Beast Bitter | Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

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Beast BitterBeast Bitter
Very Good
242 Ratings
Beast BitterBeast Bitter

Brewed by:
Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
New York, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by OldFrothingSlosh on 09-24-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 242 |  Reviews: 166
Reviews by beermanbrian:
Photo of beermanbrian
3.15/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice light color with an OK head. A few trails of lacing. First wiff is very appealing. Strong grapefruit hops odor during the pour mixed with some piney notes. By halfway down the glass the smell has become mostly biscuity bready malts and is much less appealing. Taste is very earthy, with some hay like notes. And then i pick up that typical middle ages flavor, buttery and somewhat mettalic. I want to like their beers but they just don't do it for me. Not a terrible beer but what started out with such promise at first wiff from the bottle ended up dissapointing.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of logicalparadox
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A classic bitter. An underrepresented style, in my opinion, and this is a beast of an example.

Pours a somewhere between a dark orange to a very light mahogany. Dark enough to let you know there's some big malts in there. Nice head that fades slow. Feels very medieval in some way!

Aromas are malty, buttery, and some light fruit. Picking up on the yeast, it gets the appetite going.

The flavors are bitter, but not biting. Pleasant bitterness with a long finish, that dances back and forth between that and a mellow sweetness from the malts. A light roast character. The cumulative effect is like bitter buttered toast. MMmm.

Mouthfeel is exceptionally smooth and a bit creamy. Every pub in the world should have this on tap as the quintessential answer to a generic "give me a pint".

Why do more people not make this kind of brew? Is it difficult to do well? Is it perhaps too simple? Does it just not carry the hero-worship that a flagship IPA brings with it? This is a great beer and an argument for more brewers to take on this style as one worth brewing.

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Photo of utopiajane
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Nose is vivacious with malt. Biscuity and caramel. Firm dry caramel , none of that soft sweet stuff. The hops twinkle like fuggles do and show you soft earthy, woody spice. There is good citric backnote to them that makes them smell fresh and tangy and even a bit like zest. They also use cascade I think. Toasty malt is so crisp it's almost crunchy in there. I love it! As you drink the beer it simply takes over your mouth and your will to fight. It's abundant with malt. The hops are forward and keep forward until the very last moment in the swallow when you smile because it's the malt that finishes this beer medium dry.

Taste is like toast! Lightly buttered and bitter. So delicious. The finish and the balance is what kept this beer in my glass until literally there was no more beer. Hops give an expert bitterness that never gains speed or strength. Steadfast, although it's not really too gentle either. As all the flavor from malt fades, even the hop fruitiness fades off to tangerine pith but the bitter remains.

Outrageously good. I'll take a few big mugs of that! I also hear that this brewer is using the ever elusive strain of yeast in this beer called ringwood. I would love to know if that yeast is in any way responsible for the flavor that this beer has. You just can't stop drinking it.

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Photo of oberon
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It is a nicely hopped ale to be sure.Somewhat light and spritzy for the style,but interesting.Real easy to drink.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Nice orange in color and a bit hazy with a great-looking head that left lava pits as it settled.

Smell – The citrus “fuggle” aroma is in full effect followed by some nice yeasty notes.

Taste – The bitter nature of this ale comes on very nicely. It’s not overpowering, but it eases into the role with a bit of dark, powdery spicing. The hops are delicate and mix well with the significant malt backbone.

Mouthfeel – I thought that this was the beer’s strong point. It is very creamy and smooth with a lovely bitter finish. It’s just a tad below medium-bodied.

Drinkability – Wonderful session ale. Smooth yet complex. Nice.

Comments – Big thanks to OFS for hooking me up with this East Coast beauty shop.

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Photo of xgoodyx
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

Photo of sponberg
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cool as hell label. Bright copper/gold with a white head. Carbonation and lace last a good long time. Inhale the aromas of citric and earthy hops and caramelly butterscotchy malt. Get to know them. They'll be your partners for the rest of this glass.

Mmm - good firm bitterness from start to finish. Not super-highly hopped, but the hops definitely take the flavor lead throughout this brew, with citric (Cascade) and earthy (Fuggles) components. There's enough malt to balance out the hops, with a caramelly, fruity flavor characteristic of the lighter brews from MA (and of M&F malt in general in my experience). Finishes bitter, with some toffee and butterscotch in the background. Really good hop burp. This brew grows on you with exposure - the more you drink it, the more you like it. A very quaffable bottled example of a British bitter.

If you see this brew on cask, I challenge you to pull yourself away from it. Dangerous.

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Photo of Jason
4.65/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Beeguy for the sample.

12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

A- Pale amber hue, good clarity and one hell of the head.

S- Peachy fruitiness with a buttery diacetyl on the side. A little toasted grain and earthy hop in the back.

T- Hops and malt are in a perfect balance. Malt sweetness if rounded by toasted grain, mild fruitiness, musty dicetyl and a woody hop.

M- Good level of crispness, very smooth with a medium carbonation.

D- Bring them on, line them up and I will put them down ... so damn tasty.

One of the best bitters in the world IMO. Middle Ages has set the standard with the Ringwood / Yorkshire Yeast and not many brewers have come even close.

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Photo of Billolick
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer w/o any freshness indicator. Pours light copper. White head leaving just a smidge of lace. Seems to lightly carbonated, medium body, Dry hoppy nose, perhaps a slight metalic note as well. Grainy, piney hoppyness noted up front, thin malt to the rear. Hops linger on the tongue through the finish. Slight metallic flavor note again lurks somewhere in this brew. Nothing super impressive here, but a middle of the road, passable ale.

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Photo of tigg924
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, dark gold in color, minimal head, high carbonation

Smell: tropical fruits and caramel

Taste: tropical fruits, some citrus hops, and caramel

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, light body, slightly sweet with a bitter end

Drinkability: I could have several of these. Super clean and surprisingly very fruity. I like this one alot for the style.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz amber bottle with a warning that the beast contained within is not for the faint of heart. No freshness dating.

Apearance: Poured a clear burned orange in color. Inital billowing cream-colored head, sadly, faded away into near-nothing in the blink of an eye.

Smell: Hoppy. Leafy greens. Zesty and spicy...almost peppery. A little malty sweetness noted as well.

Flavor: Make sure this warms up before you drink it. Fresh from a cold refrigerator, and this one is like fizzy, over-carbonated water. As it warmed up, the flavors started to come through. Nicely bitter on the palate. Some "iced tea" flavors show up. Dry, long-lasting finish. Strange, "cardboard-like" aftertaste.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Fairly creamy. Medium-bodied. Mild puckering effect from the bitterness. Drinkable, but not one that I'd put on my "must have again" list.

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Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of bpfrush
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of dogfishandi
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle at about fridge temp poured into my sam adams perfect pint glass. pours a nice clear copper, bronze amber color with about a finger and a half of white head that was pretty retentive. little bits of lace here and there.

the aroma is buttery, toasted grains, and caramel malts. a tiny bit of citrus in the background.

a nicely balanced beer. caramel malts, buttery malts, some toasted grains in the begining get balanced out by a subtle touch of citrus hops. a little hop bitterness in the finish is rounded off some caramel malt.

crisp feeling. mouthfeel is light, bordering on medium. good feeling carbonation, just the right amount.

this drinks pretty well, not a bad beer to session. nothing extremely flavorful, but its pretty true to style. i would drink this again, but im prolly not going to go searching for it. if im offered i wouldnt turn it down.

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Photo of Thrasher
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange amber, full head that recedes but does not vanish. A very tasty, crisp ale from Middle Ages that is quite subdued despite its hoppiness. There is a slight apple tartness upfront that fades into prolonged sweet caramel flavor, and lastly a dry crispness to round it off. A little bit of soap in the aftertaste. The qualities of a traditional bitter are present and built upon quite successfully with citric, lemony hops. Ends up being bolder than most bitters but a bit thinner than most American pale ales. Nice middle ground. A good beer, spritzy, not too flavorful which makes for fine session drinking.

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Photo of nnthom266
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of johnyb
2/5  rDev -48.8%

Photo of Brenden
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one is a hazy copper. A big white head is rocky and quite dense. It retains itself very well and lacing is left in plenty, legs spreading from thick patches all over the glass.
The smell isn't potent until it warms. Then, it's got an IPA-like hops dosing with lots of earthiness and some malts do balance it well. There's just a slight grains presence with a little butter in there too. There's something very interesting and dare I say British in the yeast component. Some citrus rind xome out before a touch of fresher fruit sift in.
The flavor kicks with a nearly IPA-strength bitterness with lots of herbal character. There's a bit of a tart juice and a boost in balance from malts and interesting yeast notes before some rind-like bitterness flows into the finish. At that point, a bit of peppery spiciness hits the back of the tongue. This is big, complex, hoppy and balanced, quite a take on the style and much appreciated on my end.
This medium-bodied brew is crisp all the way with a moderately smooth flow. Moderate carbonation is on the level.
This is the sort of ESB that can renew or ignite one's love of the style as well as make me really appreciate different interpretations. A fantastic effort from these guys.

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Photo of DagFishHead
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear light-amber body. Voluminous, fizzy off-white head that dissapates quickly to a wispy 1/8" capper.
Smell: Piney/oily/bitter hops, sweet malt, whiff of banana, vanilla, and butterscotch.
Taste: Sweet caramel malt start is quickly overtaken by a flowery, bitter IPA-like hop flavor at the top. Finish dries abrupty with a spicy bitter citrus aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied malt, carbonation a little fizzy, dry bitter-hop pucker at the end.
Drinkability: Classic British-style ESB. Well done.

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Photo of tastybeer
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Color is a nice welcoming amber, mostly clear with decent milky white head. Lacing is great at first and about halfway through the beer it decreases in amount. Smell is full of buttery orange, apricot, and peppery cream. A nice refreshing smell. Tastes full of yeast and bitter spice. Some pine and butter, and dry throughout the finish. Bitterness comes through sporadically throughout the finish. Body is medium and mouthfeel is smooth with dry bitter carbonation poking through here and there. Smooths out through the finish. Decent drinkability.

A quality ESB and well worth drinking.

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Photo of ABokononist
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle > Dimpled mug

a nice copper color pours out looking bubbly with active yeastie bits and a well-retained off-white head that lasts through the duration.

This aroma is a classic sweet-bready malt with some roastie toast and earthy scented yeast, grassy, fresh corn, black pepper, Very nice ESB scent.

The feel is crispy with a rather sharp bite, but is light to medium feel with a smooth malt that has a classic sour-dough bread malted flavor. Grainy yeast adds a nice earthy blalance with a lasting, semi-bitter, leafy hop bite right at the end.

I enjoyed this one very much.

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Photo of asabreed
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Lighter copper color, little lacing, almost mildly hazy.

Smell: Pungent, though mild, if that makes sense, bitter citrus earthy hops. A bit of estery malt aromas, some fruit and citrus, but it's buried too much.

Taste: Bitterness up front, some toasted grains, some earthiness. Mildly pungent grapefruit bitterness. Lingering husky and leafy hops, though very subdued.

Mouthfeel: Lighter to medium-bodied, good finishing spritz to the carbonation.

Drinkability: A fairly solid ESB, though I'd prefer it slightly maltier. I could session a few of these, though.

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Photo of cokes
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden amber with a puffed off-white head.
Nose of buttered pears, vanilla-toffee hard candies, and drying hay.
Taste begins with a small bite of cream filled caramels, immediately swallowed by the Ringwood yeast carnivore. Lightly fruity in a dehydrated apple sort of way, with loads of buttery and woody notes Becomes quite hoppy, grassier and drier at the finish. At the very end, it is all fuel for a prairie fire. Parched stalks and leaves. Earthy too, like grapefruit peels after a week in the compost pile. Occasional pangs of metal and alcohol are noted.
Medium bodied with subdued carbonation gives this a caskesque feel. This would be beautiful served via the real deal.

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Beast Bitter from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 242 ratings