Gose – American: Westbrook Gose

This week, a beer that nearly went extinct. Tracing it’s roots back to Germany, we have Westbrook Gose. A salty beer with Coriander seeds added, designed to drink during the summer. We’ve never had a Gose on here before, so I thought it would be rude not to! (Gose is apparently pronounced Gose-uh, the more you know!) It’s currently seen a revival with American Breweries producing it and German breweries and pubs producing and selling it again.

Let’s start with Westbrook’s description of the brew:

This is our interpretation of Gose (pronounced “Gose-uh”), a traditional German-style sour wheat beer brewed with coriander and salt. Once nearly extinct, this very refreshing style is making a comeback.

I like this description, it’s to the point, has a little bit of information about the style and lets you take it from there. I like how this beer is making a comeback, because to be honest there’s nothing quite like it. Sure, you have Berliner Weiss that is similar but, this one is salty and slightly citrusy and I’ve introduced it to people that wouldn’t usually be into beer. The type of people that put half the pot of salt on their chips and citrus freaks. Usually they’ve absolutely loved it.

Let’s get on to the recipe, the malts are 2-Row, Sauermalz and Malted Wheat. This is inoculated with Lactobacillus and left for three days. After this, the small amount of CTZ hops are added along with Sea Salt and Coriander during the boil and Fermentation. It seems like a simple recipe, but it’s not! The Sour Mash method is notoriously difficult. It’s definitely an interesting one to try, though.

When you pour this beer, it’s a pale straw colour with a big, fizzy white head. Eventually this dissipates and leaves no lacing and no trace of the head. It looks a bit like Apple Fanta but paler. On the nose there’s Tart Citrus, a touch of Coriander and Wheat. On the palate, it’s so complex for a sour, first is the extremely Tart Citrus, then it moves on to a Salty Flavour with a Wheat Backbone but after this, surprisingly it goes sweet with flavours reminiscent of Apple Cider. What a great brew! It’s Medium to Thin Bodied, but by no means watery. It finishes Sweet and Sour, which is very refreshing and perfect for Hot and Humid weather.

You can purchase Westbrook Gose from Brewdog’s Online Shop at the moment! Their lines are always changing, so grab one whilst you can!

EST. CALORIES: 120   ABV: 4%

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Sour – English: Siren Craft Brew Cucumber Calypso

This week’s beer is the Special Cucumber Calypso by Siren Craft Brew. This was a limited beer, but it’s so tasty that it definitely deserves a mention! Cucumber had been added to the beer, and being such a fan of Gherkins (Pickles) it was one I most definitely had to try!

It seems that there’s no description for this one, either as it was a limited release, so lets crack on to the recipe! I think this particular iteration of the brew has Pale Wheat, 2-Row and Vienna Malts in. As for the Hops, they aren’t very detectable, but there is a Citrus undertone so I’d probably go for Centennial or Cascade. After this, because so much Cucumber flavour comes through I’d probably say it’s Dry-Cucumbered during fermentation (that sounds rude). Dry-Cucumbering (had to do it again) is the same as Dry-Hopping, but Cucumbers are used. So during Secondary Fermentation, the Cucumbers are added to the beer.

When your pour this beer, it’s a Cloudy Orange with a Thin to Medium white head. It dissipates slowly leaving a little bit of dotty lacing. Some Yeast clings to the side of the glass as you drink, which is a nice touch reminding you that you’re drinking a Berliner Weiss. On the nose, massive Cucumber aromas, some Brettanomyces and a nice Wheat note on the tail end. I absolutely love Cucumber, so the first time I picked this up just by smelling it I wanted to drink it straight away! On the palate, again big Cucumber notes, Wheat, Sour Funky yeast and some Citrus undertones. The Wheat and Malt backbone of this beer really carries through and allows the Cucumber to come through which is a great touch! It’s medium-bodied, with quite high carbonation. It finishes tart and dry. The regular Calypso is refreshing, but this one takes it to a new level with Cucumber added. Let’s hope Siren brew it again soon!

As this was a limited release, unfortunately it’s all sold out – but you can get the regular Calypso here and I really recommend it!

EST. CALORIES: 120   ABV: 4%

IPA – Welsh: Tiny Rebel Urban IPA

This mid-week beer is from the Welsh Tiny Rebel – Their Urban IPA. I’ve always admired Tiny Rebel as a brewery and it’s nice to be able to include them in this blog – expect to see a few more of their beers soon as they do some good’ns! This is a 5.5% IPA which always seems to be on tap in my Local in Summer, so I thought it would be the best one to go for in the current season!

Let’s start with Tiny Rebel’s description of the brew:

A carefully-crafted intercontinental blend of hops helps us take traditional IPAs to the next level with Urban IPA. If you’re bored with soulless IPAs drunk by farmers in wellies, it’s time to go URBAN.

A nice, short description letting you into an insight on how they make the beer and a little joke about some of the blander IPA’s out there in the UK. There’s not really much else to say about this as it’s quite a short description. I must say that the little poke against a certain Brewery in Farm Territory made me crack a smile, though.

Let’s start with the Hops in this one, I think Simcoe, Columbus, Centennial and Citra have been used in this one. As for the Malts, we’ve got 2-Row, Caramalt, a touch of Golden Light and then a little Red Wheat. After this, it’s fermented with a nice San Diego Style yeast.

When you pour this beer, it’s a deep Orange with a thick White Head which has the best retention of the beers I’ve seen as of late. It eventually dissipates to a thin head and sticks around the entire time you drink, leaving foamy lacing around the glass. On the nose, there’s Citrus, Passion Fruit and some Floral/Rose notes which are interesting. When you taste this beer, you get a huge hit of Grapefruit, Citrus and Rose water. A nice, sticky Caramel backbone carries throughout, which is a great touch to this super-citrusy IPA. The body is medium, with medium carbonation. The beer has quite a creamy feel in your mouth and finishes dry.

You can buy Urban IPA at:

Tiny Rebel

Honest Brew

Amazon

Beer Gonzo

Beer Merchants

EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%

Anniversary Post! Double IPA – Firestone Walker Double Jack

Just to start this post off, it’s our 1st Birthday today! The response we’ve got from this blog over the last year has been incredible. We’ve got to try some amazing beers, go to some amazing events and meet some great people! Thanks for coming along for the ride, it doesn’t stop here so thanks for your support and lets carry on spreading the word of good beer! Speaking of beer…

(PS. Apologies for the cheesy edit, I couldn’t resist)

What better way to celebrate a First Birthday than a Triple Dry Hopped, Double IPA from Firestone Walker?! This week’s beer is Double Jack, and if you’re living in the UK there’s going to be a link at the end on where to buy this beer! It also arrived very fresh, I’m not sure how it happened but the fact is I can have a beer I’ve admired for a long time without going all the way to California and smuggling back a few bottles!

Let’s start with Firestone Walker‘s description of the brew:

A dangerously drinkable Double IPA.  Double Jack opens up with bright grapefruit and tangerine American hop aromas. Beautifully crafted undertones of stone fruit are revealed upon first sip, followed by the essence of blue basil and pine. A sturdy pale and crystal malt backbone brings balance to high hop intensity. Complex and aggressively hopped, and flawlessly balanced.

A to the point description with this one, almost like a wine description with the amount of flavours suggested in the brew! However, Firestone Walker are from the Wine region of California so it’s understandable.

Let’s get on to the recipe, as this is a Double IPA lets start with the Hops. In this one, the bittering Hops are Warrior and Columbus, the late Hops Cascade and Centennial. After this is the crazy Triple Dry Hopping with Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial and Simcoe for 3 days. As for the Malts, from the recipe it seems to pack a good Malt bill with 2-Row, Munich and Light Crystal. It’s fermented with a pretty Standard California Yeast.

This beer pours a lovely Golden colour with a Medium White head with great retention. Rings of lacing line the glass as you drink, making for a really attractive looking brew! On the nose there’s lots of Grapefruit, Orange, Pine, Caramel and that signature Firestone Walker Vanilla. On the Palate you’ve got a big initial hit of Tangerine, Mango, Citrus and bitter resinous Pine. This is all backed up by a fantastic Chewy Caramel backbone throughout which really carries the beer and makes it insanely drinkable for a 9.5% brew! This beer is very well bodied with medium carbonation and finishes quite dry.

This is one of my favourite beers, it’s been really hard not to fanboy during this one! As promised, you UK Visitors can grab this beer from: Bier Deluxe and grab a few other hard to get beers there too!

Now we’re off to Celebrate our First Birthday in style!

EST. CALORIES: 285   ABV: 9.5%

1st July – IPA – Scottish: Brewdog Born To Die 04.07.2015

This week’s beer is Brewdog’s tribute to Stone’s Enjoy By, which I reviewed earlier this year. Although this beer is a tribute, it’s definitely Brewdog’s twist as it’s definitely a different recipe but with the same intention – to brew an IPA that’s not meant to last to drink fresh. It’s one for all you Hop-Heads out there!

Let’s start with Brewdog’s description of the brew:

This beer is Born To Die.

Savagely bitter, exceptionally dry, this IPA is born to die on a predetermined day. It proudly displays its short-lived life span front and centre.

There is no better time to drink this than the moment you get your paws on it.

Awesome bitterness backed up by unrelenting aromas of resin, citrus, and juicy fruit. Born To Die is a eulogy to the hops that sacrificed themselves in its creation.

An incredibly ambitious and satisfying small batch brew.

This is one of those Brewdog descriptions we’ve come to expect, brash, bold and tonnes of hints at the flavour. Although, it has been noted that Brewdog seem to have stepped down the comedy and over exaggeration in their descriptions lately. I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing! In a way I miss their funny descriptions full of things against “the man” but on the other hand it’s nice to see a company evolving!

Anyway, let’s not get into politics! This beer hopped a lot, as it’s an Imperial IPA. The Hops in this brew are Amarillo, Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe. I hadn’t had a beer with Citra in for a little while, so this excited me. As for the Malts, we’ve got Extra Pale, Marris Otter and Pale Malts. Quite a similar Malt Bill to Enjoy by but with the added Extra Pale malt and lowering of the other Malts giving it a paler colour. I’d say that this beer is probably Dry Hopped with Citra and Mosaic and fermented with a San Diego style yeast.

When you pour this beer it’s Amber with a Medium White head, it dissipates down to a thin cap which stays on top of the beer for most of the time you’re drinking it leaving dotty lacing on the sides of the glass. On the nose we’ve got a little bit of Bready Malt, Lemongrass, Tropical Fruits and a splash of Pine. On the Palate, the Bready Malts come through first which is a nice surprise, these carry throughout the beer providing a backbone which the Hops shine off! First a big hit of Citrus and Coriander, then Pineapple and Mango with hints of Bubblegum. It finishes with a Resinous Pine kick. The beer is very well bodied, with quite high carbonation. It finishes dry. This beer is perfect for the summer weather, let’s hope Brewdog release another batch!

You can ask Brewdog to E-Mail you when Born to Die is back in stock or get down to somewhere like Bottledog, who might have a few more bottles left. Grab it before the 4th July! (I know it’s not long).

EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%

IPA – English: Brixton Electric IPA

This week’s beer is a great chance to show off one of London’s less-known breweries and to thank Alex from The House Of Belgium for my new Indestructible Duvel Glass made from Eastman Plastic. More on his awesome shop and website soon! When I first tried a Brixton Brewery beer it had all the great flavours of a Pale Ale, but there was just a strange taste lingering. Since then, Brixton Brewery have really stepped up their Quality Control and their Beer can most definitely compete with the other Bigger London Breweries! That’s why I was excited to review this one, as at the moment it’s my favourite offering from them.

Let’s start with Brixton‘s description of the beer:

Inspired by Electric Avenue, the beating heart of Brixton and made with New World hops, our full-bodied IPA is packed with energy and attitude. Electric perfectly balances malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness, with a floral, citrus and tropical fruit hit.

I like this description, the fact that their local area has inspired their beer is always a huge positive point. Craft Beer wouldn’t be the boom that it is without the respective breweries local areas spreading the word. Although there’s suggestions on the flavour, it’s short and sweet and there’s still an element of you working it out yourself.

As this one’s an IPA, let’s start with the hops! This one has Cascade, Centennial and Amarillo making for that Classic American IPA Hop Bill. As for the Malts, I think Brixton have got a little creative with 2-Row, Munich, Crystal but with a twist of a touch of Biscuit and Pale Chocolate malts. I’m pretty sure that this one is Dry-Hopped with Amarillo due to the flavour profile I picked up. But it could be a mixture of Amarillo and Cascade. Fermented with a nice, clean yeast like Wyeast 1450.

When you pour this beer, it’s an Amber/Orange colour with a Medium White Fluffy head. The head retention on this one is great, especially for an unfiltered, unfined beer! Once it dissipates slightly, you’ll notice the sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. The head remains throughout drinking. On the nose there’s a big Citrus and Tropical fruit hit with some Pine and Caramel/Bread notes in the background. The Aroma on this one has been done really well! When you first taste this beer, you get a huge Orange Peel Citrus note, then the Grapefruit and Tropical fruit flavours come after. There’s a nice Bready malt backbone backing this one up throughout, which is always welcomed! The beer is Medium-Bodied with High Carbonation and finishes quite dry. This one is a definite for the summer, and at 6.5% it’s most probably one you can session during those sunny BBQ’s!

You can buy Electric IPA at Brixton’s Online Shop

EST. CALORIES: 195   ABV: 6.5%

Triple IPA – English: Beavertown, American: Boneyard Brewery Power Of The Voodoo

This Friday’s beer is claimed to be the UK’s First Triple IPA, which means Triple the hops and Triple the Malt making a beast of a beer. It’s a Collaboration between Tottenham, London’s Beavertown and Bend, Oregon’s Boneyard Brewery. It’s always tricky to make one because the Malt bill cannot be too heavy to create a smooth mouthfeel but generally Triple IPA’s are 10% ABV and over.

I first met Tony, Clay and Melodee, the trio behind the awesome Boneyard Brewing from Bend, Oregon in 2014 at the Brewers dinner after Mikkeller’s CBC. We sat next to each other after an amazing two days of serving our beers in Copenhagen. By this point we had hit some amazing wine and laughed and talked a lot about life and beer. A friendship was formed and good times planned! Roll on 11 months and Tony the Boneyard brewmaster was coming to the UK on his way into Europe. “Let’s brew!?!” Oh yes!! So I asked Tony if he had any dreams of what to brew. Tony said “I like hops!” Well, so do we! Tony and I got chewing over the malts and hops…a lot of hops!!! And how we attain a kick ass, smooth, dry, sessionable 10% triple IPA?!? Easy right! DIPA and TIPA are really tough brews to nail. To create that ultimate high ABV monster that drinks with easy and finesse is a true art form. Take Vinnie’s ’Pliny’s’ and Tony’s ’Notorious TIPA’ as examples. Such well considered and brilliantly executed beers. So it’s our pleasure to give you ’Power of the Voodoo’ Triple IPA. As Tony explained about Boneyard’s Notorious TIPA “Wherever that beer goes, it takes names!” We feel that at 10% ABV, ’Voodoo’ is up there and taking them too. Watch out, Voodoo’s about!

Quite a long description, but it’s got a story in which I’m always fond of. No hints at how it should taste, which is good, with a Triple IPA so many people taste so many different things. I like how they’ve listed Pliny the Younger and Notorious March of the Pigs as influences which are both very well renowned Triple IPA’s. I’m excited for this one, so let’s move on!

As this is a Triple IPA, let’s start with the Hops! Judging by the flavours and influences stated in the description, I think the Hops in this one are Columbus, Simcoe, Centennial, Zeus, Amarillo and Cascade. There’s also a lot of Dry-Hopping with most of the Hops used, just to get as much Hop flavour in there as possible. As for the Malts, I think Carapils, 2-Row, Vienna, a small amount of Vienna and a small amount of Caramalt are used. This is then fermented with a very clean yeast that can stand up to the eventual high alcohol percentage.

When you pour this beer, it pours a Caramel colour with a Medium white head. The retention is quite good, but it eventually fades and ends up as a Thin head on the beer for the rest of the time you’re drinking. On the nose, there’s Grapefruit, Passionfruit, Citrus, Pine, Pineapple and Orange. Underneath this there’s some Biscuity and Vanilla notes to break up the Hop bomb on the senses. When you taste this beer, you get a big initial hit of Passionfruit and Grapefruit, then there’s a wave of Orange and Pineapple followed by the Pine and Resinous Hop flavours. Again, the Vanilla/Biscuit backbone carries through while drinking. The Mouthfeel is surprisingly Crisp and Smooth with good Carbonation. It finishes quite dry with an extremely subtle Alcohol kick. This is such a dangerous brew at 10%, but still so sessionable! But I really do recommend trying this, it’s one of the best I’ve had so far this year!

You can buy Power Of The Voodoo at the Brewery, Mother Kelly‘s in Bethnal Green and various shops and bars around London. Get it before it’s gone! If you don’t live in the UK, try to get your friends to send you this. It’s a must try.

EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%

Barrel Aged Sour Brown Ale – American: Russian River Supplication

The beer for this slightly later posted article this Wednesday is quite special. Supplication by Russian River. I’ve always heard that Sours from Russian River are always Saught after, and Moe from Craft Beer Kings/Plaza Market in El Monte, California was kind enough to hook me up with some Supplication!

Let’ start with Russian River’s description of the brew:

Brown Ale aged in used Pinot Noir barrels from local Sonoma County wineries. It is aged for about 12 months with sour cherries, brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and pediococcus added to each barrel. Flavors from the cherries, Pinot Noir and oak balance each other nicely with a little funk from the brett.

Already this sounds like a very interesting beer, I like the brief description of the flavour. A beer like this should never have a detailed description of how it should taste. I’m liking how local barrels are used from the prolific California Wine scene and as soon as I saw this I was interested. I’m a huge fan of Red Wine and Cherries, and wondered how it would work in a Sour.

The recipe for this one was semi-easy to find out. I had the honour of talking to Vinnie Cilurzo (The Head Brewer and Owner) when I asked him what temperature to drink this one at. After telling me, we were conversing about the recipe for a little while which I really appreciated. The Malts in this one are 2-Row, Vienna, Crystal 40L and Carafa III Malts. I think there’s possibly a little bit of Wheat because the head on this one is crazy, more on that soon! As for the Hops, this is a Sour Brown Ale so they aren’t that prominent. I think Saaz and Hallertau are used. This is then aged in Oak Pinot Noir barrels and Sour Cherries are added to it with Brettanomyces Yeast for 12 Months. After this, it’s re-fermented in the bottle with Belgian Yeast.

This beer pours an Amber/Ruby colour with impressive carbonation and big head! The head doesn’t really recede as you drink, until you’ve nearly finished the bottle and leaves foamy lacing on the sides of the glass. It has one of the best head retentions I’ve seen in a while. On the nose there’s Tart Cherry, a touch of Wine notes, Oaky Tannins with some Belgian style funky notes and a touch of Bretty sourness. When you taste this beer, it truely is complex, up front there’s Pinot Noir and Tart Cherry notes with a big, bready and Oaky backbone. You really can taste the Oak Barrels in this beer in the backbone, which was a huge surprise. There’s also some sweeter Cherry notes in the background, some Belgian funk and a little bit of Nutty undertone towards the finish creating a salty feel. The beer is very well bodied for a Sour and very well carbonated. It finishes dry.

If you can get your hands on this, trading, going to California or asking a friend there to get you one I really recommend it! I’ve posted this article today as Russian River have just released a new batch of Supplication! If you’re visiting in the very near future or you have friends there, I definitely recommend getting a bottle of this.

EST. CALORIES: 210   ABV: 7%

Blended Saison/Sour – English: Wild Beer Co. Zintuki

This week’s beer is Zintuki from the Wild Beer Co. in Somerset, England. It’s a blend of a beer I’ll be writing about later this year (Ninkasi) and a beer from their core range – Somerset Wild. I was really interested in this beer, as I’ve always liked blends from other Brewers and think that they need to be more widely recognised. A good example is in the Wine world, where a blend can make two Wines taste even more incredible.

Let’s start with Wild Beer Co‘s description of the brew:

“More lessons in the art of blending from Wild Beer Co. This project sees the combination of Ninkasi and Somerset Wild creating a beer that is sour, hoppy, and acidic with an immaculate effervescence and super dry finish.”

A short but sweet description for Online, however it goes into way more detail on the back. There’s not a lot to say about this shorter description really, apart from that it’s straight to the point. It’s a blend, it’s sour, it’s hoppy and it’s pretty fizzy with a dry finish – more on that later.

As for the recipe with this one, with Wild Beer Co. Beers it’s very difficult as they’re always a little bit “out there” This one’s a blend of two of their beers. Somerset Wild, which I’m quite sure uses Sorachi Ace and Mosaic hops, White Wheat and Pilsner Malt. Ninkasi, on the other hand is little more complicated, they use Local Somerset Apple Juice, Wild Yeast and Hops from New Zealand to make this one, judging by the flavour I think these are Riwaka, Nelson Sauvin and possibly Southern Cross. After this, it undergoes a secondary fermentation with Champagne Yeast meaning it’s very bubbly indeed. After these beers are fermented, they are blended and some Lactobacillus is added. It’s always hard to decipher Wild Beer’s brews, which is always a good challenge for me.

When you pour this beer, it pours a cloudy and straw yellow with a medium white Head. The Head retention on this one is really good, probably because both the blended beers have Wheat in and the Champagne yeast keeping the carbonation going. It fades to a thin head and eventually a cap on top of the brew but it doesn’t disappear all together. On the nose there’s Apple, Lime, Wheat and some Belgian Funk. On the Palate there’s a nice Bready, Wheat backbone that carries throughout tasting, on top of this there’s Sour Apple, Lemon, Lime, some Floral Notes and some nice Belgian Funk. I was expecting this one to be a lot more sour, but it’s mild on terms of Tartness and it’s a very complex brew. It’s very full bodied for a sour beer with high Carbonation. It finishes Medium Dry.

This one’s definitely a refresher for the nice weather, and I recommend it.

You can buy Zintuki at:

Beer Gonzo

Beer Ritz

Both places are IN STOCK at the time of writing!

EST. CALORIES: 219   ABV: 7.3%

Smoked Rye IPA – Welsh: Celt Experience Celt Brigid Fire

This week’s beer is Brigid Fire, brewed by the Celt Experience. I haven’t featured a beer from Wales before, and I’ve heard good things so I thought I’d give this one a go! The beer is brewed in South Wales in a town called Caerphilly. Smoked Rye IPA sounded like something I would definitely like – and I never post beers I don’t like so this seemed like the one to try!

Let’s start with Celt Experience‘s description:

A gripping spice backbone held by a piney bitterness. Brewed with oak smoked wheat and borrowed Biere de Garde yeast.

Through eternal flames, wisdom has become conscious. St Brigid was seen as a rousing healer.

I like how the Brewery named the Yeast they’re using, a lot of Breweries keep their Yeast secret when in actuality you can get it from any Homebrew shop. Hints at the flavours and the recipe too, which is always nice when you’re shopping for a beer you want to clone at some point. It seems all the Celt Experience Beers have the mystical names, which is understandable seeing as Wales is full of Celtic history and legend. Afterall, their Flag even has a Dragon on it!

Let’s start with the Malts in Fermentables in this one. I’ve managed to get hold of some of the recipe, but other parts I’ve put together judging by taste. There’s the Oak Smoked Wheat and Rye as Fermentables, on top of this I think 2-Row and a touch of Carapils Malts are used. As for the Hops in this one Brewers Gold, Citra, Marynka and Nelson Sauvin (Dry Hop only) are used. This is then Fermented with a yeast from Flanders, often used to ferment Saisons which is quite interesting!
When you pour this beer, it pours a Cloudy Dark Orange with a Medium bright white head. It dissipates quite quickly leaving a white ring around the glass and a thin White Cap on top of the beer that lasts the duration. There was quite a lot of Lumpy sediment in my one, so be sure to pour this carefully! On the nose hints of Citrus, Toasty Rye and a little bit of Smoke from the smoked Wheat. On the finish there is a slight hint of Pine. On the palate, you get a big initial hit of Smokey Wood flavour and toasty Rye. After this some Spicy hop notes and Citrus. As the hop flavours come through, the Smokey and Toasty malts carry them throughout. It’s well carbonated and Medium-Bodied. It finishes Dry. I can imagine this beer would be a perfect companion for some slow cooked Steak on a Wood/Charcoal BBQ, or indeed any BBQ’d meats. I definitely recommend you try this one during the summer!

You can buy Brigid Fire in the UK at:

Eebria

Beer Gonzo

EST. CALORIES: 189   ABV: 6.3%