1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Bitter Monk - Anchorage Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bitter MonkBitter Monk

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

790 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 790
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 270
Gots: 96 | 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)
View: Beers (18) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 790 | Reviews: 216 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jsanford
jsanford

Georgia

4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a Tulip Glass.

A - Pours a hazy light gold with a soapy white head that fades to a slight patch and ring.
S - Intense tropical hop aromas of passion fruit, pineapple, mango, and peach with a touch of white grape, oak, and Brettanomyces. Absolutely stunning!
T - Taste is similar to the nose, tons of tropical hops, white wine, oak, and funky, earthy Brettanomyces character. Surprisingly easy-drinking, I could have probably finished off this bottle by myself!
M - Crisp and dry, with a medium body and good, sharp carbonation.
O - Right out the gate, this Anchorage Brewing Co. is doing some amazing things. Complex, funky, and delicious, I can't wait to see what's next!

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 17:16:55 | More by jsanford
Photo of MSandahl23
MSandahl23

Indiana

4.75/5  rDev +10%

10-28-2013 14:07:18 | More by MSandahl23
Photo of mcallister
mcallister

Ohio

4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost looks like a wit beer. Unfiltered, opaqe and a dark pissy yellow with heavy carbonation leaving a 3 finger loosely wound head. Splotchy lace behind.

Ahh lovely aromas, brett is very apparent, that lovely wet horseblanket barnyardy mustiness melds nicely with rich oak and pear aromas with hints of apple from the chardonnay? Tropical fruit aromas start to come through pineapple with hints of papaya, with more of that sweet woody oak and brett. Very nice.

Wow oak tannin and hop bitterness galore, completely suck all the moisture out of my tongue, I likey. Big hops very tropical with some citrus side notes. Again pineapple, papaya, light mango with a bit of a pink grapefruit twist on the finish. Brett laden through the middle and into the finish yet very well integrated with the hops and barrel aging. The oak flavors are young and vibrant but don't overpower the hops. Light apple and pear with some chardonnay flavors within but somewhat drowned out by the ridiculous amount of hops. Long finish with great carbonation. A fantastic beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2011 20:55:13 | More by mcallister
Photo of ADTaber
ADTaber

South Carolina

4/5  rDev -7.4%

12-10-2011 13:15:16 | More by ADTaber
Photo of stereosforgeeks
stereosforgeeks

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

02-11-2013 05:45:34 | More by stereosforgeeks
Photo of Daniellobo
Daniellobo

District of Columbia

4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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…

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2011 02:44:29 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of mdillon86
mdillon86

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -19%

02-19-2012 19:53:01 | More by mdillon86
Photo of Ciocanelu
Ciocanelu

Romania

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

06-27-2013 06:50:46 | More by Ciocanelu
Photo of threedaggers
threedaggers

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

05-18-2014 14:57:27 | More by threedaggers
Photo of millerbuffoon
millerbuffoon

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

10-02-2012 02:04:19 | More by millerbuffoon
Photo of seeswo
seeswo

Ohio

4/5  rDev -7.4%

12-30-2011 21:16:15 | More by seeswo
Photo of Smarty_Pints
Smarty_Pints

California

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

03-21-2014 03:05:29 | More by Smarty_Pints
Photo of Rutager
Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

4.75/5  rDev +10%

06-30-2013 03:23:09 | More by Rutager
Photo of st9647v3
st9647v3

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

08-11-2012 02:55:45 | More by st9647v3
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Batch 2. From notes.

A: Pours a hazy golden-orange body. Despite a careful pour, the head rises to a vigorous 4 fingers in height in my tulip. It recedes slowly, leaving clumps of bubbles down the sides as it collapses into a thin collar.

S: Incredibly tropical, fruit-forward hop nose: pineapple, tangerine, lime, apricot, mango, white wine. This hits my sweet spot for noses; a nice twist is its small introduction of a hay-like brett presence. Thankfully, this is young and the brett hasn't really taken hold yet. I don't want it to; as an IPA alone, this is outstanding.

T: Bitter Monk has a beautiful fruit cornucopia. Pineapple dominates; I really love this flavor in beer, and to find it on the nose and taste is a real treat. I know some brett strains can enhance this flavor, so maybe it will persist with age. As noted before, I pick up tangerine, lime, apricot, mango, and white grapes. The bitterness is more pronounced than I like; the beer is pretty dry (a perception enhanced by its slightly tannic finish), so there isn't a lot to counteract the acridity.

M: Up front, there is a perceived sweetness -- I say perceived because the beer finishes dry and bitter (the latter being a bit of a drawback). It makes me wonder how the brett will evolve the beer; there can't be a lot of sugar for it to work with. Time will tell, I suppose. I'm certainly not bothering to age it. Good carbonation, no trace of the ABV.

O: I've been pretty underwhelmed by everything else that ABC has released so far, but this one blew me out of the water with the first batch. I bought 3 bottles of the second batch -- and I will continue to buy more of later ones. This is a winner (fresh, at least). I don't intend to age it.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2012 02:08:20 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of ktrillionaire
ktrillionaire

Florida

4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2011 18:47:12 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of bigfnjoe
bigfnjoe

Pennsylvania

4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a corked & caged bottle into a Chimay goblet. Here goes nothin, sweetie....at $20 per bomber, this had better be amazing. Batch 1, July '11

A- pours a cloudy straw color with a one finger perfect white head that stays around for awhile. Looks great at least...

S- FUNK!!!! Tremendous aroma of horse blanket with a little sweetness from the hops. Wonderful

T- there's a freshness from the brett, with some mild funk....finish is mildly hoppy. The Belgian yeast is also present in the taste....it's very complex. Wonder how it would have tasted fresh...hops taste a little faded

M- medium bodied, maybe a little on the light side. Perfect

O- this is absolutely fantastic. Love love love this beer

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 00:48:27 | More by bigfnjoe
Photo of egrace84
egrace84

Illinois

4/5  rDev -7.4%

06-07-2014 17:08:00 | More by egrace84
Photo of akang
akang

California

4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

07-16-2013 13:50:36 | More by akang
Photo of Brew33
Brew33

Ohio

4/5  rDev -7.4%

01-22-2013 21:22:52 | More by Brew33
Photo of Sparky44
Sparky44

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

03-24-2013 20:52:18 | More by Sparky44
Photo of Beaver13
Beaver13

Colorado

3.95/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Pours a hazy dark yellow with a big fluffy wihite head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is a lot of brett and musty yeast with old fruits and bread. Some dirty sock comes out as it warms.

The flavor is a lot of brett with some old fruit and bready malt. There's a decent amount of bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, I like it. The best Beligan IPA I've had. i like the use of Brett instead of traditional Belgian yeast. It also has good noticeable bitterness. Only downside is price at $17 a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 07:30:26 | More by Beaver13
Photo of 2dogbrew
2dogbrew

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

05-12-2013 00:16:49 | More by 2dogbrew
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy

Florida

4.14/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Bottle from Tipples. Batch #3/May 2013 poured Sept. 28, 2013. Pours a cloudy yellow with small white head. Aroma of lemon zest, pineapple, dry oak, brett, orange peel. Very interesting. Flavor is big pineapple juice with definite Brett presence and lingering oak and pineapple. Bitter is there for sure. Juicy balanced by the effervescent mouthfeel, which makes it feel light on the palate for a DIPA. Very unique beer that delivers on the flavors it advertises.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2013 01:45:42 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of jrenihan
jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #3, May 2013. From the description on the bottle, it appears that this beer no longer uses Simcoe hops- just Citra and Apollo.

Cloiudy golden with a large white head. Head fades steadily, but not totally, leaving a decent white head that does not go away. A bit of lace.

Amazing smell. Lots of tart-cherry Brett scents, along with lots of bright fruits and citrus. Pineapple, orange, green grape and more. Also a nice oak scent. Divine!

Taste is not as incredible as the nose (how could it be?), but is very nice. The Brett is strong, providing cherry and a lot of dry funk. The oak is also strong, particularly on the finish. The hops provide a nice range of fruit flavours, with the Citra standing out: pineapple, grapefruit and tangerine. There is a noticeable wine flavour from the Chardonnay barrels. The Belgian yeast is there, but is not dominant for me- the Brett overtakes it. Finish is quite bitter and dry.

Full bodied, moderate carbobation. Astringent, seriously dries the mouth.

Overall, terrific. The mixture of Brett and Citra is lovely. I find the Belgian aspect of the beer to not be a focus- comes across more like a Bretty American IPA, because the Citra is so much stronger than the Belgian yeast. Whatever you call it, it is delicious, and one of the best smelling beers I have ever encountered.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2013 20:27:01 | More by jrenihan
Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 790 ratings.