Impromptu Beer Reaction: Ale of the Hermit by Hermitage Brewing Co

I have to admit - and this will shock you - that I drink more beers than just those that we review on Wet Wednesdays. Many of those beers don't bear a public reaction because they're well known and not as interesting, or maybe they simply aren't that great and I don't want to waste your time reading about something you probably don't want to put in your mouth.

Sometimes, though, I find a beer which I want to talk about but doesn't seem ripe for a full on Wet Wednesday. I drank the Ale of the Hermit by Hermitage Brewing Co. the other night and had just such a reaction. I thought it was smooth and malty, with a little funkiness but enough to scare me. The Ale of the Hermit tastes mild, which I didn't mind, and the slight caramel and roasty flavors were pleasant to me. But as we know I am a fan of smooth, easy-drinking beers with mild flavors. That's how my palate rolls. I was surprised to see this beer get some very negative scores at ratebeer, so maybe it's not for everyone.

Ale of the Hermit is listed as a "Belgian strong ale" and has 8% ABV. I paid $3.49 for a 17oz bottle at BevMo. I'd recommend Ale of the Hermit to beer drinkers who likes a strong beer with a smooth flavor profile.


  1. Hermitage Brewing Co (no website that I could find) also makes a beer called Hoptopia, also sold at BevMo. I believe Aaron and I both have this in our fridge, ready and waiting for another combo review.

  2. A 17oz. bottle? That seems weird enough for me.

  3. Yeah the label says 1 pint, 9 fl oz. Dunno how they settled on that amount.

    Strangely their Hoptopia is the same price $3.49, but for a 22oz bottle. Not sure why the Ale of the Hermit got shrunk.

  4. Sounds like our palates roll about the same way. I haven't tried Hermit yet. I've seen Hoptopia, but I'm kind of guessing it's probably a tad bitter for me.

  5. Hermitage is Tied House's sister company. We launched last year and did so so that we can bottle and distribute. (I work for them.)

    Here are some answers for some of your questions:

    Ale of the Hermit is incorrectly described as either a Belgian Strong Ale, or as an IPA.
    Here is what Brewer Peter Licht says of it:
    "There seems to be some confusion about what "ale of the hermit" is. It is not that our brewer lives in a cave,... Let's just say that he doesn't get out much. Alone with his beer, his thoughts turn inward and backward. What about the way beer used to be made here in the new world? Old methods, old hop varieties, oak-aged, complex, challenging...."

    Website will be up in the next week or so. For now, there is a short description on our splash page (click on 'learn more') about all of our Hermitage beers.

    Sharon- I am not a big IPA girl either, but do like the Hoptopia. It's pretty floral, and has been dry hopped, wet hopped...all kinds of hopped!

    If you guys have any questions or are in the Mountain View, California area and want to try any of these, email me at:

    ~Carolyn Hopkins Vasquez, Dir. of Marketing

  6. Hi Sharon! So you prefer the smooth flavors more than the bitter ones eh? I am generally not a big IPA fan and I love ambers and porters.

    Carolyn - thanks for stopping by! I didn't realize Hermitage was an offshoot of Tied House. Looking at your website I see that your beer list includes the super delicious looking Ironwood Dark. As I mention above, that sounds right up my alley.

    I'm still a little confused by the preferred label for Ale of the Hermit. Peter has a very nice description, but what's the shorthand for describing it? A strong ale? Regardless I agree that it is unusual and somewhat challenging (in a good way).

    When we try the Hoptopia we will report back. I look forward to your website!

  7. By the way, "oak-aged" is good info... that definitely explains some of the funkiness that I wasn't quite able to place. Very nice.

  8. You will love our Ironwood Dark. It just won 1st place (Lost Coast Downtown Brown was 2nd) at the California State Craft Beer Competition.

    Again, thanks for trying our beer!

    If you need any more info, feel free to email me:

  9. Thanks Carolyn, I do want to try that.

    We recently tried the Hoptopia and thought it was interesting (in a good way). Thanks for coming by again.