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Bitter Brewer - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bitter BrewerBitter Brewer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

952 Ratings

(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:
Photo of swizzlenuts
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A: Copper with a fluffy off white head.

S: Hoppy marmalade. It reminds me of green tea/lemon tea.

T: Tastes almost exactly how it smells. All around great hop flavour and maltiness. Tastes wonderful. I don't know how they pack so much flavour into a 4% beer.

M: A bit thin.

D: Incredible

swizzlenuts, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of ChopperSmith
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a tall Surly can into large pilsner glass.

Appearance - This ale poured a dark copper color, almost orange. The cloudy white head didn't last long, but left nice lacing behind as it faded away.

Smell - Not much to the nose, a little hops and some malt, bit nothing too special.

Taste - Hoppy with a slight taste of citrus (more orange than lemon). A malty barley flavor as well. Just a tinge of bitterness on the tongue as an aftertaste. A very well done English Bitter style.

Mouth feel - Light and thin, but the relatively high carbonation gives it the right zing on the tongue.

Drinkability - Not usually my favorite style, but not bad either. My least favorite Surly so far.

ChopperSmith, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of Achoo_Bacca
4/5  rDev 0%

Achoo_Bacca, Jul 01, 2013
Photo of Eman17
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Eman17, Jul 31, 2014
Photo of sonicdescent
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky red/gold liquid with that great Surly head. Oddly low carbonation visuals in my Sam Adams sensory glass.

Smells of mild malt goodness, almost like a tea. No booze presence.

Taste is mild, as it should be, making for an easy drinker. Light hop presence and of course malt that I can't discern.

Mouth is medium in body and carbonation. Goes down easy and smooth.

My first of this style is a pleasant one!

sonicdescent, May 19, 2009
Photo of JustinQ
4/5  rDev 0%

JustinQ, Aug 10, 2012
Photo of iadler
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A golden copper with a one finger head that dissipates quickly with some thin lacing

S- Floral and citrus hops including mandarine, grapefruit and toasted malt

T- Citrus bitterness upfront with a good deal of manderine, lemon peel, grapefruit, as well as some floral and pine notes. Balanced with some toasted malt

M- medium carbonation and mouthfeel. Finishes dry. Very drinkable.

O- a very sessionable beer and perfect for warm weather. Not one of my favorite surly offerings, but still a great brew. Could see myself drinking a few of these on a hot day

iadler, Jun 19, 2011
Photo of markasparov
4/5  rDev 0%

markasparov, Jul 13, 2012
Photo of Desaparecido
4/5  rDev 0%

Desaparecido, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of JGLittle
4/5  rDev 0%

JGLittle, Dec 02, 2013
Photo of vobr0002
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

vobr0002, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of br3wmeister
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Small off white head that hold fairly well and leaves little lacing sits atop a dull gold colored beer.

S- This beer has a grainy cirtrusy aroma to it. Pail malt, caramel and a hint of grapefruit. All fairly subtle aromas.

T- Mild sweet malt sets a base for light crisp citrus hops. The flavors are light and refreshing.

M- Light and crisp, very easy to drink.

Overall I would say this is a very good beer, though it is pretty subtle in aroma and flavor it still has nice complexity and balance.

br3wmeister, May 12, 2009
Photo of schimschim
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

schimschim, Sep 09, 2014
Photo of Petcha
4/5  rDev 0%

Petcha, May 27, 2013
Photo of zdeck37
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

zdeck37, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of Mdodge8837
4/5  rDev 0%

Mdodge8837, Aug 25, 2012
Photo of jjf3792
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

jjf3792, Jul 19, 2013
Photo of Klym
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a Surly nonic. Huge thanks to expedition for both the can and the glass!

A: Pours a very translucent, nearly opaque, raisin brown with a frothy slightly off-white head. Solid lacing.

S: Huge marmalade character with a combination of stinging citrus and a spearmint/lavender mix giving big bitter, natural character. I love the smell of this, a bit off from any other beer I've had.

T: Taste is a much more toned down version of the smell with a lot more herbal character and some marmalade for sweetness. Still greatly enjoyable but I think drinks more tea-ish than the major citrus/mint/lavender compound the nose promised. Lots of marmalade blooms through in the aftertaste.

M: A little bit of a bland mouthfeel. Medium body with some grainy aspects and some very thin layers left in the afterfeel. Carbonation is present but does little beside stop the beer from feeling flat.

O: Really enjoyable and sessionable brew from Surly. Think it could've packed more abv considering how hefty it was in many other ways but I won't hold that against it. Definitely worth a shot, with unique flavors making this worth another try!

Klym, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Beer Stein

Appearance - Pours a very hazy and darker orange color. Head pours around 4 inches width. Both head and lacing retention are excellent!

Smell - Rich Floral Hops, Yeasts/Biscuits, Marmalade, Toasted Malts, and a slight grassy smell. This smells very fresh!

Taste - Sweet Yeasts, Floral Hops, Oranges, Biscuits, and Toasted Malts. For a English Bitter, this is a very rich tasting beer!

Mouthfeel - Very light bodied and virtually no carbonation. It's not only smooth and easy to drink, but also crisp and refreshing!

Overall - I enjoyed Honker's Ale before as my goto Bitter Ale, but now it looks like I have a new favorite. It looks good, smells great, tastes great, and feels absolutely refreshing. What more can I say? I will miss Surly when I move to Chicago, but hopefully I will see it once I move there!

NuclearDolphin, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of capra12
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed solo courtesy of Speedwayjim, poured into an east end pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a rather foamy 1 finger head, orange/ tan slightly cloudy. spotty/weblike lacing.

Smell: citrus/ grassy hops with a hint of pine.

Taste: Opens with a subdued hop profile which consist of citrus/ and earthy hops. There is a subtle malt profile that is around but doesnt influence/mask the bittering hops which emerge in the middle end but arent overwhelmingly hoppy. There is a very subtle tea/herbal profile that comes and goes in the open to middle. The aftertaste on this is citrus/grassy with a fair amount of bitter.

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation, with a light body and leaves a slightly dry palate along with a coarse body but clean also

Drinkability: I would have this again and recommend this to someone who seeks a citrus/grassy hop/bitter brew that has a clean and light body. Very enjoyable.

capra12, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of hu5om
5/5  rDev +25%

hu5om, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of danoeltico
4/5  rDev 0%

danoeltico, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of tubeman
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

tubeman, Aug 24, 2013
Photo of JJWIGHT
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

JJWIGHT, May 20, 2014
Bitter Brewer from Surly Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 952 ratings.