Beast Bitter | Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

very good
165 Reviews
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 165 | Ratings: 242
Photo of stakem
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Eric for this brew. Poured into a snifter, it appears a perfectly clear light copper color with a finger of white head that is composed of rather large bubbles. The cap fades quickly with a leggy amount of lace clinging to the glass.

The smell of this brew is herbal and minty with a bit of orange rind and lemon zest. A little more fruity than I was expecting with a lightly spicy note of alcohol. The aroma is so pungent that it's almost artificial smelling like this should be a canned up air freshener. As it warms, it gets even more lemon filled with citrus and grass notes.

The taste is grainy with a lingering bitterness that is reminiscent of lemon zest/rind. It is somewhat oily with a lasting cling that includes other flavors that are minty and a bit of orange rinds. Light alcohol presence that gets increasingly noticeable as it warms. It also picks up a grassy flavor that lasts.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a light amount of carbonation yet it is prickly and effervescent for a bit. This is an easy drinking brew and fairly good representation of the style. Quite a clingy resinous bitterness hangs on the tongue. I don't know how fresh this sample was but it was quite unique and enjoyable.

 1,234 characters

Photo of MrDanno96
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice copper color with about a finger of white head. Small amounts of foamy lace coat the sides of the glass.

S: Traditional English hops and yeast hit the nose immediately - very earthy with just a touch of fruity esters. Perhaps a hint of caramel as well.

T: Notes of caramel and toasted malt transition quickly into a bitter finish with hints of sweet citrus.

M: Medium bodied with very mild carbonation.

D: ESBs aren't really my thing, but this is a solid representation of the style the style that drinks really well.

 540 characters

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.

 641 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
2.54/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

a hazy orange copper color. real thick white head. the aroma is fairly balanced, nothing special.

the taste is kind of non-descript. no hop flavor, no malt flavor, bland. no bitterness as expected. maybe this is a very old bottle, but there is no date on the bottle, so I have no idea.

body is medium, higher carbonation. drinkibility is low, an odd flavor. but I would try it again, as this appears to maybe be an old or off bottle.

 437 characters

Photo of BeerNinja007
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this 12oz single in a mix pack obtained from Wegmans in Cicero NY. Served cold in a chilled pint glass.

This clear deep orange-red brew gives a healthy inch of frothy stable light tan head from a moderate pour. Smell has a semi-sweet sugar and honey background supporting and balanced by a nice dose of dry mixed citrus and pine hops. The taste is less sweet than the nose implied, pretty dry. It has equal amounts of bitter and sour, makes me think of those Sour Patch Kids gummi candy things. The body is pretty thin but the feel still comes across as creamy to some extent. Great thick lacing throughout. This is a very tasty beer, great combination of bitter and sour with enough malt body to back it up without interfering.

 733 characters

Photo of dogfishandi
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

 874 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

 359 characters

Photo of yesyouam
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Middle Ages Beast Bitter is a very clear and very lively amber ale with a huge, fluffy, off white head that has outstanding retention and lacing. It looks like there's a scoop of ice cream on this beer. It has a very wooden aroma. It kind of smells like an old attic. There is a note of toffee-like sweetness and tart green apple in the nose. It's pretty light bodied and very smooth. The finish is dry, a little watery and a little chalky. It's amply bitter-- wooden and herbal. The tart green apple note is present in the taste. It's slightly sweet but the bitterness keeps it in check. The aftertaste seems fruity. It's not totally pulled together, but it's a pretty inoffensive session ale. It kind of seems like a home brew.

 729 characters

Photo of mikereaser
2.68/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - pours a murky rust oragne with a 1/4 inch of tan foam that slowly disappeared

S - not alot of aroma, faint hints of citrus and come caramel malts

T - bit of a metallic taste, reminded me of what sucking on quarters must be like, very oxidized

M/D - foamy in the mouth, not very pleasant at all. I will not be trying this one again

 337 characters

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!

 974 characters

Photo of thain709
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - A darker shade of orange-amber with some clarity...a huge, rocky, and creamy off white head that lasts the entire beer...great lacing

S - Hops fill the nostrils first...they have some citrus characteristics...sweet and grainy malts are present as well

T - The flavors are switched completely...the malts become more up front...they are sweet with caramel flavors at first...the hops do come in towards the middle end but they aren't as bitter as the name or nose would suggest...the finish is grainy malts...very earthy and grainy in flavor

M - Medium bodied...crisp but not as bitter as I had expected

D - The finish of this beer kind of turned me off...I was hooked with the name and after smelling the beer but once I took that first sip my impression was lowered...I love this brewery but this one was not as good as it could be (bad bottle maybe?...I hope so!)

 873 characters

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!

 1,160 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color, with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of grassy hops, caramelized malts, nuts and a touch of citrus.

T: The taste starts out with a strong but not over-powering burst of hops bitterness. Then some mild flavors of caramel, nuts and citrus come in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and provides a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, very good representation of style, this is a solid session beer with flavor and substance that make it worth drinking for a while.

 799 characters

Photo of beerman207
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Light brown with no head to speak of - very light in appearance

S: Caramel, apple?

T: Apple and caramel and bitter hops coming through

M: Very mild

D: Very good considering the style. I could go for another although I wouldn't go out of my way to get it.

 261 characters

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.

 445 characters

Photo of nelnutter
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Golden orange/amber color with nice fluffy 2 finger head and nice lacing.

S: Malty, caramel, and slight hoppiness with a hint of apple or peach.

T: Malty with light hop bitterness, and some caramel and peach.

M: Medium body with a bitter finish.

D: Very drinkable. Quite a nice ESB. I bought one to try it, but definitely would've enjoyed a couple more.

 399 characters

Photo of bamadog
3.22/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thanks to beerman207 for splitting this bottle with me. Review is from notes taken on 2/13/2010 and pured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a cidery/apricot color with some hints of copper; no head to speak of; body is a little hazy and shows no carbonation whatsoever; no lacing is left behind, just a wash of thin oily residue.

Smell: Not especially strong, but quite interesting; a slighlty acidic tartness that is reminiscent of green apples; slightly sweet caramel presence and it's also mildly floral.

Taste: Definitely bitter, but not in an offensive manner -- more like bitter and acidic like green fruity apples and lightly balanced with some sweeter malts that allow the bitterness to linger throughout as opposed to taking over too much.

Mouthfeel: Flat, actually. Comes across pretty thin and watery as well, but the finish is nearly clean with just a faint bit of bitterness left behind on the palate.

Drinkability: Overall, I give it a 3 for drinkability as the flavors are interesting and I believe with a better mouthfeel, it would really bring out the flavors and smells a bit more.

 1,121 characters

Photo of asabreed
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

 614 characters

Photo of mjaskula
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass. Pours a cloudy copper color with a rocky off-white head. Leaves some real nice lacing on the glass as the head thins.

The aroma is hoppy as expected after reading the bottle. A biscuity malt and bitter aroma are in the background. The flavor is very smooth. It is well balanced once it warms, and the malt characters come through. There is a faint bit of apple and black pepper flavor in there. Fairly interesting if you look for it. carbonation is low, contributing to the smoothness. Very easy drinking.

 530 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to orcasteve on this one.

Pours a very nice hazy golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, slight hop note, and caramel. The taste is malty, slight hop bitterness, with some caramel. Medium body, the finish is dry/bitter. Drinkable, this is a very nice ESB.

 369 characters

Photo of tpd975
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No idea where this one came from, my guess is BeerTruth.

Thanks Adam

A: Pours a nice bold orange hue with a small off white head. No real retention with just a spot or two of lace.

S: Lots of grainy malt up front. Hints of caramel and lots of citrus hops.

T: Wonderful crisp malt up front. Mild sweetness with lots of citric and grassy green hops. I really like it.

M: Medium in body, smooth, with a crisp finish.

D: Good, tasty and sessionable.

 451 characters

Photo of philbe311
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A very festive and eventful pour with massive amount of swirling carbonation... A huge fluffy ever so slight off-white head with incredible retention sits atop a glowing amberish copper color body... Moderate carbonation... Carbonation clings to the glass...

S - Mild, but quite pleasant none the less... Malt... Hops... Rye... Caramel... Orange Zest... A faint and vague spiciness...

T - A very hop forward ESB, though it's not over powering... Biscuit... Grains... Malt... Rye... Caramel... Almond... Tea leaves...

M - The rich head touches the lips and tongue first... Biting carbonation... Medium bodied... Slightly bitter... Crisp... A tad on the dry side...

D - A solid bitter even if there are more hops than I expected... I would gladly have another...

Note - Great label featuring a sleeping Dragon and a witty poem about the liquid libation inside the bottle... Middle Ages continues to be a highly underrated brewery in my opinion...

 954 characters

Photo of Kendo
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Got it off the cask at Mahar's on 3-27-09. Body is golden-amber with a 1-finger white head. Nice lace -- sheets of lace, really -- down the glass.

S: Not terribly strong in the nose -- some mild grainy malt and citrusy hops.

T: Toasty malt up front, some citrusy/fruity hops show up next. Finishes with an almost bone-dry bitterness.

M: Light-to-medium in heft, nice creamy feel to it (as expected off the cask).

D: Very good.

 433 characters

Photo of pandashaver
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful pour from the cask, big foamy lasting head with some lacing. Dark amber hue. Smells floral, but not overly intense. First sip had a very nice, thick and buttery mouthfeel. Finish is definitely bitter and sour as well (apple, grape, some fruit there). Very drinkable, though it could use a better aftertaste in my opinion. My first ESB and will have to try again.

 372 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I recieved this one as an extra in a trade recently. I was exceited whenever I get a new beer to try, but this one had me from the label. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 01/15/2009.

The pour was very, very nice. Rich and hazy golden yellow in color it came roaring out of the bottle and easily filling the entire glass with rich bubbly foam that melded seemlessly into the bubbly, grainy base.

The aroma was light, lots of grain and light spice with a smooth, mellow and light fruity hint that popped up toward the finish. Smooth mellow flavor with a n even cosistency. My only knock is it came off as more of a mild ale to me as the hop flavor was not really too high and not much in the way of bitter flavor. Easily drinkable though as no real heavy feeling or flavor.

Overall a nice little, light ale, not really what I was looking for, but decent none the less.

 903 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.