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Ninja Vs. Unicorn | Pipeworks Brewing Company

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94
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311 Reviews
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Ninja Vs. UnicornNinja Vs. Unicorn
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Pipeworks Brewing Company
Illinois, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Ninja vs. Unicorn celebrates the epic battle between two of the biggest hop-heads of lore. Brewed with over five pounds of hops per barrel, this unfiltered double IPA is sure to please the most discerning hop lover. Whether you’re rooting for the mythical horned horse or the deadly assassin of the east, we hope you’ll enjoy Ninja vs. Unicorn.

Added by MasterSki on 01-23-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
311
Ratings:
2,090
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
20.24%
 
 
Wants:
363
Gots:
443
For Trade:
28
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 311 | Ratings: 2,090
Photo of BEERchitect
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

So, what part of the beer is Ninja and what part is Unicorn? The duel that takes place on the taste buds favor a deep and drying bitterness while its finesse fruit tones takes sides with the sweeter malt impressions.

As the oddly curios beer pours, it quickly separates as its golden lush body sinks and its frothy white cap rises. Surprisingly clear in its appearance it's relatively void of any hop-derived haze. Retaining mercifully, the ale only lightly speckles the glass with lace. Aside from its timid lacing patterns, Ninja vs Unicorn has a very stately appearance.

Vibrant and juicy aromas captivate the nose with a ton of citrus and tropical fruits- everything from red grapefruit, lemon and tangerine- to pineapple, mango and apricot are all well represented and in good balance. Supporting caramel aromas give a light biscuit, bread and honeyed character that makes the fruit impressions seem ripe, juicy and vibrant. After the ale settles a bit, other notes of spicy alcohol, apple and buttered popcorn unfold from the mix.

The light honey and caramel sweetness greet the taste buds first; just ahead of the citrus and tropical fruit flavors. But once those arrive, the ale takes on a spicier and earthier tone with pine, sharp herbal and grassy bitterness until it grows into a full-out resiny-dry finish. Lightly buttery- this taste along side of the spicy and bitter alcohol taste add more to the beer's complexity instead of detracting from it.

Medium-dry throughout, the ale easily sheds its early sweetness and creamy carbonation and quickly favors drier and more bitter taste from the middle on. Its spicy acetone prickle seems higher than its 8.5% would suggest but is highlighted by the beer's malty-dry finish and resinous bitterness.

Ninja vs. Unicorn is a magical and inquisitive ale that's terrific with all its glory and a few of its worts (no pun intended). Though not the cleanest IPA in its arsenal, the ale's keen hop-forward delivery easily carries the beer from its initial sip to its fleeting finish.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 8.27.13

A -Pours a cloudy darker orange with a one inch tan head with great retention.

S - Citrusy, orange, some honey dew melon.

T - Very tropical, oranges, mango, papaya.

D - Good carbonation with a light body. A bit of heat in the finish.

O - Tropical IPA - very solid and drinkable.

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Photo of nataku00
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a clear orange with two fingers of white head, mostly small tightly packed bubbles. Decent head retention, lasts for a few minutes before leaving some lacing as it recedes to a layer of foam across the surface. Decent amount of tiny bubbles streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

Nose leads with fruity hops, peach, mango, orange, grapefruit, with a good caramel malt presence. A little bit of resinous dank pine as it warms.

Taking a sip, good amount of citrus peel bitterness, mellowing to sweeter orange, peach and tropical fruit flavors. Just a little bit of caramel malt and dank resinous pine, and alcohol on the finish.

Medium body, with decent carbonation that hits the tongue sharply before it starts getting a bit syrupy.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1 Pint 6 FL OZ bottle
Popped the cherry of my Teku glass
Batch #185 (8.9.13)

A - It is a hazy amber with three inches of off-white head.

S - I could smell the grapefruit as I poured it. I get some other citrus aromas and even a little caramel malt.

T - This beer has a lot of grapefruit flavor. It is not quite as bitter as the real thing, but the grapefruit taste and bitterness is quite apparent. Delicious!

M - Moderate and pretty smooth. It is not overly carbonated.

O - After Citra Ninja I was worried about another letdown. This beer is not a letdown and is hands down better than the aforementioned beer. If you like grapefruit seek this beer.

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Photo of Rope
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance-
An orange haze, with a tinge of red. Quickly dissipating white head.

Smell-
Brought a smile to my face. The hops take center.... all stage with citrus, to tropical, to piney. This is what a ADIPA should smell like.

Taste-
Gotta be two or three different hops in here all (fittingly) competing for flavor. The bitter end is pleasant, and disappears quickly. Just begging you to drink more.

Mouthfeel-
Not as much carbonation as I would have thought, but leaves a wonderful coating of oily flavor across the mouth.

Overall-
A powerhouse entry leaving little to be desired, but I would go Citra Ninja over this with choice.

 636 characters

Photo of xnicknj
4.14/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into tulip - thanks treebs

Hazed orange pour with golden hues, topped by a creamy cap of bone white head, patchy lacing littered around the glass while drinking. Juicy, bitter, fruit-forward hops in the nose with a silky sweet lacing and toasted, grainy malts. Grapefruit, pineapple and citrus peel laps against the tongue up front. Juicy and bitter throughout with a slightly higher sweetness level. Caramel and honey, toasted bread crust. Warm, hoppy finish. Medium body, nicely carbonated, sticky and lingering on the tongue.

Super solid DIPA, it seems these guys are onto something here. Since they make so many of them, I'm hoping to try more down the line.

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Photo of beatenbyjacks
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark hazy orange color. Nice head that ends quickly. Wow is this smell great. Amazing tropical fruit smell. Pineapple, mango, with a hint of malts. Taste is quite flavorful with lots of citrus and malts on the end. Rich malty flavor stays behind after drinking and makes you enjoy the next tasting even more. Great beer!

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Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, batch 158 bottled 6/28/2013. Pours very hazy orange amber color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of huge mango, papaya, passion fruit, peach, pineapple, tangerine, floral, honey, light caramel, light pine, and floral earthiness. Insane aromas with huge complexity of tropical hop notes with a moderate malt balance; and big strength. Taste of big mango, peach, papaya, passion fruit, pineapple, tangerine, floral, pine, grass, honey, light caramel, and floral earthiness. Fair amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of big tropical fruits, tangerine, floral, pine, honey, light caramel, and floral earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible balance and complexity of tropical hop flavors; with a moderate malt balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy, slick, and fairly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible DIPA! Huge complexity and balance of tropical hops with moderate malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on. An extremely delicious offering.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: tawny cloudy body, white finger head
flawless lacing

S: playful citrus dance, mild candy sugar
hint of earthy biscuit.

T: grapefruit, lemon peel, mild peach,
firm malt, grassy pine long bitter finish

M: med/heavy sticky/oily
smooth mouth blanket

O: Stealthy magic. Thrilled to see
this on the shelf so soon, may be a
regular local offering. Strong intro
to this fantastic Chicago new brewery.

AMAZING; TREAT YOURSELF!

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Photo of Fcolle2
4.49/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy golden in color with a slightly off white head that has great retention.

Nose has loads of tropical passion fruit pineapple and mango. Some earthy grassy notes are also noticeable near the end but are far dominated by tropical fruits.

Taste is great malty smoothness is mixed with tropical fruits that gives it a candy like feel. Really pleasant. Some bitterness midway through but not over done at all.

Mouthfeel is great also, smooth velvety feel with a crisp finish.

Overall yet another great ipa. Pipeworks has this style down.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from a 22 oz bomber.

Pours a gorgeous hazy and cloudy light orange color. Muddled and murky with a nice half inch head. The head is dense and white but with little retention. The head recedes down to a thin ring around the glass.

Aroma is amazing. Starts off with very tropical fruit notes. Pineapple a plenty with some slight citrus note. So much pineapple in the nose. Then the citrus notes explode on the palette some more. Notes of tangerine and some grapefruit. Citrusy, citrusy goodness.

Flavor starts off with those tropical fruit notes that are found in the nose, especially the pineapple. Then there is nice citrusy hop juice notes. Some nice dank notes mixed in with some pine and obviously grapefruit notes. Very piney and citrusy. There is somewhat of a malt backbone with some sweetness but it gets muddled up in a barrage of piney and citrus. Simply a yummy hop bomb. Mouthfeel is typical. Nice and carbonated and somewhat dry and abrasive.

Overal, this is a good DIPA. Very yummy and flavorful and quite hoppy. If you are a hop head you will like this.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
3.65/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pipeworks and Raul started off so well with one another. Unicorns Revenge was off the heazy, while Something Hoppy This Way Comes was like P90X for Raul's taste buds. That being said, Centennial Ninja and now Ninja vs. Unicorn... Ay wey.

Don't light up the BBQ with this thing near, because with the amount of kerosene that this thang is brewed with, you might have a problem. Now, Raulsky may be a little too harsh, the beer is ok, but there definitely is a lil too much Dale Earnhart Jr. action going on here.

It's got tha hops, the malt, the bitterness... But the diesel full, ay mami!

Wild, but sometimes wild ain't all that good. Ya feel me, my children?

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Photo of DmouthCaliBrewz
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First hoppy pipeworks brew!!! Batch #158

A: pale hazy orange, with a beautiful head and heavy lacing.

S: Piney and dank hops, with a subtle floral component and minimal citrus.

T: Heavy pine and dankness, with some onions and helbal notes. Only a subtle hint of citrus and a slight bit of malt sweetness. Finishes with a grassy and herbal bite. Very good.

M: Pretty spot on for the style. Good carbo, and niceness all around.

O: This was a very enjoyable DIPA but by no means world class. I have had a lot worse, and a handfull better. Would thoroughly enjoy drinking again at any opportunity, but not the best I have had in any way, shape, or form. High B+ or A-. Would drink again.

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Photo of lunarbrew
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Unfiltered, but pours clear with small head that dies fast. Golden color.

Smells sweet and piney. Some tropical fruit notes--mostly pineapple. Very good smell.

Tastes sweet. Not the most complex flavor, but very full-flavored. Piney, juicy (that pineapple) and a resinous after bite. Pretty tasty stuff.

Light-medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation, a little creamy.

Overall, I really like this. It's not the most interesting beer, or the most complex...but it's a good, straightforward hop-bomb.

 500 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Received in trade from brewnstrong, thanks for the opportunity Justin! Pours a slightly hazy medium gold color with a smallish creamy head that dissipates quickly. Smells of pine, citrus, earth with a fair amount of lightly fruity bready caramel. The flavor is more pine and and resin than earth and citrus. Moderate amount of caramel malt to back it up with a light pomme fruit flavor and solid shot of hop bitterness. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick resinous mouthfeel. Nice beer, I’m glad I got to try it. Seems a bit more drinkable and less harsh than the revenge.

 599 characters

Photo of EgadBananas
4.04/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, soft orange, slight finger of white head.

Aroma: citrus fruit, really juicy, sweet orange, pineapple, some flowers, pine.

Taste: big tropical fruits, orange, mango, pineapple, sweet caramel and bread.

Mouthfeel: full bodied, rich and creamy, nice carbonation.

Overall: not boozy, full without being heavy, great flavor and aroma profiles.

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Photo of mecummins
4.65/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Batch 35

A- pours a hazy yellow with hints of orange. A maybe half an inch head with almost no lacing

S- citrus bomb with grapefruit, orange, tropical fruits and a little sweetness from malt

T- taste follows the aroma. Lots of grapefruit, orange and tropical fruit. There's some caramel sweetness fom the malt. A bit of pine flavor on the very back.

M- mouthfeel is medium with a long, dry, highly carbonated finish

O- really wonderful DIPA

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Photo of maxcoinage
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber (Batch #134) into a snifter, a hazy orange color with a few cm head that left some nice lacing. Aroma is a lot of citrus, slight malt is noticeable . Mouthfeel is a medium body and carbonation. Taste is awesome, big grapefruit bomb, a bit of sweet malt, and a definite resinous piney taste, with a bitter finish that lingers for a bit. At 9.99 this isn't something I would pick up all the time (assuming I could - it's not easy to procure), but it's a nice treat! P.S. I'm definitely rooting for the Ninja!

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Photo of Hendry
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber-orange and is clear as a bell, one finger dense white head, solid lacing. Unsure of how this is unfiltered by the crystal clear appearance.

Aroma is hop forward. piney resinous hops with some grapefruit notes, grapefruit rind.Malts are present but hops are the dominant player here.

Taste is prominently high Alpha hops: there is a pronounced bitterness going on that borders on high acidity. Long piney aftertaste rests atop the palate then moves to the back , slightly boozy and warming in the throat This is a big beer for sure.

Mouthfeel is slightly slick & oily,lots of fine carbonation to move things along.Dry finish, on the acidic side, but that speaks to the aggressive hopping process.

Overall, this an enjoyable hop bomb, but be prepared for an acidic hop kick that may not be for all. I did enjoy Ninja vs Unicorn, and definitely recommend it for those who are not afraid of a heady hop experience.

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Photo of C20Percent
3.8/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Just bought in Chicago from Binny's -- no freshness date.

A: Pours a pale gold with a small white bubbly head. I poured hard and still got little head. Semi-hazy -- no issues there. Lacing is sparse. Just above average overall.

S: Nice blend of pine and citrus sweetness. Caramel malts. Bits of tropical notes in the aroma as well. Some resin.

T: Taste malt forward to me. Slightly boozy finish in the beginning, which disappears in the beer-drinking experience. Not especially bitter. Not a huge flavor profile. I would say this is a rather mild DIPA.

M: Worst part of the brew. Carbonation is butt. Body is forgettable. Slightly biting at first -- smooths out over time. This should have been much better.

O: Just above an average DIPA. My expectations were expectedly high for this Pipeworks brew, and they were not met. This is the second underwhelming Pipeworks beer I've had. Again, there is no freshness date on the bottle, so this could be an age issue. I don't know. I want a bigger flavor profile and it's just not here. I guess it doesn't help that I've been drinking On the Wings nonstop since early May. I would wager this would be better on draft.

 1,166 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
4.14/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from trade with Lemonhead. Thanks! Batch 131 (I think that’s what it says). Pours clear light copper with a small white head. Aroma of mango, grapefruit, orange, and definite caramel malt backbone. Big slick mouthfeel with relatively low carbonation (i.e. needs a bit more). Orange peel, mango, pine, big malt profile. Flavor rings a bit flat for me after the huge aromas. Maybe my taste buds are muted from the spicy dinner I just had, but hops seem slightly stale. Solid beer overall, but was expecting more. Very glad I got a chance to taste some Pipeworks though!

Rerating with a new bottle because this one just seems a lot fresher than my last one. Batch 429. Hops are bigger and brighter than last time with some Citra-like qualities coming through. Flavor is bright grassy grapefruit hops, mango, and still a strong malt backbone but not as sweet as the last one. Upgraded a bit from last time.

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Photo of KFBR392
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden color with some prominent burnt orange accents. A very light and bubbly head. Decent carbonation for being a DIPA. Has a very clean and clear look.

Smell: Floral hops to the max. A tough beer to take your nose out of. A strong malty backbone is here as well though to balance this brew out. There is some booze here, but overall this is a wonderfully balanced and hop heads dream aroma!

Taste: The front is a very smooth hop welcome. Fruity and some tangy pine greets the palette. The body continues to roll a lot of hops and then you get some malt presence. Again, the balance is really great. Waves and waves of hops keep coming on the palette after drinking. A slight spicy touch is added by the alcohol but only ads depth and is not offensive.

Mouthfeel: For how the hops stand out, the palette is not wrecked and dry. The fruitiness is left behind more then anything else.

Overall: Another awesome DIPA from Pipeworks. This one is truly great. So much hop complexity and a really good malt backbone that does not distract away from the hops. May have to go get a few more of these.

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Photo of dcloeren
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Review from notes...

Poured a cloudy burnt orange with 2 fingers of fluffy white head. Produced excellent sticky lacing.

The aroma was full of citrus hops, juicy orange notes and fresh pine.

The taste followed the nose but was very juicy. Very tasty beer.

Medium bodied with perfect carbonation. Finished with a crisp, dry pine aftertaste.

Overall, this was a great DIPA and an exceptional extra I got in a trade. Goes down smooth and very easy to drink. I would love to try some more Pipeworks in the future.

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Photo of AndyP612
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber picked up from The Beer Temple in Chicago poured into Darkness stem.

A- Hazy glowing gold with very small head no lacing and not bubbly whatsoever.

S- Big fruity hops hit you right up front. Tons of fresh fruit with hints of orange, pineapple and sweet grapefruit. Ruby red grapefruit flavors begin to grow and really stand out. Very sweet nose almost scares me in that

T- Follows the nose with the amount of grapefruit it really is really the star here. Musty, dank hops are relevant throughout: really nice. Not quite as big as most DIPAs which is a welcome change. Very much so on the lighter side of things which is expected with the relatively low 8.5% abv when compare to others of the same style.

M- Really nice, low carbonation light medium bodied mouthfeel. Very smooth and drinkable.

O- Really nice offering from Pipeworks. It really delivers on flavor while not being too heavy which is perfect for this time of year and the grapefruit flavor really takes over. Nice balance of low carbonation and big flavor compliment and round out everything quite well. Would buy again and again... Be better if there were six packs to be had. I don't do well with bombers. Cheers.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.31/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013. Pours a hazy orange color with a small white head that disappears quickly. Scent is very interesting. Going into this beer, I know it is a DIPA. The smell is that of fresh fruit. Very strange smell to this one. I don't get the hops very much, but I do get ripe, fresh apricots, peaches, and other stone fruit. There is a whole lot of APRICOT to this one. I may even say the most apricot I've ever gotten in the aroma of a DIPA. The taste reflects the apricot a little, just not nearly as much as the nose. Taste is a bit malty, yet remaining hoppy at the same time. Could use more hops in the flavor. This one is well-balanced, and definitely well-crafted. Mouthfeel is full-bodied, yet a little more carbonation could be nice for this beer. Drinkability is very high...as it is very tasty and marketable. Overall, this beer is very good. The label and name are for the marketing value, but the beer speaks for itself. It's a well-crafted brew.

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Ninja Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 311 ratings.
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