American Beauty | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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American BeautyAmerican Beauty

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
An Imperial Pale Ale brewed with granola & All American hops. 55 IBU

Collaboration with the Grateful Dead.

Added by slvrmon82 on 10-09-2013

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Reviews: 166 | Ratings: 1,147
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.54/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pour at Woodshop 8 held at The Hermosillo in Los Angeles, CA.

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one.

Pours a clear honey orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, citrus fruit, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with grain and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with the granola adding a grainy aspect in the mix.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

over the moon stoked to get a bottle of this last night from a very close friend. I have been anticipating this more than any other beer in my life, as it combines two of my most favorite things in the whole wide world, craft beer and the traveling circus of good times that is the grateful dead. I put the record on, and I opened the bottle to a clear brassy light copper colored brew, brimming with fast paced carbonation and over an inch of soapy off white head that leaves thick and tall lacing etched in the glass as it drinks. one smell and "I knew right away she was not like other girls", as there was a definitive granola aromatic. honey, oats, even almonds compliment the strong pale ale base beer, which is far more hoppy than I expected it to be. the taste is odd, almost like two different beers. a sweet nutty almost esb on the front of the tongue, and a bitter hoppy strong ale that could just as well be an arrogant bastard on the back of the palate. its a strange dichotomy, long and strange, just like the trip. the two never really join up, but its a cool effect nevertheless. way high carbonation, and a light body for how strong this is. I loved the complexity and the idea behind it more than anything else. don't know if I will ever get to have this again, but thanks to dogfish head for recognizing the importance of the best band that ever lived, and for anti-hierarchically figuring out a way to make it unique. one of the best labels in the beer world too. the sentiment might be better than the beer, but who cares. see ya at the next show!

edit: they must have changed the recipe along with the label in year two of this, its so much better than I remember it being. I drank a whole bottle last night and loved every drop, so much more honey, and the almond comes out a lot more, the hops are more in check, less bitter, and the nose is extremely delicious, smelling granola all the way. wow, whatever is different really works, maybe its an issue of freshness, I don't know, but I love it.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.49/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Unassuming and truly inviting, the commemoration of Grateful Dead in beer form is as pleasant and refined as the band itself.

A mesmerizing gold color pours from the bottle and with a redish-amber thread running through. Its striking clarity highlights the bubbles that stream from below. Though a creamy eggshell-white head forms quickly, its retention fades half way through the session and with fair and moderate lace.

Bold floral honey notes rise from the malty aromas. Light caramel and praline gives the nose a sweeter undertow. Becoming fruity as the beer warms, everything from grape, cherry, oranges and apples gives the scent something akin to gummy bear candy. Slight toast and nutty scents come to life as the herbal, tea-like aromas soon turn to lemongrass before that first sip.

And all that fruity-sweet character rises to greet the palate on that first sip. Caramel, honey, tea and sweet tobacco flavors wrap around the tongue and usher in the sweet orchard and citrus fruit varieties. Even ripe plumb, dates and figs reinforce a sweet and earthy tone through middle palate. After that, the citrus peel and saffron spicy taste turns sharply bitter for a pithy finish while remaining balanced to the sweet side.

Medium-full on the palate, the beer's mild creaminess does little to lift the enormous sweetness from the mouth. As its creamy sweetness lays weightily on the mouth, it is mouth coating with the near-oily coat of oats to create a velvet-like effect. The ale lingers long and sweet with a mild spicy bite from hop bitterness and the mead-like alcohols.

American Beauty is an inquisitive ale that hasn't been all that "Dogfish-ed" up. Its a well-built beer where everything comes together nicely. There's really no debate of the ale's friendly and approachable taste. But much like the Grateful Dead's music, I find the beer a bit banal (gasp!)

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Photo of brentk56
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with the requisite three fingered head; excellent stickage and the lacing is plentiful

Smell: Sweetened granola and tropical fruit tones

Taste: The granola elements are well-integrated into the malt base and the tropical fruit hop tones (mango, papaya and pineapple) develop into the mid-palate; after the swallow, the malt and the hops are nicely balanced, with warmth from the ABV arriving in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation and some warmth in the gullet

Overall: American Beauty was, to me, the Dead's best studio work and while I didn't go hunting around for the album to play along with my tasting session, the memories certainly bias my review; maybe I wouldn't have rated it this high without the connection but this beer was certainly worthy of a dream we dreamed one afternoon long ago

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Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into an imperial nonic a deep rich golden with a large blooming white head that really takes it's time settling slowly into a frothy mass,great carbonation.Aromas are lighter with some citric hops and nutty notes.To me this is DIPA all the way on the palate minus residual sweetness,caramel and nutty malts run into dry resiny hops with some more sweetness in a lingering finish.Not bad,not overly sweet just amp up the hops a little and this would be great in my opinion.I like this beer alot more than the Dead.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled on 10/1/2013. Pours fairly crystal clear golden amber color with a 2 finger dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of tangerine, lemon zest, pineapple, peach, orange peel, grapefruit, floral, grass, toast, bread, light pine, honey, and floral earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good complexity of bright hop notes with moderate malt balance; and good strength. Taste of tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, pineapple, peach, grapefruit, floral, grass, light pine, bread, honey, toast, light nuttiness, and floral earthiness. Fair amount of earthy floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, pineapple, peach, floral, grass, pine, bread, honey, toast, light nuttiness, and floral earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity of bright citrus/tropical hop and malt flavors; with good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy, smooth, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice imperial pale ale style. All around nice complexity of citrus/tropical hops with a moderate malt balance; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of jlindros
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

I do love me some beer named after albums, such as Bitches Brew also from this brewery, and the Zappa ones from Lagunitas, etc. I was planning to share this with cousins at the holidays, but one was hungover and the other on low carb diet, so I guess I'll enjoy this solo.

Pours a nice creamy rich 1+ finger head as it chugs out the opening of the bottle with slimming neck effect, it fades pretty slowly too with nice soapy and big bubble lacing, bubbles streaming up from the bottom through the clear nectar orange colored beer.

Nose brings hops to start, somewhat floral, a bit of citrus and some mild pine, bit earthy as well, and seems like a big spicy hop presence as well, and a bit of candied orange peel. There is a semi sweet malt base as well, little candy like, little biscuit and grainy, and a touch of an estery booze profile.

Taste starts a little creamy thanks to the oats, into biscuity malt flavors, little toasty mild caramel and some candy like flavors. Quickly into some fruity esters and green apply light chemical phenolic flavor, a bit medicinal even, but none of that is too strong. That eventually transitions into big earthy hops, spicy too, with mild candied orange peel and pine, some herbal tea like grassy and leafy, with mild overall bitterness though (at first that is). The booze warms a bit with the phenols, and slightly tingles as it dries on the finish, the evaporating booze seems to tingle the tongue and dries off quite a bit, gets a bit more bitter, with more lingering herbal tea and earthy hops, more chemical phenols, and little bubblegum.

Mouth is med bod, semi creamy oat effect, nice fluffy carb.

Overall interesting but not great, hops are interesting as well as the creamy oat feel, not sure if I like how the ester and phenol profile come through with the booze, not sure what yeast they used but I'm not a huge fan of it, at least in this style although it would probably be good in a big Belgian tripel or something.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from a capped 750ml bottle a clear amberish orange with 2-finger thick off-white head which slowly fades leaving splotches and spots of lace.

N: Grainy (suggestions of granola) malts, citrus (orange) pith, honey, graham crackers, floral/herbal. More pronounced aromatics on warming.

T: Citrusy hops are fairly mild, mostly grainy malts. ABV noticed (and felt). Seems like oats in there too.

M: Medium body and semi-full carbonation. Finishes dry, bready malts, faintly granola, creamy and smooth.

O: Was expecting more somehow. Disappointed with the link to GD, but O.K. drinking wise.

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Photo of chinchill
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Dogfish Head event with Sam Cagliogne at Barleys in Greenville, SC

Orange-amber body topped by a soapy, off-white head.

This "Imperial Pale Ale" does seem properly classified as an Amer. IPA.
Hoppy and moderately bitter, with a high ABV that is partially hidden. The contributions of the granola are also mostly hidden, although there are hints of honey.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 6/6/2015 at Natty Greeneā€™s Tavern in North Attleboro, MA served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, floral hops and fruity citrus.

T: The taste starts out with a strong grassy hops bitterness. Then some sweet flavors of caramel and citrus come in. The malt character is hearty and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of mactrail
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Clear amber, bubbling, and topped with a nice white foam in the tall Kolsch glass. I smell Kandy Korn and lemon cookies, which is not unpleasant.

All I can think of is "malt liquor." So it's a hoppy one, but the sweet taste and the hot alcohol burn make this one front-stoop ready and cue up "40 oz. to Freedom." Perfumey, bitter orange peel, lemon drops. The tangy citrusy aftertaste saves this somewhat, but the woody, bitter aftertaste with more than a hint of a cheap cigar makes me want to spit.

Okay, I'm officially tired of these endlessly silly flavored beer-like brewing experiments from DFH. I don't see them going in interesting new directions. It just seems like silliness, but for the fun-loving this is a flavored malt liquor with a story. And hey, it's the perfect pour for your morning bowl of Cap'n Crunch. From the 750 ml bottle bought at Bottleworks in Seattle.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle - Bullock's Wine & Spirits in Marietta, Georgia.

Bottled On: 10/01/13.

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden-orange body with a crest of whitish foam on top. Good lacing.

Smell: Sweetish, honeyed aroma with a range of fruity tones, citrus (predominately orange), tropical fruits, and even some simple orchard members. Additionally floral, herbal hop notes. Light nuttiness of the oats and, well, the nuts.

Taste: Fresh honey drizzled atop crunchy oats. Delicately toasted grains. Candied, sweet orange. Delightful nutty accents. Moderate bitterness, along with floral, citrusy hop tones and a low, light earthiness. Even a little pine-scented soap in the mouth. Late-breaking berry hints, dehydrated apple notes. Bitter-sweet, lightly citric, fruity finish that is definitely on the smooth side. A little medicinal tone lingering into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Rather smooth, lightly creamy mouthfeel.

Overall: Varied, fairly interesting, nearly likeable.

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Photo of smcolw
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Impressive starting head. Settles slowly and in a lumpy fashion. Leaves some ring and spotty lace. The brew is dirty gold with the mildest of hazes.

White pepper spice for the hop aroma. Some creamy pale malt nose as well.

Surprising alcohol presence. Brief pale malt flavor with a touch of sweetness. Straight forward bitterness without any of the complexities of most American IPAs these days. Creamy aftertaste of black pepper bitterness. Thin body for the style with a slightly elevated level of carbonation.

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Photo of millerbuffoon
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light amber color with a decent inch head. Moderate lacing. The taste is on the maltier side of an IPA, not a ton of hops, in the nose or the taste either. Didn't get the granola flavor until the second half of the bomber, but it was there! Not a bad offering from DFH, but not one I would visit again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

25 ounce bottle of the dead bear hoisting a mug as American Beauty's emblem on this DFH label I am listening to the album American Beauty, the beer is crystal clear copper amber with a fine khaki head forming thick. Aroma floral hops citrus notes beautiful American hop bouquet I'm a fan going forth with this beer. Big honey notes of earthy grain from the granola additions this is a beer for hop heads and dead heads alike no worries there's both here to party. Flavor wise there's big hops with hints of whole grain granola hanging in there, it's a big beer experience the grains don't take away from the American hops in anyway I'm enjoying every last drop, slightly resinous hop oils reign supreme here, mouthfeel has an oily complexity medium bodied at best with rolling hints of big hops making it through in this big alcohol beer. Overall I'm thrilled to be party of history this beer is going to sell out in all markets due to the strong Dead following whether the beer is worth it's weight in gold or not. However, I feel that both parties are going to pleased with this offering.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Shared at the BFD Christmas Party, thanks to who ever brought it.
Earthy pine hops, lots of sweet malt with an overbearing honey flavor and sweetness. Nice to try but I wouldn't seek it out again.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Dogfish Head IPA glass.

A real sudsy head, yellow and tan in color, forms big right on the pour three to four fingers tall with a large presence. Settles slowly with very soapy retention, but clumpy. The body is a gorgeous crystal clear shimmering deep bronze, and dark orange amber. It glows with a huge fire of rising carbonation. One serious extremely impressive looking beer.

Nose is very fruity but without a hop angle. Lots of dried and dehydrated sensing berried fruit, of strawberry it seems. Airy and dry, not much else to say but it's very pleasurable.

Palate matches the nose but quite unexpectedly. The dried berried fruit angle continues, but a bitter pine like action hits on the swallow. Mouthfeel is somewhat creamy and also considerably light for an Imperial, but then again it is "pale ale" so who knows what kind of wording we are playing with here. Very light bodied for 9% so perhaps there's some hint of pale ale goodness, but there's a sense of nut quality on the malt backbone, but no classic malt depth or presence.

A unique one for the fish, but nothing that is calling me back desperately. No worries there will be more hits, so since the Grateful Dead didn't exactly have many "popular" hits either what does it matter? More to drink for all!

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 750mL into a shaker pint, the beer is a slightly hazed, dark, honey-brown coloring with a tall, frothy, dense, clingy, off-white head that has some staying power. There is a thick, almost solid lacing left behind as you drink. Aromas of spicy and green hops, with pepper notes, honey sweetness, passion fruit and grapefruit, and resinous notes. Flavors are tangy forward, with a solid bitter undertone. Roasted toffee and nut, as well as some toasted oat character, with a light and tart citrus highlight, some resinous cedar notes, and hints of toffee and dark fruit. Smooth in mouth, with a subtle effervescence from the slow flow of carbonation. The aftertaste is a solid, balanced blend of bitter, sweet, and toasted grains. Slightly bitter and dry finish, with subtle lingering notes. Very solid, drinkable beer, and overall, a fitting tribute to a musical and cultural icon.

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Photo of stevoj
3.44/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle share thanks to Toby. Slightly sour aroma hints at the rye backbone, orange/copper pour. Mild, slick, slippery, finishes quick, but tasty. DFH can do so much better....

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a medium coppery amber with a healthy three finger ivory head that dissipated very slowly, leaving massive lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, grassy hops, light citrus and hints of tropical fruit. Flavor begins with a burst of grassy, citrus hops and very nice blended fruit juice juice with apple, light tropical fruit and a hint of honey, finishes with sweet grain, lingering fruit juice and a nice grassy, slightly floral, bitterness. Medium bodied with a pleasant creaminess and active carbonation that gave this a very nice mouth feel. This is on the juicy, semisweet malt end of the IPA spectrum (at 9%, why isn't this an Imperial IPA?), the hops are assertive, but take a back seat to the very pleasant fruit forward maltiness. The granola apparently adds both flavor and creamy body to the beer that resembles oat pale ales. I don't know if I would have detected granola in a blind taste test, but knowing ahead of time, I can completely buy the oaty, grainy, fruit, light honey of granola as the flavor here. I really liked this a lot and had to pace myself because of the flavor and ABV. I will pick up another bottle if I see it. Hope this makes it into the Dogfish rotation.

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Photo of tempest
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I'd call the "imperial pale ale" description accurate, calling it a strong ale or barleywine works too. It's just a big beer with a lot of everything. The hops aren't on par with Arrogant Bastard, they're a softer citrus punch. The malts are toasty with a granola-like sweetness (or maybe I'm imagining that because it's on the label). Very smooth and balanced for the strength, it feels at home in a red wine glass. It's a good trip.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


Poured into a chalice a very nice slightly cloudy dark golden orange color, very nice carbonation, with a small creamy off-white head, which leaves a pretty big island in the middle of the glass, with some nice sticky lacing. The nose is sweet, malty, with some hop notes. The taste is slightly sweet, hoppy, with some malt notes. Medium body, with a nice little bitter/dry finish. The ABV is hidden pretty well. Overall, not your typical DIPA, but a very very tasty brew for what it is. Then again on the label it sez Imperial Pale Ale. Recommended!

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Photo of BillRoth
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Specific Gravity. Nice complex smooth big beer. A bit too big for usual reasons to gave an APA but a great sipper for later in the day. Glad I had a chance to try this as a draft beer.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed orange color with a white soapy head.
Aroma is sweet and malty with floral notes.
In the taste, fruity and sweet, some chewy sweet malt notes. Very agreeable and approachable. Sugary, with a light piney hop presence.
Medium bodied, smooth and even carbonation. Overall quite tasty, really drinkable strong ale. She is an American Beauty. Roll away, adieu

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Photo of dar482
3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The beer comes in an amber color.

The aroma has a bready malt, citrus, some pine.

The flavor follows with a strong bitterness throughout of grapefruit and pine. Some grainy malt, but also a substantial bready sweetness. A good amount of bitterness on the end as well.

There's a medium body.

Simply a decent IPA.

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American Beauty from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.85 out of 5 based on 1,147 ratings.
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