Hop Rod Rye | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
4,720 Ratings
Hop Rod RyeHop Rod Rye
BEER INFO

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

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A high gravity IPA brewed with 18% rye malt. Hop Rod Rye has a floral hop aroma and subtle caramel notes with a slightly earthy and spicy rye character.

2009 California State Fair – GOLD
2003 California State Fair – GOLD
2002 Real Ale Festival (Chicago) – GOLD

Added by Quaffer on 03-27-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
4,720
Reviews:
2,079
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
9.67%
 
 
Wants:
290
Gots:
376
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,720 |  Reviews: 2,079
Photo of cichief
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber.

A- Poured a deep reddish-brown nearly opaque, with a light brown head.

S- Strong hops in the nose, very flowery, a little citrus.

T- Powerful, very hoppy, but balanced, a little sourness from the rye.

M- Very well carbonated, medium-thick on the tongue, no noticeable alcohol burn.

D- At 8% ABV, I wouldn't have many of these, but they are nice.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two 16oz pint glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist.

A: Deep, dark, ruby-red with a huge, four-fingered, khaki-colored head. Unbelievably sticky lace.

S: Delicious aromas of tangy rye, hops, and it's all held together by sweet caramel malt.

T: See above with the addition of fresh cut grass, grapefruit, and toasted malt that comes on nice and dry at the finish.

M: Dry, tangy, and very, very sticky.

D: Incredible! Could drink this one all afternoon.

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Photo of Kendo
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip. . . . A moderately aggressive pour yields a 2-finger creamy tan head over a brown body that shows orangey/ruby hues when held to the light. The head settles slowly and leaves clumpy rings of lacing on the way down, with a pillow sitting on top in the middle of the glass.

S: Surprisingly sweet at first -- brown sugary, almost -- as I was expecting a hop explosion. Citrusy hops are there, however, just not as strong as I expected.

T: Very nice. A bit of rye spice up front, becoming even more evident as it warms. Caramel-like malty sweetness and then citrusy -- grapefruit, I think -- and fruity bitterness rounds it out. It finishes fairly dry and bitter, however, for a nice all-around balance. No notice of the 8% ABV at all.

M: Very good -- nicely carbonated but also smooth and fairly creamy. Medium-bodied.

D: Very good.

Notes: Not sure if this is best described as an IPA or a DIPA as some have suggested. Whatever you call it, I like it. The addition of the rye tweaks it just enough to make it interesting and unique. A very good beer to have to "mix things up" a little bit. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really enjoy rye beers, and while this one has significantly less rye character than other rye beers I've had, I still really enjoyed it.

This beer poured a sparkling ruby red with billowy head formation. Aroma is a very light and pleasant sweet hop goodness. Mouthfeel is very effervescent, and that's the first thing I noticed when I took a sip. Flavor is bitter and sweet, but exceedingly pleasant.

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Photo of udubdawg
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber

pours a very nice dark amber color, with a big light tan head that looks quick thick and creamy. Lacing is rather spotty, but overall the head retention is awesome.

A lot of strong aromas here...the malt keeps up just fine despite the very strong hop presence. More pine than grapefruit here, and suggestive of the bitterness to follow. A bit spicy and some alcohol is noted as well.

Hard not to be disappointed by the taste by comparison to the rest of the beer. There is underlying sweetness showing the relative balance of this beer before the palate is whacked with a big hop hit. More bittering than expected, and less citrus. This probably deserves a 3.25 at least.

Feels great in the mouth - full smooth creaminess and appropriate carbonation.
Drinkability is quite high for the ABV. I liked most everything about this beer, and even in the taste I generally liked all the parts...I just didn't particularly care for how they came together. Because taste is such a big part of the rating my score will be lower than I'd expect, but I'll drink this again. It probably deserves a shot for a higher score anyway.

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Photo of jaxon53
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served slightly chilled in a pint glass, from a twenty two ounce bottle. Poured a deep copper amber color that was slightly hazy. About an inch of tight, bubbly off-white head formed. Head dissapeared somewhat quickly into small gobs of lace in the glass. Smell: Not exactly what I expected from a west coast I.P.A, but smelled great. Aromas of hops, lots of resiny pine, notes of citrus fruits, and plenty of malt. Lots of flavor as well. Hops that are not overwhelming, on a smooth malty backbone. Also hints of citrus, pine, bready yeast, and a nice touch of rye. Somewhat dry but almost perfectly balanced. A very enjoyable drink. Nice medium bodied, crisp, clean feel in the mouth with just the right amount of carbonation. Very drinkable. A great offering from bear republic.

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Photo of Talisker
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great, great beer. Back and forth with Racer 5 as my favorite from Bear Republic - and both in my Top 5 beers ever.

Deep but clear amber red - lets you know from the start that this isn't your typical IPA. Smells heavy but balanced - loads of malt, American hops, but neither one really winning over the other - leads with sweetness, but ends with a slight dry bitterness.

Taste is integration and magnificence defined - my first 5 on BA. Rich malt, but no syrupiness. It's no total hop bomb, but all kinds of American hops citrus and pine integrating beautifully with a medium-aggressive yeast and that rich but ultimately dry malt. My only knok on this beer is a slightly over-thick texture - either it has crept in over the past year (I've noticed it several times on tap, also in this particular bottle), or I've become more sensitive.

I absolutely love rye, but I can't detect it directly in this beer. Regardless, it's a uniquely great IPA.

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Photo of Stoneman78
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a very cloudy, dark amber hue with small creamy head that is mostly diminishing, minimal lacing
S- Huge hoppy rye aroma, caramel malt presence, subtle fruity notes
T- Strong sweet malty presence with nice hoppy rye tones, citrus and pine bitterness that show up a little later and dissipate quickly in the finish
M- Medium body, watery texture with adequate carbonation
D- Very enjoyable and easy to drink, not quite to the level of a prototypical IPA, more like a red/amber with a decent hoppy rye presence, very smooth and nicely balanced

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Photo of spdrz
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had walked by this ale repeatedly, passing it over every time. When I saw the rating it received on this site recently, I had to give it a go.

Appearance:
Pours cloudy with browns dominating the color profile. Nice head, almost a light tan. Medium-strong lacing after the head recedes. Clearly unfiltered and a unique hue for this style.

Smell:
Can you smell the rye? I can in a subtle spiciness that peeks its head through the the citric-floral hop aroma. Malt is present with a grist-y sweetness that piggy-backs the spicy rye.

Taste:
This is a VERY balanced IPA. I am pleasantly surprised. No overwhelming, cloying, astringent, resinous hop-attack. It is there, but well in equilibrium with the rest of the ale. Some floral-ity that could be hops or rye, and a little peach-pine zip. Again the rye is noticeable with a woody, lemon zest spiciness. 8% abv. is well masked, with just a tinge of alcohol induced sweetness.

Mouthfeel:
Really gentle on the palate. Medium-heavy mouthfeel. 18% rye probably plays a major role in the feel. One of the better characteristics that this ale has going for it. Truly adds to the overall enjoyment.

Drinkability:
HIgh marks for the big D-(rinkability). Because of its balance this Rye-PA outshines many of the super-behemoths of this style. It is smoooove.

Overall:
Marks down for a non-traditional hue and a subdued hop aroma in the nose. Marks up for balance, mouthfeel, flavor, and drinkability. Great ale.

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Photo of choyhosoi
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a hefe glass

A-Red/Brown colr with a nice thick head that doesnt dissapate quickly.

S-Strong smell of hopps overwhelms this brew. Got a sweet scent could be caramel.

T-Simply put this is a great beer that tastes smooth and goes down easy. Enjoy.

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Photo of ruinationation
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark maroon almost brown color. With a rocky cream colored head.

Good smelling ale with enough hops and citrus. The rye adds some good aroma but not overwhelming.

This beer has more malt than I expected but enough hops and citrus to balance it out. The rye brings out a good bread after taste.

Great feel to this beer. Maybe thicker because of the rye.
Liked this beer alot and plan to have it in my rotation.

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Photo of malcontent
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chunks, chunks I say! Major flakes of floating yeast still aren't enough to detract from the beautiful mahogany body topped by an incredibly pillowy head. Awesome looking.

Rye 'n' hops, rye 'n' hops, rye 'n' hops. Okay, some spicy citrus and sa surprising level of booziness as well but otherwise this one is straightfoward in this department (to its advantage).

Obvious strong rye presence although (I never though I would say this) the rye becomes a bit much in congress with the hops. Don't get me wrong, it's still exceptionally tasty, especially the bready/whisky quality from the rye, but the bitterness is over-aggresive on the finish.

Creamy, satisfying texture makes for a complex, pleasant experience throughout. Still, for a rye beer I still think I'd give the nod to 2 Bros. Cane and Ebel over this (by a hair).

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Photo of willjschmidt
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

A: A much different color than the typical IPA. More of a dark mahogany.
S: The hops immediately jump out at you. This is going to be good!
T: An incredibly complex medley of bitter hops along with some other unusual IPA flavors that must come from the rye malts.
M: This beer plays around on the tongue.
D: One of the best beers that I've ever had. I love IPA's and this might be my favorite. I will come back to this beer again and again.

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Photo of meatyard
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured it with a large, thick, off-white headThe color is a clear, very dark maple syrup and the head hangs around leaving good lacing.
The smell is a strong citrusy hops with a little sweet malt.
The taset is balanced between hops & malt with a bitter bite at the swallow. A slightly sweet taste occurs for the first 2-3 seconds then succombs to carbonation before the bit of bitterness.
Mouthfeel is pleasant, medium and wet along with the carbonation.
Drinkability is good. A nice, pleasant, kind of different IPA.

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Photo of mntlover
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice deep mahogany color with a nice light tan head that imparts a good supply of lace down my glass.

Aroma is nice big malty, caramel background. Nice hops fruity citrus orange, peach mixed with pine notes. Big chewy smelling but also lots of hops mixed with a rye note.

Taste is big malty caramel with nice rye notes adding to the feel and flavor that is common in good rye brews hard to note but easy to taste. Nice hops also in the flavor good citrus fruits with pine needles scattered about. This is one big rich full brew, not really an IPA even with the good amount of hops.

Mouthfeel is big for an IPA, the rye makes a good noticeable difference adding to the feel. Sporting a good medium level of carbonation.

Drinkability is very good , very enjoyable more then an IPA, wishing I had a frig full of these. Thanks go to Enola for this fine sample.

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Photo of
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle

Crystal clear, dark copper color. Light tan head - large and rocky. Lively carbonation.

Very citrusy aroma. Slightly sweet as well, caramel, peach & pineapple.

Sweeter than expected taste. Hops rather subdued. Rye comes through mildly. Biscuity. As temperature increases, fruit flavors (peach & pineapple) come out along with some caramel. ABV very well hidden, just a hint comes through. Excellent balance. As I drink, a peppery taste starts to build up.

Medium bodied. Low to medium carbonation. Drying, but smooth and very drinkable.

An excellent beer! I prefer more hops, but this is incredibly well balanced. Rye adds a nice little extra. Sessionable, but ABV would get you.

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Photo of Gatch
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Hop Rod is a nice change to the typical IPA color. This is an amber/maple syrup brown color. The head is off-white & thick.
S - Malt, maple syrup, light honey. A slight piney hop to the nose as well.
T - A lot of malt for an IPA. The hops make an appearance but serve as great company to the malt, making it have a nice balanced and flavorful finish. The hops don't really show until after each sip. There is also some roasted malt, nuts, sweet fruits, and some light oak.
M - The malt & hop combo creates a smooth & balanced mouthfeel. The roasted malt stays on the tongue and palate throughout the bomber.
D - I've had so many IPA's in the past few weeks, I was almost hesitant to drink this. This is exactly the opposite of what I expected because it seems different from an IPA. It seems like a really good amber with more of a hop presence. The malt is the best part, which makes the drinkability high and enjoyable. The hops come out in the finish to show you it really is an IPA. I love this stuff.

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Photo of guitarmage
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured very dark for an IPA. Hazy brown with some copper hues, looks like a Belgian dubbel in color. Head struggled to form but there's an off white lacing floating on the beer.

Smell: Nice malt sweetness, not a dark sugary sweetness, light and fruity, suggestions of apple juice, hops are floral and smooth, great smelling IPA.

Taste: Sweetness tastes of apricot, ripe fruit, hops come in but don't take over the beer, there's a nice balance of sweet and bitter, then the beer dries up with faint alcohol, and bready finish.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium to full body, carbonation is consistent and prickly on the palate, a dry finish but a little oily.

Drinkability: A lot of sweetness for an IPA, but a lot of hops to balance it out. This beer is rather complex for the style, and very well done. Tasty IPA that offers more than most.

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Photo of JohnnyM2002
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled from a 22 oz bomber, poured into a chalice at 45 degrees. Thanks to flexabull for this one!

A - Pours a cloudy brown with a medium off-white head that leaves some sticky lacing behind.

S - Grassy/piney hops with some sweet malt in the background...bready notes also detected.

T - Very unique IPA. A solid, hoppy backbone...but resting atop the hops is a biscuity/bready flavor. I loved the creamy-bread finish. Not quite as good as the Racer 5, but pretty damn close. I might need to do a side-by-side tasting to determine the winner.

M - As this warmed, it got extremely creamy - solid carbonation throughout the life of this beer. Bready aftertaste with hints of bitterness.

D - Excellent IPA - definitely one of the most unique. Between this and the Racer 5, I'm definitely putting Bear Republic on the top of my list.

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Photo of adowney523
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass. Brown with an auburn tinge, particles floating around my glass, and good head retention.

Smell is all hops. Citrus and tropical fruit aroma.

Hops also dominate the taste. The more subtle malt is upfront with dark fruit and roasted character. Alcohol is faint in the finish with the hops giving you a nice smack on the palate.

I enjoyed this one, it was a lot more hoppy than I expected. The rye malt taste is subtle. I think I would enjoy a bit more of the malt kick in this beer.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

A: The beer is a light reddish brown color with a thin but foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is hoppy and very fruity with a little bit of carmelized malt. The citrus sweetness and floral hops are very complimentary.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with a good, strong hops burst, some citrus sweetness, some dry rye breadiness and a good hearty malt character. The after-taste is heavy with hops bitterness.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easy with no hint of the ABV, despite the description on the label (“alcohol burnin’ monster ale”), very good representation of style. I took out the bomber rather quickly. I was a little hesitant because I’ve have both good and bad experiences with beer that have the word “rye” in their names. This beer was certainly a good experience.

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Photo of westweasel
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle.

The beer is a very dark chocolate amber. It poured with a huge head that dissipated to about 1/4 inch. The aroma had the smell of brown bread with lemon and a sweet-scented flower.

The taste had a strong hop bitterness and a sweet brown bread flavor. It also had a dry bite that I seem to always taste in rye-type beers. The mouthfeel was between medium and full, with a bitter and somewhat dry finish.

This beer is fairly drinkable, but not over the top enjoyable. Good but not great.

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Photo of far333
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep caramel color with large particulate matter suspended and laying on the bottom. A full two inch head rises up and lingers long before slowly settling down to a oily, sticky, bumpy cap with tight webs of lace rising up the insides of the glass.

Aroma of bready malt and fresh citrus hops.

Rich flavor of citrus and pine hops. The citrus moves from subtle sweet tangerine to orange rind to grapefruit rind to piney hops. The bitterness increases in the finish and lingers. A dark and luscious malt backbone rides beneath, but I'm picking up inconsistent and faint rye notes. A peppery spice accentuates the finish.

Full and creamy mouthfeel punctuated with carbonation tingles and slight alcohol warmth. Finishes a bit dry.

Very rich, but very drinkable. Wish I had another bomber.

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Photo of isaac
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

review number 40... i was thinking about writing on Olde English, Mickey's, or King Cobra, but i'm quite glad i didnt:

22 oz. bomber to pint glass.

A - Dark, stained-wood body with a thick, rocky, beige head that tries, tries so very hard to stay at a 2-fingered height, but slowly decends, clinging to the glass.

S - Big, citrusy hops (clean, clear, and...wait... grapefruit and pine?) mix and mingle with spicy rye and sweet malts.

T - First, the smooth, robust malts sweep the mouth, fading into a rye-breadiness that tastes fresh-baked and steaming. From there its big bitterness from the hops (think licking the rind of a ruby-red) and finishes with a nice twinge of rye-spice and alcohol bite. moderate warming in the throat and chest after the swallow.

M - Amazingly crisp for the complexity of this big brew - mid-level carbonation, creamy foam, light astringency from the hops... man this is what i look for in an IPA.

D - The more i drink this, the better it gets! i can hardly put the glass down long enough to take notes!

this beer goes down in the books as a new favorite!

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Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is probably the sixth or seventh time for me with this beer, including once on-tap. However, I've never reviewed it until now so I thought I might as well.

Poured into an imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Incredible meringue-like two to three-finger head. Lacing is huge, cavernous in formation. Body is a dark grain amber. Very pretty looking. Head dissipates to a half-finger after a minute or so, but remains for a fairly impressive stretch prior to that.

Smell: Citrus and pine hops. Interestingly, the citrus in Hop Rod comes across more lemon-like than any other fruit, which is unusual in any IPA. Almost like a smoothed-over Pine Sol aroma, which one could say is detectable in many IPA's but here is more prevalent. This isn't a bad thing to me, I enjoy Pine Sol's scent. : ) Rye and hop bitterness on the back end. A slight bit of caramel. Like other rye beers, the hops and rye aromas seem to coalesce, oddly, into a sort of fruit punch flavor.

Taste: Mmm citrusey, pine-y hops. A little more orange-like in the flavor than the nose, but there's still that lemon lightness. Rye spiciness on the back end, but not quite to the extent of something like Founder's Red's Rye. The aroma trumps the flavor for me in the complexity department, but it's still very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy, slightly astringent, fairly adequate carbonation. Nothing wow-inducing, but nice. The spiciness one might expect from a rye-based beer is not really that prevalent, but it does provide a bit of a sting at the roof of the mouth.

Drinkability: Extremely enjoyable, and one of the finest IPA's or rye-based beers in existence. An archetype for the style.

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Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,720 ratings.
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