Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA | Avery Brewing Company

Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPAHog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA
2,093 Ratings
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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Ratings: 2,093 |  Reviews: 926
Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

color is a glowing, slightly hazy orange-ish light amber. creamy off-white head persists w/really nice lacing. toffee and caramel dominate the aroma with candied fruit, resiny pine, and a hint of rum-like alcohol. big sweet toffeed malts are well-balanced by the prominent but smooth underlying hop bitterness. perfect level of carbonation for my taste in this. full-bodied with a long complex finish. one of the best barleywines i've had, right up there with great divide's.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from the brewery after having a small sample in their tasting room.

Pours into a pint glass a redish copper orange color with great clarity and a good inch of head. The head is gone soon after but leaves thick rings of lace around the glass.

Aroma is super hoppy and sweet.

Taste is huge. Lots of malt but tons of great hops too. The sweetness from the malt is really well balanced by the citrus hops. Grapefruit, lemon, and orange all bring the sweetness in check. This beer has it all with sweet, a little sour, tart, and of course, bitter.

Mouthfeel is good for the style but still high in alcohol and bitterness as expected. Drinkability suffers for the same reasons.

Overall a great hop-forward barleywine.

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Photo of corey0212
4.34/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours reddish/browinsh iced-tea color, foamy beige head fades slow, and leaves spotty & webbed lacing in its path. Massive aromas of caramel, and big grapefruit-on-steroids hoppiness...nice. Taste follows right along, with a richness/robustness to the malt that's outstanding, and little, if any alcohol flavors...this is just tasty. Full-bodied, lingering bitterness, but incredibly smooth, and nothing that overwhelms the palate. One of the most drinkable Barleywines I've ever had.

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Photo of nd5282
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Sweet and smooth all the way around. This beer is great with fried chicken or something sweet. Definitely one of my more favorite from the people at Avery. This beer was available at Barney's Beanery in Santa Monica. The service from the waitresses was horrible. The waitresses, although cute, were lacking in most if not any beer knowledge and were equally incompetent when it came to food services.

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Photo of chuckd123
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good Barleywine. Poured from a bomber into a snifter, head is about 1.5 fingers and very thick. Laced up nicely and lasted.
Took in the smell before the first sip -- typical of the style, and very good. Hints of thick hoppy citrus hit you right away.
Taste is very good, a somewhat thick, citrus & malt combo on the tongue.
Drinkability is obviously affected by the abv%, but otherwise a drinkable beer for sure.
Very good offering from Avery.

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Photo of jackorain
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer was delivered from the bartender in a shaker pint glass. The color was a dark amber-brown. The liquid was topped with 1/4 inch of thick tan head. The foam stayed there for essentially the whole time it took to consume the beverage. Some sticky lace was left in sheets down the glass after each sip.

The aroma is of big malts. Raisins are prominent, prunes are here as well. There is also a hint of caramel and toasted bread. Hop aroma comes on strong with each successive deep inhale. There is pine and greens, predominantly, with grapefruit coming through in the end.

The flavor profile is as complex as the nose. All the malt aspects from the nose are present and more, there is also some cooked stone fruit, like peach and plum, like from a cobbler or pie. The hops are pine and green although in the beginning but there is significnat grapefruit zest and ruby ref grapefrui flavor poking through in the finish. Speaking of the finish, it is more quite bitter and lingering. Having said that, this beer is very well balanced indeed.

As the liquid mingles with the taste buds and the crosses the various areas of the pallet, a very viscous, full body is apparent. There is a creaminess that is very welcome and is also cut by the fizzy, vibrant carbonation. Both the creaminess and the fizz help carry the flavors around the mouth.

This is quite easy to drink for 9+%. The alcohol is not readily apparent as it is in many other American Barleywines. Overall, this is a very nice beer.

Thanks For Reading

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Photo of MTNboy
3.3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It has rich very deep copper/bronze body. This beer's head is average height and has a golden color. It has a malty aroma at first but has it sit it becomes more hoppy and floral. It has a wonderful lace that sticks around forever. It has a bitter fruity taste with some tar like tones. You definitely get some of the bitterness from the 100 IBU's. It has a pollen and grapefruit style of bitterness. It gives off some alcohol warmth but not much. It has average carbonation to the mouthfeel. It is not as heavy in the body as many might think. I would go the higher end of medium. Overall I know that barley wine should be bitter but the was something in the bitterness I did not care for.

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Photo of optiontwo
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: 22oz. poured into Unibroue tulip. Hazy orange/red with one inch off white head and streams of carbonation. Great lacing all the way up the glass.

Smell: Sweet caramel, toffee, citrus hops, other fruits (banana possibly?) and slight earthiness.

Taste: The caramel and toffee flavors come through right away and are backed by an earthy hop presence. The fruit flavors slightly detected in the smell are more prominent in the taste bringing banana, pineapple, and passion fruit to the palate, maybe even some mango. The generous amount of hops in this brew give it a nice bitter bite at the end that balances the caramel and fruit sweetness well.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy but not RIS thick. Nice for the style. Carbonation feels good and the hops give it a zing for your tongue.

Drinkability: I would definitely like to have some more after this bottle but I may be in the minority for that seeing as it's syrupy and high in ABV.

Overall: Great complex barleywine. I tried last years Hog Heaven but it was a while ago and I accidentally let it get too cold, I liked it but I figured I shouldn't review off of that experience. In summary, I recommend this beer for both barleywine lovers and hop-heads alike. There's something in this brew for everyone to experience.

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Photo of lured2fish
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First, I should note that this is the first barleywine I have had. I am a big fan of other hop-heavy styles, but I had never tried a barleywine before now.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a large goblet.

A - Half inch of thick creamy head with good retention and some lacing. Hazy caramel/orange in color

S - Intense sweet malty aroma with a mix of spicy hops and some yeast.

T - Starts with a sweet malty taste initially with intense hoppy and alcohol flavors leaving a nice aftertaste. The alcohol is not overwhelming and it provides a very warm feeling.

M - Very smooth and full-bodied. Light carbonation.

D - One 22oz bottle is about right, but could easily be shared. This beer is so tasty though that it is very easy to drink. Delicious!

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Photo of tadowdaddy
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark orange, very hazy. About 2 fingers of off white head with fair retention. Lacing is supurb.

S- Earthy hops along with caramel like malts. Also has a bit of a yeasty scent to it.

T- Wow. Very complex and well balanced. Very caramel malty at first, followed by a hop explosion consisting of very earthy pine and citrus hops. Get some grapefruit in there too. Additionally get some other malt like flavors.. almost biscuit like and a tad bit of some toffee can be tasted in the malt.

M- Thick and chewy. Additionally Leaves a semi bitter aftertaste on my tongue.

D- Too thick to be really drinkable and will love to see what the bottle I stuck in the cellar tastes like in a year or two. A great barleywine. Love this one!

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Photo of sweetbrew82
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass; no freshness date on the bottle

P: Pours from the bottle a light brownish-gold color, and sits in the glass a slightly hazy, deep amber with reddish-orangish highlights. Decent pour produces a thick & frothy 2-fingered off-white head that has a bit of an orange tint to it. Head shows awesome retention! And the lace sticks all over the glass as it sinks. Looks good!

A: Big, sweet bready malt aroma is front and center, with a mix of floral & piney hops as the supporting cast. Also, some caramel, some yeast, and some earthiness underneath it all. Smells delicious. I think I'm gonna like this one...

T: And I was right, this is very tasty! Starts sweet out of the gate with a Hawaiian roll flavored maltiness, a dab of caramel, and some barley. The C-hops take a minute to land on the palate, but when they do, they really take this beer to the next level. They join the fold with all of the aforementioned flavors to add some citrusy, slightly piney flavors that keep the malts from totally taking over. It still stays malt-forward, but the hops do provide a nice balance that never lets it get too sweet. Obviously, the good folks at Avery have done a masterful job of masking the alcohol in this one, as it is all but undetectable. The hops-head in me wishes that it were just a bit more hoppy, but that's just me. Finishes dry, but does leave a bit of an oily hop residue behind that leaves a long aftertaste! This is wonderful.

M: The mouthfeel is full-bodied, really smooth, with very mild carbonation that produces no carbonic "bite" on the tongue. Fits the style nicely.

D: This is no session beer, but it's so tasty that it makes it extremely easy to drink, which is very dangerous considering the 9.2% ABV punch that it's packing.

Notes: What a fine American Barleywine! This is an excellent example of the style, and is one that deserves much more credit than it receives. If you like barleywines, then do yourself a favor and make it a point to pick some up. Chances are you, too, will be in Hog Heaven!

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a sightly caramel color with decent cap of foam. The aroma is sweet bready malt with hops definitely making their presence know. Slightly carbonated on the palate with a solid medium body. More sweet malt and a little breadiness on the palate but a pleasing hop bitterness pervades it all. Finishes light and fast. A hoppy barleywine that is not too sweet. One of the more drinkable examples of the style that I have had.

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Photo of hoplover82
4.48/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

First impression is that it pours a marvelous mahogony ... a hazy dark orangy hue. Beautiful!

And the aroma... HOPS! Citrus hops if drunk at the right temperature (about 50 degrees) The hops won't come out if it's too cold. They don't like the cold. And I smell... I smell.... plums! Plums it is. Wow.

This is sensationaly smooth. No alcohol sting at all. That's impressive in a Barleywine.

The head is tan and it likes to linger despite it's smallness. Caramel wofts well. Lovely lacing is left from the head.

Taste is remenicence of a dark fruit I can't put my finger on. Hmmmm. I want to say pinnapples. It leaves a heavenly bitterness that lingers well.

The mouthfeel is outstanding, full bodied.

A great beer indeed. My second favorite Barleywine hands down (next to Saint Arnolds' Divine #6) I love this great beer. Thanks again Avery!

The Lord bless the hop harvest.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of dkachur - thanks! Split w/ proteus93, w/ my portion poured into a 14 oz. tulip.

Appearance: A cherrywood auburn, clear on my pour, but rather hazy in the finish (Sean's pour) that leaves a bunch of well-flocculated yeast. The head is off-white and has decent to perhaps even below-average retention and the lacing - while initially solid and sheet-like - fades quickly to glittery, splotchy, spotty.

Aroma: Heavily caramelized sugars and a slight butter twinge are reminiscent of butterscotch, toffee, and other roasted malty things - chocolate, too, as well. Faint banana esters and other light fruity notes - tart apple skins and pears, white grapes - dance around the carcasses of once-glorious hops, faintly leafy, minty. Gets really fruity as things warm.

Taste: Banana bread is one the prominent note here, interestingly enough, particularly from mid-sip to near the finish. I also get a dose of raisins, toffee, and an empty, largely-faded hop presence that at one time seems like it must have lent a big leafy, citrusy edge to this one - not quite West Coast, but more like East meets West. Only the faintest hint of warming alcohol in the finish. It'd be nice if this beer had a healthy midway between hot (I have had it fresh, and it's a little hot) and overly aged (where the hops have died).

Mouthfeel: Decently thick and mildly carbonated, with a bit of a cloy given the heavy residual sugars.

Drinkability: For a barleywine, not half bad, as the alcohol has really completed melded with this one - it's truly hardly detectable at all. And though this one has a decent amount of fruity and malty overtones (it'd make a good English barleywine, almost), there are a lot of "hop skeletons" here, too.

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Photo of Douglas14
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark-amber color that is so dense it makes this beer seem hazy even though I know it is not. It has a nice off-white head, which I expected. Spicy, dark malt and alcohol are the most prevalent in the nose. Hog Heaven really reaffirms to me that I can compare Barleywines to the really stinky, awesome cheese of the beer world. The taste is also of malt and alcohol...but not in a burning way...more subtle warming...pretty awesome. The mouthfeel is silky and slightly creamy. Awesome beer...not the best Barleywine, but no doubt very noteworthy and worth getting if you come across it.

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Photo of AMoceri7
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yesss...!!! I am so glad, a beer company has finally hit the barley wine flavor I am looking for in a beer on the head. This my friends is the epitome of an awesome beer. Everything you could want. Dont let anyone tell you otherwise.

A: Beautiful mahogany with impeccable lacing all the way down the last sip. Nice hop to blame clumping in the head. Nothing short of beautiful.

S: Ohhh yea, hops, malt, sweet hawaiian bread. Some fruit and apricot. Very even and balanced. If you have ever actually chewed on malt or let alone brewed your own beer, its the exact aromatic goodness that fills the house that is in your pint glass. You'll know what I mean.

T: Oh man, this baby has got it all. Plenty of unnoticeable alcohol to warm and relax, choc full of hops and that sweet hawaiian bread malt. Just a pinch of bitterness to balance out and some apricot fruitiness to show you some love. It is so good its unbelievable. Ive been waiting for a beer like this for some time now.

M: Chewiness and stickiness that begs for attention. Perfect carbonation that only compliments and never takes away. Full bodied and not thin...damnit I hate thin. Aftertaste lingers but isnt annoying.

D: Could pound through the 22oz given no problem. Which is kind of a bummer considering how good it is.

Overall: What else is there to say, to rate this anything but an A is audacious. This beer honestly couldnt get any better but will stay at 4.5s for the hope that maybe something else out there is better? Quite the challenge. Go buy it now, you'll thank me later. Mmmhmmm....

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Photo of colts9016
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A cloudy orangish amber color, with a one finger head. The nose has a sweet scent of toasted and caramelized malt. There are hints of orange, spices, hops, and grass.
Taste Roasted malt. sweet bread yeast, caramel, molasses. Overall: This a big body hoppy American Barley wine. I feel that with a good couple of years of aging this beer would mellow out and make a beautiful well rounded Barley Wine. The beer balances out and is very good.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Avery Hog Heaven is a rather clear, viscous-looking red ale with a thin, bubbly, elastic off-white head that leaves nice lacing. The aroma is of sweet and sour malt with grass, hay, orange peel and allspice. It is medium-full bodied, smooth and slick. It leaves the mouth a bit dry, almost gritty. It's a bit sour and quite bitter. Nothing really noteworthy about the flavor. It's well balanced.
(rated Feb 5, 2008)

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Photo of magictrokini
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very hoppy barleywine. Caramel-brown color with a strong head. Taste is obviously hoppy, with a heaping of resin and grapefruit, but also has solid malt and earthy tastes. Almost a woody character comes through. A bitter barleywine, and a very good one.

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Photo of JEdmund
4.55/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours out a hazy, toffee orange; 1/2" creamy off-white head

Bright hops jump out of the glass--all citrus and extremely inviting

Taste & Mouthfeel
Immediate (and lasting) impression is that this seems more like a DIPA; loads of flavorful, citrus hops kept somewhat grounded by the cookie-like malt; alcohol is all but invisible, making this extremely drinkable--22 oz.? no problem! leaves a lovely apricot bread aftertaste; body is medium with a slick texture

Love it! I've had this a number of times and each time I have it I can't believe I don't drink it more often. It's easily in my top 3 of barley wines and definitely in my top 10 of beers. And at $5/bomber, it's an incredible value.

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Photo of macster
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As expected seems to be a hybrid American DIPA/Barleywine combo style. Pours a slightly hazy amber-orange color producing a fluffy, thick white head. Foam fades out quite a bit leaving a thin coating of swirly islands with some spotty lacing. Nose shows off tons of citrus rind and piney hops with some caramel and toffee notes waffing in the background. Very IPA like in the aroma department here. Palate is full, slick and creamy with a fine carbonation fizz. Flavors are pretty well balanced between the malts and hops for a western US BW. The hoppy citrus and pine flavors do dominate, but there is a nice sweet malty contribution with tastes of melted caramels, toffee and roasted malts. A decent level of warming alcohol comes in at the finish to let you know you're drinking a hefty brew. Good stuff, but considering the $7.49 price not a great value.

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Photo of craytonic
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark orange-amber that starts out crystal clear but gets murkier as you get through the bottle. Large sea-foam head with some serious staying power. Lays down nice lace all the way down the glass.

Smell: Grapefruit, orange, melon, citrus, hops.

Taste: Grapefruit, orange zest, and apple. Nice and intense hops, but they are balanced and not overpowering. Not a hint of alcohol, surprisingly.

Mouthfeel: Almost perfect, I would not say creamy or velvet, but it is smooth with a few little bumps to keep it interesting. A big surprise for me.

Drinkability: I was surprised by how drinkable this is, much more so than others of this style. That said, it seems more IPA than Barleywine. Still very good though, I will have to get another!

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Photo of nick76
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is anything but a standard Barley Wine. What you notice right away is that this beer is strong without knocking your socks off. The aroma has more in common with an IPA than a Barley Wine. Now Barley wine purest will scoff but I am actually a huge IPA fan so this is a welcome change. There is pine like resin hops and some grapefruit to go along with the sweet, caramel malt, yeast, and alcohol. The appearance is great with a three and a half finger head (also not common for the style) and deep amber color. The flavor is just like the aroma, it's not complex but it's tasty. The palate is sticky and smooth like one would expect for the style. The aftertaste is astringently bitter with some butterscotch. Overall I think this is an awesome interpretation of a Barley Wine but it's not a standard of the style.

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Photo of kinger
4.36/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Insanely hopped barleywine, what a wonderful concept for this style. Nice bitterly hopped aroma over a well malted backbone. Vibrant dark copper pour with some amber coloring. Huge off white head eventually settling to a half inch and tons of thick lacing. Strong steady carbonation, perfection for this strong style considering lasting head on a barleywine is a rare happening. Filling juicy mouthfeel, nice easy bitter finish makes you wanting more. Amazing flavor, very hoppy resembling a well crafted IPA that gets over on a rather sweet malt content. There were a couple times where the sweet alcohol burn showed itself but it was soon covered up by that well balanced hop flavor. Really a fantastic brew all in all.

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Photo of bags6lax
3.47/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I have been wanting to try this for a while, and had the chance last night. Poured into an oversized wine glass. First impression, tiny fizzy head that stuck around throughout the time I drank it. Nice sticky lacing as well. The mouthfeel was viscous, but almost greasy...it was the least favorite part of the brew for me. A little off putting. The hops shined through very well, classic piny american aromas...bitterness was spot on, and really helped balance this beer out...with the 100 IBUs, I think if they had gone with something in the 60-70 range it would be close to undrinkable.

The thing I was probably the most disappointed in, was the lack of complexity...it really tasted like there IPA but just boosted the gravity...and in fact I love there IPA, and really wasn't loving this brew. Oh well.

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Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 2,093 ratings
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