Citra Bitter Monk
Anchorage Brewing Company

Citra Bitter MonkCitra Bitter Monk
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IPA - Belgian
Ranked #1
Ranked #610
4.35 | pDev: 9.43%
Anchorage Brewing Company
Alaska, United States
Citra Bitter MonkCitra Bitter Monk
Notes: Belgian style double IPA with Brettanomyces. this ale is aged in french oak chardonnay barrels. Brewed with Apollo, Citra, and Simcoe hops. Dry hopped in the barrel with Citra hops. Triple fermented- First in the tank with a Belgian yeast, second in french oak chardonnay barrels with brett, and finally in the bottle with a third yeast for natural carbonation.

100 IBU
Reviews: 289 | Ratings: 1,072 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of wedge
wedge from North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #6

Cork was a struggle and there was barely a pop, but pours with a bit of a head. Hazy gold with a fine creamy ring on the surface.Aromas of dusty funk, grapefruit, mango, and cedar. Big grapefruit, dry chardonnay. musty/leathery Brett...juicy sweetness balancing out the funky sour edge. Light carbonation, tart and dry. Good.

Apr 04, 2021
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TheBierdimpfe from Canada (QC)

4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Medium: Batch #5 cork + long tulip glass.
Opacity: Slightly hazy and veiled.
Color: Golden with strong activity.
Head: Foamy 2-3 finger.
Legs: Light but decent swirl reaction.
Smell: Oak/White wine/Hay/Flowery/Apricot.
Taste: Wheat/Peach/Brett yeast/Clove/Herbal.
Feel: Barnyard/Barrel aged/Light funky/Dry hoped.
Body: Medium slick and silky, quite smooth.
Carbonation: Moderate crisp, a bit lacking for a Belgian.
Overall: Aged very well for 5 years, just very slightly vinous, and probably the hops went dull though it improves the balance. Superb quality Belgian IPA cross Saison.

Visual 7/10 - Flavors 9/10 - Sensations 9/10 - Balance 8.5/10 -
Freshness 5/10 - Intensity 8/10 - Complexity 9/10 - Appreciation 9/10

Mar 19, 2020
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puboflyons from New Hampshire

4.01/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the corked, caged big bottle with no apparent date. Sampled on March 1, 2020.

The appearance i a slightly cloudy looking golden color with a short lived fizzy white head. No lacing.

The aroma emits Brettanomyces right away with an oily, toasted malt, and white grape presence. No alcohol considering this was barrel aged.

The mouthfeel is generally light to medium and smooth.

The flavor has a tartness to it immediately with the sour-like Brett character kicking in but it ends very refreshing and clean. No alcohol in the taste either. I'm not a huge fan of Brett but this is nicely balanced all around.

Mar 01, 2020
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a bright yellow color ale with a large pure white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of funky Brett notes with some hoppy floral notes is super enjoyable. Taste is a mix of Brett notes with nice funky notes that pairs well with floral hoppy notes with a dry finish. Body is full with good level of carbonation. This is indeed a world-class Belgian style IPA saison. High level of drinkability with good level of complexity.

Dec 01, 2019
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Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Filtered gold with a white head quickly dissapating to a ring with good but oily lacing.

S: Bretty but not biscuity or too funky - this is Belgian tartness with citrus and grapes on the nose

T: Wine and sourness, citrus fruits and carbonation. Bright and clean.

F: Medium sticky body with decent carbonation.

O: I really enjoyed this thought it's not my go-to style.

Jun 26, 2019
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leaddog from Canada (AB)

4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Batch # 5 bottled November 2016.

Appearance - Pours a pale straw with three fingers of foamy white head.

Smell - wild brett yeast, vinous aromas, oak, grape musk, spicy citrus and tropical hops, citrus fruits of orange and tropical fruits (mango, peach, and hint of pineapple), and bready malts.

Taste - wild brett yeast followed quickly into the vinous aromas, oak, and grape musk. The spicy citrus and tropical hops come through next followed by the orange and tropical fruits of mango, peach, and hint of pineapple. The bready malts finish the brew off.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes with a pleasant stickiness alongside the vinous characteristics and citrus and tropical hops.

Overall - A well executed and flavourful brew from Anchorage. Worth a go as you won't be disappointed.

Mar 10, 2019
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RMW66 from Australia

4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Clear gold color with 2cm white head that dissipates over several minutes with slight lacing

S- Brett funk on the nose is dominant with subtle oak and peppery fruity yeast

T- Nice well balanced sour with some oak and peppery spice.

M- Medium body with moderate carbonation and medium length.

O- I really enjoyed this - well balanced sour with medium length and nice finish,

Feb 26, 2019
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TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml cork and caged - Batch#5 - November 2016. Pours a uniform hazy golden to pale orange/peach colour with short lived off white head.
Aroma is very saison like - Belgian yeast, fruity and tropical, but floral and grassy with a touch of funk.
Taste follows xcitrus sweet, floral and a touch spicy - grassy with peach and mango and a tart bitterness that coats but does not overwhelm.
Medium full mouthfeel, well carbonated and hiding the 9% very well -refreshing and drinkable. Absolutely great.

Feb 03, 2019
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 cork and cage bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a clear golden color with a one finger foamy white head that has decent retention

S- Brett funk on the nose gives aromas of barnyard & dried hay, followed by white wine and French oak. Undertones of fruity hops and peppery fruity yeast

T- funky yeast gives notes of dried hay, as well as some earthy tones, followed by oak and vinous white wine. The finish gives a peppery spicy yeast that lingers, along with fruity white grape

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that finishes bubble and dry

O- amazing complexity that all seems to come together brilliantly

Jan 29, 2019
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Frudel from Canada (QC)

4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #5 / Nov 2016
Slight pop at opening.
Golden liquid with a white head.
Absolutely delightful aromas coming to the nostrils, citrus, exotic fruits along with some funky brett notes.
Taste is complex while very very well balanced, I didn't know what to expect from this beer but wow it's amazing. Dry, bitter and just the right amount of funk.
One of the best Anchorage I've drank!

Dec 09, 2018
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Bruno74200 from France

4.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Batch #5 brewed in november 2016 so almost two years ago
Well, this is an amazing beast!

It pours a slightly hazy golden colour with a thin white head.

I could let my nose for hours in the glass as the overwhelming sense of beauty emanes from this nectar of gods. Amazingly complex, it shows some fruitiness: pineapple, citrus as grapefruit; a certain vinous character is a great addition to the mix and to finish the whole thing, the bretts notes permit to balance the whole things out.

The taste follows with an incredible complexity and balance.
The 100 ibus are there but so well put in the whole thing. Some spiciness is present from the yeast

The fine champagne-like carbonation goes well with the completely dry mouthfeel of the ale.

Is this the big brothers of all this new 'brut ipas' ? Anyway this is a marvelous things to drink. I am glad that I shared the bottle

Sep 29, 2018
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Sabtos from Ohio

3.93/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sparkling gold with a moderate white foam settling to a uniform bubbly blanket with a moderate ridge.

Smell is bright french oak and white wine with lemon and grapefruit zest, grass, toasted seeds, and a slightly spicy peach funk.

Taste has a bit more phenolic Belgian yeast on the front end that resurfaces on the back end with a bitter Bretty bite. In the middle is tart lemon and orange, as well as wild floral herbs and grass. Unexpected accents of peppery spearmint and amaretto come out on the exhale. Very unique, but also a bit boozy as it warms.

The crisp, medium light body is tingly and prickly with a semi-dry finish.

This batch #4, December 2015 bottle was much better than the abominable Love Buzz Saison I bought around the same time.

Jun 22, 2018
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threeviews from Florida

4.92/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle into a Teku 3.0 glass

A - Initial pour is relatively clear golden with a single, creamy, white finger head...moderate retention (4.5)

S - This is outrageous! The contribution from the Chardonnay barrel aging is quite prevealent as well as the hops (Simcoe and Citra). The Brett is also a big player in the aroma. (5.0)

T - A beautiful balance of hops, barrel and Brett. (5.0)

M - Medium mouthfeel that drinks well below its ABV (5.0)

O - Not only is it hard to source on the East Coast, this beer holds up very well. A gorgeous beer that is hard to find (~$15/bottle), but worth every penny. Gabe & Co. is one of the best breweries in The States. I hope everyone gets to try something from this brewery. (4.75)

Feb 08, 2018
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Korbynlehr from Kentucky

4.26/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Nose is as the name says, bitter as the name says. The after taste is of a great peach smoothie either the best parts fading away softly. Great beer with a funky name and finish that makes the beer.

Jan 15, 2018
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polloenfuego from Canada (NB)

4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy gold in color with a small thumb's worth of white bubbly head. There is little lacing when the head breaks after about five minutes.

Aroma is citrus strong, with fruits such as peach or apricot also in the mix. The brett adds a nice funkiness to this all and makes for a nice nose.

The taste follows the nose with those citrus and stone fruit flavors coming through nicely. There is a slight sweetness that really makes the flavors pop. On the back is the brett, and it makes for a nice bitter finish that makes for a nice sip.

The feel is very nice, medium body with a nice amount of carbonation. Almost feels like a mimosa in texture.

Wow, I'd call this one a winner. Yet to be disappointed by these folks. I wish I could get more of this.

Jan 08, 2018
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coreyfmcdonald from Georgia

4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle
Batch #3 May 2015, consumed just over 2 years old

A: Slightly hazy golden/orange with a beautiful, dense, lasting head. Very active carbonation, perfect for the style.

S: Bright citrus and stone fruit. Brett funk is there, but it's in the background. Slightly sweet white wine melds the flavors together well.

T: More tannic and funky than the aroma. Slight sweetness balances well with moderate bitterness. Certainly doesn't taste like a 100 IBU beer. Peaches, mango, and citrus mix together to create a complex, but not muddled flavor.

M: The body is moderate to full with strong carbonation, spot on for what I'd like in the style.

O: I love this beer. It's one of the easiest drinking 9% beers I can think of. The balance is stunning. The complexity keeps things interesting. The mouthfeel is perfect. Anchorage continues to impress.

Jul 12, 2017
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Radcpa from Washington

4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Straw color with white head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is grapefruit citrus without any hippiness. Taste is also a very pleasant grapefruit without any hoppiness.

Jun 22, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance has a hazy yellow somewhat dark orange colored body with a half finger white foamy head that dies at a moderate pace, light somewhat foamy lacing graces the sides of the glass. The smell has some orange up front, somewhat grassy peppery lemon/citrus thing goin’ on in the background, light yeastiness comes forth after some warming. The taste is bittersweet through the previously noted flavors and an added hop note with some grapefruit coming in and punching my tastebuds, citrusy aftertaste, super dry finish. On the palate, she sits about a medium for the most part - hinging on a slight possibility to light, sessionable - maybe. Carbonation seems pretty good for the Belgian IPA style and for me as there’s an adequate harshness and yet its not overbearing whatsoever. Overall, this one is very well done and I would love to have it again with food or just sittin’ on my back porch as a summer sipper.

Jun 05, 2017
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unclekeith from Alaska

4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorites and I'm lucky to have this as an everyday drinker.

Bitter Monk evolves favorably with aging. For me, it peaks at about 18 months. The hop character hangs on for an impossibly long time; but it does eventually fade and the beer turns into a brett bomb around year 3.

Jan 26, 2017
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hoptheology from South Dakota

4.06/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apricot with lots of head.

Brett on the nose with dry grains and pineapple.

Some plant qualities with the most beautiful, smooth, crisp, and dry flavor. Floral. Just so easy.

Dry, crisp, carbonated.

An outstanding Brett ipa.

Jan 01, 2017
THANAT0PSIS from Wisconsin

4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Anchorage Bitter Monk

A: This very American Belgian IPA from the saison kings in the north pours with an awesome, frothy, bone white, lingering head, which sits atop an almost murky orange juice-like color. Lacing is amazing, and the near turbidity cannot be stressed enough in how forward-thinking it was and how the cloudy style has come into popularity. Fantastic-looking. 5/5

A: Pithy orange juice and grapefruit, leathery funky Brett (complete with pineapple overtones) and a healthy dose of acidic stonefruit from the also buttery Chardonnay and French oak together all work in harmony. Orange peel, clove, and coriander are also present, plus a whiff of bakery. This is a masterful blending of the components at hand here. Phenomenal. 5/5

T: The Brett and barrel does dominate a bit more in the taste, upsetting the extraordinary balance the nose exhibited. That said, this is still stellar. Heavy citrus in the form of orange juice and grapefruit and even a leafy dankness not present in the aroma face quickly into a barnyard Brett and stonefruits (lots of apricot, peach, and nectarine here), then peppercorn and clove mingle flawlessly with butter and a slight acidity finishing with a pleasant and cleaning grassy bitterness as well as a touch of oaky tannin. Just a few notches below the brilliant nose. 4.5/5

M: Perfect. Simply perfect. Soft yet lively, creamy yet drinkable, smooth yet challenging; this is brewing mastery. It is refreshing but with a hint of booze and plenty of bitterness to force the drinker to sip. One of the best mouthfeels out there, a characteristic of most Anchorage beer. 5/5

O: This has been a longtime want for me, and I could not be happier to finally acquire it, and relatively fresh (Dec. 2015), too! Needless to say, it blew my expectations out of the water. In the new trend of wild hoppy beers, this still reigns completely supreme. There are few beers out there this well-put-together. Nearly flawless. Even with the hefty price tag, I will seek this out again. Ludicrously good. Pair with the equally forward-thinking Ornette Coleman's "The Shape of Jazz to Come." 4.75/5

Oct 27, 2016
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WunderLlama from Massachusetts

4.02/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into snifter

Light amber, one inch white foam finger, quickly settled to a white foam ring

Aroma of tart apples,

Tart, crisp taste , Chardonnay , notes , musty , peach , Brett

Good sudsing

Aug 27, 2016
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superspak from North Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass; Batch #4, bottled in 12/2015. Pours fairly clear golden yellow color with a 2 finger dense and rocky white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of huge lightly tart/sour lemon, lime, pineapple, peach, apricot, passion fruit, papaya, mango, guava, grapefruit, orange peel, peppercorn, white wine, oak, hay, straw, musty funk, leather, cracker, bread, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness. Incredible aromas with fantastic complexity and balance of fruity/funky/spicy yeast, citrus/tropical hops, wine barrel, and moderate pale male notes; with great strength. Taste of huge lightly tart/sour lemon, lime, pineapple, peach, apricot, passion fruit, papaya, mango, guava, grapefruit, orange peel, peppercorn, white wine, oak, hay, straw, musty funk, leather, cracker, bread, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness, Large amount of peppery yeast spiciness and citrus rind bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, lime, pineapple, peach, apricot, passion fruit, grapefruit, citrus rind, peppercorn, white wine, oak, leather, musty funk, and floral/grassy/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/spicy yeast, citrus/tropical hops, wine barrel, and moderate pale male flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and zero astringent flavors lingering after the finish. Very drying from bitter/spiciness as well. Medium-high carbonation and medium body; with a very smooth, crisp, sticky/resinous, lightly grainy/creamy, and acidic/tannic balanced mouthfeel that is awesome. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an insane Belgian IPA! All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/spicy yeast, citrus/tropical hops, wine barrel, and moderate pale male flavors; very smooth, crisp, and easy to drink for the big ABV. A really amazing offering all around.

Aug 13, 2016
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mjpolzin from Wisconsin

3.94/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this right after Love Buzz Saison. To be honest I couldn't notice a huge difference between these two beers and maybe it's because I don't drink a lot of funky and/or sour beers. So maybe my palette isn't refined enough. So this one was (just as I said about Love Buzz) complex, funky and the wine barrel aftertaste was pleasant. I wonder if this beer would be noticeably different if it was fresh? Just wondering if hops had maybe faded a bit since this beer was going on a year old. Also picked up the Belgian yeast ever so slightly.

Jul 18, 2016
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Meyers1023 from New York

4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy golden color with just over a fingers worth of foamy white head. The smell is funk mixed with citrus and a hint of barrel. The taste follows suit and the name as you get a bitter, funky flavor upfront followed by citrus fruit at the end. You get subtle grape and malt flavors as you drink more of the beer. The feel is very much like a wine, medium bodied and very well carbonated. This is a very good Belgian IPA with an American twist.

Jul 12, 2016
Citra Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 1072 ratings