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Bitter Brewer - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bitter BrewerBitter Brewer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

957 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 957
Reviews: 426
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 223
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: 957 | Reviews: 426 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Revenant
5/5  rDev +25%

Revenant, Sep 04, 2012
Photo of jtrockchalk
5/5  rDev +25%

jtrockchalk, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of I2uss
5/5  rDev +25%

I2uss, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of hu5om
5/5  rDev +25%

hu5om, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of psychotia
5/5  rDev +25%

psychotia, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of vitese
5/5  rDev +25%

vitese, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of SurlyDrinkr
4.93/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this beer at a beer tasting at Uproots Cafe in Uptown. This beer is nice and smooth, was a cloudy yellowish tan, smelled of a nice citrus. The beer had a nice bitter taste with some citrus aftertones in the flavor. The beer reminded me of summit extra pale but with something else added. I would love it if the canned this beer for a seasonal availability.

SurlyDrinkr, Aug 19, 2007
Photo of twelvsies
4.93/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally get a chance to try a variety of Surly brews, thanks to sonicdecent. Had a few flavors, and this one is my favorite so far. Brass orange with a nice thick looking head, slowly dies down as I drink. So much aroma - American hops, pale malt, hay, and some complex soapy almost laundry detergent smell. Yeah, in a good way. I'd love to find out what a traditional English brewer would have to say about this beer.Tastes like some of the best, quintessential English bitters, with distinctly American hopping. Nice mellow malt up front with an interesting hop profile to say the least. It seems like all the hops are in the nose, but there's a nice dry finish to it. Spicy, with very light citrus notes and hardly any bitterness, yet juicy. Super smooth and crips on the palate. So refreshing and uber quaffable. Damn near just exactly perfect.

twelvsies, May 04, 2009
Photo of pdeme
4.88/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Color is dark orange with head the disappears quickly. It has a lot of earthly smells to it along with some citrus. The taste has a lot going for it considering the lower ABV. Very easy to drink. I was put off by the name of the beer for awhile, but after receiving it as a gift it is my go to session beer in the summer.

pdeme, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of AshHousewares
4.85/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Would it be total blasphemy to call this a Furious-Light?

Decent hops, strong citrus, perfect bitter hit at the end. This beer is extremely drinkable. Incredibly aromatic but surprisingly light and refreshing.

A perfect cold lighter beer for the summer.

AshHousewares, Jul 01, 2010
Photo of bjcbeer2102
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours beautifully clear orange whit a pillow white head that maintained for a good twenty minutes

S: Hoppy nose with lemony notes, citrus oils and ripe fruit (light peach, mainly).

T: Taste was extraordinary, very complex and full of flavor. First taste is full of hops and opens up to a strong biscuit flavor.

M: mouth feel is light and crisp with a high carbonation

D: This is a beer that I have been looking for a long time 4.2%ABV beer that I can drink in sessions but with all the flavor that a high ABV beer

Serving type- Can pour into a nonic Eglish pint glass

bjcbeer2102, Aug 05, 2010
Photo of billhelm
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%

billhelm, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of Lofty
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%

Lofty, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of elec
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%

elec, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of rxthree
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%

rxthree, Sep 28, 2014
Photo of laymansbeerfan
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%

laymansbeerfan, Dec 10, 2012
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of fuzzcherry
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%

fuzzcherry, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of karlt
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%

karlt, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of LSUPT
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%

LSUPT, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of nlmartin
4.72/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Surly has it going on!... Craft beer from the can is still a bit of an odd one for me. You couple this with craft beer in a tall boy and I am sold. Some of my earliest beer drinking memories involved sneaking tall boys. This beer was served chilled and in a pint glass.

Appearance: Far exceeds what would have been expected from any can beer. The beers body is a light orange / honey coloration. The head is a thick biege coloration. Great head retention is noted. The lacing forms perfect concentric circles on my glass as I consume it at an alarming rate. Wish I had a hell of a lot more of these cans.

Smell: The aroma of the beer leads with citrus, floral and slightly pine notes. Very well controlled on the hops. The maltyness manages to punch the hops down abit with toasted caramel goodness. Very well balanced!...

Taste: I simply cannot imagine the flavor of this beer being any better. The hops and malts are in perfect harmony. Like ebony and ivory. Gods I hated the 80's. Dam you Michael Jackson and Paul McCarteney!... The flavor exactly delivers on what the aroma leads with.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The body of the beer is light and nearing creamy. The carbonation is low but works well with the beer. I could throw this beer back all night and never become bored. English Bitter isnt really my favorite style of beer; however, if this came to Cincinnati this would almost always be in my beer fridge rotation.

nlmartin, Oct 26, 2009
Photo of Vittorio
4.72/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a great beer to quaff after having done a quick 8 miles.

Pours clean, light orange and clear with a thin whitish head that dissipates quickly. Very much more hoppy than any 'English bitter' ever I've had but, then I really like the resiny hoppy flavour of this 'bitter' . Clean over the palate but with a bit of a treacley feel at the back of the throat.

Has a nice clean mouth feel with a slight 'burn' which adds to the somewhat high 'fizz' factor. Could be that I'm opening these cans at 7000 feet and they're canned at 700 feet that causes that.

An excellent 'session' beer. Too bad its not available here in New Mexico.

Vittorio, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of mikeale
4.7/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sent as an extra from Scoobydank! Thanks man!!!

A. Orange body, sticky looking white head

S. Hoppy, apricots, sweet bready malt.

T. Citris, orange, hoppy, honey biscuit malt.

M. Crisp, refreshing, hops in the finish.

D. Highly drinkable, low in alcohol, I could session these all the time. While I love DIPA barley wine and IRS, this a great session beer.
Thanks again Scoobydank for this great beer.

mikeale, Sep 06, 2008
Photo of soze47
4.7/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a large variety of Surly when in St. Paul. I've loved every kind so far. Bitters are usually not my cup of tea, but we'll see.

Appearance: Pretty copper orange with a lot of carbonation activity. Fluffy head is very sticky on the glass.

Aroma: Very nice smelling. The hops are pungent, but in a very gentle way. Grassy and floral smells turn fruity in your nose as a not too strong maltiness comes in. Smells like summertime.

Taste: Same as the nose, balanced yet subtle flavors play off of each other well. Good amount of hop flavor, but not a ton of bitterness. The malt does just enough to cut any residual bitterness left, yet not overstate its importance. The malt lets you know its there while the hops go from grassy to tangerine like. Great taste.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: The mouth feel is very light and crisp and the finish is nice and dry. For all the flavor this one packs, it could be a session of the summer candidate.

Overall: Fantastic take on a style I don't usually enjoy. Maybe it is the American hops providing some great flavors the English varietals just can't deliver. Surly seems to not know how to a mediocre beer.

soze47, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of Cresant
4.68/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured this 16 oz. can into a British pint glass. No date. The body was amber/leather color with a bit of chill haze. The off-white head was sturdy and pithy.

Smell was Surly-fabulous. Big resin, pine cone aroma. Black pepper. Biscuits. Sweet oranges. Aroma stays and stays.

Taste was marmalade on whole wheat toast. Light bitterness that lingers. Caramel biscuit. I really enjoy the Surly take on the style.

Mouthfeel was mild to medium in carbonation and body. Seems right on for the style.

Cresant, Aug 12, 2008
Bitter Brewer from Surly Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 957 ratings.