Wasatch Winterfest | Utah Brewers Cooperative

very good
64 Reviews
Wasatch WinterfestWasatch Winterfest

Brewed by:
Utah Brewers Cooperative


Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bitterbill on 11-29-2008

For Trade:
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Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 114
Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.75/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wasatch Winterfest has a thick, frothy, tan head, a clear, reddish-brown appearance, bubble streams, and a lot of heavy, splotchy lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of fruit and brown bread crust. Taste is the same, with caramel, toffee, and a very nice, pleasant hop bitterness coming in at the middle and staying through the end. Mouthfeel is medium to full, and Wasatch Winterfest finishes mostly dry, smooth, and delicious. The alcohol warmth kicks in in the throat and stomach as one drinks it down. This is the best winter seasonal I think I’ve ever tried. I rate it quite high. Get some!


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Photo of imagoodboy1769
4.62/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up this past winter (2011). Boy was it a great find.

A-The look of this beer was great, I have to admit I didn't get a chance to fully pour this one as I was staying with mormon family at the time, and so my drinking had to be clandestine.

S-The smell was great. A nose full of hops. The smell wasn't overwhelming like some dryhopped IPAs, but great aroma of hops and malt.

T-An amazing taste. I love strong ales, Imperial Stouts, and brown ales. This beer had the best of all the worlds. The balance of malt, bitter hops, and flavor hops was amazing. Utah deserves a lot of credit for this one.

M-a great mouthfeel. A little light bodied for my taste. It was nice and crisp though. It's a sipper but could become a party beer if one were so inclined.

O-This beer is great. I'd rank it up there with Arrogant Bastard. If you're ever stranded in Utah for the winter, go to the nearest State Liquor Store and pick up a case of this. The two 6 packs I had were not enough.

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Photo of BrewerB
4.43/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received in a trade with Wasatch. Thanks for this great beer!

A - Poured into my Old Rasputin nonic pint glass. A massive 3 finger, slightly rocky, light tan head formed atop the medium copper colored brew. Excellent retention, attractive lacing, and brilliant clarity. Not sure there's room for improvement here.

S - Wonderful toasty malt profile with hints of caramel, toffee, and a light chocolate. Smells very inviting and appropriate for a winter brew. Picking up on a moderate level of spicy hops after that initial malt burst. Maple syrup.

T - Touches of smoke mix with the caramel and toasted malt flavors. Great hop spice and a medium-high level of bitterness help render an excellent balance. Slightly nutty, mildly herbal. The beer finishes medium-dry and leaves a lingering bitterness to go along with the malt-driven caramel/chocolate type character.

M - Medium bodied, moderate level of carbonation. Smooth.

D - This is certainly a great tasting beer. I'd love a fireplace to plop myself in front of, sipping on this fine offering from Wasatch. The only drawback is that after 1, I'd probably go fishing for something else. Aside from that, this is an excellent beer. Cheers to an awesome offering from Utah!

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz from my recent trade with Wasatch... I love it when I get Utah brews from John.. I know they are gonna be fresh. Poured into my shaped SA glass.

Easy 2 finger head lasted for a looong time. Tons of crusty lace and a meringue like cap that lasted the entire glass... the brew is crystal clear deep chestnut..

I am blown away by the nose.. I was expecting toasty malts and subdued hops.. Instead.. I was greeted with a big blast of citrus hops .. some caramel malts are there.. but play waaay second or third fiddle...

The flavor is much more in line with a winter brew.. but wow.. I am still reeling from the hoppiness.. The hops are met with a great nutty and only mild chocolate malt presence.. surprising hop bitterness.. caramel essence without the sweetness is hit with a nice punch in the mouth from citric hops.. I am trying to remember a brew that the Wasatch Winterfest reminds me of.. I am coming up blank.. I can easily see how this could be a great Winter Warmer.. I prefer my hoppy brews on the dry side .. this one delivers.. it tastes very fresh.. The body is medium with a smooth creamy yet everpresent carbonation.. drinkability is fairly high just because I want another sip to describe what I am very much enjoying... the finish is long and hoppy with an underground nutty component that keeps me coming back..

Wow John.. The Utah brewers are hitting them out of the park lately.. This is a great brew that should be in anybody's fridge in a cold winters night.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 Edition

It's back for it's third year.

Pours a nice clean/clear dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy light tan head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with a slight hop note, slightly spiced. The taste is very nice malty, and maybe more hops this year, nice sweetness and with some spice. Medium body, nice little bitterness/dryness finish. Very Drinkable, a very tasty brew, recommended.

2009 Edition

Pours a very nice dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing and small islands left behind. The nose is malty, with a nice little hop note, slight spice. The taste is malty, with some hop notes, slight spice, and caramel tones. Medium body, the finish is slightly dry and bitter. Drinkable, this is a very nice brew from Utah, glad to see something like this here, recommended.

2008 Edition

A new brew for Utah, and a very nice one at that.

Pours a very nice dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing and small islands left behind. The nose is malty, with a nice little hop note, slight spice. The taste is malty, with some hop notes, slight spice, and caramel tones. Medium body, the finish is slightly dry and bitter. Drinkable, this is a very nice brew from Utah, glad to see something like this here, recommended.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this bottle in a trade with Wasatch. Thanks John!

This pours a clear brown amber with about an inch of foam.

The smell is big with the caramel malt goodness with some bready notes and an interesting pine hop infusion that makes the nose very intriguing.

The taste is darn big with both the malt and the hops. Caramel and bready malt sweetness counter by a healthy dose of piney hops bring out a very good balance and man, I'm loving it. The best brew from Utah I've tasted yet? Could be. I think any brewery would be proud to call it their own. Nice little alcohol kick here as well with some warming after the swallow but tastewise, it's well hidden.

A medium bodied brew with light carbonation, it finishes slightly sweet, slightly bitter, slightly spicy. A very good Winter brew.

Drinkability? Lots of delightful flavours going on with a very good mouthfeel and the alcohol is kept in check pretty well..I'd say it's very drinkable. I really enjoyed this brew and head retention was great as was the lacing. Ok, I'm going to stick my neck out for the chopping block but this one is a stand out.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear garnet color with a frothy off-white head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smells of sweet roasted notes with some fruit.

Tastes of sweet fruits and roasted notes. Fruits have a fig and raisin character. Roasted notes lie in the middle with some toasted bread and toffee with a bit of chocolate. Ends in a citrusy and herbal bitterness that ties everything together.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, I find this very enjoyable and it was quite a surprise compared to the rest of the Wasatch beers I have had. This is definitely one to check out if you're in the mood for something rich and sweet.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a damn good beer, I just have to get that out of the way. I recieved this one along with the rest of my nice collection of utah beers recenetly and I thought they were all gone till I pulled this one out. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, it was consumed on 01/31/2009.

The pour was very nice. Rich copper colored amber with lots of reddish tint mixed in throughout. Nice clarity and some small carbonation coming up through the glass. Nice head of white on top settled down quickly and led to a thin covering of lace. The aroma was loaded with pine hops. Lots of nice balance though with hints of cinnamon and spices mixing in quite well. Lots of resin filled hops in on the flavor. Very smooth with with a nice medium boided feel that was very well placed. Well hidden alcohol was not much of an issue at all, in fact very drinkable and went down a bit too quickly.

Overall a very solid beer that was much different then what I was expecting. Solid hoppy strong ale that I would not turn down again.

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Photo of orcasteve
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to wasatch for this one in a recent trade, shared with my girlfriend sara, we loved this one, poured a redish brown with a thick tan head that wont go away, this one smelled of molassiess and hops, the flavor is an exploshin in my mouth, the first part is a floraial hop then some lemon and molassiess and heavy sour malt, the finish tha hops take over and leave you wanting more. this is a top notch beer for sure

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amazing! Pours deep amber/brown with tan head that is rich and creamy in texture. Nose leans more roasty and malty than I expected. Big malty flavor on the palate with some toasty brown sugar sweetness, hefty hop presence to balance it out, and it finishes with a healthy hop bite as well. Aftertaste leaves some baked desserts and light cocoa flavors. Alcohol percent is masked well, and nicely drinkable.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another one courtesy of Wasatch via trade...

Wow, not what I was expecting. This is a serious beer!

Pours a very dark amber/red color with a thick inch of off white head. Pretty viscous stuff.

Smell is fairly hoppy still, it is May after all, with also a ton of malt sweetness backing that up. Pretty straightforward in the nose, just an intense amount of malt.

Taste is biscuity and brown bready. Lots of that dark sweet malt with some nice hints of hop spiciness.

Mouthfeel is thick, rich and very, very flavorful.

I could definitely have a few of these on a cold winter night. Great beer!

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Photo of kagent777
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle for the Co-Op beer store. Poured into a standard pint.

Appearance: Wonderful billowing rocky head formed on top of a crystal clear garnet beer. Leaves nice lacing down the glass as I drink it.

Smell: Starts off with pine like hops flavors. As it warms up, the smell shifts more toward nice malt flavors.

Taste: Caramel malt dominate the taste. There is some hop bitterness dancing around with the dark fruit. I think I taste dark cherries. This beer is on the sweet side. This is not one of those Christmas beers that is overloaded on pine. It is present but does not get in the way.

Mouthfeel: Very full bodied. The beer coats the mouth nicely. The carbonation is right in line.

Drinkability: This one is a stronger beer with strong flavors. I could drink a few in one sitting.

This is one of the beers I look forward to each fall from Wasatch. Well done!

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Photo of chinabeergeek
4.16/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to wasatch for this namesake extra.

12oz bottle with no date. tasted in mid/late april 2009

dark, coppery amber. clear. big light brown head barely ever fades. great lacing all the way!

aroma: mild citrusy and piney hops, with almost fruity lemon zest tones. caramel maltiness and apple fruitiness then pops out from underneath, with an almost cinnamon sweetness.

taste: big and malty from the get go, but also quickly met by solid american hopping to balance. piney with touch of citrus. moderate bitterness. apple esters, hint of spice, trace phenols, esp in finish.

relatively substantial. smooth with some resins in finish. tingly, moderate carbonation gives both body and lift.

a pleasant surprise. i guess i shouldn't feel so bad for utah after all...

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Photo of Beernoisseur
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

what a delightful beer!

A - Pours a rusty amber, with a 1.5 inch head in my pilsner. good pillowy head, good retention, very fine and beautiful lacing.

S - Bready, with sugary carmel qualities. lots of piney and citrusy hops. Very nice.

T - Hops up front, but quickly followed by malty goodness. Grapefruit, pine, sage. Whole grain bready sweetness. a touch of lime. Tart on the finish. Absolutely Delicious.

M - Medium to thick bodied. Great carbonation level.

D - What a great beer! I will definitely be getting many more of these.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With Spring having sprung weeks ago, what better time for a strong winter ale? Wasatch (who else?) sent a 12 oz. bottle; I poured to a pint glass.

A: Rich, deep mahogany, tinged with ruby in the sunlight. A sudsy sandy-coloredcap, nearly a finger-high fades to a clinging froth; terrific lace in sheeting blankets. Fair carbonation, only a few random bubbles.

S: Strong aroma of spiced/candied fruit, citrus-y hops, scented wood, slightly chocolate syrup. Toasted dark bread, once again spiced (wheat) rounds out an appealing aroma.

T: A well-balanced hop/malt profile: herbal/piney greens (a little 'aged' as it IS April...) with a sweeter nutty/chocolate/toffee. Not as much of the fruit as detected in the aroma, finishes with a dry, vaguely smoky bitterness.

M: Smooth carbonation, medium-thick body. Mild alcohol warming.

D: Among the tastier, more drinkable strong/winter beers I recall. Rivals the likes of an annual NW favorite (Deschutes Jubelale). Would gladly have again.

Big thanks to John, a saint among BAs...

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Photo of ybnorml
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clean dark amber/brown beer> Has a big tan head that leaves plenty of nice lace. Big piney hop aroma with some citrus notes in the background. The flavor has a nice balance between the malty character and the hop notes. The maltiness slides in with a light hint of chocolate. The piney hop notes run around the edges mixing the the chocolate on the finish to give a slight coffee character at the back of the throat. Quite a tasty treat.

Thanks Wasatch for this yummy stuff.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was very happy to see this at the State Liquor Store in Vernal, UT. About $2 for a 12oz single.

A: Deep red, almost brown, dark red accents when held to the light, dense tan head, with great retention, about half an inch, huge clumps of lacing.

S: Huge hop characteristic, very piney and grapefruit, a faint hint of caramel sweetness, but this is a hop bomb in the nose.

T: Initial caramel and spices, a slight hint of molasses as well, but these are pushed aside by an enormous blast of grapefruit rind, this one is hoppy and bitter. They weren't off when they said brewed in the style of SN Celebration.

M: Thin, with a bit of a carbonation bite, nothing too out of place. Dry. A hint of alcohol warmth.

D: Not exactly a session at 7.1% but it is still a tasty beer that I could enjoy two or three of if I wanted to. I'll have to go stock up on it while its here, because this is a great beer.

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Photo of beveritt
4.11/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to wasatch for this one.

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. Label depicts a snow covered mountain range on a predominantly blue toned label. No freshness date but I imagine it is at least 4-5 months old.

Appearance: Pours with 3 fingers of medium tan head. This settles slowly to a still substantial 1/2 finger of foam, leaving behind nearly complete lacing coverage. acing continues as I drink, with a distinct ring at each pause between sips. The beer itself is a deep, perfectly clear mahogany. No sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Slightly sweet caramel malt with nutty undertones. Hop bitterness in the finish.

Taste: Bready malt upfront with a slight caramel sweetness. Mild hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Slightly lower than average carbonation level. Body is good.

Drinkability: A nice sipper, I imagine great for a cold Utah winter. So many good beers out there, such poor distribution channels.

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Photo of CHL
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am seriously impressed with this beer. I only got one bottle from the Utah State Liquor store in December, thinking it was a spiced holiday ale.

Instead, it's a nice strong beer, with heavy light malts and a not-insignificant citrus and pine hop kick. It's not a novelty beer though (like their less rounded "Hop Rising"). It's very tasty and enjoyable.

I think this is my favorite Wasatch "high point" beer. I hope they still have it in stock in April.

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12-ounce bottle from the 2008 batch, courtesy of Wasatch. Thanks, John!

In my Sam Adams shaped pint glass, Wasatch Winterfest is sparkling-clear and ruby-tinted copper in color. A soft, creamy cap of pale beige foam settles to a finger's thickness and completely coats the inner walls of the vessel with a fine, sticky film of lacing.

The aroma is malty and laced with tree fruits; smashed red apples, fresh plums, toasted nuts and a vaguely spicy note predominate.

The taste is mild and toasty with a mellow backing of toffee. An unobtrusive note of alcohol masquerading as fermenting apple abounds without overpowering the palate or the dusty dryness that nicely balances the brew.

The drink is medium-fullish in body with exceptionally fine carbonation. A very easy drinker considering the 7.1% ABV.

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Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Two finger bready head. Appears very deep auburn/brown but a little light reveals a scarlet red. Beautiful lace.

S: Fresh baked bread (yeasty). Alcohol very present. Aromatic hops.

T: Smooth caramel malty flavors mingle nicely with bitter hop elements. Deep roasted notes and a bit of green vegetative flavor. Very nice.

M: Viscous and nice around the entire tongue and palate.

D: As I look out onto 7-10" of fresh snow, I know I could be happy drinking this for a while (and the 7.1% ABV could certainly help me to warm up!)

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Photo of mpyle
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

App - Deep ruby amber color, very clear. Pours a creamy off-white head with decent retention.

Smell - rich and malty, but also with some piney hop notes. Think I smell cinnamon, but not sure if it is *that* kind of a winterfest beer.

Taste - Big slug of rich malty goodness. Slight hint of a plum character. Despite being malty, is never overly sweet. Finishes with a distinct but gentle hop bitterness that lingers.

MF - Medium to full body, moderate carbonation. Very nice level of alcohol warming - just enough to be noticed, but not enough to be overpowering.

Overall - I never know what to expect with a winter specialty beer, but this one hit the spot. Big and malty, but not crazy with spices or goofiness.

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Photo of lawlerj
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.

A - pours a translucent brownish amber; big bubbly, off white head. NIce lacing, decent head retention. A very impressive looking beer. Very good.

S - biscuity malt, buttery toffee, and herbal and fruity hops. Very delicious smelling - a hint of booze in the mix as well.

T - a touch of bitterness up front, opening up to the rich biscuity malt. Brown sugar and dark fruit in the mix as well.

M - full bodied, crisp, well carbonated. Very nice.

O - overall, a great winter beer. A bit of that warming character that I enjoy. I'll be coming back to this.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from Wasatch so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

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

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, brown sugar, a good amount of hops and a little bit of fruit.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of brown sugar, fruit and caramel that are quickly followed by a solid and complementary hops bitterness. The malt character is hearty and creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is very solid beer worth drinking for a long time.

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Photo of jwc215
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Wasatch for including this in a trade!

Pours mahogany with a rich tan head that has good staying power. Thin lines of lacing stick.

The smell is of caramel/toffee/nuts and citrus pine. Nice hop and malt aromas blend together. Not powerful, but very nice.

The taste is of caramel/toffee/nutty with a hop balance of grapefruit and pine. Both hops and malt show nicely and blend together well. It has a bittering, dry finish.

Close enough to full-bodied to work well. Carbonation stops just short of being a bit too much for the style, resulting in the benefit of the higher of two scores I had in mind, especially as it progresses.

Alcohol is well-covered in the aroma and taste. Comes across as easier-drinking than abv would have. Nice to see a well-hopped beer that still maintains a wintery maltiness. No spices here, either - so a good brew to just enjoy the maltiness and hoppiness of it. This hit the spot for me, and I probably enjoyed more than the individual parts/scores show.

Thanks again, John!

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Wasatch Winterfest from Utah Brewers Cooperative
3.88 out of 5 based on 114 ratings.
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