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

1,807 Ratings

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: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Fred was created to honor beer writer and historian Fred Eckhardt. It is made with aromatic and rye malts and includes 10 different hop varieties.

10% alcohol by volume
65 IBUs.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-13-1998

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Ratings: 1,807 |  Reviews: 864
Photo of Treebs
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Poured from 12oz. bottle into Founders snifter.

A: Holy head Batman! I poured extremely slowly because I've heard about the carbonation issues with HotD brews. Even with this slow tilted pour it produced a 3 finger head that rose slowly to a 4 finger head. It poured a nice dark apricot with yellowed edges. The bubbles flying around underneath the head are crazy. The retention is otherworldly and the lace is thick and heavy along the class.

S: Trying to fight through the head for smells is tough, but I'm picking up some nice caramel malts and some toffee. Some nice dark fruits, plums and dates, with a boozy back.

T: What a mix of flavors. The dark toffee and caramel malts are extremely present up front, then give way to those dark fruits I smelled earlier. The heat is more present in the taste and leaves a little trail down the throat. Some smooth bitterness finishes out the beer.

M: Very oily and creamy. Medium bodied. Leaves an oily film that coats the mouth with a nice mild sweetness. The carbonation is present, but not as prickly as I would have imagined.

O: Waiting for the head to die down was worth it. A very good brew. I really enjoyed the mouthfeel and the tastes and smell really blended nicely.

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Photo of Tone
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy, copper color. 6/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet malt, slight citrus, yeast, and slight bread. Fits the style of an American Barleywine. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, slight citrus hops, slight yeast, and hint of bread. Overall, great appearance, good aroma, body, and blend.

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Photo of MrKennedy
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle courtesy of bluebetty, huge thanks!

Golden colour with a touch of orange. Clear at first and cloudier the deeper you delve into the bottle. Nice white head of foam.

Real perfumey aroma. Apricot is present, so too some wood along with dried tropical fruits.

Nice hop presence all the way through, there, quite noticeable, but not over the top. Sweet as well.

Big bodied, really nice mouthfeel the way the hops hit from front to back of your tongue.

Overall not a traditional american barleywine, very unique aroma and taste profile. Easy to drink even with the big body. Interesting!

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Photo of Neffbeer
4.26/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle marked batch 81. Poured into a Portsmouth tulip.

A: After reading the previous review I was a bit wary of having a gusher on my hands. Luckily there was a proper hiss and no foaming. Much like my experience with Adam, this brew has an absolutely incredible head that forms rocky white caps that just do not go away. Great retention and tons of lacing. The color is golden with an amber/orange hue, beautiful.

S: I am hit in the face with a huge wave of hoppy goodness, herbal, floral, and citrusy. After the hops subside notes of biscuit malt, and toasty grain make an appearance along with some sugary sweetness. The more it warms I feel like the yeast has a bit of a Belgian character, displaying a peppery spiciness.

T: Where to begin? The hops are upfront, but not as pronounced as the nose. There is an intense wave of honey like sweetness (not cloying) that bursts forth with toasted bread in tow. The rye adds a very nice spicy component that helps balance the overall residual sweetness. It is not hard to imagine this beer aging extremely well

M: The feel of this beer is incredible. Rich and lush are the adjectives that come to mind. The rye has added an immense amount of body, stellar.

O: Hair of the Dog has really impressed me as of late. Why did I wait so long to get into their beers?!? This beer is great fresh (a bit sweet young) and has all of the components to be incredible after some time in the cellar. Cheers!

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Photo of nhindian
1.65/5  rDev -59.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

12oz bottle poured into a Cantillon wine glass.

Batch 78.

To begin with: This beer is explosive. I poured a little bit of the beer gently into the glass and I was met with a rushing cloud of foam and carbonation. I had a half inch of liquid to 10-feet of foam. I literally had to scoop the foam out with a spoon to get it to a level where I could actually get a drinkable amount of beer into the glass. Their first beer I had from them was dead flat and this one's bursting with carbonation.

Anyway, onto the review.

A - After scooping out spoonful after spoonful of dense foam, I am left with about 2.5-fingers of incredibly thick, creamy head. This is the closest thing I've seen that resembles the head that Allagash beers get, but this one gets a little chunky at the top and doesn't budge. Even after sitting for almost a half hour, there's still carbonation and head sticking around on this, unfortunately as it's so thick I'd prefer if it went away. I find no faults with the body, however, as it is a beautiful amber gold with a lot of radiant glow to it. It's hazy, but it's easy to see the multitude of carbonation. The lacing benefits from the persistent head, as it coats it almost completely.

S - After taking my first smell of this, I can definitely tell this is off, as if the head and carbonation didn't give it away. It's full of tart green apples and is slightly sour. I can discern some yeast, malts, and bread, as well as some spices? The back has some citrus hops to it, but not much.

T - The flavors from this are just a mess in my opinion. From the tart notes, to the bready malts, to the overactive carbonation, this is a jumble of flavors that are not congruent at all. I am actually having a tough time picking out specific notes in this. Yeast, green apple, caramel, slight citrus hoppiness. All vying for pole position only to get blindsided by carbonation.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with too high carbonation. Again, this is the second Hair of the Dog beer I had in as many days that suffer from mouthfeel and carbonation problems. Adam was completely flat, and Fred is brimming with carbonation. Very awkward for the style and flavor profile and I can still feel it bubbling in my stomach.

D/O - Drinkability is low. I kept going back and forth on whether I should drain pour this, being conflicted that it might foam up and clog my drain and pipes, and then getting scared as to what is going to happen to my digestive tract. Eventually I lost the battle with this beer, getting knocked down by the yeast and carbonation, and then finally TKO'd by a surprising amount of sweet cloyingness that manages to rise from seemingly nowhere and assault me in the finish. Stay away unless you can get a guarantee you are getting a clean bottle, which from my now 0/2 track record from Hair of the Dog, makes me think it may be harder than it seems. Take out insurance.

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Photo of flipper2gv
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to nick717 for this bottle!

A: Dark yellow color with a HUGE off white head. Retention is phenomenal and lacing is just as good. Hazy.

S: The smell is quite amazing. You get the light biscuit malts note in this that blends pretty well with the white sugar like sweetness. You get dried peaches and pineapple, light figs and ripe mango in the smell. Some light butterscotch caramel. Light lemon zest and pine. Smells more like a hopped up BSPA than a barleywine IMO.

T: It also doesn't taste really like a barleywine, not even close to tasting like FFF Behemoth. It is quite sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. There is a kind of cherry nyquil kind of taste in this beer that I cannot deny while not being really "bad". Again, there are figs, dried peaches and dired pineapple, super sweet mango. Light butterscotch caramel. Light lemon and not much zest or pine.

M: Pretty big and very sticky. Medium carbonation.

O: That's a very solid beer. It's different from everything I had before but is still quite good.

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Photo of ottovon
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours out an orangish straw color with a huge fluffy, white head.

S: it has a subtle sweetness to it. there is also the aroma of crisp, citrus hops. I get some straw and a bit of peppery spice. some orange, burnt sugar, and a touch of alcohol.

T: a lot of the aroma comes through. there is a bit of sweetness. i get orange, white pepper, light fruits, and some straw. there is a crisp hop bite and it finishes a touch bitter.

M: a medium body with a good amount of carb.

O: this is a great beer and i would drink this a lot if i lived in Portland.

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Photo of Allpe45
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz poured into a snifter
Batch 79

Appears a hazy brownish orange with 1 finger head that recedes leaving sticky white lace.

Smells like sugary malt, cooked sugars, and rye malts. Sweet candied raisins and molasses. A subtle grassy/earthy hop aroma presents itself as the beer warms. First thing I notice from the initial sip is how incredibly silky smooth this beer is. Very low carbonation but medium-thin bodied. Lots of sugary malt flavor up front, followed closely by caramel sweet estery fruit, some honey and rye. A touch of spicy hops in the finish and another smattering of malty sweetness coats the mouth with slick oiliness. Very unique, doesn't really fit the classification of american barleywine but I don't think there is a style where this would fit.

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Photo of Oneinchaway
4.62/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very distinguishable beer that kept me guessing what it was exactly during a blind bag taste.

Good slightly cloudy and darker yellow look with a light coating of head).

Very smooth mouthfeel that goes right down.

Very banana like aroma jumps from the glass with a very similar taste to mimic its scent.

Overall a very deliciously sweet beer (like that of the juice straight out of a fruit).

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into snifter. From notes

A - Fantastic pour. Orange to light copper and amber. Super fluffy stark white head.

S - Sweet, brown sugar, candied sugar, regular get the point. I do get some zest of lemon, butterscotch and rye.

T - See above. Very sweet, butterscotch, brown sugar mostly. The hint of lemon and oranges is there as well along with candied apricots. Very good

M - Sticky, medium fairly well balanced.

O - I enjoyed this beer except it was a touch too sweet for me, but still remained quite tasty. I continue to love HotD products.

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Photo of Alpar
3.27/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A very nice golden orange color with a small white that recedes quickly. Nicely carbonated.

S: Smells very sweet, I am getting hops and honey or maybe sugar.

T: Sweet just like the smell, with some hops on the back of the tongue.

M: A bit coating but not too much. Very nice.

O: This is pretty good. I was expecting something different but this definitely didn't let me down.

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Photo of alf212
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brownish orange sticks erywhere.

Dried fruits with chocolate. Smells like those raisins covered in chocolate with some molasses

Tastes just like the nose with some caramel coming in at the end. Great dessert beer. Alcohol is hidden pretty well

Very creamy and smooth mouthfeel

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Photo of Airyk12
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy copper with a foamy white head that leaves a web of lacing.

Smells of dried fruit and rich malts and hops. Sweet, with a hint of bitterness.

Again, lots of sweetness and a good bit of dried fruit and a tiny bit of bitterness.

Creamy smooth, medium-light body. Some carbonation. Smooth.

A really solid barleywine. Sweet, with a hint of bitterness. Very good. Another winner from a great brewer.

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Photo of Marty30
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to brewerdan for this extra.Poured into A Duvel tulip at around 55degrees.Batch 78.

A. A deep orange body when held up to the light.Leaves behind a half inch offwhite head that disappears quickly. Some carbonation coming off the bottom of the glass.Very little lacing on the glass.

S. Smells sweet lots of fruits,apricots,cherries,honey and some candied sugar.

T. Follows the smell spot on,very sweet lots of sugar and sweet fruits lots of apricot and raison with some honey.Get a small amount of alchohol.

M. Heavy and thick, coating the pallet all over.Not much carbonation but that is expected.

Overall this is a very heavy and sweet beer I enjoyed it but I could only see myself drinking one of these in a sitting.I will be seeking more.

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Photo of aasher
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #78. This beer pours somewhere in between dark gold and bright copper in color with a three finger cream colored head. This one may take awhile to calm down. It smells of very bready sweet malts. I get A LOT of Bisquick biscuit dough from it. It also features a light but sweet caramel malt aspect that is rather subdued but pairs well with the aforementioned biscuity aromas. It tastes of sweet caramel malts with a nice honey covered biscuit aftertaste that is delicious. The whole profile isn’t typical of a “barleywine” but it works rather well. It is moderately sweet but isn’t overpowering in the least. It isn't overly sticky on the palate either but boy does the head stick to the side of the glass. It’s probably one of the most drinkable barleywines around. Overall this is a great beer from Hair of the Dog, once again.

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Photo of megahurts4
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hair of the Dog Fred

Appearance: hazy orange, large head, and some good lacing.

Smell: malty grain and hops.

Taste: caramel malts, slight grain, and a bit of hops with a bitter sweetness.

Mouthfeel: medium.

This is a nice brew. It is very malty, but also has a bitter sweetness to it. It is sweet enough to be more an after-dinner beer.

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Photo of muttyd
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark yellow, almost amber. Massive white head that settles to about 1/4 inch. Very hazy brew. Aroma is very sweet (candi / fruity), hops, yeast spice. Some leather and vanilla characters in the nose as well. Flavor is very sweet, spicey (rye?), and bitter in the finish. Lots of spice, leather, and other flavors going on in the flavor. Very sticky and sweet in the finish. Well carbonated, almost light on the tongue due to the carbonation. Alcohol well perceived throughout. Very good barleywine.

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Photo of Kshock
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Confusing beer....

Has some qualities and aspects of both belgian goldens and barleywines.

A-Looks like a light Belgian, but just dark enough it could be mistaken for a barleywine. Nice bright beer with a lot of head retention, good lacing on the glass.

S- sweet malts with a good amount of hop aroma. Literally smells bitter sweet.

T- starts out really sweet, heavy sugar flavors, then drys very quickly revealing the big hop presence hiding behind the sugars. Hoppy like a west coast barleywine and sweet like a Belgian triple all at the same time.

M- Lots of carbonation, with a medium body feel to it.

very interesting beer, but at the same time i feel it is not sure what it wants to be, which i like. It alows the drinker to make his own conclusion about the beer, thus forcing the drinker to think about what he is drinking, which is a very good thing :)

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Photo of rickyleepotts
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What is a barleywine? Who cares? I like barley… and I like wine. (Actually, when we bought this beer the guy behind the counter (Jim was his name) said this beer was “big”. I think a 10% ABV makes any beer big.) I love the name too, more of the brewery than the actual beer. But once learning the history behind the name Fred, I was intrigued.

Sort of how Rogue makes unique brews, Hair of the Dog Brewing does just the same. The name behind this beer has been writing about beer for a LONG time. Hopefully someone will name a beer after me one day.

The beer has a lot of head. It also says on the bottle to pour slow to keep sediment out. Also, according to Jim, this beer can age very well. It is meant to be enjoyed right away or to be put down in the cellar for aging. The beer will actually change flavor as the years go by. The beer smells sweet, almost crisp and clean with a hint of fruit… let’s see what she tastes like. (Or he since the name of the beer is Fred.)

The initial flavor explodes on your palate with a combination of carbonation and utter sweetness. Not chocolate sweet per say, but a light summer based fruity sensation. (Drink the beer, you will see what I mean.) The aftertaste wants to hang around, and while there are subtle hints of the brew that stick around, the aftertaste is quick to leave your tongue. It sticks around in your throat more than anything.

Each sip of this beer leaves me reaching for another… it’s a VERY well balanced beer for being 10% ABV. Hair of the Dog Brewing claims to be loyal, pure, and faithful. They also claim to have a wet nose. Regardless of their nose, this beer is delicious. I would see this as a beer to drink on celebration, not your everyday brew. I love it… bottoms up people!

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a nice light, coludy orange color with a nice white cap.

S: Nose was rye, booze and candy. Citrus and floral notes.

T: Taste starts out hot but smooths out. Plenty of citrus, candy sugar sweetness and rye. Floral notes. Piney at times.

M: Mouthfeel is quite smooth but with noticable alcohol. Very good. A big body for sure.

O: Good

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Photo of loren01
4.41/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy golden color, huge head with lots of lacing down the glass
S: Herbal, spices, rye and yeast
T: Real sweet up front with an interesting spiciness and crisp hoppy flavor
M: Medium to full bodied, this beer is a sipper for sure.
O: This is an interesting beer, would be great with some age...would buy this one again for sure.

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Photo of JizackFH
4.7/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer pours a beautiful hazy golden color. It has a nice 2-finger white head on it. The head has great retention, and it leaves some nice lacing behind on the glass.

S - It smells of sweet malts and a big fruitiness. There is a nice hop presence and I am also getting some notes of spices, citrus, hops, and a touch of alcohol too.

T - This has a very complex taste. There are a lot of fruit notes such as banana, pear, apple, figs, raisins, and apple. There is a lot of sweet caramel malts, and quite a nice hop character as well. I am also getting notes of brown sugar, booze, some spices, and wood.

M - It has a full body and good carbonation. It goes down very smooth, and has a rich and creamy feel to it. It has a bit of a chewy quality to it. It also feels a bit foamy. It is sweet, and there is also some lingering hop bitterness.

O - This has good drinkability. I think it is a bit of a sipper, but the flavor makes me not want to put it down. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. The flavor is great and complex, leaving different flavors in your mouth with each sip. I highly recommend this beer. I will be picking this up again, no doubt.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into New Belgium globe. Batch 74.

A: deep clear gold with thick three finger head, appears over carbonated for the style, great retention

S: spicy rye malt up front with waves of herbal/earthy hops, notes of pine, sweet notes of maple,molasses, and honey. Lots going on here, very nice aroma.

T: the taste starts with some sweet belgian character with some dark fruit, followed by molasses and maple. Notes of hops and rye come in towards the end. Very rich and flavorful. The sweetness is strong but the hops cut through and make for a nice balance.

MF: big body, high carbonation

O: this is a great barleywine with tons of flavor. It borders on being a bit sweet, but the sweetness goes well with the rye and hops.

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Photo of flannelman808
3.06/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Bright amber in color yellow tinge toward the edges. A powerful head forms and has ridiculous retention. I'll comment on the lacing in about 15 min as the rocky head isn't going anywhere fast. Too much carbonation? looks like this one is seriously made for aging (no cork though ... ).
Yeah silly lacing too.

S: Pilsner malt (husk) and white cane sugar take over the aroma, maybe just a hint of dried candied fruit somewhere hidden along with a subtle grassy note.

T: Very rich and very carbonated, but the thickness of the beer actually overpowers the tickle. Still its difficult to taste. Sugar cane and bitter grassy flavors would seem to tease out of a vigorous tongue numbing (think seltzer) carbonation. Mild honey like flavors develop along with the warming of 10% abv. This is definitely a sweet beer though it hides behind bubbles which are doing the best job of keeping it from being cloying.
Subtle fruity notes develop with time as this warms, which are actually pretty nice. Perhaps time will help this beer, but honestly I wouldn't buy more given its high cost.

M: Seltzer and syrup.

O: I have to say I am not a fan of this. Over time it may get better, and if you happen to buy one I would recommend not drinking it because you will have wasted your 7 ish dollars a 12 oz.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was a bit taken back by the frothy/substantial head that formed on this beer. The head just lays there like a pile of whipped cream. The beer is a light cloudy amber color. (Beer was not disturbed for well over 24 hours.  The clumpy rings of lacing are amazing.  

Smell is yeasty with lots of malt notes. Some alcohol present. A touch of sweetness.

Very interesting barley wine flavor. Lost of citrus, fruity character in the flavor. Just below this is a lot of sweet caramel. These two combine nicely. The candied sugar provides a bit of an interesting twist on the sweetness. Have to admit, I would not have picked out the Rye. Perhaps this contributes to a more crisp finish here.

Full bodied, almost sticky, but still fresh.

I am enjoying this and its growing on me. A barley wine with an interesting twist.

Well done.

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Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.09 out of 5 based on 1,807 ratings.
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