Zoe | Maine Beer Company

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Brewed by:
Maine Beer Company
Maine, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our take on an American amber ale. Complex malt bill delivers notes of dark raisin, chocolate and biscuit. Copious additions of American hops yield notes of pine and citrus.

Added by deltatauhobbit on 12-03-2009

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Reviews: 604 | Ratings: 2,459
Photo of BeerKangaroo
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint glass:

A: very dark red colored body with some light brown edges. A small white head appeared for less than a minute. The lacing was light and stuck together for a good minute. It took about a minute before it spider-webbed.

S: hops and caramel, some pine and citrus enter in on the background. It was mainly well-balanced.

T: bittersweet through the hops and caramel, some light spiciness came out through the hops. The pine was really light.

M: medium with a well balanced carbonation slightly felt, it was slightly creamy and had a dry finish.

O: this was a great beer. My expectations were moderate when I think I was way more surprised how well this beer turned out. I would get this again in a heartbeat.

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Photo of Treb0R
4.64/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First off... this beer is NOTHING like I expected it to be...

Burnt Sienna-colored body, dense manila colored one finger head worked up to a lather... sticks to the glass. High carbonation level. The bubbles are going crazy in my glass.

Imagine Sierra Nevada Celebration on the nose, but way more intense, roasty, and robust. This doesn't smell like a hoppy beer. You get a strong sense malt complexity.

The hop and malt balance is superb. It's not bracingly bitter nor overly sweet. It's just right. Deep toast, rich malty intensity, mild milk chocolate with that whole milk creaminess. The hops are certainly there, but they're somewhat neutral-flavored amongst the intense malt base. Glimmers of pine and floral traits shine through, but definitely no citrusy, fruity, or dank notes. This is unlike any Amber I've ever tasted, and honestly, it changes my perception of what an amber could possibly be. If I were to brew this style soon, it would definitely be in the style of Zoe.

Maine Beer Co. managed to pack so much richness of body and flavor into a 7.2% Amber that I'm honestly stunned. This beer is truly unique. The high carb level helps to improve drinkability in an otherwise very rich tasting, dense beer. Amber Ale not a favorite style of mine, but I can appreciate beauty when I taste it.

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Photo of dciBA
4.64/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Style bending and loose interpretations of style guidelines is one of my favorite things about the recent craft beer boom. Breweries aren't afraid to brew stuff that doesn't necessarily fit into one specific style and this beer is one of them. Listed here as an American IPA, sold on tap as a brown IPA, and described on the bottle as a hoppy amber, it's hard to nail this one down. After a good whiff and then sip of this brew it's still not too clear, but after a few sips you quickly lose interest in all the style BS and just enjoy the hell out of this awesome beer.

Pours a deep dark crimson/amber, basically brown from the 16oz bottle into my snifter. A half inch of cream colored head fades as quickly as it formed leaving behind a thin skimming of foam.

The initial smell is a blast of citrusy, grapefruit hops, with a touch of pine in there too. Under the hops is a roasty smell, malty, almost coffee smelling.

Taste is the same explosion of hops with the malt in the smell becoming more prevalent in the taste. After swallowing your left with hoppy sweetness and resin on the sides of the tongue and dry cocoa, and coffee on the back. The taste lingers for a quite awhile on the palate which is quite nice really.

Body is perfect for the style, whatever that may be. Decent amount of carbonation, a cask version would be amazing I'm sure. The 7.2% ABV is not a factor at all and if it wasn't for the staying power of the flavor I'd would have probably sucked this down way faster than I did. Overall another great beer from Maine Beer Company.

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Photo of sk8man121
4.64/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2010 Vintage 16.9 oz bottle poured into goblet.

A: Pours a hazy amber with a massive 4-finger head. Between this and Spring Peeper Ale, I'm constantly amazed at the size of the heads on MBC beers.

S: Perhaps the "freshest" smelling beer I've ever come across. This smells like a pine forest, with grapefruit and toasted malts coming through. Unbelievable.

T: Taste is similar to smell, with the extreme hop notes toned down just enough. Swings back and forth between a brown, red and amber ale. Very enjoyable.

M: Nice, unobtrusive mouthfeel makes this go down even easier.

D: As far as a west-coast style east-coast ale, this one takes the cake. Spring Peeper was very good; this is incredible.

Do not miss this.

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Photo of mpedara429
4.64/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Reddish brown in color. When moved into the light, it has more of a resemblance to a hazy copper. Two plus fingers of tan head that hold strong with their retention. Once faded, it leaves a Swiss cheese-like lacing.

S: Big, juicy fruit scents of grapefruit, pineapple, and mango. A healthy portion of pine in there to make this super appealing.

T: Very piney and earthy. Fruit that was in the nose is a little more subtle than the it would've implied, but not to a fault. Overall maltiness seems just right. The layering of flavors is great.

M: Medium body and medium carb. Pretty clean and refreshing for 7% above brew.

O: Incredible. if only more ambers were as well put together as this one. Ambers have always been tough for me because I find they are either too hoppy, not hoppy enough, or too malty. Zoe strikes the balance.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours a sinful mahogany cherry brown with over two fingers of frothy head. Redeculous amounts of sticky, spider-web lacing grabbing onto the glass. Very nice clarity with cherry red highlights.

S- Fruity grapefruit, cocoa, pine needles, rye bread, orange peel all with a wonderful spiceiness. Picking up some caraway, cilantro, fennel, and a touch of funky yeast.

T- Spicey and fruity! Grapefruit, orange, rye malt, caraway, pine sap, and a touch of caramel. Over-ripe pineapple, slightly funky yeast, and some bits of raisins/figs/dried fruit and dry hay. Has a touch of a metallic/mineral finish.

M- Nicely bitter, yet sweet. Pungent citrus/pine punch meets caramel/pineapple sweetness and blends seemlessly. Loving the spiciness! This is unreal, really glad it's finally in my area.

O- If you like NN... you'll love the shit out of this beer! It's like a more mature Nugget Nectar. Tons of sweet, bitter and spice that dance all over your tongue. The only problem with this is the price. $7/16oz is gonna make it hard for me to justify very often. I wanna see how much of this excedes the 90 drinking date near me. I have a feeling not very much. Too bad this wasn't in a 4-pack for $20.

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Photo of CheezyBlaster
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wonderful pour! Great head and retention, a rocky beast.

I close my eyes and sniff, and I smell a well hopped and fruity arrangement with the associated citruses and pines. The hops are the voice and I have to search for some malt or fruit, and I do eventually find some moderate caramel, but the hops are just, mmm, juicy.

Initially, at the front end, it tastes like roasted barley with a slight nib of dark chocolate, and I expect that to follow differently than the fruity/citrus driven hopsplosion that ensues. Fresh grassiness and smoked woodchips finish it out with a lingering chalky malt and sour hop tingle. Very interesting brew. I like it, a LOT. Try one!

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Photo of king75
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- extremely dark red, almost black, a nice solid inch or two of a dirty white foam head.

S- The smell of this beer is absolutely amazing, hops galore, citrus nodes, even has a slight wild flower smell.

T- get a lot of hops, but there is a good quality malty taste accompanying it. A very clean finish. Leaves you begging for more.

M- Light, just the right amount of weight, light but not too light. Floats across the palate.

D- Could drink this all day long and you would never hear me complain.

The best amber ale I have had by far. Blew my mind! The flavor complexity is amazing almost drinks like an IPA which is something that I do not mind. Highly recommend you try this one if given a chance. I definitely want to try this one again.

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Photo of telecomz
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The best take on the amber/red ale on the market. An epiphany.

I love this beer.

Strong citrus, tropical notes lead to a slight malty-dried fruit aroma.

The taste is amazing. Stronger than typical hoopy notes give way to a solid malt backbone.

The beer is bottle conditioned and has medium carbonation, Mouth feel is solid.

As a native Mainer, I couldn't be prouder.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Maine Beer Company Zoe

Poured into a Schlafly snifter from a cool 1 pint 9oz bottle.

This brew pours a nice rich dark amber color with some slight brown hints. The head is nice and dense and stands about 1 inch tall with some medium sized bubbles sprinkled around. There are some nice dark amber and ruby edges in this brew and the ehad recedes slowly with some nice sticky lacing. (4.5)

Wow! Aroma is DANK! Like a fresh bud of pot it has tons of resinous pine notes with some delicious herbal notes. Earthy and flowery hop aroma. There is also some slight citrus notes on the back end of the aroma. This is one of the nicest smelling beers I’ve ever had. Biscuit notes and slight grainy malt is definitely in the background and gives the brew a mouthwatering quality. (5.0)

Starts off with some intense hop notes and bitterness. Intensely balanced resinous hops with a nice bitter middle and dry bitter finish. The flavor is soo balanced then with delicious deep malt sweetness. Slight dark caramel notes mixed in with the hops give this beer a delicious balanced flavor profile. Finishes with some citrus and some nice dry hop notes. Body is thick for the style and very well carbonated. (4.5)(4.5)

This brew is delicious and gorgeous. Nice hop notes and a delicious malt backbone. Very well crafted. If I lived in Portland, Maine this would be in my fridge constantly. (4.5)

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Photo of FrankLloydMike
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow! What a great beer--I've never had such a fresh hop taste from a bottle.

A: Pours a very dark amber with little head. Could have fooled me for a brown ale at first.

S: Beautiful, fresh, floral hop smell dominates but only slightly over a nice caramel, malt background.

T: True to the smell, the taste here is dominated by the uber-fresh, floral hops. This could not be more perfectly balanced against the lovely malt, almost coffee-like background. This tastes more like an unusual, but excellent, fresh IPA.

M: Smooth, medium body and carbonation, lingers from the stickiness of the hops.

D: This goes down easy and the overall excellence of the beer begs for another.

This is an exceptionally well-done beer, and has cemented itself as my favorite to date of Maine beers. I had to pick up another and the Spring Peeper before heading back, so we'll see if it gets knocked off by its sibling.

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Photo of xanok
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Stone VE glass.

A-Pours a foggy brownish red. Little lacing on the light brown head.

S-Piney hops, hints of grapefruit. Strong scent of caramel as well, with other malts.

T-Pretty straightforward, not overly complex. Great hop profile followed with that strong malt aftertaste. The beauty in this beer is its near perfect balance.

M-Body is actually a bit heavy for the style. The hop bitterness really stays in your mouth for quite some time afterwards. Carbonation is average for the style.

D-I can't stop sipping it. It's truly a great amber. 7.2% abv isn't a whole lot, but its completely hidden.

Notes-I don't need my ambers overly complex, just balanced. This one is near perfection.

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Photo of dpalaci6
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle purchased straight from the brewery poured into a pint glass.

A- Dark brown with a slightly reddish tint. Nice, white head on top. This is a pretty dark amber.

S- This is different than many of the beers from the Portland area. Yeast is not dominant in the smell at all. Smell is clean, straight forward, and to the point. Toasty malts and a nice floral/slightly citrus hop aroma.

M + D - Very smooth mouthfeel. Almost slick.

D- Very easy to drink. I wish I could have brought more back to Michigan

T- Same as the smell. Straight forward. Toasty malt and floral/citrus hops. The yeast gets out of the way and lets the malt and hops shine. Beer finishes dry

I am not usually an Amber guy, but this beer was fantastic. They advertise this beer as a happy, hoppy amber. For once, there is truth in advertising. If you live in Portland, do yourself a favor and get some Zoe.

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Photo of innisfree
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of my all-time favorites. A bit of sentimental favorite as well. Lovely amber color. Less hoppy than other Maine offerings, but that is not its aim. A truly fantastic beer.

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Photo of harrymel
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 07MAY13

Pours amber with a gingerbread hue and a solid quilt of toasted cream foam. Smells of hops from the pour, now I will dive in.... Very northwest: pine, resin, some grapefruit, some tea, Special B malt here on the nose (or the likes), and a bit of stones. Flavor is malt, tea, hops, some really aromatic character I just can't put my finger on, some toasted wheat bread. The flavor here is surprising and quite nice. Fairly full bodied for the style with low carb and a semi dry finish. I am really impressed with this beer. I'm happy with the divisive character of the nose vs flavor on this one. I am met initially with the impression that this will be a robust, in-your-face amber a la Troegs, but am met with a sophisticated, mature flavor profile hard to beat for the style in my opinion. A real treat of the style.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 05/17/16

Pours cloudy hazy dark amber orange red-brown with a dense creamy khaki colored foam head. Smells like fragrant peach, apricots, nectarine, plum, dried fig and cherry, some raisin, dark caramel, chocolate, medium roast coffee, candied orange and grapefruit citrus, toasty biscuity malty grain, molasses, brown sugar, toffee, with fresh pine and dank floral earthy grass. Tastes slightly bitter, sweet, malty, and spicy with some fresh stone fruits, pithy citrus, dried dark fruit, malty molasses, caramel, brown sugar, toasty biscuit, toffee, chocolate, woody coffee, with some dank fruity earthy floral pine and grass. Feels medium bodied, dense and creamy with moderate low carbonation. Overall a real nice and unique amber ale.

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Photo of twelvsies
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The second offering from Maine Brewing Company. I've been drinking a lot of this beer recently, but just now got the chance to sit down and reminisce. 16.9 oz bottle, smiley label. This is one handsome beer. A hearty pour yields a huge head and the retention is unbeatable. Thick inch of foam tops a rusty garnet brew, thick lacing on the way down. Hops dominate the nose, mostly pine, and subtle malt presence. At first sip... Mmm. Hoppy, yes, very bitter up front with lots of pine / spruce flavorings and some citrus, but also plenty of malt backbone for balance. Rustic, toasty bread malt and the slightest sweetness underneath the hops. Zesty. Excellent lingering dryness on the palate, yet a robust and supple mouthfeel, very sturdy. Really tasty beer here folks. And this beer is great w/ food. Having just moved to Portland I'm excited to have this available all the time. Definitely worth seeking out, as is their Peeper Ale - these guys are on a roll. I literally cannot wait to see what they brew next. Cheers!

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Photo of dfavreau
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

It has a grapefruit smell and bouquet with notes of orange and molasses that goes down smoothly with a clean finish. It is my favorite amber ales when out dining. After the third sip of all their beers your palette starts to really like their beers. The more you drink them, the more you want to try.

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Photo of JMScowcroft
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Maine Beer Company - Zoe

Look - Pours dark maple syrup then settles dark brown, almost amber around the sides. Great soapy head. Unfiltered sedimentary body. Glorious lacing. These brews tend to intimidate those who are not into craft beers. Pour carefully to avoid getting too much sediment, unless you are like me and you don't mind eating it.

Smell - Dark malts, sweet but subtle. Toasted caramel. Burnt citrus hops are a nice addition here.

Taste - Wow! Dark fruity complexity of an advanced malty dubble. Bitter hops are there in the back, nice and deep.

Mouthfeel - Not boozy, sweet and burnt caramel. Drinkable for sure. The burnt bitter hops are quite unique and round this out quite well.

Overall - Interesting brew. Almost like burnt maple syrup or burnt dark brown sugar, but in a good way. Thoroughly enjoyed. Would recommend.

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Photo of Willytee3
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into an 8oz sniffer glass, perfect.

Pours a dark chocolaty black with large tan head that the bartender kindly allowed to flow off when filling this smallish glass.

Smell of roasty malts and bittersweet chocolate with good hop aroma floated in there.

Tastes of toasty bittersweet chocolate malts, with pine and fruity hops present in the background. Nice bitter blends with the toast through finish. Nicely balanced!

Very smooth and velvety mouth feel with perfect carbonation.

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Photo of shigg85
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a bottle from M & R Liquors in Manchester, CT. Poured into a U.S. pint glass. Bottled 9/10/2013; consumed about 55 days afterward. Really rich malty flavors and an absolutely beautiful body (maybe due to the bottle conditioning). The foam is always a treat on these Maine brews. The aftertaste is a bit harsh toward the end of the bottle, but other than that, this is a solid, amazing red ale!

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Photo of pmlondrigan
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Zoe pours a really, really deep red, like clay red. Huge puffy off tan/light tan head tight, tight carb and a bite'o sheeting. Just a hair to dark on the color for me. Super fresh, olfactory over load of hops. Big piney and resinous hops, light citrus undertones. Massivley pithy and piney red ale here. But wait there's more, fruity flavors and malty flavors too. A well pronounced malt backbone. A slightly lingering bitter hop/bitter chocolate finish. I'm buying more of this stuff. This beer was so insanely fresh, all should seak this out.

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Photo of Pahn
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle into Duvel tulip. Bottled April 28, 2011 (ie ten days ago). Notably, bottle mentions that 1% of profits from the beer go to a whale-related charity, which is laudable.

Appearance: Free pour yields a three inch, frothy offwhite head that dissipates slowly leaving small, densely packed islands of lacing all over the glass. Pours a hazy dark ruby, and continues to fill the glass with lacing.

Smell: Giant hop aroma, like a fine Californian DIPA. The hop aroma is dank, grassy, piny, foresty, but rounds out with a nice citrus and apricot bite. Decent pastry-like malt backbone, though it fades to little more than a highlight. Hop aroma gets bigger and bigger with warmth, ending up as a beautifully integrated floral, grassy, citrus hop explosion.

Taste: Healthy bitterness, with grassy hops that transition to a nice malt backbone. The hops aren't quite as big as in the aroma, but the flavor compensates with a much better developed malt character, which is toasted and biscuity with just a bit of cookie sweetness. The bitterness sticks around as the beer transitions into a long, well-blended aftertaste.

This is a great beer. Over delivers both the hop fix and the malt fix. Near the end of the bottle, the flavor finally develops some booziness, but rather than being distracting this just lends a spiciness that compliments the big hops and malt. Hard to imagine improving on this beer... I guess if the hops were as potent and distinct as in the nose, it would be perfect.

Mouthfeel: Full side of medium bodied. Moderate carbonation. Slight dryness in the finish leading to a long, satisfying aftertaste.

Overall: This is the kind of beer I could keep on hand at all times, or--even better--drink fresh at a bar or local taproom on a near daily basis. Masterfully put together. Compares very favorably to Nugget Nectar or Cascazilla, both very formidable beers. I've been meaning to try Maine Beer Co. for awhile now, and having done so I'm very impressed.

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Photo of OompaMentor
4.56/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle to glass; Another great beer from Maine Brewing! Hazy Amber color with a one finger head that stays with the beer; moderate carbonation. Modest nose of hops, fruits and chocolate. Very smooth on the palate with lingering note of hops, and faint note of raisin/chocolate on the back.
Put a smile on your face and enjoy!

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Photo of Lonborgski
4.56/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 1 pt. 0.9oz bottle dated 01-05-16 to snifter.
Initial clean mild hoppy smell.
Shinny brown with creamy milk chocolate brown head. Beautiful dark ale.
Taste of hops initially, chocolate follows. Exquisitely balanced complex flavor. Nothing overpowers.
Substantial but not cloying feel.
Overall really well crafted dark ale.

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Zoe from Maine Beer Company
4.19 out of 5 based on 2,459 ratings.
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