Hoppy Claus Holiday Ale | Hoppy Brewing Co.

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Hoppy Claus Holiday AleHoppy Claus Holiday Ale
52 Ratings
Hoppy Claus Holiday AleHoppy Claus Holiday Ale

Brewed by:
Hoppy Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by pjwilson on 12-04-2005

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 52 |  Reviews: 34
Photo of theboozecruise
3.94/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

This one pours a deep orange color... hazy with a two-finger or so head. Good retention and lacing. Definitely a good looking beer, but the last one I tried from Hoppy Brewing looked good but tasted pretty bad. Don't want to get my hopes up yet.

Not a very strong aroma... what is there is the typical winter warmer spice bouquet. Ginger and nutmeg and a little malt and hops but nothing is too powerful.

Fortunately the flavor is a lot more full... the spices come through, with a hint of floral hops and honey malts. Very good, certainly a step up from the weak aroma.

I really like the creamy mouthfeel... just a hint of bitter aftertaste leaves it a mark or so down. I'd definitely give this beer another try, a very nice winter warmer.

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Photo of aepb1
3.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A hazy burnt orange body (Kasey says it looks like a sunrise and she should know, she goes to work at 4:30 am)

S- Citrusy hops and some clove

T- Follows the nose with some spiciness and there is a definite malt belly that is a bit roasty

M- Full-bodied, creamy and good carbonation

D- Interesting spiced IPA and will return if able to

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Photo of GallowsThief
3.38/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 22 oz bomber into a Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a nice amber, caramel color with just a b it of cloudiness. Nice one inch frothy head. Left a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

S - As you would expect had a nice hoppy smell. Has a faint trace of citrus as well. Gives off a nice piney aroma.

T - Just a bit of spiciness in this one. Has a little bitterness as well certainly from the hops. I get just a touch of nutmeg. Finishes a bit dry.

M - Medium bodied. Leaves a decent tingle on the tongue with its carbonation.

D - It has a decent ABV but it's hidden pretty well. This is a drinkable holiday ale. I enjoyed it more then I thought. Worth a try of course. Go for it.

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Photo of Shaw
3.61/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another new arrival in Florida.

Pours a deep amber in color with a thick tan head.

Light aroma of spices like clove.

The taste is lightly spicy, nothing too strong, fortunately. Medium malt flavors with hints of tannin and roasted notes. The higher alcohol level is hidden.

Creamy body is nice.

Overall this is a decent spiced beer.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.43/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bomber, the beer has a thick, dense 2-inch head on top of a cloudy, orange-amber-ish colored beer. Pretty good aroma of spice (nutmeg and coriander?) and citrus, but light. The initial taste on the front of the tongue is hops, which is predominant in this brewery's products (and I am grateful). The spice follows right behind, with the hint of citrus right behind it, so the smell does not lead you astray. There is a sourness to the aftertaste, which is not entirely unpleasant. It balances well with the smells and flavors of the beer. The beer feels round and smooth on the tongue. The sourness does make for a limiting factor on drinkability, as it seems to have a cumulative effect, but for one or two, it is a tasty beer.

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Photo of Tripphop
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Trade extra thanks to Loki83.
Funny looking bottle, trippy label, silly brewery name, who'da thunk it. This beer is pretty damn tasty. I'm typically not a fan of winter spiced beers, but this one did it right.

Great look to this one, fine foamy cream head and deep amber-orange color with a tinge of red in the right light. Fresh hoppy aroma with wintery spices. Smells of pine, ginger, cinnamon, clove, and hoppy goodness. Taste is clean and full. Sweet candy malt backbone with just the right touch of pie spice. Winter wamer up front, IPA in the back. Finishes crisp with bold malt, but a bright piney hop-pucker that sticks with you.

Would be yummy on draft. Glad to drink it fresh and hoppy.

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Photo of MisterClean
2.47/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks to someone for bringing a commercial style to homebrew club meeting.

A - Poured copper, with a 1/2 finger of white head. Dissipates fast and leaves no lacing. No carbonation either. :(

S - Honey, peppermint, cloves, cinnamon, and no hops.

T - Honey, peppermint, slight bittering hops, and clove. Slightly sour and moderate alcohol.

M - Medium in body, malt dominated, heavy alcohol. Way too much mintiness.

D - Dumped it. Note to homebrewers, less spice is more. Also, this one may have been infected.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.52/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle, poured to a pint glass; my first from this brewery (thanks, Floydster). Quirky label: a smiley face/sunshine wearing a 'Santa' cap and beaming 8 distinct (icicle-dripping?) rays down onto a snow-covered mountain. 'Great Food * Awesome Beer * Cool People!!!' proclaims this Sacramento-based brewery. Don't know about the food or the people, but we'll soon find out about the beer (this particular one, at least).

A: Somewhat clear auburn-orange (a faint unfiltered fuzziness), plenty of small bubbles rising throughout. Head never quite reaches a finger-high, falling quickly to a thin topping of ivory cream, pockmarked in a couple dozen places where the carbonation seems to rise most vigorously. Pretty good lacing, sticking in dappled bands.

S: From a distance smells of musty hops, wet grass and hemp. Up close, there's a notable sweet spicing, like cloves, cinnamon and orange zest. A whiff of vanilla and something a little like maraschino cherries. Also a bit perfumy/floral. A weird sort of combo, but not unlikeable.

T: Grassy and spicy hops permeate this one, a pithy orange and a chalky/medicinal bitterness. There are sweeter elements interspersed: a cake-y gingerbread, hints of clove and vanilla, orange and other fruits.

M: A moderately heavy feel, not quite syrupy - the alcohol weight has some warmth. Smooth, pretty creamy.

D: Didn't really care for this one, a weird muddling of some sweet/malty/holiday elements and an intense, kinda awful, bittering. Glad for the try, but I probably won't put this on next year's Christmas list.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Goofy label with an okay beer behind it. Orangish pour with a decent, off-white head. Aroma is very hoppy and floral, to te point that I expected more of an IPA. The flavor is flat. Wooden, grassy, and dusty, without the hop bitterness the aroma led me to expect. There is a mystery flavor that is medicinal, kind of like the anti-bacterial first-aid spray. This might be worth a second try, but I'm not racing out to get it.

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Photo of route66pubs
3.69/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours an amber color, but surprisingly pale and clear, with a slight head and good lace retention.

S - Smells of mace / nutmeg, with another undefinable aroma mixed in, possibly raisin-y. Very nice, pleasant aroma.

T - Malty taste up front, with a good holiday spice at the back of the mouth. The spiciness lingers momentarily before easing away at the tail.

M - Surprisingly crisp at first, but seeming to fall flat and unassuming very quickly.

D - Not a session beer due to its alcohol content somewhat odd opening crispness, this is definitely a beer worth ending a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal with, if there's still room in your stomach. It could pear nicely with pumpking pie!

OVERALL - Enjoyable but not outstanding example of a holiday ale, definitely something I'd purchase again when it was available.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this from a 22 oz bottle. Its about 2 months old now and can't tell if its affected the beer or not. It pourd a very nice clear brown/amber color. Plenty of small bubbles coming out of solution. The head was fluffy and only slightly darker than white. It had some decent retention to it.

The aroma was partly of malt but mostly of spices. The malts that I could smell were the basic pale malts and some crystal malts. Looks like there may be a touch of dark malts in there but I can't smell it. I don't know what the spices are. There was almost a bubblegum quality to the aroma. Maybe ginger? Pretty nice all around.

The flavor was almost as enjoyable with the exception of the bitterness. I am a hop head but I didn't think the extra hop bitterness did the beer any favors. We'll see what happens over the course of a year as I still have a bottle laying around somewhere.

Pretty smooth drinkable beer, enjoyable when cold, gets a little funky when it gets warm.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.03/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle to my SA-BA pint glass, the liquid is a medium dark copper, slightly cloudy with very nice carbonation. The head is one finger off white and leaves a nice lace.

The smell is a nice mild pine woods hop with a lightly toasted malty back bone.

The taste follows well, a very nice malty base topped off with a big hoppy finish. The brew has been mildly spiced, it works ok, but I am no big fan of spiced brew so take it from me if that is your thing this might be your holiday brew.

The mouthfeel works well, this is a better then medium body brew with very nice carbonation.

The drinkability is fine, quite a nice beer all in all.

Prosit MK

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.72/5  rDev +38%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What can I say as to why I am drinking a Hoppy Clause in the middle of July?!?!? I have really been cleaning out the closet lately and found this sitting literally way in the back. I cannot even begin to describe how upset I was to see this sitting back there, what a waste I first thought, thinking that it would be long past its prime( I would be shocked later). Then I was actually happy, I had totally forgotten I got this, or where it even came from. But the name alone just made me smile. I mean how could something called Hoppy Clause, with a tripped out dripping smiley face on the front, be even remotely considered bad for someone like me. I guess the old term chrismas in july, really does come true sometimes. Anyway, enough of my mindless dribble, and on to the real reason at hand. How did that bottle of Hoppy Clause hold up in my closet for probably close to a year? This question will be answered soon enough....

So we begin, poured into the pint glass. It is a very dark and hazy orange/amber, great tone hear. Haziness makes it look very thick and full. Decent carbonation could be seen streaming up in bubble chains, so I know it is definatly not flat. As if I needed further convincing, a huge billowing white, pillow like head formed on the top. Incredible staying power, as it was still over a halh an inch about 5 minutes later. Lots of really sticky lace then formed on the inside of the glass. This pretty much obscured everything from sight for the rest of the session. This really had the appearence of a thick IPA that really meant buisness. I was very pleased with the overall look of this one and was very anxious to try it.

For the nose we immediatly get set back by the hops, a very good sign. First notes were a warm citrus smell, followed by the most certain aroma of cinnamon I have ever picked up in a brew. I mean there was no denying the strong cinnamon presence right off the top on this one. The mix between the strong orange peel, and grapefruit aromas mixed in with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices produced a wonderful smell. Very reminiscent of a wintertime theme. I was really smiling after breathing this in. It had a very warm and cozy feel to it, and then it had that explosive hop bomb right off the top. I was really quite pleased to see this holding up so well so far. Now it was time for the true test, how will the taste profile hold up on this? Lets find out...

So, first sip...wow. What a first impression this gave. Strong hop wallop(no pun intended) hit me right away, this was definatly still fresh! Lots of orange and graperuit and tangerine flavors were immediatly noticeable and very strong and fresh feeling. But then the complexity of the brew fully set it. Such a strong wave of cinnamon washed over the palate, followed by some nutmeg, maybe even some berry flavors. This was a damn fine tasting brew! Great mouthfeel let the flavors really explode and made everything even that more noticeable. Silky smooth and effortlessly it went down, leaving behind a dry, but spicy bitter finish. Lots of resiny flavors a few seconds later started to take over and left your lips sticking to the outside of your teeth. I really was blown away by the spiceness mixed into this. Especially the cinnamon, I really can't stress as to how strong this flavor came across, and not in a bad way, it was just really very nice. It made you immediatly think of that christmas time feeling all over again. Just extremely well roundd and well crafted, one of the best all around flavors I have ever tasted, especially in an extremely hopped up west coast brew.

Overall this was a damn fine brew here. It really impressed me from the very beginning. Initially I had been worried about the unintentional aging, but I believe this may have actually been beneficial in this case. It may have helped tone down the hops just enough to let the these flavors really start to come out. Maybe this should be a lesson to let some of these sit a while longer, especially the holiday ales which always tend to have something else added into the mix. I guess it all depends though as I have tried that before with little success (see sierra nevada celebration). Or maybe this was just that good?? Anyone wanna send me another to compare, I would gladly take this again any day, seriously this was damn goood.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours with a frothy, three finger thick, tan colored head that forms a layered lacing pattern on the sides of my glass and varied, deep sink holes as it slowly recedes. the beer is a richly, amber hued, clear, copper colored brew. The aroma is fairly spicy with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, sweet ginger and allspice.

The taste is sweet, but this is actually accentuated by the spice flavors as the beer has a light-medium fullness to it that makes this fairly drinkable. The spices actually keep this a sipping a brew though as they are quite apparent; flavors of nutmeg, cinnamon a touch of ginger and cardamom dominate the flavor profile. Actually the nutmeg is probably the single most noticeable flavor here. At times, the spice notes bring out a sort of berry like flavor.

I would not quite say that the spices are overwhelming here, this beer is still drinkable and even somewhat enjoyable, but the spice levels are just a bit over the top. They really run roughshod over the other flavors of this beer, and hardly allow anything else to be noticeable.

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Photo of BlindPig
3.2/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- 1/4" off white head on a kind of cloudy deep amber orange body.
S- Medium spices like nutmeg and maybe like cloves. Some citrus hops come through too giving it a sort of orange back ground. Also a light pale malt aroma is in there too.
T- Light bittering hops is what first hits my taste buds. Shortly followed by a good helping of nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and a few other spices. There is also a orange flavor to it too. Light malt back ground.
M- Medium body low carbonation.
D- It is a alright winter warmer. Nothing special and I wouldn't buy it. Just goes as another one from the style that I got to try.

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Photo of TastyTaste
2.21/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Medium brown body, wimpy off-white head, fades to very little.

Smell: Light sweet ginger and lemon.

Taste: Malty and sweet. An odd vegetable/tomato juice flavor flavor is not too pleasant, most likely from the spices that don't mesh well here. Misses the mark.

Drinkability: Goes wrong where so many go right, the spices are definitely not melding here.

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Photo of warmstorage
3.52/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle, pours a deep slightly hazy orange to red, limited white-beige head, limited head, dissipates quickly with limited lacing.

Aroma is somewhat limited, some spice, hard to identify, and slightly sweet.

Taste is cinnamon, coriander, perhaps nutmeg, sweet malt, and a distinct and strong spice aftertaste.

Mouth is distinctly sharp and medium bodied.

A decent beer, interesting for a holiday brew: sort of like a hoppy red, malty sweet, but with profound spices. I'd buy it again, as a holiday brew, but it's not amazing.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
2.36/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Perhaps a strawberry cider with a touch of rootbeer added. Head is almost a cement color with decent height and composition around the glass.

S: Cinnamon, cloves, dirty hops and nutmeg. Way too overspiced on the nose.

T: Begins aggresively spiced at the tip of the tongue. Next comes a bizarre mixture of piney bittering hops that blanket the tongue but DO NOT go well with the spices at all. Some honey, orange peel and a pile of unblanced spices take over and overwhelm the palate. Finishes piney with apple sweetness and a dirty presence. Ugh.

M: Medium body with a slight hard consistency.

D: I'm not having another sip of this beer. Done. Over.

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Photo of Toddv29424
2.37/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer pours a light red-orange color with almost no head. The smell is alright, mostly sweet malts with a hint of something pungent and oily in the aftertaste. I dont like the taste at all, and I really dont know what they were going for. That same oily consistancy is there, and it reminds me of dishsoap. There is a dabble of hops in there, but very little bitterness and it seems to be drowned out by another sour apple taste. The aftertaste is sour again, and I am not sure where it would come from: it does not taste like malts or hops, but rather an ad-hoc flavor.

This beer is nothing special.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$3.99 at LaBodega in Riverside, CA. in December 2006. Tasted 12/18/06.

Pours a nice rich amber and with a decent head that gets better with time- lots of lacing demonstrates it's rich creaminess. Very nice.

Aroma- spices, yes, that's it. Cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, raisins, a hint of sweet ornage candy (just a hint) and good bready malts.

Flavor follows through. Other reviews have suggested a lack of hops, and compared to some winter brews I have tried, it's a fair cop, but I find them very distinct and tasty here. A nice bitter ending to this winter warmer is just right.

I like this one. I'm not a big fan of winter brews, spiced up and overwhelming, sometimes muddy and indistinct. This one is not that at all. Quite tasty.

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Photo of ChillMike
3.38/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

ours a nice amber color with a bright white head that doesn't last all that long but it does leave some nice lacing around. Ok this is going to sound completely bizare but it smells almost like a mix of pot and cinnamon. I can't figure out why it smells a bit like pot but it just does
also lots of sweet smells mixed with a bit of a hops.Tastes woah, not exactly what I was expecting, a bit over the top on cinnamon here, lots of nutmeg as well. I suppose it is a Christmas ale and all but there should be a warning label when brewers decide to play these kinds of games. Alright well let's see what else we've got, some bitter hops but they seem to be overpowered by the cinnamon. Not as much hops as I would have expected from a beer with hoppy in the name but I suppose this was a pretty good switch up from the norm. Mouth feel/carbonation seem pretty right on par and isn't all that imposing on the alcohol side of things. Definitely a "holiday" brew.

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Photo of Zorro
3.28/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Slightly hazy reddish amber colored ale with a decent off white head.

Smell is very spicy and is dominated by the scent of clove. Take it from me, I once put too much of the stuff in a Holiday Cider, this is all clove. Too bad it is one dimensional in that respect.

Taste is dry and very spicy like the taste of a spice gum drop. Decently bitter but cloves over power the taste.

Mouthfeel is good.

A good beer ruined by that cursed spice CLOVE. I can't say that I haven't been there, I have ruined a homebrew with it myself. NEVER add clove to your beer it just takes over and never mellows no matter how many years you age it.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.7/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Simple label 7.8% Est. 1994.

Dark auburn hue topped with a settled craggy vanilla cap.

Nose offers up a huge spice wafer, fruit cake and cinnamon. Loads of spices erupt.

First swigs: Nose is mirrored by the palate. Bold cinnamon and spice wafer flavor. Grain waffle. Cloves and nutmeg.

Thick feel. Full bodied. Fully attenuated carbonation.

Last swigs: Damn near my local Bethlehem Brew Works RudeElf.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.99/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had some success with this brewery so the winter warmer was a no brainer pick up. Poured this bomber into a tulip it formed a loose off white head that pops down to islands and ring like lace. Copper body.

The smell is "FULL" of spices. Cinnamon and coriander were dominant at the get go. Pumpkin bread heavily laced with Cinnamon was the taste I got. Some powdered sugar on top with an over rip raisin here and there and you've got this brew down. A well brewed beer. Mouthfeel was meaty but it lightened up just enough to make it tolerable for more consumption. As it warmed up a mollases really shows its face.

Notes: I've always thought this brewery has a lot of potential and this is a pretty nice example of the style.

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Photo of IntriqKen
2.78/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a clear gold/amber with a small head that melts quickly to thin sticky lacing.
Aroma is sweet, sweet powder sugar frosting and cinnamon.
Flavor is very heavy on cloves, cinnamon and no hops at all. Just sweet and holiday spices. Powdered holiday spices.
Besides being very heavy in spices...it comes off boring.

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Hoppy Claus Holiday Ale from Hoppy Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.42 out of 5 with 52 ratings