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Ale To The Chief | Avery Brewing Company

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Ale To The ChiefAle To The Chief

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.75%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed occasionally during election years.

Added by GilGarp on 07-22-2008

For Trade:
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Reviews: 396 | Ratings: 578
Photo of hurleymanvw
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Avery did a great job with this one.

Aroma of citrus (grapefruit), pine, and hop with a nice white head. Strong lacing on the glass.

Nice citrus taste with a nice floral hop punch. Malt was used nicely to balance the beers finish.

Mouthfeel is not very heavy the hops are nice to the tongue but do not over power the mouth. The alchol is hidden in this one. Nice balance.

Finish was great with a slight hop bite but not too harsh. I would highly recommend this beer.

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Photo of nickss
4.39/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice deep orange with a smallish, but resilient head.

One of the best aromas from a brew I've drank in quite some time. Huge grapefruit aroma with a very strong hop presence.

Huge piney aroma... lots of hops in this one. That said, there is a bit of balance. Pretty nice all around.

Nice crisp mouthfeel... good and chewy... pretty much what you would want in a DIPA

Very drinkable for a brew of this abv. I could certainly knock a few of these back in one sitting. I have really come to appreciate Avery's hoppy brews, and this is certainly a credit to the brewery.

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Photo of ironarrow42
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliant orange-amber hue with an off-white layer of foam. Looks very much like an English ale. Aroma of sweet caramel malts with a hint of butterscotch, light earthy & flowery hops, and orange oil.

Has a distinctive flavour of orange peel and orange oil over caramel malt. Pleasant, smooth bitterness balances the malt. Moderately full body with a very fine carbonation bead. Slight sour edge complements the orange notes and gives this a dessert-like quality.

This is a big, substantial and flavourful brew with a lot of English character. Really well-made and distinctive.

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Photo of dancinwillie
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased at Brennan's in Madison, Wisconsin for $6.99.

Poured a beautiful medium shade of bronze, with a pillowy head of off white foam. A little lighter color than I was hoping for. Good head retention, however, and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere soon. I was smelling this even as I poured, even before I stuck my nose in there for closer inspection. Once I did though, images of resin coated hops fill my head. Smells of sticky pine resin, and citrus fruits dominate.

Oh my, this is a flavorful beer. I have to take a few small sips to take it all in. Orange juice, fresh grapefruit, pine tree sap that you know you shouldn't taste when you were a kid, but you did anyway. At least I did. It's not all hops here though, the sweetness of the malt is substantial. It's a damn good thing there is so much delicious hop flavor, to cut through that sweetness. I don't detect any of the alcohol in the taste, although half way through my first glass, and I'm feeling pleasantly warm.

Good mouthfeel. It's a little creamy, a little chewy, carbonation is at a fine level that let's the bitterness dance all over your tongue. Finish could be a bit dryer.

I would have to say for myself, drinkability is rather high for this one. This is a highly hopped beer, perhaps even a bit unbalanced on the hop side but sometimes, that's just what I want. I was craving a hoppy, fresh tasting, pick me up beer. And that's just what I got. I'll be picking up more as soon as I am able. Ale to the Chief!

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Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark golden/amber color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a warm, pale, Carapils, and bisquit malt scent along with a kick ass hop aroma. The taste is good. It has a very bitter hop flavor that goes down slow and smooth and resinates in the finish. The malt bill is complex and flavorful, but the hop content takes center stage. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer. It's hoppy as hell, but with good malt balance; a wonderful beer.

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Photo of murdoch22
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured during the second presidential debate into a brandy snifter.

This stuff is beautiful and resilient. Pour it however you please. Dump recklessly, and watch the foam fly. Drip carefully, if you have that kind of patience. Drink from a sequined champagne flute with a chihuahua in your pink purse. Drink from the crusty skulls of your vanquished enemies. Whatever the pour, whatever the vessel, this is a beautiful beer. Dive through the head to the bottom of the glass and experience a nearly smooth gradient from foam-white to ale-brown.

To appreciate the genius of this brew, you need only smell it. It's like an oolong beer--pour a glass to smell, and one to drink. But give me the one you were smelling. I'll drink it, too. To be completely abstract, it's a smell with a matte finish. Not sharp, not smooth, not sweet, not bitter, not hot, not astringent. It's like nothing i've ever smelled before, except for the last time i had a bottle of this. Beer at it best is senior-level chemistry; mixing aromatic compounds to create something that leaves a unique impression between the olfactory and memory centers of the beer drinker's brain. This is an honors-level achievement, to be sure.

The flavor is appropriately hopsy, with a near-balance of malts. It's classic Avery--expecting you to accept their throat-constricting sour and bitter hops and praise them for their courage in making a beer that tastes like a grapefruit-appreciation class crammed into a single afternoon and making you love them for it. In this case, though, the harsh and sap-soaked hops are mellowed by some alchemy into a divine seasonal orn that i can't get enough of.

Again, i don't know how they do it, but the typically flat, thin taste of overhopped limited-release beers is filled out with something else; hence i say of both the smell and taste that it has a matte finish, rather than being a smooth veneer. It doesn't feel like it just soaks in and slides down. It lingers, and you like it.

As far as drinkability, let's don't fool ourselves. This is on the strong side. While stronger beers with shorter release windows tend to score A- to A+ on this site, most of those are not the kind of thing you would drink bottlewise at your local pub. While i've had no problem polishing off a 22 ouncer of this tonight, i probably won't do it tomorrow. That said, your weekly bottle has a good chance of being empty well before you initially intended it to be.

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Photo of StoneTSR
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: I love the colors of this beer. The liquid itself is a dark, golden color and the head is stark-white. It has decent retention and a few streams of bubbles slowly reaching towards it from the bottom of the glass. The beer is nearly perfectly clear and the lacing is good up top, but fades towards the bottom of the glass.

SMELL: Just as pretty as the color, the smell begins with a big dose of pine and citrus. Some caramel lingers behind it to round it out.

TASTE: The caramel is no longer lingering behind anything once this beer hits your tongue. Instead, it is the lead flavor paired up with a lot of pine. Some brighter citrus notes, including a solid helping of grapefruit, and a touch of anise help to bring a very nice balance to what would otherwise be a pretty malty beer.

MOUTHFEEL: Silky is the right word for the mouthfeel. Creamy and smooth along with a light carbonation. As I mentioned above, this beer has a great balance. The front end is heavier on the sweeter malts and the finish is heavy on dry, hoppy bitterness.

OVERALL: This is an excellent example of just how well Avery can execute a solid beer. While they didn't try anything completely out of the box (as they have with many other beers) they simply nailed this one and made a wonderful beer. Big, hoppy beers should all taste a lot like this.

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Photo of Kendo
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on 1-20-09. Bush's last day, Obama's first.

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip. Body is golden-honey amber with a foamy 1-finger light khaki head. Some lace slowly recedes.

S: Grapefruity, citrusy & piney hops over sweet malt: honey and caramel malt. Very pleasant nose.

T: Grapefruit & citrus in general and tropical fruit. Also some caramel malt and brown sugar, providing nice balance. Finishes with slight bite of heat and pepper. Lingering dry pine and grassy bitterness.

M: Medium weight. Some slight resiny grittiness.

D: Excellent. Went down very easily for an almost-9% ABV DIPA.

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Photo of tadowdaddy
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- light amber color with 2 fingers of off white head and tremendous lacing.

S- Floral, citrus, and piney hops. A touch of maltiness comes across as well in the smell.

T- Delicious combination of floral and citrus hops with a really good caramel malt on the background to balance it out. Tastes more like a regular IPA than a double, but is a very delicious beer. Not as bitter as I'd have expected from a DIPA.

M- A bit chewy, leaves a nice aftertaste of hops on the tongue.

D- Very drinkable! Wish I had another one!

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Photo of Oxymoron
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Only in Boulder. Pours a lighter amber color with some darker hues throughout. Sparklingly clear with a soft white head and good retention through out.

The nose is along the lines of a west cost IPA. Mostly piney hop notes come out with a light citrus/grapefruit aroma on the back end. Some sweeter almost candi like malt aroma, but nothing really comes out as hop dominate the nose. Some lighter yeast/esters notes and noticeable alcohol, but nothing over the top.

The taste is similar. A strong piney flavor comes out up front with some resins and green flavors. The piney does go into the finish but the citrus orange and minor grapefruit comes out more than the nose indicates. Very taste and a hop head delight. The malt is non-descript but does have enough backing to somewhat back the hop notes. Some alcohol notes but not as big as the nose indicated. Some pepper and vanilla notes on the back end, and are detectable once you tongue gets use to the strong hop flavor.

The body is moderate and smooth considering the ABV. Carbonation is light but the hops still shine. Overall a great IPA that is boardline IIPA. Very easy to drink. I really like the hop bomb characteristics but would have liked the piney-ness to back off a bit and more of a balance with the citrus. Enjoyable beer!

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle enjoyed during the pregame to the last game at Yankee stadium.

A: Nice copper color with surprising clarity. Poured with 2 fingers of white head. Excellent lacing.

S: Simply amazing nose. Tons of fresh hops. Floral and citrus as well.

T: Amazing taste. Tons of citrus. Grapefruit and just moist hops. This is what wet hopping is all about. The malt is there as well but this is all about the hops.

M: Nice and creamy. Just a nice crisp beer. I love it when a super hoppy beer gets that nice creamy mouthfeel.

D: Nothing beats a fresh dry hopped beer and this is no exception. Super easy drinking with a ton of taste. The hop head inside of me is moist. Track this one down soon to get this wonderful beer.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought on my latest trip to CO for $6.79

This pours a clear deep amber gold with a 2 finger head of foam. There's plenty of nice lacing.

The smell is very big on caramel malt with also big notes of bread and earthy hops. A very nice aroma so I can't wait to dig in.

The taste doesn't let me down after such a rich mix of smells. Plenty of sweet malt character with the caramel and the bread with nice citrus and piney hops bringing THE balance and whoa...I'm loving it. It makes me wonder why I waited so long to pick up a bottle and even why I didn't pick up more than 1 bottle. It's also a strong puppy but the flavours I'm enjoying pretty much put the abv on the sidelines where it belongs so I can enjoy this Double/Imperial IPA's obvious talents. This is a great tasting example of the style. I make no bones about it.

It feels full bodied to me with a lightish amount of carbonation so it has a very creamy overall feel to it. One of the best mouthfeels I've experienced in any beer of any style.

Drinkability? Ha! No interference from the abv, delicious and enough complexity in the flavours to keep me on the edge of my seat, not to mention the superb balance....I could sip on more than 1 bottle at a sitting. Easily. Pure joy to drink and well worth the price I paid. This is now one of my favourite brews from the folks at Avery!

Oh and...head retention is top notch.

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Photo of fightingirishcmk
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden orange in color, with a decent two finger white head with good lacing. A beautiful beer.
S: To be honest, I'm not usually big on IPAs or an imbalance of hops. But this smelled great! Citrusy grapefruit, orange, and and overall fruity smell tickled my nostrils. The piney smell of the hops was small, and the malt smelled sweet.
T: So much hop smell, but I found it to be a perfect balance of sweet malt and hop bitterness. The bitterness wasn't cloying like in some other IPAs, but balanced the malt perfectly. I was pleasantly surprised.
M: Perfect amount of carbonation and medium body. Very good feel in your mouth.
D: Highly drinkable. This was the first IPA of any sort that my girlfriend actually drank with me. I was very impressed.

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Photo of hoplover82
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a beautiful clear pale copper color. Has a small dissapating off white head.

Smells of sensational citrusy-floral hops. No real malt aromas. The hops are just fine for me. Seems like more than Cascades to me.

Average to pretty nice lacing.

The flavor is of spicy, piney, citrusy hops and a little bit of malty goodness.

Pretty smooth on the palate, a little alcohol sting. And a little thin, but full bodied. A nice bitterness that lingers nice.

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Photo of PhillyStyle
4.46/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle at Great Northern Tavern (Denver, CO):

Very nice hazy orange with a very nice white fluffy head that was very well retained and very nice lacing. There were also noticeable particles floating in the beer. A thin cap remained through out the beer. This is possibly one of the best looking beers that I have seen to date.

The aroma was very hoppy, floral with a hint of sweetness from the malted barley. That was really it, but it was well done.

The taste is very hoppy with a very nice malt backbone as well that really balanced the beer nicely. I also got some bready/biscuit flavor, but overall the flavor of the beer is very nice.

Full bodied beer, very good carbonation, smooth, creamy with an excellent aftertaste. I was really surprised, as most DIPA's that I have tried have a very thick feel, almost like syrup, but this beer steered clear of that and was most enjoyable to drink. Drinkability is very good, but given the ABV probably not more than one at a time, besides, this is a beer that should be savored and not rushed. I would have to say that this is an excellent to world class beer.

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Photo of beerkittycat
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Slightly hazy amber-orange. Frothy off-white head. Good lacing.

S: Mmm! Hops! Pine, orange, grapefruit, mint, woodsy, complex.

T: Lots of hops. Good maltiness of toasted grains and biscuit.

M: Very smooth for 8%. A bit harsh and dry at the finish.

D: Very easy drinking for the strength. A well balanced beer.

Comments: Best Double IPA. Period.

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Photo of Frosty80
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color: hazy golden brown

Smell: very hoppy/piney. hint of pineapple and malty/sugary sweetness. wonderful aroma

Taste: great balance of strong hop presence and malt. character carries over from aroma. little bit of yeast in the finish

Mouthfeel: low carbonation. medium body

Notes: a centerfold of an imperial IPA. hops and alcohol tingles all the way through. gives Ruination a run with a little more fruit in the nose and on the tongue

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Photo of Foxman
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a slightly hazy amber, amply carbonated. A finger of dense, eggshell head sustains long enough to leave a frothy moustache after the first couple sips. Thin wires of lacing circuit the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, the hops are all the rage, with dry citrus, lemon zest, and resiny pine playing wantonly. The malt bubble through from under, with a slightly sweet cast and a caramel complexion. The alcohol punctuates the air with a hot shaft of vapor.

Upon sipping, the malt this time comes first, with a manageably sweet character boating caramel and distant berry. The hops elbow in impatiently, casting forth showers of crisp, dry grapefruit, mandarin orange, and thick, oily pine. Esters boast a bit of peach that soon disappears in the wake of a brash wash of alcohol. Residual grain presence is mostly biscuit with a touch of sugar. The finish is very crisp, very dry, and very bitter, but in a homey, hop-head pleasing way. Simply, the impressive balance leaves nothing to not like.

Medium bodied, the malt has nice body, which is buoyed and borne by the oozing lubricant of the hops, leaving a crisp glow for the effort.

Thanks to Taylor at the Mexican Food Factory for the heads up on this, because I would not have wanted to miss it. It's big, bold, brash, and a few other good B's as well, with a balance that juggles some very hefty elements, and yet leads to a very fetching blend. And I can say definitively that it holds up impressively to a sassy quesadilla, often a daunting task but one this beer responds to with aplomb. Yes, the ABV is muscular, but it's not sly, so one can take heed easily. The only issue is knowing when to say when, because it goes down very well. Avery is always solid in my book. But this time, they went above and beyond.

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Photo of Overlord
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the highlights of Stone's 12th anniversary.

Pours an orange amber, small off white head.

Hops literally leap at you; grapefruit, citrus, and pine. Taste is explosive, with sticky, resinous grapefruit, some nice tropical/malty backing, and a lively mouthfeel. Could drink all day.


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Photo of Crosling
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper color with a small head. They nailed the nose, with an intense blend of west coast hops that deliver loads of grapefruit and lemon. Flavor packs a wallop with a lovely, beautiful hoppiness. Lemon, citrus, resin, pure, oily hops. Well utilized hops and also hops of high quality. Delicious display of hops. Basically a 1.5 IPA here.

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Photo of Seanibus
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A winner, no matter who wins.

Pours a bright amber with a fluffy, long lasting head with a bit of lacing. The aroma is huge, with a giant blast of grapefruity hops that you can smell from feet away. The taste is lovely, balanced, carmelly and malty with huge, fresh-tasting citrusy hops, with a bit of alcohol on the tongue. The mouthfeel is a bit clingy, leaving a lasting bitterness. A delicious, balanced, and beautiful offering.

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Photo of gdfan47
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a nice amberish brown with a little white head
S- hops, sugar, a touch of malt, corn
T- hops, more hops, hops , finishes with a little malt and sweet but not too sweet
M- really smooth, easy to drink
D- wow its really hard to detect the extra alcohol here.. be careful with this one

a really solid dipa

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Photo of aubuc1
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 22 oz bomber in to a goblet.

pours a lightly hazy golden brown with a sticky, clingly white head.

Smell of citrus is bursting out. pine and sweet malt is in the back, but grapefruit and other citrus dominate.

Taste is maltier than I expected, and doesn't have the bitter kick I expected, but still creates a great taste.

Mouthfeel is very sticky and full.

No strong aftertaste and well masked alcohol make this a surprisingly drinkable dipa.

I don't like Avery's incorporation of politics in to their business, (and I told them) but this is a very good balanced DIPA.

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Photo of Scoobydank
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L:Thick off white yellowish head. The color itself is a fantastic crystal clear amber orange. Very sporatic tiny little bubbles.
S:Holy crap, insanely pungent fresh pine needle hops. Just a touch of citrusy grapefruit. Very mild candy apricot sweetness.
T:Whoa, there come those pine needle hops I smelled. Rich and vibrant pine needle hops just continue to pound your sense through out tasting this beer. There is a little bit of wheaty maltiness to balance out those hops.
M: Tight sharp little bubbles keep pounding the sides of your mouth. Yet the beer still feel rich and fat. Very nice round feeling
D: Very cool beer. Not much balance involved. Just hoppy goodness on top of hoppy goodness. Very good.

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Photo of slayer3604
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4.5's across the board with this puppy!

A-Drapery of white frothy almost whipped cream head (served at room temp so it would be heady as all shit!) a mild amber color and plumes of carbonation reaching the blanket of head.

S- creme` friache, alcohol, citrus, a foreshadowing of nice hops, and apricot esters.

T- Up front spice, acidic character, almost like bighting a lemon, but in a good way. the lemon is soaked in booze, and fresh malt that dropkicks your tastebuds into submission!!! Such a powerful and refined beer.

M-chewy, sweet but ballanced by a good amount of hop!

D- This might be a new favorite from avery. they never cease to amaze me.

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Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 578 ratings.
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