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

1,817 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: 1,817 |  Reviews: 866
Photo of blackc5
3.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass (what they provided me). Pours a quite dark brownish red, with a good head and heavy, quite intricate lacing. Didnt catch the batch #.

S - A wonderful dark roasted maltiness with quite forward sweetness in the form of burnt and brown sugar. Fruity with highlights of plum and candy apple. Some yeast.

T - Overly sweet in my opinion and very heavily malted. Definitely closer to an English in my book, and although I enjoyed it and the background of malt, some piney hops, and dark fruit, I found the candy sugar sweetness just too overpowering and distracting. It was served at the right temp, so that alone wasnt the reason. I wish HotD used a more subtle hand with the sugar since otherwise it seemed like a nicely complex and composed brew. As much as I hate to use this over-used word, it was the definition of cloying.

M - Medium to full body with a somewhat syrupy texture - yet another reminder of the sweetness. Medium+ carbonation for the style.

D - Despite my disappointment in the sweetness, it was still a fairly pleasant, complex brew. Tone it down a bit and it would be a real winner. If not, definitely consider this a 'for dessert' beer - not an after dessert sipper.

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

An amazing and surprising strongly malted ale. Maybe more Engish Barleywine-like in flavor and herbal presence, but attention grabbing in the succulent syrupy flavor, feel, and fruitiness.

The beer opens with a quite murky/muddy look- hazy, rust colored brown/copper. A froathy yet intermitten head eventually evens out for an eggshell creme that does a great cask ale-like impression.

Red apples and raisons fill the nose in quite domineering fashion. Mead-like honey notes swirl with the fruity esters and reminds me of mulled spices and cider. Cinnamon and nutmeg character comes in as the beer warms.

Brown sugar and molasass sweetness hits the tongue first but with a quick follow up of the apples and raisons. A long sweet fade eventually concludes with alcohol, spice, and grassy hop bitterness. Nutmeg and cinnamon flavor assist the balance but the alcohols take on a nail polish remover taste late. The rye flavor adds a spicy earthiness that makes the sweet transition to hoppy bitterness effortless and seamless.

Full and syrupy start holds on like expected from heavy honeywines. But the weight of the beer lifts just in time for the alcohol dryness and hoppy crispness, keeping the beer from finishing cloying or dulled.

A terrific beer that's tough to classify. Where I was worried about the apple upstart, the other fruits, spiciness, earthiness, and intensifying bitterness really rounds out the beer very late in the finish.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Served in a snifter. The initial pour is a moderately-dark dark with a bit of a reddish hue. The nose is quite nice, bringing forward some green apples, light hops, caramel, spice, and a bit of general malty sweetness.

The taste mimics the nose to a large extent, though some of the darker, more fruity flavors take over just a bit. Mild green apple skin the background. Nice touch of caramel and light brown sugar. Good feel with a nice body and a hint of booze in the finish. Drinks quite well and is another solid brew from a brewery that just can't seem to miss.

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Photo of CaptainTripps
3.89/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip.

Batch # 80

A: 3 fingers worth of creamy off white head. Retention of the head was one of the best I have ever seen. It was there till the very last drop. Fred poured a dark gold almost burnt orange color. Lacing was a piece of art. So much of it left on glass.

S: Fruity esters up front followed by yeast, slight carmel and alcohol.

T: Hoppy bitterness up front with a yeasty finish. Left a spicy after taste. Carmel malts and Grapefruit are really present. Slight alcohol.

M: Full bodied, lots of carbonation. Very warming beer at 10%. Spicy aftertaste but was pleasant. Alcohol very will hidden

D: Very tasty, alcohol could creep up on you though, but none the less, i could drink many of these in one sitting.

Very impressed.

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

Small capped bottle, pured into a snifter. No date on bottle.

Minimal head betrays the minimal carbonation, but the appearance is still reasonably good, a glowing dark amber, orange highlights.
Rich aroma, malty sweet with mostly caramel, followed by a hoppiness that smells mostly piney and citric.
Full bodied, with the overall depth impairedby minimal carbonation, but still quite pleasant.
Well balanced flavors, sweet caramel, citric hops, some spices, some alcoholic notes.
This is a good beer, could be great with more carbonation and a lot more aging.

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Photo of nkersten
3.94/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Batch 77- Pours a hazy golden with a quickly overflowing white head despite a not so vigorous pour. Tulip was 3/4 foam. Got out another glass and poured VERY carefully. I have had Fred many times and dont remember it having this much carbonation. Smell is fruity hops, sweet malts, some alcohol, ripe fruit. Taste follows smell very closely, hops up front but not too bitter, almost overpowered by malts and honey, a bit of alcohol in the finish. Mouthfeel is a bit off. Medium heavy body and extremely heavy carbonation. There are no other signs of infection in this one so maybe a bit too much priming sugars? Either way, it is distracting and not how the style should be. Drinkability is good despite the carbonation. I actually kind of like a bit more carbonation in this beer, but not quite this much.

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Photo of chaz01
4.07/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Twelve ounce bottle poured into a Belgian fishbowl glass.

A: Clear golden color, lots of bubbles. Agressive pour produces rich, thick foamy white head sticks around a while and leaves lots of lacing in the glass. I got lots of yeast like floaties in the glass.

S: Spicy ginger and cinnamon aroma, sweet candy apples -- very aromatic.

T: Big burst of malty sweetness with a touch of alcohol presence in the end. Dark fruit flavors and lots of caramel.

M: Medium to full bodied, syrupy mouthfeel, lots of carbonation.

D: Very nice sipping beer, warming and complex.

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Photo of beerhan
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter with a large head. A very syrup like pour with a dark orange color. Smells like alcohol, caramel, oranges, and crysanthenams. Tastes very mellow with a super sweet caramel edge. Minimal hop presence. Quite a treat to drink but a very heavy beer. Probably would not have more than one but it is damn tasty.

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Photo of Derranged
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was batch # 74, which means it has been aged a bit. Poured into a 16 oz short stemmed goblet, not the proper glassware.

A- Brownish red, almost like dark apple cider, ice tea.

S- Dark fruits, grapes, sour grapes, figs.

T- Similar to smell, grapes, dark fruits, sweet, alcohol, slightly bitter after taste.

M- Thin, medium-light carbonation.

D- I can probably have bunch of these, but that 10.0 abv would make me pay.

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Photo of 100floods
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch number on the bottle says 78.

I poured this beer only have it practically ooze out. There appeared to be no carbonation, although one finger of head appear for a second or two. What looks like hints of carbonation doesn't seem like it. The brew is a super murky golden hue. It looks like apple cider.

The first few sniffs are crisp and hoppy. There's a wee bit of alcohol and some malt cutting through. I smell some sweet citrus things going on, like honey and lemon mixed I have a feeling it's going to taste like it smells.

The first spit hits me with a blast of earthy hop flavors and malt, almost like Flying Dogs Double IPA. The puppy is full of hop flavor. This definitely has the texture of an aged beer. It's noticeably flat, but it's certainly not a malt bomb. Unfortunately the brewery's website had no information on this batch, so I don't know how old this bottle is, but it's old, and fortunately the hops have kept up. The malt has kind of an apple taste to it and certainly compliments the malt. Everything tastes kind of old, but not entirely bad. I mean, keeping in mind how old this beer COULD be, it's help up considerably.

Drinking beers like this are always a treat because you can really taste what aging is capable of, if done right.

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4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thick bronzed orange syrup. Golden highlights. Thick offwhite-yellow head. Dripping laces.

Apple, white grape, and pear. Citrus, orange peel, and spicy resins. Sweet caramel, vanilla, and booze. Hops somewhat muted, not sure of the bottling date.

Sweet apple and pear. drying white grape. Spicy rye and vanilla rum cake. Citrus and grapefruit and resins. Fruity spicy yeast esters. Great resinous bitterness.

Sticky chewy syrup. Thick, full, and drying. slow subtle carbonation.

Big, complex and tasty. Would like to try another with some more age. This one was less than a year.

Consumed 5/3/2010

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, batch 74. Pours a crystal clean malty light golden/orange hue with a couple fingers of head. Some sediment in the bottom which darken it up to a more standard barleywine color. Head has fantastic rocky retention.

Toasty caramels, brown sugar, leather, quite sweet smelling.

A really unique sweetness in this, leans to something almost tropical but not quite, perhaps a bit of the "mint" some talk of, it kind of tastes "golden" to me, perhaps its the rye which also lends a touch of spiciness. Some woody earth, lightly burnt brown sugar, a bit of toast, toffee. Initially all sweet but it follows through with a light bitterness and some complexity, a bit of bite in the finish as well as a touch of booze. As the glass progresses and warms it starts to meld together better, less dominant sweetness.

Just a little too sweet for me to call this drinkable beyond one 12oz, even that is certainly a slow sipper and you feel the alcohol warm you under the collar by about halfway. A big beer suited for sipping on a cool evening.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.66/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Batch 75 tasted 10/10/10. The others are from notes of prior tasting as noted):

Batch 71: Dark brown; sweet fruity coffee nose; bitter chocolate/malt flavors; big flavors with great balance and flavors; coffee hop finish; big; nice. 1/09;

Batch 73: like above but with a bit more carmel/toffee nose. 02/09;

Batch 74-like above with a juxtaposition of very sweet Belgian fruit, coffee and carmel with a hop character and finish. 09/09;

Batch 75 10/10/10 - Medium brown with a thin white head. Nose of sweet carmel and toffee and almost a sweet "mint" character that is very pleasant. A light carmel whiskey character in the nose. Creamy mouth with nice elegant carbonation. Off balance but not bad. Flavors of big burnt toast; big burnt carmeled coffee. Very sweet front that goes to a very pine/grapefruit skin bitter. Complex layered flavors that go from maple, carmel, toffee to bitter coffee to bitter pine finish. Complex, interesting, strong alcohol and whiskey character with big, big flavors. A sipper; not real drinkable. 10/10

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Photo of ChrisPro
3.86/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, batch 75, poured on 11/30/09. Pours hazy dark gold/orange with beautiful one-finger eggshell head that lingers. Aroma of vanilla, cardamom, caramel with undertones of lavender and earth. Medium body with incredibly smooth carb. Rich sweet honey up front, then a mild dry earthy bitter finish. Palate is fantastic except for a hint of booziness. Incredibly balanced and complex brew, but could probably use a bit of age to cool the hotness.

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Photo of silentjay
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a hazy brownish copper with a decent white head that retains as a 1 cm tall film and laces extremely well.

aroma is very strong of raisins. Like a freshly opened package of raisins. a little booze, brown sugar, rye, leather, black molasses, and other dark fruits can be detected beyond the raisin as well.

yogurt covered raisins attack the palate first with some spiciness assumed to be provided from the rye coming next. dark molasses, caramelized brown sugar, butterscotch, figs, dates, prunes, plums, some bitter citrus (just a touch) and tons of other flavors going on in this one as well. Very complex yet balanced not harsh and very tasty. booze harshness is there, but not on the forefront like in many other big barleywines due to everything else going on.

medium to heavy in body with just enough carbonation and some pleasant sweet stickiness left on the palate to balance the booze that lingers slightly.

drinks very well for a beer this size. not the prototypical barelywine by any means, but it brings in so many different characteristics and flavors and ends up creating a very complex beer that sips so well. no one should be chugging this one, but sipping and savoring.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.29/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Now, if only Drew Brees would throw a touchdown pass to Shockey all would be right in the world...Very cloudy amber - a shade darker than a hefeweizen and a shade lighter than a pale ale...No head to apeak of and, therefore, no lacing. Second HotD beer I've had like that - mayhaps I'm getting old bottles?? Faint aromas of caramel, vanilla and something candy-like - maybe honeycomb? Flavor is huge and sweet - barleywine-like in nature. Very rich in the mouth. Some alcoholo, but very smooth. Lots of sweetness could be cloying for many, but I like it as it's balanced well with the hops. Hop finish is understated but nice bitterness. Finish is not long and is kind of uneventful given the initial burst of flavor. Expensive at $3.99/12oz. bottle, bringing drinkability down a little for me.

What I like Most: The sweetness is balanced well.

What I like Least: The finish is kind of boring.

Verdict: Worth trying, but not elite given the price.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm enjoying this beer tonight by the generosity of drabmuh. Thanks a lot Matt!

review # tree fiddy

A: Fred appears very similar in color to a glass of cherry juice. The beer is pretty hazy. There is about an inch of thick, off-white head that slowly shrinks down to 1/4" and holds steady. Ample lacing can be found around the circumference of the tulip glass.

S: The aroma is quite strong and forward. Sweet malts and alcohol take the lead, followed by some underlying fruit scents.

T: Chewy caramels soaked in alcohol. The heat and/or alcohol are really quite prominent in all aspects of this beer. That being said, I don't find it as bothersome as I usually do. Perhaps it's because this is a seriously well crafted beer. All in all, I do feel that the alcoholic intensity prevents this from achieving a higher flavor score, as it really dominates the overall presentation in the nose and palate. A few years (or more) in the cellar could very possibly yield a top-notch American Barleywine. Hmm...

M: Thick and heavy, the liquid creates a warming sensation that starts in your throat and runs down into your chest, similar to a shot of whiskey. If I were outside freezing, and really craving a beer, Fred would be a great choice.

D: I imagine that this beer would have no problem hibernating in my cellar until my son is ready to drink it (he's three). That being said, I thought it was really tasty and enjoyable now, though it packs a punch. This is a great brew to share with some friends, as a few ounces in a snifter would be adequate.

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Photo of Florida9
3.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Brown with an orange tint. Cloudy. Opaque. Pours with a large, thick, brilliant white head that reduces down to a creamy surface coating. Copious lacing.

S: Earthy. Oak, wood, tobacco, and a hint of vanilla.

T: Much like the aroma, with rye spice and a fusel bite. Mild bitterness.

M: A thick and meaty beer. Viscous, with lower carbonation and a light alcoholic heat.

D: A found this one to be a bit rough. Decent, but maybe a little age would have helped even it out a bit.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.86/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle picked up in Philly, let it warm out of the fridge for a bit before opening. Batch 78 (anyone know when this was bottled?)

I think we have a new winner for ridiculous head on a beer...literally filled my 11oz or so snifter completely with head. Had to actually re-pour this into my much bigger Duvel tulip, which finally reveals some actual beer, hazy orange filled with sediment. Retains at 2 fingers forever, good lacing.

Huge rye malt and candi sugar in the nose, lemon and earthy hops, a little bit of bread. English hops? Very sweet, funky and odd.

Lots of different flavors from the hops I'm guessing - earth, lemon, floral, citrus. But I wouldn't call this a hoppy brew necessarily. Candi sugar here is HUGE making this very sweet. Tons of sweet malts. Caramel and medicinal notes. Can't pick up much rye but I do get the pilsner malt a little. Still getting an English IPA vibe. Took some time to get used to, but I liked it more with each sip.

Huge creamy body on this one, very nice. I thought it would be over-carbonated because of the head but it's just about spot on. Definitely a bit boozy but doesn't detract, numbs the tongue.

This is quite a strange barleywine, not what I expected for sure. Almost like if you combined Alesmith Horny Devil and a much less poisonous Stone 14th Anniversary. Crazy sweet, all over the place, but enjoyable. Hard to imagine how this ages.

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Photo of metter98
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy amber in color and poured with a finger high beige head that slowly settled down but left a thin layer of bubbles consistently covering the surface. There is a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation.
S: There are aromas of caramel malts and alcohol in the nose.
T: The taste has a moderate amount of sweetness and is dominated by flavors of alcohol, caramel malts, molasses, raisins and spices. There is a mild amount of bitterness in the finish. The flavors become more complex as the beer warms up.
M: It feels full-bodied, smooth and sticky on the palate with just a slight amount of carbonation. There is some dryness and warming from the alcohol, most notably in the finish.
D: For the amount of alcohol content in this beer, it's actually quite drinkable although the stickiness can slow you down.

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Photo of armock
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured an orangeish color with a huge off white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Has a very sweet malty nose

T - Just like it smells its very sweet malt upfront then has an alcohol finish

M - This beer has a fuller body with high carbonation to it

D - Overall this is a good enjoyable beer it wouldn't be my first choice in choosing a barleywine but its still worth getting to try out

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Photo of drabmuh
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my DFH signature glass, congratulations, its a barleywine. Beer is amber and hazy but clears as I drink it, may have served it slightly too cold. Head leaves some lacing on the glass but its not much of a head to start out with, carbonation is low.

Malty malty malty. Sweet syrupy aroma. Pretty strong, this is what barleywines smell like.

Beer is thin and sweet with a dry finish. Its a little odd, all the flavor is in the front half of the palate and then it kind of falls flat. I like it, I do, I think its a good beer and even for a barleywine I enjoy it, I just wish there was some sort of late flavor or bitterness. I would recommend it.

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Photo of andrewinski1
4.48/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 77. Poured into tulip. Huge head on this one leaves lots of lacing. Even after most of the head has gone, there is still a good quarter inch of foam resting atop the orangey, caramel colored hazy body.

Smells like orange zest. Sweet candy malt is also noticed.

The taste is a lot of candy sweetness in the front with a nice bitter finish. A hint of toffee and brown sugar is also noted. Very very good.

This has a nice full body to it making it a decent sipper. The carbonation aids in bringing out all the flavors, and makes for a creamy bubbly feeling. Hope to get more!

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Photo of MbpBugeye
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a replacement bottle sent to me by AleWatcher after the first one was an infected mess. Jeff is a stand up guy, no doubt.

Im having this side by side with Fred from the Wood.

A- A bright honey golden colored beer with a white head. Minimal lacing, mostly just little pearls.

S- Figs, raisins, candi sugars, lighter fruits. This one smells much more balanced that its wood aged counter part. Much like FFTW alcohol smells strong.

T- Very nicely balanced. The initial flavors are blasts of sweet fruits and candi sugars and citrus. Its breaks into a bitter movement of more pronounced citrus, pine and alcohol.

M- Smooth, dry and warming.

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

Caramel colored body with fluffy off-white head. Very good retention and lacing.

Smell is over ripe bananas, brown sugar, and light spice.

Taste is earthy and spicey, with a nice combo of toasty and sweet brown sugar malts. Prunes and over ripe bananas fill out the middle. The toasted flavor sits on the palate the longest.

The body is medium-heavy and slightly hot, but not bad for 10% abv. Good carbonation.

This is a quality barleywine (or whatever it may be classified as) that seems to be a combination of styles that centers around a barleywine. A unique beer and one that I'd certainly have again if given the accessability.

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Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.09 out of 5 based on 1,817 ratings.
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