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Bitter Monk - Anchorage Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bitter MonkBitter Monk

Educational use only; do not reuse.

245 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 245
Hads: 929
Avg: 4.34
pDev: 19.12%
Wants: 387
Gots: 113 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Anchorage Brewing Company visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: sprucetip on 08-26-2011

Belgian style double IPA with Brettanomyces. this ale is aged in french oak chardonnay barrels. Brewed with Apollo, Citra, and Simcoe hops. Dry hopped in the barrel with Citra hops. Triple fermented- First in the tank with a Belgian yeast, second in french oak chardonnay barrels with brett, and finally in the bottle with a third yeast for natural carbonation.

100 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 245 | Hads: 929
Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.27/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750mL into an oversized tulip.

Peach skin-colored body. Foamy, frothy, full and persistent pale white head. Lace is everywhere like in a brothel. Very nice to look at. 5

Smells of spicy, peppery yeast and white wine along with some peach and other juicy fruit all cloaked in a light funk. 4.25

A continued white wine experience with piney and floral hop flavor tinged by fruitiness. Grapefruit and mandarin follow and shine more as the beer warms. The finish lingers with a strong floral profile and a touch of oatmeal-like malt appears just before to inject some sweetness. A nice stew of flavors. 4.25

This beer was living up to the bitter in its name when it was nice and cold out the fridgerator. Yup, the fridgerator. Coupled with the zesty, yeasty spice, the beer was drinking pretty aggressively and forcing me to take the smallest of sips. But as it warms, it becomes creamier, juicier and smoother. A little sweetness/maltiness begins to show too. 4

Closer to room temp, this is pretty damn phenomenal. Drink it cold to see the transition, but I promise you'll love this after about 30-45 minutes.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A very nice Belgian IPA all the way from Alaska! However reading the bottle got me overly excited and than the beer let me down....Citra Hopped not once but twice and I love Citra....but the Belgian yeast covered any Citra hops notes I was looking for unfortunately....but still a good beer.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - The beer was a dark straw yellow with a two finger white head.

Smell - The nose was mildly citrus and slightly yeasty.

Taste - The hops give a big peach impression with some green apples notes. Candy-like sugar makes the fruit shine. The backbone is comprised of yeasty bread. Mild resin and a slight bitterness are present and linger slightly.

Mouthfeel - The Belgian yeast thickens this one nicely. The coating on the tongue really lingers.

Overall - I sought this one for a while and it was worth the wait.

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Photo of ArkyVaughan
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from May 2015 batch. This was my first time having Bitter Monk and I loved it. What a great Brett beer. Even with a May 2015 batch date, the citrus elements from the hops are still there. I will definitely get this again.

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Photo of Jjski
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

World class.
Straw colored, aromas of minty citrus hops. Belgian yeast. Saison qualities with strong hit of BITTER hops, funk, Brett, oak barrel. I'm not huge on bitter, but it works perfectly here. Uber complex and nuanced. Not sour, but tart and unified. Dry hopped sours are " the newest thing"? I like them a lot. Also try New Belgium La Terrior if u like this beer, which leads the class

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Photo of darktronica
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I'm not generally a fan of IPAs, but this is still kind of marvelous. Pours a dingy, hazy gold with a finger of fast-dissipating white foam. Smells vinous, with fruit cocktail, juicy hops, pomelo or grapefruit, and lychee. Tastes of tart citrus pith, crisp acidity, oak, green mango, and winter melons. Lots of interesting and complex flavors hiding amongst each other, but all pointing in the same general direction. A very well-executed, focused beer that nonetheless displays a lot of depth.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.63/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Batch #3 May 2015 at 42 degrees into snifter
$ 17/750 mL bottle from Blackwell’s
Aroma – fruit flies love it but I can’t smell it
Head average (three cm, aggressive pour), white, creamy, diminishing to irregular three to five mm ring and layer
Lacing partial wide curtains with tiny to large bubbles
Body medium yellow, cloudy
Flavor – really not picking up much – some slight Brett, some bitterness, some alcohol, not much in the line of fruity esters; no hops flavor (amazing since this is a DIPA at 100 IBUs), no diacetyl
Palate medium, somewhere between watery and creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4.25, Aroma 3, Flavor 3.75, Palate 4, Overall 3.75

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Photo of Gtwreck45
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is possibly the most complex and interesting beer I have ever had. Here it goes
A: Golden in color, fluffy white head that is slow to dissipate
S: Surprisingly tropical, tons of pineapple and citrus, can slightly notice some brett funk in the nose
T: More citrus, more tart in the taste with lemony citrus, brett funk, and hoppy bitterness. I wouldn't have noticed the chardonnay aging had I not read it on the bottle, but if I seek it out I notice some buttery chardonnay flavors
F: Belgian yeast does it some huge favors in mouthfeel, as this is very full and creamy, unlike typical IPAs
O: Quite a pleasant brew with a whole lot going on. Definitely will grab another bottle next time if comes around

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Photo of vfgccp
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3. May 2015 bottle, opened Oct 2015

A - Really nice opaque golden pear juice body with 2 fingers of creamy white head. Nice retention and lace.

S - Great combination and integration on the nose. Pear, strong floral notes of honeysuckle and lavender, hay, and a slightly acetic funk.

T - Pear, white grape skins, and cantaloupe, and bitter kumquat rinds. Champaign, oak, vanilla, and hay through the center. Waxy finish with touches of funky white stone fruits through the finish.

M - Super smooth, waxy, and great carbonation on a medium frame.

O - A stelar and elevated take on a Belgian IPA.

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Photo of Kennethzelljr
4.74/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Incredibly attractive,Pours a beautiful bright but hazy gold,nice frothy bright white head lacing around the rim.picking up hints of pink lemonade,lemongrass,and mixed berries.all of this hides a massive hop character in the taste.a very big dankish,citrus like hop flavor with glorious natural undertones from the barrel aging process.this beer is pretty damn sweet.i could go on and brag,def buy a bottle it's worth it.another successful batch from anchorage thank you for your dedication

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Photo of ovaltine
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: cloudy, golden-hued beer with 2+ fingers of white head. Gorgeous.

Smell: Brett right up front and in your face, oak, esters, and citrusy hops.

Taste: Brett again, but the Citra hops really come through as this warms. The oak/Chardonnay dries it out and reduces any alcohol heat in this 9% ABV beverage to nearly unnoticeable levels.

Feel: bubbly Brett effervescence with the dryness of the Chardonnay. Outstanding.

Overall: I've had this for a month+, but couldn't hold out any longer. There's a reason this a Top 250 beer - it's truly world class.

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Photo of mdlb44
4.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

All I can say is wow. This Beer is so unique. Perfect blend of Belgian Yeast, IPA Hop and Brett, Chardonnay aged goodness. Super smooth, full amazing flavor. Was waiting to try this for a while and was not let down!

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Photo of VikingBeer
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bomber. Thanks Nordbier!

Beautiful pour; very little more to say. Smell is heavy on Brett and Chardonnay, with a big hit of tropical hop, grass, saffron, limes. The taste...holy hell. Laden with Brett, Chardonnay, and oak, naturally, but then the hops kick on. Mangoes, grapefruit, candied lime rind, bananas, hibiscus flowers, more limes, more tropical fruit, more Brett, more Chard. Finish is dry and funky, with a crap-ton of Brett, oak, Chardonnay, lime rind, mangoes, and star fruit. By far the best Belgian-style DIPA I've had. Delicious as hell.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle purchased at The Beer Belly in Albany, NY.

This one pours a hazy, murky pastel yellow/orange, with a half inch foamy head, and a good amount of sticky lacing.

This one smells like dry musty Brett, smarties, lemon, tangerine, orange marmalade, white wine, and pine.

This is everything I wanted it to be, a near perfect rendition of a hoppy Brett beer. The Citra hops shine through. They do more than shine through, it's a dirty Citra bomb, there's some orange, pineapple, and pine, and some really mild cattiness, with mingles well with the dusty citrus and chalky flavors of the Brett. There's some white wine flavor to it as well, some woodsy earthiness, and a chalky bitterness at the end. This is so utterly drinkable it's stupid.

This is medium bodied, with a very juicy mouthfeel, and a higher level of carbonation.

This met all of my expectations. I had been dying to try it, so I was worried it wouldn't meet expectation. It did, in a huge delicious way.

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Photo of SebD
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It has a nice hazy golden/orange color to it. It has a nice thick fluffy off-white head that dies down slowly and leaves some lovely lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of citrus, lemon, mango, some barnyard funk, Brett characteristics, faint oak and a light breadiness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has loads of citrus/lemon, some mango and even pineapple, barnyard funk, Brett, some woody oak and a faint breadiness on the back.

Mouthfeel: It has a low-med carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by great flavors and aromas. Very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Batch #1 (July 2011)

Appearance: Pours hazy and golden, with a frothy head that fades rather quickly, leaving some stringy lacing

Smell: The Brett has done its thing here, with tremendous barnyard funk adding complexity to the stone fruit, citrus and white wine grape elements; slightly bready

Taste: Slightly bready, up front, with the fruit and funk overwhelming the palate; barnyard funk, leathery tones, stone fruit, pear and citrus elements build until the mid-palate, when the bitterness and Chardonnay barrel elements take over; quite bitter in the finish, but a range of flavors linger, as well

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I debated cellaring this one when I bought it a few years ago and I am glad that I did; the Brett has developed splendidly and the bitterness is still there; perhaps it is not as citrusy as it once was but the developing complexity makes it all worthwhile

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #3, MAY/2015 (no simcoe hops for this batch, only citra and apollo; still dry-hopped with citra)

A: Pours a translucent golden orange color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a nice frothy cap that leaves decent lacing

S: Belgian yeast up front, with some fruity and spicy notes. Citra definitely imparts some nice citrus and fruity notes. Some vinous and oaky notes from the chardonnay barrels in there as well. Brett manages to provide some light barnyard, but it is in the back behind the base yeast. Still very nice and complex overall

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the Belgian yeast, which gives off the usual fruity and spicy notes. Goes into the Brett, which provides some nice barnyard and funk, the chardonnay barrel, which provides some vinous and oaky notes, and finally the hoppiness, which provides some moderate bitterness and more citrus and fruity notes. Finishes with lingering yeasty notes and bitterness

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Nicely rounded and smoothed out from the barrels

O: Definitely world-class and one of the few Belgian IPAs that I've actually enjoyed where the yeast works with the hops. I think the chardonnay barrels help with that quite a bit and provide a nice spin. A hefty price tag, but well worth it

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Photo of cherche
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: hazy, muted orange with an off white head. Good retention and lacing.
S: Brett, fruity hops (tangerine, pineapple, kiwi), just a hint of wheat
T: tangy fruit, similar to smell, bright brett fruits
M: slightly thicker than your average IPA but to be expected w a brett, Belgian style. Average carbonation.
O: love this beer. Great balance between the tart brett character, the fruity hops and just a hint of wheatiness. Will be getting this beer whenever I can find it.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Dogfish traditional oversized snifter. Back label says Batch #2/May 2015.

A- Pours a hazy dark golden color with a 1/2 inch white head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a small strip of bubbly surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Excellent Brett funk combines with the hops creating an extremely fruity sensory experience including notes of passionfruit, mango and pineapple.

T- The Brett is even more prevalent in the flavor with the hops taking a slight backseat though the bitterness is a bit on the higher side. The Brett has the usual green olive presence that works pretty well with the hops. So incredibly easy to drink for the ABV as I would have never guessed this is 9%.

M- Sharp from both the Brett and hops with medium carbonation and a lightish body.

O- Definitely one of the best beers I've had from Anchorage which is really saying something since everything I've had from them has ranged from very good to top-notch. These guys don't fuck around.

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Photo of n2185
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours a slightly hazy yellow-gold with two fingers of white head that fades into a nice cap with decent lacing.

S: Sour candy--like lemon drops--hit first with pineapple and orange citrus notes following. Belgian spices, sweet hay, Chardonnay, and a bit of barnyard mustiness come through as well. Smells amazing.

T: There's a lot going on here--tart and sour fruit, musty and funky barnyard flavors, resinous pine hop notes, Belgian spices, grapefruit and citrus rind, Chardonnay, and a moderately bitter and lightly boozy finish.

M: Body is on the lighter side of moderate with lowish carbonation, this beer avoids being watery and has a slick feel--quite drinkable.

O: A damn good beer, overall. So much going on in this beer and it all works well together. I might like a little more carbonation and a little less bitterness, but those are nitpicks.

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Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very cloudy straw yellow. Smells a very citrusy lemon lime mixed with chardonnay. The taste is so complex but every aspect is discernable. The taste is slight pineapple, hoppy citrus, chardonnay, barrel and coconut, with a slightly funky and slightly bitter finish that has a resinous aftertaste. The mouth feel is creamy and fluffy, quite dry finish. Awesome beer, glad I finally got my hands on some.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

these guys can do no wrong in my mind, especially with the wild ales they put out. for me, that triple fermentation really transforms the mouthfeel of most of their beers to be unique to them, and unlike anything else in the trade. so dry and fluffy, moderately acidic, woody but clean for a funky brew, just uncommon and awesome all the way around. i was a little skeptical on the ipa in that format, but its amazing. the hops are punchy and tangy and fresh and full of oils. lemon and lime notes in the nose and taste from the hops, with a more earthy forested thing in the finish. lots and lots of carbonation makes it move though the flavor layers a little quicker than would be idea, because they are all so good. you get white wine up front and way back, and between it notes of sweet oak and pale malt. hints of orange rind and belgian yeast are there for a moment, before the hops take center stage. its complex and intense, and the wild yeast is very similar to other anchorage cultures. i think i may prefer the tide and its takers and that ak alive they did with mikkeller, but this is an elite level brew, as interesting in flavor as it is in its process, and one i will definitely revisit. not even that bad on the pricing, well worth seeking out, there isnt much like it. if you do know of something similar, please let me know, i want more like this!

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Photo of T_Hass
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L-a Golden orange haze
S-a funky yeasty barnyard smell
T- funky barnyard goodness. The best tasting Brett I've had to date.
F- fluffy, full nicely carbonated mouth feel.

Overall Brett is not my favorite yeasty but this is a lovely Belgium IPA

Poured into a lost Abbey taku glass

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Photo of spoony
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From a 750 ml bottle (Batch #3, May 2015) into a tulip.

A-The beer pours with a nice, tall, dense head of white foam. The retention is OK, not great, and it leaves some splotchy lacing on the glass as a I drink. The beer has a light haze and it is straw colored; very pale.

S-The aroma is awesome. Massively juicy hops, fruity brett funk, and oak combine for wonderful things here. I sniff pineapple, peach, light lemon (which provides just a bit of tartness), and a mild funky brett. Oak is subtle here but it gives just a little bit of dryness and added acidic bite to the hops. Alcohol is well concealed for 9%.

T-The taste doesn't quite live up to the smell, but it is pretty dang good. Less juicy hops and more dry, funky brett are noticeable here. The hops are still tropical, but there is more bitterness and medicinal alcohol heat that doesn't pair completely with the rest of the beer. The finish is long, lightly bitter, and slightly spicy.

M-The feel is light to moderate on the palate with an active carbonation.

O-What a great smelling beer. One of my favorites ever. The barrel, hop, and brett combo makes for nice complexity and lovely flavors that I could sniff over and over again. The brett is much dryer on the tongue and it almost overpowered the rest of the beer on my palate so the taste doesn't quite reach the smell, but this is a complex, tasty brew that drinks well on a late-July day like today.

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Photo of Carlson8tor
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very good beer not too bitter more citrusy. Goes down smooth, the Brett give the beer an interesting yeast flavor. The aroma was very strong and flavorful. The head lasts forever. Great beer!

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Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 245 ratings.