Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Shipyard Monkey Fist IPA | Shipyard Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
149 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Shipyard Monkey Fist IPAShipyard Monkey Fist IPA

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co.
Maine, United States

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by puboflyons on 04-25-2012

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 149 | Ratings: 1,024
Photo of mick303
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Really attractive colour, honey brown with a bit of ruby highlights, very hazy, great retention and lacing. 3.75
S- lemon, herbal hops, with a definite tropical edge, guava!! And passion fruit, papaya. Oozes tropical fruit goodness. 3.75
T- more tropical fruitiness, guava and passion fruit predominate, some dry nuttiness coming on the end, some raspberry, bitterness is balanced by the tons of fruitiness. Shows some crystal malt especially on the end. But this gets quite sweet.
M- a ton of scrubbing carbonation and creamy filling feel. Good pleasing full feel, lot of drying on the finish, rind like dryness. Feel is really frothy actually, not a big fan of this.
One of the more tropical and fruity IPAs in awhile, this really struggles to keep that in check, the syrupy sweetness and fruitiness mashes against the bitterness but they never really come together, it is a messy IPA with an overbearing tropical character and a cloyingly crystal character. I was initially impressed by this but then the beer started to give me a headache with how unbalanced it is, the piles of tropical fruit and crystal malt is a lot of sweetness to counter and the beer never really gets its act together, a bit overly carbed as well. I would say this is one that could be passed over, because there are so many amazing IPAs out there.

 1,327 characters

Photo of beergoot
3.06/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Honey-colored body with a thick, sticky white head. Heavy caramel aroma, almost butterscotch-like; faint spiciness beneath it all. More deep caramel in the flavor with a strong hop bitterness from the middle and building up in the aftertaste. Medium bodied; semi-dry finish.

This IPA is all over the place and not necessarily for the better. Looks great but smells funky and tastes even stranger. Too much caramel/butterscotch malt flavor overall. I won't say there is any bacterial infection with this, but the butterscotch tones are definitely upfront. It does hit you with a strong hop bitterness but there is very little hop aroma per se. Strange, since the listed hops on the bottle label (Cascade, Warrior, and Glacier) don't leave any real fruity or citrusy notes in either taste or smell. Drinkable but probably not a 'go-to' IPA for most.

 848 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can: Poured a deep amber color ale with a relatively large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of bitter citrus hops with dry caramel malt notes. Taste is also dominated by dry and bitter hops with light citrus and earthy notes with some dry caramel malt notes also noticeable. Body is average with good carbonation. Not bad bit a bit too strong on the bitterness front. I think this would have been a great IPA back in 2006.

 448 characters

Photo of stella77artois
3.22/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 bottle poured into Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - Pours a dark amber, with a shade of red. Light red-amber when shown to light. A little on the flat side, took an aggressive pour to get a decent head. A good looking beer, though.

S - Genral hoppiness and bittnerness. Hint of sweet malts. Notice a bit of grapefruit and a unique chili powder/red pepper aroma. Not a bad smelling beer.

T - Not as good as the taste. Not neccessarily bland, just very average. The general bitterness is more straightforward. Don't notice much from the hops. Slightly sweet malts. Not much going on.

F - Drinkable and easy on the throat and tongue. But the blandish taste doesn't help with the mouthfeel.

O - A very run-of-the-mill IPA. Not offensive, nor neccessarily bad, just not that good. Pretty bland for an IPA. Nothing really begs for it to be drank again. I'd drink this again if it were offered, but I won't buy it.

 917 characters

Photo of larryi86
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A- A clear amber with a two finger off white head.

S- Citrus/grapefruit, herbal/tea notes, some wet grass, pale malts.

T- Close to the nose, but getting more of the wet green/onion flavor, getting some pine in the finish that helps make this better.

M- Fairly smooth, medium body.

O- Not bad, but I have had a lot of better IPAs. I wouldn't pass if it was given to me, but I don't see myself buying it again because there are plenty IPAs that I like better that I can find easily.

 523 characters

Photo of FLima
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber reddish color with a thick off white head with good retention and leaving a wall of laces.
Very light fruity aroma, a bit disappointing. Hints of papaya and some citrusy and malt sweetness.
Flavor is much more interesting, though with a controlled hoppiness. Notes of earthy and citrus hops, slightly toasted malts, peppery yeast, lemon and perfume. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Light body with appropriate carbonation.
It felt to me like a mix of traditional British IPA with American Amber Ale and IPA.

 508 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.11/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

473 mL can picked up at the LCBO. It's not every day that you see a new American craft beer on the shelves here, even if it is just Shipyard. Served slightly chilled.

Pours a hazy copper-amber colour, topped with just over one finger of frothy, off-white head that leaves a ring of sea foam-like lace in a rim around the edge of the glass as it gradually recedes. A bumpy cap and thick collar remain - this is a good looking ale, but the aroma doesn't exactly scream quality. It is intensely lemony, to the point of where I am more reminded of dish soap or hardwood cleaners than beer. It's, uh, distinctive I guess; quite fragrant and flowery, with some bready malts and caramel buried beneath the far more dominant hops.

Fortunately this tastes ok, though I still wouldn't consider it as good as many local alternatives. The malt backbone is a little thin, offering up a touch of caramel and toasted biscuits that are quickly lost in an onslaught of lemony citrus and pink grapefruit hop bitterness. The finish is quite bitter, which is nice, but it also has a lingering, musty quality to it that hangs on into the aftertaste. The alcohol isn't immediately noticeable, but it can be detected in the astringent finish. Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation that gives this one a bit more of a bite than I prefer from IPAs of this heft. Not very drinkable, due to the abv and high astringency, which exhausts the palate rather quickly.

Final Grade: 3.11, a C+. Monkey Fist IPA is a passable brew, but I'd be surprised if I return to it any time soon when I can think of like 10 or more Ontario-made IPAs that I'd prefer. The flowery, lemony hops do not work very well when used with such aggressiveness - they virtually strip the taste buds, and that fact combined with the overall 'cleaning product' vibe it gives off really doesn't encourage me to consume more than one of these. Not the greatest use of shelf space, but at least it's not another Euro lager.

 1,966 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Monkey Fist has a great label but it's nothing compared to the beer itself; this IPA is an incandescent golden tone, with a caramelly, maple syrup complexion but shimmering flaxen-yellow highlights. Its head is thin but scattershots all over the glass. With an appearance like this you can't go wrong, right? Well...

The aroma is what I'd charitably call "peculiar". It smells something like a lemon- or pine-scented cleaning product. The citric oils and tree resins are expected - desired, actually - in an IPA but their presence in this bouquet is a little reminiscent of something from the Pine-Sol product line.

The flavour makes that turn to the unfavourable all but definite; the notion of lemon- and pine-scented cleaning product gets a little too real on the palate. It goes from mildly appealing to somewhat concerning - did this come from under the brewery's kitchen sink? Even the malts taste coated in a combination of honey and industrial-strength alcohol-based solvent.

Surprisingly, my palate adjusted to what turns out to be an alright, if unusual IPA. That said, others will be unable to look beyond the Pine-Sol semblance. But if viewed simply as an ultra-earthy - the ultra-ist possible short of chewing a mouthful of dead leaves and twigs - it's not at all out of line with the style's profile (though that detergent-like taste is downright nauseating).

Shipyard has yet to truly 'wow' me but they make some very good beers; I expected a lot more from Monkey Fist. It's a somewhat bizarre IPA that ironically makes the drinker feel like they're part of a science experiment - will I wake up tomorrow with a tail or an eleventh toe? Maybe Monkey's Fist is the lab monkeys' revenge? Either way, Maine offers far better IPAs than this.

 1,758 characters

Photo of hopsolutely
3.11/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A disappointment from a brewery who's previous beers I've enjoyed, so one I will purchase again from a different year/batch.

Can pours a hazy golden amber with a minimal ecru coloured head that disappears quickly, but leaves a fair amount of lacing. Aroma has a medicinal, metallic pong with a hint of hop resin. No balance and the medicinal nature truly overpowers all other elements. The flavour is also harsh, with an abrupt transition from sweet to bitter overlaying rotten grassy tones.

It may be a bad can, or it may just be me and an inability to enjoy whatever is in this central hop portfolio, but I rarely dislike beers this much. And I had high hopes for this one...

 681 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.36/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tall can from the LCBO for $2.75

Appearance - Copper colour with an average size frothy off-white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for 5 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and most of the taste is made up of caramel and malts mixed with light hops. There is also some guava/strawberry/kiwi type sweetness.

Overall - A but of an odd tasting beer. Reminds me a bit of some of the euro takes on American IPA's I've had in the past. It's worth a try in my opinion, but not a repeat purchase with so many other great options out there.

 726 characters

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep bronze orange color with a gigantic eggshell head that lasts forever. Masses of lace and foam patches coat the glass on the way down. The smell is dominated by banana, fruit yeast esters with some bakers yeast and some citrusy hops. A bready, butterscotch, fruit ester flavor dominates the hops in the taste. Green apple with some grapefruit, The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and moderately carbonated. Light bitterness and fruit esters in the shortish finish.

This is a very low hopped American IPA using something other than a California ale yeast (absolutely no info on the can, not even hop verities used). Lots of esters, not much hop presence. A pass unless you like an English type IPA.

 713 characters

Photo of rEBELlION
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I have never really focused enough on this beer while drinking to write a thorough review but I will say this- while I would never buy it bottled (it just isn't that appealing to me) I get it in tap from time to time and enjoy it. Maybe it's the freshness, I don't know, but it has a nice citrusy hop flavor that I haven't really gotten from the bottle. There seem to be a growing number of bars around that have it on tap where there aren't many other great options. If that's the case, I say go for it.

 504 characters

Photo of Plissken
1.3/5  rDev -62.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

As a few other have said it had a very medicinal taste, a mediocre IPA mixed with dish detergent water. I hope it was a bad batch. But then again some people have different palates than others and it may not agree with mine. Not for me but I will say that I love the label!

 273 characters

Photo of otterbearfla
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

3.5 fingers head

Appearance - medium amber opaque

Smell- light hops lavender

Taste - hoppy, lavender, orange blossom honey, lemon

Mouthfeel - medium weight with smooth finish

This is the kind of IPA I like for hot weather, and Indian and Cajun foods.

 255 characters

Photo of SpasmWaiter
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is exactly what I expected from the advertised ibu's/ABV/hop listing. Tasted very fresh, exciting for an out of state IPA here in Vermont, with hops very much in the forefront of the flavor. The hops had a flavor I couldn't really place, and as I'm not too familiar with Glacier hops, I imagine that is probably where that flavor is coming from. Overall a tasty IPA, would seek out again.

 393 characters

Photo of Jree261
4.11/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance-Foggy amber to gold on the edges with a tight eggshell foam.

Smell-Cool red and blue fruit with a hoppy grass aroma that isn't overpowering.

Taste-Bitter candy that gives way to raspberry and lemon citrus.

Mouthfeel-Hefty beer. Very filling but has a medium long finish that is quite nice.

Overall-Nose is exceptional. Flavor is good. Not bad at all.

 365 characters

Photo of scotorum
2.48/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

My experience was similar to one of the reviewers below who I think compared the taste to what one might imagine the taste when drinking nail polish remover.

I don't know what happened to this brew but it was so weirdly chemical-tasting that I drainpiped its butt after a few toxic sips. I speculated to myself that the monkey mentioned in the name might have just removed polish from her nails before thrusting her fist into the vat.

Perhaps that's how this one ages. More likely, there was a bad batch. All I know is it was unpalatable.

I didn't do my review in the usual BA format because I didn't want to belabor this tragedy, just explain why I gave it the lowest rating of anything I've reviewed so far on BA. I may eventually at least sip another to confirm whether I just got real unlucky with this particular example, which seems likely since most others here who have tried it have not been nearly as distressed by the taste.

Shipyard, I LOVE your Prelude and Chamberlain ales. But WT Monkey Fist F?

 1,016 characters

Photo of argock
3.26/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. No decipherable freshness date. Gifted from my neighbor Walker.

A: Very deep amber/copper with ample 1-finger of frothy beige head with good retention and a nice cuff of lace around the tops of the glass.

S: Aroma is light and balanced malt versus hops. The hops have a very piney, herbal aroma, sharp. The malt is light caramel and a little buttery, toffeelike.

T: The flavor is not bad, a lot of dank hops flavor especially in the finish. The was a pretty solid dose of caramel maltiness, bordering on too sweet. The hops don't have a lot of other character, they are pretty one dimensional. The finish is a little cardboardy and overly bitter.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. It has a slightly thick but slick feel.

O: Not an absolutely terrible beer with only the over dank and cardboard in the finish. The hops are not very well highlighted and are not too interesting. I would skip this in the future.

 997 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
2.09/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

22 oz bomber pours a hazed copper color with a frothy khaki head. Nice retention and lace...pretty good looking brew.

Nose is toasty malt, astringent alcohol and toffee. Not a good combo, IMHO. The hops are herbal to the point of medicinal.

Taste is a watery toffee maltiness blended with grassy, herbal hop bitterness that belies an almost eucalyptus-esque medicinal flavor...and it lingers. Who from Shipyard thought this was a good idea? That is the ultimate question...it tastes like caramelized nail polish remover. Ridiculous that Shipyard can make a buck off this, shame on me for not doing any research before dropping $3.99 on this abomination. Terrible. Drain pour...and I dont do many of those.

 707 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
2.39/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Burnt orange coloring in the vessel with a strong sense of carbonation. The head is buff with pale yellowish tones, one finger high, and shows a moderate to good retention. Lacing is generous.

S: Aroma of sweet toffee and citrus mingle, some smore crackers, a lot of sweet character, with some dried honey toast and a spiciness of spruce. Buttered grains add sweetness.

T: The flavor was not as sweet nor complex as the nose. A bit coarse in delivery with no spectrum, was just a strong punch of hop bitterness that suffered from linear perception and a very, washy backing. The malt and body was really washy and thin, no malt support what-so-ever and finishes off like water. The hops are bittery dry, flowery citrus, but not in a tasty or appreciative way, just blunt, arrogant and straightforward like the drunken uncle with no sense of refinement.

M: Mouthful of course suffered the same fate as the flavor, a complete wash out, dry, bitter from the hops but ultimately ends in a washed out state of affair.

O: Overall washy body, lack of malt support and no spectrum of hop flavors or distinction makes this a complete bust. You just cant haphazardly throw a bunch of hops in a kettle and expect the beer fairies to wave thier magic wand and produce a good ipa. No malt support, no spectrum of flavor, washy, and a complete acceptable drain pour. I dont like to dish out the disrespect to often due to my love of beer, but the 2.0s are what beers like this are meant for. The visual and sweet smelling nose was one of the few decent points about this mess, it falls off a cliff there-after.

 1,607 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Damn looking at the reviews I could have did better. At least I didn't get a bomber :P

A - Well lacing in any sticky lacing this beer did give me a 1/2 inch of foam that stays around for a while. Somewhat a hazy amber brown much more hazy than your typical IPA.
S - Very lacing it smells of hops and malt but very faint, not one would expect for a beer. Hopefully it's at least bitter.
T - Muddled hops like an old batch of pellets and a touch of balancing malt that taste like caramel socks. This beer is not that great but easy to get down.
M - Light to medium is not a praise just because you can pound this almost 7% monster doesn't mean your mouth will hate you after.

Overall I agree with everyone this beer is semi- foul. Somewhat hop lacing and just balanced enough to chug. Shipyard why you hate flavor?

 814 characters

Photo of curasowa
3.16/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear, copper color with one finger of head that fades with chunky lacing.

Aroma: Sweet malt, a little butter and a subdued hop aroma, mostly an earthy, woody smell with some lemon rind notes.

Taste: Here and gone before you know it. A bit of malt, some bitterness and then a fast and fairly clean, for an IPA, finish. A nice, full body upfront with a with an almost creamy mouth feel, then a strong kick of spicy hops before the quick finish.

The Rest: I'm not really sure how i feel about this one. It has a great, full-bodied malt base, which I like in an IPA, but the hop profile isn't very interesting. Decent, but not great.

 645 characters

Photo of Roguer
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Second try on tap, different location. A little bit warmer than I prefer.

A - Dark, reddish copper. Thin head (less than a finger), reasonable carbonation.

S - Strong hints of grapefruit, a nice balance between sweet and bitter. Little else.

T - Bitter and mildly sweet grapefruit, very well-balanced against some caramel malts. Definitely not a bad flavor, but it's a stretch to call it "outstanding."

M - Not a beer I wanted to chew on (despite the citrus notes). It wasn't a bad mouthfeel, it just occupied an uncomfortable middle ground where I didn't feel like drinking it quickly, but also did not feel like allowing it to linger in my mouth.

O - Not a great beer at its typical price point; usually if this is on tap, a better IPA is also on tap. It's absolutely worth a try; it reminds me of a less hoppy, less malty Stone (similar flavor profile, just less of everything).

 886 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.19/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this chilled into a mug from a 12oz brown botttle

The color is deep amber with significant haze and thick cream with very good retention and fine bead. The smell is very piney/fruity with slight hint yeast with citrus accent, there is a light band-aid tinge. The feel is tangy, astringent with medicinal and high amount of carbonations with malt support and light spicy dry finish.

This has more of an English IPA flavor with yeast tangy aspect both fruity and piney up front in the hop flavors yet slight caramel from the malt with astringency and medicinal qualities coming through near the end and grassy pine tinged hop flavor leading to a more astringent and band-aid-like flavor near the end. The beer is not horrible but not great, just consider the source and I give it a fair rating since I am familiar with the brand so I did not expect a west-coast hop bomb, but it has a lot of off flavors so only try this if you are curious

 950 characters

Photo of SPThirtyThree
3.21/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

A: Pours 3 fingers of khaki head atop a copper orange, hazy beer. The cap settles in large, lacy globs.

S: Pine and citrus. Sweet and spicy, with notes of juniper, pineapple, caramel, raisins, and fig. Biscuity melanoidins are present, but also more harsh fusels, and I think also a hint of diacetyl. Warrior hops. The smell is good cold, but develops unpleasant notes at warmer temperatures.

T: Not as sweet or fruity as the nose suggested. It's fairly dry, with a sharp astringency from the hops. The first few sips taste just like eating a hop pellet, but thankfully, halfway into the beer, the flavor improves, as sweet, malty backbone finally peeks through.

M: Bitter, from the start through the aftertaste. Medium body, somewhat creamy.

Overall, the beer looks and smells delicious, but the taste is a letdown. It's harsh and unbalanced. It's definitely drinkable, but not memorable.

 894 characters

Shipyard Monkey Fist IPA from Shipyard Brewing Co.
3.45 out of 5 based on 1,024 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
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!