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Lambic | Rivertown Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
88
very good
74 Reviews
LambicLambic
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Rivertown Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States
rivertownbrewery.com

Style: Lambic - Unblended

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Fermented by exposing the beer to untamed yeasts and bacteria native to Rivertown Brewery, known as House Funk. This blend fermented for over a year in wine barrels.

Added by mcallister on 04-26-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
74
Ratings:
296
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
9.07%
 
 
Wants:
62
Gots:
57
For Trade:
9
User Reviews
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Reviews: 74 | Ratings: 296
Photo of maximum12
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to fiver29 for this random bottle from a brewery I’ve yet to try: always a good thing. 750ML bottle, 2013 vintage, split with my wife while watching “Finding Nemo”. Great movie.

The first glass is clear light orange, the second very slightly clouded, with the last ounce left in the bottle for research purposes. Very close to being still. Lovely odor of green apple, lemon, choked-out citrus, with a nice shot of tartness. I like where this is going.

Rivertown Lambic is a liquid I could slip into my wife’s drunk club (sorry, “Book Club”) as a white wine & get nary an upturned nose. Tastes like a nice white without the alcoholic bite: wine spritzer, white grape juice, de-bittered lemon, soft green apple. Finishes with umilled grain and citrus: the tartness crowns briefly and gently, with a side helping of dry mouth. You can tell this is a low ABV drink, as it washes all the trail dust from the my cube away in great big gulps. Are you supposed to gulp lambic?

This is a lambic for the fourteen and younger crowd, approachable, easy-going. I could see this as a Middle Ages table beer when the water was full of cholera. Good.

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Photo of rlee1390
4/5  rDev +0.8%

A-Cloudy orange, not much carbonation or head

S-Nice tartness, acidic notes, little grapes and some oak

T-Starts with nice tartness, mild acidity, oak and grapes, slight lemon

M-Lighter, dry finish, not much carbonation.

O-A solid lambic, from 2011 all that is left is the acidic notes, can only wonder what it is like fresh

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got this in a trade from one of you fine people last year but I have forgotten who, thanks bud! The first whiff of the opened bottle reeked of cider vinegar, uh oh. I poured a couple glasses and it was an amber orange color and while not quite translucent it wasn't turgid or anything. The aroma settled down after a couple minutes and it was less vinegar but still had an apple cider quality. Flavor was more cider, sour, apples, not bad at all. If you are judging this as a lambic you will be sorely disappointed but I do respect them for going down a difficult path. As an American wild ale its just fine. There are just some qualities to authentic lambic that Americans haven't nailed yet, maybe its the funk, maybe its the yeast, maybe its a je nais se quoi.

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Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to my boy aasher for giving me this one during our MASSIVE in-person trade when he came down to visit! Thanks buddy! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a hazy golden yellow with a one finger pure white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, lemon zest, funk, and slight tart fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, funk, lemon rine, lemon zest, citrus, and wood. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. I was really surprised at how citrus/lemon forward this one was. The funk aspect was quite nice on this one and played well with citrus however. My only gripe was that this one wasn't as complex as I would have liked, but still managed to come across as a nice brew to all who tried it. Worth trying if you can find it, and worth seeking out for fans of the style or lemony brew fans.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.4/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a tulip. 2012 vintage. Like the Rivertown Gueuze I had a little while ago, the cap came off of this way, way, way too easily. While this beer may have been flat anyway, the gueuze should not have been.

3.5 A: Mildly hazed orange brown color. No head.

3.5 S: The nose on this is sharp and acidic. Loads of lactic acid with plenty of acetic underneath. Tangy and fruity with peach and apple. Melon and some vinous notes underneath. Hay and dry woody funkiness, but it doesn't hold a candle up to the acid. Oak without much tannic astringency.

1.75 T: Wow. On the pucker-scale, this one shoots right past mouth-puckering and straight to ass-puckering. Most of the time, the first sip makes a sour beer seem more sour than it is. Your palate needs a couple sips to acclimate back to sours. This beer does not apply. It's fully unbalanced with bracing acidity and unrelenting intensity. I can feel my tooth enamel dripping down my esophagus. If you can taste anything past the acid, you might say this beer is tangy and fruity. Again apple, peach, and vinous fruitiness. Hay and oaky woodiness. It's so damn sour that I can't keep it in my mouth long enough to discern any other flavors.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Not really any carbonation. Drinks like a thick water, which is a nice mouthfeel for a lambic.

1.5 D: If I'm dead tomorrow then it's probably because I finished the bottle by myself. Wholly undrinkable, even for the most seasoned lambic drinkers. I'm not a sour noob, so I'm not overreacting. This may be even less balanced that the Cantillon Kriek I had a while back. Brace yourselves, acid is coming.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #62 (Mar 2012):

LOOK: Bright golden, thin lacing

SMELL: Musty, lemon zest, medicinal, bay leaf, pepper, tart, yeast, oak, faintly vinous

TASTE: Fresh sourness, oak, musty cellar, goaty, yeast, bready, lemon, faint cider, mint, strawberries, mineral

Most brewers steer clear of naming their beer a “Lambic” due to the Senne Valley indigenous affiliation and expectations that come with it. Rivertown is obviously paying homage to the originals with their own twist. From the pop of the cork and an amazing aroma, to the freshness of sourness and oak of the wine barrels, this one is here to impress. Top notch.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 PINT 9.4 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a flute
2012 vintage

A - It is a golden color with straw highlights. I got very little off-white head.

S - The aroma is sour with some dank basement. I get some green apple and pear.

T - The taste is tart and vinous. It is acidic. The taste is not as intense as the smell. The sourness doesn't really linger in the aftertaste.

M - Sticky and moderate.

O - This is my first unblended lambic. I enjoy the sourness of the beer, but I would like more. With no experience with Belgian lambics, I am eager to try more. I like this one.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

1684th Review on BA
Bottle to Flute
750ml

Shared with JohnBoots and JCDenver

App- A still looking buttery orangey yellow. No bubbles. Just sat in the glass. Pretty standard "lambic"

Smell- So I really feel bad for opening this after L'Brett. There was nothing exciting about this. Still, oaky and a bit of butter behind it. Slightly dry and malty.

Taste- Its a bit better than I thought it would be. Although after the L'Brett. This fell a bit short. Slightly oaky, a little lemon and butter. A small amount of oak but generally we all felt it was good, above average but not the best lambic.

Mouth- A slightly sweet and lighter medium with a medium carbonation. The residual oak and butter is a little small.

Drink- Its better than average, but not the best beer in the world. Pretty solid.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - pours a vast orange gold with minimal tan head

S - tons of sour and horseradishy heat. Smells fantsdtic

T - Fairly hard hitting sour horseradish flavors up front slightly watery aftertaste and finish. Great flavor though

M - medium bodied and drinkable

O - fizzes out towards the end but absolutely fantastic up front. I dont know why but I always associate a certain taste in many sours with horseradish... does anyone else know what im talking about?

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes. Poured from a 2014 vintage 750 mL bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery tulip glass.

A: Hazy gold, with a one-finger white head with good retention. A big initial blush of visible carbonation settles down quickly.

S: Farmhouse funk, dry and grassy (I assume some Brett), and lactic tartness. Some lemony citric acid with cracker malt sweetness in the background.

T: Lactic tart up front. Citric lemon bite. Funk from the Brett with accompanying barnyard character, which dries this out in the middle along with some faint oak tannins. A bit of sweetness from the biscuity malt. There's a touch of acetic sour bite near the end. It finishes dry and acidic with another punch of funk.

M: Fairly light bodied, though seems about average for style. Lots of carbonation sensation. Not much alcohol flavor but there's a bit of burn which makes me think this might be a bit higher of an ABV than most in style.

O: Very tasty, especially for a regular/rotating offering. I'm not sure the acetic character I'm picking up at the end adds anything to the beer (nor would be style appropriate, I don't think). But fortunately, it doesn't ruin the experience.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy golden-orange with a finger of frothy white head. Fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some lacing.

S - Sweet wheat, tart green fruits, oak, wine, vanilla, lemon zest, funky Brett, lactic acid, pepper.

T - Very tart green fruits, sweet wheat, lemon zest, oak, wine, funky Brett, mild pepper and vanilla, lactic acid.

M - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. Smooth with a tart and dry finish.

D - Very nice lambic. Great overall balance and complexity.

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Photo of mcallister
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hmm a lambic from Cincy, Ohio. Pours a murky orange color with a small white head.

Aromas are nice, good amount of sour tart fruit qualities and a hint of oak and funk. Earthy.

Moderate sourness and funky qualities with medium carbonation. Black cherry and other red fruit flavors on the mid palate with tart fruits on the finish. Nice acidity and very nice overall.

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Photo of Beejay
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A hazy grapefruit color, with some nice white head that foams like champaign, then disappears like david Copperfield. There is a good amount of yeast sediment clumping up the bottom.

S: Nice with a light fruity smell, and some good tartness. A slight hint of vinegar.

T: Tart, and clean with a nice fruity accent. Notes of vinegar and berries. Oddly there is almost a touch of popcorn in there.

M: Fairly thin, with very active carbonation. Leaves the mouth with a sour punch that coats the tongue in an almost oily way.

O: Very good overall. I am proud to see the local boys turning out styles like this. I think if it were to age a year or two it would really be somethin'.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage, 22 oz bottle. Hazy straw color, with some tiny, fine bubbles emerging. Thin white head fades quickly, but stays at a nice ring.

Earthy, oaky nose. Some lemon zest and fruity notes. Funky, and a bit musty.

Only a bit tart up front. Lemon zest, with some drying oak. A bit earthy, but not overwhelming.

Light body, with some refreshing carbonation. Alcohol is a non-factor. Not overly complex, but some nice flavors. Well done from a younger American brewery, and in my home state!

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Photo of ONUMello
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, 2013 vintage poured into a flute
A: Hazy very light brown with a slight yellowish/pinkish hue. Almost no head but light bubbles
S: Sour - green apple/citrus, some oak, wheat and yeast
T: Also sour, green apple initially, a hit of funk, some citrus, yeast, wheat, and choke cherry
M: Light-bodied, pleasant carbonation, a light touch of tannins
O: Quite complex and tasty. My first Lambic and I'll definitely be exploring the style more. I'll try to buy another bottle of this to try with some age

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.26/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Darkness tulip on 8/20/11; shared with some of the local crew.

The cork was wet and wimpy, breaking in half with the bottom still in the neck. Careful.

Vintage 2010

Pale, golden yellow; a touch sun-faded. Lots of bubbles cling to the side of the glass. one finger of large-bubbled foam lasts for but a flash. A few stray bubbles remain. No much for lace. There's an odd ring of sediment around the top.

Smells pretty good, if a bit on the soft side. Deep-seated funk. Not tart or sour, just a lot of straight funk. Buggy says stinky cheese - I'll give him that. Damp oak, vinous tones and some light fruits - tangy apple, white grapes and pear.

The flavor has a brief, watery fruity/tangy twinge that gives way to a mild funk and undertones of wood. Moderately vinous, especially in the mid-section. Very, very dry finish. Soft grass tones, too. It doesn't taste bad, just simple and not all that exciting.

Light body; fairly crisp. Carbonation isn't so high as to make it sharp or harsh. Actually, carbonation is pretty low. One long, dry, funk-laden finish.

Rivertown Lambic isn't a bad beer, but it's lacking in the wow-factor department. Not a bad early effort. hopefully Rivertown keeps it up.

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Photo of nlmartin
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was served in a flute. I had some reservations with this beer at the start. I was thinking surely this wouldnt be a good beer. Lambic from Cincinnati who would have thought of it?

A: The color of the beers body is a bright clear golden coloration with active carbonation. The head of the beer lasted for about 30 seconds and was gone. You need to be careful pouring this beer as the bottle has a hell of a lot of sediment.

S: The aroma of the beer has alot of the expected funkyness from the yeast. Nice acidic, tart aromas combine with a bit of oak and mild fruity aromas.

T: The tartness and funkyness of the beer are not aggressive but I definitely know its there. A bit of fruityness hits my mouth about midway kind of like a cider that has been hit with berries. Nice tartness start to finish.

M- The body of the beer is light. The carbonation is active and works really well with the beers character. The acidity and tartness are really refreshing.

O: I am really impressed with this offering from Rivertown. This is a really good stab at making a very funky beer. Well done!

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.51/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Giant chunks of yeast came tumbling out as the hazy golden body filled my glass. The beer gushed a little, but now after a few sips, there is almost no carbonation.

Smells pretty nice-- I'm pretty impressed with the level of oaky funk going here. There is a nice level of bright fruity notes, and a good citrusy lemon note.
The flavor adds a good tart bite, but it lacks that solid sourness that I look for.

Feels is pretty damn good-- medium-light with plenty of carbonation.

Overall-- very impressed by this one. I wasn't expecting much, but I hunted around Columbus to find this beer and I'm certainly not disappointed!

Edit---
I really enjoyed this one. I brought a bottle to darklord day last year and everyone else like it a lot too.
When compared to authentic Belgian Lambic, this beer is ok. But as an American brewed Lambic, especially one coming out of Ohio, this is superb. This is about 96% as good as Duck Duck Gooze or Cable Car... Without the hassle to land it.
In terms of a "bang for your buck" beer, this is a strong winner.

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Photo of WillCarrera
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, 2012 vintage, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a hazy dark golden yellow color, topped with a thin, watery white head, leaves a bit of lacing.

S- Musty, sweaty funk, a solid amount of acidity, leaning a bit towards acetic. It smells better than I expected, there are some attributes of its Belgian counterparts here that are more present than you typically get in American sours.

T- Moderate amount of acidity, both lactic and acetic here but still leaning towards acetic. Some wheat and grain flavor, along with a bit of lemon and stone fruit.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth feel, dry finish.

O- A very solid American sour. I've gotta emphasize though that this is not a lambic, and never could be (it also probably shouldn't invite that comparison either, which can only ever be unfavorable for itself), but besides the linguistic technicalities this is a really nice, tasty, drinkable sour.

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Photo of Tilley4
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this bottle up on a whim after seeing it for the first time on the shelves....

After glancing thru the reviews, this looks like it might be a good choice...

Lovely aromas of grape and pear with hints of lemon and maybe even a little lime as well... Very fruity and tart aromas blend with a slight, ever so slight funky earthiness... Interesting...

First sip and while not bracingly bitter or sour, it's definitely not subdued... The other reviewers didn't get this bottle... It's not La Folie sour but it's definitely a mouth puckerer... Tart and refreshing while never getting tiresome to drink... The grapes and lemon are present all the way and the hints of the oak here and there give this a nice touch...

I liked this beer a lot and it's one that I will get again... I don't have access to any other domestic lambics and this is one that I could see myself having again... very nice and well done...

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours semi-clear dark straw with a finger of creamy white head. Pretty good retention and lacing.

Sour lemon, wheat and some white wine notes. A little bit of black pepper as well. Smells a bit like a Pinot Grigio.

Some lemon and pear up front. Very soft up front flavor. Rounds into a bit of drying oak near the end. Not overly sour. Just a touch.

Light bodied perhaps a bit too much so with medium carbonation.

Solid lambic that I'll be happy to have anytime I'm in Indy and can snag a bottle, but nothing overly special. I'd prefer more of a sour kick.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.37/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Ryan011235.

Appearance
Lemon yellow, this beer is very bright and pale. Its fairly hazy and has spotty lace from a short lived head.

Aroma
Very lactic. The sourness is low, making way for a lot of cheese and sweat sock lactic stink. Some malt vinegar as well.

Taste
Again, sourness is low. Its very cheesy and lactic. More vinegar notes here as well. Some lemon tartness and bready dough on the finish.

Mouthfeel
The finish isn't as dry as I had hoped. Its actually pretty slick. Carbonation is low but sharp enough to poke through the fuller body.

Overall
A good stab at a very hard to replicate style.

 626 characters

Photo of Urbancaver
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Carl!
Pours a light hazy yellow. A good amount of white head. Smells tart and light. Funky but not that earthy. Tastes tart and funky. The sourness is not that strong. Overall tasty but nothing special. Enjoyable and one of the better offerings that Rivertown has. A great first attempt and I'd love to see more of this!

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Photo of DCon
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed 2- 8oz pours from a tapper @ the East Nashville Beer Festival in Nashville, TN. Tapped from a White Tap Handle that has Lambic and Rivertown on it into my 8oz East Nashville Beer Festival Tasting Glass. Had to go back for a second of this!! Favorite of the entire festival.

Aroma- A big amount of funk from the beginning and then finishes with light citrus. Very sweet to the nose as well.

Appearance- Received with a less than .5 finger head that dies immediately. Has a clear, dark golden (almost light orange) colored body. Leaves no lacing behind.

Flavor- Huge citric and funk from the beginning to end of the taste. Sour barnyard and complexed sweetness. Enjoying every last drop of this!

Mouthfeel- Light Bodied, HUGE Carbonation, Tons of puckering with dry flavors, and then has a high tart finish. Perfect for this style!

Overall Impression- While sour beers are some of my favorites out of any style, this one rocked the festival into conversation all day about it! If you get a chance, pick up more than one bottle and I'll take one off your hands in a trade! Perfect unblended lambic attributes. The appearance and smell were above average but the rest of the beer has high marks!

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Photo of Spider889
3.14/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Graciously shared by Ryan011235. I believe that this was the "palate cleanser" so to speak at our BA BORIS tasting before we dove into Royale.

A - Depending on whose pour we looked at (there were 4-6 of us) there was mild to absolutely zero clarity. Tons of sediment wound up in the last several pours. Small white head that quickly dissipates. Also of note, the cork broke while we were trying to open it, and the beer was near gusher territory as well.

S - Nice traditional lambic aroma - some funky lemon, light brett, and mild oak and must. Nothing groundbreaking or top tier, but solid for an emerging US brewer.

T - Not very sour at all, which we were all disappointed in. Mild tartness and a little brett, but even that was subdued. And here I thought that brett was unstoppable once introduced...

M/O - Low carbonation. Maybe that was the result of the early gush of foam, or the odd cork issues. Overall I'd classify that as a valiant effort, but there's definitely room for improvement. But hell, I think it's cool just to see a US brewer attempt a true lambic. Party on.

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Lambic from Rivertown Brewing Co.
3.97 out of 5 based on 296 ratings.
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