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Working For Tips - Moonlight Brewing Company

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Working For Tips
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very good

22 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 22
Hads: 38
Avg: 4.02
pDev: 8.96%
Wants: 6
Gots: 1 | 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:
Beer added by: errantnight on 05-06-2008

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (23) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 22 | Hads: 38
Reviews by elNopalero:
Photo of elNopalero
4.8/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of rob133
5/5  rDev +24.4%

Photo of MiScusi
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Trappist in Oakland, CA.

A- Served in a chalice, is dark root beer color, some big sudsy bubbles try their hardest to form but nothing really comes up. The bartenders disclaimer was that lack of head might be from the oils in the beer due to the redwood tip use. That's actually what I was thinking while she was pouring it.

S- Knowing there are redwood tips I want to say it smelled something along the lines of a green nature-y smell, but I didn't get that at all. It had a bit of perfumy smell to it, but it was hard to pick up the aroma from the chalice.

T- Hard to describe. Seems like a bit of a toasty or lightly roasted flavor that gives off a sharp malt bite, a bit of bitterness. That same fragrance that pops up in the aroma is noticable in the mouth if you hold the sip in there for a minute.

M- It was oily... slick, on a medium to medium-light body.

D- I like to try new stuff but I didn't really like this a while lot. It's not a horrible beer though by my tastes, and I still appreciate what they are doing here even though that doesn't suit my taste, which I reflect in my score (a bit higher than what I overall probably thought of it). I wouldn't have it again though.

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Photo of mc4z
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Rzzzzz
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Toronado, in a slightly chilled glass. Dark brown with a moderate but elegant off-white head which left a nice trail of lacework down the glass. Aroma is not overpowering, but along with a solid malt nose there is the faint yet unmistakeable aroma of a bike ride through Muir Woods. (more the earth and trees, and not so much the sweaty bikers)

This is a great tasting beer, similar to a nice English brown ale, with caramel malt flavors and some spice accents. I'm picking up cinnamon or allspice--or maybe that's what redwood tastes like--but it's certainly well in the background. A bittering "hops" presence is there at the end, just enough to balance out the sweetness of the malt.

Mouthfeel is great--again, what you'd expect from an English brown ale. Mild carbonation and delicious taste make this one very drinkable brew. I'm impressed by the fact that the redwood isn't really the focal point of this brew; it's evidently simply used in the same capacacity that hops would have been used.

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Photo of largadeer
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of errantnight
3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Monk's Kettle...

Per those fine proprietors, an ale brewed without hops, but with the tips of Redwood trees.

Well, it certainly LOOKED beautiful, a deep mahogany/amber... sorta a cross between a rich amber ale and a scotch ale, with a lovely, creamy head into a tulip glass.

Aroma is a bit faint, notes of pine and toast.

Flavor is... wow, this simply doesn't taste like a gimmick... at all. There is bitterness here, and its in perfect harmony and balance with the malt sweetness. The pine flavor seeps through, and the beer is exceptionally silky smooth and has a distinct dryness to it. Clean, forgiving, tasty.

Apparently there IS life after hops!

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Photo of DIYMonkey
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

When the bartender told me it was brewed with redwood tips I thought I misunderstood him. But when I stuck my nose in it, it reminded me of bailing on my mountain bike and landing in a big billowy pile of redwood duft in the santa cruz mountains, a maneuver I perfected pretty well in college, and it all made sense.

Brian never stops to amaze me.. this isn't a session beer as the resiny taste of the redwood would surely bog you down pretty quick, but it's an amazing brewing idea and is very well executed.

You just have to try it, if not because its just as good as any moonlight brew, but perhaps just for the novelty.

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Photo of rbrefbeerman
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Jsenay
3.76/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of avaldivia
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Toronado

A: Deep brown with brown highlights. Thin tan head

S: Sweet caramel, toffee and nougat. Delicious

T: Along the lines of a brown ale, this is excellent with a medium body, great caramel flavor with hints of roast and nuts. There's a light hop bite on the finish. Goes great with my duck sausage.

M: Vibrant and lively with great carbonation

D: Very good - I'd have drunk more if i have the option but there were other beers I'd never get to try calling out to me!

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Photo of oldp0rt
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of scottfrie
3.92/5  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.

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Photo of vidisad
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of litheum94
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of 4000qtrap
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

06/01/08- Had on tap at Flavor Bistro in Santa Rosa, CA.

Presentation- 12oz pils style glass pour via the tap.

Appearance- Deep brown in color. Fairly creamy looking 1/4 inch slightly off white head. Decent lace trails and light patches left behind.

Smell- Caramel-toffee malted nose with a good amount of redwood-pine scented hops...errr, redwood tips. Very nice nose.

Taste- Tastes like the nose. Kinda tastes like a brown ale infused with redwood trees. Redwood bark flavored malt with a good amount of roasted caramel. Tastes hoppy without the hops.

Mouthfeel- A bit too carbonated for my tastes, but not annoyingly so. Leaves a redwood hop like bitterness in the aftertaste.

Drinkability- Pretty yummy and quite different. I would definitely try this again.

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Photo of jacewg
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of cletusdog
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of AnHeroicHippo
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of illidurit
2.98/5  rDev -25.9%
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.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.98/5  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.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Jupiter in Berkeley. Very pleased to see this quite interesting beer as I'm a fan of evergreen spiked beers. I've never had redwood tips in a beer before and it's intriguing how different they are from spruce or juniper- much earthier and much less sappy and in-your-face than the pine is. This beer pours a murky copper with a short, creamy head with some nice lacing. Smells grainy with some spicy notes and a light banana and cherry sweetness. The taste also has a grainy anf fruity sweetness with the spicy/earthy notes of the redwood tips creeping up the backend. There is also some more sweet banana and cherry as well as some citrus and bitter flavors that I would swear were from hops. Ends with some smooth, tangy, lager yeast notes. Smooth, fruity, earthy, and easy to drink. Very interesting and delicious.

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Working For Tips from Moonlight Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 22 ratings.