Earthquake High Gravity Lager (12%) | City Brewing Company, LLC

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Earthquake High Gravity Lager (12%)Earthquake High Gravity Lager (12%)

Brewed by:
City Brewing Company, LLC
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Malt Liquor

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Zorro on 07-12-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 51 | Ratings: 73
Photo of Lordhelmit
2.05/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2.25

10.0% variety 24oz can

A - pours a light, pale yellow like light apple juice. Pours with thin white head which dissipates instantly. 2 minutes after pour not even a small thin head. Absolutely no lacing.

S - smells like a citrus cleaning product. Bitter apple. Definitely a citrus-y nose.

T - rotting apples as someone else said is a perfectg description. really not all that bad tho once you're halfway through. Taste better in a glass than a can.

M - watery thin. high cRBONation

O - yuck. $1.59 for 24oz at 10.0abv it gets its job done

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Photo of eodiv
2.71/5  rDev +68.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Here in Ohio we get the 10% variety so I'm not sure how much that makes a difference.


You should know what you're getting into when you pop an Earthquake. This isn't a beer to be enjoyed, this is a beer to make you want to fist fight telephone poles and it does it's job.

It's much sweeter than its malt lager brethren which makes it a bit easier to stomach but it's still pretty harsh. Drink one on a dare or if you are on a super low budget looking to catch a buzz.

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Photo of DannyDan
1.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours out an amber hue with a thin white head that leaves no lacing or retention. The smell is of alcohol, rotting apples, rotting corn and mildew. The taste is lots of alcohol, spoiled corn and sweet malts that leave a bad aftertaste in the mouth. The mouthfeel is burning alcohol and an unpleasant feel on the tongue. This $1.30 for a 24 oz. can was one of the worse beers I ever tasted and will never buy it again.

Serving type: can

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Photo of lokieman
1.03/5  rDev -36%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Positively the worst beer I've ever had in my life. I've had some other rough ones but this one take the cake. I would rate cave creek chili beer miles ahead of this one. Everything about this beer is absolutely horrible. Smell, taste, mouthfeel...all just plain disgusting. Makes me wonder what took so long for this one to be retired. Found this one in the crap beer ice bin at my local ghetto corner store. Never...I repeat...never again. Ice cold it's shotgunable...any warmer, good luck. You have been warned. Just writing about this beer brings back the nightmarish aftertaste...there is really no reason for this foul beverage to's that bad.

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Photo of TooManyShots
2.3/5  rDev +42.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Basically its there to get you drunk in the cheapest way. It is, okay. Strong, very strong. The alcohol hits you immediately. The taste is comparable to whiskey. Not entirely, so I don't want the beersnobs attacking me. I enjoyed it, just not what I was expecting from a malt liquor. Yeah, you might taste something here but the dominant taste is definitely alcohol. You will get drunk, fairly quick, esoecially if you're a light-weight.
All in all this is for getting drunk fast. They obviously don't care about the taste. but I can accept that in this case. It gets the job done.
Wanna get drunk fast. This beers for you. Want something with an appealing taste? Steer clear.

By The Way:

This beer is no longer 12% they have lowered it to 8% and it IS still brewed. Just not as strong. Bummer for those cheap buzzes.

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Photo of whatthehull
2.55/5  rDev +58.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pint Glass

A - Merky golden sunset, no head and no lacing

S - Tons of malts, funky yeast, sugar, very slight, barley and tons of alcohol

T - slight hop, tons of bitter, sugar, alcohol, grains, rice, yeast and huge amounts of malts

M - Full bodied, no complexity, not very balanced, medium minus acidity and very long sweet/malty/boozy finish

D/O - I enjoy this a lot. Easy to drink, nice abv and a low, low price. Not a crafty beer or something I would drink a couple cans of, just a good getting tipsy beer

Final thoughts - $1.50 and 12% abv? Haha. This one is ok by me. Watch out for the hang over!

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Photo of bobstad
1.8/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 5

Well, I'm here to ponder my joking mention to a turbaned, bearded fellow working at this apartment ghetto's adjacent Seven-Eleven; while purchasing a 12% Earthquake I was just getting to learn to like after enduring several of those: Saying to him; that if I went blind, that would be his fault.

The very next time I was in for another can; these are now Earthquake 8.1% there in otherwise identical 24oz cans.

I'd just decided the best way to deal with the 12% was by chilling that cold enough to be easily poured half into an used 12oz screw top bottle, for later. With a longer lasting larger head, this is essential with the 8.1%.

I'd don't really find heartening too much, the at first taste seeming flavor improvement of the 8.1% version; considering the price remains the same as when 12%.

I'd just started adapting myself to the 12%, I'd thought hitting the market after the devastating Japanese earthquake with all the still daunting implications from the nuclear disaster the quake engendered; an incredibly thoughtful product, marketing ploy and timely commentary on the species' ability to continually be figuratively speaking, shooting itself in the foot. After a stressful five millennia or so's devotion to the mastery of fire and salt: Metallurgy and chemistry in other words.

As far as taste, I can only call the original 12% "brilliant."

If you read William Henry Hudson's book Green Mansions; that suggests one way to create what seems like great beer. Women chewing grain to for the emulsification of that, whose saliva also ensures the alcoholic fermentation. "Hey, honey?"

Cheers; and bottoms up.

post script: I notice my review gives this great beer a D minor rating; which as D-F-A works out to a 1.666 GPA according to my $3 Radio Shack calculator.

GPAs can be deceptive, as one particularly cynical high school friend they graduated just to get rid of had a 0.9 GPA who also scored highest of anyone in school on the National Merit Scholarship test of our whole class of '69; who later mentioned flunking the army intelligence test was one of the most difficult things he'd ever accomplished up until then.

I think Earthquake High Gravity Lager is the greatest beer commercially produced on the planet; without doubt.

Anyone drinking anything else is so far beyond whimphood in the wrong direction there isn't even the possibility of such a word being invented for that.

If this were the only beer commercially available in the world, the whole earth would be doubtless revolutionized in a positive way. Far more than simply keeping me from wasting time, writing here.

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Photo of BrewMaven
2.6/5  rDev +61.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

What to drink when the wife is decorating for Christmas? Answer: anything that increases tolerance and numbs the senses! Why not a new to me 12% potential drain poor in a can!

Pours a pleasant looking clear gold with a initially big white hat. Lots of carbonation although the head dropped to a cover in under a minute. leaves a sheet of receding lace throughout the session.

Smells of sweet green apples...and....

Taste is of the same green apples, sweet grainy adjuncts and a bit of alcohol on the finish...mouthfeel is a bit north of thin with still rampant carbonation.

Basically a more drinkable version of this genre compared to Stack.Not worth the 2.95 the local bev joint charged me though.

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Photo of emerge077
1.06/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Nothing says happy thanksgiving like shitty malt liquor!

Poured into a mug, it's a dark urine gold orange. Rapid club soda carbonation, bubbles clinging to the sides, despite a thorough glass rinsing. Audibly crackling fizz, thin layer of white foam that leaves behind a feeble scab of skim floating on the surface. Looks like carbonated apple juice.

Reeks of fusel alcohol, grape/apple juice, and envelope glue. Sickly sweet, sharp, and stomach-turning. Pure malaise in a can.

Sweet, green apple jolly rancher flavor, solvent fumes, blatant alcohol, astringent as hell. The tongue numbs on impact. Alcoholic, carbonated grape juice. Harsh finish that lingers, bitter apple seeds, slick with an alcohol burn that's just pure nasty. This is only a feasible drink when partially frozen, and only when down on your luck, out on the curb. Truly the bottom of the barrel. This is probably among the worst, if not the worst beer i've ever drank.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
1.06/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

24 oz can pours a dark, desert-tortoise urine gold color with a small, creamy head. Looks evil, thickly viscous and rough.

Nose is absolutely stomach-curdling. Oh my god, the acetone and green apples on this are just rampant and disgusting. This might be the worst smelling beer I have ever had.

The first sip of this made me wretch a little in the mouth, something that has never, NEVER happened to me before. Wow, it is absolutely wretched. This is the most disgusting, foul-tasting brew I have ever had in my 20+ years of beer drinking. This rivals Bud Chelada for worst ever, and I actually think this might surpass it. I cant even stomach 3 sips of this. Holy shit, brewing this must be a complete joke. I knew it would be bad, horrible even...but this takes F-O-U-L to a whole new level!

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Photo of ronniebruner
1/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I must admit I bought this beer at a gas station as a novelty and a joke. I knew exactly what I was getting into and boy was I right. To say this tastes like battery acid would be a compliment. This beer has an unnatural golden hue, a horrendous aroma that I can not quite explain, the most carbonation I have ever seen in a beer, and honestly I couldn't drink more than 2 ounces of the 24 ounce can. Stay away. This is terrible, unless you want to play a prank on a friend or fellow beer enthusiast. I hope this post does not get deleted, it is not meant as a slam. This is just really that bad. It has an F rating for a reason.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
1.12/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

12oz can poured into a Budweiser pint glass. No apparent date, just cryptic numbers on the bottom of the can.

Appearance - Clear copper body. Off-white head in the glass, but when it foamed up upon opening the can it was a light brown color.

Smell - Vinegar. Soy sauce. Alochol. Dark fruit. Not appealing at all.

Taste - Alcohol. Corn. Earth. Musk.

Mouthfeel - Very astringent finish. I can do nothing to prevent making a face.

Overall Drinkability - Probably the worst beer I've had in a long time. This is totally a sink pour.

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Photo of depechemode1983
1.8/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Dark clear golden in color. Head is white with very little retention. Looks highly carbonated. Pretty average for this style. Smells very sweet. Maybe some Over ripened apples and grapes with trace amounts of grains and an alcohol undertone. Very sweet taste. Taste artificially sweetened. Fruit and alcohol. Leaves a nasty chemical aftertaste. Kinda like jungle juice. Pretty bad. Mouth feel is thick and syrupy. Gross.

O - This is a drain pour. This beer is horrible. Stay away from this one

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Photo of MasterSki
2.28/5  rDev +41.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Can generously provided by t0rin0. One of the Malt Liquor Tasting leftovers that we're slowly working through. Served in a BeerAdvocate taster glass. Poured out a few oz for our homies who couldn't be there.

A - Big white foam quickly settles to a thin ring and some spotty lace. Transparent golden body, with big bubbles adhering to the sides of the glass.

S - Sugar, corn, grape juice, Kool-Aid, and some obvious fusel alcohols. It's a malt liquor alright, but it's far from the worst one we've had.

T - Taste is a step down, with mostly sweet corn and grain alcohol that gets increasingly obvious towards the finish. That being said, not entirely unpalatable.

M - Surprisingly low carbonation, medium-full body, some definite alcohol warmth but otherwise quite smooth.

D - Like Evil Eye, this was only somewhat bad, and not epic bad. A large portion of the can was actually consumed (albeit by a large group of people).

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Photo of sophisticated
1.46/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

For some reason I feel compelled to buy this crap every so often. You know, I'm out of town, in a hotel, and want a can of something boozey (finding a bottle opener would be too challenging). Then I am regretful.

This stuff is nasty. Smells like alcohol. Tastes like a combination of syrupy artificial sweet chemicals mixed with alcohol. Highly carbonated. Yes...It will get you drunk on the cheap. But it will not be a pleasant journey.

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Photo of ElCommodoro
1.46/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This thing smells like apple cider. If someone handed it to me and told me it was apple cider, I would be fooled based on smell. Colour too, actually. It's a bright, vibrant yellow. Could be mildly radioactive. Maybe the brain tumors that would induce could add to the cheap buzz.
Oh crap, time to take a sip. It was bad, but not worse than I expected. It tastes kind of like alcohol and wood, not unlike a bad whiskey, actually. It burns on the way down, which is not something I generally associate with lager...or ANY beer for that matter. Other than that, it has a sweet, solvent flavour. Alcohol flavour is definitely dominant. It's unlike anything, I've had before so I honestly find it somewhat intriguing. It's somewhat reminiscent of sipping on bad liquor. The fuel aftertaste is quite terrible. Sort of nauseating. However, this might taste a TINY bit BETTER than Steel Reserve, which is really the test here. This is definitely one of the two worst beers I've ever tasted, but it is difficult to decide if it is the absolute worst. I'll try to finish the whole thing and then decide. The ONE redeeming quality of Steel Reserve is that I DIDN'T feel dying after I drank it. Let's see what kind of punch this thing packs. The fun kind or the deadly kind.
So....after successfully completing consumption of the 24 oz. can, I feel OK. Don't want to go into a coma or die. This stuff is SLIGHTLY better than steel reserve. It's had an oddly negative effect on my sexual drive, but when you're in a long-term relationship, that can be surprisingly helpful.
Thus, I feel compelled to rate this above Steel Reserve.

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Photo of gretchy
1/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

The liquid was a strong dehydrated-urine yellow as it was poured down the sink. There were some bubbles here and there that quickly faded and washed away.

The smell was like Steel Reserve filtered through a permanent marker.

I made it to one single sip and then passed it around the room. The taste was almost completely unlike anything I'd ever put in my mouth before. If there's one thing this beer has, it's staying power. I ate ice cream, fishy crackers, more beer and sweetened iced tea, but nothing helped. The taste was there in the back of my mouth for about two hours. Not bad for $1.49.

The closest thing I can compare the mouthfeel to is making out with a hobo who's been doing shots of rubbing alcohol and chasing it with turpentine.

It made the can of Four Loko I had sitting around taste like ambrosia.

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Photo of metalcupcakes
2.03/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Well its cheap and strong but man does it taste bad. It grows on you a little as you drink, but I can't say I plan on buying this stuff again. It kind of tastes like an energy drink at times. It reminds me of something a High Schooler would try to steal from a convenience store.

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Photo of zacgosteli
1.2/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Quite possibly one of the worst liquids to ever come in contact with my taste buds. I got a root canal about two hours ago, and my mouth found that a little less offensive. The taste was poor, unlike other beers i've had, it was strongly masked with artificial flavors. The smell was so shitty and thick that I actually felt it enter my nasal cavities. Don't get me wrong, who doesn't love buying several ounces of cheap beer for very little money? but I'd rather pass and drink my own piss.

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Photo of IchabodcraneIpa
1/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Didn't feel the need to dirty a glass with this one.

Bought this one the other day late night at the gas station because all the liquor stores were closed. Thought it was sketchy right from the get go but when I got home I studied the can to reveal to my horror that it is made by the makers of four loko.

The color of this one is a mystery to me and I don't want to know what it actually is.

The smell of this one smelled like a stronger alcohol version of bud light.

When I went to take a sip of this thing I was pretty hesitant because it is made by drink4 , whos fruity malt beverages do not appeal to me at all. Sure enough they fooled me into spending 3 bills on this four loko disguised as a beer. It tastes like beer for a second at first then turns into the fruity battery acid flavored mess that is four loko. For those of you that don't know about these creations from Satan, they are supposed to taste like various different fruit flavors but they all end up tasting like a fat pile of throw up. They give you an instant heart burn and usually make you pee out of your mouth the next morning.

The mouthfeel of this is acidic and fruity with a bunch of carbonation and evil mixed inside.

Overall I took one drink, marveled at the fact they disguised four loko in a beer can and immediately threw it in a volcano.

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Photo of boudreaux
1.83/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 4

16oz can drunk straight from the can
A: Didn't even give it the time of day
S: Some sort of over-ripe apples or other fruit
T: cough syrup and sour malt-hop mash; alcoholic
M: Pretty bad; kinda like drinking watered-down cough syrup
D: Actually, fairly drinkable; pretty much brewed to be a high-alcohol, high consumption "get drunk" beer

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Photo of beerprovedwright
1.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This is some kick butt, bang for your buck, hold your nose, feel it in your toes, malt liquor. I think it would be better for antifreeze for your car than human consumption, hey for the money and if you want to get launched, this is the right brew for you. The color is a 6 on the SRM beer color chart. Smell of malt and alcohol. Taste is sort of harsh, dry, sweet malt. Some feeling of cream in my mouth, but really dry. Sure would not want to drink many of these, but I am sure the second would be better than the first because your taste buds would be numb from the 12 percent alcohol by volume.

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Photo of Psychromatic
1.18/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Executive Summary (as if any executives would drink this swill): The name is spot-on. Drink this, and you may very well be shortly experiencing one -- right in your belly. It is THE most vile brew I've ever had the misfortune to experience.

A: Chernobyl-glow amber fluid, but I'm sure there was more head to the waters around Pripyat than one could find in this.

S: Alcohol, and not a bashful amount. I could imagine my poor, tortured olfactories kicking up their wee heels and dying under the onslaught. Along with the pronounced alcohol scent comes a horrific sourness that manages to make the experience even worse.

T: Alcohol and rotting sweet-corn. The only way one can drink this at all is to have it ice-cold, so that the flavor doesn't come through so much. I tried quaffing a can of this at room temperature and found myself gagging before I'd done three sips. I've had some fairly low beers, but none have made me retch the way this one does.

M: Watery knives slashing the delicate tissues within my mouth. I've had other 24-proof brews that aren't nearly as much an assault on the inside of my face. With Earthquake, the jagged edges aren't softened at all.

D: It's a challenge to finish even a single 16-oz can of this nastiness once it gets warm, what with my belly constantly trying to push it right back out. MUST be consumed ice-cold, and quickly.

I'm the sort of fellow who'll happy slug down the much-reviled Steel Reserve as a daily drink... but this stuff? I don't even want it at 79 cents a pint. This is the only beer I've ever drain-poured.

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Photo of budgood1
1.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

24 oz. can.

pours out of the can a glowing gold almost seems like it could glow in the dark! a relatively modest head appears and dies down quickly leaving some sparse lace. weird fruity aroma....combination of green apples and vanilla...some bubble gum too. doesn't smell bad, just not right! whoa baby...the taste is a sickly sweet mouth jarring combination of rubbing alcohol and corn syrup. more fruity esthers and plastic phenols abound to really make for an interesting flavour profile. instant belly warmer. i'm sipping this and it's a chore. i'm getting dizzy already. heavy handed body and slick oily mouthfeel. poor drinkability.

oh boy...this brew should be poured into shot glasses and chased with tequila!! i'm not sure what redeeming qualities this has other than to get a big buzz on quickly and violently. this might be good to boil some brats in...i see no other use for this vile, yet "flavourful" liquid. ugh.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
2.03/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

There are several ways to look at this beer. One is that it's just malt liquor crap, but one is also that it's a bit of a new style. And I wonder, if one of America's funky craft breweries produced this would it be better received? I think probably so. And on that note, I don't normally mention packaging (because we're really just interested in the beer here), but the graphics on the can really do make an impression, and most likely not for the beter. So let's get to it.

The body is a hazy deep golden that appears almost orange in a pint glass. The creamy white head settles quickly and leaves little lacing behind, if at all (there are some spots and streaks here and there). Of course, in a beer that's 12% alc./vol. that's somewhat to be expected.

The aroma is oddly reminiscent of many malternatives. It's fruity like apple juice and fruit punch combined; and there's a clear note of alcohol and solvent. If there are any hops present, I can't find them beyond the esters.

The flavor is exactly as the aroma indicates it will be. It's fruity, a hint tangy (or biting on the tongue), cidery, and clearly hot with alcohol. I get some ethyl acetate coming through pretty distinctly; and it's definitely hot (there's a bit of the peppery spice that comes with that). I'm also finding some plastic-like phenols as well in the finish, where it also sweetens up for a quick bit. I'm sure that there are enough hops in here to meet the legal requirements of "beer" (probably from liquid extract), but it seems as if the drying alcohol is all that's there to balance the sweet malt.

As to drinkability... I personally have a fairly bad reaction to higher alcohols, leaving my face and ears to turn red as I get very hot in the face - and that happened to me only 3 or 4 ounces into this! I can drink distilled liquors (or wine, which is usually about 12%), but not this unrefined stuff, so that cuts down its drinkability for me. Beyond that, I'm not sure I care for the flavor at all - or that anyone would. If I was going to drink this I'd at least want the 'fruit cushion' of a JOOZE or FOUR-O LOKO. They may use lager yeast, and it's certainly high gravity, but this is far from what I'd consider a "high gravity lager" as there are really no hops to it at all.

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Earthquake High Gravity Lager (12%) from City Brewing Company, LLC
1.61 out of 5 based on 73 ratings.
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