Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA | Avery Brewing Company

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Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPAHog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Hog Heaven Barley Wine

Or is it hop heaven? This dangerously drinkable garnet beauty was designed to satisfy the most zealous hop devotees. Intense bitterness and the dankest of dry hopped aromas are intertwined with a rich caramel malt backbone. Oink!

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-05-2002

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Reviews: 917 | Ratings: 2,061
Photo of spiner
5/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cousin send me this from America

This beer very good. It look red or orange. It smell very sweet and many hops. I like caramel sweetness taste in this beer. It strong but can be more strong. Cannot wait for next bottle of Avery. It will be India Pale Ale.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
5/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber. Left a one finger tan head with very good retention, and left some pretty good lacing down the glass. Color was a red-brown-amber, slightly hazy.

Smell - Pine, grapefruit, lemon all from the hops. Bread and caramel malt under the hops, slight hint of the high abv. But, hops are dominant.

Taste - like the nose. Hops are the dominant flavor with the aforementioned pine, grapefruits, and lemons. The counterbalance to this is a bready, caramelly malt. The hops do prevail with a pleasant, slightly drying piney bitterness, yet the malt backbone provides a hearty, strong backbone. Moreover, the high abv is entirely concealed in the taste, seriously, I could not detect it at all, there was no burning warmth, and I would not have realized its strength had it not been for both reading the label, and then the buzz that snuck up on me. This taste couldn't be more straightforward - bitter pine hops and bready malt - pleasantly bitter and satisfyingly hearty. And no, I mean none, no complexity, but don't let that fool you; maybe the seeming simplicity is this ale's complexity. Lemony tea and hearty bread in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - full, smooth, some slickness with slight pleasant drying, low carbonation.

Drinkabilty - this is delicious and satisfying, I'd definietly have another 22 oz. bomber in a session, in spite of high abv. I was going to ding this a half point down on this attribute for high abv affecting the sessionablilty of this, but I simply can't - just have water before and after, and don't drink anything else if you knock back two (or more !! ) of these !!

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Photo of sinistersteve
4.97/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

OH MY GOD!!! This is near perfection in a beer.. I'm a huge hophead and if I could ever imagine what hop juice tastes like, this beer would be it. Not a huge head on this one although what head sticks around laces the glass a bit. Dark amber in color. The aroma is identical to the taste. HOPS!! The lable states that 2.5 pounds of Columbus hops are used in each barrel, and believe me, I can taste every ounce of them. Although the beer boasts an IBU rating of 100, you could never tell. It is hoppy tasting, but not in a bitter way. This beer is definaty on my list to purchase again.

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Photo of jtw5877
4.97/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours an orange/amber color with a thin white head. Strong hop aroma. Decent malty body with alot of hops, think Ruination. I can't rate this to style so I am going with my taste, at what point does IBU turn a barleywine into an Imperial IPA? I don't know but this stuff is excellent!

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Photo of DrKnoskelson
4.97/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep amber/red with nice clean head

Very strong hop aroma immediate upon opening of bottle

Very complex flavor. Malty, but counter balanced with very bitter hops.

Alcoholic initially with gives way to sweetness of the malt which gives way to bitterness

Highly drinkable

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Photo of sweetkness
4.92/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Beautiful dark amber color. Creamy off-white head, leaving lots of tiny bubbles.

S-Lots of things going on here. The first thing that jumps out when you open the bottle is hops, lots of them! But this does not dominate, as the estery character of dark fruits comes through, along with caramel and wonderful malt characters.

T-COMPLEX! and I mean incredibly complex. You definetely notice the 100 IBU's of hops in here. But as in the aroma, it still allows the other characters to show through. A wonderful array of malt characters, from roasted to biscuit to caramel. A noticable brown sugar character along with various dark fruits (raisins, cherries, prunes, etc.) and there is also a citrus character, possibly from the hops. The alcohol shows through enough just to remind you its there. Like I said, complex, but none of the characters dominate too strongly.

M-Not too overcarbonated, which I like in this style. Strong body. Slightly syrupy, yet crisp, if thats possible.

D-This was probably the best Barleywine I have had. Wonderfully malty, then "americanized" with tons of hops. Obviously you're gonna put down many of these, but it's a wonderful to break out for special occasions...whatever those are for you. Despite the complexity and strength, it goes down quite well.

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Photo of MAB
4.89/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The first thing I like to do with a beer is smell it, and the hop smell coming off this was amazing. The label says they use 2 1/2 lbs. per gallon or something like that, so I was expecting what I got- bitter and citrusey-hoppy.
The mouth feel was heavy, but about what I like in a barley wine.
The alcohol contributed to the flavor, and made it taste very complex. It starts quite sweet and the fumes push the hop aroma in your mouth and nose at the same time. It is then fairly bitter and leaves a floral hoppy aftertaste.
The aftertaste is hard to discern since another swallow is bound to follow right away. Incredible!
Do yourself a favor and find a good shaped glass to drink it in- it really does help. A large red wine glass is actually good. One with a closed in top, sort of like a brandy snifter but not so round in the middle.

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Photo of badbeer
4.87/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky amber color with an off-white head leaving sticky lacing all around the glass. The smell of this one is awesome, it has some caramel in the background, but mostly consists of citrus fruits, and a very strong smell of pineapple. Taste starts out hoppy with combinations of pine and citrus fruits, then hits you with a subtle maltiness, finished with pineapple. Mouthfeel is full bodied and just the right amount of carbonation, truly feels wonderful on the palate. Would I have another, oh hell yes. Definately worth picking up, I will be getting more as soon as I can.

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Photo of claminat420
4.87/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- poured a dark caramely amber color with a nice off white head. heavy/thick lacing.

S- grapefruit hops from hell...

T- to simply put it. as a fellow brewer last time i started a batch i put a hop pellet in my mouth(norther brewer) to try it. it was alil funky. this beer is the best way of putting how that expierence was but alil bit better considering it was actually beer.

M- medium/heavy bodied. good carbonation

D- it's a hop lovers sex.

Overall- for my first barleywine i don't think this was accurate but being a imperial ipa fan i love this brew! this is truely a hop bomb.

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Photo of rabsten
4.8/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I can't say anything bad about this. Nothing. The only thing I dinget it for was drinkablillity, and that's because it's a "one and done." beer.

Poured into a pub pint glass, thick head, dark caramel color with red shadings. The head stays after settling into a 1/2 inch line. Laces all the way to the bottom.

Smells like a malty, hoppy ale. Some overtones of citrus, evergreen, and a wee alcohol smell.

Taste: Man, hoppy to start with a malt finish. A bit sweet, but not a cloying sweetness. An aftertaste of really good bread and some dried fruit, like dates. Dang, it's good.

Mouthfeel. Full and rich.

Drinkability. The thing about this one is, after you drink it you don't really want anything else allevening long. Not even another one, 'cause you'll feel bad if it doesn't live up to the first. I find it works best on cool eveings , after dinner, when you're not going anywhere, want a nice, relaxing drink, but don't want to get intoxicated. One and Done. Then come back next week and do it again. :)

I've never aged this one, because I can never get more than one or two at a time, and they just won't stick around, dangit!

Bottom line: Good. Real Good. Check it out.

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Photo of VoodooBrew
4.77/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Heaven... I'm in heaven... and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak...

The fresh hop aromas of grapefruit and orange zest fairly leap out of the brilliantly clear amber body of this glorious Barleywine. Some medium-dark malt notes combine with a good dose of alcohol in the nose. I must say the aroma of this big bad boy really knocks my socks off. Wait, did I just use the phrase "knocks my socks off"? I think I did...

The lupulin onslaught continues unflagged on the palate, with fantastic fresh citrus hops all the way. Wow. Is there malt in there somewhere too? Well sure, it's there, taking the form of soft caramel ... and there's some alcohol lurking around as well... but HOPS!

This beer, big as it is, seems to slide right down the throat. As a BW this is almost refreshing. Hog Heaven is one of my favorites.

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Photo of HoustonTX
4.76/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber, poured into a Chimay goblet.

A - Pale cloudy amber in color, with a brownish hue. Not much of a head, but what's there has incredible retention.

S - Hops/Malt, melded together in quite perfect harmony.

T - Taste upfront hits a massive hop spike, quite lovely and really grabs you. After the initial hop rush, citric waves of sweet malts pronouncly grapefruit and ripe cherries plow the palate. Inviting you to take another sip. Piney tones also cross the palate about halfway through, that fade slowly and linger for quite some time. Aftertaste(well-balanced bitter) does not linger long, and finishes extremely clean and dry. Alcohol warming is present, yet alcohol presence in taste is almost non existant, very well disguised.

M - Full bodied, crisp, and finishes dry.

D - Excellent for 9.20%abv.

An excellent Barley Wine, and one of my favorites from Avery thus far. If you can get your hands on these, definitely pick one up.

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Photo of wumpshire
4.72/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Definitely my favorite American barley wine, beats out old knucklehead and bigfoot by a long shot. Honey, caramel, and a good floral hoppiness. Great balance of malt and hops.

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Photo of Ratman197
4.72/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a clear dark copper with a good sized lingering amber head leaving behind nice lacing on the sides of the glass as I drink it.

The nose is carmel, grapefruit, pine and a touch of earthiness.

The taste is smooth carmel quickly followed by grapefruit, pine and a hint of earthiness all playing nicely togather.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth. Light to medium carbonation. Alcohol is not very noticable.

Overall I find this a very drinkable Barleywine I can drink year round. Some say it ages well but I prefer it fresh and full of Hops!

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Photo of hero27
4.72/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber. 9.2% abv, 100 lip-smacking IBUs...mmm. Purchased @ Blue Max in Burnsville, MN.

Pours a burnt orange into the glass, and leaves a very respectable, and very resilient head..intricate webs of lacing form with every sip.
Claims on the bottle that it uses 2 ½ lbs of Columbus dry hops per bottle...and after drinking it, I believe them. Somehow, someway, this ridiculous amount of hops works in this brew...I won't ask how.
The grapefruit citrus aroma is absolutely heavenly, right up there with the aromas of big-hitters Dreadnaught & Masala Mama. The taste follows suit, and even with the sweet malt profile and enormous amount of dry-hopping, it is surprisingly smooth. I have to say, I'm a bit surprised this isn't rated higher. I know it's rated well, but in my opinion, this is a standout offering from Avery. More drinkable than any Barleywine I've had to date. A hop-lovers Barleywine all the way, but it should please the tastebuds of any BA. I just wish this nectar were available in my home state.

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Photo of IPAcraig
4.7/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice ruby red body with big cream head. Nice lacing.

I swear this smells like sweet cake icing with some nice strong, floral hops.

HUGE flavor. Damn this beer is massive. It starts sweet with only a hint of bitterness; just when you think the beer is done, the hops show up in force. Alcohol is big, yet provides just a bit of warmth in the end. An intense experience. Caramel, oak, grapefruit goodness.

Big head yet thick body = great

There seems to be a current backlash for extreme american beers. These beers are slandered for being over the top and lacking nuance. Count me as a fan of any well done excessive american beer. This one definitely is that.

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Photo of skar
4.67/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Blind Tiger, NYC 10/22/03 2nd Annual VSK

Appearance/Head: Rich red color, light head.

Aroma: Subtle hops and malt. Notes of pine needles, resin, and a hint of aromatic oils.

Taste: It starts with a massive malt backbone that provides a wonderful fruityness. Then the intense hops come in and provide a welcome balance and a flavorful, long finish. The complexity here is astounding with toffee, fruit, and sour flavors plus others that are more difficult to pin down. Both the malt and the hops are very powerful and the brewers deserve a lot of credit for making them play so well together.

Bottom line: For me and others in attendance, this beer was the highlight in a night of incredible beer. One of the very best barleywines in the world. Tasting this makes me long dearly for availability of Avery products I had in Minnesota.

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Photo of bonsreeb85
4.67/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into my goblet, this beer looked really inviting, a beatiful biege head left copious amounts of lacing down the side of my glass. Looks scrumptious.

After taking 1 whiff, i detected a very fruity, and sweet almost candy like aroma from the malts. But the hops are definately not to be outdone here, the citrusy goodness store the show in fact. Wow this beer smells good.

The taste did not let me down, after the beauty and amazing smell, it only gets better on the tongue. Incredibly sweet candy like malts. It kind of reminds me of madarin orange spice tea, but with an extreme slap in the face from the hop bitterness, they linger on and on.

This is definately a full bodied sipper, and although the alcohol is well hidden, it does make a bit of an appearance as the beer warms, which only makes this great and complex beer even greater. My overall opinion: After having this delite i will make a point to get into more American Barley wines, as this one was exceptional.

*as a side note, ironicaly i was watching a special about monster wild hogs on the discovery channel while i drank this, LOL

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Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.65/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hog Heaven is a great name for this barley wine. Assuming that Hops are a piece of heaven. And in my world that is one of the ingredients (The rest of those ingredients are XXX Rated so I won't mention those).

This pours a perfect deep amber tinged orange with a thick long lived tan head that slowly collapses down the sides of the glass leaving very heavy lace in it wake. The nose is just great, The hops are so fresh it is like smelling them straight out of your hand. The head just won't die either - I am getting tired of waiting for it to settle. The war in Iraq will be over by the time I get to drink this!

Finally - The head has collapsed after several long minutes. I have a technique that I prefer to use to taste Barley Wines and I will share that here real quick to give a better understanding for this review. 1) I pour and drink some of it ice box cold out of a Duvel glass that is more like a large snifter. This gives me more opportunity to enjoy the nose. 2) I then let it warm up a bit - about 15 minutes periodically wrapping my hands around the glass to speed up the warming. The warming allows the flavors to balance out and blend better. It also allows for the more subtle flavors to become more noticeable.

Cold taste: Very aggressive hoping, mild buttery flavor, crisp mouthfeel with and exceptionally bitter aftertaste.

Warm taste: The buttery malt flavors are becoming more prevalent now, hints of spice and again very strong and aggressive hopping here. The mouthfeel is more pillowy. The strong bitter aftertaste is mellowing too. Hog Heaven is becoming a well balanced and truly enjoyable barley wine.

Excellent barley wine – I highly recommend it. I personally found it to be best at 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.65/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear dark brown body, big creamy tan head, really good retention. Smell is extremely hoppy, and has a good shot of alcohol in it, floral and slightly bready. Taste is sweet, with big hops, but hops that do not dominate. This is a maltcentric Barleywine, very good with the style. Nice brown sugar, alcohol, and rum flavors, works well. Mouthfeel is smooth, and carbonated less than averagfe, but still it is not a detriment. Very good.

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Photo of alexmpino
4.64/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good barley wine. Uncommonly smooth and great carbonation. just right.I have drank lots of different barley wines and this one is great. one of my favorites for sure. Also an important feature; for me at least, is how consistent this ale is. It's recipe is right on every time I've had it.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.62/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Revisit: 5 Aug 16
22 oz. Bomber
Silver Foil/Capped
Bottled: 12-09-15

8 Months on this bottle.

Poured into a Westy chalice a very nice cloudy dark golden orange color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger off-white head, which leaves some very nice islands (small/medium), and some thick/creamy sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, with some malt notes, very nice citrus note. The taste is very nice, hoppy, malty, very nice sweetness, citrusy. Medium body, ABV hidden very well, with a nice dry/bitter finish. Overall, this is a very nice brew. Recommended!

Revisit: 28 Mar 16
22 oz. Bomber
Silver Foil/Capped
Bottled: 12-09-15

A Long Time Coming!

Poured into a Westy chalice a very nice cloudy dark golden orange color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger off-white head, which leaves some very nice thick/creamy sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, with some malt notes, very nice citrus note. The taste is very nice, hoppy, malty, very nice sweetness, citrusy. Medium body, ABV hidden very well, with a nice dry/bitter finish. Overall, this is a very nice brew. Recommended!

A - Pours a cloudy orange/amberish color, some carbonation, thin head, nice lacing through out the drink.

S - Scents of hops aplenty, sweet malts, and under tones of citrus.

T - The taste is very hoppy, with a nice bit of sweetness/tangyness. The finish is clean.

M - Medium body. Not much carbonation, very hoppy.

D - Very drinkable. I like this Barleywine and would buy again. Yes, it also reminds me of a Double IPA.

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Photo of theirishdago
4.62/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is dangerously drinkable.
I poured it from a bottle into a Trois Pistoles goblet.

It pours a nice amber. This beer has such a pleasant hoppy aroma. It smells like big juicy cascades. The head was white and fluffy, but dissipated after a minute. It did leave some very nice lacing all the way down though.

At first taste it is very reminiscent of a sweeter IPA, similiar to Lagunitas Correction ale. But after you get through the bitterness, there is a nice malty finish. They are both very well balanced. You can't really taste the alcohol in this, so it makes it very dangerous. After 2 glasses, I was a little tipsy.

The mouthfeel is nice, not watery at all,and the finish is very crisp.

I recommend this to everyone.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
4.62/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First beer ever from Avery.

This pours out a deep amber/ruby color with a nice fluffy off-white head.

The smell is overwhelmingly hoppy and pungent, with notes of citrus and caramel too.

Taste wise this is definitely a hop bomb of a barleywine. Right away the pungent and juicy hops attack your palate followed by citrus notes and caramel/toffee sweetness that ends with miild hints of dark fruits. The finish is very dry and it has a creamy, rich mouthfeel. The dry-hopping did wonders to this.

Overall, a really really tasty barleywine and I'm impressed with Avery. I would have liked a little more dark fruit, but not a big deal for such a great tasting brew.

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Photo of InsolublePancake
4.62/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep, clear orange-red with a nice off-white head. Good head retention and nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Big hop character; lots of pine and citrus. There's a good underlying sweetness from the malt. Combined, the hops and malt create a sweet tart-like aroma... only it's much better than actual sweet tarts.

T- Wow, nicely balanced. The hops, malt and esters blend together so nicely it's almost impossible to pick them out individually. The hops give the beer a nice lemony citrus bite while the malt creates a great bread-like backing. The esters contribute some pear and apple fruit notes. Bitterness is not as high as I would have expected, probably due to the fantastic balance.

M- Not too highly carbonated. Maybe a little thinner in body than I was expecting. Nice creamy texture, though.

D- Very good, especially for a beer of this strength. The alcohol didn't come into play at all. This is one that I could drink a whole lot of, only to have it catch up to me in a hurry.

Great stuff here. This has instantly become one of my favorite barleywines, if not my favorite. The balance is superb, and it doesn't seem all that strong. It's got a great hop profile, but enough malt backing to let you know that it's not an IPA. Highly recommended.

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Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA from Avery Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 2,061 ratings.
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