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Pike Auld Acquaintance Hoppy Holiday Ale | The Pike Brewing Company

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78 Reviews
Pike Auld Acquaintance Hoppy Holiday AlePike Auld Acquaintance Hoppy Holiday Ale

Brewed by:
The Pike Brewing Company
Washington, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 11-18-2008

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Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 129
Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.39/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured thick, with a hazy copper color, very little head.

S- The smell is great, just what I would want in a Winter Warmer. There is a nice coriander smell with a slight touch of the nutmeg that was used, which these blend well with the orange. The cinnamon used is also there. I just like the smell of this beer.

T- I like this a lot. It reminds me of a herbal spiced tea. The spices used mixed with the light orange taste makes this truly taste like an herbal tea. The malts are present and very hearty/earthy tasting.

M- The feel is thick, yet thin if you know what I mean. It starts thick, yet finishes thin.

D- Easy to drink and would be great around the holidays.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.17/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. dark brown bottle. Some code (277B), but no freshness date.
Served in a nonic tumbler.
It pours a dull copper color with foamy 2" beige head and minimal lacing.
The smell is sweet malt upfront, followed by mixed fruit, spices, citrus and a dose of resinous hops. A distant smell of Life Savers Pineapple candy comes to mind.
While this is a citrusy hop-forward ale, there are nice balancing contributions from caramel malt, spices, candy, spruce and mild rummy flavors.
What's so impressive, is that this Winter Ale can provide a cozy and warm sensation without the clobbering ABV found in many seasonal brews nowadays, and for that reason I've felt compelled to mark Pike up a bit for this marvelous feat.
Shoulda bought 2 while I was out...

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"And surely you'll buy your pint cup!
And surely I'll buy mine!
And we'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
for auld lang syne."

--the second verse of Auld Lang Syne

Coppery apricot with orange-honey highlights. Atop the festive looking liquid sits three fingers of pastel orange-ecru foam whose texture is midway between creamy and stiff. Maybe it's the season, but the foam looks like frost on a winter windowpane.

The ingredients listed on the label are appreciated in the nose... more or less. More: hops (Magnum, Willamette, East Kent Goldings) and orange peel. Less: coriander, cinnamon and nutmeg. Maybe the brewers were going for a hops-fruit-spice balance and didn't want to empty a spice rack into the beer. Mission accomplished.

Underneath 'Auld Acquaintance' on the label are the words 'Hoppy Holiday Ale'. I'll go along with that. The beer may not be quite hoppy enough and the ABV might not be high enough (5.0%) to be an IPA, but this certainly is a damn fine APA. Never mind that Pike calls it an amber ale. The alpha acids are cumulative and should be satisfactory for most hopheads.

Other than a mild toastiness, the malt stays out of the picture. AA is clearly a hop-dominant ale that features orange peel for an added citric zing and one of the tamest spice loads that you're like to find in a winter warmer that actually uses spices.

Interestingly enough, the coriander and (to some extent) the nutmeg and cinnamon begin to find their sea legs as the beer warms. This is turning into quite the tasty treat and could easily be a 'two bomber' beer. If I had two bombers, that is.

The mouthfeel comes into its own with warming as well. Whereas it was too light initially, it's now (mid-bomber) nicely smooth, ever-so-slightly viscous and invigoratingly carbonated without coming close to buzziness.

Auld Acquaintance is a wonderfully delicious seasonal that is perfectly suited to sharing with an old acquaintance on the last night of the year. Or any other night for that matter. Here's to a great 2007 and, hopefully, an even better 2008. Happy New Year!

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Photo of ccrida
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into an imperial pint, clear copper with a large, orange tinged khaki head that leaves heavy lace.

Smell is fruity and spicy, you can detect all of the adjuncts listed on the label: orange peel, coriander, cinnamon and nutmeg

Taste is pretty fruity, more heavy on the citrus then the spices, but is overall pretty well balanced and not heavy-handed. Slight biscuit malt bitter finish (which I attribute to the spices as much as hops). I really enjoyed this, a very pleasant surprise!

Mouthfeel is on the thin side, like an english pale ale.

Drinkability is not bad for a 5.0% ABV Winter Warmer. Not to spicy, but interesting. The light body and low ABV makes it easy to gulp down, and the restrained taste keeps it easy on the palate while still satisfying.
Served at cellar.

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured a golden-amber with about a half inch of head which quickly diminished. a little light in color for a winter warmer. smells of caramel, nuts, raisins, cloves. tastes mildly fruity but very sweet.. actually reminds me of my mom's homemade tomato preserves. nutty and caramel flavors with a lightly boozey overtone. honestly a very good blend of flavors and ends up surprisingly mellow. medium bodied and slightly carbonated - feels heavy going down.

overall: a great and very cheap winter warmer. i'm going to look for another bottle next time i'm at the store. for $3 a bomber, you can't go wrong.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
4.02/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a muted light golden amber hue with a thick and clean off-white head that fades leaving some nice blotchy lacing down the glass. glows a pink grapefruit when held to a light, with just a touch of murkiness.

aroma is different with some interesting spices yet not a ton of sweetness. Nutmeg and cinnamon dominate. A subtle bready malt comes through, along with a citrusy, almost candied hop aroma. A hint of citrus zest on the nose.

Taste is fairly unique. Typical winter warmer caramel malt backbone, leaning a bit more toward the biscut side of the flavor spectrum. The spices are there too, with cinnamon and vanilla coming through on the tongue. What's most intriguing is the blend of citrus and hops that subtly sneaks in toward the finish and really adds some depth. Tangerine and grapefruit linger, blending into orange and hops as it sits on the tongue. Hops and citrus zest stay, taking it further than a usual winter spiced malt bomb.

Mouthfeel is clean and crisp, just a touch syrupy, with some light creaminess. The smooth caramel flavors coat the tongue, while the lingering grapefruit and hop bitters tingle the sides of the tongue.

All in all, a pretty solid brew. A bit different from the usual winter warmers. Kind of fills the void between the spiced malt bombs and the slightly spiced strong IPAs that are so prevalent during this season (at least in the PNW). It's both a deliciously malty beer and a fairly hoppy almost-ipa, but ends up somewhere nicely inbetween. And the coriander and orange that I was a bit apprehensive of turned out to lend their flavors beautifully. It doesn't pack quite a flavor punch that i would have liked, but sometimes that may be a good thing. Definitely seek this one out.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue XI:

This is a holiday in the bottle, as it's brewed with orange peel, coriander, cinnamon and nutmeg. Towering light tan head comes right up to the rim of the glass and does not settle quickly at all; good stickage. There's a mild haze in this amber-colored brew. Very aromatic as the nose jumps from biscuity malt to the spicing and then to the woody herbal hops. Fluffy, moderate-sized body with a bit of smoothness on the palate. Hops make sure that they are present and accounted from the get-go, for ample bitterness and a lingering herbal flavor. Spicing rounds out the palate with the orange peel and coriander up front and the cinnamon and nutmeg in the back. Maltiness strolls up and cradles everything within a thick biscuity graininess. Dry in the end with some lingering hops, grain and coriander.

Wow, we found proof that a spiced Winter Warmer can be a session ale. Give credit to the perfect amount of spicing and the generous hopping. Again, holiday in a bottle.

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Photo of silverking
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a dark copper with a light tan head. The head has decent retention and moderate lacing. The aroma is spicy, but the holiday kind of spicy. Piney hops, Cinnamon and nutmeg with an ever so slight hint of orange zest. The taste is a bit sweet and the orange comes through more than in the aroma. The taste is slightly roasty with the aforementioned holiday spices. The finish seems a little woodsy to me, in a good way. The carbonation is moderate with a moderate/heavy mouthfeel. This is a very nice member of the seattle brewing co. repertoire.

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Photo of Durge
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This holiday brew poured chilled into a pint glass shows a hazy iced tea amber color with a decent layer of off-white/golden froth on top. Lacing consists of some modest streaking. The aroma is a little more subtle than I've come to expect from most specialty brews like this, but it brings a complexity as you give it a chance (probably should have let it warm more). But I do get initially a mild swampy hop blended with tasteful spruce/pine sweetness and even further into it there's more wheat/graininess and a touch of toffee. Nice but I would like it to be a bit more bold. The flavors include herbal hops and mild spruce over mellow malt and swampy grains, nearly a peat quality at times. It really improves as it reaches room temperature and ultimately is no disappointment. It's a medium body brew with ample carbonation that provides a smooth, very drinkable holiday libation...or any time really. Another solid effort from Pike!

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with an oh too massive head that eventually settles down; nice stickage, however

Smell: Sugar cookie malt with pronounced undertones of orange peel, cinnamon and nutmeg

Taste: Opens with an herbal malty character that adds the citrus peel, vanilla and holiday spices by mid-palate; after the swallow, the holiday spice character dominates the finish, though there is a bit of bitter hop balance, too

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: As the label says, this is a hoppy holiday ale - it has all of the winter warmer characteristics and is hoppy to boot - Ho Ho

Thanks, wagenvolks, for the opportunity

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Photo of NCSUdo
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle

A: Copper body under a good sized white head. Good retention and lace.

S: Malty, some spice like hints, sweet, piney hops.

T: Sweet, malty, hint of spice, very mild bitter finish with some pine and slightly citrus hops.

M/D: Medium bodied, carbonation is light. Drinkability is pretty good. Solid beer.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle at 52 degrees.

Pours hazy amber with a one inch head of white. Nice lacework from beginning to end, as well as a partial skim-coat on the surface.

Gingerbread, biscuity malt, and orange peel lead off the aromatics. Hints of grapefruit zest, lemon oil, and cinnamon follow through.

Medium bodied with a mostly creamy mouthfeel and a dash of crispness.

Malt-forward on the palate, with fairly subtle spicing. Gingersnaps up front with hints of tart grapefruit, cinnamon, and toasted biscuits.

Finishes with a lingering bitterness, mild spicing, and barely warming.

Pike did a nice job on the spicing. Aside from the ginger component all others are pretty subdued. Better than average for a winter warmer, but nothing too outstanding.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - poured a slightly hazy copper, two fingers of off white head, retention and lacing both nice
S - orange zest, spices of nutmeg and cinnamon, some light piney hops, hints of roasty malt
T - the orange zest is very strong, and the cinnamon really gets into your nostrils, the nutmeg spiciness and hop bitter round out the finish with the orange still lingering
M - bubbly and spicy fills the mouth, leaving a dry and lasting tingling sensation that almost made me sneeze
D - given the name I was expecting more hop flavours, but still a fairly complex brew, and although the orange peel can be a bit overbearing, it is balanced and light enough to be very drinkable any time

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Photo of bmwats
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pored from a 650ml bottle into standard pint.

A: Deep dark amber hue. Pours about a 2 finger, foamy, white head. Settles slowly leaving plenty of dry sticky residue behind as it does. Moderate spider web lacing remains as you drink this one down.

S: Nice baked bread, light hops, cinnamon and nutmeg.

T: Light malt flavor with a solid hop. The spice is very prominent, but nicely balanced with the grain notes, and not overwhelming. Some nice citrus notes in there, too.

M: Grainy with a crisp refreshing palette. Hearty and bold in the front with a dry and hoppy finish.

D: Solid sipping brew. The spice notes provide for a nice bold flavor filled ride.

Atmosphere is very nice. Solid appearance with a nice foamy head, and plenty of lacing. Nose is a great balance of grain and spice notes. Flavor, similarly, grainy with bold but not overpowering spice. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a beer mug.

A gentle pour produces a rocky, khaki-tan head with fat bubbles that crackle as they explode. The foam, which built to an inch at first, quickly dissipates and settles to a thin, wispy veil in a matter of minutes. The body of Auld Acquaintance is attractively hazy and takes on the color of peach-infused iced tea; lots of visible carbonation, too. Pine, spruce, and holiday spices abound in the well-balanced aroma, yet no one major player shines through too strongly. The coriander and orange peel show up more-so as it warms, reminiscent of fresh tangerine flesh. Sadly, the pale malts are somewhat of an afterthought in this West Coast, hop-forward winter warmer.

Very tasty on the front of the palate for sure, as hop resins and the aforementioned spices make for a juicy flavor profile that reminds me of biting into an orange--peel included. Subtle notes of nutmeg and toasted, nutty malts round out the finish with a tight carbonation level that, while high, compliments the aftertaste of fruitcake and holiday spices. Both the body and 5.0% ABV are light enough to make this beer refreshing and highly drinkable for the style. Pike has a winner with Auld Acquaintance for sure...get it while it's fresh! I wish more winter warmers were like this.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to markgugs for the chance to try this tasty brew.
Amber in color with hints of orange and ruby. Head rises quickly and falls just as fast. It leaves patchy spotted lacing.
Interesting aroma with hints of orange, cinnamon and other spices. None really dominate, they just kind of mingle together.
Caramel malt backbone in the flavor, with spices mixed in. I taste nutmeg and some cinnamon along with some other spices that I can't identify. The spices compliment the beer nicely with out going too overboard as some winter ales do. The hops really kick in during the finish and add new life to the beer. I think of this beer as more of a hoppy winter warmer, than a spiced IPA.
Mouthfeel was a little light for my taste at first but recovered nicely as the beer warmed.
Very drinkable. Wish I had another. This will be on my wants during the next holiday season.

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Photo of bilyboy65
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Winter Warmer, I think is the style breweries made up in order to make some really spicy beers around winter. Most of them are to spiced and taste like crap. But I kinda like this one, shhhh!

It's a brown beer and kinda cloudy. The nose is of orange, cinnamon, and nutmeg mostly. There is some malts and hops thrown in as well. The taste is like a piece of buttered toast with nutmeg and orange jam spread on it. It weighs down on the tongue and leaves an awful long trail of where it's been. Overall though I think this isn't very spicy for a warmer. If you're looking for a winter warmer that has the flavors, but not the strength of all the spices like a lot of the warmers do, then this is the one for you. Very enjoyable and can have more than one.

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Photo of mnapier
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Service Temperature, 40 degrees. Service Glassware, 12 ounce Tulip Glass.

Note, this is the 2007 batch of Auld Acquaintance at 5.00% ABV.

Appearance, can only be described as producing a reddish orange & hazy display. The body of the beer pours a light khaki mild foamy head with a scattered cobweb of lace.
To the nose, it presents a coriander spicy, along with some honey and a mild oatiness, some zest.
Sipping this I detect the ever present coriander, light citrus, minor cloying, some sweetness, and a trace of hop bitterness. Overall, mouthfeel, is medium.

A very light and almost session worthy ale, great for knocking back a couple after a long day of shopping.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.91/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a dark amber with a medium white head, fair head retention, very limited lace.

S: Nice Yuletide notes of nutmeg and cinnamon, Christmas cookie, sweet Munich style malt.

T: Similar to the nose, lots of spiced bread and fruitcake, nowhere near as heavy a flavour as I would have expected. Still certainly enjoyable.

M: Light to medium-bodied acutally, with a soft carbonation. Easy drinking in this style.

O: If one wants a lighter winter warmer akin to a Marzen in body, this would be a good pick up. Nice price as well.

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Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

Clear amber with some active bubble action that provides a dense lacing. Malty aroma with a mixing of spice and hop, coriander and orange peel are more up front. Smooth with a fluffy light to medium body, spicing is prevalent from the get go though never cross the line of being dominant. Maltiness almost has as sugar cookie and holiday bread flavor ... the spicing helps with that. Bitterness comes from both the hops and coriander, just enough to keep balance. Finishes semi-sweet with some lingering spice.

Compared to most of the spiced Winter Warmers out there this one is top shelf, it all comes down to balance.

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Photo of philerman
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber bought on sale for $4.99 (maybe even $3.99) at Total Wine in Delaware. Appears to have been from batch 264B (pretty sure that's a B and not a number 8) Pours a burnt copper color with very little head but nice lacing. Smells mostly of toasted malt, little of the sweetness I was expecting. Taste comes of more as anticipated and for once tasting STRONGER than its abv (5.5) would indicate. Pleasant aftertaste with little bitterness. Like others I'm unsure where to stand on the relatively low ABV. Sessionable to be sure but probably not a first choice.

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Photo of hogrider
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was really impressed with this beer. Low carbonation for an ale which is fine. I can taste notes of caramel and cinnamon. This is truly a treat for the holidays. Overall I am pleased to have tried this beer as recommended by a friend. Drink On. HOG

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Photo of andrenaline
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Light copper, pouring half a thumb of head quickly dissipating with no lacing.

S - Very lager-ish in scent. I was expecting more of a fruity scent, but it's more of a pepper-y pumpkin scent to it.

T - Wow... Unexpected flavour indeed. Based on the scent, there is definitely a pumpkin flavour present, but the nutmeg and cinnamon come through quite strong on the finish. A pleasant flavour, especially if you're looking for something that has some spices to it.

M - Pretty light on the palette, foaming nicely on the tongue, but doesn't come off too bubbly.

D - As previously mentioned, the flavour on this one is quite unique and would be appreciated by anyone seeking a 'spice' filled beer. There are definitely some unique flavours which make for a memorable experience. Would I drink more than one bomber? Probably not... Not a sessionable beer, but flavourful nonetheless and recommended to anyone seeking a unique, spicy, bevy!

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Photo of MAB
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A bit of an odd one; hit and miss on the scores.
I had previously sampled a half bottle of "Bah Humbug" Xmas ale, and wasn't impressed with it. This was a taste improvement:

Nice color, quite dark. Aroma was subtle; I would have liked more spiciness.
Flavor was good. Spiciness came through with anise, cloves, and nutmeg notes. A bit of citrus peel as well.
It was a bit watery but not too bad. The alcohol content was suitable for this brew but it could be improved with more malt (and alcohol conversion).

Worth having-- once a year is about right.

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Photo of russpowell
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This 5.0% ABV IPA pours amber/copper with 2 fingers of sand colored head. Good head retention & above average head retention

S: Breadyness & a bit of orange peel, plus some cinnamon and other spices as this warms

T: Citrussy hops, a bit of cinnamon, plus piney hops up front. Lemony & orange hops come to fore as this warms, plus vanilla, & a bit of caramel, along with more cinnamon & other spices, a bit of dryness. Finishes a bit wet with subdued orange, spices & a touch of lemony hops

MF: Light/medium bodied with low carbonation with pretty good balance

Drinks pretty good, this isn't an IPA IMO, more of a winter warmer. One you could have a few of, but after a while the spices would wear me down. I prefer more malt heft

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Pike Auld Acquaintance Hoppy Holiday Ale from The Pike Brewing Company
3.65 out of 5 based on 129 ratings.
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