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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 argock


4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-cask from beer engine into a clear imperial pint glass at Clark Street Ale House (Chicago, IL).

A: Burnished amber with tightly bubbled, 1-2 finger maple-wood colored head with great retention and nice caking of lace down the imperial.

S: Citrus and pine sap are understated but present, and the maltiness is strikingly nicely complementary with a nice kick of toffee-caramel and some biscuity elements.

T: A really nicely drinkable pale ale which, but for the slight citrus components could go for an English IPA on cask like this. The citrus and pine meet more herbal, grassy flavors and the maltiness again brings wonderful balance with nice toffee, caramel, and a little crackery-biscuit to the mix.

M: The cask delivery is a great way to give this brew a whirl -- smooth and layering on the palate with a nice crispness despite the low carbonation.

O: A real highlight of the night, a surprising pale ale which packs a lot of complexity and a brew I would try again on cask given the chance.

Serving type: cask

05-08-2011 20:58:44 | More by argock
Photo of BeerFMAndy


4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

4 oz cask pour into a small tasting pint at the Two Brothers Tap House in Warrenville, IL.

A - Appears with a large pile of frothy whit head with moderate retention and bits of lace left on the glass. Lightly hazy golden yellow beer was left a little lonely.

S - Citrus and pine hop resin aroma bursts from the hand-pumped cask pour. It seems very aroma hopped late in the boil. A nicely balanced malt backbone appears but doesn't steal from the hop showcase of the nose.

T - Smooth caramel malt blends well with a nicely balanced mild hop flavor of pine and resin showing it is truly more about the aroma and balance than the big hop flavor.

M - Smooth and creamy served perfectly at cask temperature around 55° to 60°F. The nice medium body had a fantastic feel to it.

D - Good drinkability, The Bitter End wasn't all too bitter but well-balanced and served properly. It would do well in an English pub methinks.

Serving type: cask

07-17-2010 22:20:04 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of donniecuffs

New Jersey

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

Poured amber into an American pint glass, with no carbonation and very little head. The aroma consisted of biscuit, pine, and bitter hops, while the taste was less pleasant. It started on a hoppy note, then dissolved to a sickeningly sweet molasses-type flavor, mixed with hints of biscuit, and then finishes on a dry hop bitter note. Sounds like a nice progression, but in reality it was a little disjointed, and the sweetness mid-palate was unbearable. Medium-bodied, and smooth on the palate; this could be a decent session beer for someone...just not me.

Serving type: cask

12-08-2009 04:50:49 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of tronester


4.75/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the Maproom 7/9/2009

Served in an Imperial Pint glass, around 55 degrees F. Orange/brown in appearance, with a fluffy off-white head. Smells faintly of grain and british yeast. Taste is bready, toasted malt, nice earthy hops, but a hint of citrus as well in the finish. Super velvety mouthfeel. Nice low carbonation levels that tickle the tongue. Crazy drinkability, this is a fantastic beer on cask. Takes me back to England and its cask ales. HIGHLY recommended on cask.

Serving type: cask

07-10-2009 21:43:42 | More by tronester
Photo of BBM

New York

3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Serving type: cask

07-29-2008 21:23:39 | More by BBM
Photo of Biggness

New York

4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this cask this evening @ Once & for all in Patchogue. This cask poured a dark amber with a very minimal white head. The smell was nice with the main thing I caught was hops. The tast was very pleasant, on cask this is a wonderful beer, I have never had it on tap or in bottle. It was beautifully meshed betwwen the bitter hops flavor with the wonderful malt flavor. This beer was quite comfotrable in my mouth and it is something I could see myself drinking all night

Serving type: cask

07-17-2008 23:15:02 | More by Biggness
Photo of drewbage


4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on a fresh cask at The Map Room in Chicago. (During the 2003 AHA National Convention Pub Crawl)

This beer pours into the glass as a pale tan that reveals an burnished amber color as the cask bubbles recede.

Aroma is resiny American hops with a fair sense of cedar closing the nose.

The malt body is soft and eminently approachable as a cask should be. The body is smooth and with just a pricking of CO2 behind an increasing perfumey and zippy citrusy hop bitterness.

Absolutely fantastic beer and a wonderful beer to knock back with friends.

Serving type: cask

07-05-2003 22:25:58 | More by drewbage
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
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The Bitter End Pale Ale from Two Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 627 ratings.