Silver & Gold
Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Silver & GoldSilver & Gold
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American Imperial Pilsner
Ranked #26
Ranked #19,897
3.84 | pDev: 10.42%
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States
Very Good
Silver & GoldSilver & Gold
Reviews: 77 | Ratings: 369 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of REVZEB
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

"Everyone wishes for silver and gold, but how do you measure its worth? Just by the pleasure it gives here on earth!" And this was a pleasure, starting right with the golden pour with lots of white lacing and a collar. Smell has decent hops, grapefruit and lemon zest stand out with slight grass, with plenty of cracker and bready malt. Taste is a little more muddled, grassy and floral by the finish, but before then a mixture of bread and zesty citrus hops. Feel is decently crisp, full, and springy. Miss the IPL craze, this reminds me why I liked it so

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Photo of woodychandler
3.51/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

The Great Bottle Purge of 2014 is pushing along nicely. Shelf space is beginning to appear in my reefer, the floor is well sorted, the stovetop has the on-deck beers and my tolerance is astounding. I have no idea where I got this, but I am ready to drink it!

From the bottle: "How do you choose between brewing a commemorative lager and a commemorative ale to celebrate 25 years of exceptional beer?"; "You don't. Our Silver & Gold IPL is brewed with Dortmunder Gold Lager yeast and loads of hops, the best of both worlds for the best fans in the world."; "25 Years 1988-3013"; "Our silver anniversary isn't about gold medals. It's about 25 years of passion and heart. Silver & Gold IPL represents our past and present, from original brewmaster Thaine Johnson's Dortmunder Gold recipe and engineer Charlie Price's vision for our Brewhouse to our ever-growing family of beers. Silver & Gold IPL is for our neighbors who've shared pints and stories, for the fans who've challenged us to be exceptional from day one, and for us - a bottled reminder of how far we've come. Brewed with a complex blend of American hops and a mixture of specialty malts, Silver & Gold IPL is bold yet well-balanced, dry yet refreshing. With respect for tradition and a nod to the future, we toast to the next 25 years."

I did not see any settling, but I still poured sort of gently, getting a finger of tawny head with good retention in the process. Color was a deep-gold (SRM = > 5, < 7) with NE-quality clarity. The Unholy Trio of Midas, Mammon and Croesus did not suddenly show up. Instead, they were already here, just based on the beer's name! They are such punks. Nose had a scent of tropical fruits, especially coconut and papaya. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium. The taste was nothing like the nose, sadly. It was much more bitter, more towards citrus rind and some grass. Not bad, but not what I was expecting. Finish was dry, with some fusel alcohol heat.

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Photo of Emnmarko
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 8/31/13 enjoyed 3/30/14

A- Rich copper in color and clear. A one finger head reduces quickly to leave a light halo.

S- Sweet malts, tropical fruity hops. Smells great!

T- Strong sweet bready malts come on first with a hoppy kick in the middle. A dry peppery hop aftertaste lingers on.

M- Lighter than medium bodied. Nothing crazy or unexpected. Goes down smooth.

O- A great tasting IPL. Easy to drink with a huge helping of hop bitterness.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.19/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from growler into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a clear golden color with a one finger of foamy white head. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading to leave a decent level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest a bready and sweet smell of a caramel and fruity nature. Along with these aromas are some nice grapefruit and grassy hops as well as a little bit of a hay like and yeasty smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a sweet and bready taste with flavors of a smooth biscuit taste mixed with a caramel and light fruitiness along with a rather strong yeasty tastes. Upfront there is a little bit of a hop taste as well being mostly of a grapefruit taste, but having hints of a floral taste as well. As the flavor advances more light hop flavors come to the tongue with some more citrus hops as well as a bit of a grassy flavor as well. At this time some grainy flavors also come to the tongue mixing with the rest to take the flavor to its end. Right at the end a very faint alcohol taste also joins the taste, leaving a rather pleasant, still rather crisp and quite flavorful flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel –The body of the beer is on the medium side in terms of its thickness and creaminess with a bit of a crispness and a carbonation level that is on the average side. Overall of the 7.t % strength of the brew the moderate body was quite appropriate as opposed to a thinner body more traditionally found with a lager. Overall with the crispness and moderate carbonation the feel was rather nice.

Overall – A rather tasty and quite easy drinking brew. A rather nicely, moderately, hopped brew that maintains a still crisp lager taste. A very nice drinker.

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Photo of JamesMN
2.99/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoy by 8/31/13, so not the freshest.

Appearance: Golden hue with decent clarity and a thin film of off-white foam.

Aroma: Biscuit, yeast, dank hops.

Taste: Starts with strong earthy bitterness paired with overripe fruity and a touch of rotten vegetable flavor. Unfortunately, it seems that time has taken its toll on the this one. Actually hard to tell that this one is a lager because it doesn't have that crispness in the finish that I'd expect. Some of the 7.5% ABV comes through in the flavor. Aftertaste of earthy bitterness and sweet malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with average carbonation and drinkability for the style.

Final Thoughts: Definitely not the beer I was expecting given the description on the bottle. I hope more breweries try out the IPL style though just to see if it can be refined. Would I drink it again? Meh.

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Photo of generallee
3.59/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass. The label lists the abv at 7.5% and there is a short description of the beer.

Appearance: It has a golden honey amber color with a slight haze. This is with a small creamy off white head. The head has good retention as a keeps a thin lacy covering all the way to the finish.

Smell: The aroma is mostly about its hops. There are earthy notes as well as piney and leafy hop notes with a touch of pineapple like notes as well.

Taste / Palate: The taste is the same with a smooth feel and mild bitterness in the finish.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.29/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Slightly hazy gold with 1 finger of off-white head. Excellent retention and moderate carbonation.

Bread, bubblegum, tangerine and lemongrass.

Bitter white grapefruit, tangerine pith and lemon grass. Some sticky pine needles and honeydew melon. Lightly bready backbone with hints of toast and bubblegum.

Medium bodied, crisp, dry and bitter.

Something just isn't quite working for me here... Between the bready malts, bubblegum and grapefruit bitterness, it just isn't adding up to me.

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Photo of larryarms847
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brilliantly crisp and clear golden yellow with a pillowy finger of foam.

Dry hop bitterness, bread, toast, and some subtle citrusy and tropical fruit like character.

Bitter hops, subtle tropical fruit notes, bready, toasted malts.

Light-bodied, high carbonation, crisp, clean, refreshing.

Overall an interesting style and hard to make it complex, but done well.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From: Binny's, Champaign, IL
Date: Best by 2013/09/02
Glass: Ayinger willi glass

I've had this fresh on-tap and in bottles through various ages of maturity, and the beer was brighter and generally much more drinkable when young. In general, the close is too harsh with bitterness and light ethanol, meaning that they probably should have toned both down somewhat. Would I try this again? Probably, but only if I had little else "in the cellar," and could enjoy this quickly, when fresh.

Pours a voluminous head of small, beige-colored bubbles, creating a very frothy-looking mass of foam. Retention is excellent, the foam lasting several minutes in a slow decline to a 0.3cm cap atop the body of the beer. Lacing is very good, with complex, moderately thick patterns clinging to the sides of the glass. Body is a medium-dark copper orange color, with light bringing out orange-yellow hues. Carbonation visible through the transparent body, medium in number and intensity.

Aroma is of cut grass and weeds, a bit of woodsiness, mild citrus (lemon and grapefruit), and slight pine, with hints of malt (slightly bread-like) sweetness.

Flavor is of a complex blend of pine-like and woodsy hops with notable accents of lemon and mild grapefruit, the malt largely in the background. Front of palate finds pine-like and woodsy hops with an edge of grapefruit rind and slightly bread-like malts. Mid-palate features medium intensity bitterness with woodsiness, cut grass and weeds, lemon and grapefruit rind with associated juices, and a quite subdued malt presence in the background that's slightly like toasted bread. Back of palate features medium-high bitterness with woodsy and cut grass-like hops, slight white pepper and ethanol, particularly as the beer warms. Aftertaste of moderate-high bitterness with traces of mild citrus, bitter herbs, and ethanol, which comes together as a bit harsh and unenjoyable.

Beer is medium to medium-heavy in body, with medium carbonation intensity, resulting in a beer that has a mouthfeel that is gently foamy and smooth. Closes quite dry, with light stickiness on the lips and palate.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

In my Sam Adams Perfect glass, the color moves from yellow gold at the bottom to a rich copper amber at the top. Modest two finger level dense head. Bits of drippy lace.

Big aggressive hay/grass aroma. Hints of fresh bread and citrus.

A solid malt foundation hits the tongue, but it doesn't get a moment alone. Massive sweetness hits the tongue, and then a truck full of big bitter bruising hops smashes on top of it. There is a tidbit of juicy fruit squirting out of that sandwich. From swallow through aftertaste it's all big bitterness, and while its good bitterness I could use more tastes in the mix.

Solid and prickly mouthfeel.

Interesting, but not really one of my faves out of the hybrid world of IPLs and Imperial Pils. I'd rather just have the base Dortmunder Gold. Sometimes less is more.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.59/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Almost completely opaque... not unappealing, per se, I guess I just wasn't really ready for it. Huge orange and copper body, even with some nearly red tints outlining the edges. Big-bubbled head, sloppy and dingy white in color; quick to reduce to a skin with a fair amount of wet spots that are left dripping down the sides of the glass.

Lots of faint citric hops in the almost, almost with a dank-ish character to them... Juicy, in a strange way with a fairly sizable malty underbody. Toasted, baked bread with a solid amount of caramel and Munich-smelling malt. It smells decent, sure, but does little to distinguish itself as a lager, or even as the "hoppy lager" it claims to be. It's hoppy, sure... but so what?

The first sip is pretty thin and crisp with a raunchy bitterness and a rush of hops that quickly creeps in; peppery, mildly dank, and full of wet, herbal hop oils. It's more "hoppy" on the palate than on the note, though some citric character was lost in translation (there is, however, a faint citrus pith and peel character that adds more to bitterness than actual flavor, it seems).

Once the hops run their short-lived course, the malts squeak their way into the mix; lots of toasted bread and only a very, very light amount of caramel malt here. Not as sweet as the nose implied, which, in my mind, is a good thing. Crisp, clean, bready finish from the yeast, although this beer has little else to discern it as a lager. Dry mouth feel, thin bodied and heavily carbonated.

It's a decent beer, and perhaps I'm being a little hard on it because I expect great things from Great Lakes, but there are too many other, rising "IPLs" out their now to ever really justify picking this one up again (especially with the price). Vapid lager qualities and not too standout-ish in the hop bill, either. It's okay, it really is, but I expect more from these guys.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Orange with a nice thick off-white head.

S - Grassy hops, sweet Bready malts, and some faint citrus notes.

T - Sweet malts upfront followed by a nice bitter hop bite. Some citrus (lemon and grapefruit) is tasted in the finish.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Very crisp and clean taste with a dry finish.

O - Interesting take on a lager. Glad I had a chance to try this and wouldn't mind drinking again.

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Photo of Zormac
4.99/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Poured into Pilsner glass Golden Amber color with a 2 finger head slightly clouded

S- Grapefruit Granny, smith apple

T- Sweet exotic fruit can't pin point which one though with a slight bitterness on the finish.

M- Fizzy light crisp and refreshing

Overall- This beer in my opinion is very complex and keeps me going back for another sip to figure out what has me stumped this is a very well crafted beer.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.41/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

10 oz into a tulip at Capital Ale House in Fredericksburg, VA. From notes.

A: Pours a clear copper color. While there isn't much head at all - only a half finger of off-white colored head, if that - it tries its damnedest to retain itself well. Surprisingly plentiful lacing is left down the glass.

S: Not much here, sadly. Some grassy hops, a touch of fruitiness, and maybe some caramel malts. Devoid of flaws, but unimpressive.

T: This starts off with a huge wave of grassy, spicy hop bitterness. Afterwards, it transitions into an almost fruit punch-like sweetness. A slight hop bite returns to dry the finish up somewhat. I'm really loving the fruitiness (seemingly typical of their lagers), a shame it's overly bitter at times.

M: It's about 5% heavier than I like my lagers, but like I said, dries out on the finish quite nicely. Carbonation is medium-high.

O: If it weren't so bitter, it might be among the better lagers I've ever had. As it stands, it's still a good hoppy lager, but bring your bitter tooth.

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Photo of Icedogs
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I great beer, but not sure it's hoppy enough or malty enough... but it is a combination of the two styles, to some extent, and that's by design. Anyway, it's a unique celebration beer and I give it good praise. Yes, I am quite biased in favor of Great Lakes Brewing Company because one of my best friends worked there for nine years and I've spent many a fine afternoon/evening at the place. But my preference for GLBC beer is primarily because the beers are almost always outstanding. Cheers!

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Photo of carlborch
3.49/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Deep golden, brilliant pour with 1.5 inch creamy, off-white head. The initial nose suggests citrus, malt, and biscuits. Rich palate with medium-full body and extended hop and malt notes. Floral hops and a slight hint of soapiness. Modest carbonation. The head has settled to 1/8 inch, leaving beautiful Belgian lace. Well balanced malt and hops on the palate - some spiciness. The ABV is not noticeable. Fresh.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz Bottle from CJ's Potsdam NY for $3.50

Appearance - Slightly hazy light copper with an average size fizzy off-white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 3 minutes.

Smell - Hops, malts, caramel, grapefruit

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel, malts, and hops. There is also some grapefruit and some grassy notes and a bit of a green grape tartness. There is also some hay/barnyard type flavours.

Overall – In interesting beer that has a little something for everyone taste wise. Reminds me a bit of a fall seasonal/Oktoberfest type brew. Probably wouldn't pick this up again, but was worth trying once.

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Photo of jkrich
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a dated 12 oz. bottle: clear, deep and shiny golden with a cream and sustained off-white head.
A very nice floral and spicy hop profile was evident upon opening the bottle.
The flavor began with a clean and sweet palate and a faint, bitter hop flavor edged in the back of the throat. Where have I tasted this before? Of course, it is their regular dortmunder I am remembering. Only this "imperial" or "double" is much sweeter with a higher ABV. Oddly, there is a faint hint of smoke flavor in the aftertaste.
The mouth feel was somewhat thick and chewy with a medium body and restrained carbonation.
This is Dortmunder gold's bigger brother, I guess. I certainly has the same flavor profile. Well worth trying, but I prefer my lagers a little less sweet. For their 25th anniversary, I expected something more unique.

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Photo of jbaker67
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear orange-hued gold with two inches of frothy off-white head that settles unevenly and leaves a ton of lace streaks and spots. Aroma of sweet and biscuity malts, grassy and floral hops, citrus peel, and a bit of a spicy kick. Surprisingly clean. Flavor of sweet malts, tangerine, floral notes, grass, and resin. Light-medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation and a juicy then dry mouthfeel. Some bitterness late.

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Photo of 57md
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is a light copper with a finger of fluffy white head that enjoyed some nice retention. The taste is crisp and light; possibly my only critique is that the body is a touch too light. There is a very tasty hop finish on this offering.

This is a great summer choice for people like me who are not generally big fans of pilsners and other lighter lagers.

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Photo of blackcompg
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle from their 4-pack...

Appearance - Pours a quick finger+ of off-white eggshell foam, nice rocky cumulus. Color of the body is a bright transparent copper, a very good looking beer.

Smell - Nice full breadiness, yeast, some bright clean citrus and trace minerals.

Taste - Exactly as it smells, this is a very balanced salvo of sweet fresh baked bread, some nice bright and slightly sweet citrus, a very complimentary yeast presence, and definitely some faint mineral flavors. There is a perfect malt backbone throughout that perfectly supports all of these flavors. The finish is pleasantly dry and slightly bitter, breadcrusts and citrus pith with minerals at the back of the tongue. Alcohol is completely hidden.

Mouthfeel - This is on the lighter side of medium, perfectly medium carb that adds some nice edges at the sides of the tongue, and a bright crispness throughout the quaff. the finish is dry, crisp and almost clean, with trace minerals and pith left in the mouth corners, begging another sip..

Overall - I've never sought after pilseners before, but I've really been enjoying this one! There is a nice complexity here, a balance where all of the flavors play their part in this coordinated symphony, no one stands out from the other. A very flavorful and nearly refreshing beer, and one that may leave you contemplative after each sip. I highly recommend this one.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint- pours a clear golden orange color with one finger of head, nice retention and beautiful, even lacing.

Smell is pleasant and intriguing- definitely get a big Dortmunder yeast smell, along with some bready malts and a little citrus hop aroma (I think GLBC likes cascade a lot).

Well balanced taste- bready malt up front, then there's a lot of hops. Yeast is present towards the end to duke it out with the hops but the hops win. A little muddled though.

Mouthfeel is very nice- medium body and moderately carbonated. A little resinous for my taste. This is certainly worth trying but they should do some more experimenting with this style.

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Photo of DeFaz
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours with a moderate head leaving lacing with excellent retention. Tiny bubbles swim frantically to the surface.

Smell: Great complex smell. Pine and citrus are present, but there are more.

Taste: Pine, citrus, bread, grass, and some alcohol bite. Clean, balanced, complex, well thought out.

Mouthfeel: Pretty much perfect. Mouthfeel is medium/thick with carbonation on the lower side. It has just enough creaminess and while the hops linger in the mouth for a while and leave some dryness, this beer goes down quite easy for a strong and fairly thick brew.

Overall: Great Lakes is a company that seems to always deliver. While I'm usually not into the hoppier beers, I appreciate the complexity of this one and how, even with the bitterness of the hops, I can walk away feeling that everything is balanced and I want more.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Clear orange, not much carbonation and one finger head with some lacing.

S-Bread, straw, very lager-like. Not much of the hops here.

T-Very earthy, balance is slightly off, some hops and bitterness. Caramel and other malt. Some pine.

M-Medium bodied, some carbonation, tad bit of hop resins.

O-The balance of the hops and the Imperial Pils did not go together.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.18/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not one of my favorites from Great Lakes. This beer poured a clear copper with frothy white head that is lacing quite nicely. The scent is faint but there is bittering hops and maybe a tinge of English malt. The taste is mostly dominated by alcohol...and it is very bitter all the way through the beer....not much malt balance. The mouthfeel is medium in body with decent carbonation....and very dry. Overall not a fan of this one....glad I split a four pack with my neighbor as it was a bit pricey.

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Silver & Gold from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 369 ratings