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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: 5
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 rob133
5/5  rDev +23.8%

rob133, Nov 14, 2011
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 DefenCorps
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
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!

DefenCorps, May 22, 2008
Photo of Rzzzzz
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Rzzzzz, May 27, 2008
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 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 mc4z
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

mc4z, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

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

popery, May 15, 2012
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.22/5  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.

Georgiabeer, Aug 23, 2009
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 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 DIYMonkey
4.08/5  rDev +1%
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.

DIYMonkey, May 12, 2008
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 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 oldp0rt
4/5  rDev -1%

oldp0rt, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -1%

spycow, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of AnHeroicHippo
4/5  rDev -1%

AnHeroicHippo, Aug 07, 2014
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 errantnight
3.98/5  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!

errantnight, May 06, 2008
Photo of GClarkage
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

GClarkage, Jun 05, 2008
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 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 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
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Working For Tips from Moonlight Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.