1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

The Bitter End Pale Ale - Two Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The Bitter End Pale AleThe Bitter End Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

733 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 733
Reviews: 306
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 11.47%
Wants: 9
Gots: 43 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Two Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-14-2002

13.5 Plato and 30 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 733 | Reviews: 306
Reviews by BBM:
Photo of BBM
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a slightly hazy golden yellow color with a very thin, foamy head. Aroma was fruity and sweet, with hints of vanilla and oak.

Almost like a refined American pale ale, this beer has muted but noticeable hop traits. Earthy, pine hops shine through, with just a touch of caramel and citrus sweetness. Mouthfeel is creamy and medium-bodied. Overall this is a solid ESB worthy of a try.

More User Reviews:
Photo of hopsleeroy
3.13/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to to dob for this one!

A-Slightly AMber/Caramel orange, small white head that didn't last
S-Slightly bready, earthy type hop, not alot of aroma
T-Mild grain with bready biscuit flavor, mild earhty hop, easy bitter finish
M-Thin to medium with good carbo.
D-Very sessionable easy drinking beer but not interesting enough to really keep drinking alot of them

Photo of steelerguy
3.71/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden, moderate carbonation, just off white, sticky head. Head lasts for a good bit and fades to a healthy covering that leaves nice lacing.

S - Lacking, a little grassiness from the grain, a touch of sweetness, not much in the way of hops.

T - Good solid light malt base, some sweetness from light crystal malts, a nice bitterness from the hops, wish there was some more hop flavor and not just bitterness.

M - Light to moderate body, refreshing.

O - Good beer, would rather have a Sierra Nevada.

Photo of ROBORB
3.62/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to Mike B., thanks man!

Poured into a regular pint glass this beer produced an orange hue with a light, quickly dissipating white head. There was a nice aroma of pine, hops, and grapefruit. The carbonation was just right for a pale ale. This was a very drinkable pale ale and I would like to try it again sometime.

Photo of jhauser3
4.53/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite american Pale Ales. I am biased as it is also local to me. It is exciting to live close to a place that makes such a good beer.
The beauty of this beer is really the last sip. As a hop head, the "bitter end" of the beer leaves a lasting impression that made me want to go back out and get more.
The nice part about this beer is that I am able to bring this home in mass quantities, knowing that most people will enjoy it. It is balanced and sweet enough that even my wife would drink it. The smell of hops on the nose makes me salivate as I try to figure out what type I am smelling.
Overall, this is a great beer!

Photo of Duster72
3.61/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper color with some sediment and two finger head that leaves little lacing. Aroma is floral hops up front with a subtle malt backbone. Taste is a blend of floral and pine hops with just enough sweetness from the malts to keep it from being too bitter. Exceptionally creamy mouthfeel lends to esay drinkability. Bitters hang around for a nicely pronounced aftertaste.

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%

A respectable toasted malt foundation is a welcome deviation from what's typical for this style. Woody, dried floral bittering hops are still featured, but also nicely balanced. A beer to be slowly consumed and enjoyed rather than quaffed rather quickly for refreshment.

Photo of merlin48
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Another find from across the Ohio River in Evansville, Indiana. This pours a hazed, apricot body with a small offwhite head that retains well and leaves some delicate spiderweb lacing.

Aroma features some distinctive butterscotch and caramel maltiness, backed by an inviting hops profile of red apples and floral herbs.

Mouthfeel is light medium, with suitable moderate carbonation.

Taste begins with floral and herbal hops bitterness that is best described as lavender and apple blossom. Caramel malt sweetness is a solid backbone. Tastes like a good English ESB, with notes of pear and golden apple. Nice!

Well crafted and very suggestive of a fine English ESB. Very sessionable with the moderate abv.

Photo of Billolick
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer with "best by 7/9/08" dating on the rear label. Pours clear, dark orange amber, minor off white head, with initially equally minor lace. A vigorous swirl leaves behind nicely scattered sticky lacing. Nose is lightly of some hops and mild malts. Pleasant enough stuff. Decent bitter. Hop/malt fairly balanced and pleasant enough, would work as a respectable if unexciting sessioner.

Photo of Osiris9588
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, best by 1/12/07. Pours a light bronze with golen overtones. The head is two finger, off-white and rather creamy. Shows decent retention and some sporadic lacing.

The aroma is of hops, spice, lemon peel, malt, some pine and grass. The flavor features some light malt, some citrus, then a pretty healthy dose of hops, and a piney, herbal qulity on the finish.

The mouth is medum-bodied with decent carbonation. It's not very complex, kind of a one trick pony with the hops. I could drink this all night, because I like the style, but I don't think it's an exceptional representation of it. It's not even all that bitter, considering its name.

Overll it's a very solid, enjoyable brew, as I've found most from Two Brothers to be.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Equal parts orange and amber. Leaves a little bit of lace. Good hop and bitter aroma, not overpowering, but a lil jacked up for style.

Taste, very flavorful, a good astringent bitterness to it, but without solely using bittering hops, there seems to be a decent amount of dry and flavor hopping as well. Lemongrass flavor comes out, hope it isn't psychosomatic from the yellow bottle.

Easy enough to drink, unless you really don't like your pales bitter. Great name, I like the brewery, just with they had better distribution.

Photo of ADR
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear amber, good head of 1/2 inch of medium-bubbled head. Definitely a hoppy aroma. Very grapefruit flavor, flies close to an I.P.A. -- like a Three Floyd's Alpha King or a Summit A.P.A. does. The quality and richness of the malt, in contrast to the hops, is a little lost in the flavor. That and the light mouthfeel don't make it distinctive enough to call the brew really well balanced. I can drink beers like this in quantity, but my evaluation overall place this as closer to the heavy hop "end members" in the American Pale Ale scene.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.12/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

There seems to be carbonation issues off the bat with minimal head and fine speckled lacing, a clouded amber body . Aroma pungent pine and citrus hops with some turning of the hop profile going on. Semis sweet tones with caramel and malt blanketed with hops on the tongue and palate. Strong ample bitterness makes you forget about the rest of the beer's profile. Mouthfeel is medium bodied slightly slick with hop oils, carbonation is mellow maybe too much so. Drinkability overall is weak due to carbonation issues and slightly stale hop character I'll have to try more bottles to compare it to.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- clear golden orangish body with a good number of tiny bubbles and a big soapy head that last and last.

S- Rich hop aroma with citrus hops, floral hops and a slight hint of pale malt.

T- big chewy hop taste. citrus hops but with more depth. a slight resiny hoppiness that taste just a bit like very faint mint but in a good way. the malt at the finish is very light and gentle.

M- medium light body with a hint of fizziness. No astringency or alcohol warmth. Very gentle.

D- The malt is hiding in the background but it sets up a wonderful base for the diverse hops flavors. Very nice beer with good complexity and balance.

Photo of pwoods
2.13/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz. brown bottle, purchased at Jungle Jim's, poured into a pint. Best by 1/31/08.

A: Huge carbonation crack when opening... and the easy pour was 100% foam... no liquid whatsoever. That's 2 beers today like that... different storage conditions, too. Takes 10 minutes to fully pour it. Deeper amber than expected. Lots of retention yet little lacing.

S: Crisp citrus hops. That's about it.

T/M: Light citrus hop taste and bitterness. Most of the taste is a combo of wet cardboard and styrofoam. I guess the bottle really is bad. The other brew that was fizzy like this didn't have the taste, though.

D: I'll have to review this one again sometime. If it's the same, then I can't recommend this one.

Photo of Brenden
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color is a pure clear copper. A white head pours at about two to three fingers and the thick foam sticks around the whole way, leaving small patches of sticky lacing.
The smell is pure, clean hops with a nice grapefruit and pine aroma. It's got a little citrus zest in it and a malty sweet backing under the hops.
The flavor is a very nice mix of raw hops (grapefruit and pine again coming through strongly), underlying malts, and zesty citrus. This one's very bright and herbal, woody notes adds the the multidimensionality. The finish is dry and lingers for a bit.
The mouthfeel is crisp and has a very nice smoothness to it as well. Body is light to medium with moderate carbonation.
This one's balanced, with a nice raw hops flavor, pure and clean. It's worth trying for yourself.

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two Brothers- Pale Ale

A- Dark clear copper brown with a small light lacing head.
S- Caramel malt and toasty bread crust grain.
T- Thick sweet grainy malt, bread crust, sunflower seeeds, caramel, pine citrus hops.
M- Thick sweet malt, rainy, smooth pine citrus hop finish.

Overall- Very smooth, clean, and crisp. Solid.

Photo of diego
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light amber color with hints of pink and red. Straw colored head that sticks around. Floral acidic smell. This is a hopped-up beer to be sure. But, it isn’t as offensively bitter as the name suggests. It goes down nice. I’m glad I have a few more of these sticking around. This brewery is growing on me.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears to be a cloudy copper gold color, many bubbles, very active with a n average size white head.

Smells of grains, wheat and an overall herbal hop scent with the malt not to far behind.

Taste's include a hearty wheat and slightly fruity bitter hop flavor that is very well balanced out with some mild malt that seems to be just right for the style. This is a very multi-hopped tasting Pale indeed with a bit more bitterness than usual.

Feels very crisp and clean that really seems to pop on the palate. It also displays a rather heavy and thick feel for this this style, it really lets you know it's there.

Very easy to drink, and I enjoy the array of hop flavors in this one.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mnwags for this one...my first Two Brothers beer, sent by a blood brother, no less. Cheers Nnnick!

Pours a shiny copper color with red tinting, no haze at all, total clarity. Foamy head of small, tight bubbles, pretty decent retention. Little bits of lace only. Looks the part, basically.

Aroma is a balance between toasty malt, citrus hops and a dash of cinnamon. Light mineral quality to it, but in a good way. Good, if mellow and unassuming.

Light metallic flash on the palate opens to a more bitter, grassy flavor, which is then overtaken by something like sugar cookie dough, although not all that sweet. Nearly astringent bitterness in the finish, as the malt totally dies away. No staying power in the finish. Basically good flavor, but lacking a certain je ne sais quoi.

While carbonation is present, there's a smoothness to the beer that nearly veers toward flatness. There's a buttery roundness I like, I just wonder if it works for this beer style? Then again, it's incredibly close to the kind of smoothness you find on tap, so in that respect I'm impressed. Ultimately not sure how to score the feel, but it definitely grew on me and became the beer's most enjoyable facet.

Some good stuff going on here, but the entirety of the flavor is a tad indistinct. The taste doesn't really last, other than the bitterness...so I guess the beer has the right name, although just a bit more oomph would've done the trick. Not a mindblower, but don't forget: "B" means "good"!

Photo of chuckpalka
3.41/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I had this at the Brewery in Warrenville. A nice clear copper color with a thin head and no carbonation. I got a slight floral smell and a bit of tartness in taste with a slight bitter finish. A perfectly named brew. Ok lacing. I can't say it was great but I can't knock it either.

Photo of cokes
4.44/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very solid APA.
Pours an amber body with a thin off-white edge of a head. It sticks around and leaves some nice lacework.
Smells beautiful. Hoppy with pine and citric notes. So fresh! I wish I could get a Bitter End air freshener!
Carmel malts and resinous hops battle for control. Ends in a draw, and it is pretty well balanced. Not as complex or hugely hoppy as the smell would indicate, but quite tasty nonetheless.
Creamy and smooth in the mouth. Maybe a hair on the thin/watery side. Minor complaint..still lovely to drink.
One of the better APA's I have had in recent memory.

Many thanks to Mr Bighuge.

Photo of Sammy
3.79/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hoppy and scotch aroma, 3 hops and at least two of the Cs. Light, caramel, pleasant bitterness/spicy bite, lace. Not much head in glass. It's a attempt at a good American pale, maybe if more hoppy. Drying metalic finish. Drinkable but passable.
Five years later, had it again, creamy and bitter, a little stringent and while 3/8 inch hrad, medium yellow.

Photo of pmcadamis
4.21/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Says best by 04/02/06...it's now 10/3/06. We'll see what happens.

Bronze brew with a very small, brief head and some very transparent lacing.

This one smells pretty good! Not skunky at all....looks like it might be ok despite the age. Very hoppy and lively with a very strong mandarin orange / orange soft-drink scent playing the lead role. Smells refreshing and interesting

Very sweet and pleasant with less hops than I would have guessed based on the smell. Initial sweetness has a definite orange soft-drink taste, follwed by some good bitter notes and a somewhat dry finish.

This is and interesting and unique bitter that would prove very very quaffable if I had more than one. Sadly I don't. Crap.

Photo of secondtooth
4.23/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy amber, with a thick and rich head of tan bubbles. Spectacular lace. Definite points on presentation.

A nice, sweet, and floral/citrus hops aroma immediately permeates the air around this one. Certainly a promising opening!

Tastewise, it's a smooth and hoppy character with a well-balanced malty presence that counteracts the more acidic and bitter elements that other pale ales exhibit. Smooth finish, too.

A standout, and a fine example of the style. Highly enjoyable.

to view more.
The Bitter End Pale Ale from Two Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 733 ratings.