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The Bitter End Pale Ale - Two Brothers Brewing Company

The Bitter End Pale AleThe Bitter End Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

626 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 626
Reviews: 298
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 11.73%

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:
13.5 Plato and 30 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-14-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 626 | Reviews: 298 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of superspak


3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 1/12/2014. Pours moderately cloudy golden orange color with a 2 finger dense off white head with good retention that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of tangerine, grapefruit, lemon zest, orange zest, toast, biscuit, light caramel, floral, grass, and floral earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop and malt notes; with good strength. Taste of tangerine, grapefruit, lemon zest, orange zest, floral, grass, toast, biscuit, light caramel, light pine, and floral/toasted earthiness. Light floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of tangerine, grapefruit, orange/lemon zest, floral, grass, toast, biscuit, light caramel, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of hop and malt flavors; with a great hop/malt balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with no warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice pale ale. All around good balance, complexity, and robustness of hop and malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 21:50:56 | More by superspak
Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ


3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Copper colored with minimal Head, I really like the look of this in the glass

S: citrusy and floral smell, can smell the hop fragrance nicely, not too overpowering

T: moderate bitterness, I liked that there was a nice malt presence to coincide with the bitterness. Too often there’s usually a tradeoff between one and the other. Fruit and floral notes come through.

O: At 30 IBU it’s not an “extreme” IPA and it’s not trying to be. I like this beer if I want to have a few and don’t feel like being overwhelmed. It has a nice palate and a balanced flavor that I can appreciate. In the end, I would take a Domaine DuPage from the Two Brother’s Brewery over this one, it is only a few IBUs less and has a ton of flavor and character, but I still recommend this one as well.


Serving type: on-tap

01-20-2014 15:44:03 | More by BeerandWhiskeyHQ
Photo of Hergestridge


3.76/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The Bitter End Pale Ale is very good and one of the best American Ales I've enjoyed.
The bitterness is good without being "sour" . The mouth feel is cool with a slight floral taste. Well done and Bravo, Two Brothers! You do Illinois Proud!

edit: after trying numerous IPA's.. Needed to Bump Up 2 Bros. :) Thank you 2 bros.!!!!
Carry on Citizens!

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2013 17:12:15 | More by Hergestridge
Photo of mrchrisray

New York

4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

not much head, not much retention but ok lacing. looks like champaign...it is very bubbly.

smells sweet, with a little hops and some roasty malts.

hoppy but not bitter, malty, caramely, and roasted. very smooth.

really good, very carbonated and not in a bad way. not too light or too heavy, just a good every day drinking apa that is above the fold.


Serving type: bottle

08-15-2013 01:44:54 | More by mrchrisray
Photo of tut2528


3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a light brown golden body with moderate transparency. it creates a thin 1/2 fingers worth of head formation that is just slightly off-white in color.

S: nice piney hops right up front with a solid sweet malt backbone. some minor notes of citrus orange peel and grapefruit. not much complexity, but i really enjoy the balance.

T: not complex by any means, but wonderful balance between a nice hop profile, a light and sweet caramel backbone, and a nice crisp finish. some touches of tropical fruits in their as well.

M: light on the tongue, leaves a light sweetness of malty caramel and just a tinge of hops on the palate.

O: highly drinkable beer and actually quite enjoyable. as already stated, its not complex but it has a terrific balance in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2013 00:24:57 | More by tut2528
Photo of JoEBoBpr


3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

Pours a slightly clear and translucent strong copper color with some gold edges. There is a nice dense egg shell white head that forms that is about 1 inch tall. The head is quite sticky and has great retention. Seemingly holding on for dear life while leaving some nice lacing.

Aroma of bread and pale malts dominate the forefront. There is a nice slight grassy and citrus hop element to the middle of the brew. After which a nice earthy grain note comes back to balance that aroma out. There is some slight caramel sweetness mixed in there but mostly there is that nice clean and bready malt flavor.

Flavor is typical to more traditional APAs. Bready, biscuity malt notes start things of while a quick punch of citrus hops comes up to balance the sweetness. The hops are quite subdued and don't take center stage but in fact help to bring balance and completeness to the brew and the more malty and earthy bread notes. The nice sharp citrus notes and bitterness play very well with the malt sweetness and there is a nice creamy yet light body to the brew.

Pretty standard and good APA. Nice balance of flavors and well-crafted.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2013 19:40:40 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of themind

New Jersey

4.06/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At first the aroma was weak to me but one sip of this brew told me it was more. The beer pours a small head with decent carbonation to it. For a Pale Ale this beer rocks in the flavor department. Again I am surprised that this is not rated higher. I recommend this beer for Pale Ale lovers.

Bottom Line: A very good Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2013 23:03:31 | More by themind
Photo of mvanaskie13


3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a sam adams glass, color is bright, transparent copper, head presents at 1/4 inch thick but dissipates quickly, leaving some nice lacing.

Smell is lightly toasted malt blended with some simple hop notes, citrus the prominent note.

Taste is more bready than expected from the smell, lighter toast flavors more biscuit, solid bitter flavors, hop flavors are clean, mostly on the citrus and bittering flavor profile.

Mouthfeel is pretty spot on for a pale ale, crisp, refreshing, some lingering malt sweetness.

Overall a very solid pale ale, really like the light biscuit notes, a little crisper in carbonation but not a big knock.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2013 00:39:47 | More by mvanaskie13
Photo of emerge077


3.45/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

One of those ubiquitous beers that I never got around to reviewing until now for some reason. Poured into a mug with a frothy head of soapy foam. Lots of lace in the glass and lasting head retention. Bright clarity, deep orange hue.

Caramel malt sweetness with a little tiny bit of dried orange peel and funky yeast aroma.

Flavors are similar, caramel malt is a little tired out, mild to moderate bitterness after a bigger sip. Light to medium bodied, average carbonation, lingering grassy bitterness in the aftertaste. This is a passable beer, pretty standard for the style, not especially hoppy or unique.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2013 04:18:25 | More by emerge077
Photo of TheSSG


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

Pours a nice, dense, resiny head that is persistent and creates nice lacing. Nice aroma is dominated by an orange rind hop aroma, with a backing of malt. Golden-straw color with a touch or an amber-honey. Starts off with a nice grapefruit hop flavor, surprisingly not-too-bitter (for the hop aroma/flavor), though. This builds into a medium bitterness, with malt breaking through after the bitterness peaks. I detect a quick, actually pleasant metallic flash (so fast, you'll probably miss it) as this transition occurs (first time I can recall feeling that way about a metallic flavor). As you sip it, and it warms, there is a more noticeable pine aspect to the hops.

Overall, a well done Pale Ale.
I, always, have a preference for the aromatic Pales, and this one is aromatic enough to make me content. A good hop flavor, and I love that it's not overly bitter; a textbook definition for a winning Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 02:39:42 | More by TheSSG
Photo of rlee1390


3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Clear ruby orange, some carbonation, one finger head that lingers.

S-Malt, more than I'd like, caramel, dirt and grass.

T-Starts with malt, caramel, the finish has some dirt/grass. Not much bitterness at all, is sweet though.

M-Light to medium bodied, not much carbonation, a few hop resins.

O-Too malty. An APA should not have that much malt. (Best by was in January)

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 01:51:23 | More by rlee1390
Photo of jtierney89

New Jersey

2.65/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Semi hazed tarnished orange. Big sticky and craggy mountainous head with an aggressive pour. Really sticky lacing. Sweet mixed fruit bowl on the nose. Good mix of malt and hop smells are detectable.

Reminds me of english ipa more than an american one. Very malt forward with a fresh soft biscuit like taste. Sweet breads are balanced by an underlying bitterness. Hops lend more to balance than flavor. Thins out on the finish. Interesting, very malty but has a bitterness too it. Not crazy about it.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2012 03:38:56 | More by jtierney89
Photo of BierStein711


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

Typical for the style.

This is a blah beer from a good brewery

Two finger head, burnt orange body

Not a great one, but not too bad.

Aroma: hop and malt

Taste piney, hempy, and malty

Very herbal at the finish

Overall, the mouthfeel is typical to the style as well.

Ok beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2012 19:18:11 | More by BierStein711
Photo of cpetrone84


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

The pour is light copperish amber with a white head and some larger bubbles. Nose is a fair amount of orange citrus and resinous hop. Taste is hop forward, apricot and citrus, lightly resinous, syrupy body and light carbonation. Finish is a touch flat.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2012 13:04:25 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of tlazaroff


3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Odd to say about an IPA but there is a nice solid caramel backbone on this beer reminiscent of an 80-shilling ale. On top of the obvious caramel, there are light fruit esters blanketed with a faint earthiness. Its hard to ignore the obvious malt character in the aroma of this beer. It doesn't smell like a pale ale, but it's a very good aroma, so I give it high marks.

To the eye, The Bitter End is a clear dark orange color with a beautiful stream of carbonation bubbles rising to the top. The head is a tan color, but doesn't last long and falls quickly into the beer. Decent lacing too, Its a pretty beer.

Steady bitterness throughout, despite what you think is coming from the aroma, it's bitter. Flavors are a bit of a muddled variety of peach, nectarine, apricot, and caramel. It's an interesting beer, it's not a hop-forward pale ale which I think is what I've come to expect these days. It's slick in texture with low carbonation and a medium body. It's a good beer, just not what I was expecting.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2012 00:51:13 | More by tlazaroff
Photo of TTAmod


3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12. oz bottle poured into pint.

A: Nice, bright slightly opaque orange amber color. Sizable white head with good retention.

S: Uhh...is this the right beer? Smells overly Belgian. I pick up a load of Belgian yeast and sugars, sharp malt, grass, lemon and honey.

A: Tastes Belgian throughout most of the drink. I even taste Brett, crazily enough. Get hints of lemon and grass, as well. There is a bit of citrus, bitter hops at the very end, but it doesn't end dry at all.

M: Mouthfeel is actually very nice. Creamy, almost light bodied, nice tingling from the carbonation.

O: I'm not sure what they were going for here...maybe BeerAdvocate misclassifies this one as an APA? If Two Brothers was going for a BPA, then I'd say they hit the mark damn well. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2012 00:52:34 | More by TTAmod
Photo of dmfrench


3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thin, overly carbonated forgettable bitter, fruity APA

A: Clear light copper/orange body with a somewhat persistent one finger off white head.

S: Nice mix of resinous, dusty, and spicy hops, sweet apricot, and caramel malt

T: Not horrible, but quite a letdown after the beautiful nose. Very top heavy with potent embittering hops, mostly of the resinous variety, but the fruit and malt are all but missing, possibly masked by excess carbonation, which also gives a slightly metallic taste.

M: Excessive carbonation and a bit thin.

O: Drinkable, but would not seek it out.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2012 02:16:30 | More by dmfrench
Photo of vfgccp

New York

3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice looking beer, great for an APA. Amber gold body. Creamy off-white head has great retention and lace.

S - Nice nose, but relatively soft. Orange, coriander, and a touch of pine.

T - Delicious. Bright, clean pine hop flavor with a light malt and mineral backbone.

M - Light, easy drinking frame. Medium light. Carbonation.

O - A nice APA with a great pine flavor profile.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2012 22:31:49 | More by vfgccp
Photo of TheHoppiest


3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a mug. Pours a copper-amber color, slightly hazy, with a 3/4" off-white head that leaves a decent amount of lacing as it reduces. A "best by" stamp indicates this should be consumed by 8/29/12. The bottle promises, "At the end of every glass you will discover how this pale ale got its name."

Has a grassy, honey aroma, with orange blossom, hints of bitter hops, white grapefruit, and husked wheat.

Thin malt, lemon-herb, fresh grass, hints of tobacco, and a fair amount of oak leaf combine with a hopped-finish that is dry and bitter.

Mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied, starting soft, and finishing with a dry tang on the tongue that intensifies as I get further into this brew.

A decent pale-ale, is a little more herby and lemony than I prefer. It's almost like this is a saison-APA mix, at perhaps 20/80, but enough to give it that farmhouse quality. Worth a try, but not one I'll search out again.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2012 00:58:19 | More by TheHoppiest
Photo of jaasen64


3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from 6-pack

A- Slightly brownish gold, hazy especially towards top half of beer. Very thin head that leaves layered lacing. Above average carbonation.

S- Slightly sweet caramel malts, definitely maltier then your average pale ale, hops, a little bit of citrus.

T- The most dominate flavor is definitely malts, slightly sweet caramel, a little bit of hops, definitely a bitter and slightly sweet/tangy finish (hence the name).

M- Medium bodied, slightly creamy, a little bit above average carbonation, goes down smoothly.

O- I thought this was a good pale ale that is a little bit different then your average pale ale. It had a nice balance between the sweet malts, citrus notes, and hops. The bitter finish definitely adds a little bit of uniqueness that you don't get with most pale ales which makes this stand out.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2012 00:30:05 | More by jaasen64
Photo of Lawl3ss


3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled 12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip pint glass. Best before date on bottle reads 5.12.12.

Look- Crystal-clear pale amber with a two-finger head that stuck around for a few minutes, leaving plenty of sticky lace as it settled to a respectable film. No visible carbonation.

Smell- Sweet tangerine, light pine, and something vaguely woody. Swirling brings out a hint of grass and a stronger graham cracker-like aroma. Nice, if subtle. Fairly sweet.

Taste- Surprisingly malty, it caught me off guard even after reading the bottle. Subtle lemon and grass start it off, teaming up with graham cracker malt not long after and carrying through to the end. Finish is exceptionally clean, with only the vaguest hint of lingering bitterness and buttery crackers. Like the nose, it's tastefully restrained. The more I drink, the more it grows on me. Not a hop-head's APA.

Mouthfeel- Medium-bodied, light carbonation. Comes off as smooth and refreshing. Quite easy drinking- makes me wish I'd picked up two (or six, or twelve.... you get the picture.)

Overall- Pretty good, but it's not going to knock your socks off (unless light malt-forward APAs are reeaaaaly your thing.) That being said, I'd definitely pick it up once in a while if it was available in my area.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2012 06:01:03 | More by Lawl3ss
Photo of micromaniac129


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

Pours an bright and clear golden amber. It has a small off white head. Carbonation is guite light. Beer looks medicore in appearance. Aroma on the other hand is fantastic. It has a wonderful hop bouquet thats smells fresh and lively. Hard to pin down an exact scent though. Sweet pale malts and a bit of yeast. The aroma is really the best part of the beer. Taste is thin and light and lacks flavor. Hops and malts are balanced but have a sort of watered down taste. Bitter end has a medium feel and is smooth going down. Overall the beer drinks well, it has a wonderful aroma and is easy drinking, but it looks and taste like it was watered down.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 12:45:14 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of DrDemento456


3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Yet another two Brothers beer I got from halftimebeverages.com

A - A nice light amber brown, a touch hazy with a solid inch of sticky white head.

S - Biscuit and pale malts, touch of honey and some good citrus hops.

T - I like the bread malts in this. Almost like a light wheat taste with a touch of gram cracker honey flavor. Then comes the hops mild but inviting and finishes sweet. Tasty.

M - Light to medium a very good Pale ale.

Overall This is one of the better takes on the style with no overbearing bitterness or too much pale malt giving it a sort of skunk flavor. Would get again if I could.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 00:32:14 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of Treebs


3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle served in a Great Lakes Brewing shaker pint. Best by date of 2/19/2012.

A: Pours a nice amber color with solid golden edges. A one and a half finger head forms on the pour that sticks around for quite sometime and leaves some nice cascades of lace.

S: The smell is that of a typical APA. Pale biscuit malts, some light citrus zest and dried rinds with a little bit of grassy, hay-like hops.

T: The is spot on with some bready malts, lemon zest, grassy hops and a subtle sweetness on the finish.

M: Medium to light bodied with a nice lively carbonation. I would like the flavors to linger around a tad longer, but it's hard to ask that from an APA.

O: This was probably the most balanced beer I've had from Two Brothers and overall the most solid. It was refreshing and it had a nice drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2012 14:54:51 | More by Treebs
Photo of StJamesGate

New York

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

On tap at The Ginger Man, NYC.

Pale bright orange with sheeting film. Very light orange cookie nose.
Cookie dough, a bit of salt, and light orange hops.
Crisp, light, round.

Drinkable to a fault. More like an English blonde, but doesn’t have the body or citrus to be called an APA. Forgettable.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2012 15:44:21 | More by StJamesGate
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The Bitter End Pale Ale from Two Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 626 ratings.