Bride Maker
Jack's Abby Brewing

Bride MakerBride Maker
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Barleywine - English
4.37 | pDev: 8.01%
Jack's Abby Brewing
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Bride MakerBride Maker
Notes: This is our 2nd take on a barrel aged lager wine. This 13% abv beer was brewed last winter and has been aged in bourbon barrels. While Bride Maker is the same style of beer as Baby Maker, the recipe was reworked. The main difference is the use of Special B malt to give it more color and body as well as notes of caramel, toffee and dark fruits. We feel that Bride Maker is a sweeter, more well rounded take on the style.
Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 298 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of LeRose
LeRose from Massachusetts

4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This bottle is dated 2012, so full disclosure that it has been "aged".

Pours a murky mahogany with a few big bubbles on top that fall to a bit of wispy microbubbles. Looks fairly flat, not lively on the carbonation. Like it should be for the style, I reckon.

Smells pretty boozy, but notes of oak, toffee and caramel are quite pronounced. Roasted malts, and I get a note of sweetness like candi sugar. Then the dark fruits take over, sweet Medjool dates specifically.

The taste is huge...a beer this long in the tooth still laying down the goodness? It is sweet without hitting the annoyingly sweet level. Sweet is balanced by oak, roast, and a bit of vanilla. The dark fruit is not as strong in the flavor, and that is a good thing to keep the sweetness down. Very subtle bourbon. Bready notes ride underneath it all. A bit of a peppery phenolic sting on the finish that builds nicely and cleanses the palate a little.

It is on the heavy side, but not the thickest beer I have ever had. Ample sweetness lingers, a little bit of a tongue coater. The alcohol is pleasingly warming and there's some phenolic and oak in the finish that helps keep this big beer from getting obnoxious. Big, flavor bomb, sweet as I would want, yet restrained and subtle.

Jan 07, 2020
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mynie from Maryland

4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I got to say, "lager wine" are two words I normally love hearing that just sound horrible placed next to one another. Let's see how this shakes out.

Pour is nearly flat, very dark reddish brown. The tepidity is fine, considering the style and intense ABV.

Smells boozy, okay, and malty, with big caramel and toffee nodes. None of the sharp chemical nodes you might encounter in a less well-brewed, high-abv lager.

Tastes shockingly smooth. I think age has treated this one well. Sweet biscuits and toffee up front--perhaps the most genuinely toffee-tasting toffee nodes I've ever come across in a beer. While very heavy, this sweetness never becomes unenjoyable. Somewhat sharp fruit comes in near the middle, and finish is pleasantly burny without every becoming too intense.

To be honest, it's rare that age does anything great for a beer. But in this case, I think 4.5 years on is the right time to crack this one open.

May 03, 2019
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is a nice one on a cold wintery night

Pours a mild fizzy bubbly 1/2 finger head that fades at a fair pace, little lacing but long legs, somehow very clear but a dark mahogany color.

Nose big sweet candy malts, a little toasty biscuity, reddish toasted malts, a little toffee and caramel, candi sugar, a hint of booze with some dark fruity esters, touch date, some soft lagering like notes, and faint bourbon.

Taste brings sweet candy out front again, pretty sweet beer in general, but mixed with a very soft smooth lagering effect s really nice, some booze warmth and fusel notes but fairly smooth, a little bourbon but not much, faint chocolatey note too maybe from the Framinghammer, rich malts, toasted reddish, candy malts, candi sugar, caramel toffee, smooth caramel creams, mild plum and date like fruits, chewy nougat, etc. Finish is sticky sweet but not too sticky, a touch of booze warmth, lingering sweet candy flavors.

Mouth is med to fuller bod but lush creamy rich caramely smooth almost velvety like, decent carb, but some warming tingly booze, not a ton.

Overall a pretty interesting beer, I wonder if fresh it was more boozy but also probably had more bourbon, the Framinghammer notes come through a bit too which is nice.

Dec 17, 2016
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WesMantooth from Ohio

4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It is a very pretty mahogany color. Minimal head and carbonation.

Smells very sweet. Vanilla, carmalized candy like sugar, dark fruits, and oak.

Tastes the same. Lots of brown sugar sweetness, wood and subtle bourbon flavor, some fig/cherry/red grapes, toffee, red apple, and malty.

Fairly heavy, almost syrupy, body. Lots of malt. Not difficult to drink though.

This is rich, and a bit of a sipper. Kind of like a brandy. Very clean, distinct flavors and nothing overbearing though. Just an outstanding beer all around.

Jan 31, 2016
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ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Chestnut brown with mahogany hues. Great clarity. Off white head sputters out quickly. Minute spots of lacing.

S: Sweet notes of caramel, molasses, and toffee. Brown sugar. Bread crust, nuts, and a pinch of cocoa too. Sugar dates. Fig newtons. Sweet bourbon notes and whiffs of oak. Hint of alcohol.

T: Big honeyed sweetness. Thick caramel. Nutty cocoa and milk chocolate. Brown molasses and brown bread. Sugar dates and fig spread. The barrel adds bold but gentle notes of sweet and warming bourbon and a touch of drying wood that builds toward the back and into the finish.

M: Thick, syrupy, and honey-like. Absolutely rife with residual sugars. Coating and weighty. Warming alcohol. Ghostly wood astringency. Little carbonation. It's a lot like mead in weight and texture.

O: A nice slow sipper. It's huge and sweet, but the alcohols are warming and soothing. The flavors are clean and focused and meld together perfectly. It's absolutely perfect for what I'm doing tonight: hunkering down under a pile of blankets to escape this frigid New England winter night. This needs to return at some point.

Jan 06, 2016
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JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer poured a murky brown with a slight white head.

Smell - The beer smells sweet like candy ingredients.

Taste - The initial is sweet and almost maple syrup like. There were notes of butterscotch, dark fruits, and sweet malts. The bourbon is muted because of the aging. One might not know its there. Downright sticky, sweetness clings to the tongue in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is thick, which gives an impression of sticky sweet.

Overall - This beer is massive. As far as bourbon barrel aged English barleywines go, this is top of the line.

Jan 01, 2016
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 pint .9oz bottle poured into a snifter, bottled 9/12/14

A- pours a deep amber color with a ruby hue, small fizzy off-white head eventually dissipates, leaving nothing behind

S- huge aroma of dark fruits jump out of the glass, followed by notes of caramel/toffee, brandy, rum soaked oak, brown sugar, dark cherry, bourbon, vanilla, red apple skin, toasted brown malts & alcohol. Outstanding aroma

T- big sweet malts open up initially with notes of brown sugar & molasses, followed by loads of dark fruit flavors, including dark cherry, fig & raisin. Notes of oak, bourbon and vanilla open up mid-palate. Hints of chocolate, caramel & sherry close it out. Lingers of sweet malt and just a hint of alcohol

M- viscous body with low carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel and a thick slightly warming finish that lingers on the palate

O- an outstanding English barleywine that is worthy of sipping

Nov 17, 2015
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gcamparone from Rhode Island

4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz bottle into a jacks Abby snifter. Purchased over a year ago.

Pours a muddy brown Amber body with an off white small head that reduces fairly quickly to leave little retention and no lacing.

On the nose is a nice medley of sweet toffee, caramel, dark fruit, vanilla, bourbon, butterscotch, and candied sugar. Smells delightful, definitely going to be a dessert beer.

The tongue matches the nose, tons of sweet caramel, candied sugar, plum, vanilla, bourbon, followed by a delicious roasty, charred flavor almost like dark chocolate that sticks on the the tongue for a while. Chocolate covered raisins.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy but not too boozy for 13% , low carbonation, rich.

Overall this was spectacular, super flavorful, indulgent, rich, and complex.. Envies some of the best barleywines I've had. I think age did this one well.

Nov 13, 2015
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OrangeMen from New York

4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 Vintage
1 year since bottling

Appearance- Pours a medium cherry, brighter ruby red color. Barely a half finger of head and dissipates quickly, soapy, off-white in color. Incredible head lacing and sticky as can be alcohol legs.
Aroma- Toasted malts, charred oak, sweet notes of caramel, vanilla, and honey. Over ripe dark fruits, juicy plum, some berry notes. Sweet and strong bourbon presence accompanied by dry oak.
Taste- Tons of sweetness up front, honey, vanilla, and rich caramel toasty malts. Fruits flavors come through, mostly juicy plum. Charred oak, toasted coconut, and a strong dry bourbon finish.
Mouthfeel- Medium feel overall, but very sticky sweet and creamy at times. Perfect level of carbonation.
Overall- Esquisite sipping beer, bold flavors that blend quite well and just beg you to keep coming back for more. Nothing lacking in the barrel department, yet it does not overtake the beer. Tons of sweetness, but drys right out on the finish. The honey is the highlight, and just blends wonderfully with the vanilla and coconut from the barrel aging. Very unique and tasty.

Sep 26, 2015
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Ohiovania from Ohio

4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a brilliant English barleywine. Smells really nice but wish it was a little more forward. Flavor is forward and how. Wow! A lot of flavors slaming you in the face at the same time. You really don't mind the alcohol burn either. Toffee and butterscotch with a little vanilla and a generous spirit heat. Mouthfeel is great. I would take this over bourbon county barleywine any day of the week.

Sep 21, 2015
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SaisonRichBiere from Michigan

4.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to JSmick for this one

Pours a dark brownish red with minimal head. Smell is strong grain, spent oak and smoke. This smells like a smoky scotch, which is a bit off-putting, but not enough to derail things. Taste is big creamy brown sugar, spicy grain, and big vanilla and toffee notes. There is a huge english Barleywine hiding in the barrel. Feel is dense, smooth, and a bit hot. A slow sipper for sure, that just gets better as it opens up. I wish I would've waited for the dead of winter to open this.

Sep 13, 2015
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Damian from Massachusetts

4.86/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Drank from a 1 pint .9 fl. oz./.5 liter bottle purchased at Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont, MA
MFG 09/12/2014
Served in a snifter

Consumed on my one month wedding anniversary.

Cordial-like in appearance. The syrupy, viscous, dark orangey-amber liquid was topped by a tight, creamy, inch tall, light tan crown. The head quickly dropped to a thin cap that transformed into a thick, bubbly, frothy ring. Patchy lacing stuck all along the glass.

The aroma was amazingly robust and complex. Sweet plum and raisin notes dominated. Loads of maple and brown sugar. Hefty dose of vanilla and coconut. There was an interesting brandy-like quality, yet the alcohol was surprisingly mellow.

The flavor profile was uber malty and rich. Caramel, toffee and rum-like notes came through strong on the front end. Booze soaked raisins were also rather apparent. Super plummy. Maple and brown sugar notes provided a rich and robust sweetness. Loads of bourbon and barrel character. For 13% ABV, however, the alcohol was exceptionally well buried. Vanilla notes were also detectible. A hint of roast and some earthy hops bitterness appeared in the finish. By the drink's end, the sweetness became a bit overwhelming.

The mouthfeel was fluffy and creamy and contained a fine, mellow effervescence. Soft and supple on the palate yet a bit thin for a beer of this magnitude. The sugars in the liquid left a sticky film on my lips.

Jacks Abby makes a number of terrific beer but this "lager wine" is unquestionably their most impressive release to date. While the sweetness was rather intense (a bottle might best be shared amongst two or more people), it shows notable improvement over Baby Maker. This is truly a world class offering that deserves to be in BeerAdvocate's top 250 list.

Sep 11, 2015
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rjp217 from Massachusetts

4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Sweet apple brandy is what I pull most out of this brew. It's not overpoweringly sweet as it is highly drinkable. Lots of caramel and dark fruits, berries. Mild oak and sweet bourbon. Really well done.

Sep 07, 2015
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Zonk from New Jersey

4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sweet darke fruit specifically black cherries. Has notes of caramel and toffee. Medium bodied for a barleywine. Manages to hide the alcohol decently

Aug 21, 2015
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JebBeerFish from New Hampshire

3.41/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

My first Jack's Abby beer. Had on a recent night with 3 or 4 other barleywines. While it was the best of the bunch, I wasn't impressed. A lot of malt with some sweetness. Just not that interesting or tasty. Not likely to repeat.

Aug 08, 2015
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lic217 from Connecticut

4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: vanilla, dark fruit, malt, alcohol
Appearance: brown/red, absolutely no head
Taste: Sweet, Bready malt,slight alcohol,slight roast flavor with toffee
Feel: almost no carb, great mouthfeel nice a thick, great sipper
Overall: really smooth 13% beer. It might be my favorite big beer by JA

Aug 04, 2015
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-Rick from Massachusetts

4.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours a maroon like color, this beer smells of sweet candies, toffee, and caramel. The taste follows the nose. A decent booze presence, vanilla, caramel, and toffee. A rich feel, this beer is certainly a sipper. Great beer!

Jun 18, 2015
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Dope from Massachusetts

4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

9/12/14 bottling date.

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black. Tall and very dense light tan head. Good head retention and surprisingly good lacing to boot. Lots of little walls of lacing everywhere.

S: Super sweet. Dark fruits primarily. Loads of caramel. Get a nice hit of bourbon in there too. All maltiness and generally sweet aromas.

T: Oh yeah. Liquid sugar. Lots and lots of caramel and toasted sugars up front. Huge amount of dark fruits, primarily raisin but definitely picking up some fig too. More toasted sugar into the finish, with a backing of heavy bread drizzled with caramel sauce. Swear I even get honey in this thing, especially on the back end. Lingering oak and a hint of bourbon burn between sips.

M: Heavy, syrupy and smooth. Very smooth.

O: Wow. Very sweet but so smooth. So smooth that it's surprisingly drinkable. Not harsh at all, despite the ABV and the barrel aging. I loved baby maker but this is next level. Another amazing brew from Jack's Abby.

Jun 17, 2015
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Jwale73 from Rhode Island

4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle served in a tulip. Pours a deep mahogany hue with a loose, bubbly, off-white head that quickly disperses towards the shoulders. The nose on this beer is great - from a distance, I get toffee notes and figs or prunes. Directly under the nose these aromas are confirmed, as well as a hint of ethanol towards the back. There's also a soft bready quality along the backbone. Taste consistent with nose; however, it all meshes together quite nicely - just wow. Perhaps a little more rounded than a typical english barleywine. It's hard to describe, but the lagered nature of this beer is also expressed. I also get some root beer notes. Mouthfeel is light-medium (closer to light) and comes off a bit more watered down and less viscous than say a J.W. Lees. Carbonation is light and even. All and all, really delicious. Not sure how this will cellar long-term but it's drinking great now.

Apr 27, 2015
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papposilenus from New Hampshire

3.88/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Hard side pour into a tear drop, no head to speak of and minimal lacing. Looks like Coca-cola, smells of booze and vanilla. Tastes like caramel and vanilla and sex. Syrupy in the mouth, but very, very nice. Won't be drinking but one or two of these at a sitting, at least not without someone should be hiding the car keys.

Apr 22, 2015
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vfgccp from New York

4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Absolutely stunning. Gorgeous mahogany cranberry body. Beautiful khaki head with great retention and lace.

S - Fantastic nose. Fresh caramel, toasted bread crust, toffee, touch of milk chocolate, and vanilla.

T - So good. The integration and balance are world class. Creamy caramel, rich brown sugar, dark spiced rum, dried dates, cognac, and fresh pumpernickel bread.

M - Stupid smooth. Possibly the smoothest barleywine I've ever had. Silky smooth, medium-full cognac-like body.

O - World class. Full, smooth, and well balanced, with almost perfect integration.

Mar 21, 2015
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep burgundy color with nice clarity and thin cream dense lacing. Aroma is dark fruit and booze, overall is quite light in the nose which is surprising for 14%. Sweet toffee, booze and dark fruit on the palate. Thick and silky mouthfeel with lip smacking sticky on the lips. Overall - recommended.

Mar 07, 2015
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ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter from a 500mL bottle.

The head looks like a vanilla milkshake, creamy and frothy. Lace drags down the glass's sides. Dark amber body with trickles of carbonation here and there. 4.25

Caramel and raisin heavy nose here. Smells like a barleywine, yet it's labeled a lager wine. Not sure if this is barrel-aged but I find some oaken vanilla notes, port qualities and a slight sweet wine deal. 4.25

Caramel and raisin explode on the palate here. Noticeable booze seeps in. Light vanilla lingers with a grape-like flavor. I've made the comparison before but I do feel this tastes like a boozy grape sucker. 4

Hinted at the feel with the taste, or maybe outright declared it: boozy and sweet. It's syrupy and candy-like and it occurs to me it's much like Samiichlaus's brews. 3.75

Candy/dessert/syrup-like but I enjoy.

Feb 14, 2015
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stephenjmoore from Maryland

4.61/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Gorgeous dark amber/ruby body with a frothy off-white head that lingers around. Aroma is sweet, sugary bourbon, figs, with a dash or earthiness and oak. Flavor is fantastic, with candied sugar coming through in big ways. Some dried fig flavors come through too, along with a hint of woody maple. Feel is thick and syrupy with a lingering sugary sweetness and low carbonation. Overall this is a tremendous beer that is rich and satisfying. Lots of candied sugar flavor.

Feb 08, 2015
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superspak from Ohio

4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got in a BIF from ZebraCakez. 500 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 9/12/2014. Pours slightly hazy dark ruby red color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, raisin, prune, fig, date, vanilla, bourbon, oak, and oak/toasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with awesome complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, dark fruit, and bourbon barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of huge caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toast, brown bread, raisin, prune, fig, date, vanilla, bourbon, oak, and oak/toasted earthiness. Slight oaky bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, raisin, prune, fig, date, vanilla, bourbon, oak, and oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Absolutely insane complexity and robustness of dark/bready malt, dark fruit, and bourbon barrel flavors; with an amazing malt/barrel balance and no cloying sweetness after the finish. Light carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is amazing. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely world class barrel aged barleywine style. All around insane complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, dark fruit, and bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the huge ABV. An absolutely mind blowing offering.

Feb 07, 2015
Bride Maker from Jack's Abby Brewing
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 298 ratings