Fred From The Wood | Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room

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Fred From The WoodFred From The Wood

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

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Aged in new, medium toast American oak barrels for at least 6 months

Added by freed on 03-28-2005

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Reviews: 237 | Ratings: 538
Photo of jrenihan
4.14/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is one heavy beer. Tonnes of brandy, oak, caramel, leather. Nose also has spices. Thick and heavy, almost syrupy. It's pretty great, but about as undrinkable as it gets- boozy and heavy, a bit of an ordeal. Great for a small amount- but I can't drink it for too long!

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Photo of unclekeith
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 12 oz bottle into a tulip

L: Murky brown with a nice 1-finger head settling to a thin collar
S: Caramel, spices, oak, vanilla, toffee - wonderful
T: Following the nose, leather, tobacco
F: Full bodied, good carb
O: Superb, complex, alcohol well hidden, worth the wait

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Photo of ptykozoon
3.86/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours ugly as sin mirky pond water. No head/lacing.

Sweet citrusy fruits, caramel, toffee, vanilla. Excellent.

Tastes like the nose only subdued. The flavors are very delicate but pleasant.

Mouthfeel is extremely smooth. ABV feel is handled well. Finish is a dry tobacco and molasses.

A subtle, smooth beer with lovely yet restrained flavors.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage
12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a murky amber color with a small foamy white head that reduces to a ring around the edge of the glass

S- aroma opens with spicy young oak, followed by notes of leather & tobacco, molasses, caramel, dark cherry, vanilla, herbal tea & raisin, very complex

T- flavor opens up with a strong presence of spicy oak, followed by dark fruity sweetness, with notes of raisin & black cherry. Mid-palate brings more sweet notes of caramel & molasses. As it nears the finish, notes of spicy wood kicks in, along with some earthy notes of tobacco. The linger is of strong fresh oak and hints of vanilla

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel that continues into the finish

O- the oak barrels play a huge part in this variation, and it works very well with the base beer, definitely recommended if you like strong woodsy flavors

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2014

Appearance: pours a orangish brown color. a finger or two of a tannish head with strong retention and a big lacing behind. hazy and opaque.

Smell: lots of wood flavor. cinnamon, vanilla and huge virgin oak. some rye spice and alcohol.

Taste: opens with rye and a strong maltiness. huge wooden flavors take over completely with virgin oak, and minor notes of cinnamon and vanilla. fairly strong alcohol. some dark fruits float in occasionally.

Mouthfeel: heavier, slick and almost syrupy. strong lingering oak. fairly dry.

Overall: a huge improvement on regular fred. the pure oak flavor is killer, and almost takes over the whole beer. I wish a few more base notes came through but this is still a delicious beer.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is an unfiltered, muddled, light brown coloring, with sparse trails of carbonation throughout the body, and no head to speak of. Aromas of super sweet toffee and caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, wood, roast, apple, date and fig, and a subtle spice blend of nutmeg and cinnamon. Wow...this is a layered trip for your nose. Flavors are rich and heavy forward, with a heavy dose of molasses, toffee, booze heat, woody character, candied apple, fig, and peat. Pretty decent blend of earth and rich sweetness. Smooth, creamy body that layers the flavors for you to uncover. Richly sweet, creamy, and heavily roasted aftertaste. Smooth, slightly cloying, lingering sweet finish.

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Photo of zonker17
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle consumed 10/5/15. Creamy beige head that stays for a while. Deep brown somewhat amber color. Smells like a wood and malt. Taste is better than most, with very little hop presence at this point. Mouthfeel is outstandingly over-medium with good level of carbonation.

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Photo of Zaximus
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

2014 vintage 12oz bottle into a newly acquire HOTD tulip. Pour produces about a 1/4'' head. No carb issues here.

Caramel, molasses, wood and a little burn on the nose.

Taste follows the nose. Sweet, caramel, malty, bready(?) goodness with perfect amount of wood and alcohol. I really dig this. Possibly a bit under appreciated and definitely recommended. HOTD crushes this style.

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Photo of dar482
4.78/5  rDev +13.3%

The beer comes a copper dark brown.

The aroma offers sweet bourbon, oak, toffee, caramel.

The flavor follows of a full mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation. A punch of dried dark fruit of figs and plums. A rich brown sugar and caramel sweetness comes through with the beer drying out of oak.

A deliciously complex brew.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad!

The beer is copper hued and somewhat clear with a small tan cap. Aromas of bread, oak, sweet malt, vanilla, booze. Huge flavor. A huge wave of oak carries over from the aroma to flavor, with additional flavors of wet wood, earth, vanilla, malt. A potent offering. While this is indeed quite tasty, it's best enjoyed in small servings.

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Photo of portia99
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2nd in my series of Fred reviews in honor of my cat Fred who recently passed away.
1st bottle in series - batch #69 (2007) Fred

12oz bottle (2008 vintage) poured into a gold rimmed Harpoon 100 Barrel series stemmed glass.

A - Pours a slightly deeper amber color than the standard Fred and has a more pronounced reddish tint to it. Body is a touch muddy in contrast to the regular Fred which had excellent clarity. Head is a low finger high, light tan/creamy in color and tightly bubbled with good retention. Webby/soapy lacing is left on the glass.

S - Sweet malt base, syrupy and thick in aroma - caramel with hints of molasses, iced tea, faint cherries, nice woody oak aromas, some light vanilla, lightly boozy, yeasty and bready. Estery and fruity with notes of apples and raisins. Very malt forward for sure, but not quite to the level of the original Fred. Some mild toasty aromas also.

T - Very malty up front...much more than the original Fred. Toffee, caramel, brown sugar, molasses and honey-like sugary sweetness. Thick and syrupy in sweetness - a bit overpowering in character. Toasty, woody oaky-ness, warm booziness, nice vanilla aspects, a bit of ginger ale, really no hops left after 6 years. Slightly roasty and toasted on the finish, slightly drying out the character of the beer, but still remaining predominantly sweet on the palate. Super smooth and too easy-drinking for a 10% beer.

M - Thick and full bodied with a lowish carbonation that still manages a bit of a tingle on the tongue. Syrupy in feel, multi-varietal sugary complexity, smoothing vanilla barreling, woody notes. Sweet, but not overly sweet...really bordering on the edge of being too much, but straddles the line on the correct side.

O - Overall very good beer. I think I like the original Fred a bit more, but this is a fine beer without a doubt. Slight change in character, a bit smoother, a bit more sweetness, definitely a fuller bodied beer. A fine beer in the middle part of my tribute to my cat buddy, Fred.

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Photo of zaphodchak
3.99/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amber body, thinnish offwhite had and surface tracing.

Boozy nose, bourbon and some of the coriander of normal Fred.

Extreme smooth bourbon, faint citrus, borderline astringent levels of wood, but I enjoy this.

Smooth and even-textured.

Darn fine beer—I think I enjoy this less as it warms though.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.89/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Glad to give this one a try. Cheers to Doopie for breaking out the three bottle Fred lineup including the regular, this one and the bourbon wood versions.

From a bottle into a snifter
Vintage: 2013
Six months in new American oak barrels

APPEARANCE: Much darker than the regular Fred. Pours a one finger, medium looking white head with good retention. Hazy maroon red with no carbonation evident. Slight wisp remains and leaves no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Heavy oak on the nose here, with vanilla, caramel and toffee as well. Light spices with lots of oak and wood on the nose.

TASTE: Lots of oak and wood again here, with vanilla, caramel and toffee sweetness up front. Sweet finish of more wood, butterscotch and toffee sweetness. Little bitterness, but very sweet with lots of wood.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. A little lighter than the regular version, semi-creamy and smooth on the palate, goes down okay with a touch of heat and finishes slightly mouth-coating.

OVERALL: Really nice here. Not quite as well balanced and interesting as the base beer, as the oak aging has made it somewhat one-dimensional, but this is still a delicious treat. I'd drink this one again for sure, but wouldn't bother seeking it out. Thanks again Doopie!

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Photo of sweemzander
4.59/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz. bottle poured into a stemmed tulip. 2013 vintage.

(A)- Pours a very dark burnt sienna brown color. Produced a lovely frothy tan to eggshell colored head. nice retention and lacing for the style and ABV in mind.

(S)- A very inviting aroma. A big underlying sweetness behind it with hints of a figgy raisin combo. Very deep and robust leathery tobacco oak nuances. Ever so slight vanilla and molasses kiss on the finish.

(T)- Very complex. The oak barrel really shines in this with robust leather and tobacco profile. You get a nice subtle char note from the barrel as well that meets just a little bit of cocoa and vanilla combined with a figgy raisin nuance. Even still throughout its underlying flavors, the subtle oaky sweetness just fits this so well.

(M)- A nice carbonation level for the style. It is really well balanced and layered complexity. Superb oak barrel integration and a very well hidden ABV, though perhaps a bit lighter in alcohol than most of Alan's barrel variants.

(O)- Its amazing how much a barrel can change and integrate itself into the base beer when it is done the right way. Very harmonious yet robust and balanced. Simply superb.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 Vintage. Poured in to snifter.

A - Murky deep brown; almost completely opaque with a thin layer of dirty white head.

S - Big woody/oak aroma up front with toffee, caramel and a candy-like sweet aroma.

T - Charred oak, toffee, burnt sugar, molasses, tobacco (which really intensifies as the beer warms) and a hint of smoke.

M - Full body. Light carbonation.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 year bottle as a lucky grab from a shelf in Ocean Beach. Pours a murky amber color with a small toffee colored creamy looking head. Aroma of honeycomb, molasses, maple syrup, some lemony soapy aroma. Flavor is big sweet toffee, figs, maple syrup, honey, bready, sweet brown sugar and molasses, oak, vanilla. Vanilla oak, tobacco, and maple on the finish, lingering dry on the palate. Light booze and warmth but the dryness of the oak keeps it in check. Heavy bodied but still with medium high carbonation that prickles the tongue. Huge complex flavors. Awesome brew and I was surprised how much oak remained on this after 4 years.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.94/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from '09 poured into HF stemmed glass, thanks Michael (black13) for the hook-up.

A- Pours a translucent reddish,mahogany copper nice carbonation with consistent rising bubbles, just a faint white head forms that dissipates fairly fast to a flat top leaving clinging lacing to the sides of the glass.

S- Definite oak, some honey, slightly malty, faint hints of yeast and tobacco, slight mustiness that Im assuming it picked up with age- doesn't make the beer smell bad, just different then I was expecting. Decently aromatic and fairly complex, definitely different.

T- Initially comes out as being sweet with a nice touch of honey and malts balanced with oak. Next to these flavors is an interesting muskiness that provides a hint of sourness, not what I was expecting at all with this but oddly enough it balances with the oak, sweetness, and hints of tobacco- in a way it almost adds complexity, but I think I'd prefer it fresh. Finishes with more sweetness coming through with honey, slight cherries, and a bit of toasted wood.

M- Medium bodied, very smooth although the slightly sour presence adds a little bit of sharpness to it, nice carbonation throughout.

O- This beer was definitely a little bit different then I thought it would be. Over the last few years it picked up a musty, slightly acidic quality to it. It didn't completely ruin the beer, more of just added an interesting presence to it while still showcasing the wood and sweetness. None-the-less I think I would prefer this fresh and in my taste Adam is definitely a better beer. This beer was interesting to try but I definitely wouldn't trade the cellar for it.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazed chestnut color with a beefy one finger tan head. Nice retention.

S: Smells like sticking your head into a freshly toasted oak barrel. Insane amounts of spicy and toasted wood in here. As it warms, I start to get caramel, toffee, banana bread and baked brown sugar.

T: Spicy oak right hits right away and kind of lingers over the palate, letting other flavors join it without ever really fading. Cinnamon, toffee, light leather and mild tobacco. Finish shows some light cocoa and more oak. A really nice beer. Glad I got the chance to try this one.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at mrbubbler's tasting.

2013 vintage.

Pours a hazy honey brown with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, earth, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest, honey, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a very nice wood aged presence going on with the base beer.

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Photo of BigJYoungblood
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wonderful beer, very very fruity with very little carbonation so if yo really like the carbonation beware, very fruity smell with hings of cherry and roses. Dark brownish color with a caramely look to it. Tastes of caramel, cherry and smoked wood, very good beer a definite sipper and would be perfect in the fall in my opinion.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a goblet. 2013 version

Pours a dark brown with a 2 inch bubbly white head. The smell is big on oaky alcohol with some smoke mixed in as well. The taste is extremely complex. Massive alcohol and oak at first followed by some sweet notes of caramel and molasses. Quite intriguing and unique. 100% a sipper with a full body and mild carbonation. Much different from regular Fred.

Overall where regular Fred had a ton of everything going on that was a bit too much and didnt quite do it for me, Fred from the Wood is much different. The oak aging mellowed it out some and the oak is very apparent, as well as the smokiness. The caramel is a nice treat at the end. Recommended.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep ruby/brown, one finger off white head with some lacing.

S-Oak, caramel, toffee, roasted malt and a tad bit of vanilla.

T-Well balance, oak, tad bit of burnt notes, caramel, mild bitterness. Roasted malt as well.

M-Medium to heady, nicely carbonation.

O-Much better than the bourbon version, maybe it was just the carbonation but this had great balance with bourbon was a border line bourbon bomb.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.11/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kevin for bringing a bottle of this - always love me some Hair of the Dog. Fred from the Wood pours a very deep brown color, with some rust-laden and orange-tinted edges. The beer warps from being completely opaque at the core to quite transparent at its extremities. The head quickly settles to about a millimeter or so and lies somewhere between stark-white and beige.

Fred from the Wood is like smelling a stave covered in beer. Copious amounts of boozy-oak, hand in hand with a river of burnt caramel, molasses, and light brown sugar. There's solid notes of deep raisins, black cherry skins, and tobacco; signature Hair of the Dog. A reasonable amount of dark-fruit skin sweetness hashes through the booze and oak for pretty good aromatic balance.

There's plenty of up-front barrel, just as the nose would indicate. Oak, brown sugar, caramel, hints of apple and raisin and grape sweetness and a bit of booze. Despite the fact that Fred from the Wood is 10% ABV, thick, and heavy, the boozy aspect doesn't burn or get hot, rather it just adds a bit of warmth and another layer for complexity.

I really like the mix of deep fruit, sugary caramel, and boozy-oak that's apparent in many Hair of the Dog brews, and though Fred from the Wood may not be the best or most complex one of the line-up, it's pretty damn enjoyable. The key to Hair of the Dog's success is being able to "balance" these huge brews. It's certainly still a sipper, but it never becomes a chore.

Huge, sticky toffee and oak in the aftertaste, with a palate drying woody essence, up and a down. The body of Fred from the Wood is big, thick, sticky, and almost creamy. The carbonation is pretty low, and after about ten or fifteen minutes in the glass, you're left with a still beer. Somewhat fitting for the style, but a little more carbonation wouldn't have hurt.

Another extremely solid brew from Hair of the Dog. Their sleight of hand with these old ales and barley wines is really something to marvel at; they are the kings of the slow sippers. Fred from the Wood is unique in it's capacity of oak and ability to still drink so (relatively) easy for the heftiness of the brew. I'd like to get my hands on some more of this.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

huge thanks to m4ttj0nes for this bottle!

poured into HotD Tulip glass!

Vintage 2013

Appeareance: murky brown bodied beer with 3 fingers of light tan head. The head has really good staying power as well. Its stays around for a long time eventually drops down to a thick chunky uneven cap of foam.

Smell: Mild malty sweetness, mellow dark fruits, subtle smoke, leather, earthy, oaky.

Taste: dark fruits, slight caramel sweetness, "toasted and nutty malt", leather, and tobacco. Earthy and spicy hops. Very oaky and woody. This is excellant! The warmer this beer gets the stronger the woodiness becomes and those spicy hops from Fred also seem to really show themselves too. Transition from dark fruity malts to a tannic/vinious malt profile as the beer nears room temperature. A hint of cola and diet rootbeer sweetness is also noted in the finish.

Mouthfeel: high end of a medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation levels. This beers has a fantastic mouthfeel with spot on carbonation. Very drinkable despite the 10% abv. Rediculously smooth, slick, and very creamy!

Overall: With this beer tonite, I have finally tried of all the "from the Wood" series beers that HotD has ever bottled! This is another HotD gem. I enjoy Fred very much and it is a fantastic base beer to put into a barrel. Fred from the Wood is no doubt an improvement of regular Fred! It drinks fantastic fresh and will age gracefully. I highly recommend it! I think that this is almost as good as 2012 Bourbon Fred from the Wood(the properly carbonated batch). I think this beer would also fit into the style category of an oak aged old ale or a really, really big oak aged Wee heavy based on the look, smell, flavor profile, and mouthfeel of this beer.

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Photo of timc100
4.69/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage

A: Pours a gorgeous murky brown with slight hints of the gold from non BA Fred. Sits a a very murky, dark ruby brown. Amazing head, considering the aging and abv. - dense, creamy rustic looking beige with substantial retention and sticky lacing that last throughout.

S: Huge! The barrel aging has done wonders with the base. Big flavors of organic woodiness, tabacco, some oaky vanilla and a little leather. As it warms some cherry comes through and cocoa powder. Being as fresh as it is, the crystal malts and bright hops are still there. Also some very slight oxidation.

T: Almost as amazing as the aroma, but less vibrant and complex. The huge notes of wood and tobacco come through along with some smooth oaky vanilla. More chocolate and some caramel. Getting a little big of some dark fruit, wish there were a little more, and a lot less of the base beer than there was in the aroma. Very organic and woody

P: Incredibly smooth, barely any alcohol heat to speak of, proper soft carbonation. Really highlights the flavor. Medium to full in body, definitely doesn't feel big as much as full

O: What else to expect from HotD? They make amazing beers. The oak aging has been done with tact and understanding of what flavors can be extracted and complimentary to the existing beer. I would to have an older vintage, but this certainly drinks well fresh. May actually prefer this to the bourbon variant.

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Fred From The Wood from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.22 out of 5 based on 538 ratings.
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