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Pious Monk Dunkel - Church Brew Works

Pious Monk DunkelPious Monk Dunkel

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

192 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 192
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 13.13%

Brewed by:
Church Brew Works visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Munich Dunkel Lager |  4.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 09-24-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 192 | Reviews: 98 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ONUMello


3.86/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pils glass
A: Light brown color, a fair amount of bubbles and a 1.5-finger head that lingers for quite some time
S: Light malt
T: Malty, nutty and a bit of caramel
M: Light-bodied, not a lot of complexity here
O: Solid, tasty & probably a good session beer. Not overly complex but tasty

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2013 07:22:47 | More by ONUMello
Photo of craftbrewdoctor


3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Similar to Sam Adams Octoberfest though not as sweet. Golden to brown in color. Nice caramel taste with some hops present. Good carbonation.

This review is for the draft version. Bought bottles to go and VINEGAR was present when I opened them at home.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2013 00:49:33 | More by craftbrewdoctor
Photo of general_staal


3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a nice dark amber copper color with a nice off white head that was about .5". The head cleared quickly and the lacing was alright; mostly spotty. The smell was a little odd to me, but enjoyable. This will sound weird but I got a baking soda and vinegar smell along with nutty, wheat. I also got a bit of a vinegar and baking soda taste from this beer which wasn't necessarily bad because it was very subtle, but it was odd. I also got some nutty flavors and a wheat back end. It had a decent mouthfeel but nothing overly special. I enjoyed this beer in a slightly odd way, but I don't know if I'll buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2013 00:16:08 | More by general_staal
Photo of twiggamortis420


3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle courtesy of tommyguz pours a mostly clear copper color with an ample off-white head, dense and fine-bubbled. Retention is pretty good and lacing ok.

Nose is toast and toffee with a little but of buttered almonds and caramel. Just a hint of grassy hops.

Nose did not show the light sweetness that is really nice on the flavor. Toasted nuts and cleans up nicely on the finish. Im a sucker for a good dunkel and this beer scratches that itch quite well...I like it. It does show some lager brewing flaws, some diacetyl in particular, but it doesnt work against the beer too much. Its not too toasty that can sometimes just get a little acrid when combined with the hops. I wish this style was brewed more by American craft breweries, it really hits that 'malty, sessionable note'..for me at least.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2013 20:32:42 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of SpeedwayJim

New York

3.91/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz. bottle into a Pizza Boy pilsner glass. Shared with schen9303.

.5 finger foamy white head that dissipates quickly. Beer is a clear brown-amber. Lacing is spotty and stringy with average stick. Solid for the style.

Nose is brown sugar and caramel. Decently aromatic.

Opens sweet brown sugar, hazelnut shell and caramel. More rich brown sugar in the middle with a nutty, grainy and aggressively malty finish. Aftertaste is slightly roasted malt. I like it.

Light bodied with moderate to high carbonation. Quenching and light in the mouth and goes down smooth. Messy finish with a lightly lingering aftertaste. Real drinkable.

A real solid beer that is a good representation of the style. Very drinkable and with just enough flavor to keep things interesting. A session offering for sure.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2013 00:01:30 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of mick303

Ontario (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium dark chestnut brown colour, small head which leaves a nice film and lace.

Smell is has apricot-like malt esters, fair bit of roast malt. Some citrus in the hops. Nicely balanced, and quite fragrant.

Taste is a strong initial maltiness with a good balancing hop character. Wholemeal bread, with some fruity flavours thrown in. Hops are relatively light, but add a dry citrusy bitterness. Crisp dryness at the end. It is pleasant, but there's not a ton to get really really excited about, its a well-made tasty beer.

Mouthfeel has a moderate, malt forward body, plenty of crisp carbonation, refreshing, and highly sessionable.

Enjoyable beer, pretty well balanced, but could be more complex, makes for a nice session beer and I would have it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 23:12:14 | More by mick303
Photo of prototypic


3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pious Monk pours a darker copper color. It’s mostly clear. A little reveals some nice garnet highlights. Pretty nice color. A light, off-white head covers the top. It’s rather modest, rising maybe half a finger in height. It’s quick to recede, leaving a very light, spotty lacing in its wake. Not bad.

The nose is better than you might expect. It smells like a mix of caramel and brown malts. It’s a little on the sweet side as far as this nose can tell. There might be a hint of light chocolate, but it’s tough to tell. Yeast is definitely in the mix and actually smells pretty good. Smells a little toasty and herbal. Perhaps a bit of a grassy hop note on the tail. Alcohol is masked extremely well. It really smells pretty good.

The flavor is even a bit better. It’s a pretty nice representation of the style. The malt base is a mix of caramel, light chocolate, and brown malts. There’s a touch of sweetness, but it’s mild. It is yeasty and a bit herbal. Those aspects are subtle and secondary, but add something positive. There’s a very light grassy hop flavor. It complements the other flavors well and isn’t strong enough to seem out of place. I like that. Alcohol is definitely buried. I’m not getting any at all. Finishes a malty and a little sweet.

Pious Monk has a body that’s on the lighter side. Carbonation is definitely light and soft. It honestly feels a little thin to really be smooth. Needs a bit more body. It’s not way out of line for the style though. Definitely an easy drinking beer. I could happily down a few these. The ABV is just right for that, too!

I picked up a variety pack of Church Brew Works beer on a recent trip to Pennsylvania. Pious Monk is probably my favorite of the lot. It’s a nice Munich Dunkel that features all the standard bells and whistles. Definitely worth checking out.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2012 02:33:51 | More by prototypic
Photo of NoLeafClover44


3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into Allagash chalice.

A - Pours a dark mahogany with plenty of red highlights when held up to the light. The thin head is whiter than I would expect from a brew this dark. Leaves behind a tiered, incomplete lacing.

S - Complexity of malts, bready and nutty. Sweet fruits; candied banana and dark grape juice come to mind.

T - Bread and buttery malts along with dark fruits. Some subtle chocolate and banana hit mid-palate. There is a lingering molasses flavor on the back end.

M - The body is on the lighter side with medium smooth carbonation.

O - Good mix of sweet, rich, and bready. The flavor is very full for a beer this light in body. This would make a good low ABV session beer. Mouthfeel is fantastic, nearly perfect. Not a style I typically drink or else I would consider getting it again.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2012 23:47:18 | More by NoLeafClover44
Photo of neenerzig


3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got a 6 pack of this when the wife and I visited the brewery recently on a trip to Pittsburgh. Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into my pint glass, this beer pours a slightly hazy medium copper/amber color. Slightly off white head is about 1/2 inch thick when poured before settling fairly quickly to a nice thick ring lining the inside of my glass. Not much surface foam except for the ring along the inside of the glass, just very tiny bits spotty surface coating here and there. Almost no lacing too. Aromas of malt, hints of spice, bread, and bits of fruit such as cherry and grape. Starts out with a nice caramel malt sweetness upfront along with some bready notes that give way to a bit of spice (cinnamon and clove perhaps), a bit of toffee, hints of the aforementioned fruit, and is rounded out with a slight touch of hops. Has a crisp, somewhat tingly, creamy/frothy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Easy to drink in the way good beer is supposed to be. All in all not a bad beer, worth a try.


Serving type: bottle

07-12-2012 03:21:14 | More by neenerzig
Photo of keeganfrank


2.88/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tea-colored lager with no real head to speak of. Aroma, which is pretty mild, is primarily fruits and bread. Flavors of fruit, caramel and faint brown sugar. This lager is lighter in body and less flavorful than I expected. It's crisp and easy to drink but left me a little underwhelmed.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2012 17:48:33 | More by keeganfrank
Photo of AMiz602


3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a not quite as dark as some Dunkels. It is very translucent, and looks more like a red or brown ale than a European-style Dunkelbier. Not quite as heavy feeling either, it has a pretty light and crisp mouthfeel.

It is a light beer, with a calm caramel sweetness, but it quickly turns into a burnt-nutty maltiness. It provides for a whole 180 degrees of flavor. After it gets to its proper temperature, the malt really shines through, and takes on a dry, walnut taste.

It is an easy-going Dunkelbier, and I would sometimes stop and look at it and wonder if I was drinking a Yuengling or this Dunkelbier. Overall, a good deal from Church Brew Works.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2012 02:52:49 | More by AMiz602
Photo of Rifugium


3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at the brewery

Poured a medium brown color, hazy, but still see-through, with a thin, wispy layer of bubbles for a head. Somewhat subdued aroma, dark malts, moderate roast, mild hops. Taste reflects what was noted in the nose: roasty dark malts, grains, mild earthy hops, slight bitterness from a subtle cocoa flavor. Crisp, dry finish. Light-medium mouthfeel, nothing that hasn't been experienced before, but overall quite sessionable.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2012 07:21:30 | More by Rifugium
Photo of dungledauf


1.7/5  rDev -52.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Appearance: Clear, ruby hue with no carbonation

Smell: Sweet malt not overpowering

Taste: Really tasted just type of malt which I believe to be Munich malts. Expected to taste caramel and some burnt malt. Slight metallic aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Very thin, watery, and flat.

Overall: Expected more depth & flavor for a Munich Dunkel.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2012 13:05:16 | More by dungledauf
Photo of oline73


3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Appearance: Pours a very nice looking reddish dark amber color with a half finger of off white head. The head fades to a thin layer on top of the pour.

Smell: Malty and sweet, but not overly so. I'm picking up some bread from the grain along with some cherry and grape notes.

Taste: There is a lot of flavor given the abv. I'm picking up a similar flavor to the smell. Bready malt with some cherry and grpe notes. The finish has a slight bitterness to it.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with aggressive carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: I enjoyed this beer. The taste was bold given the abv. I'm not sure I'd have another, but I'm glad I tried it.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 02:17:04 | More by oline73
Photo of output01x


3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. capped bottle (no date) into a pilsener glass.

An aggressive pour yields a 1/2-finger tan-colored head that quickly fades to a thin dusting and thin foam ring. The body is a perfectly clear brown amber with just a few tiny carbonation bubbles. Some decent lacing can be seen throughout consumption but never sticks around long.

Dark, sweet malts aromas hit the nose immediately as this beer is poured. Spicy hops aromas quickly follow. Notes of caramel, brown sugar, and toasted grains are all discernible.

Sweet, grainy malt flavors hit the tongue at the beginning of each sip with notes of caramel, toffee, and whole grain biscuits. Upon swallowing, the bready malts flavors come out even more with slight notes of milk chocolate and toffee.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, this beer is smooth and easy-drinking. The body is slick and slightly sticky, which really helps the presentation of the flavors. The carbonation is only slightly fizzy and really helps this beer's drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2012 21:41:44 | More by output01x
Photo of NardiByNature


3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into the Church Brew Works pint glass. Looks like root beer - a good deal of carbonation and not much head. Fairly clear. Just a lttle bit of spotty lace.

Smells like toasty dark grains; a little bit of spice. Nothing exciting, but it smells good.

More of the toast than in the nose. A tad bitter. It's good - definitely lagery than "dunkel"ly. What I mean by that is there isn't so much caramel toastiness that you would expect with this style.

Crisp and drinkable, this is a sessionable brew to be had straight from the bottle

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 22:06:47 | More by NardiByNature
Photo of russwbeck


4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear brown red pour with a small, thin white head. Hardly any lacing or retention.

S: More lager than dunkel to my nose. Sugar, breaded malts, clove. Pretty basic smell, pretty inviting overall.

T: Very nice taste on this. Clean malts, bready much like a lager but with some sweetness like a dunkel. Sugar and caramel are at the forefront.

MF: Light, crisp, insanely drinkable and a dry finish.

O: Couldn't put it down. Not mind boggling my any means, but a darn good beer overall.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2011 03:39:55 | More by russwbeck
Photo of ShawnKemp


3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was ok..nothing to make a trip to the store for though. Malts and hops devote a deep brown hue...similar to a lager. The thickness of the beer in mouth in quite apparent as well. Taste reminds of me of Yuengling a bit, but a bit more malty. The Church Brew Works has other outstanding beers that overshadow this guy I feel...

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 06:29:46 | More by ShawnKemp
Photo of BoozeHound81


4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a solid brew, nice dark drown to redish color, no head at all. Very little carbonation bubbles.Very smooth.Perhaps a roasty maltly taste, a bit bready in fact. The lower alcohol content makes it more of a session style brew. This is what I would want with my steak,hands down. I live a bit north of the brewery and hear many good things about it, not only on the beer side, but the food is well talked about as well.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2011 20:47:46 | More by BoozeHound81
Photo of LiquidBread219


3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A= Pours a dark brown color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation are cleary visable

S= Smells of sweet malts, bready malts, and some sugar, I also picked up some carmel on this one

T= Tastes of bready malts mostly. Little bit of caramel malts as well.

M= Medium body and low carbonation.

D= A very easy to drink lager. Mostly smells and tastes of bready malts a really good Munich Dunkel while they had better things on there beer menu I wouldn't mine trying this one again.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2011 17:49:28 | More by LiquidBread219
Photo of Thorpe429


3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tedwarhc for this bottle. Served in a tulip.

Pours a bright light copper-brown color with a very, very thin white head and only a bubble or two on top after a few seconds. No lacing. The nose brings some light caramel and bread crust along with faint earthy hops. Flavor is a nice combination of lightly-toasted bread and very mild caramel along with a touch of sweetness and light hops. Light to medium body with moderate carbonation; fairly chewy. Refreshing bitterness on the back-end. Good brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2011 23:31:23 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of ThirstyBird


2.83/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to radioscooter for this bottle.

Pours a dark clear reddish brown. With a light tan head that goes to a thin film and ring. Nice lace. Smell is rich toasted malt, some molasses and a bit a crisp hop. Taste is quite sweet rich deep toasted malt, bread, brown sugar...pretty darn sweet. A touch of hops on the back end adding a touch of crispness. Medium body with active carbonation though a touch course. Overall a pretty easy beer to drink but lacking in finesse both taste and mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2011 01:52:17 | More by ThirstyBird
Photo of CuriousMonk


3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured on tap into a pint glass at Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh durin my visit in 2008. Pours amber, beige head. Aroma is malty / caramel, earthly hops. Taste, malty with some ncie chocolate notes with subtle nutty addition. Beer is well balanced, light hops giving an alsmot dark fruits flavor, with an always present nice chocolate / caramel malts. Finish leaves some light bitter hops. Beer became more enjoyable as it warmed up.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2011 18:47:37 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Sammy. Pours an amber-brown colour with thin off-white head with good retention, though little lacing. Smells of toasted malt, caramel and bread. Flavour has a nice caramel sweetness to it, but it is pretty subdued. Medium carbonation level.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2010 19:41:15 | More by kwjd
Photo of DoppleJock


3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


Growler survived the train ride from Pittsburgh to Chicago.

A: Poured a crisp, clean dark amber. 1 finger head quickly dissipated (too much jostling on the trip home?) but carbonation decent.

S: Mild mix of malts and cloves. Faint citrus notes. Slightly peppery.

T: Very bready/biscuity. More than I would have liked. Picked up hints of bubblegum, but other than that there isn't the complexity I was hoping for.

M: Pretty smooth at first, but a little chalky aftertaste.

D: Could be complimented with food but it's missing something on its own...

Serving type: growler

09-26-2010 16:59:54 | More by DoppleJock
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Pious Monk Dunkel from Church Brew Works
81 out of 100 based on 192 ratings.