Anchor Humming Ale | Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor Humming AleAnchor Humming Ale

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Offa on 11-04-2009

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Reviews: 330 | Ratings: 661
Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nelson Sauvin hopped, enjoyed on tap at Papago bar. A nice hoppiness, a medium mouthfeel. Yellow colour with good lacing.Citrus, earthy,some pine, spice, not a beginner's bitter. Drinkable, quenching, and would be good with dinner.A nice one from Anchor.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.46/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear pale orange with a nice big 2 inch stark white head. Nice frothy ring lacing on the drink down. Smells pretty much of only herbal grassy hops and malt. Nothing too exciting in the nose. Tastes of fresh herbal and pine hops with a toasty malt backbone. Somewhat of an abrasive bitterness on the palate after each sip. Good carbonation level makes for a crisp and clean feel in the mouth. Drinkability is pretty good on this pale ale but not one of my favorites from Anchor.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

was excited to try this new one from anchor, who always makes fabulous beer. a major head on this one, 2 inches or more and lasting as time goes on. beautiful beer. nose is fruity, citrus for sure, but also perhaps some forest fruits like pinecones or acorns. earthy in that way, but vibrant as well. taste matches the nose, with a slightly thinner body than exoected. good hop umph in the finish. overall a delicious new brew that sort of defies style charactistics. way less hop intensive than their liberty ale, but more robustness than the steam beer. a worthy 6pack.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.41/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a clear yellow color with a nice looking white head on top. Some scattered retention and lacing. The smell of the beer is decently balanced between aromas of malt and some hops. The taste of the beer is grainy with a subtle bitterness in there, mostly corn and malt upfront. The mouthfeel is of this is light bodied, crisp and dry in the finish. Overall this beer was decent, not something I would have to buy again but I would drink it if it was offered to me.

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Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Relatively clear light copper in color, the beer has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a two-finger high fluffy white head that died down but never completely faded away, consistently leaving a thin head covering the surface and thick lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of citrusy and vineous hops and fruity yeast in the nose.
T: Teh taste is quite hoppy with flavors of citrusy and grapes from teh hops, which contribute a moderate amount of bitterness that particularly stands out in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied, clean and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The bitterness tingles your tongue.
O: The beer has a lot of hops compared to other beers in the style, but still can be considered sessionable.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.09/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love Anchor's stuff.. saw this new 6 pack at the store and had to try it. Pours a light golden color, huge fluffy head. Nice fruity hop aroma. Time for taste.... mouthfeel is fantastic. Something about Anchor's beers just taste so refreshing and are so fresh. Medium bodied, nice hop profile to this one but not in the IPA range. Super drinkable... just a great tasting well balanced beer with some good bitterness to it. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a brewery known for often and new releases, it's refreshing to see what the Godfathers of brewing can do with all the new ingredients available at their disposal.

A bright golden-straw beer shows a mild haze, presumably from dry hopping. A creamy, light, but stubborn head forms on the beer and laces very well along the way.

Sharp, grassy, and weedy aromas stand out above the crisp light caramel malt-grain scent. A light spruce or gin-like aroma comes out as the beer warms. Not sure how much of this is estery, but it seems more hop driven than yeast character.

Crisp, cracker-like malts make minimal impact, providing just enough bread crust flavor to support the hops. Very herbal and complex, a lemon, lime, gin, mint, tin-ey, winey flavor comes out of the hops. Finishing with a grassy, weedy bitterness, these Nelson Salvin hops have an unusual flavor and bitterness- much more raw than the more succulent and citrus-focused typical American varieties.

Moderately creamy early on, the well-attenuated character of the beer ushers the mouthfeel into dryness, minty, and evaporative qualities quickly. The hops seem to have a thinning character with it's unusual bitterness and bite to finish out the beer.

The Nelson Salvin hops are known to give a wine-like impression to the beer, but it seems more spruce-gin-grassy than winey to me. But the clean and crisp nature of Anchor's beers are evident, they don't seem to ammount any outstanding qualities.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, from one of many Yankee grocery stores visited in the Pac NW last month.

This beer pours a hazy, finely sediment-strewn, medium golden yellow colour, with one finger of thin frothy off-white head, which leaves some healthy streaky lace around the glass as it readily settles. It smells of forest floor - pine and wildflowers, some citrus fruit, mild grainy malt, and a soft mustiness. The taste is grainy caramel malt, orange zest, soft tropical fruit, and herbal, weedy hops. The carbonation is moderate, the body on the low side of medium weight, a bit zingy, which cuts into an otherwise decent smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the static malt and herbal hops still in a subtle detente.

An agreeably hoppy APA; however, the herbal edge just doesn't completely do it for me, and seems to be an Anchor thing. With all the other offerings surrounding them on their particular coast, this doesn't seem all that wise, given the hopheads who MUST BE SATISFIED!

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Photo of kojevergas
3.37/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle served into a pilsner glass in high altitude Fort Collins, Colorado, at me friend's gaff. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a four finger head of decent cream, fair thickness, and okay retention. Colour is a semitransparent copper.

Sm: Pleasant cream with a nice malty body. A pretty good hop profile. Nice balance.

T: Nice hop notes in a good balance with decent malty notes. Light caramel. Well built. Its simplicity limits description of its characteristics.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours poorly.

Dr: Decently drinkable, and good for the style, but not exemplary. Better pale ales are out there, but this is one worth trying. I'd try it on draught at a fair price.

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Photo of emerge077
2.61/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

"181 A2 0031" printed on the bottom of the bottle. Purchased at Mariano's, which has only been open a few months... hard to believe the Julian code would be from early 2010 or 2011 even.

Pours a cloudy hazed copper orange, plenty of fluffy foam and a halo of lacing all around. Ever present head retention earns it an 4.5 in the looks department.

Banana yeast esters and sweet grainy aroma, something vaguely confectionary like custard.

Smooth at first, but then a highly astringent feel quickly takes over, with lingering flavors of cardboard and herbal bitterness. Slightly buttery, yuck... something went wrong here, not planning to finish this. Glad I only bought a single bottle.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a light dirty amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of dry and lightly funky hoppy notes with dry malt notes. Taste is also a nice mix between some dry and light fruity and funky hops notes with non- descript dry caramel notes. Body is about average with good carbonation. Well done for a brewery that doesn’t disappoint.

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Photo of oline73
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very slightly cloudy amber with an orange hue. There is a finger of white head with very mild lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt with some citrus and fruity notes. A bit champagne like with a hint of pear.

Taste: Quite a bit like a champagne. Very crisp with some grape and pear flavor. Mildly sweet with a citrus peel hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth and prickly carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: I am enjoying the champagne like quality to this beer. A nice hop profile in the finish. Good and interesting, I would have another.

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Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass a slight chill hazed light to medium golden with a nicely defined one finger clingy white head atop.A decent shot sharp citric hops in the nose with some underlying dryer crisp malt in the background.A tad thin and sharp in the mouth not anything of major concern.Flavors of resin and grapefruit rind mainly stick out,mild biscuit sweetness but mainly a dryer crisp malt base.A solid pale ale,its got good hops and is pretty easy going down,a good football beer here I think.

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Photo of jlindros
3.61/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A gigantic head rises up over 3 fingers and forces me to stop pouring early, and it fades at a decent pace, it's a super clear golden wheat honey colored. A slight messy lacing on the sides too.

The nose has some nice lighter hops, a little spicy, a little grassy and herbal, slight musty hop resin. behind that is just a hint of sweet malt, but not much.

The taste brings a nice light hop character, light spicy hops, herbal, grassy, and a light effervescent feel, as well as a little hop oil resin. It gets pretty bitter, but being an APA I guess it's supposed to. A very light sweet malt, almost non-existent. It finishes very dry with a light lingering hop flavor, some light herbal and grassy hops, with hints of spicy and hop resin tastes.

The mouth is medium bodied with a little hop oil feel, slightly grainy from the dryness and hop oils combined, and decent carbonation.

It has an OK drinkability, less than I thought it would be. The dryness is a good thing, but it almost goes a little too far here, and the bitterness just strikes strong, breaking what I thought would be a very sessionable beer.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.48/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Anchor Humming Ale has become my single favorite beer from Anchor next to Old Foghorn (of course they're two beers that are worlds apart).

I bought a six pack of this during the summer and drank it almost immediately. It's not overly full or malty, and it's got a good deal of complexity going on within the hops; as well as within the interaction between the malt and the hops and the bitterness. It's superbly balanced; and given that I was working in the garden it made a refreshing and bitter quencher that was more satiating than any light beer could ever be. (I also enjoyed it more than my usual Bavarian hefeweizen because they seemed to become a bit too sweet as they warmed).

The Humming Ale maintains the distinct pale malt character of their Steam Beer, and the bright hop nose of the Liberty Ale, but softens it a little bit and adds some fresh tropical fruit with the use of Nelson Sauvin hops. And that fruitiness, in my opinion, helps to cut through and balance it while still maintaining the traditional spicy and earthy notes that Anchor is known for. The earthy pale malt sweetness is a little easier to find, yet it remains a solidly bitter and refreshing beer.

I find it to be very much like some of the summer beers coming out of England in recent years, which are basically traditional pale ales juiced up a bit with some American hops (and occassinally some wheat). And with the exception of the "American" steam beer, Anchor has always made very English style ales, so for them to use some juicy American hops makes total sense. I just wished they'd done it sooner!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large off- white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, citrus and some hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with a hearty malt character followed by a potent bite of hops bitterness. There is some citrus and caramel sweetness in the background to bring some balance, but it doesn’t seem to be enough. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Flavorful, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, it’s not a bad beer but there are several others in the style that I would choose first.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: pitcher shared by the folks from Anchor, at Capone's, Norristown, PA

It's nice to see some beers other than the typical flagships from larger craft brewers like Anchor pop up every once in a while. Humming Ale poured a clear amber color with a small cap of frothy white head. Hop-forward aroma, citrus and melons, slight herbal presence, with promises of a bready malt base. Similar taste, good balance of sweet bready malts and citrusy hops, notes of grains and fresh grass, and a touch of honey. Light-medium body, not bursting with flavor, but very easily drinkable nonetheless.

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Photo of mactrail
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Rather simple pale ale but totally quaffable. Hoppy bite is full of aromatics. Moderate bitterness. Light body but very tingly on the tongue. Attractive light amber in the glass. some lalcing. Long nose of piney hops with just enough bitter aftertaste.

Actually not a bad example of the APA style, and I'm not a big Anchor fan. Clean and well made, if not anything exciting. On tap in pints at the Ocean Beach Pizza Port.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.61/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - $2.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a yellow-orange body of good clarity and capped with sudsy, frothy, white head.

Smell: Humming presents a hoppy melange with notable notes smelling of dried lemon peel, herbs, white grapes, and a lone chunk of cantaloupe, all backed by a rather modest underpinning of mild maltiness.

Taste: A light, lightly sweet taste of biscuit-hinting pale malts. Slightly grainy. A moderate bitterness slides in with flavors of lemon and bitter orange and dried field grasses, with an additional fruitiness and kiss of resins. Finishes dry and bitter with a developing citric tone lingering in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: With only a thin base of maltiness to launch itself off of, I was really expecting a more charming, effusive Nelson Sauvin character. This, well, it's okay, with a West Coast flair, but not as satisfying as hoped for.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous golden amber with a billowing crown of albaster colored whipped cream that overflowed the pint glass thanks to an overly vigorous pour. A gentle rockiness during descent, along with abundant and attractive lace, puts this APA smack dab in the good looking category.

The nose is fruity, but isn't tropical fruity in the manner of Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe, et al. Nelson Sauvin hops were a good choice to distinguish this new Anchor brew from Liberty Ale and from legions of other American pales. Bolder would have been better. Note: bolder makes a belated appearance once warming has occurred.

Bolder would have been better on the taste buds too. Okay, so it's mostly (entirely?) my fault for not drinking this bottle of Humming Ale immediately after it was purchased. It's good to know that it's still tasty and drinkable even though nearly two seasons have passed since the summertime release.

It tastes like 100% pale malt is present, which allows the distinctive earthy-herbal, white grape-like flavor of NS hops to shine. Sometimes simple is best, especially in beer of this style. A gentle biscuity sweetness underlies a decently firm countering bitterness that takes over at the midway point of the mouthful. This is lip-smackingly good beer.

The mouthfeel is rock-solid as well, which is no surprise when a quality outfit like Anchor is involved. It's easily big enough and has just the right combination of smooth silkiness and lightly tingly bubbles.

Anchor Liberty Ale is a classic, all-American, red-white-and-blue APA. Humming Ale might be just as good, which makes its summer seasonal status hard to take. Then again, AHA gives me even more reason to want the next several months of snowstorms and frigid temperatures to come to an end.

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Photo of smcolw
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Impressive, large (more than four fingers) head that settles with a distinct dome and lots of stringy lace. The color is gold and nearly clear.

Interesting freshly mowed weed-like smelling hops. This is good thing. Nice pale malt aroma gives this very good balance. Unique as well.

This is a highly hopped APA; it could qualify as an IPA. Relatively weak body, but the carbonation is fine. The hop dominates all of the taste profile. It is peppery and lingers long after the swallow. Not much malt base here.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.82/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: The pour is a clear amber color with a finger's worth of soapy white head and tons of tiny carbonation bubbles.

S: The nose is bready and toasty with floral and slightly herbaceous hop aromas. A bit of a citrus note too, mostly oranges. There's also some sort of off aroma at the back end, kind of like moldy bread.

T: The flavor is better than the aroma, thankfully, but still a bit off. Slightly sweet malt and citrus with a decent bitterness. There are floral hops and some grassiness, too.

M: The body is medium with a very lively carbonation that picks the tongue. A lingering bitterness to this beer, too.

D: The nose was just off-putting and the flavor wasn't good enough to really off-set that problem. Too bad, because I usually like Anchor's offerings.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in an Anchor pint glass at ChurchKey.

They tell me this is the first time this brew has made it out to this particular coast. Right on. It pours a clear pale golden straw with somewhere around a finger o' white foam. The smell is faint, though some hoppy florals, wheat, puffed rice, and the slightest possible bit o' funkiness (not bretty funk...more like old gym suit funk). Hmm...not all that excited anymore, but I am still a bit intrigued. The taste is not as faint as the nose, but there really ain't that much to it: some light bitterness, flowers, and a very light caress of citrus zest. Apparently they were out to make the palest pale ale ever... The body is light, with active carbonation and a rather crisp finish. If it's true that this is the first east coast appearance of the Humming Ale, I don't anticipate it staying around all that long. Just not all that much happening here at all.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am always in the market for new and intriguing bottles at reasonable prices and this beer fit my bill nicely.

From the bottle: "Humming is an ancient term, used centuries ago to describe both ales and beers. Although its origins are shrouded in mystery, it suits this bold hoppy ale, which we have created to celebrate the anniversary of our first brew at 1705 Mariposa Street. From that very day we were humming! In 1965, we dedicated ourselves to reviving the nearly bankrupt, almost medieval little San Francisco brewery on 8th Street. By 1977, Anchor's small staff was making five unique beers in its tiny state-of-the-art facility. We purchased an old coffee-roasting plant on Mariposa, overseeing its gradual transformation into our "new" brewery. Finally, on August 13, 1979, our move was complete, we fired up the brewkettle, and Anchor Steam (R) had a new home - its sixth since 1896."

All I could think as I popped the cap was, "Let's get Humming!" I could not quite recreate the successes of some who got this beer to produce four fingers (!) of head, but I still managed close to three. It was a dense cap of tawny head with fantastic retention. It looked like it was going to take an earth mover to plow through the thick head. The beer itself was a slightly hazy orangish-yellow. The nose held a combination of grassy and piney hops and it was mighty impressive for the style. My first sip greeted me with a rush of orange citrusiness along with a very smooth mouthfeel. My tongue began to loll around, unbidden, what with this following a Tin Roof Amber. Finish was still orange-citrusy and I thought of one of those jelly orange slices that my grandmother used to put out in a jar for us as kids. That is not to suggest that this reminded me of kiddie candy. Far from it - this was a beer of a VERY adult nature. If we are talking SF, then think of the Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theatre as opposed to Ghirardelli chocolates. It's an imprecise analogy, but the best I could come up with off the top of my pointy head. I recommend trying some today!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.63/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm so happy to see this offering from Anchor, a nice slightly hazed bright golden hue very light in color compared to mst pale ales. Head is luscious nice thick creamy texture forms dimpled chunky shape rising above the rim of the glass. Aroma strong pungent lemon peel hop character going on. A biscuit malt character but mainly the hops shine through with each sniff, very pleasant hoppy nose to it. Wonderfully balanced session ale, this is perfection in a glass one of the best pale ale offerings I've witnessed in quite awhile. New ownership evidently hasn't hurt the Anchor Brewing Co. Bitingly hoppy with citrus rinds grapefruit/lemon some herbal floral tones as well, but more so a nice biscuit pale malt bready character to balance things out. Finish is full of dry bittering hop flavor, but it's nice easy going carbonation makes this one a pleasure for the palate. Picked this one up at D's yesterday after the Big Pour. Drinkability all around is a smash hit this is caseworthy for sure a beer I would like to keep on hand, it's fantastic best new beer from Anchor for as long as I can remember.

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Anchor Humming Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 661 ratings.
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