Beast Bitter | Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

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

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Reviews: 165 | Ratings: 242
Photo of lovindahops
4.84/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I love this brewery! Sure being local helps, however this crew does it all right. The theme of middle aged brewing and the commitment to consistent themes makes this place fun. Of course, it helps to be a staple of cuse!

Bought a sixer Wegman's

A- pours a clear, reddish amber color. Not much of a head that quickly disappears. Traces of lacing remain on the side

S- that is some fruit right there. I smell bananas and apricots. Also there is a sweet scent of malt that finishes. Similar to a buttery tone. I like it

T- Yup! The taste matches the smell. Bitter hops that are composed a fruity introduction are present. Next some bitterness sets in that is followed up of the expected sweet malt. This is a good combo of the hop bitteness and sweetened malt profile that you look for. Wow, I could bask in this

M- medium bodied and carbonated. Flavor wraps around the mouth with those properties

D- this is a great brew. The presentation combines with the appearance and taste to create a great brew. Middle Ages is geared towards their other brews at times. I think this is hands down their best brew and a great treat for the bitter profile enthusiast!

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Photo of capaneus
4.76/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

(A) pours a slightly hazy medium amber with a generous fluffly, meringue-like head on top. lacing clings in thick shelves along the glass.

(S) earthy hops and biscuit malt. the nose isn't jumping out at me here though i recently got over a cold.

(T) a pronounced but moderate amount of bitterness from earthy-tasting hops and a great bready "beer" character to the malt. there's a very slight sweetness and a perfect hint of acidity to the finish. this beer is wonderfully balanced.

(M) the head makes for a fluffy melted marshmallow of beery goodness on top. this brew is has a big beer mouthfeel for it's conservative ABV, with lots of very small delicate bubbles lending a genuine creaminess to the drink.

(D) i've been looking for my daily drinking beer with a moderate ABV and a taste that suggests an eagerness to be sessioned - i think i've found it! at $9/six it's not the cheapest beer, but it's a very local brew and one of their very best. highly recommended!

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Photo of dsa7783
4.67/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Single, twelve-ounce bottle just purchased from New Beer Distributors on Chrystie Street in Manhattan...
Nice appearance - pours a ruddy, murky, dark-amber colored-hue with a decent-sized foamy head that left a copious amount of lacing...
Great, strong, assertive aroma replete with caramel, bread and butter, and amber grains...
Taste strongly complemented the aroma, bursting with hints of rich caramel, vanilla, amber grains, bread and butter, and honey...
Creamy, thick, rich mouthfeel along with an excellent level of drinkability...
Definitely recommended...

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.67/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hops, hops and hops! If you like hoppy flavored beer you will love Beast Bitter. It pours an orange/yellow color and forms a frothy white head with lots of big bubbles. The head will dissolve into the beer leaving some lace behind, but not much. Wafting above the beer is a beautiful cirtus and hop aroma. Each sip screams of hops, but there is a sweetness found in the flavor. I guess it's best described as an orange and hop flavor. A slight bitterness is left in the aftertaste.

I found this to be a very tasty and drinkable bitter that rivals the hoppy IPA's that are out there. My only regret is that I don't live close close enough to NY to get some more once my six pack is gone.

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Photo of waughbrew
4.67/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Update 8/7/06: This beer is the man. I had to go to NY to get some more, but it was worth it. Unfortunately it is one of only a few of MA's beers that does not make it to MA. Smell and taste is complex, but it goes down easy. Nice!

A hazy peach with an impressive off-white white head that sticks around. Aroma is a nice blend of piney/grassy hops and diacetyl. Taste is pleasing and rather complex. Grassy and earthy hops that are slightly spicy. A sweetness appears to be there from the bready malt and the buttery diacetyl, but the finish is definitely bitter. Feel is smooth with a slight hop prickle. Very solid and drinkable. I wish this was local to me, I would drink it all of the time.

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Photo of Jason
4.65/5  rDev +19.5%
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 number1bum
4.65/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours an opaque, amber color with a huge head and decent lace retention. Smells a bit fruity with a bit of hops. Taste is so smooth; hoppy with a bit of citrus and a perfect malt balance. So crisp, clean and light on the palate, I could drink it all night. This is, at this point in time, my favorite beer. I have moved to PA but go to the brewery at least once a month to pick up some more Beast Bitter. I love it.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle, served in a standard pint glass.

A - hazy, orange/amber color with a huge fluffy white head that hung out the entire glass, leaving globs of lacing behind.

S - apricot, lightly roasted malt and a touch of hoppy bitterness.

T - nice balance of malty sweetness with bitterness of hops, the finish is very dry.

M - medium bodied with very good crisp carbonation feel.

D - excellent drinking brew.

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Photo of utopiajane
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
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 Brenden
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
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 TommyW
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Clear, pale reddish/gold with a tall, white head that sticks well.

S- Tropical fruity sweetness with a clean hop aroma.

T- More malt forward than the nose reveals. Nice light toasted malt with tropical fruity sweetness (peaches also jump out at me). A clean hop taste balances the malt pretty well; creating a balanced finish.

M- Medium body with a smooth carbonation.

D- An awesome ESB; great sessionable beer that is balanced very well.

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Photo of williamherbert
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Impeccably clear. Healthy, puffy head. Excellent light orange color. Lots of carbonation and a good lace. This is a very attractive beer.

Very aromatic fragrant hops. Wonderful piney scent. Flowery hops and beautiful ester-y smell. So enticing.

Lovely woodsy hops, yet somehow they do not overpower. It's a lovely malt/yeast base to counteract the hops, and ground them. Like a mild IPA but one where the hops don't feel the need to slap you in the mouth. Just outstanding.

Creamy and with good body, pleasant aftertaste with no film left over. This is a magnificent brew. It's hoppy but doesn't make a fetish out of it. Subdued but lets you know the hops are there.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden orange with a lot of white head. A good combination of big and small bubbles on the head. Nice lacing. Smells hoppy and bitter with a nice balance. Tastes malty hoppy bitter with a bit of a kick. Really a very well balanced beer. Geat mouthfeel. A very drinkable bitter. Overall i much more agree with the bros rating of this one. A phenomenal representation of style

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber-orange in color with a fluffy white head that holds OK, then drops to a thin collar. The aroma displays a lightly fruity and caramel maltiness beneath bold piney hops. The body is medium with a fine, moderate carbonation from bottle conditioning that gently caresses the tongue and becomes creamy in the mouth as it warms. Very English in character. The flavor expresses an excellent combination of bready maltiness with a gently sweet caramel character and piney/lightly grassy hop flavors. Some light diacetyl helps to round and soften - it's well integrated and unobtrusive. Actually quite nice. Some fruitiness appears towards the swallow along with a firm bitterness. It finishes with a mild lingering bitterness and some sticky residual caramel maltiness, as well as some more pine-like hop flavor and mild diacetyl. It's not a strong aftertaste, but it is long lasting. Very nice. A really enjoyable pint that seems to express itself best at closer to cellar temperature. Well done.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

from notes

A - light amber body, small white head.

S - Nice bitter hops, some nondescript sweet malts. great balance

T - hop-forward bitterness, mildly sweet malt balance

M - medium body, drying mouthfeel.

O (D) - good and tasty, but dryness slows you down.

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Photo of soju6
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a light amber color with a good head and some lacing.

S: Aroma of citrus, fresh grain and a fruity sweetness.

T: Mild flavor of caramel, fruit and grain with a subtle bitterness. has a nice dry finish.

F: Medium body, crisp, smooth, creamy and clean.

O: Breat bitter, not sure why it is called the Beast, but it beats out most other of this style. Highly recommended.

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Photo of RustyTruck
4.36/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I got this beer as an exchange from a family member in New york so I have no idea how long it was cellaring.

This was my first ESB so it would be wrong for me to judge it but... I swear to what gods I find holy this beer is the best ESB I have ever imbibed! And i have have tried many a bitter since.

I would love to try another to get a more objective review, until then: If you get a chance to try this beer GIVE IT A TRY.

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Photo of Murph
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy, golde, orange color with a sticky tan head that leaves a nice lacing on the glass. The brew has a subtle diacetyl tilt to it that goes nicely with the bicuity malt aromas and subtle bittering hops. Smooth toasty malt from start to finish with some hoppy spikes in bitterness throughout. The hops have the citrus/piney flavor that is a definite reminder that this is brewed in the US. The brewfinishes with a quick flurry of diacetyl before leaving a nice bitter hoppy taste lingering on the tongue. Nicely smooth on the tongue with a mediumd body to it this is one very drinkable brew that I would love to find on cask some day.

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice, clear, brown color from a 12 oz bottle with a one finger head that dissipates quickly. The bottle does not have ABV or freshness date.
Very good aroma, blend of sweet fruity esters and malt, with hints of yeast. Taste wise this is one of the best ESB's I have had. The hops, even though they are not evident in the aroma, make their presence felt in the taste. The aftertaste is what makes this beer a true, "extra special bitter".
This is a delicious brew from Middle Ages Brewery. Definitely a beer that I could have anytime, anyplace. The drinkability of this one in my books is very high and it comes highly recommended.

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Photo of foxmul924
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Bottle into Room-Temp Pint Glass)

Appearance: Nice, Frothy Off-White/Light-Brown Head. Dark Orange Body with a Fair Amount of Lace.

Smell: Fresh Hop Aroma Overrides Everything.

Taste: Plain Hop Flavor Followed by a Smooth, but Subtle Malt Finish. Very Well-Balanced and Complex for its Simplicity. No Real Distinguishable Flavors other than the Bursting Freshness of the Hops. Nothing Short of Outstanding!

Mouthfeel: Medium-Bodied with Perfect Carbonation and Smoothness. I Love Hoppy Beers, but Have Always Looked for One that Finished Clean without Unappealing Buildup: THIS IS IT.

Drinkability: EXCELLENT, Could Enjoy Multiple Brews as it Finishes Clean and Maintains its Increadible Hop Flavor.


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Photo of John
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A fine, not so ordinary bitter from Middle Ages. Nicely hopped, balanced and flavorful. One of MA best offerings. Don't miss an opportunity to try this beer cask conditioned.

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Photo of DagFishHead
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
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 wedge
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Subdued golden amber hue with a modest white head that drops rapidly to a light film. Aroma is of moderate hops and a pleasing buttery diacetyl fragrance. Hops are substantial and very well balanced with buttery notes...quite tasty. Oily hop character, crisp carbonation, bitter finish makes for great mouthfeel and drinkability.

I really need to drink more ESBs. This beer is excellent - more buttery than malty - but its an aspect that I really enjoyed. Bitter, but not overdone. Super drinkable...more please...

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Photo of tgbljb
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance : Deep amber color with large white head that was easily revived with a slight swirl. Nice coating on side of glass.

Smell : Hops and caramel malts mix in the right combination to form an extraordinary aroma experience. Excellent.

Taste : Even bettwer than the aroma. Nice malty sweetness, mixed with caramel, with light hoppy bitterness combine to form a supremely enjoyable beer. Good and creamy texture,

Mouthfeel : slight hop bitterness and sweet caramel maltiness combined with creaminess form an excellent finish.

Drinkability : I could drink this beer all night with no complaints. Middle Ages is an excellent brewery with superior products. They are truly a joy to drink.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark golden/amber. Nice head of lighbt white foam that holds up really well, and leaves sporadic lacing patterns on the pint glass. Aromas of sweet ringwood yeast esters, fruits, slight citrusy hops, and butterscotch-like English malts. The hops are also prevalent in the aroma, but they are a tad bit subdued. It seems that cluster and fuggles hops were used in this brew. The taste is fruity up front with a grainy, buttery, bready flavor in the middle and a slightly dry/grainy/hoppy finish that begs you to take another sip. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and almost cask like, carbonation is moderate and English in style. Drinkability is very good. A damn good ESB from the fine folks at MA.

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Beast Bitter from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
3.89 out of 5 based on 242 ratings.
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