CB's Caged Alpha Monkey IPA | CB Craft Brewers

60 Reviews
Read the review
CB's Caged Alpha Monkey IPACB's Caged Alpha Monkey IPA

Brewed by:
CB Craft Brewers
New York, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-29-2010

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 60 | Ratings: 205
Photo of Rock_Glenn
1.98/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

There is no shortage of hops in this thing. But there also seems to be no rhyme or reason to the recipe. It's just a bunch of hops, like a strong hop tea.

 154 characters

Photo of Kinger22
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The beer poured a golden orange with a light head that de solved into a lacing. The scent is a subtle hop-citrus. Hops followed by a slight hit on citrus for the taste. Pretty decent beer, overall.

 197 characters

Photo of jameswaldo
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a Best By 02/04/16 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, fairly high but slowly. This sixpack was very carbonated, wanted a big head. Head was large and ready to jump the pint edge, settled down in five minutes to a persistent thin coat, leaving good lacing. Color was very slightly turbid SRM 10, with some nice tiny hop crud sinking to bottom of glass. I like my IPA a bit more turbid, but this looks pretty good. The funky hop cone monkey on label got me to buy this NY beer, as I'm a sucker for beer brewed nearby and for such quirky labels.

Smell is a faint whiff of hops and yeast, no malt I could notice. Noting distinguished.

Taste very beautifully grapefruity bitter, with a sharp bitter aftertaste that hops up the palate just after swallowing and a good tongue- and throat-coating bitter lingering that makes me salivate and feel real ready to drink more. No noticeable ethanol, a wee bit of interesting yeastiness that feels almost Belgian, just a bare color of malt. But fur sure this is hopped right.

Mouth feel very sparkly even with a pour from a height. The fizz brings hops up and around nicely. Made me seek out some horseradish cheddar and sourdough pretzels to give the IBUs a place to sit.

Overall, I'm glad to have this beer available in my neighborhood. It's got its hops right at you, without being just strictly bitter.

 1,350 characters

Photo of KTCamm
3.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12/26...pours medium amber, little brownish, with very little residual foam. Soft pine, hidden nose. Some citrus. Taste is a bright juicy wet pine-y bitter pale. Soft center with a tasty chewy bitter. Juiciness really stands out.

 229 characters

Photo of ONUMello
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Orange with a one-finger head
S: Malts & hops, fairly generic
T: Bold hops, I didn't find them overpowering though they were generic, with a malt/caramel undertone
M: Medium-bodied, fairly bitter
O: The aromas & flavors could be more distinct but I didn't feel anything was out of balance & I'd certainly drink this again

 361 characters

Photo of Stignacious
3.67/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Sample poured during a tasting. Very piney on the nose, a flavor that dominates some of the subtler citrus notes and beats them into submission (which is actually something I like as a change of pace from the newer wave of dank and fruity IPA's these days). Very bitter overall. The hops overpower the malt a bit more and take away from the overall balance

 356 characters

Photo of Dwkasper
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

I originally didn't like this beer that much out of the bottle, because of overpowering bitter hops. I had it fresh and on tap at Canandaigua Music and Arts Center (CMAC) and it was delicious. Upped my rating from a 3.25 to a 3.75 based on draft.

 248 characters

4.3/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

CB Craft Brewers is a great brewery. All of their beer on tap is worth a taste. If you like strong Hops, they have it. If you like smokey, they have it. If you like sweet, they have a Root Beer that is named after their local Fire Department mascot, the Iron Fireman. Everything that this brewery produces is good. Their Caged Alpha Monkey IPA is one of the first IPA's that I have ever had and instantly liked it. Now I have become an IPA snob.

 445 characters

Photo of greg138
3.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had two pints on draft in Geneva, NY. Very solid IPA, and for the region (which seems to be lacking in any good beers whatsoever) is one of the best I've tried.

Bright, citrusy, and refreshing. Also, a good amount of hop character which is graciously welcomed.

 262 characters

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.41/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed on draft at Club 57 in Hornell.
Golden clear beer with a moderate white head.
Smells great, loads of NZ hops giving fruit and citrus.
Taste follows nose; tropical fruit and citrus. Delicious!
Mouthfeel is light and crisp and wet.
Overall a great beer, I thought I'd like it based on the name and I was right.

 320 characters

Photo of NiceTaps
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle in a pint glass.

A- Golden amber color, clean and clear with nice bubbles. The pure white head rose 1-plus finger and tapered to a slim cap. A fair amount of lacing hangs behind.

S- It had all the hop IPA goodies: pine, citrus, sweet and bready malt. The overall presence of the aromas was faint, though.

T- Pretty solid malt flavor, biscuit and caramel. Hoppy, too, citrus and earthy.

M- Good carbonation, hop bite , malt sweets. Nice dry finish.

O- I don't remember the freshness date on the bottle, if there was one. But all the factors make me think that this brew was young and fresh. Very drinkable.

 622 characters

Photo of DuffMan23
3.57/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sounded strange so I had to try it

had beer at P.F. Changs restaurant in eastville mall, Rochester.

served from the bottle to a chilled glass

Color- darker golden color

Smell- Strong hoppy, tangy smell

Taste- Crisp hoppy taste, hint of fruit

My conclusion- Very good tasting crisp beer, nice body and flavor, good to drink along with a meal


 363 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.74/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a clear golden amber color with a big billowy white head. The big billowy head has a OK level of retention, fading to leave a light level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma is biggest of pine and earthy hops along with some more tropical fruit aromas. Along with these smells are some lighter caramel and some mild bready smells.

Taste – The taste begins with a bit of a bready and tropical fruit flavor as well as a moderate level of pine hop. As the flavor advances the bready flavors dwindle a little bit, all while the hop flavors get slightly more intense and more complex. Other hops of an earthy nature as well as a little bit of a grass, join the pine midway through the taste, with a citrus hop flavor coming at the very end. While the hops increase in strength and the bready flavors decrease some lighter caramel flavors come to the tongue at the very end, with the combo of flavors leaving a decently multifaceted hopped flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side with a carbonation level that is average as well. The combo of body and carbonation are good for the hop flavors of the brew all while still maintaining the malt and fruity flavors of the brew.

Overall – An alright IPA overall with a rather moderately diverse hop profile in the taste. Not the most super smooth or hoppy, but quite enjoyable none the less.

 1,478 characters

Photo of plaid75
4.24/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On draft at Red's Place, Seneca Falls, NY.

Poured a light copper hue with a two finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured sharp piney hops and a crisp caramel malt.

The taste offered a clean grainy malt and lively piney hop.

The mouthfeel was toward the drier side of the style.

Overall a tasty, neat and compact ale. Well done.

 377 characters

Photo of paulytasker
3.49/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass with no freshness date visible

A- Bold hues of amber are topped off with about an inch of foamy beige head. The head dwindles away fairly quick leaving a thin foam "blanket" that rests atop the brew. Spotty lacing clings around as I sip.

S- An abundance of piney scents dominate at first. As the brew warms to room temp there is more fruitiness that fills the nose, mostly orange and mango maybe. A little caramel detection as well.

T- Seems to be a different frontrunner of taste with each sip flipping between the pine I was picking up in my nose, to a citrusy blend with malt backing. The bitterness isn't very overwhelming yet seems to hang onto my palate as I work my way towards the bottom of my glass.

M- A very easy sipper with a fair amount of carbonation followed up with a clean dry finish.

O- Not extraordinary in any facet, but still an all around pleasing IPA. Cheers!

 934 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a very nice head that leaves a few strands of lacing behind

Smell: Leafy and earthy with an underpinning of caramel

Taste: A touch of caramel in the base that builds through mid-palate, with the leafy and earthy hops building in the middle and through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: This is a decent example of the East Coast style, though it is not something that jumps out as a great example; middle of the road, at best

Thanks, RochesterAaron, for the opportunity

 552 characters

Photo of StrangerTides
4.17/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

One of my favorite generally available Rochester area beers. A bit on the pricy side but the look and taste are fantastic. Have to admit that the name is not what drew me to this beer, and I still find the "overly creative" naming of beers a bit hokey, but I don't hold that against CB in this case. Always my top choice at PF Chang's.

 335 characters

Photo of scotorum
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A June purchase from my first visit to Premier Gourmet of Amherst, New York, outside Buffalo.

Poured into a tulip glass from the 12 oz. bottle.

a: Amber with an inch plus offwhite head which dissipated slowly to a heavy surface foam and good lacing. Impressive so far.

s: Mild pine.

t: Good balanced malt/hop flavor, piney rather than fruity hop notes, but not too strong considering the 65 IBUs. The label claims it is "a big, bold east coast animal that throws hops at you" but it's not as bitter as that might suggest. Really pleasant and refreshing. Alcohol/hop bite aftertaste becomes more evident as it warms.

m: medium, quite smooth.

o: A surprisingly good IPA, one of the best I've tried so far this summer. A premium brew great for those who want a summer drink with a significant hop presence. Definitely worth buying if you can find it.

 853 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Custom Brewcrafters in Honeoye Falls, NY.

Pours a clear golden amber color, with a one inch head and pretty good lacing down the glass.

Smells like pine and cut grass. Very pungent hop aroma.

Similar flavors. Very bitter, with lots of earthy, resinous pine flavor. Not much malt is noticed, maybe a bit of caramel sweetness in the finish.

Medium bodied, crisp, well carbonated. Finishes dry.

A good local IPA, but a bit removed from the best examples.

 466 characters

Photo of djmichaelk
1.64/5  rDev -54.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle courtesy of the generous laxer8811 (thanks again!), into a pint glass. No bottle dating (boooo).

A - Pours a clear golden, with a finger of cream-colored head. Decent retention, solid lacing.

S - Wet, earthy hops, maybe a little malty sweetness, and cardboard. I have to work to get much aroma out of it.

T - That earthy tone really stands out in the flavor, and not in a good way. There's an acrid note that's a little like burnt plastic, and no sign of the maltiness that I got in the nose. Very astringent. And... that's it. Nothing like I'm used to in an IPA, no piney or fruity hops, no sweetness, nothing else.

M - Carbonation is very low, and it gives it a slick, oily feeling that doesn't sit right. And it's very drying.

O - Only the appearance saves this beer from a 1 overall, and even then just barely. Not sure if I just got a bad bottle, but this is just awful. And with CB not dating their beers it's impossible to tell if this is a really old bottling or just bad. This monkey needs to stay in its cage. Down the drain it goes...

 1,064 characters

Photo of match1112
2.95/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours a clear copper with no head or lacing. smells of resiny pine and some citrus. taste is pretty bland, more like an apa. still pick up on dank resin and citrus on the tongue. mouthfeel is flat and unexciting. there is a little bitterness on the finish that tastes like burnt pine needles, not a good thing. overall i dont care for this beer, but glad i got the chance to try it!

 382 characters

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of a bottle this beer was a clear copper color with some garnet highlights. The head was comprised of two fingers of yellow/beige colored foam that retained itself as a tiny collar and left good amounts of sticky lacing down my glass. The aroma was of a lotta hops, most notably pine, green herbal notes and slight hints of grapefruit atop a caramel malt background. The flavors, however, were very one-sided. I tasted pine and resin and… not much else. The malt profile was pale at best, not enough to balance the strong alpha elements and bitterness. The mouthfeel was a bit oily, the body medium and the carbonation average.

 633 characters

Photo of harrymel
3.47/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled: unk

Pours amber with a bit of a light tan ring and excellent clarity. No lace. Smells of he dankness, weed, resin, pine and some hints of bitter citrus. Flavor follows with a strong bittered malt profile and nice piny hops in the midpoint with a moderate length bitterness and malt. Medium bodied with moderate carb and hints of a slick finish. Decent beer, it reminds me a of a local IPA that tastes like strait weed with a strong malt backbone.

 456 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Caged Alpha Monkey unleashed some fury upon opening but its bubbles quickly lost steam and would settle into a creamy, complete, inch-thick head. The beer's murkiness makes it appear darker than it in fact is; the golden-brown colour might actually offer some nice highlights if not for the dense sediment.

The aroma smells of sweet candied citrus, as if CB's Brewing boiled an entire grove worth of orange peel and seeped it in the mash. Pine needles too. The malts, for the most part, stay mum. There are also hints of pineapple and grapefruit and papaya - pretty much every garnish you'd find at an oceanside bar. It's a perfect accompaniment to a luau!

But the beer doesn't taste as tropical as it smells. The flavour is leafy, with an almost raw cabbage-like crispness and lingering bitterness. (If you've ever bitten into the center of a cabbage you know all too well about that kind of vegetal bitterness!) There's even more pine and a leafy-green mintiness, like arugula, but with a green tea-like aftertaste.

As advertised, the beer does 'throw hops at you' but as far as the palate is concerned it might as well be feathers or leaves being thrown; there's plenty of hop resins and oils but the palate is not roughed-up in the least. Crunchy, toasty malts cushion the resin-y blow enough to make the stated 65 IBUs seem like a big exaggeration.

Caged Alpha Monkey, like its name suggests, is a little more restrained than many of the big, brute American IPAs, which is not such a bad thing. I'm fine with brash bitterness and gum-splitting acidity being kept shackled so long as the citrusy and piny resins are left to run free. I really enjoyed this Monkey, especially considering it costs peanuts.

 1,716 characters

Photo of aranheaney
2.65/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served on tap at The Lovin' Cup at the 3HB Anniversary Fest on 1/14/12, reviewed from notes.

A-Decent, cloudy, straw with some cloudy haze

S-Very hoppy, a bit of pine, not as much citrus as I might have expected

T-kind of disappointing, don't know if I got a bad batch, but my homebrew boys and I all agreed that our IPA is as good, if not better. The taste seemed all mixed up, nothing was in balance, the hops were overpowering and unpleasant, almost nothing else there

M-ok,but not great, a little thickness

O-not great, wouldn't try again

 547 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
CB's Caged Alpha Monkey IPA from CB Craft Brewers
3.58 out of 5 based on 205 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.