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Working For Tips | Moonlight Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
4.05/5
Exceptional
41 Ratings
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Moonlight Brewing Company
California, United States
moonlightbrewing.com

Style: Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by errantnight on 05-06-2008

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#7,710
Reviews:
23
Ratings:
41
pDev:
8.64%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
1
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ratings: 41 |  Reviews: 23
Photo of rob133
5/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of elNopalero
4.8/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Instead of hops this is made using redwood tips, like a gruit. It’s a ruddy amber in color with great foam. The aroma of redwood tips is there, present and upfront. With that I find notes of cherries and sweet vermouth, like a well-made Manhattan. It’s lightly carbonated, giving it a fuller, rounder body. It’s not hoppy but mellow, with that sweet wine finish. Needless to say, I loved every sip.

 404 characters

Photo of redfox405
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of cletusdog
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DefenCorps
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Toronado

A: Deep brown with brown highlights. Thin tan head

S: Sweet caramel, toffee and nougat. Delicious

T: Along the lines of a brown ale, this is excellent with a medium body, great caramel flavor with hints of roast and nuts. There's a light hop bite on the finish. Goes great with my duck sausage.

M: Vibrant and lively with great carbonation

D: Very good - I'd have drunk more if i have the option but there were other beers I'd never get to try calling out to me!

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Photo of Luu777
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

On draft at City beer. Poured in a tall glass with about an inch of head. Malty redwood is a great description. If your looking for hops don't go here but if you love malt this is a keeper!

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Photo of Rzzzzz
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Toronado, in a slightly chilled glass. Dark brown with a moderate but elegant off-white head which left a nice trail of lacework down the glass. Aroma is not overpowering, but along with a solid malt nose there is the faint yet unmistakeable aroma of a bike ride through Muir Woods. (more the earth and trees, and not so much the sweaty bikers)

This is a great tasting beer, similar to a nice English brown ale, with caramel malt flavors and some spice accents. I'm picking up cinnamon or allspice--or maybe that's what redwood tastes like--but it's certainly well in the background. A bittering "hops" presence is there at the end, just enough to balance out the sweetness of the malt.

Mouthfeel is great--again, what you'd expect from an English brown ale. Mild carbonation and delicious taste make this one very drinkable brew. I'm impressed by the fact that the redwood isn't really the focal point of this brew; it's evidently simply used in the same capacacity that hops would have been used.

 1,010 characters

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Served a black color with a bit of brown mixed in and just letting light through around the edges. There is a frothy finger of brownish-tan head atop that fades slowly leaving behind lots of lace.

S - The aroma is a mix of many different elements including some herbs/floral elements, some chocolate malts, wood, and a just a touch of hops.

T - Starts off with a mix of roasted chocolate malt and some wood flavor. There is also some floral flavors starting up in the background. Through the middle, the floral flavors get a bit stronger with some herbs as well and just a bit of was seems like hops. The finish is a mix of chocolate malts, floral elements, and a bit of wood that lingers.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth and a bit dry from the herbs and floral flavors.

D - Very drinkable. Lots of flavors that do not seem like they would work together mix here for a really tasty and balanced beer.

 934 characters

Photo of IceAce
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mc4z
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of largadeer
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Flavor. Dark brown with ruddy tints, almost black. The beige head holds pretty well. It smells of heavily roasted malt, chocolate-like in character. Espresso and evergreen come out as it warms. I might be crazy, but this smells like it's fermented with lager yeast. The palate mirrors the aroma: roasted malt is prominent, lending chocolate and espresso flavors. There's a bit of nougat sweetness, a light herbal character and a touch of carob. The body is fairly light, and it's a pretty clean and crisp beer on the whole. For a non-hopped/gruit style beer, this is great.

 583 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of popery
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Jupiter in Berkeley. Very pleased to see this quite interesting beer as I'm a fan of evergreen spiked beers. I've never had redwood tips in a beer before and it's intriguing how different they are from spruce or juniper- much earthier and much less sappy and in-your-face than the pine is. This beer pours a murky copper with a short, creamy head with some nice lacing. Smells grainy with some spicy notes and a light banana and cherry sweetness. The taste also has a grainy anf fruity sweetness with the spicy/earthy notes of the redwood tips creeping up the backend. There is also some more sweet banana and cherry as well as some citrus and bitter flavors that I would swear were from hops. Ends with some smooth, tangy, lager yeast notes. Smooth, fruity, earthy, and easy to drink. Very interesting and delicious.

 836 characters

Photo of litheum94
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Toad in the Hole.

P: A very deep, red-brown, almost black. Garnet hilites. Brownish head fizzles out quickly.

A: Roasty coffee aromas. Some dark fruit sweetness, plums. Has a "nitro" aroma that a lot of dry stouts have. Minty. Wood tones.

T: Very roasty at first, porter like. Light chocolate sweetness and coffee. Creamy. More mint, but with less of a menthol flavor. Unidentifiable spicing, possibly sage. Wood tones, tasting like a redwood grove smells. Active carbonation on the finish.

I almost didn't order this becaus I'd had it before. I'm glad I got it, because it's way better than I remember it being. Great roasty tones with good spicing and the Redwood adds a nice flavor. Wonderful.

 714 characters

Photo of DIYMonkey
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

When the bartender told me it was brewed with redwood tips I thought I misunderstood him. But when I stuck my nose in it, it reminded me of bailing on my mountain bike and landing in a big billowy pile of redwood duft in the santa cruz mountains, a maneuver I perfected pretty well in college, and it all made sense.

Brian never stops to amaze me.. this isn't a session beer as the resiny taste of the redwood would surely bog you down pretty quick, but it's an amazing brewing idea and is very well executed.

You just have to try it, if not because its just as good as any moonlight brew, but perhaps just for the novelty.

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Photo of vidisad
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of avaldivia
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Flavor Bistro In Santa Rosa. Served in typical Moonlight Brewing Pint Glass.

A: Very dark brown. When held up to the light, a bit of a reddish hue was visible. Little head to speak of. Virtually no lacing.

S: Roasted malts were first and foremost. A bit pf smoke.

T: Delicious. Roasted flavor was pronounced, as was a smokiness. Very pleasing. There were a few hints of coffee, some woody aspects as well.

M: Fairly thin. Very carbonated. A bit dry.

O: I tried and was not a fan Legal Tender, which was also a Gruit. I almost didn't order it for that reason, but I am really happy I did. This was a very tasty beer. One I will order again.

 654 characters

Photo of MasterSki
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Flavor Bistro. Served in a Moonlight pint glass.

A - Very dark brown with some ruby-red highlights when held to the light. A finger of tan foam settles to some splotchy lace and a thick collar.

S - Smokey, roasty, woodsy, and earthy, with some coffee as well. There's an herbal character that could easily be mistaken for hops, but I'm guessing is actually the spruce tips?

T - Again, very earthy and woodsy, with roasted malts, smoke, and light cocoa sweetness. Finishes with moderate bitterness, but not much over herb flavor.

M - Medium-high carbonation, slightly gritty medium body, crisp and refreshing finish. Like most Moonlight offerings, it doesn't reveal an alcohol.

D - Interesting beer - I'd probably guess hoppy black lager or porter if having this blind (which is indeed what happened, as Flavor had no idea what the beer was when I asked). I enjoyed it quite a bit and had no problem putting down the entire pint.

 943 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Monk's Kettle, in San Francisco.

Working for Tips is inspired by ancient brewing traditions and, indeed, it looks nothing like most modern beers, save maybe the stouts. It is black with some ruby highlights but not enough that it can claim to have any real colour. It has an ultra-lush head that’s tinted an off-white colour and leaves shrouds of lacing that are thick enough to wrap a baby in.

How strange is it for a beer brewed with redwood tips that one does not find any redwood aroma. Not a trace of it, in fact. Not even a shadow of a trace. Instead, the bouquet has a coffee and cream (more cream) richness, with a very pronounced maltiness and a savory herb, earthy note that may be the redwood only showing up with a little warmth.

The redwood can't really be claimed to be tasted on the palate either; however, there is some earthiness that obviously can't be attribute to hops. Mostly there is just a coffee-and-cream flavour and lots of roasted maltiness. Calling it 'chocolaty' would probably be an exaggeration, the beer isn't that rich. It is mild, medium-bodied and has no real intensity.

It's not surprising to find, since the brewer didn't use any hops, that there's no bitterness at all. In fact, this is one of the smoothest (and I try use that word as sparingly as possible) beers in recent memory. That coffee-and-cream flavour comes without any roast or astringency at all. It's got such a creamy texture you might suspect a nitro-tap was at play.

Moonlight Brewing works hard for their money and I'm glad the beer reviewing world treats them right. Although this offering, with less than 20 reviews under its belt is still in its infancy, it already rates a "B+" and I've no doubt it'll soon have an "A" next to it, just like the fantastic Reality Czech and Death & Taxes brews. I'd consider it as good as those.

 1,858 characters

Photo of rbrefbeerman
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of oldp0rt
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of AnHeroicHippo
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i really liked this beer, its unique and subtle and well made, but in the end, i wanted a lot more of the special ingredient here. its an unhopped ale brewed with redwood tips, which i have never heard of in a beer, and so i wanted them to really lead the way. instead, they are folded into a nice earthy malt base, fuller feeling body, and lightly english yeasty ale thats hearty and fully satisfying to me, and of great quality, but not exactly brimming with redwood character, whatever that might be... i do get a soft woodiness, a pine note where hops might be, and a cool organic bitterness, but its not as botanical feeling, piney, fresh, or aromatic as say spruce often is in beers that use it, and i am left wanting more, as much as i like this clear copper colored beer as an autumn session brew. its still got plenty of flavor, biscuit, light maple, and a faint herbaceousness. definitely has an old school vibe about it, and fits the fall season really well. a nice pint of beer, but i would love to have experienced more redwood tip character in here, unless im just missing it and expecting it to be something other than it is, i want more! perhaps this wasnt as fresh as it could have been and that element had faded some, who knows...

 1,249 characters

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Working For Tips from Moonlight Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 41 ratings
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