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Benji's Chipotle Smoked Imperial Porter | Tyranena Brewing Company

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Benji's Chipotle Smoked Imperial PorterBenji's Chipotle Smoked Imperial Porter

Brewed by:
Tyranena Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by AdmiralDiaz on 03-15-2009

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Reviews: 129 | Ratings: 271
Photo of brentk56
4.85/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Black as a stout, with a creamy tan head that, while not massive, leaves great lacial webbing

Smell: Campfire smoke, with distinct chipotle elements; between the smoke and the peppers, it is hard to smell much else

Taste: Smokey at the outset, with charcoal, dark chocolate and prune flavors, all joined by the chipotle heat after a few seconds; after the swallow, the dark fruit, chocolate and smoky chipotle blend together and the heat leaves a memorable finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy, with moderate carbonation and a tingle on the tongue from the chile

Drinkability: Most memorable beer of 2010; just a great one all around that takes some tricky elements (smoke and heat) and works with them in a way that avoids the crash and burn of some other breweries

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Photo of oline73
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Unibroue goblet.

Appearance: Pours a murky very dark brown with a half finger of tan head that goes away completely.

Smell: Smokey and roasty with a mild amount of sweetness. Definitely getting the peppers along with some dark fruit.

Taste: Picking up smoke and roast right off the bat. Then the chipotle peppers show up along with some dark chocolate. The finish is slightly bitter and roasty from the malt.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side of medium with very smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I enjoyed this one a lot. The roast and chocolate notes go very well with the peppers. I would definitely have another.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a near-black with a nice tan head and a good amount of lacing as it goes down.

S: Smell is faint; hints of chilies and a bit of roasted malt, but it's really hard to detect all that much.

T: Wow, what an improvement from the nose. Plenty of chocolate and roasted malt and a beautiful touch from the chilies. The heat from the chilies comes on a bit more as it warms up.

M: Medium body with some nice heat. Low carbonation really lets some of the flavors shine.

D: Very nice, as new flavors seem to keep coming out. A nice sipper.

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Photo of mothman
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into rare vos glass.

Head develops slowly but turns into 1.5 fingers of creamy tan head. Color is near black. Decent retention with some solid lace rings/walls left. 4.5

Aroma: Rich chocolate and roasted malts. Some vanilla notes. Light chipotle pepper notes. Some smoked flavors. Not too bad.

Taste: More chipotle peppers here and they actually add a layer to this beer. Sweet vanilla and caramel flavors. Lots of chocolate and roasted/smoked malt flavors. This beer is pretty tasty. A very solid porter.

Mouthfeel: Roasted, smoky, and smooth. Medium to full bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Ends a little dry, very malty with some peppers.

Overall, a very solid beer from Tyranena. I will be getting another 4 pk of this for sure. It is a solid porter and the peppers just add another layer to this beer. I am glad this one is available around here. Well done. Decently drinkable.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours black, with a ½ finger of smooth dark mocha head. This retains with a thin layer of creamy foam, leaving back a light smattering of lace that sticks to the sides. Dark roast, chocolate, and earthy green citric character hit the nose first in the aroma, which is quickly followed by a warming tinge of peppers. As this warms up this, the peppers actually control things to a surprising degree. And that's not necessarily a bad thing here.

The taste is thick and tangy up front with chocolate, caramel, and citric fruit. This gives way to bitter hops and a flush of burnt roast across the back. The spiciness of the peppers is much lighter feeling feel, with some gentle warmth in a mostly dry roasted finish, and an overall more subtle presence than what the nose had. The mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied, with a creamy thickness to the carbonation that fills out the back but then works itself into a sharper feel the longer it hangs around in the mouth. I was pleased to find that this maintained a certain amount of smoothness to it considering the flavors involved.

While I would have liked to have had a touch more warmth from the peppers in the taste, I did like the route that they took with them here, putting them out there a little more in the nose and then integrating them a little better in the flavor profile. There's a very smooth body on this as well for the more assertive flavors and higher ABV that was involved, helping keep this nicely approachable during the duration of the glass. A very well done BGW entry here from Tyranena.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from HogWildLiquor courtesy of Secret Santa 2010, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

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

S: The aroma contains rich coffee, roasted malts, touches of fruit and hops but I did not detect much smokiness or any chipotle pepper.

T: The taste starts out with a very hearty roasted malt character followed by some smokiness and sweet flavors of coffee and chocolate. The hops presence is very mild but is right where it should be for this beer. As for the chipotle, it seems to only peek its way through into the slightly smoky and slightly sweet after-taste. However the heat gradually builds as you drink the beer.

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

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, rather than add a seemingly odd flavor to the beer, the chipotle seems like it enhances the smokiness. Overall it’s a good beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

dark brown porter emerged from the bottle with a huge billowing four inch head of foam in its wake. Enormous retention left this one hanging back for what seemed like forever, and even after it started to settle,

Started out very sweet, with nice notes of chocolate and sugar running through it. Not at all what I was expecting. Some touches of vanilla and a bit of coffee as well coming through. There was a slight bit of pepper way in the back but it was not dominating by any means.Sweet milk chocolate and sugar a tingle on the tongue, a warming in the throat and a fire in the belly. Subtly the chili comes through, warming you as it goes, but by no means is this too big. This is perfectly blended in the flavor, rising subtly to a crescendo that then backs down as easy as it came up

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Photo of womencantsail
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Craig for sending me yet another in the Brewers Gone Wild series.

A: The pour is quite standard for a porter with a dark brown color and reddish highlights. A mild tan foam sits on top.

S: The chipotles don't necessarily announce their presence, but there is a very pleasant smokiness from the malt and the peppers. There is a nice mix of sweetness and a faint heat, along with roasted malt.

T: A really great mix of roasted malt, smoke, sweetness, coffee, and just a touch of chili heat. This is one of the more restrained chili beers, and I'm thankful for that.

M: A medium bodied beer with a smooth, low level of carbonation.

D: All these BGW releases have been really great--especially the porters. And luckily, this is no exception. I'm usually not the biggest fan of the chili beers, but this one was good.

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Photo of russpowell
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got this one from Beertracker, cheers Jeff!

Pours Mahogany with a finger of creamy mocha head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Rich chocolate, roasty maly & smokeyness

T: Follows the nose, some coffee & then peppery smokeyness up front, along with charred grain & cocoa sweetness. Dryness, dark chocolate, faint pepper burn as this warms, some herbal & woody hops too. Finishes with mocha, slight pepper warmth & faint oakyness

MF: Chewy, creamy, & smooth, a touch of warming sensation as well

Drinks sooo easy, seems less spicy than the growler I sampled, on a another occasion, but I was drinking other chile beers & my tasted buds were wasted after awhile... This one really worked for me...

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a shaker pint glass.

Great to see a pack o' this left on my Binny's shelf. It pours a dark black-brown, highlighted in ruby, topped by a finger of light tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, molasses, brown sugar, and cinnamon. The taste follows this line of reasoning, adding some dark chocolate and a slight pepper heat in the back, adding an additional layer of complexity without overwhelming the tongue. The body is a heavy-ish medium, with a light carbonation and a feel that yearns to be chunky and chewy. Overall, a very nice and tasty pepper-infused porter that doesn't overplay its hand and goes down very easily.

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Photo of billab914
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. Poured black in color with a thin but frothy tan head. The head settled out to a thin ring around the edges of the glass, and left only a bit of lacing.

The aroma has a pretty nice chocolaty porter flavor to it. The chipotle peppers are noticeable but not that strong. The smoke is a bit more subdued in the nose then in the taste, but still there. Pretty nice nose to it overall.

The taste has a nice chocolaty and roasty porter flavor to it, which acts as a very nice base for all of the other flavors they added. The smoke flavor is a particularly nice addition in my opinion. The smoke really comes through nicely but isn't overpowering either. Throughout the flavor there is a very slight chipotle flavor with just a touch of heat. Compared to some other pepper beers I've had this one blends very nicely in the smokey chocolate flavors. Excellent job at blending all of these flavors nicely without overpowering the beer with any of them.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is very good, I loved the flavors. The smoky flavors were especially good. As I said before, the flavors really blended well together and made it incredibly flavorful and complex. Going into this I definitely expected to be overwhelmed by peppers or smoke but I'm happy to report I was very wrong. Would definitely buy this beer again.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 7/9/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - brown no head

s - Smells of coffee, smoke, and roasted malts.

t - Tstes of chile peppers, chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts.

m - Medium body and no carbonation. Very easy to drink.

d - I thought this was a great porter. Not only was it a great smoked beer, but it used chile peppers very effectively. Would love to try again.

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Photo of stakem
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz stubby brown bottle gifted to me by CaptinRedBeard, thanks Corey! No indication of bottle date (not that it matters all that much with this particular style/offering) but curiosity does strike home here with the special ingredients in relation to freshness.

Poured into a pint glass, this brew appears a very dark brown to black color with a finger of smooth dark brown head that slowly recedes and hangs close to the edge of the glass. Only after holding the brew up to the light do I acknowledge the clarity this brew displays and the deep brown and ruby coloration. Swirls and sips produce and interesting formation of lacework which ranges from spotty patches to thin leggings.

The aroma of this brew is deep and roasty with a smoked almost pete'd quality that is quite enjoyable upfront. Dark charred scents give way to a depth of sweet chocolate character and a slight sting of both alcohol and peppers in the back of the nose. The more sniffs I take, the more the chipotle character comes forward and has a very light citrus aspect before returning to the smoked and roasty chocolate character. This brew has me salivating before I have even taken a sip.

I tip my hat to brewer(s) of Tyranena after taking a sip of this offering. The aroma of this brew come full tilt into the flavor profile. This brew tastes roasted with dark chocolate malt indications and a light smoked aspect on the backend. A flavor of burnt grains resides predominantly throughout this brew with a subtle indication of citrus that is somewhat imparted by the hops and somewhat imparted by the peppers. The spice of the peppers is perfectly incorporated in this brew, it imparts a pleasant nuance in the finish that perks this brew and takes it to the next level. Instead of providing and in-your-face blast of pepper heat, it is a creeper that is warming and only readily noticeable as I enter the second half of my glass.

This brew we have here is absolutely fantastic stuff. It is medium bodied with a level of carbonation that is perfect. It is carbonated enough to let the flavors sit along the palate yet bubbly enough to keep it light and lively. This is only my second offering from Tyranena and seriously, color me impressed. I need to get my hands on some more of their offerings to see if they can pull it off with a style other than porter/stout.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thoroughly black, this, with a good-sized, roasty brown head.

Toasty malt nose, char, tobacco, a bit of smoke...not much pepper, though. Oh wait, there's a little bit in there, it's shy at first, but it's coming out.

Taste: Full and rich on the palate at first, a real mouthful, dark and deep, big, fat malt. How about that pepper? Again, not prominent, not dominant, but wait...there's a little. Getting bigger. And the alcohol is calling out, too, though it not "that" strong, at 7.5%.

Chocolate rises up and demands attention, with the pepper's fire behind it. Espresso tinges round the edges, with char and smoke after, nice and roasty, and surprisingly smooth.
Some have found the pepper missing and been disappointed by this brew. I feel that an understated flavor may just be the way to go sometimes. I've had over the top, hit you in the head chile beers, and could not handle much more than a few ounces.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single while I was in Wisconsin - buying a 4-pack of a chili beer without tasting it first seemed dangerous. Served in a FoBAB pint-shaped taster glass.

A - Pours with a late rising quarter-finger of dark tan foam that settles to a thin ring and a partial filmy cap. Body is very dark brown, with a faint hint of transparency at the fringes.

S - Dark roast malts, dark fruits, chocolate, smoke. If you stick your nose right up to it, there's a hint of chipotle, but I probably wouldn't have noticed if it weren't in the name of the beer. Pretty nice porter though.

T - Taste as more over chipotle flavor, and isn't nearly as sweet as the nose. Dark chocolate, burnt malts, and an bitter espresso finish that lingers into the aftertaste. The combination of the nose and taste gets me thinking mole sauce.

M - This is a weak spot for the beer, as it has a medium-light watery texture and somewhat harsh carbonation burn. While I appreciate that porters and stouts should retain some differentiation in texture, this is a little wussy. There's some residual stickiness which is pleasant. Maybe a bit of faint peppery warmth lingers.

D - Went through my 6oz pour pretty quickly - other than the annoying feel this is another solid porter from Tyranena. If you like a little peppery kick this is a solid choice.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

At the time of this review, this is the #44 top beer in the category "American Porter". Served in a New Belgium globe glass.

Beer is black and hazy with a lazy thin brown head, no lacing, low carbonation, looks fine.

Aroma is sweet and spicy, nice mixture of malt, chocolate, milk, chiles, very nice aroma. Minimal smoke.

Beer is mildly smokey, a little sweet, a little dry on the finish, chocolate, chili, mild spice, good but not great. I won't have another.

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Photo of tempest
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single from Princeton Liquors. This is another hit from the Brewer's Gone Wild series. At first there's a crisp hot chocolate aroma but as the beer warms the smoky pepper comes forward over the tasty cocoa and mellow roasted grains. The body is a touch thick, it's it's right on for the style. My only critique is that the chipotle dominates the beer enough to simplify the overall character.

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Photo of Duff27
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Thin mocha head on top of a dark brown opaque beer. Good head retention and some lacing.

S- Chipotle peppers in the nose. Woooo.

T- Your avage Tyranena porters base with a "warming" pepper aftertaste. Unmistakeable.

M- Very smooth and creamy. Good carbonation.

D/O- Probably the best pepper-inspired beer I've reviewed to date. Would stop after one of these but that keeps it special. Tyranena knows porters and with Benji's they've melded a great tasting porter with the perfect amount of pepper heat.

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Photo of aasher
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I thought I would never get to try this but by the grace of god I stumbled upon a single bottle in a cooler window. Yes! I like chile beers, especially after having the Bourbon County Ancho Chile so this should be a treat.

It pours a medium bodied black in color with the lightest of beige heads that quickly dissipated to lace the glass. The aromas are of bitter chocolate and subdued chipotle better. The pepper is released a little more as the beer warms. It has that spice and heat that you love from a good pepper. The flavors are superb. It is initially a mix of sweet and bitter chocolates with a light coffee roast. The initial aftertaste is all pepper and in the best way possible. It is just sooo good! It's exactly what I hoped for. It drinks medium in body and coats the palate, leaving mostly a slightly spicy chocolate flavor behind. I love this. I want another bottle instantly.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to beerwolf77 for this brew.

Pours a nice black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some slight roast/smoke note, a touch of chocolate/toffee. The taste is malty, nice smoky/roasted note, a nice chocolate/toffee note, some vanilla, slightly peppered. Medium body, a nice silky smoothness to this brew. Drinkable, a very tasty brew, recommended. Always love a Tyranena brew.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From tasting notes. This poured black with no head. There are chocolate and roast malt aromas and flavors and the chipotle pepper is a surprisingly nice touch. Very drinkable.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, bottled on 11JAN16 stamped on the bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with almost an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The brew smells like subtle smoke, chili peppers, and chocolate. Taste is pretty much the same as the aroma, it's subtle smoke, chili peppers and chocolate. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It's also smooth and easy enough to drink. I thought this was OK overall, but I wish it had more kick to it. I think this is the 3rd beer I've tried from Tyranena and I can't say any of them have impressed me (not that their beers have been bad either). But if you like subtle chili pepper flavor, then give this a try.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Opaque black and dark brown color. Two finger light brown head that recedes to a thin film of foam that eventually fades away. A little tan lacing sticks to my glass after each sip.

Great roasted mlat aroma of black bread crust chocolate, cocoa, coffee with just a hint of smokiness. Wouldn't think there were any chipotle peppers in this beer from the smell.

Roasty, bitter roasted malt. Coffee and dark chocolate play around nicely. The start has some chipotle smokiness. The middle is void of any smoke, but the finish is roasty. Add to that peppery, smokey chipotle and chocolate. Palate is dry and a little grainy. Good porter worth trying for sure.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into a snifter.

Appearance: dark brown to light black colored body with a cream colored head. spoty lacing to the side of the glass.

Smell: Light smoke and earthy smell. Peppers.

Taste: This beer starts tasting like a delicous porter having the coffee and dark chocolate flavors with some light smoke flavor, but as it warms the peppers show up and take over this beer. The peppers offer a compliment to the smokiness, at no time do the peppers become too much, but they are very balanced with this beer. The peppers give a slight tingle as you drink the beer which really adds to the thinner mouthfeel of this beer.

Mouthfeel: Moderate body, but a bit thin for this particular beer. Moderate carbonation. A delicate tingling sensation is like adding a new demension to this beers mouthfeel.

Overall: I enjoyed this beer and continue to enjoy every beer from the Brewer Gone Wild series. Tyranena makes another great beer!

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Photo of IdrinkGas
3.54/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From a 12oz bottle to my snifter.

A:Pours a very deep shade of brown almost black. A thin layer of tan head from a rough pour.

S: Smoky, roasted Chipotle pepper, and a hint of dark chocolate. The smokiness is not overpowering.

T: Mostly a smoky taste but finishes with a little roasted chocolate malt kick.

M: A little thin and under carbonated. It has a big flavor which would probably be better with a bigger body.

D: ABV is well hidden but due to the strong flavor its something I would only drink one of in a sitting.

I didn't think I would like this at all but it turned out to be quite enjoyable.

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Benji's Chipotle Smoked Imperial Porter from Tyranena Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 271 ratings.
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