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Review - North Coast Brewing Company's Brother Thelonious

"With the developing interest in Belgian abbey ales and the monasteries that brew them, it’s time to remind the world that here in the U.S., we have a Monk of our own. Jazz icon Thelonious Monk is the inspiration for North Coast Brewing’s new Belgian-style abbey ale called, appropriately enough, Brother Thelonious. The beer is being released in conjunction with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz (, and the brewery will make a contribution to the Institute for every case sold to support jazz education. Like a Belgian “Dark Strong Ale”, the beer is rich and robust with an ABV of 9%. The package is a 750 ml bottle with a traditional cork and wire finish and features a label picturing the jazz master himself." -- North Coast Brewing Company

The brother pours a dark brown color, chestnut-like, into a hazy body that clears as it settles. Its crowned by a fizzy, light-brown head with decent retention and fair lacing. Aroma is similar to that of a wheat wine, much like brown sugar and maple syrup. The first taste is heavily sweet, that gently gives way to a faint bitter finish with gentle carbonation. Medium-bodied, it has a creamy texture with soft carbonation, and despite the high alcohol level, the alcohol doesn't reveal itself, instead masked by the heavy sweetness that coats from the first taste and doesn't move out of the way.

Reviewed on May 18th, 2007.

StyleBelgian Strong Ale
Source22 oz bottle

Official North Coast Brewing website