Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

840 Reviews
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Samuel Adams Cranberry LambicSamuel Adams Cranberry Lambic

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-01-2001

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Reviews: 840 | Ratings: 1,384
Photo of Arbitrator
1/5  rDev -63.6%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Re-review off the 2009 season. After spending time in Belgium, I can finally muster the proper anger over calling this a lambic. I'm outraged!!!one!

Chilled bottle poured into a glass.

A: Two fingers of head that recede over a minute and leave nice cobwebby lacing. A ring follows down the glass as I drink. The brew itself is a cloudy orange/persimmon color.

S: Mostly sweet (cranberry) and tangy with hints of Belgian spice in the background. Like fruit juice, not a lambic.

T: Starts off like a tart fruit juice, but gives way to tart cranberry and spicy flavors. Again I make the Belgian ale comparison. This isn't a lambic. Nor is it complex. The finish is lackluster (watery) and the overall sensation is sweet and tart.

M: Medium-bodied. Carbonation is a little mild. Weak flavor, weak finish.

D: No bitterness at all, but that's just as bad as having no sweetness, IMO. Too much of one thing. After developing my palate in the year since I first had one of these, I realized how far I've come and how little I would recommend this to someone else.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
1.09/5  rDev -60.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Presentation: A 12 ounce bottle used as a malicious psychic weapon in a recent trade, with whom I thought was a great friend and confident, my fellow So.Cal BA xlperro. I can only imagine that like Sam Adams, he hates the Brits. And to think we were mates, his Homebrewed Mild kicked Ass as well. Damn.

Described as a Wheat Beer brewed with Cranberry Juice and other “natural” flavors. Duh! Hey presumably someone actually includes a lambic in there somewhere, or are lambics adjuncts???

Appearance: I kept opening and closing the door. But unfortunately it still appeared in my fridge and never disappeared. It had to go. No longer could I stand that smug looking twat with the girlie over the ears hair-do and the raised mug in his left hand. Pours with a copper colored body clear. The head is so ashamed to be associated with this offering that it immediately breaks into a lumpy scum offering.

Nose: Sickly sweet over concentrated pulped Cranberries – like Jam (or is that Jelly?). Condensed and waaayyyy too sweet.

Taste: What’s it like?? A flat old Hoegaarden mixed with Ralph’s economy Cranberry Juice. As my mate bennybrew would say “sweeeettt”.

Mouthfeel: Just like having a mouthful of Cranberry extract, oh, that’s what it is. Never mind.

Drinkability: I finished it, in the name of research and the fact that I needed to be punished today for some ill doings (I left the hole-punched paper in the Photocopier at work). The sink was begging for it though.

Overall: A physical assault on the senses. I would rather have a large current passed through my testicles, my toenails individually plucked whilst at the same time being forced to listen to Vanilla Ice and made to watch re-runs of Survivor - *rather* than drink this “beer” ever again. Simply Awful. I hesitate to even call this a “beer”; it’s more like an anemic Alco-pop.

So if you get a Kia Saturn – and stick an Aston Martin badge on it – does it make it a Sports Car?? Do ya think anyone will notice??

I won’t even dare to start my monosyllabic rambling rant about the use of the word "lambic"……If I could eradicate one beer and it was a choice between any of the Bud-Miller-Coors brand and this – I’m afraid this Sammies would get it, both barrels, at least the macros can say they bring some pleasure to millions of people!!

Like a lame horse – it begs to be put out of its misery.
Shoot this f**ker if you see it.

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Photo of Overlord
1.11/5  rDev -59.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Hmmm....not enjoyable. Considering that I have on occasion found Samuel Adams' Cherry Wheat to be pleasant, I was surprised at how much I hated this.

The fruit flavors and aromas I detect are sour, malodorous and noxious, and there's a fake, chemical sweetness undercurrent. The mouthfeel lacks an appropriate amount of carbonation for such a syrupy brew. One of the few beers I honestly believe gave me a headache. Poured about one third of the bottle into the sink.

Tastes like someone bottled shattered holiday dreams and added a splash of cranberry.

**Got stuck with a few more of these after having been gifted with a holiday sampler. If anything, it is much worse than I remembered. Retire this brew!

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Photo of cptnjck101
1.12/5  rDev -59.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I'm a huge fan of Sam Adams, but this beer was hell in a bottle. Looked cool in the pilsner and even smelled interesting enough, but after taking a swig, I instantly gagged. The taste of Cranberry was overwhelming and I couldn't stomach another sip. Maybe I'm just not a vegetable beer guy, but this is a brew to be avoided at all costs.

 337 characters

Photo of ausonius
1.12/5  rDev -59.3%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.25


They are still bottling this???

No resemblance to Lambic in any way whatsoever.

Foul, tired, sweet/tart-fruity thing that is a combo of rotten/partially-oxidized, jammy "fruit" + malt-beverage-ish type horror.

One of the worst beers I have ever tasted, added to the fact that they put the name "Lambic" on the label make this a double disaster brew.

Anyone buying this a second time, please contact me - I was thinking of dumping some adjuvants into a cesspool, & kegging it up, & calling it Oude Bruin Lambic.

Tasted once, & never again other than Dare, or Paying basis.

Cheers! to rinse my mouth out with almost anything else.

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Photo of becktone
1.12/5  rDev -59.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

From notes 11-22-08

Eye: All in all this brew looks pretty good. Sam Adams is always brewing Wheat Ales, however, I've yet to see one that actually looks like a wheat, they've all been extremely clear, that's fine...but I mean come on. Color is red, no other way to describe it. not as dark a red as cran juice, but a nice red with some orange in there. Head formation is nice, big and does recede to something a bit smaller though, retention could use some work...not bad, but for a wheat with a head that starts off stellar...well, it could use some work. Color of the head is off white with some salamon notes added. Lacing is thin and spotty, no nice sheets or rings...pretty consistant spottyness though.

Nose: Very strong aroma, however, the aroma I'm getting isn't anything lambic like, well at least that is the aroma that fills the room. This aroma is very akin to that of bread yeast, just after its been activated, the aroma it becomes when it is a slurry, being reactivated in a pool of warm water. Cranberries are in there too, but are pretty much just background noise...I drink alot of cranberry juice-ocean spray-and the cranberry character is much like that. Not impressed with the aroma on this beer, no classic lambic qualities, no sourness, no tartness and weak fruit.

edit: Again, after reading the label, that maple deal comes out prominent and cloying, it also has a large amount of diacetyl riding along with it.

Tongue: Not a true lambic...and Oh God! Diacetyl is off the wall on this one. Tastes like I've just licked all the remaining butter flavoring off a bag of microwave popcorn. Very little cranberry in here, no tartness, no sourness, no oakiness. This is a terrible beer.

edit: after reading the label on the bottle I realize that they have put maple syrup in this beer. WHAT THE FUCK?! Okay you're brewing a Belgian lambic, I don't care what fruit you use, but the whole point of a lambic is to be tart and sour, let the bret come through a bit, go ahead and accent the sourness and tartness by adding fruit. I'm cool with that, I like that. But don't try to brew a Lambic with maple syrup. That defeats the whole purpose! The stupidity it must have taken to come up with the concept of this beer amazes me. Anyone who knows anything will see that adding a shit ton of maple syrup to a beer is going to give it an ungodly sweet flavor, in addition to the diacetyl this is an unholy combination. Maple syrup does not belong in any beer that is supposed to be sour. I bet those fucking idiots didn't even use a belgian yeast strain. Sam Adams has done great things for the craft beer industry, but this product is extremely misleading and is probably the worst thing they've ever done for beer. Stay away from this abomination.

Feel and Drinkability: Low carbonation, and just a thick sickly feel to it. Terrible, its that damn maple syrup. This shit sucks. I swear to god, If I ever meet a person that swears by this beer I'm going to punch them right in the face. I think that I'd prolly drink that fucked up Petrus Aged Pale than this. At least with that there might some hint of what the beer was supposed to be, this shit has no clue. I'd like to meet the idiot that thought that this beer would be a good idea. Do you not see what you have done? You've made every stupid ass college kid that is a Sam Adams religious zealot think that this is the way a lambic is supposed to taste. Now do you think that that kid is going to go out and ever try a real lambic? Kids on the short bus wouldn't even drink this beer, they know better. Infact, I'm going to get a whole army of them and come and find and destroy the fool who came up with the idea of adding maple syrup to a belgian style that is supposed to be sour and tart. Retard strength will win out the day. This is serously an abomination of all that is good an holy in beer. I think that with each barrel of this shit that is brewed at least one monk is rolling over in his grave, maybe even damning god for the birth of the fool who came up with this idea. Stay away from this, I'm glad I didn't pay for this, if I did I would've regretted it and would have much rather set the money afire or worse, given it to a homeless. If you drink this beer it'll steal 5-20mins of you're life that you'll never get back.

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Photo of BeerStud187
1.15/5  rDev -58.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1

This is the worst "beer" I've ever had in my life. I first had it when I was a depraved college kid who would play Edward 40 hands wth OE and still could not finish a bottle of this garbage. For years I thought all "lambics" were terrible because this garbage that I got in a Sam Adams sampler pack. I've since grown and learned the virtues of true sour beers and even more so want this to f--- off. It's not a lambic, it's a crap wheat beer with horrid cranberry flavoring and maple syrup that do not go at all and are not even a fraction as good as it sounds, in fact it's awful. The fact that this beer continues to exist would make aliens, if they existed, not want to land here because the world does not make sense and is too scary because this garbage swill continues to be sold to the masses rather than used to torture prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. You prevent the growth of America's youth by selling this garbage as "craft" beer, thereby ensuring a country of Bud drinking drones. If I could punch this beer in the face i would. I poured this down the drain to drink a bottle of Mohawk vodka instead because it was a better alternative. Burn in Hell, you POS "beer".

Color ok, mouthfeel ok, taste a--.

I'm surprised you named your company Sam Adams, not Benedict Arnold because your sewage swill has been a traitor to my mouth.

F U and F your entire family for making this wretch.

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Photo of nrbw23
1.16/5  rDev -57.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A- Pours a cloudy reddish color with pretty much no head just a few bubbles. Head leaves a bit of lacing.

S- Smell is very very sweet and has an artifical cranberry smell to it. Not digging this at all.

T- Very sweet and cranberries everywhere and dominant this one.

M- Medium in body and a bit on the lighter side of medium.

D- I don't like cranberries at all and I don't like this beer. Stared at a couple of these in the fridge for way to long.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
1.17/5  rDev -57.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

hadn't had one in years (as i hated it so), but you can't avoid em when you want the old fezziwig, so i decide to revisit it. it pours a brownish orange and the fruity smell is instantly overbearing. it's not as fruity in taste as i remember it though, and that was thanks to the 'touch of' (what an understatement!) maple syrup. a different type of brew? yes. a good one? no way.

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Photo of TAMU99
1.18/5  rDev -57.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1


Well, it looks great in a glass. Pours a beautiful reddish brown with a nice thick head. So, if you're just posing with out actually drinking your beer, this one's for you.

However, the rest leaves much to be desired. For those of you who brew it tastes like soured beer.
The intense cranberry smell and flavor overpower you right out of the glass. It has an acidic cidery flavor that puckers your mouth without any real showing from the malty side of the house. Had I tasted this blindfolded, I would have thought it to be a cider first, not a beer.

I certainly do not recommend this for anything but photo ops.

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Photo of SamN
1.25/5  rDev -54.5%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Of course, this is not a real "American Lambic", for the same reason there are no "American Champagnes". Essentially lying on the label is not a good start...

Appearance is a gross, cloudy ruby mess. Looks like a Bloody Punk (beer and tomato juice) with a extremely thin, weak head. Cloudy, dark and gross looking. Smell is of gag-inducing cereal grain malts, sour anonymous fruits and sour tin smells. Awful, to an extreme degree. Literally, I regret giving this aroma even a 1. Taste? Just like it smells. Artificial flavors of cranberries and sour cherries, finishing on cheap grains. Some sweetness flowers midway on the palette, but is then overpowered by the nasty metal finish. Mouthfeel is overly bubbly and thin, with a dry, cranberry juice finish. Drinkability is nonexistent.

Awful, awful, awful beer. Truly, a disastrous train wreck. Impossible to consume more than a few half-hearted sips. Who in the hell tasted this and said "Success!"?

Overall; a misleading title, simply awful looks, smells and tastes and utter undrinkability. This a Howard the Duck level fiasco, a total dud of a beer. Shame on Samuel Adams for even having this available, let alone in regular rotation!

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Photo of Portertime
1.26/5  rDev -54.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Picked this one up in a Christmas sampler. Cranberry beer is a new one to be but I decided to give it a try. Poured a hazy, thin strawberry blond color. Smelled, well, like cranberries and a mildy tartness. The first sip was disgusting. It had that acrid throw up taste. I took another sip. Yuck! Sour cranberries and some wheaty bile. Two sips was enough for me. This one went down the drain. Avoid this one unless you enjoy cranberries mixed with stomach contents.

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Photo of Surefire
1.27/5  rDev -53.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I cannot believe this beer is still in the Winter Collection 12 pack. It is in my opinion absolutely horrid! (I like all the other Sam Adams offerings in the 12 pack)

A: Good. Orange and red hues. Inviting

S: Average. Smells fruity with little hint of beer smells.

T: Undrinkable. It's like a bad soda. Very sweet, with hints of tartness. No typical beer flavors such as hops or malts.

M: Light and watery.

D: Completely undrinkable for me. 2 sips and I had to pour the rest of the bottle out.

I hope I can find someone that actually likes this stuff, or I may have to pour the other bottles down the drain as well (I have 2 of the 12 packs, so there are 3 more of the Cranberry Lambic left).

Overall, I don't get why Sam Adams puts this lousy product in with an otherwise good selection of beers/ales.

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Photo of Lexluthor33
1.3/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Red wine color,no head. Smell of fruit,cranberry. The taste was fruits and cranberry with a touch of malt. The feel was light carbonation and sweet and sour stickiness. This was not a good beer. I really do not think this is even a beer. I would never try it again and this proves no one is perfect. I could not drink it completely,this has only happened to me twice and eventually I poured it down the drain. It seemed fitting.

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Photo of RAdragna
1.3/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Tried this beer because it came with the Winter 12 pack that I bought for the holidays.

A-Very reddish appearance, truly indicative of the presence of cranberries in the brew.

S-The smell indicated too much fruityness, but then again it is a typical characteristic for most fruit beers. Still not impressed, though.

T-Either I'm not a fan of cranberries in my beer or I just don't like drinking beverages containing cranberries by themselves. Either way, the taste was just awful. Cranberries overpowered the beer.

M-Because of overpowering cranberry taste, feeling in my mouth was very bitter and sour.

D-Unlike some of the fruit beers that I had, which had some good taste and drinkability, this one had no drinkability. And it's all thanks to its negative characteristics in both taste and mouthfeel.

Thankfully, this beer only comes around during the winter and is not served in six packs. If it were to be sold in the latter, though, I would avoid at all costs.

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Photo of mikesgroove
1.36/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Oured a hazy, cloudy light amber with lots of fizzy, soda like carbonation. No head, no lace, but it did leave a thin film on the top, mostly due to the fizzy carbonation. Smell was not very inviting. Smelled like a cheap wine. Musty fruit smell, some alcohol, but again like a cheap fruit wine, I don't like where this is going. Taste was almost putrid. Spicey cranberry horrible. This was the first beer I have ever dumped down the drain. It was just too much. Too much cranberry, too much carbonation, too much of everything. I am not sure what they were try for with this one, but it just did not work. I was actually suprised as I generally like most Sam Adams brews, even tried this is a tulip, just could not do it.

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Photo of tconboy
1.36/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

So I'm supposed to rate this relative to it's style... but what style is this exactly? This is unlike any lambic I've had, that's for sure. Pours a light ruby red with a small white head that fades fast to a spotty film, medium carbonation and moderate lacing. Smells strongly of cranberry and fruit. Taste reminds me of those beers I had in Germany once, where they mixed a pilsner type beer with cola, tequila, or lime, except this is like they took some kind of light wheat beer, and dumped cranberry juice into it. It literally tastes like a mixed drink of wheat lager and cranberry juice.. not a good combination in my humble opinion. Unlike any beer I've ever had. A little sweet, very sour. Probably would have been a drain pour if I did not have such respect for Jim Koch and the Boston Beer Company's other products, as I would have felt bad about it. I'm sorry, but is one of the worst beer drinking experiences I have had in awhile. Not recommended.

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Photo of Blitzstyle
1.36/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

poured into a flute galss. Pours a clear copper color with a pinkish head.

Smells very sour or tart, very much like cranberry and some sugary notes and kinda awful.

Taste is horrid, god that is not very pleasant at all. Can taste some of the wheat malt. Wow pouring this one down the sink!

BBC needs to retire this offering not very pleasant at all pours like a beer when really it shouldn't. No real lambic qualites to it.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
1.4/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

A - Hazy rose tinted golden amber with a small head and specks of thin lacing all over the glass.

S - Okay, this smells like something else, no cranberries, no maple syrup, no beer. It was bothering the hell out of me, but it is pickled beets! I am so happy that I finally realized what it was. However, that is a terrible odor for a beer to have! There is a faint bit of malt underneath.

T - Taste is better than the smell, but that doesn't say much. There is a bit of sweet cranberries in the foretaste as well as . . . pickled beets. The aftertaste is slightly malty with a bit of lingering tartness from the cranberries. I can picture worse, but that's very, very hard. The aftertaste is okay, but the foretaste makes me want to vomit.

M - Thin, refreshing, smooth. Presuming you can separate it from the taste.

D - I actually like both cranberries and pickled beets, but I don't like pickled beet odor or taste in my beer. Maybe I'd be more forgiving if it was labelled as pickled beet beer. Due to the mouthfeel, and the fact that I can choose not to smell it, it is slightly drinkable. I really wanted to like this beer too. I will never have it again.

Edit 10/06/06: Due to the continued fact that I shudder involuntarily whenever some mentions this beer in any context, I have lowered the drinkability to the absolute lowest notch. This beer truly makes me wish that the numbers could go below awful. I have nightmares about this "cranberry lambic."

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Photo of DosBeerigos
1.42/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

C. Cloudy
H. Redish - Almost like the red tide
N. Cranberry...yep that's about it

Comments taken from my blog;

Alright well Este Amigo said this color reminds him of the red tide...yep and growing up on the Gulf Coast, Red Tide is never a good thing. THIS IS THE SAME. THANK YOU BABY JESUS THIS IS A SEASONAL OFFERING! The attack is strong cranberry then it almost taste like a smoothie with other spoiled berries, and it isn't very appealing. Leave this one on the shelf even if you find it on sale (like I did). NO THANK YOU!

 530 characters

Photo of andyo
1.43/5  rDev -48%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I was interested in trying this one when I found 2 bottles of this beer in a sampler. I thought, "why not, how bad could it be?" After taking my first sip, I found out. I couldn't get over the overbearing cranberry taste. I could barely get through half of this beer before I had to pour it down the drain.

After this experience, I either give these beers to already enebreated friends, or use them when I cook bratwurst (surprisingly good)

I don't reccomned this beer at all.

 483 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
1.44/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Ok, ok...I will finally drink this bitch. And yes, I did drink the other one that came in the winter mixed pack, thank you very little. Pours a limpid reddish-copper color with a minimalistic foam that snaps, crackles and pops its way to nothingness very quickly. It's a bad looking beer, but unfortunately it gets worse.

Nose is a mix of canned cranberries and wet dog food. This smells nothing like a lambic whatsoever, but I am sure most of you already knew that.

Tastes like a Ricola cough drop that has been left in a dirty kitty litter box for a few weeks. Hints of Nyquil and Sudafed will haunt my dreams for the next four days after drinking this foul concoction. Why on earth would anyone actually want to imbibe this insanity? I can hear Geico money taunting me from the lip of the glass (which hates me forever now, btw). Yes, there is some cranberry flavors here, but they are neither appealing nor tasty. One of the worst beers I have ever had and I know it will continue to torment me as I buy at least one winter mix pack each year. Surely there is some evil soul that I can pawn these off on?

 1,110 characters

Photo of Reneejane
1.44/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

My husband (fiance at the time) and father-in-law-to-be dared me to try this beer. I really wish I hadn't. It wasn't much of a lambic. And the cranberry flavor was extremely overwhelming. It was very tart, sour, and rotten tasting. I don't recommend this beer at all, but then I'm somewhat picky about fruit beers.

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Photo of RollingRocker
1.45/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I'm not even going to dignify this beer with a review. It's a horrible, horrible beer and it's going down the drain. As a fan of Sam Adams i am disappointed. I have never poured a beer down the drain, but i cannot and will not drink the remaining beers. (Winter Sampler)

-The Hoff

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Photo of randal
1.46/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

So I buy the "holiday 12 pack" for Fezziwig and to try out the new holiday porter. Both are good BTW - However only 2 of each are in there and I am saddled with 2 useless SA "Light" beers (strange taste in that one, almost like homebrew made with old extract or something), 2 regular dime-a-dozen Boston Lagers, 2 Winter Lagers and 2 abominable Cranberry Lambics!

Every year I try to drink the Cranberry Lambic and every year I pour it out. It takes a lot for me to pour a beer out, if it's homebrew I let it sit and sit in the vain hopes the magic yeast will make it better. The combination of Cranberry flavor, an unremarkable amber beer base, maple flavoring and some ever-so-slight barnyard funk just doesn't do it for me.

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Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
2.75 out of 5 based on 1,384 ratings.
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