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Working For Tips - Moonlight Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Working For Tips
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BA SCORE
89
very good

32 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 32
Reviews: 21
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 9.16%
Wants: 6
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Moonlight Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: errantnight on 05-06-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 32 | Reviews: 21 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AnHeroicHippo
4/5  rDev -1%

AnHeroicHippo, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Texasfan549, Jul 25, 2014
Photo of jacewg
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

jacewg, Jul 15, 2014
Photo of scottfrie
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On-tap in Mendocino. Pint glass.

A: Pours a root-beer caramel brown with a clinging tan head that faded into a lasting fuzzy film. Great streaky lacework was left down the glass.
S: Woody, roasted and malty smelling. Slight herbal forest notes as well.
T: Mild chocolate, woody malts, slightly sweet caramel, no bitterness at all. Grainy aftertaste with more wood and earthy flavors.
M: Creamy mouthfeel with soft carbonation. Medium body with a good amount of chew to it. Solid and easy to drink.
O: Definitely woodsy, with a mild leafy taste. Very smooth and quaffable.

scottfrie, Sep 25, 2013
Photo of mc4z
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

mc4z, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of elNopalero
4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Instead of hops this is made using redwood tips, like a gruit. It’s a ruddy amber in color with great foam. The aroma of redwood tips is there, present and upfront. With that I find notes of cherries and sweet vermouth, like a well-made Manhattan. It’s lightly carbonated, giving it a fuller, rounder body. It’s not hoppy but mellow, with that sweet wine finish. Needless to say, I loved every sip.

elNopalero, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -1%

spycow, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

t0rin0, Nov 04, 2012
Photo of Jsenay
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into moonlight glass

A - Deep brown in color. Nice head which dissipates slowly. No lacing.

S - Not much to the smell. I can smell some subtle roasted malt but not much else.

T - It's got a nice level of sweetness up front with some chocolate/coffee flavors. The spice doesn't hit until the aftertaste. Got a spicy Cinnamon with the red wood (I'm guessing) earthiness lingering on the back of the tongue.

M - Really smooth for what I was expecting with it being a gruit. Full bodied mouth feel with the subtle and delicious spice bouquet at the end.

O - It tasted almost exactly like death and taxes to me with less of that smoky flavor until the spice hit at the end. It is really delicious and I loved the subtleties of the aftertaste. It is an interesting take on a classic beer style. I will definitely order this again.

Jsenay, Jul 13, 2012
Photo of popery
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

popery, May 15, 2012
Photo of oldp0rt
4/5  rDev -1%

oldp0rt, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of MasterSki
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Flavor Bistro. Served in a Moonlight pint glass.

A - Very dark brown with some ruby-red highlights when held to the light. A finger of tan foam settles to some splotchy lace and a thick collar.

S - Smokey, roasty, woodsy, and earthy, with some coffee as well. There's an herbal character that could easily be mistaken for hops, but I'm guessing is actually the spruce tips?

T - Again, very earthy and woodsy, with roasted malts, smoke, and light cocoa sweetness. Finishes with moderate bitterness, but not much over herb flavor.

M - Medium-high carbonation, slightly gritty medium body, crisp and refreshing finish. Like most Moonlight offerings, it doesn't reveal an alcohol.

D - Interesting beer - I'd probably guess hoppy black lager or porter if having this blind (which is indeed what happened, as Flavor had no idea what the beer was when I asked). I enjoyed it quite a bit and had no problem putting down the entire pint.

MasterSki, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of rbrefbeerman
4/5  rDev -1%

rbrefbeerman, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of rob133
5/5  rDev +23.8%

rob133, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of avaldivia
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Flavor Bistro In Santa Rosa. Served in typical Moonlight Brewing Pint Glass.

A: Very dark brown. When held up to the light, a bit of a reddish hue was visible. Little head to speak of. Virtually no lacing.

S: Roasted malts were first and foremost. A bit pf smoke.

T: Delicious. Roasted flavor was pronounced, as was a smokiness. Very pleasing. There were a few hints of coffee, some woody aspects as well.

M: Fairly thin. Very carbonated. A bit dry.

O: I tried and was not a fan Legal Tender, which was also a Gruit. I almost didn't order it for that reason, but I am really happy I did. This was a very tasty beer. One I will order again.

avaldivia, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of litheum94
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Toad in the Hole.

P: A very deep, red-brown, almost black. Garnet hilites. Brownish head fizzles out quickly.

A: Roasty coffee aromas. Some dark fruit sweetness, plums. Has a "nitro" aroma that a lot of dry stouts have. Minty. Wood tones.

T: Very roasty at first, porter like. Light chocolate sweetness and coffee. Creamy. More mint, but with less of a menthol flavor. Unidentifiable spicing, possibly sage. Wood tones, tasting like a redwood grove smells. Active carbonation on the finish.

I almost didn't order this becaus I'd had it before. I'm glad I got it, because it's way better than I remember it being. Great roasty tones with good spicing and the Redwood adds a nice flavor. Wonderful.

litheum94, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of Hojaminbag
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Working for tips pours a surprisingly dark color, with a body that is almost black and a healthy brown head. The retention and lacing are both pretty good.

The aroma leans toward the dark malt, with both roast and smoke making an appearance.

Hints of coffee mix with roasted malt and the slight flavor of smoked wood lingers in the background. Just a hint of an herbal flavor, and it tastes like there are some spices thrown in. Very dry overall.

Dry and smooth.

This beer wasn't really what I expected at all, but I liked it. Fairly understated in flavor, I found that I downed this beer very quickly.

Hojaminbag, Aug 03, 2011
Photo of biegaman
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Monk's Kettle, in San Francisco.

Working for Tips is inspired by ancient brewing traditions and, indeed, it looks nothing like most modern beers, save maybe the stouts. It is black with some ruby highlights but not enough that it can claim to have any real colour. It has an ultra-lush head that’s tinted an off-white colour and leaves shrouds of lacing that are thick enough to wrap a baby in.

How strange is it for a beer brewed with redwood tips that one does not find any redwood aroma. Not a trace of it, in fact. Not even a shadow of a trace. Instead, the bouquet has a coffee and cream (more cream) richness, with a very pronounced maltiness and a savory herb, earthy note that may be the redwood only showing up with a little warmth.

The redwood can't really be claimed to be tasted on the palate either; however, there is some earthiness that obviously can't be attribute to hops. Mostly there is just a coffee-and-cream flavour and lots of roasted maltiness. Calling it 'chocolaty' would probably be an exaggeration, the beer isn't that rich. It is mild, medium-bodied and has no real intensity.

It's not surprising to find, since the brewer didn't use any hops, that there's no bitterness at all. In fact, this is one of the smoothest (and I try use that word as sparingly as possible) beers in recent memory. That coffee-and-cream flavour comes without any roast or astringency at all. It's got such a creamy texture you might suspect a nitro-tap was at play.

Moonlight Brewing works hard for their money and I'm glad the beer reviewing world treats them right. Although this offering, with less than 20 reviews under its belt is still in its infancy, it already rates a "B+" and I've no doubt it'll soon have an "A" next to it, just like the fantastic Reality Czech and Death & Taxes brews. I'd consider it as good as those.

biegaman, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of ngeunit1
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Served a black color with a bit of brown mixed in and just letting light through around the edges. There is a frothy finger of brownish-tan head atop that fades slowly leaving behind lots of lace.

S - The aroma is a mix of many different elements including some herbs/floral elements, some chocolate malts, wood, and a just a touch of hops.

T - Starts off with a mix of roasted chocolate malt and some wood flavor. There is also some floral flavors starting up in the background. Through the middle, the floral flavors get a bit stronger with some herbs as well and just a bit of was seems like hops. The finish is a mix of chocolate malts, floral elements, and a bit of wood that lingers.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth and a bit dry from the herbs and floral flavors.

D - Very drinkable. Lots of flavors that do not seem like they would work together mix here for a really tasty and balanced beer.

ngeunit1, Jul 26, 2011
Photo of 4000qtrap
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Source/Serving: Draft @ Toronado's

S: Light, but deep roastiness, dark chocolate, spicy cherries + wild berries, faint toast and earthiness.

T: Semisweet berries and coffee up front with a little spice. Burnt malts are light in intensity like a schwarzbier and play off one another well. Spicier in the middle which is deep and rich and interesting in their complexity. Some bitterness is provided by the roasted malts in the background. Much drier and almost no fruit but still very full flavored. The finish is a continued progression to more dry spices, but light roastiness lingers.

Notes: If you sat this beer down in front of me I'd swear by taste it was a black Belgian like Russian River's Rejection. You do notice the lack of hops but in something like a black Belgian you don't really miss them.

4000qtrap, May 01, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Flavor. Dark brown with ruddy tints, almost black. The beige head holds pretty well. It smells of heavily roasted malt, chocolate-like in character. Espresso and evergreen come out as it warms. I might be crazy, but this smells like it's fermented with lager yeast. The palate mirrors the aroma: roasted malt is prominent, lending chocolate and espresso flavors. There's a bit of nougat sweetness, a light herbal character and a touch of carob. The body is fairly light, and it's a pretty clean and crisp beer on the whole. For a non-hopped/gruit style beer, this is great.

largadeer, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of drummstikk
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Look, there's a reason most beers have hops in them -- they make malt taste great. To make a beer without them is a uniquely difficult task, but Moonlight has done it.

Working for Tips is dry and light bodied-enough that you really can taste incredible wood, juniper, and resiny flavors from California Redwood tips. The malts compliment this dry herbaceous taste with a light-chocolate brew that is roasty. But even though sweetness has been minimized, you'll still have a coat in your mouth after a few sips. That's the sugary malt that hops usually balance out.

Carbonation is minimal, another of Brian Hunt's nice touches to allow us to appreciate the Redwood. A tap pour will give a half-centimeter milk chocolate foam that dissipates before long.

While this beer may appeal mainly to beer geeks, it's important to remember that beer went without hops for millennia. Hops grow in narrow belts in the mid-northern lattitudes, and they weren't even introduced to beer in these parts of the world until the second millennium. We should rightly view them as an option in our brews. Tongues are slower to change than minds, however, and mine is no exception.

This brew probably isn't drinkable enough to enjoy a pitcher with a friend. Instead, enjoy a small amount and delight in the hoplessness!

drummstikk, Mar 26, 2010
Photo of Halcyondays
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a dark amber with a soft off-white head, nice look, good head retention.

S: Woodsy, herbal, piney.

T: Get a lot of crystal style English-like malt initially. The redwood tips come in, with a nice piney but not over the top bitterness. There's a certain fruity ale sweetness from the tips that maintains a good balance.

M: Medium-bodied, creamy, not a huge aftertaste, nice herbal feel.

D: I was real excited to try this one, reminded me a lot of Alba Scots Pine Ale which I gave a similar score to. Very solid ale, and I like the experimentation.

Halcyondays, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of illidurit
2.93/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz. Pours a deep orangey copper color with a creamy khaki cap of head. Aroma is caramel with some slight roastiness and herbs. Flavor starts out nice with a round caramel character tempered by some herbal notes but the finish is quick to turn vegetal. I appreciate the creativity but the aftertaste tastes, unsurprisingly, like leaves. Very nice mouthfeel but I can't call the drinkability very good.

illidurit, Sep 05, 2009
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Working For Tips from Moonlight Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.