Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) | Lagunitas Brewing Company

1,605 Reviews
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.85%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This sad holiday season we didn’t have the brewing capacity to make our favorite seasonal brew, the widely feared BrownShugga’ Ale. You see we had a couple of really good years (thank you very much) and so heading into this season while we are awaiting the January delivery of a new brewhouse we are jammin’ along brewing 80 barrels of IPA and PILS and such every 3 hours. A couple of months back we realized that since we can only brew a mere 60 barrels of Shugga’ every 5 hours, that we were seriously screwed. For every case of Shugga’ brewed, we’d short 3 cases of our favorite daily beers. It’s a drag. This year, we brewed something that we think is also cool and brews more like our daily brews. The new brewhouse will help insure this kind of failure never happens again. It’s a mess that we can not brew our BrownShugga’ this year and we suck for not doing it. There is nothing cool about screwing this up this badly and we know it. Maybe we can sue our own sorry selves. There is no joy in our hearts this holiday and the best we can hope for is a quick and merciful end. F*@& us. This totally blows. Whatever. We freaking munch moldy donkey butt and we just want it to be all over...
So this substitute beer is a ‘Cereal Medley’ of Barley, Rye, Wheat, and Oats…. Full of complexishness from the 4 grains, and weighing in at 7.85% abv, Then joyously dry-hopped for that big aroma and resinous hop flavor.

Added by Jules11788 on 11-07-2011

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Reviews: 1,605 | Ratings: 10,206
Photo of Gushue3
4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A Smaller white head that doesnt have too much retention. Body has a slight haze and the body is a an amber blonde. Carbonation is nice as I swirl it around the glass.

S Piney hops and sweet citrus take over the nose. More fruit than hops and it smells really nice

T Piney bitterness upfront with some slight tropical fruits. Bitterness is very strong and tastes like biting into a tree on the finish which is a good thing. Theres an underlying sweetness that compliments the pine nicely. Its like an IPA on steroids and acid. Really different and nice.

M- Medium feel on the tongue with a lower carbonation. Turns creamy after swishing it around.

O- Definately a different beer here. Hoppy and piney with some fruitiness but not your average IPA.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The only thing this brew is lacking is a bit of clarity.. Brew is nice tan orange color with thick, large, white, foamy head.

Super interesting and unique. Super pine, resinous, sticky, marijuana, stinky, nice aroma. Much like Gubna, but more well rounded.

Nice, smooth, sweet, no bitterness, piney, sticky, perfect medium-high carbonation, refreshing, crisp, buttery, well done.

Well worth the anticipation and hype. Glad I grabbed two six-packs of sucks at the LQ. Highly recommended, especially @ $2.50/12oz.

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Photo of confer
4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Solid gold with a small amount of white head.
S- I've had beers before that might have had a hint of grapefruit in the smell but this one is the real deal. If I close my eyes it is as if I got my nose right over a fresh cut grapefruit.
T- Again with the slightly bitter grapefruit. It really hits in the back of the mouth. There is faint sweetness in the middle as well. Very interesting.
MO-Low carbonation. Another winner from these guys. There beers are among the most interesting reasonably prices beers around.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap tonight at Fire Works in Arlington, VA. Served in a pint glass. Been looking forward to trying this one.

a - Pours a pretty transparent bright orange color with two inches of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus hop, tropical fruits, pine hops, grapefruit, fruity malts, mangoes. Really great, hoppy nose, with a ton of fruit. Love it.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, tropical fruits, grapefruit, pine hops, lemon, mangoes, light spice and better. Some light bitterness in the taste. Again, really great, almost as good as the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, with just the slightest bitterness in the mouth. Smooth and pretty easy to drink; really nice mouthfeel for a DIPA.

o - Overall I thought this was an awesome DIPA. Ton of citrus hops and tropical fruits, and not a lot of bitterness makes it pretty easy to drink. Would love to have this again and definitely a nice substitute for Brown Shugga.

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Photo of scotorum
4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled December 30th 2013. Getting a bit long in the tooth by now. But I had a whole sixpack in January in Florida and that was fresh then. So I'm partly reviewing from that experience.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith English tulip pint.

a: Clear dark gold with a three inch white head which dissipated slowly to heavy rocky surface foam and extensive clingy lacing.

s; Fairly strong citrus and pine at first, this bottle changed to more vinegar later on.

t; Tasty and quite strong citrus and pine forward over a light malt base. Bitterness lingers on the tongue but not as strong or long as some. The bottle drunk for this review unfortunately was dominated by a vinegary aroma far more than the seven I had previously enjoyed.

m; Light to moderate.

o: Generally, an outstanding DIPA. Persistent tasty citrus and pine with good carbonation. However, this eighth bottle was not nearly as superlative as the others. If it were my first Sucks, I'd have given it much lower marks. Odd, or perhaps not, I had a similar experience with my recent sixpack of Brown Shugga. Seemed like every other bottle was a lot less enjoyable than the rest.

I've got most of three sixpacks of this left. Hope my recent rocky Brown Shugga experience is not duplicated with them. I loved the Sucks I had in Florida. But here at home, now, so far...

UPDATE 2/24/15: Portioned the rest out to myself up until practically the day of my annual Florida trip in early Jan. and enjoyed them all, although none had as much hop flavor compared to that first fresh sixpack last year. Supremely disappointed to discover (too late) that no sixpacks are being made. I finally broke down and bought one of the new quart bottles for $7 (had held off because they were $8-10 around here and it was just a turn off to have to pay almost double per ounce compared to last year) despite the fact that it had no readable bottling date on it, and sure enough it was OK but had no particular hop flavor. Perhaps I'll find a fresh dated bottle or two this year, in the mreantime hoping the sixpacks come back next Jan, albeit certainly at a big price jump (I'll guess $13-15/6 at least from previously $10-11/6.)

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Photo of PalatePilot
4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

After trying this at the Winter brew Fest in Denver a couple weeks ago, I bought a six pack

A- Golden, bright, clean. Head that turns to pretty lace

S- Lemon, Grapefruit, pine, a little alcohol

T- More orange for me then the lemon smell, grapefruit again, a little biscuit or bread, awesome hop and malt mix. hop stays on the tongue.

M- A little chewy, but I like it, allows me to hold on to the flavors for a while longer.

O- I have been drinking Odell Myrcenary as my staple DIPA, but I will definitely throw this in the mix if it stays on the shelf. A great beer with a nice balance.

I like it a lot...

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tulip glass.

A: Pours a light golden color, brilliant clarity but only a ring of white head.

S: Beautiful tropical and some grapefruit hops, mild caramel, a little sugar coated lemon.

T: Orange and white grapefruit, sliver of bitterness and mild caramel backbone on the midpalate for structure which carries through the entire sip, some floral hoppy notes.

M: Soft, medium-light carbonation and body.

O: Very drinkable, solid and attractive flavors. It's great to see the legacy California breweries, like Lagunitas and Stone, stepping up their IPA offerings over the past year or so.

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Photo of Stevem68
4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a rich golden honey color. Has aroma of citrus a sweet malts. Flavor is citrus, pine and a sweet malty Backbone. Smooth finish and overall delicious. Very enjoyable

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Photo of Pahn
4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Grading this as if it's an IPA / DIPA, because it's pretty clearly that, and not the catch-all "American strong ale."

Drinking this holiday beer in celebration of my demon cold going away with surprising quickness.

Appearance: Free pour yields a 1.5 inch fluffy white head that dissipates quickly leaving an irregular ring of lacing around the glass. Pours a clear gold and leaves occasional islands and peaks of lacing.

Smell: Tangerine and grapefruit at first. Then mango. Very potent hops from the dry-hopping, and a good mix. Sugary malty undertones, as well as notes of pine and savory Summit-like onion. Really good.

Taste: Up front, peach and tangerine, moving to a biscuity, toasted malt backbone with a dry finish. Quickly gets piny, with some relentless grapefruity hop punch and underlying onion-y flavor. Higher bitterness than I expected; on the tail end of good. Some more alcohol heat than I'd normally want out of a beer like this, though perhaps that speaks to its being a Winter seasonal.

Mouthfeel: Light side of medium bodied. Carbonation just right (high end of moderate, slightly prickly). Finishes nice and dry.

I may be over-grading the mouthfeel here, because while I've had some fantastic IPAs in the past few months (fresh hop season), it's been too long since I've had one this dry and bitter (how I like it).

On that note, for you homebrewers that notice this kind of thing: the label indicates a much higher final gravity than what must be the truth. This beer is very well attenuated.

Overall: Just as the season for Sierra Nevada Celebration is ending, Lagunitas puts out a holiday ale that picks up where it left off. Great hop fix.

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Photo of Stimulus199
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Outstanding DIPA. Has a really floral/melon-ish flavor to it; fairly significant resiny hop flavor, though not as intense as Surly Abrasive (which is my favorite beer in the category). Would absolutely continue to buy, at this price point. Stoked that Lagunitas continues to make such accessible, affordable beers.

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Photo of zookerman182
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is a clear yellow orange color with a little head.
Aroma is grapefruit and citrus.
Flavor is the same, with lots of citrus and a little pine.
This beer is on the bitter side which is a good thing.
Mouthfeel is thin and not to carbonated but the flavors linger longer than any ipa a can remember.
Extremely solid!

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Photo of KMachHops
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Frothy head. Orange in color.
Smell: Tropical.
Taste: Tropical and some pines.
Feel: Mild carbonation. Great balance of hops and malts.
Overall: Very classic west coast IPA.

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Photo of smalenberg
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in standard pub pint.

A - generous pour gives an inch of foamy white head that dissipated slowly leaving a lot of lace on the glass. Orange-amber in color and crystal clear.

S - Big resiny pine notes dominate over an underlying citrus (more lemon than orange). Searching beyond that with my nose in the glass and a really big sniff, they is a slight oniony note, but it is very subtle.

T - Some malty sweetness and a strong tropical fruit note (pineapple, mango) followed by a well-balanced bitterness. A lemony character is found and very late at the back of the tongue, the piney character from the nose comes through in the taste.

M - that resinous note in the smell translates to a slightly oily character in the mouthfeel that isn't unpleasant and doesn't seem out of place. It remains on the tongue long after the swallow complimenting a somewhat dry finish that leaves you wanting more. The body is lighter than you might expect for all of that.

O - I'm not a big hophead, but I enjoyed this beer. Nice to find an American IPA that doesn't overwhelm you with grapefruit rind. Easy drinking for nearly 8% ABV

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Photo of brureview
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured in a tulip. Beautiful honey-amber color with a 1/2 finger head.

Heavy grapefruit wafted from the head, but the aroma dissipates with warming.

Excellent carbonated mouth feel for the style.

The crazy taste stands out: heavy grapefruit with sugar. The taste carries with warming.
I found myself sipping this beer slowly to savor the taste.

Overall, this may become one of my favorite DIPAs. It's unique, and drinkable on a regular basis, unlike other intense DIPAs.

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Photo of kvgomps
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours smoothly, 1 inch head with retention after 5 minutes. Never-ending effervescence.

Smell is citrus with grapefruit rind and lemon peel dominating.

The taste is like biting into a grapefruit (without the skin). The body is extremely smooth like a lighter cream ale. Not an overly hoppy beer and despite not being able to find the malt, it is still somehow well balanced. This goes down way too easily. You could finish off a sixer of these in an hour. The lacing on this beer is great even at the end.

I read somewhere that this one starts of great and gets better every bottle. So far this is proving to be true. Great beer.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At the time of this review, this is the #30 double / imperial IPA on the "Top Beers - American Double / Imperial IPA" list on Served from a 12 ounce bottle into a Lagunitas mason jar "pig" glass because I am full of winning.

Beer is beautiful, it is amber, clear, aggressively carbonated, good retention, lacing is a plus, awesome looking beer.

Aroma is sweet, a little malty, citrus, pineapple, clean, smells good, a little sweeter than expected based on other's comments.

Beer is medium in body, sweet on the lead off and here comes the hops. Fruit salad beer, it is like hop candy, the sweetness of the backbone plays well with the hops, still a little heavier than expected but the hop flavors are all there. A very good little beer, glad I grabbed it.

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Photo of cquinn17
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- golden orangish with a 1 finger off white head. Good retention. Really pretty looking DIPA

S- big citrusy hops. I get orange,lots of grapefruit and a little lemon. Hardly any malt present I the nose at all.

T- very citrus forward and a little leafy backed up by some really nice sweeter malt. The malt really surprised me after not getting any in the nose. A really well balanced beer.

M- a good crisp mouthfeel with a juicy almost creamy finish. Solid.

O- this is another excellent offering from lagunitas. They can do no wrong in my eyes. Just a really solid, well balanced DIPA. To have this as a seasonal right after brown shugga is a great thing.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle from Belmont Station. Purchased good and fresh.

A: Straw coloration drifting into orange. Clear with a good refraction through the glass. Fluffy almost white head. Aces.

N: Fever for the hops. Pine and earth are dominant with the pineapple and mango playing back up. It's a deep full scent with that cracking, sweet nature I always attribute to a well done dry hopping. A deeper inhalation yields some clementine and passionfruit.

T: A taste that can only be referred to as dank. (Need to jazz that description up a bit.) Pine needles and evergreen forest floors. Bites and stings with lupulins. (Lupulins are sedatives. I will sleep well tonight.) Needs more citrus, though.

M: Scraping and filling. Alcohol's second string.

O: This beer makes me verbose and lyrical. (Or pretentious? I don't think Lagunitas has that aim, though.) This is an all star beer that I buy every time it comes out, which, now shouldn't be a problem with the expansion in place. Lagunitas sucks, indeed.

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Photo of Roose13
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Transparent gold, one finger of off-white head. Bubbles rising throughout which is pretty neat to watch.

S: Citrus, papaya or mango, pine.

T: Pine, hops, a little malty. I can taste citrus fruits as well such as the papaya and a hint of pineapple. The pine really kicks in during the aftertaste. It tastes incredibly fresh with the hops.

M: Chewy, crisp, smooth.

Overall: This is a very good DIPA. It's not overpowering and it tastes incredible. I love all the subtleties that lie in the aftertaste and nose. Great beer that certainly doesn't "suck."

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Photo of jbwimer
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Extra from an IP trade with Joe. Cool dude and sweet hangs. Not sure when this bottled, but it can't be too old.

A- Not too much to improve upon here, in my opinion. Poured this from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Nice finger-and-a-half of head which retains well. Pale golden, almost straw-like, color. Very minimal haziness. Lacing all the way down the glass as you continue to drink. Nice!

S- Piney, resinous aromas dominate this one. Freshly cut grass. Some grapefruit in there as well as some orange zest. A little too muted for my liking, but still very nice.

T- Follows the nose really well. More of a malty presence than I had anticipated. Not too much, but certainly more than I was expecting. I like it! The finish is pretty dry with some quality hop bitterness. Preceding this is some juicy fruitiness balanced. Great balance.

M- Pretty highly carbonated. Towards the heavier end of a light mouthfeel. Really smooth finish. Bitterness lingers. Well done.

O- Really enjoyed this beer, and can understand why people look forward to it as a seasonal release. Would totally buy some for myself if I saw it in the Pittsburgh area. Excellent extra to receive in a trade.

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Photo of ummswimmin
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I really appreciate that Lagunitas put out a quality substitute for the Brown Shugga. I know most people look forward to the Shugga, and they went over the top with this replacement.

I poured this beer into a tulip glass. There was about two and a half fingers of foam that stuck really well to the glass. I like the lacing from this one. The golden coloring is perfect for a DIPA.

I really enjoy the significant amount of pine coming off the top of this one. It is very refreshing to breathe this in. I found that it is reminiscent of the clean smell from the Double Simcoe by Weyerbacher.

The flavor is, of course, very hoppy. You really get more of the pine release in each sip. Lagunitas lists hops twice in the ingredients, and it makes sense when you get a taste.
I was surprised that there wasn't more bitterness in this one.

I really want to try the Brown Shugga eventually, but I am really happy with this one while I can get it.

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Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours golden yellow with rich foamy head and good lacing. Smells of oat, hops, fruit and a little dank. The taste is wonderful, lots of fruits bursting in, hops, oat, dank notes, pine. The finish is light and clean, really nice beer. The bite is very mild and light dryness. Overall this beer is great all around, it is just perfect with regard to taste and strength. Pretty awesome.

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Photo of hdelavega
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear golden yellow that shot up a good two finger head that is leaving some very nice lacing. Lots of visible carbonation.
Aroma is full of aromatic hops. Defiantly more on the tropical fruit side. I get plenty of pineapple, tangerine and citrus rind.
The hops really come out in the flavor. I get the same pineapple and tangerine from the nose. Really nice medium body, very smooth and super drinkable.
Nice beer. It reminds me of little something wild with a little more of that tangy simco hop flavor to it. I will defiantly do this one again.

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Photo of lukester
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I gave this beer a little less than stellar reviews simply because it doesn't taste like a xmas beer. It is a nice IPA as these guys know so well how to brew. It is not a Holiday Ale. As far as I can tell this is their regular IPA in a different bottle. I have yet to have one of their beers that I didn't love.. however again this isn't categorized properly.. You guys might have pulled it off a bit better by adding some more color.. That said, keep up the good work!

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Photo of philbe311
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - A finger and a half worth of delicate fluffy whipped cloud-like egg shell colored head... Solid retention... Once faded their is a thick rich collar and moderate veil of lacing... The color is a light and slightly dull amber... There is a moderate bit of moderate paced carbonation rising throughout... Loads of lacing clings to the glass...

S - Holy hop cones... Piney... Earthy... Slightly pungent (in a good way)... Grapefruit... Orange zest... A limited malt base is detected...

T - A bit more of a citrusy character takes over the palate... Grapefruit... Oranges... Tangerines... A hint of mango... There is still a strong piney component along with grassy and earthy tones... Some light biscuit and crust notes...

M - Medium bodied... Slightly lush... A touch of creaminess... Very smooth... Finishes a bit dry... Lots of textures and character...

D - A rock solid American DIPA... Loaded with depth, complexity and character... It's not the hoppiest, but it's bursting with flavor... There's also something that makes it rather unique in the realm of hyped hop bombs, though I can't quite place my finger on it... I highly recommend and will gladly indulge whenever presented the opportunity...

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.31 out of 5 based on 10,206 ratings.
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