December 5, 2023

One of the biggest differences between drinking beer in my 20s and in my late 40s is quantity: I don’t drink much of anything. Very much an in-moderation consumer of everything except for coffee and pie. Clearly.

But my appreciation of higher quality beer is through the roof, as is my assumption that you’d be interested in what I’d have to say about it, lol. Alas, I like to think of myself as kind of a matchmaker between stuff I try and stuff you might enjoy. Take it with a grain of salt, or let this quick review be the impetus for your newest discovery.

Iron Monk is a fantastic local brewery in Stillwater, Okla., and I’ve enjoyed several of their beers:Velvet Antler, Milk Stout and Exit 174 Rye Pale Ale. Today I added “Stilly Wheat” to the mix, and I used that brew as inspiration for a new beer reviewing system: The Ryan Review Grading System.

It’s a score from 1 to 100 based on:

  • Packaging
  • First taste
  • After taste
  • Drinkability
  • Longevity

By the latter, I mean what are the odds that I’ll buy the beer again and again.

I’m a big fan of wheat beers as the temperatures go up. Wheat beer, to me, is the beer of baseball season, quarantine or no.

From a packaging perspective, it’s hard to get better than this Stillwater-orange can with black trim. Sharp.


First taste is terrific. This beer is a classic wheat. Carbonation is fantastic. Cool and crisp.


After-taste exists, and that’s not perfect, but it’s also not bad. The beer I’ll always reference when it comes to after-taste, for me, is Revolver’s “Blood & Honey.” I really dislike that beer. Its after-taste is too strong.

Drinkability? Yes. Light and easy-going just like summer.

And longevity? You bet. I doubt this will be available at most baseball stadiums I visit, presuming we ever get to visit them again. But if it is, I’ll definitely opt for the local choice over something like Shock Top, which I also enjoy.

  • Packaging: 20
  • First taste: 18
  • After taste: 15
  • Drinkability: 20
  • Longevity: 18

That gives “Stilly Wheat” a score of 91, which is an A-. Strongly recommend. For context though, it’s not my favorite Iron Monk beer. I’ll write about those later!

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