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Union Jack India Pale Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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1,336 Reviews
Union Jack India Pale AleUnion Jack India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beerguy101 on 10-09-2003

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Reviews: 1,336 | Ratings: 6,485
Photo of drtth
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a light copper or orange color with a ½” finely bubbled white head that leaves lacing as it begins to slowly recede. Sipping leaves a sticky ring of lacing on one side of the glass with lots of small speckles and a few legs of lacing. For much of the beer there is a 1/16” layer of foam on the liquid and when the beer is gone there is still a pattern of lacing clinging to the glass.

Smell: The aroma is gentle and distinctly grapefruit and pine scented with orange zest and an undertone of malt.

Taste: The flavors are much as expected from they nose. They are dominated by the grapefruit zest and piney hops with a malt backbone just noticeable in the background. The hops are always in charge here with piney bitterness only slightly modulated by the malt backbone.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and smooth with light persistent carbonation. The finish begins in the mix of hops and malt sweetness and then trails off into that dry bitterness that invites the next sip.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: Overall this is a nicely drinkable beer that is clearly in the upper tier of IPAs. Even it is not the best one around it is a contender. My overall impression is of a excellent well-made beer that is well worth sampling if you not tried it. I expect to be having it again.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a typical looking amber color with a rather fluffy and large white head and some nice lacing on the glass.

S: Plenty of citrusy hops in the nose. I pick up a lot of grapefruit and perhaps a bit of orange as well. Not really too much malt there, but a bit of breadiness.

T: The flavor is essentially a continuation of the nose. Plenty of sharp and juicy grapefruit with a bread-like malt flavor in the background. A mild, resinous bitterness on the back end.

M: Medium in body with ample carbonation and a very crisp finish.

D: One of the best regular IPAs out there and a stand-by of mine. Very refreshing and easy to drink.

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Photo of TheItalianStallion
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned on 10/7/15. Poured into a pint glass.

A: Golden in color with a 2 finger head of white foam. After a minute or so the head fades to a thin cap that stays for the remainder of the beer. Multiple streaks of lacing lining the whole glass.

S: Aroma is mainly citrus hops with a small amount of pine in the background.

T: Juicy citrus hop flavors of orange peel with a faint bit of lemon zest. There is some pine on the finish, but it is nowhere near as strong as the citrus hops. This beer has a solid malt backbone that stacks up well to the hops providing excellent balance. In my opinion this beer doesn't have as much grapefruit flavor as everyone says, but maybe mine isn't fresh enough.

M: Medium body with a high amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel is crisp with moderate bitterness and a touch of dryness on the finish. Alcohol is masked very well for 7.5%.

O: Overall I thought this was a solid IPA with crisp citrus hop flavors and excellent balance. The bitterness was not overwhelming and it was very drinkable. I would drink this again for sure.

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Photo of ms11781
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear, bright orange color. A nice finger of off white foam rises and settles in as a creamy looking cap. Excellent lacing coats the entire glass from top to bottom. Really good looking beer, but the lacing kicks it up a notch. There is literally foam covering probably 3/4 of the glass. Pretty substantial considering it's a 12oz beer in a 16oz glass.

Nice floral hops lead the way in the aroma. There are some nice juicy citrus notes as well as a touch of pine. Floral hops definitely stand out the most. Maybe some caramel malt in the background but I'm not entirely sure.

The taste follows along with the nose. It is a bit more balanced though. The nose was all hops with the slightest bit of malt. The caramel malt provides more of a backbone in the taste but it still takes a backseat to the hops. Huge floral and citrus flavors are here. The pine that was in the nose is still here but is dialed back even more. Perhaps that's what let's the malt show through. Moderate bitterness. It lingers for a bit but not too long.

Medium body with matching carbonation. Definitely clean and crisp. Moderate bitterness gives it a bit of a bit at the finish but not too much.

Great IPA. Nice clean flavors and aromas. Somewhere in between a balanced IPAs and the completely unbalanced ones. It seems like the hops are delicately balanced over a small amount of malt. Either way, it works well.

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Photo of biegaman
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Ironic for a beer named Union Jack to have a glistening golden complexion that kind of mimics that of a setting sun. But it still looks mighty and triumphant - bold, blistered highlights shine on while bubbles tirelessly build upon their castle made out of sturdy, ivory white foam. If this is half as good as it looks I'll still be pleased.

Given the name you'd expect an English-leaning IPA - the aroma suggests otherwise. The bouquet is crammed with Pacific Northwest hops. Notes of lemon, pineapple, papaya and pine all rise above the beer's ultra-bready, biscuity malt base. Good thing for the citrus and sweetness because there's an herbal dimension that's so strong as to almost be medicinal.

From first sip right through to finish, alpha acids are hard at work scrubbing away at all that toasted, caramelly maltiness. While many IPAs hint at citrus, there's a tangibly pulpy 'fresh-squeezed' flavour to this one. Notes of orange and grapefruit juice help cut through some of that bitter, 'green', herbal cough remedy note mentioned already.

And while there is four pounds of hops per barrel (which is a lot) most comes in the form of late addition and dry hopping. So contrary to how it may sound, this combination of tree roots and fruit piths blend beautifully with the bakers confectionery and makes for an immensely pleasant beer (provided you sign off on the 7.5% alcohol and 70 IBU).

Sounds odd to say, but Union Jack damn well should be the flagship beer of this American brewery! Firestone Walker kind of made a name for themselves by differentiating with brands like DBA, their Anniversary Series releases and more recently the blended sours made at their Barrelworks location. But their IPA is still up there with the best of them.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at pope in philly

Pours a clear golden amber color with a nice crop of white head resting on top. Wispy clouds of retention with copious curtains of lacing left behind each delicious gulp.

Strong citrus notes in the nose with juicy pulp driven by orange and grapefruit. Slight sweetness with bready tones and malt caramel base. Literally no alcohol.

Bitter hops up front with grapefruit and orange. Very juicy and explosive tastes with pulp and rind notes. Some caramel and bready notes in the backbone, but incredibly well balanced. Sweetness fades into bitter finish with almost non-existent alcohol bite.

Medium body, decent carbonation, sticky and lingering feel on the tongue. Exceptionally drinkable, nicely balanced IPA - I want more.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

real nice big ipa. pours a lighter than the taste golden hay color with a big bad white foam head. smell is sweet hops, citrusy and in your face. falvor is fruity hops. im picking up grapefruit and clementine (jam). the mouthfeel is as good as an ipa can be, its creamy and expanding. it makes this beer. the hops just grows and grows as you hold it in, heavenly. medium bodied but it feels light, cloud nineish. perfect bitter carbonation and then enduring wet finish. the mouthfeel is the ticket here. great ipa, i like it better even than their doublejack. 7.5& too. magic

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Photo of gandres
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From 12 oz bottle from poured to wine glass Appearance: dark yellow, orange, golden, not a lot of head, no lacing, a bit hazy/cloudy Smell: slight hoppy smell, sweet and fruity Taste: well balance flavor specially the bitterness/alcohol, sweetness really comes out Mouth Feel: Very good Overall: very good beer Drank: February 2014

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Photo of washburnkid
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Davis Graduate.

A: one finger frothy white head dissipated to a nice cap over a good looking dark amber. Tons of cascading lace.
S: grapefruit and pine hops to boot. These aromas are very loud! There's a hint of spice and sweet caramel.
T: similar to aroma but really pine heavy. These hops are fresh and quite nice. There's a bit of caramel malt sweetness to balance.
M: lighter body with medium carbonation and a good amount of residuals despite being a bit thin.
D: not the most complicated hop profile ever, but still good and terribly drinkable and refreshing!

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Photo of HopHeadRyan
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - clear golden amber with quickly fading head. Excellent lacing.

S - Beautiful pungent candied citrus, pine, and tropical notes

T - Matching the aroma spot on. A complex hop explosion. This tastes like "hop juice". Tangy, bitter, sweet, floral, citrus, a wonderful experience.

M - Medium bodied but more toward the light end. A slight creaminess balanced by effervescent carbonation.

Overall - The bitterness hangs around in a way that I'm not crazy about. Kind of a little too dry and astringent. Could be balanced a little more, but very very good. The 7.5 is hidden well for something that blurs the lines b/w a single and double ipa. Does not top my favorite AIPA though : )

One of my new favorites. I would happy to have this on hand at all times : ) Definitely try it. I would like to have it on-tap.


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Photo of hopsleeroy
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 Oz bottle from Einweizenbitte-a fantastic extra! Thanks for the opportunity.

A-Orange golden color with some chill haze. Nice white lacing that settlesafter a 2 inch head.
S-Grapefuit, tangerines, sweet citrus, a little bit of pine smell. Citrus is slightly sweet scent. Smells great
T-More pine in taste but upfront hops with citrus, lingering pine on back of tongue on swallow. A little bit harsh on back because of the pine resin flavor-too much chinook? Sweet malt is balanced while drinking with some mild toffee flavor
M-Med in mouth, good carbo, slightly oily and taste of resin on back of mouth
D-The back harshness drops this from a 4.5 to a 4 but overall very nice and I would drink another one.

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Photo of Stigs
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle as an extra from BA user monsterzero...served in a standard pint glass

A - pours with almost half an inch of tight, creamy & forthy slightly off-white colored foam. the beer is clear, golden in color. leaves behind a thin wall of lace throughout most of the drink.

S - strong floral and piney hops...quite juicy and with a subtle spiciness. rounded out a bit by some light caramel malts, finishes with sweet hops, predominantly floral. very nice.

T - loads of piney and grassy hops, very up front and pungent, quite bitter. glided along underneath with some sweet caramel malts which come through very forcefully (yet nicely) every few sips. finishes with lingering pine bitterness and a light spice.

M - very thick and syrupy body for the style...carbonation is present but nicely playful in the background. very oily going down but finishes clean with a waining bitterness.

D - solid IPA, very well done if you are into piney and grassy hops. strong and assertive flavors but with a bit of balance. would go very well with some spicy Thai or Asian cuisine. well done here.

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Photo of LukeD23
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice fresh copper color with very little to no white head.

The aroma is full of tropical fruit and danky hop aromas. I get a touch of fruit loops.

Flavor, is aggressively bitter with a full hop flavor. Very little malt character coming through. Finishes really really dry. Almost to dry to me.

Not a whole lot of body or mouthfeel to this. I want it to be more full.

Overall a fantastic IPA. I am really enjoying it, it is one of the better IPAs I have had leaning on an IPA and a half

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Photo of bbkd3b
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served at a bar near the beach. Poured on-tap into a pint glass.

A: Pours a nice, golden-rod color. Nice bubbling appearance with a 1-finger that, surprisingly, didn't stick around as long as I would've wanted. Decent lacing, though.

S: Pine notes up-front. Gives the impression that it'll be bitter, or at least have a bite. Hoppy all-around.

T: Excellent overall. Hops with a citrus background (grapefruit broke through especially), some apple. Underneath was a sweetness, kind of like biscuits. Well-executed.

M: Syrupy, dry, but a considering the carbonation, it seemed a bit flat. Decent.

D: Very drinkable. It's limited distribution makes it hard to find, but buy a couple if you do find it! Well worth-it.

Overall/notes: A very well-made IPA. The tap was probably a bit too cold, which might explain why I found it so flat, but what can you do? Has enough balance that the hoppiness never takes over. My sister tried it, and she isn't exactly a hops-oriented person, but she found it quite drinkable. That alone makes me want to recommend to anyone for a try. If you're on the coast or have an opportunity to trade for it, take it. It won't disappoint!

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Photo of Docer
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bomber, no freshness date.. poured into a tumbler.

- Yellow/Orange color and copper.. bubbly white head that smooths down quick to a bit of lacing, not much. Bubbles like a champagne. Is this the champagne of beers? Nice and clear.

- Smell is of very fresh floral hops with a tad bit of tropical fruit. Slight caramel malt as well... liking so far.

- Little bread, little rye.. little dry.. but with a great hop flavor. Nicely 'unbalanced' with a very slight malt presence. Crisp and refreshing, and masks the slight increase in alcohol very well. Rather bitter too... likies.

- Dry mouth, bitter aftertase.. with lingering spring flowers just in bloom.

- Quite drinkable indeed.. not syrupy at all, a bit bubbly, but overall an easy strong sessional. Worth the purchase, but by no means a favorite IPA of mine.

** Edited... after finishing the bomber, I am a bit more impressed... Very good drinkablilty!

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Photo of Preismj
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: nice amber hue with a fluffy white head that leaves good lacing.

s: great scent to this IPA. wonderful aroma of citrus and earth. Lots of lemony smells coming from this.

t: like summer. a perfect blend of citrus and pine. Nice amount of bitterness from the hops. this is very refreshing. Alcohol comes out to play a bit more as it warms as due a the tastes of nutty malt.

m: A little light for my liking. not as sticky on the palette as i'd enjoy. Leaves the mouth dry.

o: great taste here and perfect in the heat. definitely fits the west coast profile and still brings uniqueness to the table.

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Photo of BeTheBall
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy copper color, with some lacing. Smelled like pine and grapefruit, with hints of some sweetness. Tase was bitter up front, followed by nice bitterness all the way through, but mildly. Pine and citrus notes are very stron; this is a typical and classic west coast IPA, a very good one at that. Mouthfeel was good, and drinkability was good as well; great flavor and not overpowering in any way.

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Photo of ShrLSU
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearence is a bright cloudy orange color. There isn't much head but a slight halo around the rim and very little lacing. The nose is very citrusy. Some slight orange peel, and pineapple scents. Taste is just like the nose. Lots of big citrus notes up front along with piney hop resin. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slighty slick and oily from hop oils down the throat. Overall a very tasty IPA. It embodies the classic cali IPA flavors. Nice beer if you have it available.

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Photo of Murchmac
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap a while back at the Toronado, but drinking from a 12 oz bottle now.

The beer pours looking a little on the thin side. Not anorexic twins from extra thin, but like keira knightly thin. Looks a bright clear copper.

Smells fantastic. Big burst of a hop barrel right in your nose. Smells like a well groomed DIPA. Some grassy macro smell.

This one tastes great. Citrus taste with a piney resiny aftertaste. Leaves you burping up hops.

Decent mouthfeel, kinda weak. Not Urkel weak, but gil from simpsons weak.

Could be a DIPA in IPA clothing if the mouthfeel wasnt thin. Try it if you can.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm just copying from notes when I see fit from now on - who's reading this?

2-in head, white, dense-foamy - clean filtered yellow gold liquid (the color is ideal) - crystal-clarity - some lace

pungent hops - equal parts: piney, pineapple, citrus/tropical - malt? not much - a honey-ish background - vibrant overall, yet not terribly unique (aside from the banging pineapple fumes) - copious late dry-hopping, i'm guessing

more of a sweet, spicy flavor - malty-sweet, uh-huh - long-lasting pineapple nectar and spice (hops) - a spicy snap - medium-level earthy "hop" flavor and alcohol presence - pineapple diminishes as it settles - nearly a perfect split or hybrid of an English and American IPA, as far as my ideals go - more balance and malt as it warms

the alcohol warmth does linger long time, mellow solvent heat - has almost a whipped-frothy feel to it... - extremely soft up front with that warm alc rush trailing close - balanced sensations, lighter-bodied

kind of a straight-forward, but really tasty and enjoyable IPA - by American standards, it could almost be considered boring, especially to "hop-heads" - it's well-constructed despite perhaps leaning a little too toward the fruity hop character (which, honestly, probably has a nudge from esters, no?) - I want to suggest that a different bittering hop would improve this, but I'd have to see the recipe...

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Photo of jifigz
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: The beer pours a very clear and light colored orange with a nice white head that lasts slightly longer than average.

S: The smell is citrus and pine, citrus and pine, and some citrus and pine.

T: The taste is, well, citrus and pine. The flavor of this beer is just wonderful and it is not as bitter as I was expecting for having such an intensely hoppy aroma and flavor. The alcohol, for being 7.5%, is pretty much not noticeable.

MF: The mouthfeel is nice and light and very smooth. It feels crisp and clean on the palate.

O: This is a very solid IPA. I think it's almost impossible to have an incredible beer these days or one that really stands out, especially an IPA, because there are so many fantastic ones made. Yes, this IPA is delicious, but I don't see what sets it apart from other top notch India Pale Ales.

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Photo of Moose90
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled On: 03/14/13
Tasted On: 06/09/13

A – Pours true to the style. Light amber honey hue. Translucent, and head is bright white, recedes quickly, and leaves nice, light lacing behind.

S – Nice bouquet here. Lots of citrus and sweet malt notes here, light lemon, grapefruit and pineapple.

T – Bitter, fruity and nice pine notes. A little metallic note to it as well, overall very clean, malt backbone comes through here, but it is only lightly sweet, nothing cloying.

M – Nice and crisp, carbonation is near perfect.

O – Very drinkable and refreshing IPA here, nicely bitter and balanced out by some light sweet malts. The nose on this one is great.

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Photo of Brad007
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks like this has high marks. Came in a pre-mixed sixer from Ryan & Casey in Greenfield, MA.

Pours a dark gold with a two-finger head into my glass. Lacing as expected.

Grassy hops with a citrus backbone. I can't quite put my nose down on it.

Like biting into half of a grapefruit. But, it doesn't wham the tongue. This allows one to absorb the flavor of the malt as well.

Lingering bitterness that leans towards grapefruit.

I can honestly say that I think this lives up to the high marks bestowed by the bros.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass. Stamped 11 May 2011, presumably the bottled on date.

A: Hazy with bubbles, capped with white head. Orangey, but alright. Nice lace.

S: Gently hoppy with citrus notes.

T: Good IPA, perfectly balanced, with extremely pleasant malts underlying the grassy/citrusy topnotes. The aftertaste is vaguely bittersweet, and very smackworthy. Nothing jumps out at you, but you couldn't ask for much else from an IPA.

M: Robust, smooth, full, delicious, tasty. Yum.

O: Understated excellence. This beer effortlessly succeeds in being a really nice IPA. Inordinately drinkable, and highly recommended. Will have again.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a goo den orange. Pretty dark for a single ipa. A pretty minimal amount of head especially for an ipa. Smells great! Tons of grapefruit and piney hops. A touch of sweetness from the malt backbone. Tastes sweet and very balanced. A very strong but mellow hop presence. Overall very solid!

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Union Jack India Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.23 out of 5 based on 6,485 ratings.
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