Why we're here...

Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bitter Monk

Bitter Monk is a Belgian IPA from the Anchorage Brewing Company of Alaska.

A friend bought this, but I've seen it available at most spots that sell craft 22's. It has an ABV of 9%.

Bitter Monk uses Brettanomyces, a wild yeast, that was a common brewers tool for English Porters before modern science. "Bretts" give the barnyard, leather, wet fur, gamy tastes to beers. I just call it funk.

The beer pours a hazy light orange, with a big foamy, white head. The aroma is assertive and has a complex mix of citrus, tropical fruit, Belgian yeast funk and a hint of spice. The flavor has the Belgian yeast funk, banana, clove, and sweet bready malts upfront. The middle has a pop of hops with pine, orange, citrus, and  some tropical fruits with a bitterness bite. The finish has the barrel flavors of oak and Chardonnay with a slight bite from the alcohol, similar to a wine finish. The mouthfeel is light, highly carbonated with a finish.

This is not my style of beer, however, reading the reviews it seems fairly popular. It's fruity, has Belgian funk and a Chardonnay finish. I wouldn't buy it, but I know there is a contingent of craft brew drinkers who would. While Belgian IPA's aren't my favorite I do enjoy Houblon Chouffe, which I think is a bit more tamed than Bitter Monk.

If you don't like Belgians, skip it. But if you're a fan or don't mind exploring them, then give Bitter Monk a Try.

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