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Beast Bitter - Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

Not Rated.
Beast BitterBeast Bitter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

225 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 225
Reviews: 164
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 20
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: OldFrothingSlosh on 09-24-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 225 | Reviews: 164 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, honeyed auburn hue, solid, creamy 1/2" head
Aroma: sweet and well-rounded, showing some hops, but softly, seems to fit the classic ESB mode rather nicely.
Taste: very smooth entrance on the palate, sweet and tasty.
Body and texture on the light side, finish is brief.
Not a limpid ale, but too lively, however, I have to keep remembering that that's just right for the style, which isn't among my favorites.
Flavor is well appreciated, some some fruitiness, citrus, peach, certainly more flavorful than your average bitter.
Huge thanks to the great McCall for the chance to drink this one!

feloniousmonk, Oct 30, 2003
Photo of HappyHourHero
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Beast Bitter pours a light amber color with a slight orange hue, kind of like a dark iced tea. The head dissapeared really quick, but there's still a bunch of bubbles rising up from the bottom. It would have been fun to watch if I had used a chalice. The smell is of flowery hops. I really dig the taste, the hops are there but don't leave a bitter aftertaste, but the ringwood yeast is there to mellow everything out. All in all a good beer like all Middle Ages brews, definitely give it a try if you're in Central New York.

HappyHourHero, Oct 18, 2003
Photo of UnionMade
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer itself pours a dark amber bronze color, with a light misting of head, forming little islands of bubbles.
Aroma is very pleasant, with a strong maltiness and some british hopping. I'm guessing Goldings are in here. They smell very wierd, and I don't really like them unless there's other kind of hops involved.
Flavor is a bit lighter than i expected, more like an ordinary bitter and less like an ESB, I think. Body is light to medium with moderate effervescence. Light esteriness with a bit of apply/pear flavor. i think this beer would benefit from some extra body but, aside from that, it was pretty well done. Authentic british taste. Plenty of herbal/floral hops, . Some biscuity flavor, with perhaps a touch of caramel malt. Good stuff.
Reading the label, I was thinking that this might be one of those overly hopped american style "bitters", which really just seem like another excuse to make an IPA. I'm happy to say it's very british in style, all the way down to the hops. with a decent malty balance

UnionMade, Aug 30, 2003
Photo of jeffboo
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep orange color with cream colored head. This beer has a lemon/lime hop aroma with a hint of butterscotch and caramel. Flavorwise it starts out caramel malt sweet and lemony hop bitter. A good balance is found in a light to medium body. It finishes dry and nicely bitter. A very drinkable bitter.

jeffboo, Jul 09, 2003
Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a golden color with a lacey white head; good carbonation. The aroma is sweet with Ringwood yeast and light crystal malts. Maybe munich or vienna malts are used in this one to account for malt flavor and aroma without a dark lovibond. The taste is good. There is that maltiness about it with a medium to heavy bitter aftertaste. This is a medium bodied beer that goes down smooth. A good session beer. I'm not usually an ESB fan, but this is one that I could have a few of and enjoy.

WesWes, Jun 29, 2003
Photo of shirfan
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruddy golden, Smaug-colored hue. Exceptional lacing, the head on this one seems to have a life of its own.

A mild aroma of citric hops and smoky malt; does not really do justice to the flavor.

Far from a hop monster; there are many Devils and Rogues that could slay this dragon with ease. If this does indeed use Ringwood yeast (as it seems), it's the first beer I've really enjoyed with that strain.

Moderate in its hopping and malt backbone, this has hints of butterscotch and slightly carmelized grain, which give way to an earthy and citrusy hop zing before a mildy bitter, drawn-out finish.

A down-and-dirty session ale to be sure; I think that most of the flavors being understated but complex somehow allow the yeast to not become annoying here.

shirfan, Jun 20, 2003
Photo of sponberg
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cool as hell label. Bright copper/gold with a white head. Carbonation and lace last a good long time. Inhale the aromas of citric and earthy hops and caramelly butterscotchy malt. Get to know them. They'll be your partners for the rest of this glass.

Mmm - good firm bitterness from start to finish. Not super-highly hopped, but the hops definitely take the flavor lead throughout this brew, with citric (Cascade) and earthy (Fuggles) components. There's enough malt to balance out the hops, with a caramelly, fruity flavor characteristic of the lighter brews from MA (and of M&F malt in general in my experience). Finishes bitter, with some toffee and butterscotch in the background. Really good hop burp. This brew grows on you with exposure - the more you drink it, the more you like it. A very quaffable bottled example of a British bitter.

If you see this brew on cask, I challenge you to pull yourself away from it. Dangerous.

sponberg, Jun 09, 2003
Photo of cokes
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden amber with a puffed off-white head.
Nose of buttered pears, vanilla-toffee hard candies, and drying hay.
Taste begins with a small bite of cream filled caramels, immediately swallowed by the Ringwood yeast carnivore. Lightly fruity in a dehydrated apple sort of way, with loads of buttery and woody notes Becomes quite hoppy, grassier and drier at the finish. At the very end, it is all fuel for a prairie fire. Parched stalks and leaves. Earthy too, like grapefruit peels after a week in the compost pile. Occasional pangs of metal and alcohol are noted.
Medium bodied with subdued carbonation gives this a caskesque feel. This would be beautiful served via the real deal.

cokes, Apr 21, 2003
Photo of dwarbi
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a near perfect head and a is a beautiful copper color. Smells a little sweet, but rich. Very smooth taste. There's a slight berry taste to cut the edge. Feels like a litle celebration in my mouth. The taste has a lot of staying power, but is very drinkable particially because of this. It's a good aftertaste and you want to update it.

dwarbi, Apr 20, 2003
Photo of Denali
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the 2003 Elite Eight Beer Tournament.

Appearance: Orange amber with extremely thick white head comprised of very large bubbles.

Smell: Very strong citrus aroma. Malt sweetness also present.

Taste: Citrus flavors up front. Malt sweetness and hop bitterness follow. Nutty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Easy drinking and no high ABV to get in the way of having a few of these.

Denali, Apr 14, 2003
Photo of Mark
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber color topped by a nice off-white head with good retention. Lacing was thicker at the bottom of the glass. Aroma was faintly floral and did not offer hints as to what was in store. A tart citrusy hoppy taste hit me and it was very pleasing. Grapefruit came to mind, nice mouthfeel, and very refreshing. A very drinkable bitter and one I was able to try complements of McCall.

Mark, Apr 02, 2003
Photo of ElGuapo
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark copper with a little bit of red in there. The head on top is off-white and massive. It has pretty good retention, and it leaves lace all over the glass. Aroma is nice and spicy and full of hops.

Hops are definitely the dominator in this brew. They are not at the peak of hop intensity, but they are surely there and in numbers. The label says not for the faint of heart, but I think many people could handle this one. It is nice and crisp and very drinkable. The spiciness is deliteful. A nice medium body is as full as I could imagine for the style. This one is a fine brew that makes me look forward to more by Middle Ages. I would welcome the Beast into my company any day.

ElGuapo, Mar 18, 2003
Photo of Hobbz
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance of a typical American PA: somewhat hazy copper color with persistent very thin layer of constant foam-carpet. Smell was fresh and of slight hoppyness; no grain or malt aroma that I could tell. Taste was crisp and nicely balanced: Neither over- nor under-hopped for its style, neither over- or under-sweet. Typical of what I think of as a bitter, only bottled and brewed in Syracuse, NY. Agreed, the label and the name may lead to fool hop-heads: This is no ultra-IBU beer, nor IPA nor even American PA, just a bottled American bitter. This is a good beer that I think can be multi-sampled, even along with other beers.

Hobbz, Mar 09, 2003
Photo of mickstepp
3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this up thinking that it would be a heavily hopped brew. Wrong. Typical golden/orange pale ale color. Thin head. Faint hop and malt aromas. Very faint hop taste and shallow almost scorched malt taste. A little thin on the palate. Not very satisfying on the whole. If they are going to compete in the hop monster category they're going to have to do a whole lot better than this. The name, the cute label and the misleading allusion to hop bitterness might draw the customer in initially but it won't get a second chance among most hopheads.

mickstepp, Mar 02, 2003
Photo of inebrius
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medieval copper under a quality, gluey head. Bouquet of an orchard alternating blooming citrus and almond trees. Flavor full of toasty pine nuts, earthy lingering hops, balanced and tasty, smooth and drainable. Quality English style brew from Syracuse.

inebrius, Feb 23, 2003
Photo of WanderingFool
4.7/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hops, hops and hops! If you like hoppy flavored beer you will love Beast Bitter. It pours an orange/yellow color and forms a frothy white head with lots of big bubbles. The head will dissolve into the beer leaving some lace behind, but not much. Wafting above the beer is a beautiful cirtus and hop aroma. Each sip screams of hops, but there is a sweetness found in the flavor. I guess it's best described as an orange and hop flavor. A slight bitterness is left in the aftertaste.

I found this to be a very tasty and drinkable bitter that rivals the hoppy IPA's that are out there. My only regret is that I don't live close close enough to NY to get some more once my six pack is gone.

WanderingFool, Feb 11, 2003
Photo of Gusler
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour murky deep golden amber color with a magnanimous head, frothy in texture, and the left over lace a nice thick covering sheet. Hints of the hop flower, big on the malts, crisp and fresh and pleasant enough with the front ambrosial, the top skinny. Finish is bitingly acidic and the hops top notch in their spiciness, dry lingering aftertaste and a quite decent "ESB".

Gusler, Dec 31, 2002
Photo of Thrasher
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange amber, full head that recedes but does not vanish. A very tasty, crisp ale from Middle Ages that is quite subdued despite its hoppiness. There is a slight apple tartness upfront that fades into prolonged sweet caramel flavor, and lastly a dry crispness to round it off. A little bit of soap in the aftertaste. The qualities of a traditional bitter are present and built upon quite successfully with citric, lemony hops. Ends up being bolder than most bitters but a bit thinner than most American pale ales. Nice middle ground. A good beer, spritzy, not too flavorful which makes for fine session drinking.

Thrasher, Nov 22, 2002
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber-orange in color with a fluffy white head that holds OK, then drops to a thin collar. The aroma displays a lightly fruity and caramel maltiness beneath bold piney hops. The body is medium with a fine, moderate carbonation from bottle conditioning that gently caresses the tongue and becomes creamy in the mouth as it warms. Very English in character. The flavor expresses an excellent combination of bready maltiness with a gently sweet caramel character and piney/lightly grassy hop flavors. Some light diacetyl helps to round and soften - it's well integrated and unobtrusive. Actually quite nice. Some fruitiness appears towards the swallow along with a firm bitterness. It finishes with a mild lingering bitterness and some sticky residual caramel maltiness, as well as some more pine-like hop flavor and mild diacetyl. It's not a strong aftertaste, but it is long lasting. Very nice. A really enjoyable pint that seems to express itself best at closer to cellar temperature. Well done.

NeroFiddled, Nov 07, 2002
Photo of Bighuge
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a bright orange color. A little chill haze is present. Creamy off-white head sits on top and recedes to a film fairly quickly. A great mix of grapefruit and pine hop notes accentuated with a caramel malt nose. This beer is a hop lovers delight. Shades of IPA kind of hoppiness ring throughout. Grapefruit rind properties are at the forefront. Also pine and perfume like characteristics are present. Underneath it all is a pretty decent malt backing. A nice little lingering bitterness hangs around long after the sip. Medium bodied and somewhat refreshing. Pretty good ESB here.

A Bighuge thanks to Pbrian for the sample.

Bighuge, Oct 08, 2002
Photo of Murph
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy, golde, orange color with a sticky tan head that leaves a nice lacing on the glass. The brew has a subtle diacetyl tilt to it that goes nicely with the bicuity malt aromas and subtle bittering hops. Smooth toasty malt from start to finish with some hoppy spikes in bitterness throughout. The hops have the citrus/piney flavor that is a definite reminder that this is brewed in the US. The brewfinishes with a quick flurry of diacetyl before leaving a nice bitter hoppy taste lingering on the tongue. Nicely smooth on the tongue with a mediumd body to it this is one very drinkable brew that I would love to find on cask some day.

Murph, Oct 02, 2002
Photo of pbrian
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a nice, crisp, hoppy bitter. The Ringwood character was much tamer than the Grail Ale, or it was balanced better with the hops. Either way, a fine beer, maybe a tad thin.

pbrian, Sep 18, 2002
Photo of Wildman
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a light amber color. It formed a huge sudsy perfect head. Nice carbonation present. It had an aroma of hops and citrus. The flavor was somewhat sweet, with elements of hops and some fruitiness present. The finish was a touch bitter and astrigent. Another fine beer from Middle Ages.

Wildman, Aug 31, 2002
Photo of oberon
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It is a nicely hopped ale to be sure.Somewhat light and spritzy for the style,but interesting.Real easy to drink.

oberon, Apr 15, 2002
Photo of John
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A fine, not so ordinary bitter from Middle Ages. Nicely hopped, balanced and flavorful. One of MA best offerings. Don't miss an opportunity to try this beer cask conditioned.

John, Sep 24, 2001
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Beast Bitter from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
87 out of 100 based on 225 ratings.