searing hops, even after two years in the bottle. Spiced apples intermixed with vanilla and cherry. Mouth-drying, bittering that makes you want to suck the skin from the inside of your mouth. Grapefruit pith finish–amarillo hops in full effect. Beautifully balanced. Tightly knit, aggressive carbonation, makes your tongue feel like it's being electrocuted at times. Otherwise, it's full and smooth. Even silky at times. ABV is disguised well but obviously creeps up on you slowly and powerfully. Perfect for a winter's eve. Tasty stuff.

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Photo of mikeys01
4.44/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick and creamy light tan head blankets the Doggie Claws. Aroma is a mystifying mixture of grassy hops and vinous funky grapes, with a hearty helping of sweety toasty malt, toffee, and a bit of yeast. Crystal clear in its depths, colored like a burnt orange autumn sunset, well carbonated. Although young, this barleywine is loaded with complexity, and I wish I had many more than this single bottle to savor over time. Taste is a curious blend of fruity and herbal hops up front, late harvest grapes mingling with sharper pine. You’re soon transported to a sweet caramel malty playground with just a bit of bread popping up in the toaster. Finish brings out a bit of spice, warm alcohol, and a fresh, sweet hoppy finish. Nicely put together barleywine all around, full bodied without being overly syrupy sweet. Thanks to weefisheads for this one!

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Photo of Quaffer
3.91/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: This beer was a very hazy, amber-orange color. The foam erupted as soon as the liquid hit the bottom of the snifter and rose up to fill the majority of the glass. It was coarse and as it settled, became fluffy and web like. The bubbles clung tightly to the glass. Thick rings of lace were left behind in this brew's wake.

Smell: A very strong smell of sickly sweet, almost rotten, fruit right after the pour. This calmed down somewhat after awhile, but still remained the main component of the aroma. Huge amounts of raisins and dates combined with honey and molassess. It was almost like the smell was oozing thickly up my nose. Light amounts of alcohol and citrus hops in the background . . . way in the background.

Mouthfeel: Kind of thin for a barley wine, though it was a little buttery on the tip of the tongue. The high carbonation levels made it a little rough.

Taste: I was afraid the sweetness was going to be way overbearing due to what I detected in the aroma. While there was quite a bit of sweetness in the flavor, it was definitely not cloying, and it needed to be there to balance out the huge hop presence. Upfront was a strong caramel sweetness and a medicinal (almost like cherry cough syrup) flavor. In the middle was some light diacetyl that immediately got its ass kicked by a strong hops bitterness that punched through it and all the other flavors. The herbal hops lingered into the finish and well beyond into the aftertaste, where it seemed to get stronger. There was a reprise of caramel in the aftertaste as well, but this beer still finished on the dry side.

A really good beer, though the aroma was off-putting. I'm surprised that the hops flavor was still that strong after two to three years. I bet this beer was a punch in the face when it was fresh.

Thanks, Rob!

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle lightly chilled and served in a Thomas Hardy's snifter on Mardi Gras 2K5.

Laissez le bon temps roulez!!!

Appearance: Clear reddish orange topped by a huge and frothy yellowed head. Streamers of carbonation support a thick layer of foam that almost never faded. Splotches and fingers of foam were left on the side of the glass.

Smell: Wonderfully intense hop aromas, but not of the piney, citrusy, or noble sort: Peppery and brassy. Lots of fruity yeastiness akin to oranges and such. Caramelized sugars to boot. Damn.

Taste: Bitter orange marmalade/peel. Mildly sweet. Peppery hops flicker about the palate, dancing with some subtle alcohol flavors. Wow.

Mouthfeel: A little thinnish at times for the style, but still a hefty and chewy beer. Very well carbonated, perhaps too much stylistically.

Drinkability: Temperature is very important with this beer. Too cold and the fruitness of the malt/yeast is overpowered by the hops. Too warm and the hops get lost. Very nice. A "Belgian" take on barleywine. Quirky. Why didn't I buy more?

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Photo of RedDiamond
4.62/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Phenomenal aroma -- fruit, spice, caramel and a sublime raw graininess akin to oats. There’s also a lush forest of hops that greets you from half a yard distant the moment the bottle is cracked. The color is carnelian sunrise in modest light, cinnamon-wood at greater depths. The Claws initially pours five fingers of head that takes some time to tame before it’s logistically feasible to drink and the presence of CO2 is notably high for a barleywine, though I didn’t find this intrusive. Eventually the head settles to a lumpy wash of sea foam. The body is so dense however, that bubbles must fight their way to the surface.

Doggie Claws is an uncommonly refined barleywine with the triumphant complexity of a Bach fugue. The malt platform is rotund and suggests a distant candied sweetness. The 11.5% ABV is noticeable in the aroma but is gracefully concealed to the taste. Simcoe and Amarillo hops invoke a fresh, green flavor that entreats the palate like a meadow of mythic wildflowers or an acre of forest in a bottle. The hops return when you belch for a special repeat performance.

Even at a relatively early date, Doggie Claws is eminently drinkable. In fact, it takes less time to drink than to wait for the head to recede. There’s no compelling need to age Doggie Claws as the bittering hops are already well contoured. But the possibilities for cellaring are enormous and this would no doubt make for a great buried treasure.

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Photo of shapudding
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured out an unclear homebrewed iced-tea color, dark amber almost. Thick and creamy white head settled barely into a think layer. Yeasy and musty wine cellared scents, vineous- more merlot. Got some caramel scent after it warmed up. Very nice aroma. Highly carbinated for me. Dark and unsweetened black tea tastes, dark fruits and raisins, fairly dry aftertaste. Taste of fresh rosemary -like when you have the fresh sprigs and just grab one and bite into it. The taste is pretty hoppy for a barleywine, -one of my beerbuds tried it and said that it tasted more like a double ipa than a barleywine. Nicely drinkable, good flavors and I could sit back and knock a few away quite easily.

Had this one at FlatRock in Manyunk with some fellow BA's, good times!

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Photo of beergeek279
3.57/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Served in the 12 oz. bottle into a tulip. The color is copper, much lighter than any other barleywine I've seen, with a clumping foamy white head. The smell is very strong apple sweetness with a touch of alcohol. The taste is a lot drier than the smell suggested, with a slight touch of apple sweetness and a very strong bitterness, with a good bit of astringency in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy. As for drinkability, I'll have this one but not really one I'd look for again.

Unfortunately, this is a fairly disappointing barleywine. Though it smells absolutely fantastic, the taste is not all that great. Maybe it was mishandled by the bar, but I got it at KClinger's and they seem to know how to take care of beer. A terrible astringency in the aftertaste ruins what could have been rather enjoyable....maybe if I find another at some point, I'll make sure this isn't a bad bottle, but for now, I won't really bother with this one again.

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Photo of mntlover
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy cloudy orangeish brown mixture with large head that falls to a finger size cap, light spotty lace.
Aroma of light malt caramel and toffee mixed some light floral earthy hops thrown in the mix but overall not strong and fades quite quick.
Taste is nice malty upfront with lots of carbonation mixed with toffee some light fruit orange mango mixture not really citrusy but almost. Finishes with some moderate bitterness that is earthy in nature more the anything with subdued lemon mixed with pear hints. Very intersting Barley Wine diffrent then the norm not bad just different.
Mouthfeel is good right side of medium approaching full a nice feeling beer.
Drinkability is good having hard time picking taste score can't decide its not bad wish we had a 3.75 to choose from. Would recommend trying this not bad you might enjoy this a little more then I did.

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Photo of Thrasher
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

To quote from the label: "Doggie Claws has a light copper color and an intense herbal hop character." The first statement is patently false. It is a deep, dark, rich rubied brown. The second phrase is an understatement. This is a truly hoppy beer; the aroma literally fills the room and my fingers feel sticky from handling the bottle and glass. The head is deliriously high and potent, and the beer goes down thick like candied sugar, only to be brutally scraped away by the severity of the antiseptic hops. My lips are wintry-chapped today, and it smarts to pour this hop beast across them. I would say yes, this is a barley wine; it has the thick viscosity and austere malt wood-varnish quality I find in many US barley wines but not too many IPAx2's. It's incredibly hoppy, though, and delightful for that. It's not as bright and flowery as Bigfoot, but the Simcoe hops (god I love them) lend an earthy complexity and taut suppleness that makes this a damn enjoyable bevvy. Aging should suit this beer just fine, but don't you want to try it now and get spanked by the violent hops? Admit it, bitch, you do. You do. It's HOTD's Xmas/Hanukah gift to us all -- it would be ungrateful of you not to try it.

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Photo of filabrazilia
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-clear light copper with a nice beige head that crowns the top. The lace drapes the glass like silk curtains.

There is a slight aroma of malt, unusual for the style because you expect it to be more pronounced. The floral hops brush the nose ever so slightly.

Hops define the flavor--lightly acidic and citrusy with a parting bitter bite at the finish. The malt is present but remains as a supporting cast member as opposed to the star. This tastes like a fine IPA. I really don't detect any alcohol presence in the taste--this is really nice.

The mouthfeel is the most unique element of this beer. It is pretty thin in the beginning, but maintains a great deal of body in the swallow. While the hops are assertive in the flavor, they aren't as assertive in the feel. Don't get me wrong, they grab the tongue, but not like other hopped up beers.

This is a very solid offering from Hair of the Dog. Not a traditional barleywine but very nice to drink on a cold winters eve.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.37/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours with a five-finger+, bubbly light tan head that explodes out of the bottle, fades slowly and leaves a good lace. Cloudy amber color with chunky bits at the bottom. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is raisiny. Starts on the sweet side but some bitterness comes in and lingers. There are better barley wines like Dogfish Head's Old School. $4.25 for a 12oz bottle from Vintage Cellar Blacksburg, VA.

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Photo of PatandDavid
3.08/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was a hard one to review for me...while I thought it was fine, I didn't think it was much finer than that. I will assume with aging that this one takes off, but I have to review the young version that I has, so here goes. Dark crystal amber when served, no head. Aroma was the wackiest element...initially it seemed like dark fruit would win the day, but several deep whiffs later, I noticed an acrid note. Some finishing pine tree aromas later led me to think: acrid = someone pee'd on a pine tree. Sorry, but I gotta call 'em as I drink 'em. Moving on, I admit for being a young big beer, it is surprisingly smooth. It flows on malt, and ends with faint pine and fir notes. Some faint smoke in the background as well. Probably a killer with aging.

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Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.12 out of 5 based on 1,173 ratings.
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