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!

Working For Tips - Moonlight Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Working For Tips
No picture uploaded.
Have one? Upload it now.
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 32 | Reviews: 21 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

2.93/5  rDev -27.5%

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.

09-05-2009 08:10:24 | More by illidurit
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

07-25-2014 20:45:36 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of drummstikk
drummstikk

California

3.58/5  rDev -11.4%

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!

03-26-2010 17:28:04 | More by drummstikk
Photo of MiScusi
MiScusi

California

3.73/5  rDev -7.7%

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.

06-15-2008 16:21:14 | More by MiScusi
Photo of jacewg
jacewg

District of Columbia

3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

07-15-2014 00:00:15 | More by jacewg
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

11-04-2012 04:30:11 | More by t0rin0
Photo of 4000qtrap
4000qtrap

Missouri

3.78/5  rDev -6.4%

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.

05-01-2011 01:11:44 | More by 4000qtrap
Photo of Jsenay
Jsenay

Texas

3.8/5  rDev -5.9%

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.

07-13-2012 06:54:00 | More by Jsenay
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.9/5  rDev -3.5%

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.

12-20-2009 21:40:05 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

3.94/5  rDev -2.5%

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.

09-24-2013 23:14:45 | More by scottfrie
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

3.95/5  rDev -2.2%

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.

06-05-2008 16:20:14 | More by GClarkage
Photo of errantnight
errantnight

California

3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

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!

05-06-2008 06:00:39 | More by errantnight
Photo of rbrefbeerman
rbrefbeerman

California

4/5  rDev -1%

11-18-2011 01:00:50 | More by rbrefbeerman
Photo of oldp0rt
oldp0rt

Quebec (Canada)

4/5  rDev -1%

03-15-2012 13:27:45 | More by oldp0rt
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

4/5  rDev -1%

01-12-2013 06:58:57 | More by spycow
Photo of AnHeroicHippo
AnHeroicHippo

Quebec (Canada)

4/5  rDev -1%

08-07-2014 20:13:45 | More by AnHeroicHippo
Photo of Hojaminbag
Hojaminbag

Colorado

4/5  rDev -1%

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.

08-03-2011 14:30:10 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +0.2%

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.

07-27-2011 04:34:50 | More by biegaman
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +0.2%

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.

02-21-2012 21:35:27 | More by MasterSki
Photo of DIYMonkey
DIYMonkey

California

4.08/5  rDev +1%

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.

05-12-2008 05:57:42 | More by DIYMonkey
Photo of avaldivia
avaldivia

California

4.1/5  rDev +1.5%

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.

08-16-2011 06:15:41 | More by avaldivia
Photo of litheum94
litheum94

California

4.2/5  rDev +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.

08-10-2011 03:15:55 | More by litheum94
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

4.22/5  rDev +4.5%

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.

08-23-2009 02:08:51 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of mc4z
mc4z

California

4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

07-14-2013 04:10:45 | More by mc4z
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

11-14-2011 19:07:47 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Working For Tips from Moonlight Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.