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Bitter Brewer - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bitter BrewerBitter Brewer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

952 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 952
Reviews: 426
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 222
Gots: 65 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-05-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 952 | Reviews: 426 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by alphagnome:
Photo of alphagnome
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance:
Pours a rich, golden oak color - very cloudy. Crowned with a respectable, finger-thick head, off-white in color - that hangs around for awhile and leaves a bit of lacing behind. Carbonation is insane... very, very active. Making the carbonation more noticable, fine sediment caught in suspension, being pushed around by the bubbly.

Aroma:
A bit of a let down, as aroma is one area where Surly shines. That's not to say it doesn't smell delightful, it does, it just seems a bit muted. Nice (but light) tropical fruit notes mix well with equally light floral hops. Zesty tangerine and orange peel.

Taste:
Nice and sweet right front, with plenty of citrus notes. The sweetness doesn't last long though, as a pleasant bitterness sweeps in balance things out. Nice boquet of floral and citrusy hops. Nothing is overpowering, but very tasty.

Mouthfeel:
Light to medium body. Highly carbonated. Easy to drink and very refreshing. Semi-dry finish.

Overall:
Another impressive brew from Surly. Easy to drink, nice balance, and flavorful. Well worth picking up.

alphagnome, Feb 16, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev 0%

tectactoe, Jul 07, 2014
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue VI:

Hmm ... brewed in the tradition of a traditional English Bitter, but made with American hops. Guess that makes this an American Bitter? Love that angry brewer on the back of the can! Anyway ...

Hazy amber, with bright orange hues and a solid white foam lace that gently clings to the glass. Aroma is oh so pleasing on this one. Floral, woody, dense with jam-like oranges and a light grainy note in the back. Body is very light and fluffy with a lively level of carbonation that complements a prickly hop presence that's snappy, bitter, but clean and crisp. Not sharp. Full of complexities, like pithy, coarse wheatgrass, floral bouquet, rosemary and bitter orange peels, with a grainy breadiness beneath and some mineral notes. No real sweetness to speak of, it's all about the raw hop bitterness. Bone dry finish, with a strong biscuit flavor in the linger. Some bicarbonate, too.

We need more beers like this. Session beers, that are moderate in alcohol, packed with flavor and keep you grabbin' for more. Get bitter!

BeerAdvocate, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of blackearth
3.33/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on-tap in a pint glass at Stub & Herbs in Minneapolis, MN. Has a bright amber body with a thin white head. Toasted malts dominate the aroma with hops coming in a distant second. Medium bodied with a spicy carb bite, this beer has woody hop flavors up front followed by malt sweetness, then a fairly long hop finish. Drinkability was okay, but half way through I was looking forward to a differnt beer. This is the first Surly offering that I didn't fall immediately in love with.

blackearth, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of newk340
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: a translucent golden amber with subtle carbonation.

S: hints of hops and wheat gently tease the nostrils.

T: smooth blends of hops that tickle the tongue while citrus hints spatter the throat with the swallow.

MF/D: an initial buzz of carbonation that dissipates as quickly as it hits the tongue for a smooth swallow. excellent session beer.

newk340, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of supa0525
4/5  rDev 0%

supa0525, Jul 12, 2013
Photo of NWer
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice pour into my nonic. Very good head retention with a very nice lace.
What there is of the aroma is mild citrus.
Very pronounced orange zest flavor up front and holds throughout. Dry and bitter. Stinging carbonation on the aftertaste.
A good representation of the style.
Very enjoyable. Another fine beer from Surly.

NWer, Dec 26, 2011
Photo of DaftPatrick
4/5  rDev 0%

DaftPatrick, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of warnerry
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours clear orange brown with one finger of quickly dissipating off-white head. Leaves some nice lacing.

S - Smell contains both bitter and sweet citrus notes and a nice grain character.

T - Taste follows the smell pretty closely with a more prominent bread character. Finishes with a nice clean bitterness.

M - Medium mouthfeel with relatively low, but good carbonation level for the style. Bitterness is subtle, but lingers nicely.

O - A very welcome flavorful low abv brew. The citrus notes are quite nice.

warnerry, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of 77apm
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

77apm, Jun 04, 2014
Photo of Billolick
4/5  rDev 0%

Billolick, Aug 19, 2014
Photo of Guinnsslvr
4/5  rDev 0%

Guinnsslvr, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of badbeer
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Goldish copper color with a white head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of tangerine, apricots, and some perfume notes. Taste is immediately of apricots, followed by some sort of sweet candy that I'm not sure of the name of, followed by some tangerine in the finish. Light bodied and on the lower side of medium carbonation.

badbeer, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of Mora2000
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hophead101 for sending me this beer.

Pours a slightly murky yellow with a white head. The aroma is wet grass with some oranges, but overall it is a little faint. The flavor is pineapple, orange and some grassyness. The beer is slightly bitter. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Overall, a lot of flavor is a 4 percent ABV package.

Mora2000, Feb 10, 2010
Photo of Grafter
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Duvel tulip

Appearance is a golden amber color with a nice white one inch head at the top.

Smells strong malt and hops a nice citrus malt the whole thing kind of reminds me of fresh biscuits with marmalade and damn it is making me hungry

Taste a lot like it smells a great citrus front which fades into the malty under tone damn that is tasty and finally it leaves a slight bitter finish on the back of your tounge.

Mouthfeel is very creamy the carbonation level seems spot on just a nice light creamy beer.

Drinkability is through the roof I could sit here in this warm spring sun and drink these till I come to the realization that I am laying on the floor and have spilt some of this wonderful beer. Lucky since t is only 4.5% I can have quite a few.

Overall a very enjoyable beer.

Grafter, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of ryancl
4/5  rDev 0%

ryancl, May 28, 2013
Photo of SjConroy
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

SjConroy, May 23, 2014
Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to darkerthebetter for handing me this brew when he & the missus were over for dinner. Pours with athick head that settles nicely. Light brown in color. smells mostly malty with a hint of spice. Taste is a nice blend of malt & piney hops. Mouthfeel is very smooth. Lots of flavor with a low ABV makes this extremely drinkable. Highly recommended.

Cheers.

SkinnyElvis, Aug 20, 2008
Photo of bsp77
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from can into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Dull orange-gold, very thin head, looks flat but expected for style.

Smell: Citrus due to dry-hopping, leading to a stronger smell than typical for style. Also, faint malts detected.

Taste: Clean toasted tea-like malt taste balanced by metallic hop bitterness. Light citrus flavor that is less evident in the taste than smell.

Feel: Low carbonation, firm and dry. This is where most American attempts fall short; Surly nailed it.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink and at 4% abv, it is an ideal session beer.

bsp77, Apr 18, 2009
Photo of deebo
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Golden orange color, hazy with white foam that laces the glass

S-Orange marmalade and citrus hops. Smell is like a sweet citrus pie

T-First you get the hit of sweet, apricots with a fair amount of malt backbone. Quickly the hops take over and the aftertaste is bitter yet sweet at the same time. Hop flavors are citrusy with a hint of pine tree.

M-Moderate to high levels of carbonation. Medium bodied. Smooth for the style.

D-The bitterness of this would limit my consumption. But is good for the style.

O-Another well balanced beer from Surly. Has a lot of flavor for a 4% ABV beer. My preference would be for a slightly less bitter hopped taste, but those who are fans of this style will likely approve.

deebo, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev 0%

mjtiernan, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of virinow
3.25/5  rDev -18.8%

virinow, Aug 12, 2013
Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev 0%

bpfrush, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of warmbier804
4/5  rDev 0%

warmbier804, Mar 16, 2013
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Bitter Brewer from Surly Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 952 ratings.