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Bitter Monk - Anchorage Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bitter MonkBitter Monk

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

802 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 802
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 306
Gots: 97 | 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:
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 added by: sprucetip on 08-26-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 802 | Reviews: 216 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -7.9%

Bomber from Bierkraft. Pours up hazy fruity coloured body with a quarter inch of retained head. Funky aroma. It all works - the brett, the barreling with fruity nuances, the hopping. Easy mouthfeel and a pleasant drinker, as I finished it all over an hour's lunch.

Sammy, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of Ryan1423
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Ryan1423, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of OregonHopmonster
5/5  rDev +15.7%

OregonHopmonster, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of suspect
3.9/5  rDev -9.7%

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Duvel Tulip. Split with my brother-in-law.

A: Bright golden color - relatively aggressive pour leads to a 2 finger head. Hazy, not clear.

S: Funk. Barnyard, funky, feet and some light malt flavor as well. We couldn't come up with why it smelled like feet and then we realized it was the Brett.

T: Brett rules. It's such a nice combination of funky barnyard, citrus zest and hoppy bitter mixed all in together.

M: Light body, nice carbonation.

O: Easy drinker, funky ass brett. I love this yeast when done well...this is middle of the pack Brett beer, which makes it excellent.

suspect, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of Listers
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Listers, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of kevflaherty
5/5  rDev +15.7%

kevflaherty, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of wrycon
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%

Beautiful goldenrod. Smells simply amazing - strong tropical fruit, apricot, wheat and pine notes, all swimming in a yeasty funk. Tastes as good as it smells. Strong sharpness up front from the hops and Chardonnay. Midway, it twists in a tangy direction and the brett really makes its presence felt. A citrusy sweetness, come out in the back and helps blunt the bite. Good, complex brew.

Like it? Certainly

wrycon, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of greenmonstah
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%

750 mL bottle marked Batch #1 July 2011

A - Pours a hazy yellow-caramel with a finger of frothy white head. Nice lacing and retention for this ABV.

S - Bitter and funky, with oak character. Enormously complex, with hop bitterness, green apple sourness, old yeasty brett funk with a leather twist, and a winey grape-oak chardonnay aroma.

T - Similar to the nose, but with very different emphasis. Sour and bitter both, with little hop flavor but plenty of bitterness. Herbal, funky, bitter, oaky, and vinous. Clear flavors of chardonnay and big brett funk flavor. Hugely acidic, with a strong finish of oak and leather. Complexity gets 5/5, but I don't especially love drinking it, to be completely honest. So fascinatingly woody, like biting into a tree trunk. I have to give it a 4/5 for all the flavors it brings to the table, and the fact that they honestly do work well together. I'd hate to knock it for what it is, so I've settled on 4/5, even though my taste preferences suggest a 3.5

M - Medium body with light but active carbonation. Acidity affects the feel by affecting the mouth in the way a sour apple or grape might -- gives you that weird feeling on your teeth.

O - Overall I love this beer for the experiment that it is, but don't particularly adore drinking it. It is a challenge to quaff, and would score low in drinkability. That said, I think is ends up being a brilliant beer overall because I've never had anything like it and at the same time, it didn't fall flat on its face. It really excites the taste buds. I'm very interested to see what Mr. Fletcher has up his sleeve in the future. This almost tastes like something Vinnie at RR would cook up, but perhaps without the restraint needed to make a perfectly balanced beer.

greenmonstah, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of jera1350
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%

A lot of hype going into this one. Hope it doesn't disappoint.

Batch #1: July 2011

In a tulip, this bad boy has a hazy gold body that seems to just glow. The rocky cap of clean white foam on top is massive, retains well and leaves all kinds of sticky lacing.

I will preface by saying that I am not a big brett fan. The nose is very tropical smelling. Tropical as in fruit. The brett adds this nice tartness to the nose that compliments the fruit beautifully. If I close my eyes and smell, I can easily picture the beach.

The taste is quite nice, but doesn't blow me away. Like a good belgian ipa with some more complexities to it. Quite lemony, which I'm sure the brett contributes to. Bright citrusy notes with just a little sweetness. Lots of grapefruit, lots of spice notes and some light brett funk also. Some warm alcohol makes itself know as well.

Very, very dry. Mediumish bodied with lots of soft carbonation.

As usual, I got my hopes up and I was a bit disappointed. Didn't turn out to be the knockout I was hoping, but still a very good beer that is relatively unique from others in the style. I actually don't mind the brett too much in this. Pretty refreshing in a wine like way. The price is a bit steep though. Glad to have tried it, but probably won't grab it again.

jera1350, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%

Bottle purchased at Binny's after the distributor screwed over West Lakeview by selling their allotment. Served in a Bells tulip. Batch #1, July 2011.

A - Lightly hazed pale golden body, with a finger-plus of white foam that settles to a thin cap, leaving thin fingers of lace.

S - Lemon, oak, herbal and leafy notes, grapefruit, phenolic Belgian yeast, hint of cat pee, some tart apple skins, touch of chardonnay. Alcohol pops up when the beer gets warm. Aroma is pretty crazy and complicated, but everything promised on the label is present a perceptible.

T - I actually like the taste a bit better, as it has more stone fruit malt and tropical fruit hop flavors. Some herbal hops, oak, light vinous character, and waves of bitterness that come and go somewhat unexpectedly. Alcohol is better hidden, and the cat pee note is also thankfully missing.

M - Medium-full body with a smooth texture, extremely dry and tannic finish, moderate carbonation. No alcohol heat, and some resinous hop oils that linger into the aftertaste.

D - This beer was terrific - I'm guessing it's loosely based on 3767, which Gabe made while at Midnight Sun. Very easy to dirnk, even with the higher ABV and IBUs - the bitterness is apparent but never gets fatiguing or oppressive. I hope Shelton & Windy City get their act together and we get the next batch a little quicker, as I'd like to experience the full force of the hop aroma and flavors.

MasterSki, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of AgentZero
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%

Let me start out by saying I am not a fan of Belgian IPAs, and then let's go from there. Thanks to MasterSki for bringing this over.

A - Golden colored beer with a foamy white head that left behind a nice web of lace.

S - Really a lot going on with this nose. Some phenolic yeast, pungent simcoe, tropical fruit of the citra, and some brett. A funky IPA with strains of belgian yeast, didn't really see that coming, despite what the bottle was advertising.

T - This beer was immediately bitter for me, with the pungent simcoe mixing with the phenols in a bit of puckering bitter bite. You get used to it after a little bit and start to pick up aon a lot more of the citra. The brett funk occassionally bursts through. It's really hard to describe this beer as it tastes like so many different things, and I'm shocked at how good it is. There's even some of the chardonnay and wood that will come as well.

M - Medium bodied with nice carbonation.

O - This beer is shockingly unique and good at the same time. Need to revisit it, as there is so much going on. One of the more interestingly complexed beers I've had in a long time. While I'm not necessarily a fan of this style, I liked this beer a lot and Alex and I drank the bottle pretty easily between us.

AgentZero, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of Brewblues
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Brewblues, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of Gilmango
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Gilmango, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of mcc1654
5/5  rDev +15.7%

mcc1654, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of basilcrow
5/5  rDev +15.7%

basilcrow, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of Mahlik
4.45/5  rDev +3%

22 oz bomber poured into a tulip glass

A – Hazy golden straw color, Thick foamy head with good lacing, the head subsides slowly leaving a bunch of lacing behind

S – Funk from the Brett, citrusy hops and tropical fruits, and some sweet malts mixed in the background. The aroma is not very strong.

T – I enjoy the taste more than aroma. Very complex. Sour funk from the Brett up front. Lots of tropical fruits and citrusy hops in the middle. I also can sort of pick out some the oak and Chardonnay. It finishes with the bitterness from the hops and the funkiness from the yeast. It all blends in very well.

M – A perfect amount of carbonation, quite crisp and effervescent, medium to light bodied, very smooth and drinkable, almost no hints of the alcohol, a bit of a dry finish.

O – An amazing beer. A great hybrid of styles that works to almost perfection. Would definitely enjoy this beer again. It makes me want to seek out more Anchorage beers. The bottle is pretty amazing looking too.

Mahlik, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of MrTopher
4.85/5  rDev +12.3%

Bought this for the wife, with intentions on us splitting it, and we did, served into Duvel Tulips.

A – Pours a cloudy golden/straw yellow color, a nice thick Belgian style egg white in color, and exceptional lacking on the sides of the glass.

S – I could smell this from a good 3-4 feet away, rich hops (floral/fruit) and some farmhouse funks (guessing from the Brett), this just screams hybrid; “American Belgian Wild IPA”.

T – Great aggressive hoppy characters that just build and build. Here is how I experienced this beer; hop punch up front, then some chardonnay and oak characters, and then just the sour funk of the Brett with spices and earth characters.

M – A little on the thick side, but very inviting and well accepted, carbonation was spot on.

O – This has to be one of the better BA Belgian IPAs I have had, is this better than Hop God, NO. But it’s in a slightly different class as Hop God. I consider this more of a hybrid of an American Wild (aging with the Brett) and a Belgian IPA (the Belgian yeast and overall presentation); I think “American Belgian Wild IPA” is a great name. Parts of this beer remind me of Le Terroir, maybe a blend of the Hop God and Le Terroir, but on another level.
This is my first Anchorage Brewing, and hopefully not my last. I hope they keep bringing more great beers to CA.
This would be a great beer to cellar for a few months and see how much more the Brett develops.

MrTopher, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.58/5  rDev +6%

This brew lives up to the billing: it is tremendously bitter, and heavily Belgianesque in character. Bitter Monk pours a surprisingly pale translucent golden hue, topped with a very healthy white cap of rocky froth. The nose is pungently bitter with notes of heavy grapefruit pith and elderflower being highly prominent. The bitter apple-pineapple flavor imparted by the brett pairs well with the hop addition, as they mimic one another's flavor in some ways. I keep thinking this is very much like Cantillon's Mamouche - or like an elderflower IPA. The pale malt base is evocative of the classic Orval or Duvel approach; there is no caramel to be found here. The mouthfeel is quite effervescent, and thereby bordering on prickly; though it is not offensive, I'd have preferred a softer feel. That said, in every way this is a challenging, ass-kicking type of beer, so the feel is in that vein as well. A very good example of the style; probably the best I've had.

ktrillionaire, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of jh1982
5/5  rDev +15.7%

jh1982, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of oberon
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%

Poured into a tulip glass a hazed peach color with a large fluffy white crown that left multiple rings of broken lace as it settled into a frothy mass,just a great pour.Citric hops are huge along with the Brett adding slight funk,I even picked up a little nutty maltiness in there as well.Powerful citric hop along with light yeasty funkiness,but its not overbearing,a little medicinal as well wich I normally don't like, but it didnt bother me so much here.This is a damn well crafted beer,I was a little worried I might not take to it as well with the Brett,but I got mad love for this brew.

oberon, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of Daniellobo
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%

A very recommendable take on a Belgian DIPA.

Presentation: 750 ml brown, caged and corked bottle. Screen printed label with a green and white design of a monk holding a chalice of the brew with a few snowflakes in the background. Side paragraph offers a description of the brew, and serving indications, back narrative exposes intent, and general background. Notes 100 IBUS, bottling Batch 1 July 2011, and 9% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A -Hazy pale gold pour, rich frothy head, medium retention, fair surface memory and nice touches of lacing.

S - Nice nose hitting like a hammer with citric hops, touch of resin, funky brett, and a hint of wood.

T - Hoppy and yeasty range… Very nice, flowing over bready funky touches.. sweet caramel in the back woven with soft barrel touches, faint fruity/vinous touch. Earthy touch pushing up the hops again, Belgian spicy insinuation adds to the flow...

M -Medium body and carbonation, with a nice flow that leads to a semi/dry finish.

O - Nice an pleasing take at a DIPA laden with brett and Belgian touches...

Notes: Hmmm, that Anchorage Brewing is making a nice dent with breatty and barrel aged brews is clear. Quality and very likable. Now, if I get fuzzy on this one I might be getting so spoiled that it feels a touch perfunctory. I mean… dunno. I would not mind having a go at a regular dipa from theirs. Here so much plays with the Belgian yeast, the barrel, the brett, that it all has a bizarre predictable sense under all the great serving… Having said all that this is probably one of the best takes, if not the best, I have had at a double Belgian IPA. Nevermind me…

Daniellobo, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of BenTherHppedThat
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

BenTherHppedThat, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of jlogan7
5/5  rDev +15.7%

jlogan7, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of Jules11788
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%

A: Pours a cloudy golden yellow color; fat 3 finger-width head, very sticky lacing. This beer looks super enticing

S: As soon as I poured this I could smell the delicious tart hoppiness exploding from the glass. Musty fruit tartness followed by a sweet floral/fruity hops in the back of the nose. Amazing

T: Super hoppy bitterness mixed with a creamy tartness, like a smooth buttery chardonnay with a hoppy backbone; the flavors expand nicely as they move down the tongue, finishes slightly dry with some more tartness and bitter hops. Absolutely delicious

M: Thick, yet somehow finishes light and dry; tingly and full-bodied with medium carbonation

O: This is a fantastic Belgian IPA, and one of the absolute best beers I've had in a while

Jules11788, Nov 19, 2011
Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 802 ratings.