Eiraphiotes | Olde Hickory Brewery

very good
28 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Olde Hickory Brewery
North Carolina, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by n2185 on 02-01-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 28 | Ratings: 83
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.64/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to DrAwkward82 for sharing this one at drewone's tasting.

2012 vintage.

Pours a murky dark orange with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, white wine, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with honey and wine flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a wine presence that is better in the smell.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours a clear golden yellow with a razor thin head that fades. The nose is surprisingly floral hop forward with no wine barrel/funk/pilsner maltiness. The taste is along the same vein with a light malty sweetness, big floral hoppinness, and still no wine barrel characteristics. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, sweet and malty as opposed to the expected vinous, dry, acidity. This is a good beer, but absolutely a letdown as far as wine barrel aged pilsners go.

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Photo of humuloner22
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer was interesting to me. At first I wasn't sure what it would be like as I had never had this style before. I have had many Pilsner's before, but never one classified as an "Imperial Pilsner". It was very fruity but also had a strong hop component. Not a bad surprise but an interesting one.

A: Color was a erubescent golden very appealing, but not what I would expect from the traditional Pilsner style. Nevertheless a very nice color for a beer. Perhaps the color comes from aging process. I am not by any means knocking this beer. It was gorgeous.

S: It has a bittersweetness too it but also has a very nice floral component. As it opens up to the air the floral notes from the hops come alive and waft pleasantly out of the pint glass.

T: This is where this beer shows its unusual character. I was not expecting a lot from this beer really, even though everything I have tried from Olde Hickory have been wonderful. I purchased this beer from a local shop on a whim and I am certainly happy I did. It had a nice mouthfeel but not overly thick or watery, nicely balanced. It almost reminded me of a nice draft IPA, but also had a woodiness to it that obviously comes from the aging in Chardonnay barrel aging. Without a doubt one of the best and most unusual beers I have ever tasted and increases my belief that this is one of the best breweries out there right now.

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Photo of metter98
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is relatively clear dark yellowish amber in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that died down leaving delicate lacing covering the surface.
S: There are moderate aromas of oak, vanilla and chardonnay from the barrel aging in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the vanilla and oaky flavors really dominate the overall taste of this beer. Notes of chardonnay are evident in the finish.
M: It feels nearly medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: If you like barrel aged beers, this would make for a good selection. However, this overwhelms the beer and masks the underlying pilsner.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very lightly hazy golden copper in color with some golden yellow and orange highlights aas well as a moderate to heavy amount of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall sudsy white head that quickly reduces to a couple of small patch of medium sized bubbles along with a very thin fil covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate amounts of honey, biscuit malts, grassy hops, and just a touch of floral hops. The chardonnay barrel aging contributes a moderate amount of oak and white grapes in additional to the vinous notes.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of biscuit malts with some light honey sweetness. After that the flavors contributed by the chardonnay come through - vinous, white grapes, and just a touch of light fruit. There is a touch of vanilla from the oak barrels along with the normal oak flavors. Finally, there is a light amount of grassy and floral hops which contribute just a touch of lingering bitterness.

M: Just slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly crisp with a light amount of creaminess and a very dry finish.

O: This beer really worked for me - the combination of the imperial pilsner flavors/aromas along with the contributions from the chardonnay barrel aging really add something to this one. The alcohol is pretty well hidden and this is easy to drink for me.

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Photo of oline73
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at the November Baltimore BA tasting. Served from the bottle into a tasting snifter.

Appearance: The beer pours a cloudy golden amber color with a layer of off white head. The head fades to a ring around the glass.

Smell: Light and a bit sweet. I'm getting a fruity white wine note along with some warming alcohol.

Taste: This one is a bit herbal with a definite pils malt component. There is plenty of bitterness from the hops, but enough sweet malt to balance things out. There is also a mild white wine note throughout the sipper. The finish is hoppy.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This was a very interesting beer with a lot going on. The wine notes went well with the herbal hops. I'd have more in the future.

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Photo of orsulacp
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Imperial pilsner in Chardonnay barrels, what is not to like about that. The appearance is ok, a little cloudy, probably from the barrel aging, but for a pilsner it takes something away, even with an imperial pilsner, most are clear. The head is nice and white and lasts for a long time. I like the smell, first a hit of grapey chardonnay, then a nice floral/spicy hop aroma, with a hint of vanilla. The taste is right on for what this beer is; pilsner malty, lightly hopped, then the barrel aging takes over, I love the subtle grape overtones with the oaky/vanilla finish. The mouthfeel and body are a little too thick for an imperial pils, but you have to take that with the barrel aging. Seek it out and drink it.

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Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy copper tinged golden color with a thick head; nice stickage and lacing, too

Smell: Cakey and grassy, with hints of buttery oak and vinous grape

Taste: Lemon pound cake followed quickly by grassy hops; by mid-palate, the vinous elements arrive along with a wallop of oak; in the finish, the flavors blend nicely, combining the sweet, grassy/bitter and vinous flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A very creative take on the Imperial Pilsner style; I had held off on this for a while as I was concerned it might be too sweet but it was really quite good

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Photo of oberon
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I waited a longtime to buy this beer because of the price,I was missing out.Poured into a pilsner a burnt orange infused golden with a thinner but well retained white head.Toasty wood,caramel,and pizza dough aromas,faint grape skin,to me alot like a helles bock.Rich and full flavored with honey and sweet dough notes,I pick up some vanilla and even some apple in there,the alcohol is noticable but not in your face.It's sweet but not over the top and it's got nice complexity.Another great job by OHB.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper colored around the edges with a golden middle when held up to the light. Nice thick cream colored head with excellent retention. Thick foamy lace sticks to the sides of the glass. Smells like fresh baked bread, grapes and a bit of booze, just a hint. Wonderful aroma that really jumps out at you when you crack the lid. Taste fresh buttermilk biscuits, grapes, with a nice little boozy burn at the end. Thicker mouthfeel for the style. Great beer, OHB you hit a homerun on this one. Please brew it again!

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750ml bottle, 2012. Sent by my buddy, Metalmonk, in early spring. Split with my wife to two tall pilsner glasses on a warm (70-ish) mid-June Friday; ciabatta, prosciutto and a block of parmesan on the side.

From the back label: A Greek epithet for Dionysus, Eiraphiotes means "Twice-Born". This Imperial Pilsner was a stellar beer right out of the conditioning tank, but its second birth from chardonnay barrels has transformed it into a truly magnificent creation."

A: Deeper honey-blonde, a shade brighter than amber at its core. Mild haze. Decent carbonation rising to a 1-finger pillow of whitish foam. Good retention and gorgeous dappled lace.

S: Love the aroma ~ the chardonnay 'grape' scent is a bit botanical and the fruitiness is apple- and pear-like. Mild woody spice.

T: Sturdy, malty pilsner - sweet dough and grassy herbs. We both agreed the barrel-aging does nice things here, imparting subtle woodiness and a fruit skin tang.

M: Not quite 'chewy', but certainly thicker than a standard pilsner. Pretty creamy, smooth, luscious. Carbonation melts away. Some of the barrel-aging notes linger a while.

O: Very likable and easy to drink (albeit hard to pronounce!). The 'imperial' qualities make for a 'heavier' pilsner, but one that's still plenty refreshing and perfectly matched the afternoon, lounging in the backyard. Would really like this again - thanks, Jeff, for sending!

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Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - orangish copper with a thick, soft cap of pure white head; good retention, a lot of lacing

S - faint grains, faint yeast, winy, buttery

T - grainy, winy, faint white grapes, buttery, oaky, slightly bitter

M - viscous, warm, light carbonation, medium bodied

This is a tough pilsner. It's hard to get a handle on. It has very strong wine characteristics, but is a fairly decent pilsner in it's own right. If you're a white wine fan then you'll appreciate this one for sure.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.67/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a burnt golden color with good carbonation leaving a nice white cap, medium lacing and bubbles.

S: Nice wood, white grapes, some floral and grassy notes with a honey and biscuity characteristic

T: I love a good pils and I love a nice white wine barrel so this was on target for me. Immediate chardonnay; white grapes, a little booze sting, some honey and biscuit meshed with a nice hop bite with grass and flowers

M:It was light bodied, crisp and refreshing with copious amounts of chardonnay and wood, very dry with a nice hop bite, light booze and wine like feel on top of the lighter airy pils was very nice

O: I thought this beer was a slam dunk with me. The only comment I had was the mouthfeel was great but I felt it outshined the pils itself. However, the taste was fantastic and if this were close by it would be consumed by the gallons.

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Photo of craytonic
3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from Brawley's

Appearance: dark golden orange, very slight head
Smell: Very sweet, too much malt with some mis-placed oak
Taste: Odd assortment of flavors, sweet malts, oak, syrup and chardonnay
Mouthfeel: A bit heavy
Overall: Not that impressive, we dumped most of the bottle.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.23/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle (2012)

Thanks for flying 3,000 miles and sharing this one, VaTechHopHead!

A nearly clear golden in color with a small white head that leaves dots of stick down the glass.

The aroma is faint, though what's here is pleasant enough. There's simple grains, some oak, along with white fruits like apples and grapes.

An interesting, unique flavor, with the barrel and white wine dominating the rest of the pilsner's flavor. There's a bit of green apple along with the oak and grape, and then some grass and clean, simple grains.

Somewhat heavy body for the style.

This beer doesn't really do much to excite me, though it's well enough executed to be drinkable.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

2012 vintage (the only one?).

Pours a medium golden-orange, just enough light haze that I can't see through it. 1.5 fingers of white head, good retention, and outstanding lacing.

Smell is rather faint. Crisp noble hops, clean apple sweetness, and pleasant white grapes. I can definitely smell the chardonnay on this one's breath. At first I picked up an odd pungent yeast character that was strange for a pilsner, but that faded with the head.

Taste starts out clean-cut and lightly bitter, before shifting into a more complex medley of earthy hops and dry white-grape flavors. Some of that yeast from the smell comes through, but there's less of it here. Pretty good, actually.

Feel is on the flat side. For a beer that's supposed to be a boosted pilsner, I really want more carbonation to keep the refreshment level up. Medium-bodied, and less dry in the feel than it is in the taste (if that makes any sense).

An interesting beer. I like what the chardonnay barrels do for it, adding some layers of complexity. But the base beer could be a whole lot better, IMO, and there's a faint hint of infection (in the form of pungent melony yeast).

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Photo of thagr81us
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Houblon Chouffe pilsner. Poured yellow-orange with a one finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wheat, grape, white grape skin, and very subtle wood. The flavor was of sweet malt, fruit, dark fruit, grape, wood, wheat, and subtle sweet alcohol. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. I really like the character that the barrel added to this usually very dull style. This one had a very nice white grape flavor profile and aroma going on which made it quite enjoyable. Definitely worth getting this on your palate if you have not done so already. I was quite impressed here as I went into it not expecting much.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml 2012 bottle. Poured this into a DFH signature glass.

A: Pours a yellowish, orange color. Good carbonation with lots of tiny bubbles rolling off the bottom of the DFH glass. Soapy head leaves quickly. Forms a ring around the outside of the glass.

S: Smells vinous of white grapes and pears. Maybe some mild funk esters. I definitely get some grassy and floral hop aromas.

T: There is a sharp bite on the tip of the tongue. Hops? It's a bready pilsner. Caramel malts. You get some of that Chardonnay vinous character be booze on the back of the palate. Dry wine like finish. Like others have mentioned, drinks like a carbonated white wine.

M: Medium bodied.

O: Probably give this one a B-. it's not bad by any means, just not my favorite brew.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Rusty for bringing this to a sweet tasting.

Shared 750 ML bottle with about 8 oz. left for th purposes of this review. Poured into a Redhook tasting glass a few times. Sort of a liquid gold color, but slightly hazy. White head, a little fizzy with above average lacing.

Smell is pretty good, but very unique to the style in my opinion. It has the normal sweet, close to sugary sweet smells that the few familiar Imperial Pilsners I've had smell like. However in the nose I feel like you can really smell the chardonnay barrels.

Taste is really good too. A good hop presence, but very herbal tones. The herbal portion is almost earthy, but extreamly fruity. Sort of ripe pears and obviously grapes. Nice woody flavor too. As mentioned earlier, hops are a dominatnt feature.

Mouthfeel is good. Herbal, pretty earthy and dry. Carbonation is pretty good, and it makes even a little creamy/buttery slightly, pretty nice. However it has a pretty dry finish, like a solid white wine that's carbonated.

Overall a pretty darn good beer, very glad to have tried it.

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Photo of gford217
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle.

Pours a hazy golden orange with a small bubbly head that recedes to a thin collar.

Aroma is very sweet, like most impy pilsners, with sugary sweet malts but it also has an interesting fruitiness presumably from the barrels. There is also an oaky character as well. Nice nose.

Taste is similar to the nose but has a drying bitterness in the finish, oaky. The rest of taste mirrors the nose with sugary malts and light fruits.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and not nearly as syrupy or sweet on the palate as many impy pilsners.

I'm highly impressed with this one and it is one of the better versions of the style I've had. The barrel really works with this beer.

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Photo of AppalachianVntnr
4.65/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed at cellar temp, any cooler and this beer loses some of its charm IMO. Big white grape skin and citrus, star fruit, honey, some grain, mineral tinged chardonnay and yeast backed by Hallertau hops with dusty oak in the nose. When its freshly opened there is a greater amount of oak tannin pushing through the hop profile, this subsides as the beer warms and the alcohol comes into play along with a high level of acidity, its brisk and cleansing as opposed to sharp and astringent. Another truly world class brew from Stephen and the gang.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into a couple of snifters. Thanks go to Barscream for sharing this one with me.

Pours a clear gold, with a ½ finger of frothy bright-white head. This maintains a nice big foaminess in the glass that drenches the sides of the glass with a rich cascade of spotty lacing. The chardonnay jumps right out in the nose, with notes of dry fruit and some light vanilla. Gentle floral and spicy character helps enhance this character. That Pils base provides a honeyed graininess to the proceedings along the back of the nose that not only adds flavor to this but also helps prop up that barrel character.

The taste is similar, with the Imperial Pilsner base giving off notes of sweet honey, bready grains, and a light herbal bitterness, while the barrel works in vanilla flavor, soft tart fruit, and dry oaky edges that pull in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a firmness up front that then gives way to a slicker creaminess that rides along nicely across the back of the palate. Any kind of warmth here appears to just come from the barrel.

This was nice. A 7% Imperial Pils was a great choice for aging here, as it didn’t have any of the heavy sweetness or alcohol you would find with higher ABV examples of the style and had a softness to it that carried the more delicate aspects of that chardonnay barrel well. I enjoyed this.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
4.37/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Figured if im gonna trade it away, i may as well try one myself.

Pour is a sexy dark straw color. Thin white head. Not as carbonated as I was expecting. Looks damn amazing in my pilsner glass.

Definitely a malt forward beer. Floral hops and white wine. It smells like vanilla, somewhat sweet and very dry.

This might be the most clean finishing beer I have ever had. The malt is definitely at the front (I mean it is an Imperial Pilsner after all), but that normally means syrupy sweetness. Not here. That malt comes forward, caramel and toffee come to mind, but then a pervading dryness keeps everything in check. The subtle balance makes this thing amazing. You can feel the floral hops upon exhale in the nose.

The body is exceptionally light for the style, and thats not a bad thing. Theres a candy sweet flavor that reminds me of rock candy that battles with the dryness. I get subtle hints of the chardonnay barrels, but nothing excessive. That sweetness ends up winning, coating your mouth with its syrupy sweetness, but thats only an afterthought. It makes you thirsty, begging for more nectar.

If this is a one-off, its a travesty against man-kind.

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Photo of jsanford
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml into a Pint Glass

A - Pours a hazy orange-gold with a soapy white head that settles to a thin haze, leaving lots of spotty lacing.
S - Subtle aromas of honey, oak, white wine, ripe pears, and some toasted biscuit malts. Perhaps a touch of butter floating around as well. Very interesting nose, definitely unique in the Pilsner world.
T - Big buttery flavors of ripe pear and honey dominate, with some significant Chardonnay character and a touch of woodiness. Very clean and drinkable, with no hint of bitterness.
M - So smooth and creamy, with a medium body and lower carbonation. Not at all crisp like most Pilsners, but that's okay. This is a refined, sipper-style Pilsner that I'm enjoying the heck out of.
O - This was a really nice surprise, and one of the most unique beers I've had in a bit. Great job!

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Photo of SpdKilz
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A huge thanks to Patrick (kingkong) for this great extra. Cheers!

Appearance – Pours a dark golden, almost orange color into a tulip. A vigorous pour yields almost no head, which in turn leaves only slight lacing.

Smell – Honey, light pear and grape, loads of biscuit, malt, and caramel. Just faint aroma of oak.

Taste – While the aroma didn’t lend itself to oak, the flavor is much different. An odd tart, dry bitterness from the oak. The chardonnay most definitely comes through, along with honey, floral hops, and white pepper. As others have mentioned, there is a medicinal quality to this. A malty, caramel backbone at the end.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, lower carbonation, finishes dry.

Overall – A very interesting beer and honestly not what I was expecting. A very wine forward beer that is a bit sweeter than I would hope for an imperial pilsner. Still, definitely worth a try.

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Eiraphiotes from Olde Hickory Brewery
3.9 out of 5 based on 83 ratings.
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