Shipyard – Monkey Fist IPA

Shipyard- Monkey Fist IPAI thought I’d kick off American Craft Beer Week 2012 by trying something new. So I went to one of my local craft beer secret spots and looked over the shelves for something different. With a name like “Monkey Fist” it’s got to be good… Right? It has a red label and a monkey with a fistful of hops? So far, so good. 6.9% abv, still on the right track for me. Pacific Park Market had the 12 oz.bottles sold as singles, (usually a sign that they have limited quantities), so I grabbed a bottle and headed home anticipating my first sip.

The Beer

Shipyard Brewing – Monkey Fist IPA – 6.9% ABV

Shipyard Monkey Fist IPA is the genesis of a new generation of IPA. The traditional elements of classic English IPA have been redefined by American craft beer innovation. Like the image suggests, Monkey Fist is edgy, aggressive, and unique in style. This beer is brilliant copper in color and exploding with Warrior, Glacier and Cascade hop character but able to maintain a beautiful balance.

Monkey Fist: a knot tied at the end of a sailor’s rope to serve as a weight and make it easier to throw.

Malt: Pale Ale, Malted Wheat, Munich, Crystal, Caramalt
Hops: Warrior, Glacier, Cascade
Yeast: Top-Fermenting English
Color: Copper
OG: 1.064
ABV: 6.9%

First Brewed: February 2012
Availability: Year Round
Available: 12oz Bottles, 22oz Bottles Keg

The Review

It pours a rich amber color with a nice fluffy head. It has a grapefruit nose with a bit of malt. But the fun ended there when after my first sip, I immediately spun the bottle around looking for an expiration date.

Best enjoyed before: D12

Shipyard- Monkey Fist IPAThat’s December 2012, right? Houston, we have a drinking problem. It’s only May 2012 and this beer tastes skunked. Remembering my visit to I quickly realize the proper term is “light-struck”. Either way, this one is a drain pour. I try to power through it with a couple more sips, because it looks really great in the glass and I hate to waste beer. Then I recall a poignant bumper sticker… “Life is too short to drink crappy beer!”

So down the drain it goes, along with the $2.29 it cost me for a single 12 oz. bottle. On the bright side, at least I hadn’t gone for a whole sixer. It’s a shame because this was my first beer from Shipyard Brewing and based on this experience I won’t be looking forward to my next Shipyard brew. I know that PPM stores their beer properly, so this was either a problem at the brewery or during shipping, ironic that their name is Shipyard.

1 cap from me. File this one away under “Skip it”.


Beer Soaked Erik

2 thoughts on “Shipyard – Monkey Fist IPA

  1. Since the brewery is in Portland Maine and you are in CA I’d guess somewhere amongst the 3,000 miles the brew had to travel to get there someone handled it wrong. Shipping company, buying company, market you bought it from, etc. Shipyard puts out first quality stuff (I live in Maine and get monkey fist on a regular basis) I’ve never had one taste skunked.

    • Hey Kurt, I don’t doubt that it was probably handled improperly, but that being said I’m not too keen on trying another one anytime soon. I enjoy the Shipyard Pugsley’s smashed pumpkin ales that come out in fall and typically drink one and age one every year. I have even enjoyed a few of their other brews as well, mainly from the Pugsley signature series, (XXXX IPA comes to mind), and I’ll give them a try when they are back in stock at the local bottle shop. But that Monkey Fist was really not something that I’m likely to give another try. There are too many IPAs on the shelves now, and that one unfortunately fell off my list of beers that I’ll try again.

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