Moonlight Brewing Company

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Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale
Ranked #41
Ranked #48,105
2.72 | pDev: 40.81%
Moonlight Brewing Company
California, United States
Reviews: 7 | Ratings: 12 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ebin6
ebin6 from California

1.39/5  rDev -48.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Kudos to Moonlight for trying this beer, I'm always a fan of pushing beer boundaries. That said, this beer just isn't good. Hops are delicious and I will never take them for granted again.

As mentioned by others, the appearance is quite nice. Things go south pretty quickly from there. The smell is not completely terrible; some nice nutty/earthy notes. However, once it enters your mouth those same notes are intensified to levels that just aren't very palatable.

Jun 01, 2010
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brokensail from California

1.5/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ. The woman behind the bar accidentally poured me the wrong beer at first, and I honestly wish I hadn't corrected her.

A: The pour is by far the best thing about this beer. A nice amber/copper color with a minimal off-white head.

S: This is a woodsy, herb bomb of a beer. The first several whiffs, all I get is rosemary--but it is more likely the mugwort. As things warm up, I begin to pick up a bit of a eucalyptus/menthol scent. My girlfriend also suggested olive brine.

T: Somehow, the flavor was even less pleasing than the nose. The beer was again intensely herbal in a wild, woodsy sense. The menthol-like flavor was there and a bit of burnt rubber. There isn't really all that much in terms of sweetness nor bitterness to mitigate the unpleasantness, either.

M: The mouthfeel was the other "bright" spot in this beer. A medium bodied beer with a moderate carbonation.

D: I normally like Moonlight's beers and I'm one to try just about anything. I couldn't take more than a couple ounces of this and have no desire to try this again.

Apr 05, 2010
Photo of gregmoscetti
gregmoscetti from California

1.52/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This was by far one of, if not the worst craft beers I have ever tasted. After passing it around a table of friends, (to ensure I was not just missing something), It was decided that it tasted like a combination of soap, socks and rubber bands.

I would not recommend this beer to anyone for purposes other than biological warfare.

Mar 02, 2010
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ from Wisconsin

3.61/5  rDev +32.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ in a tulip, on to the beer:

It's amber in color, not a whole lot of head or retention. I wasn't expecting it to smell it did. The beer is brewed with two oddball spcies, but thyme and sage are what they smell like (yes, I know those aren't the exact spcies, but that's what it smells like to me). It smells like good, spicy pizza sauce that my local pizzaria makes. A hopless beer. I don't taste much malt, as the spice is well presented in this beer. An interesting taste, just like the justs smells better than it tastes. One serving was fine for me. Could be a great beer to pair with food.

Feb 25, 2010
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Halcyondays from California

4.29/5  rDev +57.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ, named after the legendary chaste Greek goddess,

A: Pours an unasumming amber, with a soft white head.

S: Quite taken aback, I know this smell, just can't put my finger on it. Woodsy, like a mix of thyme and heather, they say it's mugwort and yarrow, but I don't have a lot of experience with them.

T: Has that great woodsy, herbal flavour with a lot of caramel malt. Real good flavour. Give me some pizza or a Provencal duck.

M: Smooth, rather light carbonation, easy to drink.

D: This is another crazy interesting beverage from Moonlight, I really liked it.

Feb 24, 2010
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mjl21 from California

3.48/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at the Toronado. Called Artemis Gruit on the big board. Poured into a pint glass. No abv info is given. Paid $3.00 during happy hour.

A-Pours a clear amber with a half finger off white head. The head dissipates to some film and a decent sized ring. No lacing is left on the glass.

S-This beer has no hops and instead relies on mugwort and monarda for flavoring. These two unique ingredients make for a very interesting beverage. They impart an aroma that is reminiscent of smoked cedar, oregano, and chicken bullion. It smells like a very good chicken/vegetable stock.

T-It tastes a whole lot like it smells. The smoked cedar, oregano, and chicken bullion flavors are all apparent and neither one dominates. The oregano is the strongest in between sips. It also has an earthy, dirt like flavor in between sips.

M-Medium bodied with a soft level of carbonation.

D-This is a very interesting beer. I found a pint to be way too much. A small four once serving is probably most appropriate.

This is probably the most unique review I have done. I have tried a few of Brian's non-hopped beers before and found this to be my least favorite. I really see this used better as a cooking ingredient than a beverage. I gave it 3.5 for smell and taste because I found them both to be very interesting.

Oct 08, 2009
Photo of Offa
Offa from California

4.2/5  rDev +54.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just reviewed this on the weekend, but the review has vanished in the database problem, so here it goes again, from my notes.

This is dark brown--red, faintly hazy, with a medium frothy pale tan ehad, slowly shrinking to a foamy ring and leaving some lace in rings, but not as much as other Moonlight beers.

The aroma is strongly and pungently herbal and woody, very unusual, with smokey quality reminiscent faintly of smoked cedar. I knew nothing about the beer when I had it and I could not place the aroma myself, but my wife, a horticulturist, thought it smelled like freshly cut Artemisia and she was right on the button: it is flavoured not with hops but with mugwort, in the Artemisia family (at the time, I heard the name wrong and thought the waiter called it "Artisan" so we did not even have the clue from the name then). At first, it was almost a little off-putting but it was very unique and it quickly grew on me. Now that I know why it had that aroma, I quite enjoy it.

The taste is similar, but much lighter. The herbal-woody character is clearly present, but much more muted and blending with the rest to add some complexity and an intriguing character without actually tasting so obviously herbal as it smells. It has a nice, faintly fruity-toasty maltiness along with it, light sweetness, very light bitterness, and good balance overall. It has a good, solid, yet lively feel and character, and is easy to drink depsite the strong uniqueness. One of the more successful experimental beers from Moonlight in my book, this gets big points for being both very unusual and characterful, yet enjoyable and easy to drink.

Oct 07, 2009
Artemis from Moonlight Brewing Company
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 12 ratings