Clipper City Brewing Company - Powder Monkey

Clipper City Brewing Company - Powder Monkey

Beer Club featured in U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club


Pale Ale


United States

Alcohol by Volume:


Clipper City Brewing Company - Powder Monkey

  • ABV:

  • Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):

  • Serving Temperature:

    45-50º F
  • Suggested Glassware:

    Pint Glass or Mug
  • Malts:

    Pale, Caramalt, Crystal, Munich
  • Hops:

    Progress, Fuggle, East Kent Golding

On the pour, this English-style pale ale offers up an attractive copper hue with nice clarity and a sizeable crop of off-white foam. Expect a prominent caramel malt character on the nose, overlaid by an interesting and decidedly English hop profile: herbal, somewhat woody tones, with a softly floral note accompanied by a citric hint and a bit of spice. Too many pale ales that we sample have barely-there malt profiles; we liked that the malts weren’t shy in this one, coming across with toasty, caramelized notes to form a good core. Hops come through herbal-spicy with a characteristic Fuggle earthy woodiness, while the bitterness is mild and well countered by a touch of residual malt sweetness. We enjoyed this brew’s balance and easy-drinking nature, and we’re not alone; Powder Monkey has taken home Bronze at the World Beer Cup and Silver at the GABF. Heavy Seas recommends pairing with burgers, English cheeses, bread pudding, and glazed ham – an idea we think sounds particularly good. Cheers!

The history of the Clipper City Brewing Company goes back to the mid-1980s when Hugh Sisson, proprietor of Sisson's, a local restaurant and bar, first recognized the potential for a small brewery in Baltimore. Upon attempting to get a license to brew beer at his restaurant, he quickly discovered that legislation prevented brewpubs in Maryland. So he began working with Senator George Della, Jr. to successfully lobby the Maryland General Assembly to pass new legislation. In 1989, Hugh began brewing at Sisson's, Maryland's first brewpub.

The move helped usher in the wave of craft brewing in Baltimore, and Hugh engrossed himself in the development and market recognition of both Sisson's brewpub and its beers, while simultaneously serving as this pioneering facility's first Brewmaster. After five years of brewpub brewing, Hugh went through another round of legal wrangling in order to expand into a full-scale microbrewery. In early 1996, Clipper City Brewing, borrowing a Baltimore sobriquet as its name, officially began brewing on the scale Hugh was going for. In 2010 the brewery placed all of its beers under the Heavy Seas name, a brand they began in 2003. In addition to their bottled beers, Clipper City is also one of the largest, if not the largest, producer of British-style cask-conditioned beer in the U.S. For more information about the brewery and scheduled tours, call (410) 247-7822 or check out their web site at

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