Bitter Monk | Anchorage Brewing Company

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world-class
269 Reviews
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Bitter MonkBitter Monk
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anchorage Brewing Company
Alaska, United States
anchoragebrewingcompany.com

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by sprucetip on 08-26-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
269
Ratings:
1,022
Avg:
4.34
pDev:
9.68%
 
 
Wants:
419
Gots:
128
For Trade:
7
User Reviews
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Reviews: 269 | Ratings: 1,022
Photo of AgentZero
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let me start out by saying I am not a fan of Belgian IPAs, and then let's go from there. Thanks to MasterSki for bringing this over.

A - Golden colored beer with a foamy white head that left behind a nice web of lace.

S - Really a lot going on with this nose. Some phenolic yeast, pungent simcoe, tropical fruit of the citra, and some brett. A funky IPA with strains of belgian yeast, didn't really see that coming, despite what the bottle was advertising.

T - This beer was immediately bitter for me, with the pungent simcoe mixing with the phenols in a bit of puckering bitter bite. You get used to it after a little bit and start to pick up aon a lot more of the citra. The brett funk occassionally bursts through. It's really hard to describe this beer as it tastes like so many different things, and I'm shocked at how good it is. There's even some of the chardonnay and wood that will come as well.

M - Medium bodied with nice carbonation.

O - This beer is shockingly unique and good at the same time. Need to revisit it, as there is so much going on. One of the more interestingly complexed beers I've had in a long time. While I'm not necessarily a fan of this style, I liked this beer a lot and Alex and I drank the bottle pretty easily between us.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.89/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Muted and heavy hazen pale pear, yellowy gold hue capped tight and tall with a white crown of crunchy foam. The cap slowly sinks to a heavy skim and patchy lacing grazing the goblet in globby shapes.

Very huge and dry aroma of white grape, lime, fresh wild flowers, lemon, white peach fuzz, white grapefruit, spritzy tangerine, and earthy basement yeast. Also packed in is a wonderful little touch of good Ol' 9% ABV.

Taste is highly complexed with lots of high ended dry citrusy flavors and yeasty actions mixing like a spiked fruit punch, minus the sweetness. There is, however, a bit of caramel sweetness poking about within a orangeified candied citrusy kerfuffle behind the drying citrusy hoppyness. It's delicately woven but nearly brutish in its punch as it stands tall and long across the palate with a tempered tone of lemon, lime, Chardonnay white wine, grapefruit, tangy tangerine, pineapple, and then lays out the yeasty funk with a wonderfully handled and smooth Brett-ish tang and wild flower zip of spice. Immensely yummy and excellently complex!

Body is smooth, bold, peppy, large, lofty, dry with a nice mild play of tang in the middle to keep it all in check as it takes over the palate with a great character of citrusy things and yeasty candy tartness.

Ummm...excellent stuff! Period.

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Photo of rawfish
4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a teku glass, orange-yellow very hazy with a stark white head. I didn't let it foam up too much but it has good retention and leaves a thick chunky lacing.

Thin dry straw and crack-like grains, complex with white grapes, oak, bright citrus and mango hops. Brett brings in a mild mustiness and Belgian yeast spice notes of clove and coriander. Flashes of tartness with strong dry hopping, sounds familiar.

Base beer has a thin unobtrusive cracker-like malt adding subtle graininess, evident hop flavors of bright citrus peel, straw are complemented by the chardonnay barrels bringing out bright fruit notes. French oak and the highly bittering apollo hops add a pinching bitterness that gives the impression of drying with Belgian yeast flavors of coriander and powder. Brett adds a layer of complex mustiness and the finish is also tart from the wine barrels.

Medium bodied, the yeast is nicely balanced with active carbonation. Alcohol is very well hidden, or just ignored given the complexity of this beer.

One heck of a ride, this is a Wild Ale more so than a Belgian IPA and I'm pleasantly surprised that the complexity comes more from the wine barrel aging and hops rather than the Brett. Bitterness is pretty sharp and tartness is balanced, the French oak also rounds out the Citra flavors nicely this is really a stellar beer.

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Photo of tbryan5
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow... Another superb beer from Anchorage. A hoppy and Bretty beer that you can keep on drinking and drinking. It's not overly tart where the funk overpowers the hops, but a good combination that allows the best of both worlds be showcased.

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Photo of Gmann
4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden straw color with a big white head that left webby lacing all along the glass.

The aroma is unique and has 3 distinct aromas. The first is the belgian yeast which provides some clove and light phenols. Next comes a huge hit of brett along with the chardonnay oak barrel. Dry white grapes with some farmhouse funk. To cap things off is a a tropical fruit hop aroma. The brett dominates the aroma.

The taste is of a sweet pale malt with some light belgian yeast flavors. The brett comes in and funkifies everything. The brett goes well with the dry chardonnay oak flavor. The combination brings a nice tart flavor. The hops kick in toward the end. Some tropical fruit hops to go along with some pine. Definitely some resiny hoppy bitterness in the end. The brett not as strong in the flavor and the hops take on more of a presence.

There is a moderate feel with active carbonation. Good balance between sweet, tart and bitter.

A nice complex BIPA. The brett takes the show in this beer but the hops help to provide an offset. I would like to see a touch more clovey/phenols from the yeast.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Bottle purchased months ago...don't really remember when. Poured into HF tulip. Lots of head...carbonation is ideal. Orangey hue..sure.
Nice hoppy aroma even for it being fairly aged...but brett dominates. Smooth juicy hops and brett - mixed with classic anchorage signature aromas...
wood and funk.
Great flavor - funky - brett - wood - hops. Phenomenal. Do yourself a favor and thank god (or any deity) Gabe exists...this beer as most of his are..is simply sublime.

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Photo of Keananmichael5
5/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ill put in this way, I have not had this beer in almost 2 years, and I am not happy about it! I can't wait for it to get down to socal again soon! So unique and tasty for a "belgian DIPA".

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale amber colour, nice golden tinge up to the light. Very opaque though. Head is hugely generous off-white with sparse bubbling and clumps of lace left behind. Marshmallowy top. Looks very decent.

Smell is just lovely. Loads of brett going wild, sourness with cassia, orange peel and underripe berry notes. Sour, but nice sweetness adding balance - citrus, berries and a touch of oatmeal on the back. It's really, really nice.

Taste starts out kind of sour, citric really, but develops into strong fruity mid-palate that's actually quite sweet, with peach, apricot and raspberries. Brett comes through late, giving kind of off mouldy cheese kind of flavour that doesn't quite mesh as far as the aftertaste goes. It's nice overall, but the finish could be toned down a bit, as it's a little on the astringent side. Otherwise the flavours are nice, just seems a bit off-kilter late.

Not bad on the feel for the most part, but you can sense that pull from the wilder yeast at the back and it gets to the point of puckering.

Not an everyday drinking beer, really, but well worth a taste.

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Photo of cherche
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: hazy, muted orange with an off white head. Good retention and lacing.
S: Brett, fruity hops (tangerine, pineapple, kiwi), just a hint of wheat
T: tangy fruit, similar to smell, bright brett fruits
M: slightly thicker than your average IPA but to be expected w a brett, Belgian style. Average carbonation.
O: love this beer. Great balance between the tart brett character, the fruity hops and just a hint of wheatiness. Will be getting this beer whenever I can find it.

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Photo of jsh420
4.8/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

batch 1
july 2011

pours cloudy golden yellow with a big chunky pillowy white head that had great retention and left lacing

smell is funky hoppy evergreen citrus tropical fruit - amazing!

taste - wow - an orval ipa - it works so well - the funk of the brett stands out and cuts through all other flavors bitter fruity hops and sweet malt

mouthfeel - medium body decent carbonation - smooth and creamy - could have used more bite

overall - one if not the best belgian ipa i have had - i can only knock it .5 for price @ 15 a bottle and mouthfeel - but i would gladly buy another bottle when the newest batch comes out this year

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Photo of woosterbill
3.88/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a medium-sized Duvel tulip.

A: Clear gold body under an inch of creamy white head. Good retention, plenty of lace. Very nice.

S: Hops + brett. Citrus, dry hay, and more generic herbal indulgence. Powerful without a doubt, but somehow less than great.

T: Follows the nose: grapefruit, spruce, orange, hay, and bitterness. Very dry, very bitter, and very tasty.

M: Lively, frothy medium body. Creamy and nice.

O: This was enjoyable, but nowhere near $20 enjoyable. Surprisingly enough, it was my least favorite Anchorage beer I've tried (behind Whiteout Wit and Love Buzz). I won't be buying any more of their beers at such a price point, but would certainly recommend them as being worth trying once.

Cheers!

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.62/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy apricot color with a huge fluffy white head. Leaves loads of lacing down the glass. Looks pretty awesome.

S: Huge citrus hop aroma. Vanilla, lemon, grapefruit, nilla wafers, just a touch of Brett and some oak. Really complex and absolutely incredible.

T: A nice hit of Citra right away with some mango, white grape, and pink grapefruit. Some honey and caramel malts in the middle before a finish of peppery and earthy hops. Some oak and Chardonnay dry the finish a touch as well.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #3, MAY/2015 (no simcoe hops for this batch, only citra and apollo; still dry-hopped with citra)

A: Pours a translucent golden orange color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a nice frothy cap that leaves decent lacing

S: Belgian yeast up front, with some fruity and spicy notes. Citra definitely imparts some nice citrus and fruity notes. Some vinous and oaky notes from the chardonnay barrels in there as well. Brett manages to provide some light barnyard, but it is in the back behind the base yeast. Still very nice and complex overall

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the Belgian yeast, which gives off the usual fruity and spicy notes. Goes into the Brett, which provides some nice barnyard and funk, the chardonnay barrel, which provides some vinous and oaky notes, and finally the hoppiness, which provides some moderate bitterness and more citrus and fruity notes. Finishes with lingering yeasty notes and bitterness

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Nicely rounded and smoothed out from the barrels

O: Definitely world-class and one of the few Belgian IPAs that I've actually enjoyed where the yeast works with the hops. I think the chardonnay barrels help with that quite a bit and provide a nice spin. A hefty price tag, but well worth it

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Photo of ArkyVaughan
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from May 2015 batch. This was my first time having Bitter Monk and I loved it. What a great Brett beer. Even with a May 2015 batch date, the citrus elements from the hops are still there. I will definitely get this again.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.17/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

1731st Review on BA
Bottle to Pinot Noir Glass
750 Ml C/C

Batch 2
Purchased at El Cerrito Liquor

App- A glowing orange with a bit of a yellow and creme tinge behind it. A nice and puffy head. Cracky and puffy white head that faded very slowly. Great cling and lace behind it.

Smell- The Brett takes over and creates a nice funk blended with the hops and the yeast behind this one. Dry, hoppy, citrus and yeast. A great combination especially with the barrel aged wine behind it.

Taste- I liked this beer. I didnt get blown away by it, but I really enjoyed it. I think the price affected me. The beer itself was a very nice mixture of what I would say was a attempt at a very layered beer. Spot on Anchorage. Huge notes of the barrel come in, with the duality of the citrus and the dry tannic of the barrels they used. The DIPA flavor was a bit of a background noise with the Brett stealing the show.

Mouth- A solid medium body with a certain dry grassy feel to it. A bit of a cracker flavor remains with some funk, yeast and citrus zest to balance this all out really.

Drink- I paired this with artichokes, italian chicken and ravioli. Holy cow was that a good idea. Nice job anchorage. I was hesitant when this 1st came out. Glad the ticker in me had to tick this one.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle a hazy nectarine-yellow with two fingers of rich and rocky off-white head. Tons of lacing left behind.

Aroma of Juicyfruit gum, Belgian yeast, white wine, lemon and fresh earth.

Much like the aroma, tastes of Juicyfruit gum, tart lemon, white wine, Belgian yeast and a hint of spiciness. Finishes with a light medicinal tang. The 9% alcohol is well hidden in this one.

Lighter bodied and dry with a sharp carbonation.

I loved this beer. A lot of character and personality in every sip. Anchorage Brewing is doing a lot of things right.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy, opaque orange/yellow. Bright white head, nice sporadic lace. BIG funk! It's almost tart, but tows the line beautifully. Some citrus, but the hops can't overpower the funk. The taste is where it's at though. Big funk still, BUT, it's wonderfully bitter, with plenty of citrus, bordering on tart...towing the line yet again. Getting some subtle oak and dry wine notes. Crisp, almost effervescent carbonation. Crisper than it technically should be, but it works. Their Love Buzz Saison wasn't this crisp, but I wish it were!

Damn. I've been infected with Brett...and I like it. I still hate sours, but Brett beers are quickly becoming a thing of beauty to me. This Bretted IPA is blissful.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 750 mL corked and caged bottle into a Cigar City pint glass.

A: Pours a very hazy dark yellow, with lots of carb and just over a finger's worth of big-bubble white head.

S: Quite funky, with lemon citrus, barnyard, grassy, peppery and yeasty notes. Reminds me quite a bit of a saison.

T: Follows the nose, but way more hop presence than the aroma – big citrus (orange and grapefruit) and a bit of tropical fruits. Then yeasty, with some fruity esters. A very nice Brett funk and barnyard as well – horse blanket, wet hay, and grassy. There is a subdued vinous character as well. The Brett and the citrus and the yeast esters mix superbly. Citrus hop bitterness (grapefruit rind) in the hang with some residual funk, and the finish is quite dry.

M: Medium body and carbonation sensation. The alcohol is noticeable, but even that seems to blend well with everything going on in here.

O: This was really, really good. Excellent beer. Lots of hop flavor, but still blends very well with all the wonderful Brett characteristics brought out here. Absolutely love this one.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.96/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Pours a hazy dark yellow with a big fluffy wihite head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is a lot of brett and musty yeast with old fruits and bread. Some dirty sock comes out as it warms.

The flavor is a lot of brett with some old fruit and bready malt. There's a decent amount of bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, I like it. The best Beligan IPA I've had. i like the use of Brett instead of traditional Belgian yeast. It also has good noticeable bitterness. Only downside is price at $17 a bottle.

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Photo of ADZA
4.07/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Love the label and spiel and pours a hazy yellow hue which leaves a two finger creamy head and lots of lacing,the smell is white wine,pineapple,funk,old cellar and fragrant herbal hops,the mouthfeel is just medium bodied and very easy to knock back with tastes of cranberries,pineapple,paw paw,grapefruit,a touch of marzipan and finished with sav blanc grape dry semi bitterness and overall i really like this brew and would definately buy or drink again cheers.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.27/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750mL into an oversized tulip.

Peach skin-colored body. Foamy, frothy, full and persistent pale white head. Lace is everywhere like in a brothel. Very nice to look at. 5

Smells of spicy, peppery yeast and white wine along with some peach and other juicy fruit all cloaked in a light funk. 4.25

A continued white wine experience with piney and floral hop flavor tinged by fruitiness. Grapefruit and mandarin follow and shine more as the beer warms. The finish lingers with a strong floral profile and a touch of oatmeal-like malt appears just before to inject some sweetness. A nice stew of flavors. 4.25

This beer was living up to the bitter in its name when it was nice and cold out the fridgerator. Yup, the fridgerator. Coupled with the zesty, yeasty spice, the beer was drinking pretty aggressively and forcing me to take the smallest of sips. But as it warms, it becomes creamier, juicier and smoother. A little sweetness/maltiness begins to show too. 4

Closer to room temp, this is pretty damn phenomenal. Drink it cold to see the transition, but I promise you'll love this after about 30-45 minutes.

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Photo of Florida9
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear golden yellow. Forms about an inch or so of bright white head that slowly reduces to a thick and bubbly surface coating. Some very nice lacing.

S: Aromatic and complex. Smells rather vinous, grapey, and reminiscent of white wine. Not necessary Chardonnay, but certainly the white wine is apparent. Green apple, a slight bit of citrus, and a little herbal hops.

T & M: Wow...Incredibly complex with waves of delicate flavor. Again, there is a vinous quality to it, almost Saison-like. Mildly sweet. White wine, herbal, "green," basil, then turns slightly bitter and begins to dry. A little oak. Finishes acidic and crisp with notes of green apple, pear, and some more mild citrus. Body is on the lighter side. Carbonation is appropriate.

O: A very good beer with incredible complexity and depth. Hops aren't entirely gone, but could only imagine what some fresh hop character would add to this beer. Hopefully, we will all see this one again one day.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a very interesting twist on a double IPA. It looks like a belgian, but you get a lot of the hoppiness in the smell.

You also smell some sour from the belgian presence in this beer. The chardonnay presence in the smell was a little weird.

The taste is very good. You get the hoppy presence from some very different hop types. It was a little different than what you would expect from the double IPA. This is tempered by the belgian flavor. The chardonnay does a good job.

So, why not a higher taste score? This beer runs into a wall as it warms. In the same way that a warm chardonnay is undrinkable, this beer needs to stay chilled. When warm, you get a ton of wine flavor and bitterness.

This was a very good beer. Share it with a friend to avoid getting it to warm.

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Photo of gatornation
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle , batch #1 july 2011

A= pours a hazy golden straw color with a 2 finger white head a super fresh collar and great sticky lacing

S- lots of great smells from lemon grass,brett,sour funk.citrus hops, earth smells wood and wine

T- just like the smell its super complex with many layers of taste, what i like most is the earth and funk with oak and wine mixed with the citra hops, it has a bitter start but is mellowed with the yeast and brett,oak and chardonnay add a great balance to this

M- its a dry start crisp and bitter but also mellow in the middle it finishes dry and strong with hops in charge the brett is predent and is a great compliment to this dipa

O- a great and different brew that i loved for the style loads of tastes melded together

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Photo of Sean9689
3.98/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at home and split with Alex. Poured into Narke tulip.

A - Pours a mirky yellow/orange color, frothy white head, sticky lace, thin cap.

S - Bretty, hoppy citrus, tropical fruites. Lots of brett, lots of bitterness, and a nice balance of fruit (I'm guessing the hops & brett combo did this?..I like it).

T - Citrus, hoppy bitterness, loads of tropical fruit, nice level of funk, some oak. Very complex...also get some of the chard barrels too, which plays into the tropical fruits and brett. The alcohol is hidden well with everything else going on.

M - Medium, perhaps a touch too much carbonation, oily funk finish.

O - A solid brew, a unique take on a Belgian IPA, and it really seemed to work for me. The tropical fruity bitter funk is something I like and would have more often. At 9%, I couldn't plow through this as much as I'd like to. Very unique and enjoyable.

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Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
4.34 out of 5 based on 1,022 ratings.
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