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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

627 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 627
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: 627 | Reviews: 298 | Show All Ratings:
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 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
Photo of morebeergood


3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Remy's Fenway before the Sox/Cubs game on Sunday. Served in a standard pint glass. Nice golden sunshine colored body. Moderate carbonation, and a little lacing. Smell had a nice honey and malt aroma. Taste was very appealing. Very mild taste of fruit, like apples and grapes, balanced well with just enough malt in the back. Surprisingly though, not a lot of hops present here. Would have categorized this as more of a golden ale. Still, very smooth on the palate and quite drinkable. This may be my new drink of choice near Fenway, replacing GI Honkers Ale as my pre-game libation.

Serving type: on-tap

05-23-2011 23:43:26 | More by morebeergood
Photo of wcintula

New York

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

Not your run of the mill APA, as the look would suggest. Orange/copper body, with a thin cream colored head to cap it off. Strong smells of cascade hops and some caramel malt. Nice and bitter, all the way through. Very grapefruit reminiscent with a fair malt backbone. Nice and strong on the flavor with as full body as you can ask for from a pale ale.

Serving type: on-tap

04-08-2011 19:27:40 | More by wcintula
Photo of JTahoe


3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice look, very pleasing to the nose with malty grains and mellow pine. very smooth and clean drinking APA...a great regional variation, though not too bitter as the name implies. the bitterness does show way back on the finish. fairly subtle, but not to say weak. I dig this...sessions!

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2011 23:42:45 | More by JTahoe
Photo of Thorpe429


4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours golden with a white head. The nose brings some earthy spice and a bit of some herbal characteristics. Really light grain and a bit of caramel. The taste is slightly bitter with some floral and earthy characteristics. Light and slightly dry with good carbonation. Drinks quite well, although not as sessionable as it could be.

Serving type: on-tap

10-24-2010 01:42:56 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of jrallen34


3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at the brew pub as part of a sampler and the tour guide recommend this as his favorite beer and the brothers father's favorite beer. All I can say is really? Its decent but lets get realistic fellas....A very light but clear copper, very good retention, even better lacing...The aroma is super nice and balanced, malty caramel on the front with an awesome slightly grass and floral and strong hops, the hops really make this aroma nice. Light lemon citrus on the back...The taste is a big let down from the aroma. Its very similar to an esb, way to dominated by malt caramel, then a very bitter pine finish. Get rid of the malt and this might really be good.

Worth a shot, especially if you like esbs.

Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2010 21:06:47 | More by jrallen34
Photo of

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

Served in a pint glass at the brewpub.

Dark in appearance with a small, moderately sticky head. Smells and tastes aggressively hopped, with grapefruit rind and kiwi. Some dark fruit flavors come in but are clearly in the background. A good amount of carbonation gave this a very nice mouthfeel and drinkability, slightly pop-like. Good on a hot, sticky day.

Serving type: on-tap

06-11-2010 20:25:14 | More by
Photo of BigBry

Alberta (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Lodge, Chicago - Happy Hour, all domestics $4.
Pours golden-orange in color, one inch of thick head with nice retention and lacing. Citrus and flowery hop aroma. Mildly bitter, crisp hoppiness. Citrus, fruity, a bit grassy. Some malt notes, but not alot of sweetness. Clean and crisp, dry finish.
A nice sessional, easy drinking beer. Not great, but a good solid APA.

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2010 22:25:46 | More by BigBry
Photo of Pahn

New York

3.3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Stag's Head, NYC. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy copper, with minimal head and a few streaks of lacing.

Smell: Weak malt, and nothing else.

Taste: Nice, mild hop and malt balance. The hops have a nice bite, but almost no character. There's a mild toasted flavor, with some vague fruit (apple?). Pleasant malt aftertaste. Not very bitter, not that sweet (maybe a bit too sweet, but only a bit).

Really, I thought the taste was bland and I was utterly unimpressed, but perhaps its the style and not this instantiation that is too bland for me, so I'm not rating it too low.

Mouthfeel: Decent carbonation, but a bit a watery.

Drinkability: Pretty good. Maybe it would go well with food... On its own, it's hard for me to say that it's very drinkable, since the flavor is so muddy and characterless. Water has high drinkability, but if beer is like water, is it thus drinkable?


I didn't like this beer at all. Perhaps I am not the one to review American pale ales... but I enjoy a good malt / hop balance as much as the next guy. I didn't see anything in this beer to suggest it. As a note, this was my first beer of the day, and I hadn't eaten all day, so it's not like my palate was fried or anything. Honestly, I wanted to like this beer more than I did, but it didn't particularly seem to want me to like it.

Serving type: on-tap

12-26-2009 08:28:43 | More by Pahn
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-15-2009 23:07:57 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of Florida9


2.93/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank this at 2 Brothers tap house. This was my second beer. First was the Heavy Handed which was, by far, the superior beer.

Served in a pint glass. Arrived with a thin layer of head. No lacing.

Color is bronze-golden and clear.

Virtually no aroma as far as I could tell, though I will admit the taphouse itself has a distinctive bacony aroma to it, which was not by any means unpleasant.

After the Heavy Handed, this beer tasted weak. A little bit of malt and then finishing with a good dose of bitterness. However, aside from the bitterness, there was a distinct lack of hop flavor for an PA.

Overall, a thin-ish, everyday, average pale ale. Not offensive, but lacking character of it's own. Couldn't see drinking it if there were better beers available. I must confess, I believe drinking the Heavy Handed first ruined me on this beer and I would like to give it another chance.

Serving type: on-tap

02-27-2009 02:21:16 | More by Florida9
Photo of adamette


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

On tap about 45 minutes ago at La Cave du Vin in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Learned about this place here on BA. This was one of the 6 or so beers they had on tap there. Served in a clean, clear pint glass.

A Generous but short lived white head supported by a cloudy, pale orange but mostly translucent body.

S Some hops but also maybe some citrus and fruitiness.

T Bitter hops were my first taste but that quickly took its proper place in the overall taste which I think is well balanced by grains, some citrusy malt. I think this is a well balanced pale ale.

M Light but with some hops bitterness that keeps if from being anywhere near too light. Mouthfeel was very good for the style.

D Good. I could have a few of these for sure.

Notes: An enjoyable minimally hoppy beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2008 23:47:55 | More by adamette
Photo of supercolter


3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is rather bland, pretty pale and no real head or lacing. Smell and taste are nearly identical, with some slight citrusy fruit up front and slight hops at the back end. The two complement each other pretty well. Mouthfeel is light to medium in body which is a bit thicker than the other bitters I've had. Drinkability is pretty good, finishes easy and doesn't leave a lot of skunk in the back of your throat.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2008 23:56:55 | More by supercolter
Photo of Larrytown


3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It pours light orange-brown with tons of lacing lasting throughout the drink. The smell is pretty straightforward: some hops, maybe some biscuit but that might be my imagination.

I was confused when I took my first sip since the bar's menu described it as an APA. My initial impression was of an ESB so I'm glad to see that I wasn't way off base. It's got all of the characteristics of a bitter, but it never quite comes together. It's all present, but they don't interact with each other or counteract each other in any interesting way. The mouthfeel is smooth, which works reasonably well for the beer.

Nothing wrong with this one, but I probably won't have it again.

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2008 22:29:50 | More by Larrytown
Photo of MuddyFeet

North Carolina

3.08/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Enjoyed over lunch at Redbones with WarriorSoul a few days back.

Poured a cloudy gold that almost seemed to glow when held up to the light. Thin head that disappeared altogether.

The nose was hops. But they came across as muted.

The flavor was not as bursty hops as I expected for the style. The hops came across as more flat and old. ade me think of the compost heap of ratting grass where I had to dump nthe lawn clippings when I was younger.

Mouthfeel was kind of what I imagined you would sqeeze out of a wet sponge. Kind of thick feeling but very watery. Medium body, but I really thought there were things floating around in there.

Serving type: on-tap

10-09-2005 14:34:31 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of Redrover


4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a 1/6-barrel for the home kegerator. Poured into an Imperial pint glass, the beer is a burnished bronze with a dense off-white head. Very nice lace patterns.

The aroma is of hops (citrus & pine notes), some malty grain and a bit of fruit (apple).

The taste is tart and refreshing. Lots of good bitterness with a sharp citrus undertone. Some fruit (apple again) and more than a dash of malts. Beer seems fairly well balanced. The only thing that keeps the score from moving up is that a very slight chalkiness emerges ¾ of the way through. Still a nice brisk beer.

The mouth feel is soft & creamy. Drinkablity is high. This is a good session beer & I’m glad I invested in a keg! Beer is decent with most food (except perhaps tomato based sauces) and holds up well to spicy dishes.

All-in-all I’m very pleased with this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2005 19:02:33 | More by Redrover
Photo of Jon


3.13/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

After trying this in the bottle and being quite disappointed, I decided to give the draught version a try. From the tap, it poured a golden hue with a sturdy head leaving minor lace down the glass. The nose was of subdued floral hops and just the slightest hint of caramel malt. Taste-wise, nothing exciting is going on here. While the hops and malt profiles are fairly well balanced, neither are pronounced. The Bitter End? Where are the hops? Drinkability is pretty good, though, all things considered. This would make for a fine session ale, but what's in a name after all? In this case, not much, and far from my favorite brew from Two Brothers.

Serving type: on-tap

08-18-2003 05:31:28 | More by Jon
Photo of jaz


3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pulled clear deep golden with a huge head. Aroma was mild and sweet. The taste was instant bitterness with a little sweetness at the start, fruity in the middle and a sharp bitter finish. I was a little disappointed by the somewhat watery mouthfeel. The lace on the glass also disappeared very quickly. However, the bitter-sweetness of this beer made it very appealing.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2003 10:37:15 | More by jaz
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 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
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The Bitter End Pale Ale from Two Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 627 ratings.