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Racer 5 India Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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2,294 Reviews
Racer 5 India Pale AleRacer 5 India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This hoppy American IPA is a full bodied beer brewed with American pale and crystal malts, and heavily hopped with Chinook, Cascade, Columbus and Centennial. There's a trophy in every glass.

2009 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – GOLD
2009 Colorado State Fair – Best of Show
2006 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – SILVER
2005 Great American Beer Festival® American-Style Strong Pale Ale – SILVER
1999 Great American Beer Festival® India Pale Ale - GOLD

Added by kbub6f on 03-27-2002

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Reviews: 2,294 | Ratings: 7,530
Photo of Rezzin
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Amber orange with some tiny floaties if you look close. The head is white and fluffy and just looks wonderful. The floaties don't bother me at all and just remind me that this is a craft brew.

S - Smells great. Piney and citrusy. Clean maltiness peaks it's way through but the hops are still the star here.

T - Piney and resiny with a little sweet malt. Lemons, grapefruit... there's just enough malt to balance things out but the hops are the dominant flavor.

M - Moderately carbonated. Goes down smooth and finishes crisp from the bitterness. Refreshing in an IPA kind of way.

D - This one of my favorite IPA's. Very well balanced with just enough snap to remind you that you're drinking an IPA and not an APA.

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Photo of ressletr
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a nice amber like color, with an awesome head. You can definitely tell that this beer was bottle conditioned. Extremley smooth for an IPA. I would actually consider this beer to be quite dangerous, no alcohol taste at all. The malt in it is outstanding, it laced the glass all the way down. I never had such a smooth IPA, if you haven't tried it yet, be sure to do so. I'm an Alesmith IPA freak but when you are looking for a smooth IPA please look at the Racer 5. I was pleasantly surprised with this ale. This beer is awesome, can hardly imagine it being an IPA,. I have seen a beer that laces all the way down to the bottom,. :-)

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer poured a glowing apricot with a few suspended clear bits floating around in it. The head was slightly off white and looked like a frothy meringue that left a little lace behind.

Smelled of juicy nectarines and grapefruit with a little pineapple sourness along with a pleasant hint of bubble gum.

The taste began with a dry citrus hops that immediately fell to a peach and apple fruitiness. It then picks up some almost lager like doughiness giving this beer a superb clean finish.

The mouth feel was light with a full mouth of bubbles.

Although this is an IPA, it was the smoothness of the malt in this beer really stole the show. This one’s delicious, and I highly recommend it.

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Photo of LPorter33
2.92/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Purchased 22oz bomber from Martignetti's

Appearance = Good looking murky, dark peach colored golden browm. Decent head which fades quickly but leaves some intricate lacing. Small bubbles rise up giving a mild sense of carbonation

Smell = Very piney fresh hop scent. Super clean and crisp. Citrus flavors are there although not as dominating as the pine flavor. Still a great, strong intense scent.

Taste = Hmm...strange tasting. My initial impression was one of severe disappointment. It's way too sour, almost like the hops have faded away. There's no umph or kick...just a bitter sourness like someone squeezed lemon juice in here. Mouthfeel is flat and has little carbonation which surprises me. I think this. As I drink more of this, I see the taste isn't awful, but it is WAY below the IPAs I'm used to drinking and contains absolutely nothing special or unique.

Overall = a serious disappointment considering Bear Republic's reputation. I had high hopes for this beer but I can think of 15 IPAs of the top fo my head that I'd buy before I try this one again. I hold IPAs to an extremely high standard and this one did not meet my constaints. Did I possibly get a bad bottle?

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Photo of ridedammit
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had this on tap at Publick House and Redbones. Both times I was pleasantly surprised. I was unfamiliar with Bear Republic and this was my first of their offerings. Granted most of this is from memory, but I do recall enjoying the well-balanced hop and alcohol. I did not realize that this was a 7% beer, the mothfeel is nicely rounded since the amount of hops and alcohol do not overwhelm the other. The brewer did a good job with the full flavor. They did not just hop-up a beer for hops sake

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Photo of Gavage
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: pours a orange color with dark yellow highlights. A large 3" head lasts forever. Carbonation bubbles slowly rise to the top. Mild lacing develops.

Smell: oranges and a strong bitterness are easily detectable.

Taste: nice malt layer, balanced with some orange slices, lemon zest, and a perfect piney bitterness. This is a great example of what an American IPA should be.

Mouthfeel: smooth with a bite of crispness at the start and finish. The aftertaste is short with the flavor tones.

Drinkability: superbly drinkable. This should be a staple in everyone's refridgerator.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap with my lunch at RedBones on March 2. Poured a slightly brown-tainted orange. Thin white head that was a result of the batender's pour. Some spots of lace. Nose was fruitily hoppy--citrus and apples. really rose out of the glass nicely.

Flavor was a classic Californian IPA. Lods of hops up front that was loadied full of sun-warmed fruit. Oranges, lemons, apples and pears. The bitterness was balanced erfectly by a nice malty background. Actually, it was maltier than I was expecting from its appearance. Very full mouthfeel. Juicy and chewy. that 7%ABV really snuck up on me too. I could have staed at RBs all afternoon sipping a couple pints of this beer.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Racer 5 pours a hazy amber color with about one finger worth of off-white head that just doesn't want to go away. It dies down but never completely disappears...which is different from most of the IPA's I have had.
The hop aroma comes through as citrus with a little pine scent. Very nice smell.
The taste isn't as "hoppy" as I would have thought...but it does hit you as you swallow.Not too bitter. Very smooth IPA. Only a slight prickly feel on the toungue. ABV hidden nicely by the hops.
I could easily have more than one of these. Excellent example of an American IPA.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Secret Santa 2005 # 8

Slighty hazy light orange body topped by several scoops worth of sticky off-white ice cream and whip cream which rose above the rim. Very good lacing.

Nice grapefruity nose, but tamer than I expected. Still inviting though.

Taste wise, the sweet caramel barely gets pass the starter's flag before the hops come roaring down the straightaway, passing on all sides. They don't scratch the paint abrasively though, and the beer down shifts into a nicely fruity victory lap.

Good medium mouthfeel, neither syrupy or watery. Enough body that you know its there.

Drinkability is just fine thanks. This bomber's fuel gauge will be reading empty all too soon.

All in all, a race well run.

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Photo of bkett01
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First, thank you germaniac for the beer...

Poured into a pint glass with a quarter inch head over an inviting hazy orange/amber brew. Appears well carbonated and packs an overwhelmingly hoppy aroma. Combines a fresh green and citrusy scent.

I was suprised how smooth this was off the first taste, but it finished strong with a hoppy kick of a finish. A crisp orange/citric taste stands out over a very mild malt presence. This beer clearly focuses on the hops and is one of the more drinkable IPA's I've had at 7%. With a smooth yet lively mouthfeel provided through the hops and carbonation, I'd recommend this IPA to any of you out there.

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Photo of waughbrew
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very orange, hazy, nice head though a bit small. Bold nectarine-orange aroma that is sweet like candy. Good balance of toasted malts and smooth fruity bitterness. The finish is too clean in my opinion, disappearing before I want it to. I want a little bite that is just not there. Ultra-smooth and insanely drinkable, the bomber was empty before I knew it and I still wanted more.

This is a very good, enjoyable, quaffable beer. That being said, nothing about it really stands out to me - I feel as though I have had many beers very similar to this, though not many better. Possibly the least distinct beer in the top 100 currently, but I will enjoy it now and then since it is, indeed, a very pleasurable drinking beer.

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Photo of scottoale
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of the 650ml bomber pours a little bit murky, straw colored gold ale, with a finger of lasting off-white head. Good carbonation keeps the head up with a sticky, resinous lacing trailing till empty.

First I smell the bottle and fresh, piney hops leap out and fill my nasel cavity completely. Smelling the poured elixer more abundantly FRESH, resinous hops take over, owning my sense of smell. Gee, I wonder what this is going to taste like?

Tasting the liquid gold hop-bomb goes something like fresh piney into citrus, orange, lemony, grapefruit with a tiny hint of clove for the finish. If this isn't a true American IPA then I surely don't know what is! This stuff is a mega hop lovers dream and a simply delightful one at that. I think the hops alone hide the alcohol in this one, and very well indeed.

Smooth medium body mouthfeel with a crispy clean, breath of fresh air finish. This is a very easy beer to drink, especially if you love hops.

I recommend this highly, an excellent example of this style...enjoy!

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an imperial fluted strange)

A-This beer has a deep golden copper body with the slightest hint of hazy and a creamy white marshmallow head that last and last. The carbonation is lots of tiny little bubbles.

S- The smell of citrus and orange hops has a faint pineapple and grass note. Underneath the juicy hops is a note of lightly sweet toasted malt that really rounds out the aroma.

T- This beer has a sweet creamy malt flavor with a hint of caramel that is quickly wiped of the palette by some big bold green hops. The hops have notes of pineapple with a faint grassy note and some floral hop notes. At the finish there is a faint cola note in the hops and then the hops hang onto every exhale not letting go of their grip.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a creamy texture that makes it feel even more full. No astringency or alcohol noticed.

D- This is a good solid IPA with juicy hops and a good malt backbone. It’s hard to believe this is a 7% abv beer and it has a bit more sweetness than most IPAs. That changes the profile of the hops with is a nice twist.

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Photo of BeerRun13
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Racer 5 poured a beautifull golden auburn color. A large, lasting white head stayed with the brew till the end, leaving lace that wouldn't go away on it's own.
The aroma was hoppy with a slight bit of citrusy sweetness behind.
This IPA starts out hoppy with well balanced malty notes behind. A fruity presence (citrusy yet pear like), appears mid bottle folowed by hop bitterness and a stronger hop bitterness at the end..
This beer goes down smooth and is carbonated nicely.
Racer 5 is a great IPA. It is well balanced and very drinkable. I have to say that Bear Republic is quickly becoming one of my favorite craft brewers.

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Photo of bjohnson
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber from Mall Discount Liquors in Fresh Pond. $3.99

A: pours a dark amber color with a nice thick and foamy one finger white head that continues to show itself and have life until the bottom. A lot of fizziness going on in there--looks great! Left an unbelievable amount of lace that looks like coral.

S: Hops hit the nose first with citrus and fruit aromas as well as those loveable pine smells. Defiantely a nice selling hoppy beer.

T: Sour fruit and sweet floral taste at first with a nice yeasty malt in there also. It tastes as though the malt and hops are circle dancing together in my mouth. The tastes keep switching back and forth. Finishing dry with a little bitterness, but not very much. Not as hoppy as I thought it was going to be from the smell, but definately very tasty.

M & D: Mouthfeel is good. Very smooth tasting offering from Bear Republic. Goes down smooth being a well balanced IPA. Very drinkable beer. Carbonation is descent, not overpowering.

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Photo of nickss
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a pale orangey yellow with what appears to be a tremendous amount of carbonation (lots and lots of bubbles). Super thick, rocky head... about 2" worth.... lots of lacing.

Wonderful aroma... tones of piney hops...prickly citrus scent... barely noticeable malt background... a definite yeasty touch to it as well.

Delicious! Lots of piney hops, yet not as much an affront to the palate as I thought it was going to be.... very subdued, while at the same time maintaining an aggressive attitude. Yeast becomes more noticeable as I work my way through the first glass, and I can only assume it will continue in this manner towards the bottom of the bottle. Not extraordinarily complex, yet still wonderful.

Wonderful thick mouthfeel... the carbonation becomes apparent in every sip, yet not in the manner I would have thought: it creates a mouthfilling experience while not being explosive on the tongue... it saves the bite from the hops for that. Very nice.... reminds me of a DIPA... I dig it.

Thick, yet not oppressively so. Hoppy, yet not overwhelmingly so. High abv, but not dangerously so. What a beer... I am extremely impressed.

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Photo of GolgiIPAratus
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled: 2.12.06 - bomber

The clear copper orange brew sits beneath a healthy off white head. The foam would slowly recede from the circular edge leaving a round plateau island of froth, much like that of a milkshake. The results of this head are a sticky web of residue to rival any adhesive you could put against it. My glass was a lacey mess the entire way through the drink. Even though I TRIED to wash it off by rotating my glass, by swirling…it only made more.

The aroma was a punch of piney citrus. Wicked west coast IPA stylee. There’s baked sweet bread yeasty malt goodness behind the orange juiciness.

There’s bitterness up front with the piney citrus flavors carrying all out from the nose. There are some flowery textures in there and it’s more grapefruit like in the mouth than the orange in the aroma. Lightly malted backbone peeks through, but this guy is mostly all IPA hops. The bitterness is carried throughout the finish leaving an oily hop slick on the tongue. The beer is low carbonated and full.

Easy drinker. Goes down nice. Not too bitter, despite it’s huge hop profile. Great beer.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bear Republic Raser 5
22 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

* Enjoyed during 02-12-2006 east coast blizzard *

Pours a murky and hazy orange. A touch of bronze with mini carbonation bubble activity. Thick head on top that leaves excellent patterns of sticky lace.

Whiffs of citrus and pepper. Deeply floral nose that is very pleasant.

Juicy, grainy mouthfeel with a superb hop profile. Sweet orange flavors with a slight pepper bite. I love the liberal usage of Cascade hops. Extremely smooth and drinkable.

What else is there to say? This is an awesome West coast IPA. Another great beer from Bear Republic.

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Photo of beermanbrian
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle

Golden bronze color. Big clumpy off white that has surprising staying power. Sticky lacing.

Citrus and pine smell. Very nice.

The pine really dominates the taste. Very nice hop profile. Nice compliment of caramal malt.

Very nice carbonation level. Little big of an astringent aftertaste but in more of a nice hop bitterness way.

This one went down supper easy. Very drinkable. First i've sampled from bear republic. It has me looking forward to more. Another of the many fine IPA's. It's tough to pick a favorite because there are so many good ones.

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Photo of fisherman34
3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Light orange in colour with lots of carbonation and a bit of haze. Very floral aroma with some mild background notes of orange and black pepper. Medium bitterness, with flavor notes of green hop cone, orange, grapefruit, light (yet fairly sweet) malt, and a touch of pine. A bit light bodied for the style and AVB, but would be a good IPA for warmer weather drinking. Solid.

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Photo of wingnutter
4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured a beautiful cloudy golden color, with a head that just kept climbling and climbing up the glass until I had to suck some of it back to avoid spillage. What the hell is in the water in No Cal?!?!?!?! Crazy retention. I think I could float a quarter on top of this head. Wow. Nice lacing, too.

Taste is nothing short of fantastic. Excellent hop profile with a malt backbone to match. What a nicely balanced beer! Uber hoppy with just enough malt to keep the hops from breaking out of the gates and becoming out of control. Floral, piney, citrusy....Hop heaven.

This may be the best IPA Ive had the pleasure of drinking. I wish I could get this stuff down here in Florida. I'd always have some on hand. Two thumbs WAY UP. A fantastic IPA from a great brewery.

Excellent drinkability - I could drink this one all the way from the starting gun to the finish line!! Gentleman, start your tastebuds and buckle up, cause Racer 5 takes you on one hell of a ride!!!


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Photo of soulgrowl
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Body is soft yet bold, translucent Bengal-orange-garnet color. Big, fluffy, marshmallowy, ivory-colored head sparkles with lively bubbles. Excellent retention. Lacing looks like cirrus uncinus clouds at the top of the glass, and take on a more cirrocumulus-type form towards the bottom.

Smell: Mostly citric and floral hops, light honey taste, and an almost Belgian yeast character as the beer warms. A pleasant, refreshing aroma remniscent of iced tea.

Taste: Quite fruity, actually, with a white grape juice base and a fairly strong but not overwhelming pithy hop character that subsides mid-sip into a clean, fresh, grapefruity finish. Has a vague peanutty edge.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and frothy, nicely carbonated.

Drinkability: Quite easy to drink. Not too aggressive, and not puckeringly bitter. Good stuff!

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Photo of bennetj17
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Head is fairly thin, and dissipates fast into a decent ring of foam. Carbonation looks pretty active. The color is a beautiful copper/orange, mostly clear. I smell primarily fresh hops, maybe a bit spicy or peppery, but mostly hop aroma. The flavor continues to be hoppy, with a hint of sweet/nutty malt. The finish is dry and only moderately bitter- less than I expected. The mouthfeel is a bit too thin for my liking, but carbonation is adequate. Alcohol is not very present. Despite its shortcomings the beer is still very drinkable. It's a good beer, but it could be great if there were more balance from the malt.

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Photo of Ego
3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

found @ DeCicco Market, Pelham, NY

big fluffy white head (no, not mine...the beer), sticky like those octopuses you got out of cereal boxes and chucked at the wall, the head is bumby like a crappy matress, orange with ample carbonation flowing from the bottom of the chalice, very good looking.

hops, next question ? ok... citrusy but not pine or lemon, a bit more floral like sierra nevada pale with a kicker, almost hard to get past the hop blast but there is a nice musty bread tone buried in there as well, nothing yeasty or doughy just a whiff of a bakery in the morning, nothing insanely complex here but more like "here I am bitch"

taste etc...
prickly carbonation abounds, hops hops hops... this can be a touch bitter but that doesn't bother this pilgrim. mouthfeel is really good, medium and carries well over the palette, the ABV is not an issue in the flavor but it does creep up on you.

I have enjoyed other bear offerings to a greater extent, this isn't bad by any stretch but it certainly didn't knock my socks off... I wouldn't be averse to having it again but I won't go silly looking for it.

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Photo of xoqx
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What an outstanding California beer! This seems to be a ubiquitous favorite around the bay area from what many at the phenomenal Toronado bar had to say. This pint was barely amber, almost orangey, and had a stable two finger, dense off-white head that had superb retention – surprising for a 7% brew. Maybe the water in California has different properties than Pacific Northwest waters when it comes to head retention. The smell is phenomenally hoppy. The taste is surprising and original. It’s only 69 IBUs, but I would have guessed in the high 80s. They are using Cascade and Columbus hybrid hops. The later are usually employed early in brewing for bittering, but these in the Racer 5 are utilized more in a finishing role and other breweries could really take a hint from this. They are superb in that capacity. The mouthfeel is bold and sharp and the finish is long and wonderful. It should be noted that there is actually some discernable malt taste lurking behind all the hops and it has a subtle caramel malt body. This is a real drink-em-all-night IPA and one of the most enjoyable of the style I’ve ever had.

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 7,530 ratings.
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