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Bitter Brewer - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bitter BrewerBitter Brewer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

840 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 840
Reviews: 415
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.19%
Wants: 220
Gots: 56 | FT: 2
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: 840 | Reviews: 415 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IWannaEatFood


2.5/5  rDev -37.8%

07-04-2014 22:18:53 | More by IWannaEatFood
Photo of adamcarlson28


4/5  rDev -0.5%

03-08-2014 22:46:12 | More by adamcarlson28
Photo of psychotia


5/5  rDev +24.4%

11-30-2011 20:09:11 | More by psychotia
Photo of FortKnox15


3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

07-11-2013 17:13:41 | More by FortKnox15
Photo of amphion1065


3.18/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to mashmaster for sending a few of these my way. Can from 6/6/11 poured into a tulip.

Bitter Brewer pours an orange, coppery gold. It's very nearly clear, with a one-finger white head that quickly dissipates.

Quite an aroma on this one. I can detect hops, with a pronounced citrus smell. The hop profile is secondary to the malt backbone, which is rich with a caramel, almost toffee-like sweetness.

There's a muted hop presence in the taste, with a little accompanying bitterness. Some honey, but this doesn't quite deliver on the malt's aromatic promise. It almost seems like something's missing here - a little flavor, a little more character.

It's tough to dock this beer for being too thin, but it could stand a little more carbonation. The feel is a little dull.

Eminently drinkable, but ultimately unexciting. I have a feeling this would have been a dramatically different beer in June, and I imagine that it's great on cask. For now, I can't see myself seeking out another can.

Serving type: can

07-27-2011 00:42:25 | More by amphion1065
Photo of TCMike


4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass it produced a 1 finger white head. The color was an orangey/honey shade.

The aroma was of citrus, floral, and light hops.

It is low carbonation, and has a medium mouth-feel.

The taste is of tropical citrus, floral, a little bready, and light hops. The hops taste great, but are not bitter.

Easy drinking, low abv, and down right tasty.

Serving type: can

06-25-2011 01:30:33 | More by TCMike
Photo of cmannes


4/5  rDev -0.5%

11-15-2011 16:59:10 | More by cmannes
Photo of ryrust5301


4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gold color with maybe a touch of dark orange to it, just to take enough awawy from a straw color. Smell is crisp and hoppy with a touch of bitter bite. A great English bitter! Very mild and biting with a nice blast of bitterness to shake things up. Dead on for the style in the mouthfeel as well. Highly drinkable, and another winner from Surly.

Serving type: can

08-20-2009 03:13:56 | More by ryrust5301
Photo of AmberMan22


4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had heard this beer been called 'Diet Furious' but when I got to try it, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It pours a surprisingly hazy apricot in the thicker part of the pint glass, reaching a lemony color toward the periphery.

The smell is predominately (but far from overwhelmingly) hoppy. Just light, crisp, and hoppy.

This doesn't taste like diet furious. It tastes like sessionable furious. Surly has done it again with an easy drinking, yet tasty and hoppy beer. Perfect for these hot summer days, with a relaxing low ABV.

I didn't give the mouthfeel much thought while I was drinking it, but it was far from thin. For a 4% ABV beer, this has a very appropriate, middling heft to it.

As I said, a fantastic summer drinker -- though likely not worth multiple repeat purchases considering the price. I'll stick to Furious or Bender for this kind of money.

Serving type: can

06-07-2011 02:21:09 | More by AmberMan22
Photo of dogger6253


4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, golden color, but with a little opacity to it. The head is a clean, off-white color that tops it off nicely. Lots of earthy notes in the nose, bits of citrus hops running in and out. There is a yeastiness to the aroma as well. Flavor is surprisingly complex. Lots of hop character, but not as dominating as you'd think. There is a lot of malty sweetness going on, caramel and vanilla with a lemon zest finish. I'd like to see more people drinking this beer. It's very accessible and maintains a depth that lots of session-style beers lack.

Serving type: can

05-26-2008 05:05:48 | More by dogger6253
Photo of Shango42


5/5  rDev +24.4%

12-10-2011 03:02:05 | More by Shango42
Photo of karlt


4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

06-19-2013 11:44:54 | More by karlt
Photo of jjf3792


4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

07-19-2013 17:09:32 | More by jjf3792
Photo of ryantupy


4.53/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up at The Happy Gnome.

A- Well it poured a nice slightly hazy golden orange hue. Hard to describe actually. In fact see Feloniusmonks review below for a better description. I just had a hard time putting my finger on it.

S - As expected hops are the first and most present aroma you will get with this beer. Sweet grassy hops backed with hints of fresh citrus and fruit. You can also detect a nice subtle hint of sweet malt.

T - A nice bitter hoppy puch in the mouth. It tastes great though! The hop flavors come through nicely. Citrus, sweet lemon grass, and a tangy hop kick at first. Malt sweetness is there but barely.

Overall - This was a very very enjoyable beer from Surly. It was distinct and stood apart from their other beers. I look forward to trying this beer once again next summer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-05-2007 02:44:40 | More by ryantupy
Photo of Tolann


4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Very golden. Poured a big white head that left lots of lace. Kinda more caramel in color.

S - Sweetly roasted. kinda sweet bready

T - Kind of a dull big bitter at the back of your throat. Of course its a big bitter, this is a Surly. More malted than their other offerings. bit of a tingle at the front of your tongue. Most taste tho at the back of your throat and bitter.

M - Good aftertaste, not too much but its lasting. Not boozy tasting. Not too strong in any direction.

D - Quite different from Surly's other offerings. Very malty but still very Surly bitter. Enjoyable to drink. As with any of Surly's beers, this has nothing to do with style guidelines, but just enjoying the beer.

Serving type: can

07-19-2008 03:28:01 | More by Tolann
Photo of mcgwire756

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +24.4%

12-06-2011 13:17:35 | More by mcgwire756
Photo of Drew26


4/5  rDev -0.5%

10-17-2013 19:07:20 | More by Drew26
Photo of PerzentRizen


3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Goose Island Honker's Ale pub glass Bitter Brewer has a deep straw to very light burnished copper color with a decent head that recedes to lacing as the beer closes.

The aromas are of toasted barley and little else. There really is not much in the way of aroma hops.

The flavors upon first sip are reminiscient of Furious (Surley's IPA - another great beer). The same hops are used but to a lesser degree. There is a bit of a watered down flavor going on that I'm not that into but it's good for drinking on the lawn mower.

The mouthfeel is just about perfect for the style - light but a just a hair too light for me. I need a little more malt and perhaps a little less carbonation. I would imagine their cask conditioned version is amazing - I believe it is oak aged as well.

The drinkability is exceptional. I drank mine in a mere few minutes and would love another; if only the brewery wasn't 1400 miles away. Oh well that's why there's trading.

Serving type: can

06-10-2009 21:48:27 | More by PerzentRizen
Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove


4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours Amber with Red Highlights and about finger of head. Head

S - Smells Citrus, Yeast, Grass, Pine, and Flowers.

T - Tastes of Citrus, Pine Resin, Minerals, and Bready. Not that Bitter but they must be using water Heavy on Minerals for this beer.

M - Very light body, Watery, but Medium Carbonation.

D - This is a very good Session beer but the lack of flavor hurts my wanting for more than one.

For the style this a good overall beer.

Serving type: can

08-26-2010 05:49:31 | More by SanDiegoBeerLove
Photo of Humulus85


4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I look forward to this every year, first time reviewing. Poured from the 16oz Surly can into my Samuel Smiths pint glass.

Pours a hazy orange with a nice, white, two-finger head. Great retention gives way to a crazy amount of sticky lacing.

Smell is unique. Marmalade upfront with a backing of bready malt, some grassy hops, and esters. Light and crisp.

That strange, but delicious, orange marmalade flavor upfront. Toffee and biscuit malt makes up the backbone. Not a big hop profile, but wonderfully bitter throughout.

Mouthfeel is light, great carbonation, and not a hint of alcohol.

Overall this is truly a world-class session beer. So much flavor in such a light bodied, low abv brew. The only draw back is that it is Surly, so it is not cheap at $9 per 4-pack. My go too brew the spring camp/boating trips. Recommended to all who can get it. Cheers!

Serving type: can

04-23-2012 20:54:28 | More by Humulus85
Photo of zrbeer1579


4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

06-08-2014 04:23:15 | More by zrbeer1579
Photo of BDLbrewster


4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Thank you southview liquors, Poured a beautiful hazy koolaid orange with a one finger head that disappeared fairly quick. Smells like grapefruit, orange peel and a little bit-o-sweet malt Taste the hops on the front, the subdued malt and then goes down mildly bitter. Exhale through your nose and enjoy the super citrus and mild malt that makes this brew kick ass. Pretty ok for the style. The low ABV makes it easy to tip back a few.

Serving type: can

04-13-2009 22:10:35 | More by BDLbrewster
Photo of mnstorm99


3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice light orange color. Nose gave me an aroma of bready malt and hops with a touch of pine and citrus. First taste gave me a nice hop flavor that was extremely well balance with the maltiness that finishes with a touch of lemon. This is an extremely drinkable beer, and a very good session beer. This is a perfest beer to switch to after a couple of Furious.

Serving type: on-tap

05-14-2007 17:30:46 | More by mnstorm99
Photo of BMos


2.5/5  rDev -37.8%

06-02-2014 22:39:47 | More by BMos
Photo of Rosquin


4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

06-25-2013 19:29:14 | More by Rosquin
Bitter Brewer from Surly Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 840 ratings.