Twilight Of The Idols
Hill Farmstead Brewery

Twilight Of The IdolsTwilight Of The Idols
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Style:
American Porter
Ranked #4
ABV:
7.5%
Score:
96
Ranked #604
Avg:
4.34 | pDev: 8.29%
Reviews:
196
Ratings:
1,137
From:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
 
Vermont, United States
Avail:
Winter
Wants
  435
Gots
  174
SCORE
96
World-Class
Twilight Of The IdolsTwilight Of The Idols
Notes: Twilight of the Idols is our winter porter. We brew Twilight each autumn, with a touch of locally roasted coffee and cinnamon, and age it on a blend of select vanilla beans. Originally conceived with a friend in 2009 while brewing in Denmark, the name of this annual release is inspired by the title of one of the last texts written by one of our philosophical idols, Friedrich Nietzsche.
Reviews: 196 | Ratings: 1,137 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of hopley
3.77/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

October 2018 500ml bottle, drank January 8, 2020 out of a tulip.

Can't really say this one worked for me. I was expecting big cinnamon and vanilla with a silky mouthfeel but unfortunately got none of that. Expectations were too high and perhaps effected by all the adjunct crazy beers out there today, but either way, I didn't get any cinnamon or vanilla and after 1.25 years on the bottle, I can't imagine these would have completely vanished? The mouthfeel was really thin and the nose wasn't really there; it was kind of watery in a way. While the lack of adjuncts can be excused if you're just looking at this as a regular Porter, but it was this watery affect that really negatively affected me the most - it was present in the taste, the nose and the mouthfeel. Can't say I got a bad bottle as it was a Porter, had the roasty taste, and had a nice creamy head, lacing and nice dark body to it, but that was about it. I do look forward to trying a fresh bottle someday in the hopes that that the adjuncts were intended to be extremely subtle and did indeed fade over such a short period of time, and maybe the rest was a just, a bad dream? Sorry Hill.

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hopley from Massachusetts, Jan 08, 2020
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a famous and acclaimed beer i have long been eager to drink, huge thanks to my brother for saving this one for me. he was disappointed how it aged, the bottle is from october 2018, but i was really impressed with this, worth the wait for me, although based on his reaction, i guess i still need to try this fresh! its a big porter done with cinnamon and coffee, and aged on vanilla beans. i think its real success is how subtle these things are. in this day and age, its how desserty and sweet and over the top flavored can you make a big dark beer, but this is an exercise in restraint, and i love that about it, immediately its about the porter, not the added ingredients, why has this approach gone away? i could drink a couple bottles of this, rare anymore in flavored stouts and porters. the cinnamon is there only on the finish and in the background, light smoke with it, some warmth, and no linger at all, its only lightly festive, but its a neat wrinkle. the coffee is a little bit in front of that, even in a bottle a year old, no fade to it that i can perceive, at least not in the usual unflattering ways, its got some chocolate hints to it, a rich oily crema vibe, and a dark roast thats excellent with the deep and complex roasted barley in the mash here. the vanilla adds a touch of sweetness, but set against all the roasted bitter character this remains insanely balanced. the vanilla is natural and aromatic, and its present the whole time, but in such a tasteful proportion. i love the weight and smoothness of the base porter, some oats seem obvious, and there is dark chocolate character all through it. great complexity overall, everything comes together extremely well, even a little english yeast to me uniting it, really cohesive and smooth and delicious. its the wild beers and saisons i love the most from hill farmstead, but its hard not to be equally impressed with this, super stoked to have been able to share this with my brother, a beer worthy of its hype!

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Photo of leantom
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Not quite as good as Everett despite the addition of a few additives. Still a tremendous beer, though. Here goes:

A: Pitch black, pours a great white head with fantastic lacing. Great.

S: Chocolate and coffee not as robust as they were in Everett. However, there are hints of vanilla and cinnamon, which add to the complexity and depth of the smell.

T: Chocolate and coffee. Vanilla and cinnamon are in the aftertaste, but they are not particularly robust. Pretty creamy despite the light, soft Vermont water - perhaps some lactose was added.

F: Rich and creamy despite the soft water. Great.

O: Very good. Not quite Everett, but still very good.

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leantom from Indiana, Dec 31, 2018
Photo of Sabtos
3.62/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A slappy black pour yields a large, soft creamy tan foam that settles to a bubbly blanket leaving tons of holey sheets of lace.

Smell is that classic Hill Farmstead Porter, very much in the realm of Everett, with that almost smoky, heavily roasted malt. Easing my concerns that this was going to be one-note Porter, the aromas of banana skin-like vanilla, cinnamon bark and cola come in. Then, some astringent, woody hops crash the party, and are a bit off-putting.

Taste exhibits bitter coffee, smoky roast, tangy metallic hops (almost as though they are stale), and the slightest hint of vanilla. This is not so great, and a bit underwhelming actually. The cinnamon wasn't detectable on the palate to me, and something with the hop presence just wasn't pleasant.

A smooth, slick, medium to light body has a semi-dry to dry finish with a medium to thick carbonation.

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Sabtos from Ohio, Dec 01, 2017
Photo of GuyFawkes
4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 10/6/16; drank 9/21/17 @ the Yarchives.

Black/brown appearance.

A rough pour yielded a huge, noisy tan head; strong lace.

Cinnamon, fresh earth, cream & faint raspberry notes in the nose.

Creamy medium thick mouthfeel.

Cream, cinnamon & milk chocolate flavors up front; mild fresh earth & faint raspberry notes on the finish.

Rich & complex yet easy to drink; great at the one year mark. I'll have to get a fresh one this year...

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GuyFawkes from Illinois, Sep 22, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.36/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Hill Farmstead becher pint glass. The appearance was a dark brown mostly close to black color with a great two finger foamy off white to tan head. Mild lacing roaming all around the glass. The aroma took on a great amount of roasty to smooth sweet cocoa to coffee great bitterness. Subtle cinnamon, but super low key, really, it is. Some vanilla bean. The flavor rides on the smoothness of the sweet to roasty cocoa to coffee bean. Subtle riding bitter to a smooth roasty coffee aftertaste sliding on into the finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium like a good American styled porter should sit. Carbonation felt exactly right for what it should be. Overall, a very well done porter that I would have again.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into stemmed HF glass.
Pours near jet black with one finger of khaki head that dissipates.
Aromas are a lot of roasted malt, some sweetness and some coffee notes.
Flavor is green (this is a bottle 3 weeks old). Feel the beer needs to age for a bit here. Raw coffee bean and roasted porter.
Mouthfeel was excellent.
Overall really lovely beer but needs time to age and mellow.

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Photo of Lembeh
4.51/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smell is of spiced coffee, vanilla, roasted malts. Spices are mostly Christmas spices your nutmeg and some cinnamon. Taste is rich coffee, some dark fruit, vanilla, more holiday spices. Tastes really good. Leaves some nice lacing on a glass. Great winter Porter by Hill Farmstead, really stands up to Stone Xocovesa. Would love to do a blind taste test on those two. Superb Porter this.

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Lembeh from New York, Dec 17, 2016
Photo of c_tails
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had on tap today at Proletariat

poured into teku glass, dark brown with nice head

taste - rich, robust porter that's chocolately with just a barely detectable hint of cinnamon. not too sweet, just a perfect amount of sweetness, roasted richness with a touch of bitter coffee at the end.

nice carbonation stayed throughout, which is nice as some porters in my experience can tilt to the flat side of things especially by the end of a pour.

loved this

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c_tails from New York, Nov 26, 2016
Photo of papposilenus
4.61/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

From a 500ml bottle, bottled 10/06/16. Served at slightly cooler than cellar temperature in an oversized tulip.

Pours pitch black with a finger-and-a-half of latte-coloured head from a moderately-hard pour. Retention is good for a few minutes and leaves ample spotty lacing.

Nose is subdued (maybe because it was poured a bit cooler than it should have been) but pleasantly warm and toasty, with fresh-perked coffee, vanilla flowers and sandalwood.

Taste is bitter coffee and anise, cinnamon bark and dried currants. Finishes with creme brulee-without-the-creme, newsprint and cocoa nibs with a long, understated, palate-smacking dryness.

Feel is super clean, smooth as silk, dry, light-to-medium bodied, and adequately carbonated.

Overall, it leaves you begging for more. While not as 'wow' as some of HF's dark stuff, it is absolutely flawlessly executed. There is not a single defect, nothing off in the nose, taste or feel. I got a whole case to last me the winter and, frankly, I'll be lucky if there's anything left to share with my family by Thanksgiving.

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papposilenus from New Hampshire, Nov 03, 2016
Photo of JordonHoltzman
4.64/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a tulip glass. 11months old. dark dark brown with a khaki head. Aroma is light smoke, roastiness, some sweetness from the vanilla. as for taste.. wow. this beer is pretty much flawless. Strong notes of chocolate come in first, with a light dose of roasted coffee, and the vanilla at the end. The taste is a perfect balance of all of the flavors. this is a luscious beer, but not a sipper at all. the mouthfeel is silky chocolate milk, close to the body of what I'd consider stout territory. This is easily one of the better beers I've ever had.

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Photo of Hyptochrons
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

had this on tap at mule. notes of coffee, maximum roastyness, dark malts, vanilla, creamyness, perfectly subtle cinnamon note. mouthfeel nearing perfection... easily one of the best porters ive tried!

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Hyptochrons from Massachusetts, Oct 31, 2016
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a black color porter with a nice large brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of roasted malt with nice floral coffee notes with some vanilla undertones. Taste is a great mix of vanilla undertones with some floral coffee notes with some light roasted malt and subtle residual sugar notes are also discernable. Body is about average but has a nice creamy texture with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very flavorful with great attenuation. Probably one of the best example of the style I’ve had the chance to drink.

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Phyl21ca from Quebec (Canada), Sep 19, 2016
Photo of GarthDanielson
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage, poured from a bottle into a snifter. The beer is jet black, with an uneven, foamy, tan head. Aromas of roasted coffee, rich vanilla, subtle char and wood spice, hints of chocolate, and subtle earthy highlights. Flavors are heavily roasted coffee first and foremost, robust and rich, with accents of vanilla, chocolate, char, subtle smoke, and earthy undertones. Very robust and layered throughout, on a smooth, dry body. The aftertaste is bitter roasted coffee, with all of the other characteristics falling back into accent positions. Very robust and slightly charred coffee notes continue from the aftertaste through the smooth, slow, dry finish. This is a really solid, layered, delicious beer. Wow!

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Photo of THANAT0PSIS
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Hill Farmstead Twilight of the Idols

A: This variation on the brilliant and perfect Everett pours typical midnight black with a somewhat disappointingly small, mocha head of about a finger-and-a-half, and it is not long for this world, either. The carbonation is slow and lazy, but active enough. Lacing is brilliant, however, and the viscosity looks to be more than ample without wandering into sticky territory ruled by the imperial stout. 4/5

A: Coffee and cinnamon leap out of the glass in nearly equal measure (coffee takes the forefront), with the vanilla buried a little under the intense roast notes. There is ample dark fruit here, particularly fig and the very elusive black cherry. The dark fruit is a nice touch that hearkens back to English porters and is lost on many American versions of the style. Burnt caramel and Muscavado sugars lie at the back of the aroma along with bitter vanilla bean, heavily roasted barley (almost smokey), and plenty of baker's chocolate accompanied, of course, by more coffee. This seems very balanced, like most HF beers, and the additives do not take over what is an amazing base beer. 4.25/5

T: In a surprising turn of events, campfire smoke wins out in the taste along with a very hefty roasted coffee. Some cola, fig, and black cherry comes through in the middle along with a touch of fruity hops. The end is all rich, dark chocolate, fading darker and darker, more and more bitter, almost like chocolate-covered espresso beans. Cinnamon is largely absent, contributing perhaps an earthiness but nothing more. This is a wonderfully complex porter, but with the magnificent base to live up to, it falls a bit short in taste, the nuances of Everett covered up a bit by the additives. 4.25/5

M: It is almost boring to review this category for HF beers, as Shaun always nails mouthfeel. Here, a velvety creaminess dominates with just enough prickly carbonation to make the flavors pop. The roast drys the mouth wonderfully. The only complaint is that the somewhat modest alcohol content of 7.2% does creep up in a little bit of heat, uncharacteristic for the style and for HF in general. 4.5/5

O: While this is a great porter (with an even better name), it is darker than this beer when standing in Everett's shadow; Twilight simply cannot match its older, more nuanced, better-balanced brother. It is still a very tasty beer in its own right (and better than most other American-made examples), I will focus all my future trades on Everett itself, the apex of the American Porter. Do not scoff at this if it is offered, however, as it is always worth a drink and then some. Pair with Ihsahn's "After." 4.25/5

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THANAT0PSIS from Wisconsin, Aug 02, 2016
Photo of leroybrown10
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours chocolate brown, not quite completely opaque. Touch of dark red highlights around the edges. 2 finger khaki head with fairly large bubbles, sorta frothy. Decent retention on the head and it leaves a layer of creamy bubbles once it recedes. Nice lacing left behind.

Aroma is a rich blend of coffee and vanilla. Roasted malt, dark chocolate, and caramel.

Coffee leads on first taste along with dark chocolate and roasted malt. Vanilla a nice complement. Just a hint of the cinnamon mentioned in the description. Earthy and just a touch of oak.

Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy on the tongue with very mild bitterness. Some coffee acidity. The roasty notes are what really lingers.

A really tremendous beer. Flavors blend well and no one aspect overpowers. My first HF and it did not disappoint.

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leroybrown10 from Missouri, Jul 02, 2016
Photo of Myotus
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured at 46°F from a 500ml bottle (2015 vintage) into a nonic pint glass. Consumed on 24Jun16.
LOOK: One finger of cinnamon colored foam halves itself into a khaki foam head within thirty seconds. Black in color with a dark orange luster. Subtle amount of small, rising bubbles. Lacing is moderate in quantity and mostly thin with some areas of thickness.
SMELL: Massive waves of bittersweet  chocolate are backed by strong aromas of bittersweet coffee and vanilla along with mild aromas of oak and bitter roasted malts. Subtle aromas of caramel, cinnamon, and hints of alcohol elaborate the dark complexity.
TASTE: A bold statement is instantly made by very strong bittersweet chocolate and strong bittersweet coffee flavors. The intensity is immediately balanced by mild flavors of vanilla and oak. The balance between sweetness and bitterness is disrupted by mild bitter roasted malt flavors. Subtle caramel flavors attempt to restore balance with little success. Subtle cinnamon and hints of alcohol close the taste profile as all prior flavors maintain.
FEEL: Somewhere between full-bodied and medium-bodied. Carbonation is moderate. Goes down somewhat smooth and creamy. Finishes with a strong and unpleasant dryness. NOTE: A vigorous brew not for the faint of heart. More Stout than Porter, this robust delicacy boasted large quantities of bitterness that left me desiring a more sweetening balance. This was still another great offering from HF that I hope I can come across again in the future.

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Myotus from Texas, Jun 25, 2016
Photo of Marius
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Warpigs, pre-CBC. Pitch black with an espresso head. Tons of chocolate in the nose and taste, soft chocolate and a bit of spice. Really nice.

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Marius from Netherlands, Jun 19, 2016
Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color, with good head retention and decent lasting. No the nose, this really comes across as a robust porter, as I picked up considerable roasty malt on the nose, coupled with some light coffee and vanilla. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, though I was expecting a bit more vanilla. The porter is actually on the dry side, and finishes with some light coffee, cocoa and vanilla. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a moderately long finish. Alcohol is completely unnoticeable.

Nothing earth shattering, just a very solid, well crafted porter from the folks at HF.

Edit from 12/17/16. A new batch is very similar to the last batch. No reason for a change of score. This is certainly a pleasant and enjoyable porter, but some of the review scores I'm seeing leave me scratching my head. There are plenty of porters on the market (both on the East Coast and West Coast) that are superior to this (IMHO).

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John_M from Oregon, May 19, 2016
Photo of KVNBGRY
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black, with a billowing brown head. Aroma is like mascarpone, coffee, vanilla, bitter roast. The taste is similar with a dry, cocoa note. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied. Great porter!

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KVNBGRY from Florida, May 15, 2016
Photo of PVMT
4.14/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a bottle dated 11.18.15. Dark pour with a tan head. Roasty aroma, with flavors of coffee and cinnamon leading the way. No vanilla to speak of. Very smooth, no bitterness. Decent, but not on par with most of the HF offerings.

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PVMT from New York, Mar 23, 2016
Photo of gustavmahler-09
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black, little head. Smells sweet, of spices, coffee. Taste follows the smell, sweet, vanilla, coffee, fruits. Feels lush and creamy. A great porter.

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Photo of FFreak
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to BoldRulerVT for this excellent gift. Bottle date is 11/2013 - cellared for 2.5 years. Poured into a willy glass.

Appearance is typical used-motor oil black with a fluffy tan head that leaves some lace.

Smell is roast malt combined with roast coffee - surprisingly aromatic considering the amount of time it's been cellared.

Taste is delicious, with brown sugar, coffee, vanilla, chocolate, and no bitterness to speak of. There is just a slight metallic taste, which I attribute to the age. Vanilla becomes more prominent as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is perfect for the ABV - not overly sweet or viscous.

Overall, a finely crafted specialty porter.

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FFreak from Vermont, Mar 19, 2016
Photo of papat444
4.09/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, thick unmovable head latches on. Cinnamon, cardamom and coffee in aroma. Flavor is very smooth, cold brewed coffee with a cinnamon bite at the end.

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papat444 from Quebec (Canada), Mar 18, 2016
Photo of ryan1788a5
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Black in color. Rocky coffee-colored head doesn't budge an inch. Stubborn and sticky rings of lacing.

S: Strong whiffs of cinnamon. Deeply roasted barley takes on espresso and dark chocolate characteristics. Good dose of vanilla bean.

T: Deep roast. Char and smoke. Burnt bread. French roast coffee. Bitter dark chocolate. Espresso. Cinnamon adds spiciness within the heavy burnt and roasted flavors. Acidic. Vanilla bean takes the edge off of it all and rides up on the back end. Metallic. Some hop bitterness and mild alcohol. Acrid and smokey finish is tempered by the vanilla.

M: Medium-thick body. Slightly coating. Full and velvety smooth with a gently pressing weight. Slight alcohol warmth. Stiff, prickling carbonation.

O: Delicious. A perfect holiday season fireside sipper. Very much in the spirit of the season.

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ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts, Feb 16, 2016
Twilight Of The Idols from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 1137 ratings