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

864 Reviews

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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 864 | Ratings: 1,804
Photo of Oneinchaway
4.62/5  rDev +13.2%
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 bradcochran1234
4.62/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is hands down one of the best beers I have ever had.
Imagine yourself sitting on your fireplace mid day in November, when all of a sudden your wife comes in the house and hands you Hair of the Dog Fred. When you open the bottle it reeks of huge pine tree sap and wants to penetrate your mouth.
All of a sudden it just jumps right out of the glass and discriminates against you bad taste buds and just hangs out with the cool ones.
This beer is that cool freakin' beer you just let hang out for a while and sip on when you want some amazing tasting shit.

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Photo of
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Fred, Batch #1, 12oz. bottle

Poured a hazy, light brown color with some orange tones. No head to speak of, remnants of foam appear to be light tan. No lacing, decent legs.

Smelled a lot like port - dark fruits, raisins, figs. Caramel and sweet wheat bread. Very faint touch of cardboard, and a ghost of herbal bitterness.

Taste was more sweet than bitter. Touch of alcohol. Raisins, figs, again port would not be a bad description. Carmelized sugar. A bit more of the herbal bitterness at the end.

Full body. No to low carbonation. Sweet moreso than dry. ABV warming at first sip.

A great sipper and a fantastic dessert. I enjoyed it over an hour or so and it kept getting better. I tried a fresh version recently, and it had a much stronger hop character, and quite a bit more carbonation. I like it better with the age on it.

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Photo of RootedFool
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle purchased at the North Coast Co-op in Arcata, California.

Batch # 51.

Outrageously aggressive yellow-white head, Belgian style big husk of lace clings to the walls of the pint glass. Cloudy copper body.

Smell is simultaneously caramel sweet and musty earth, like forest undergrowth after a heavy rain storm, a whiff of alcohol on the finish.

Taste opens with a wide-spread bitterness that carries a heavy alcohol heat, not uncomfortably -- the hop bitterness plays nicely with the warming alcohol content. The middle is more tartly bitter and spicy (black pepper, cloves), some sweetness -- ginger snap cookies come to mind -- appears in the background. A palate sizzling bitterness realigns with the alcohol heat for the finish and I'm feeling it everywhere (nose, throat, gut, even my eyes!) -- I like it!

Mouthfeel: lightly creamy, very carbonated.

Strong as hell. As balanced, as graceful as a lumbering giant can be. Well worth a try.

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Photo of DCon
4.59/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received a 12 FLUID OUNCE(S) bottle in a trade w/ mdvatab. Poured from the dark blue label w/ a yellow bulldog on the front into a 16oz Snifter Glass. Has BATCH NUMBER "78" on the front.

Aroma- A very complexed aroma! Sweet Caramel, spiciness, bit of booze, and depth. A light malt character is in the background too. Enjoyed more than anything.

Appearance- Pours a 1.5 finger head that stays for good time. Dark orange colored body that has depth and cloudiness. Leaves suds behind.

Flavor- Has a huge marriage of spice and sweet caramel flavors that hit home! Malt is present also but mainly has a unreal sweetness and light spiciness. Light-Medium Bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Medium-High Bodied, High Carbonation, Smooth, has great spice that his palate and then a great alcohol warming finish.

Overall Impression- Hair of the Dog brought it with this brew! Unreal sweetness and caramel flavor. I suggest you get this (a 6 pack) and send one of these to me! Wish H.O.T.D. was available in MO. Highly Recommend.

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Photo of throwitallaway
4.59/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought at South Bay Liquor. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. Looks like a Belgian beer, but lacks a big head. Aroma of pineapple and bubble gum. Holy shit that smells delicious! Taste is fruity, with big bitterness coming in on the finish. Very tasty. Definitely reminds me of the Stone 10th Anniversary Ale, which I've only had once. Can't remember what the mouthfeel was unfortunately. I truly loved this beer.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.59/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass chunky and nasty with a golden amber color. The head was tall and large and fine bubbled lasting to lace the glass.

The aroma was evident from a mile away. Deeply fruity and malty with a strong ale presence. The beer aromatic was bready and hoppy and uniquely interesting and complex. The aroma contained some higher alcohol spicy phenolics that added complexity.

The flavor was malty with a strong bittering a bready flavor that contained a deep fruit character. The bittering was assertive and agressive and backed up by the malt flavors which were also strong and yet well done. The hop flavors were well aged and well presented.

The finish was hoppy and bitter with a dry edge, but still retained a strong malt presence into the afteraste and long lingering bittering. The body was full and viscous and well done. Alcohol added complexity throughout the beer, but really showed in the warming that occurred post consumption.

12 ounce bottle, Batch Number 35. It appears this batch was from 2002 per the label, but who knows when I purchased it. Anyway, a heck of a beer...

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.59/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy effervescent orange amber color with a shallow wispy off white head that is kept alive from beneath. Spotty patterns of lacing left behind. The smell is really wonderful. It's aggressive with malty sweet caramel butterscotch notes. Adequately carbonated, the mouth feel is full bodied. The initial mouthful is conditioned with a moderate sense of the alcohol. Very creamy and smooth with a gentle warming nature. Full flavored, the taste matches up with the aroma really well. This is a really fine barleywine. If this was available locally i would search no further. I'm sure that this is sample is the diet version. A great ale with a ton to consider. Highly recommended.

Thanks go out to grumpy for the opportunity to sample this one.

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Photo of nickfl
4.59/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - One finger of off-white head on a slightly hazy copper-brown body. The foam dissipates quickly and leaves thick lace clinging to the glass.

S - Thick, rich toasted and toffee malt with earthy, spicy hops. Some dark fruit in the background with notes of red apple and plum.

T - Very thick, very sweet caramel malt, followed immediately by smooth, stiff hop bitterness. These two elements continue to play off one another all the way through the finish, weaving around dark, fruity notes of raisins, fig and plum, spicy alcohol, cinnamon, and clove as well as brown sugar and pipe tobacco. Dark flavor linger and become darker on the palate, releasing smoke, char, and licorice.

M - Very thick, creamy, smooth, mousse-like body, moderately low carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - Great. The aroma is good, the flavor is complex with exquisite balance, and the mouthfeel is obscenely velvety. The appearance is the only aspect of this beer that is less than stellar, and it is still better than average. This is an excellent beer and my only complaint is that I don't have a whole case of them to cellar, because it has the potential to age very well.

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Photo of NWer
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 82. Slow deliberate pour into my Deschutes tulip revealed an explosive foamy result 1" beer, 4" foam. Very surprising. Foam dissipates very slowly leaving behind clumps of foam that won't go away. Nice lace.
Cloudy golden appearance.
Sweetness on the nose. Very sweet. Like cotton candy. At first sip, hops fight through the sweetness reveling themselves (along with the alcohol) leaving a very pleasant aftertaste.
A wonderful sipping beer.
Note: My first experience with Fred was Fred from the Wood at the brewery and expected this to be a letdown.
Not so. Fred stands on its own beautifully.

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Photo of granger10
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had a blind barleywine tasting last night and this beer took first out of the 8 beers involved. Here's my notes on it:

Appearance: Honeyish color with a solid creamy head that holds up decently. Holy Crap! There is an exorbant amount of yeast in here and the yeast is thick and big. Nice and dirty . . . I love it!

Smell: This is a very, very aromatic beer. It's not real hoppy or alcoholy but more sweet. There's a sweet roll nose on it combined with caramel but I can tell there's a lot of hops and alcohol in there, they just meld together nicely. Slightly fruity in the end.

Taste: Begins with a caramel sweetness then toffee. There's a spicy flavor in here that seems to work with the sweetness. The yeast provides a buttery flavor that's light and also works with the spicyness but brings out some fruit flavors the further I go. Hops are abundant but not bitter at all. Very complex hop strike here. There's some woody tones the whole way, I'm getting oak and a little vanilla with it. No alcohol fusels at all. Finish is amazingly aromatic meaning I'm getting all the flavors from the beer every time I breathe. Amazing!

Mouthfeel: The yeast provides a great body, nice smooth thickness. Great balance of flavors are in there. The slight butteryness makes it a little slick on the tongue which I really like. I'm loving this beer.

Drinkability: Oh yeah this is drinkable. I couldn't put this down. Not a sipper as its too enjoyable and not quite intense enough. The flavors let themselves known but aren't overbearing.

Overall: One hell of a beer. The brewers who brewed this know their stuff and then some. Amazing.

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Photo of Gatch
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch No. 83

A: Beautiful, cloudy, deep brown, almost red/amber. Huge off-white, very bubbly head. I mean huge. Towering. Hangs around forever.

S: Incredibly floral & fruity hops aromas. Sweet, sugary malt.

T: Very malty, mellowed hop, boozy concoction. Bready, sweet, fruity, delicious. Complex hop flavors but fruity and incredible.

M: Smooth. Huge flavor. Booze is inviting and complementary. Drinkability is off the charts.

O: Incredible beer. Such a treat.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 7/29/08. Bottle, batch 70 Pours a deep orange with a gorgeous thick light tan head. Aroma of sweet fruits, candi sugar. Flavor of initial hops bitterness, followed by a sweet, fruity finsih. Lots of citrus and tropical fruits, lemon, melon rind, pineapple, lime. Nice mild, bitter hops balance the sweet fruits. Alcohol warmth in the throat but no alcohol presence in the taste. WOW, this is an excellently constructed beer and so tasty in the mouth. This beer is top-notch and the by-far best barleywine I've ever had.

Update 11/15/08. Bottle, batch 69. Pours a cloudy orange-brown with a small, super-foamy off-white head. Aroma of sweet tropical fruits, lemon, grapefruit, melon rind. Flavor is quite fruity (citrus, lemon, tropical fruits) and sweet with just a touch of bitter hops in the finish. This is one of the most interesting barleywines I've ever had and it's really unlike any other. Hair of the Dog knows how to do it right!
Appearance: 5/5
Aroma: 9/10
Palate: 5/5
Flavor: 9/10
Overall: 18/20

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Photo of MrNuggets
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

This one is big on flavor. Yeasty notes fill the nose. Starts me off sweet. Sweet like hot maple syrup. Like a mouthfull of pine needles. Sharp bitterness, a firm smack of huge hop flavor.
Soft of the palate, high level of carbonation makes this oddly smooth.
No foam problem with this bottle, not much head at all actually. Maybe I was too careful?

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Photo of manahansf
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Popped the cap and it sounded like a gunshot as the cap went flying off. Poured into the glass and instantly filled with frothy off white head. Took about 7 minutes for it to finally settle and leave an incredibly thick and creamy two finger head. The beer itself is hazy and golden in color with visibly high carbonation. The nose is sweet and biscuity and well balanced. Although the aroma is not huge and bold, the flavor is. A mix of grainy and biscuity sweetness, floral balancing hops, and a vinous quality create a very complex but smooth taste. The body is heavy but the extremely high carbonation makes it an awkward drink. This brew finishes slow with all the complexity flowing to the end.

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Photo of Flightoficarus
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving type - 12 oz bottle into goblet

A - Pours a dark, burnt orange w/virtually no head.

S - Smell is of pineapple, orange, caramel, belgian candi, and a slightly piney character from the hops. This beer has a unique smell to it.

T - Very complex. Citrus fruits, dark fruits, caramel, belgian candi, a slight hint of toffee, rye malts, and moderate hop/pine character. Quite a mouthful. Truly wonderful!

M - Super smooth and rich, with minimal carbonation. Full-bodied for sure. Leaves a lingering aftertaste.

D - By no means a session beer, but surprisingly drinkable for 10%. This is one to savor of the course of a little while.

Overall - I have just got around to giving Adam and Fred a try, and I'll definitely be checking out more beers from this brewery. Highly recommended for fans of big, bold, assertive, complex beers!

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Photo of tlazaroff
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On the nose I get big apples, big sweet apples. Its like what I would imagine a freshly baked apple pie would smell like if traditional spices (cinnamon, clove) weren't used in it's creation. Wonderfully inviting via the aroma.

This is a beautiful beer to behold on the eyes too, its a hazy honey-orange color with visible carbonation and a giant fluffy incredibly light tan head that just sticks to the sides of the glass, and doesn't go away at all! I love the aesthetics of this beer.

Sweet in the sense that this is a savory sweet desert in a glass. Full of peaches, pear, apple, and all those wonderful summer fruits that you just want to make a pie out of. I get a bready yeasty taste on the backend that brings it home. Creamy texture and a full body with medium-light carbonation (hard to believe due to the head on this thing) make this beer incredibly drinkable when combined with the taste. There is NO alcohol that I can taste in this, for a 10% ABV beer, this is a ninja!

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Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.56/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened a 12 oz bottle and had a bit of a gusher. No worries, that's why I have a mouth. Poured into my Nice Chouffe goblet. Very hazy rich golden color, initially about 3 fingers of head. Fades leaving a light film at the top of the body. On the nose, a lot of dried fruit including apple and golden raisins. Honey. A bit of spice (maybe Belgian yeast?). Some faded tea scents. Almost smells like a bastardized apple cider. Getting a nice booze warmth smell too, but it's not offensive. Smells sweet. Yep, it is. On the palate, sweetness hits first, Apple, honey, fruit, Belgian spices, a nice hop bitterness. And then a warming glow from the booze. Very tasty. A real prickling, little bubble feel on the tongue at first sip. Extremely creamy. A fantastic beer.

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.56/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 70. Pours a hazy peach to copper color, a fairly large off white head builds and very slowly recedes clinging to the glass. Aroma is some large citrus and tropical fruit notes, sweet citrusy grapefruit and mango. Rye notes are also very evident in the aroma as well as some grassy hoppiness. Taste follows the aroma with strong citrus flavors, oranges, grapefruit as well as some nice tropical fruit flavor, and a good rye zing. Mouthfeel is medium to full in body, but still very refreshing, creamy but not overly thick, hop and rye malts create a peppery tingle on the tongue and a bite at the back of throat in the finish along with a warmth of alcohol. Amazing beer, really the flavors and feel blend together perfectly. Unique, big, yet refreshing, I need a case.

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Photo of Suds
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yow!!!! I didn't know what to expect from this one when I bought it. What a treat. The beer is light in color, with a majestic head (marvelous in an old Belgian tulip glass). Stunning hop aromas and nice balance of bitterness with malt backgrounds. Bottle Conditioned, and yeast fragrance and taste add to the experience. Pleasant alcohol warming...too much of this stuff could be dangerous. Overall it was exceptional. I loved it. Definitely will try it again. (My bottle was labeled batch 36)

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Photo of Ungertaker
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Deschutes snifter.

A- The color is a dark apricot with a two-finger, cloud-like head gracing the top. The head slowly dissipates with each sip, ending up as a 1/8" frothy topper that leaves a beautiful lacing on the glass.

S- There are light apple and pear scents with a floral hop presence. A very slight essence of crushed black pepper and cinnamon are also present.

T- A spicy rye and floral hop start things off. Pilsner type malt, a pear/apple mixture, along with a light alcohol burn, finish it

M- The frothy head makes for an Incredibly creamy texture. The alcohol adds a burn at the finish which balances perfectly with the texture.

O- Thanks to StarRaptor for this incredibly delicious extra! This brew got better with every sip. The complexity increased as it warmed. This being my first experience with any HOtD beer, I would not hesitate one bit to attempt to acquire more!

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Photo of tpd975
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy reddish brown color, with a huge four finger head. The head just lingers and linger and refuses to die. After sometime it finally settled down to around a half finger. Nice big thick patches of spotty lacing are left behind as the contents disappear.

S: Sweet cotton candy aromas with definite notes of caramel malt. Maple syrup, brown sugar, white grapes, and a hint of spicey hops hide beneath.

T: This one has a wonderful smooth sweet caramel malt backbone which balances out the bitter spicey hops that are going on in this one. Wonderful flavors that are big, bold, sweet, and spicey.

M: Ample carbonation builds that huge head. Nice full bodied and thick. Despite the carbonation it's rather smooth.

D: The ABV is well hidden. When drinking there is no hint of the ABV that this one brings.

Overall: My first HOD brew, and it is wonderful. This one is not fresh nor would I call it vintage. It is a wonderful drinking brew that is as smooth as you will find when it comes to a barleywine. SouthBay just got some fresh HOD in, hopefully I can score some because this little guy can brew, there is no doubt about it.

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Photo of SeanChouffe
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #56
Pours thick, hazy, amber with plentiful carbonation and a full rocky yellow head. Lacing is sticky. Aroma is of fruity esters, like a tripel, fresh and grassy with spices, peaches and apples lurking in the background. Tastes sweet and fruity with a slow moving but distinctive hop finish. Palate is full bodied and creamy. This is a well-crafted beer with a great balance of flavors and palate; complex without being over the top, but subtle and unassuming. This concoction seems more like a complex tripel than a barleywine. Anywhoo, I liked it.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.54/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a chalice)

A-This beer pours a hazy golden brown color with a nice creamy light tan head. It has a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles. Nice Belgian lace with each sip.

S- The smell of complex layer of hops is strong. Some notes of green fresh hops, piney resins, grassy hops and a bit of pineapple hops. There is a hint of pale malt that gives it a sweet smell.

T- Very smooth pale or light caramel malts that blend with a alcohol warmth and a spicy hop finish. The hops are very floral and the bitterness of the hops is very faint. Definitely fruity notes of apples or soft pears.

M- Very creamy full mouthfeel with a slight alcohol warmth that is not to hot. I would guess higher than 10% though.

D- Very good complex beer with a nice hop addition. It taste like an American Golden Strong Ale. It has all the nice characteristics of a Belgian Golden but the hops are American strength. It is pulled all together and balanced which is very nice. Its not to common to find a beer with big alcohol and big malt that has big hops to balance. Well done.

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Photo of ReebShorts
4.54/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into a pint glass, and was not ready for the huge, root beer float looking head that formed on this baby. I had to wait a few minutes just to pour the remainder of this 12 oz bottle into my 16 oz glass.

Wonderful aroma of burnt caramel malt, dried fruits, raising, molasses, vanilla, black licorice, and mixed hops (cascade slightly dominant).

Tasty, as expected. A bit sticky sweet, but the hops come in on the finish to take care of the sweetness for the finish. Great beer, at almost $5 per 12oz bottle this will not be a staple for me, but I'll gladly plop down the $$ for this one from time to time.

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Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.08 out of 5 based on 1,804 ratings.
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