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Shantytown Doppelbock | Tyranena Brewing Company

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Shantytown DoppelbockShantytown Doppelbock
26 Ratings
Shantytown DoppelbockShantytown Doppelbock

Brewed by:
Tyranena Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 06-12-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 26 |  Reviews: 26
Reviews by battlekow:
Photo of battlekow
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shantytown Doppelbock is trail mix in a bottle--TheLongBeachBum really nailed it. It's got the slightly stale chocolate, sour raisins, and nutty undertones, plus caramel and toffee. Exceedingly drinkable. Not exactly your typical doppelbock--which, in my opinion, is a good thing--but a really wonderful little surprise.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of grynder33
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Slight malty bready aroma, amber brown color, quick disappearing head, full malt raisin taste, but it thins out quickly in the mouth. Sweetness lingers nicely on the tongue, sweet and brisk the way a good doppel should be. Just a little to thin to be considered amongst the best.

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Photo of ADR
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear appearance, darker than amber but lighter than copper. Thin head, mostly a ring on the glass. Laces in simple vertical strings. The aroma is basic caramel, hard to pull out any other qualities, as its reserved in character. Light on the tongue, lacks some body and mouthfeel. Starts sweet, with some butter rum and the barest hint of molasses in more obvious context, but finishes just lightly bready with some similarities to shortcake. Drinkable beer here, but somewhat shy of what the potential is for the style.

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Photo of cokes
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shantytown's swansong has been rumored for several years, and annually shows up on time next winter. Evenutally, the plug will probably be pulled here. The '07 had a fairly significant recipe change, hence the new review.

Pours a clear mahogany rust, blurred slightly with haze, under a canopy of buttercreme foam that retreats after a minute or two to a mere edging.
Nose of caramel-slathered walnuts, brown sugar, brown leaves, and brown bags, backing with an underlying white-winey alcohol vapor.
Nutty upfront in the mouth, with walnut being most evident, but almonds and peanuts also take their turns. Malt bolsters itself with maple and molasses gooeyness, then thins over time to grape jam, and honeyed-toasted grains. Traces of vanilla and caramel nougat dot the later portions, and this fades gradually (and actually lingers very well with it's pleasant maltiness), as hops are not readily recognizable here.
This has an impression of beef in the mouthfeel that past versions have lacked, and that is the most identifiable result of the recipe change. This carries a mouth coating stickiness, while still understanding that it's goal is down the throat.
This is inching closer to a very good doppelbock, but it seems that some additional lagering time might be needed to smooth a coarse edge or two. I hope this continues to be tweaked rather than vanishing entirely.

Earlier releases:
I've lowered the ratings based on the current year's version. It just doesn't stack up to last year's (which I liked alot despite its thinness). Though I must say, the 2002 edition is improving with some months under its belt. I did a vertical between the 2001 and 2002, and the 2001 blew away the later version in every catagory (same color, better head retention, better nose, deeper flavor and substancially better mouthfeel, which all translate to better drinkability..see below for details).

2002: Authentic German malt nose. Leafy tobacco and raisin bread with mineral notes.
Dominated by a big toasty caramel maltiness which is equally big on the raisin notes. Quite a bit of maple here too. Plenty malty, just too thin in stature. Hard water.
If this was beefed up a bit (body-wise), it would be a classic. It really is a fatal flaw.
RATING: 3.65

Pours a glowing amber-brown with a creamy pale beige head. Settles to a film, but does not go away completely.
Full malt nose with some carmel and grape (maybe brandy). Breadiness as well.
Taste enters with some significant nuttiness and wood notes. Lightly toasted malts make themselves noticed. Sweetness enters a with a combination of grape, molasses, raisin, carmel, dark berries, brown sugar and maple flavors (in order of magnitude). Hops are barely detectable, but somewhat herbal. Serve only to dry out the finish.
Medium bodied. Creamy in the mouth, but with substancial carbonation. However, it seems to thin out as it sits.
Almost too easy-drinking for a doppel. Sneaky, as it doesn't seem to pack much alcoholic "oomph" at first. After a few, it starts to flex its muscle.
Quite nice.

Update 9/11/02: Starting to turn more chocolatey with age. Less fruity sweetness and more subtle toasted hues. Still somewhat nutty and woody, and just a touch thin. Still among my favorite "easy-drinking" doppel.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single at Steve's on University here in Madison.

Pours a rusty mahogany with a finger of khaki head. Nose is a little funky and vegetal, sour grain, slightly nutty. Taste maintains the vegetable sourness, a bit of medicianal astringency, and a hint of caramel malt. Mouthfeel is average for a doppel. Wasn't too impressed with this one. I sort of get the trail mix analogy, but this mix has gone bad and is dominated by off-flavors.

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Photo of morimech
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish/amber with a small head that quickly recedes to a ring. Very little lacing left on the glass.

Smells of sweet malt with a slight earthiness.

Has a sweet malty taste. Hints of caramel, nuts, and chocolate but I don't get any fruit flavors. Has a slight booziness as well.

Has a big body and slightly surupy feel. Low carbonation.

A nice dopplebock and worth a try. Very malty, filling, and boozy makes consumption slow.

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Photo of emerge077
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Orange foam looks a little bit odd, the body is a high-clarity dark amber with little visible carbonation. Initial head measuring 1 finger plus, but it quickly disappears.

Toasted malt and an alcohol note are all I can pick up. Not subtle, it's a little harsh.

Mild nuttiness, vinous taste but thin bodied. Light, sweet, and sort of syrupy due to low carbonation.

Glad I only had a single, it was sort of a Doppelbock-lite, more in Dunkel territory.

Paired it with Gruyere cheese and some almonds.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

reviewed from notes from a bottle given to me as an extra so i could complete my brewery vertical.

dark brown in color with a light transperency on the sides and the bottom, giving off just a touch of a reddish hue. Nice big head of tan on top fades and leaves behind lots of side glass lacing. Aroma starts out with lots of caramel, a nice roasted nuttiness and a smooth, light oak like aroma coming up. Letting it warm and open up releases a touch of a boozy bourbon like smell and hints of vanilla. Rich flavor here, malty as all hell with light touches of vanilla and bourbon kicking around the outside of it. Lots of roasted notes, earthy and herbal like with lots of rich caramel flavor. Nice clean finish with a light touch of oak and vanilla

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Photo of GbVDave
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a DT tulip. Thanks to neubernie for the hook-up!

Bottled on: 17NOV2007

A: Pours a relatively clear, reddish, orange-y brown color with a small tan-colored head that leaves not much lace in the glass.

S: Aromas of toffee, toasted malt, raisin, nuts, and chocolate. All good until I noted a tiny hint of some buttery butterscotch. I don't like that aroma in beer. Thankfully it was just a little bit.

T: Big sweet toffee/caramel flavors along with dark chocolate, rum soaked raisin, pan roasted nut, toasted malt. Didn't taste any of the aforementioned butterscotch.

M: Sweet and pretty thick. Sticky. There's a distinct peppery dryness that develops during the middle and continues on into the finish.

D: Despite the briefly shudder-inducing butterscotch aroma, this was an enjoyable beer. I'd like to try a fresher example (this one was 11 months old when I reviewed it) to compare.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.8/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a orange-ish/ copper color with a tan head. In the aroma, sweet roasty malt with caramel hints. In the taste, small sweet maltiness, but very watery. A small malt, mainly watery mouthfeel, and a semi dry malty aftertaste. A small caramel in the nose and some malt in the taste, but overall, very watery.

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Photo of terrabyte
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy dark brown bordering on purple. Very small light-tan head.

Aroma is sweet with plums and dates. A nuttiness is trying to break through the fruit sweetness.

Flavor is a nice surprise. A wet leather bite right from the start. Sweet, tart, then sour with plum, raisins and some cranberries. As the beer warmed up, I could finally taste the boozy flavor in the aftertaste. Slighltgy boozy, but not warming.

Mouthful is creamy and sticky. A tart bite and carbonation adds to it all. Slightly boozy, which is surprising from the low ABV.

Drinkability is decent. It's interesting enough to enjoy, but eventually I found the sweetness to be too much. Sweet tooth's should be just fine. A nice affordable doppelbock, although I feel like it's just a bit fake.

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Photo of Homerbag
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich amber body that starts with a one and a half finger thick head and settles to a lacing ring.

Smell is a of heavy malts. Chocolate,caramel, and maybe some biscuity type. Very bready and true to dopple fashion. Tastes of a light liquid bread. Very malty, but not thick. It does not have the meal in a glass feel that most dopplebocks have. If that is what you are looking for you will be let down, but this is still very tasty. Feel is on the lighter side, but that makes it more sessionable, instead of the one and done with normally heavy beers, two will do.

A great offering from the hop masters at Tyranena. Quickly becoming the Wisconsin brewery that I look forward to. Not really true to style dopplebock, but these guys pretty much follow their own rules. Purists will be let down, beer geeks won't.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 ounce rather squat brown glass bottle. Neck label is generic in presentation and has a date of ‘06NOV03’ on it in black dot matrix print. The main label lists the beer as ‘ShantyTown Doppelbock’ and has a picture of many temporary shacks sat on a frozen lake covering which together form shanty-towns. Lots of marketing blurb to the left of the label and a simpler explanation to the right “Shantytown Doppelbock is brewed in the style of a German String Doppelbock. Brown in color with malty sweetness and a full body”. No listed strength, rather annoyingly.

Appearance: Darkish brown cum Chestnut color with light ruby hints when held to the light. Clear body, with a thin, but wholesome covering of well-compacted small light tan bubbles that form a smooth looking head.

Nose: This is a Trekkers Mix of smells. Open the bag and it has Nuts, Berries, Dried Bananas, Raisins, Peanuts, Currants and Bird Seeds. In addition it has a healthy dose of caramel malt and some dark fruits, with a sour-sharpness in the back end.

Taste: Malty start with an early sweetness in the initial third which suddenly explodes into a sour red Flemish middle and a lingering sour brown back end. Not your usual Doppelbock for sure. The finish has a gorgeous sour Red feel which I do not feel is intentional somehow: that said, this is nothing bad at all, in fact if anything, it really adds a complex and attractive dimension to the whole experience for me, especially as I am a fan of this style. The sourness in this Doppelbock maybe shouldn’t be there (?), but it is certainly not amiss. Perhaps it’s the age of the beer, who knows? Yet somehow, like inverted nipples, it intrigues me and doesn’t bother me that much, I just want to drink (and play with) it just that bit more. Intriguing!!

Mouthfeel: The Sweet-Sour tastes are fascinating; it builds a rather wholesome feel set against the caramel malts and nutty middle. The decent carbonation also adds body. Like sour cream, it is smooth yet sharp.

Drinkability: I liked the juxta-posed “Sweet Nut Brown meets Sour Flemish Red in Road Accident – Neither Wore Seatbelts - No Survivors!!!” feel to this one. As I have a taste for beers with a slight sour feel, it did not worry me at all, as I said before, it actually added to the whole experience and resulted in at least an extra 0.5 to the Drinkability if this "sourness" had not been there, especially as I am no fan of sweet beers.

Overall: Maybe suffering a little from age, yet in this case it is one of those instances when it develops an interesting nuance that is maybe a bonus. I think so! Yet again, a chance to sample another beer from Tyranena Brewing - which is never a disappointing experience! Thanks to "Joe of the Minneapolis" for this one!

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Photo of BeerBuilder
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours brown with an orangish tinge when held to the light. It forms an off-white head that quickly diminishes. The aroma is bready and chocolatey with a slight fruitiness. The flavor is malty, bready, and chocolate with a dark fruit taste. This was a tasty medium bodied brew. My first from Tyranena; I’d definitely like to sample more.

Sampled 5/17/04

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Photo of ibashmuck
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased as part of "build-your-own-six-pack" at local grocer. Medium foamy head on a dark amber body. Smell was sweet, caramel very prominent. Taste was exactly the same, very nice malt sweetness balanced with a low alcohol bite. Thick to the mouth, but not ridiculously so. Not a huge fan of this style, but this is far and away the best I've had. Very tasty.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear light cherrywood color, waffer thin light tan head emerged briefly from a vigoruos pour, some spotty globs of lace stick. Aroma is soft on the nose with a malty low toned sweetness of dulled raisin, bruised apple, unripe mango, and mild cherry with a caramel undertone within each wiff. Some slight toastyness derives as it warms. The taste follows suit with a good portion of malts rendering some low and mild toned sweetness of dulled fruitiness, I get mostly raisin, but its very mild, notes of bruised apple and slight cherry notes add in some other fruitish notions. There's a bit of caramel coming through at the start, midway begins to turn to a more toasty faction and finishes with a bit of dryness and very slight burntness. Feel is medium bodied with a bit of an uneasy texture that doesn't fit the style very well which comes out with some of the toasty character midway to finish. Not a bad drinkin' beer at all, as a dopplebock it lacks some depth and flavorness along with a creamier body and feel. Seemed like a nice malty Octoberfest to me, still liked it though.

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Photo of keoki182
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a much different doppelbock than I’ve had before. I suppose I can only compare it to Leinie’s Big Butt, which isn’t as close to the style as Tyranena’s fine offering. When I tested the aroma of the beer, I detected that familiar roasted/nutty scent that I am so used to when drinking many brown ales and porters. Hints of caramel, chocolate, and coffee made their presence known to my olfactory senses. The pour was dark and hearty, as a winter seasonal should be. The body was deep brown with a dark tan head. When I held the beer up to a light, the body appeared a translucent medium brown. The sweetish aroma was offset by the flavor: a sort of sour hazelnut taste. This sounds terrible, but it really is the best way to describe a unique and surprisingly pleasant taste. Overall, this was a smooth drinking beer that is hearty enough to serve as a light snack before a good old Wisconsin Friday fish fry.

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Photo of ZAP
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Re-rate 9/18-04-

Everything seems about the same..body is slightly improved buy dyill closer to a bock....I bet New Glarus Uff-Da is about the same gravity...toasty and nutty...some dark fruity notes....good flavor...nice taste....just a not a real complex or deep dopple...I like it better than Schells and Leinie's but not as good as the big boys...

A bit thin for a doppel in my opinion...seems more like a really good bock...as a doppel it falls short...it is copper in color with a woody nose...taste is very good...starts off with some nutty toasty characteristics but that fades quickly into more of a dark fruit flavor along with the woody characteristics....sweet but not oversweet...not much in the way of hops..VERY easy drinking and more of a bock in my opinion....as a bock I'd rate this high, as a doppel I can't do that.

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Photo of drpimento
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasty beer. Not one of their best nor very distinguishable. True to form. Pours with a nice head that dissipates and a little lace. Typical doppel bock flavor. It's good that it's not over sweet. Nice dark amber color. Real good caramel toffee finish. Be fun to cook with this.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a clear deep burgandy color with a nice little tan head. It dissipates quickly, but rims the glass and provides some nice lace patterns to observe during the drinking experience. There is some malt perceived on the nose, but not a ton. The bottle says full body, but I don't see it that way. Maybe medium-full at the most. The taste is very pleasant, but doesn't really knock my socks off the way some dopples do. It is not overly complex, but it's nice nonetheless. Nice smooth malt flavor. Hops seem negligible. Very easy drinking. This would be one of the dopples I would buy every spring if it were available by me.

After a few brews from Tyranena, I am starting to realize what a gem this little brewery is (located between Madison and Milwaukee).

Thanks to Cokes for the sample.

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Photo of botham
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner. pours a fiery amber color with a sizable light orange head that takes a few wonderful seconds to settle out.

aroma is malty, with a distinctive spiced character. caramel and chocolate malts are present, with a bit of alcohol, and a cinnamon-like base. very rich in the nose.

taste is of heavy malts up front, mainly caramel, with a touch of chocolate and a hint of roasted. the subtle spiced character is here as well, adding a bit of contrast to the sweet malts.

mouthfeel is medium to heavy in body, with a smooth and creamy texture. an excellent doppelbock.

drinkability is great. this brew is big and bold, with a slightly warming character from the alcohol. a great winter brew. cheers!

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Photo of beereality
3.87/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

vigorous pour into an imperial pint produces a sudsy head that disapates quickly and leaves no lacing that I can find. smells super malty, sweet. Nice orangy brown liquid. very smooth rich roasted malt flavor. super drinkable, but watch out for that 6.5 abv. gotta go visit that brewry! road trip!! thanks Bernie

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Photo of Atron67
4.02/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- poured a red amber, crystal clear body with a tan/off-white head that was pretty frothy on top, its slowly settled down to a thin film, didnt get much lacing though

S- nice maltiness, light biscuity character, light estery character which gives it a light fruit character in my opinion, overall very nice

T- smooth light malty character, clean, pretty delicious, light biscuit charachter again that gives it a great touch

M- medium to light body, light carbonation

D- very refreshing drink, light malt character, not as strong and out there as others but great session beer in my opinion, could down a bunch and be great

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Photo of timbro81
3.74/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish/copper hue with a standard sized 1/2 inch head that is quick to disappear. Almost no carbonation. Smells of rich sweet caramel, good, and not too much else. Taste is more of the same, nothing really spectacular. Balanced with some very subtle hops that bring up the finish. Pretty good.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pristine persimmon with ripe orange borders. An increasingly elevated pour netted no more than two fingers of caramel nougat colored foam. It's a pretty good looking head, though. It's firmly creamy and is so persistent that no lace has yet appeared. In the end, almost none sticks.

The earthy toasted nuttiness of Munich malt is obvious in the nose. The other members of the grain bill include pale, caramel and black. The beer smells as much like an Oktoberfest as it does a doppelbock.

After the first sip, this Tyranena winter seasonal is somewhere between pretty decent and good. Let's see what the next 11 ounces have to say for themselves. Actually, there's too much sweetness and too much dark maltiness for the Oktoberfest style. Okay, so it's a doppelbock after all.

The surprisingly complex flavor profile begins to find its groove as the beer gains a few degrees. Specifics include dark caramel, roasted peanuts, dried autumn fruits, German hops and a wee pinch of brown sugar. Well done.

The mouthfeel deserves to be commended as well. It's at least medium-full for the style and is more ale-like than lager-like, with an expansive creaminess and well-calibrated carbonation. The next highest score was seriously considered.

I wondered why the hell anyone would name a beer after a slum area when it occured to me (after a close inspection of the label) that Shantytown probably refers to the motley collection of shacks that can be seen on a lake during ice fishing season. If so, this is a pretty good name for a winter beer brewed in the state of Wisconsin.

Shantytown Doppelbock's biggest problem is that it shares a distribution area with Capital's outstanding Autumnal Fire. Since I'm not a huge fan of the style, I would probably go with AF on those rare doppelbock buying occasions. Those who love them, and who are lucky enough to live in Madison, should be thankful for the embarrassment of riches.

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Shantytown Doppelbock from Tyranena Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 26 ratings
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