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Bitter American - 21st Amendment Brewery

Bitter AmericanBitter American

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

979 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 979
Reviews: 325
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.92%

Brewed by:
21st Amendment Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  4.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This American session ale packs a lot of hop and malt flavor into a refreshingly lower-alcohol brew, making it the perfect beer to have on hand when you have a little history to make.

42 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-16-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 979 | Reviews: 325 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Nugganooch


3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz can dated 01/26/13 – purchased at Boynton Liquors San Jose, CA
Hotel tumbler glass – 11/20/13

A: Golden amber body with brilliant clarity. Has a straw gold like appearance. Thick staying khaki cream top that never fully subsides leaving a film of sticky lace down the glass.

S: Smells of bread and grains, lightly toasted. Not particularly sweet. Grassy hops with a dash of citrus and melon fruit. Earthy minerals on the finish. Nice and pleasant nose for a Bitter.

T: Bready cracker malt is prominent with some light grassy floral and piney citrus hops underneath. Faint buttery flavor there with a noticeable mineral quality presenting towards the finish. The malt stays dry rather than sweet and there is a low level of actual bitterness to this Bitter. Alcohol is all but completely masked in flavor. Nice and drinkable from the can.

M: Frothy cream like texture. Lower moderate filling and a touch watery thin. Finish is dry and crisp with a very clean departure.

D: A nice session from the can this American style Bitter offers up some favorable American hop flavors over a classic ESB style malt base. Nothing of major significance however well balanced with nice drinkability.

Serving type: can

11-25-2013 22:30:01 | More by Nugganooch
Photo of mpedara429


4.51/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A slightly hazy dark amber color with a solid two fingers of off white head. Retention that won’t quit and lacing covering pretty much the whole glass.

S: Citrus and piney hops. a hint of spiciness in there too.

T: Floral and earthy hops with just a touch of sweetness from the citrus and pine in the nose.

M: Medium light body with medium carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.

O: Holy crap, Batman! It’s light on the ABV but this is the flavor profile I’ve alway wanted to see in pale ales. A six pack session of this would be fantastic.

Serving type: can

11-19-2013 00:07:43 | More by mpedara429
Photo of jmdrpi


3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can, canned on 9/05/13 stamped on bottom.

pours a hazy golden color, slightly orange. bright white head - great head retention and lacing. smell is a bit hoppy. earthy with a bit of citrus. taste is mild biscuity bready malt. herbal, slightly bitter hops. medium body and moderate carbonation, easy drinking. overall - a good everyday beer, goes well with food.

Serving type: can

11-15-2013 05:03:31 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of tkelley


3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz can poured into a shaker pint.

A - medium orange bronze. Slightly hazy. Light tan head. Good lacing.

N - light hops and malt. A little citrus.

T - bitter and tasty. Hoppy and malty backbone.

M - very drinkable. Solid level of carbonation.

O - really enjoyed this. Very solid, drinkable beer.


Serving type: can

10-20-2013 19:54:04 | More by tkelley
Photo of Mojo


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

12 ounce can -> Grand Teton snifter

A- pours up medium hazy orange, two fingers of foamy head eventually disappearing. Good lacing

S - pine, resin, bread

T - solid malt backbone, some smoky flavors, some grapefruit, nice bitter finish. Well balanced.

M - bit of an aftertaste, good carbonation, medium thick

O - a solid tasty session ale

Serving type: can

10-01-2013 04:05:51 | More by Mojo
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12oz. can served in a can class (seemed apropos). Pours a dull orange-gold with a slightly hazy clarity and a loose, two inch, cream-colored head. Head eventually disperses towards the shoulders, with bands of fluffy lacing revealed during the session. Nose expresses a light breadiness, noble hops and a trace of citrus. Taste consistent with nose with hint of caramel malt and/or molasses sweetness. There's also a light, somewhat medicinal bitterness that lingers at the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium, with a prickly carbonation. Overall, a decent session strength APA; however, not a beer I would generally consider drinking more than one or two in a sitting. My opinion might change if this were a cask offering.

Serving type: can

09-28-2013 18:02:47 | More by Jwale73
Photo of 08Deltadawn8


4.8/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served out of a growler, smell comes off with hints of caramel and light barley.
Maybe some nuts in there as well. Color is a apricot kind of reddish orange.
Mouthfeel is nice, not too heavy or too light, taste is great, really gets the gist of a bitter beer. Overall I say that this beer is a perfect session beer and that I would recommend it for anyone who likes bitter type beers.

Serving type: growler

09-26-2013 21:12:50 | More by 08Deltadawn8
Photo of Act25

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My new every day beer in a can. I love this brewer, and I love this session ale.

12 ounce can poured into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazed, dark apricot body with a proud tan head. Lots of lacing on the way down. Looks great, like a much sterner beer than 4.4%

Smell: IPA light. Good starter hop ale. Starts with mild maltiness, with welcoming scent of flowers, grass, herbs, and citrus. Appetizing hop aroma. Great with food.

Taste: Follows the smell with a cracker, sweet malt, then toasty, floral hops, lemon and grapefruit. Medium bitterness. Drying, lemony finish with a lingering citrus presence. Great finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Medium carbonation. But good mouth feel, great with any summer food.

Overall: Why would you not make this your every day, early day, and summer ale? Great stuff. Great brewer.

Serving type: can

09-19-2013 00:17:12 | More by Act25
Photo of Goosehunter75


3.51/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy deep honey with one finger white head. Good example of what an APA should look like in my opinion

S - Very earthy smelling up front with hints of citrus and pine in the back. Hoppy smelling APA!

T - Oddly enough, the faint citrus from the aroma is more prevailant than the earthiness. Well balanced beer

M - A very easy drinking APA. It is light to medium in body. Has a silky smooth feel in the mouth

O - Great APA. Goes down smooth with good flavor. If it were available in Missouri i would pick it up every so often.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2013 21:31:38 | More by Goosehunter75
Photo of patpbr


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

A - Pours a bright orange with a nice foamy head.
S - Citrus, pine and Pleasant malts
T - mild bitterness throughout and like the scent. A bit sweet and a little hint of lemon.
M - Medium body and carbination. Finish is smooth.
O - An easy to drink session ale with nice flavor.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2013 22:45:46 | More by patpbr
Photo of MacQ32

South Carolina

3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A - pours a hazy golden color with SB hint of straw like coloring. OK Best white head, recent retention, great lacing

S - Light sweet fruity aromas, apples, pears, lemon rind, slightly grainy

T - Refreshing dry bitterness up front followed by light pear/apple flavors, mild sweet backbone. Aftertaste is dry

M - light bodied and greatly refreshing

O - Pretty tasty lighter choppy refreshing beer

Serving type: can

07-21-2013 00:32:48 | More by MacQ32
Photo of cjgiant

District of Columbia

3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: hazy between golden and amber
S: earthy, can tell there's hops in there
T: similar to smell, with decent malt backbone. Finishes with the malt sweetness combining with the grassy hops
M: strong initially, as expected from a 21st Amendment beer, weakening at end (getting used to this sensation with session IPAs)
O: strong mouthfeel makes it seem like a regular IPA initially, but doesn't hold up. Nevertheless, for a session a IPA, it's darn good.

Serving type: can

07-20-2013 18:21:25 | More by cjgiant
Photo of 57md


3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy straw color with a finger of head that dissipates quickly. The nose has a pleasant citrusy quality. This offering has a light and crisp taste with some subtle dry hoppiness on the finish. This is a very sessionable beer and perfect for enjoying on a hot summer day.

Serving type: can

07-16-2013 12:14:56 | More by 57md
Photo of Dave1999

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright cloudy yellow with a nice looking white head.

The smell is fruity hops, grapefruit and lemons and even some pine needles.

The flavour is big and juicy, citrus hops with just a little bit of bitterness.

The mouthfeel is light to medium and light to medium carbonation.

This is a delightful hoppy pale ale, this about as good as it gets for a lower abv beer. The hops are bright and juicy. This will definately be a regular purchase.

Serving type: can

07-13-2013 00:59:33 | More by Dave1999
Photo of athesing10


4.56/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is my "go-to" beer. While it's not the best beer I've ever tried, it certainly is my favorite beer to have in the fridge at all times. It's low in alcohol and has a perfect balance of malt and hops. It's a beer that i can drink all day and during any season. It impresses my beer snob friends and is appreciated by my Bud Light friends.

Serving type: can

07-12-2013 14:22:35 | More by athesing10
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the NOC in Nantahala, NC.
A good looking beer with excellent clarity and a well proportioned off-white head that has decent retention. Smells fine with no particular strengths or weaknesses. The taste is more exceptional, as is the crisp and dry feel. Refreshing. Mildly bitter finish.

Serving type: on-tap

07-01-2013 18:03:40 | More by chinchill
Photo of timmylange

New Jersey

3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Canned 1/26/13
A: translucent, warm orange hue, thick foamy head
S: fresh hops, slight citrus scent
T: low hop, bitterness
M: dense, sharp carbonation but not fizzy, dry, very slight warming sensation
O: flavorful but simple, great beer for a picnic or after a cold shower on a hot summer day

21st Amendment beers are usually complex and flavorful with a bold taste. This beer however deviates but yet has that signature quality of 21st Amendment. I have not yet found a disappointing beer from this brewery.

Serving type: can

06-18-2013 01:33:27 | More by timmylange
Photo of ghengisflan


3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours a nice thick white head. Beer itself is a fairly cloudy but light honey blonde.

Smell: Citrus-ey hops are very prominent on first whiff.

Taste: The first sip is malty, but as you keep drinking there is a cumulative bitterness with a grassier hop flavor than the smell would indicate.

Mouthfeel: It has a pretty average body for an ale: Not too light or heavy.

Overall: A good beer, maybe a little too bitter for my taste. If that's what you like, give it a try.

Serving type: can

06-15-2013 01:46:53 | More by ghengisflan
Photo of philbe311


3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - A finger's worth of active late to rise slightly creamy slightly crisp off-white colored frothiness comprised of medium and larger sized bubbles... Modest at best retention gives way to a full veil of inviting lacing... The color is an equal mix of straw and pale amber... There is an ever so faint haziness about it...

S - A fairly lively hop aroma... Lots of orange zest and a bit of lemony goodness... A nice noble hop presence as well... Well beneath the surface is some malty goodness in the form of biscuit and graham crackers... Simple, yet very well rounded and each whiff proves to be rather enjoyable...

T - The flavors that materialize on the palate are a perfect match for the aromas... The lemony zing gets dialed u a notch but all the other components are exactly as anticipated... There is also a slight bit of tropical fruit mix in for added depth and complexity... Tons of flavor given the sub 4.5% ABV... The low ABV adds to the overall drinkability...

M - Clean and crisp... A bit dry... Rather refreshing... On the fuller side of light bodied... The limited carbonation provides a pretty solid bite... Goes down easily sip after sip...

D - I'll take this any day of the over the recent slew of "session IPAs" that have hit the market... Light and refreshing, but certainly not lacking in flavor or character... Between this and there IPA, 21st Amendment makes me a very happy craft beer geek...

Serving type: can

06-09-2013 16:54:14 | More by philbe311
Photo of jjboesen


4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

While never getting the chance to hit this place during my visit to San Francisco, I have had many occassions to try 21st Amendment brews in other venuse as it is readily available throughout the country - in my case, Alewife Baltimore.

The Bitter American looks fabulous: it possesses a foreboding body of semi-translucent copper that is topped by a heavy vanilla foam. The nose is rather agressive: a myriad of esters that bring up whiffs of chocolate syrup and cherry - all piled into the nose at once.The palate is greeted with some subtle hoppiness and supplemented by a rush of toasty malt.

There is a crispy mouthfeel, which makes the Bitter American a rather comples, yet easy-going, sessional that can be quaffed over a long period of time. I imagine that any thirsty Space Chimp would go for this one. Next trip to Frisco: I hit this place... definitely.

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2013 00:31:43 | More by jjboesen
Photo of gpogo


3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A- Cloudy orange body with lots of carbonation. Small white foam cap and a light lacing.

A- Sweet bitterness. Orange and a touch of pine.

T- Sweet lightly sour plain malt flavor. Kindof empty. Constant bitterness, but not unpleasant.

M- Light body, moderate-high carbonation.

D- Quite an enjoyable session beer. Taste and aroma are far from amazing, but it is a decent brew.

Serving type: can

06-02-2013 19:44:48 | More by gpogo
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can: Poured a dark golden color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus floral hops with light dry caramel malt notes. Taste is dominated by floral hops with clear citrus presence and some semi-sweet malt notes. Body is about average with good carbonation. Nice refreshing APA with nice citrus floral notes and limited bitter notes.

Serving type: can

05-27-2013 02:16:52 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of dar482

New York

3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It comes in a beautiful deep gold/orange color with a finger of head. It’s hazy and has a warm inviting color. Amazing appearance, almost like an unfiltered Double IPA.

The aroma has big sour lemon and sweet orange peel. There’s also that Simcoe and pine in there. There’s also a candy sugar malt.

The flavor does not follow through the same exactly. It has a bright, but big sweet corn malt. There’s a tinge of lemon, the malt as described, and then a strong bitterness.

The mouthfeel is a bit light, but that’s expect for a pale ale.

The beer reminds me a lot of Founders All Day. It’s a very good hoppy pale ale.

Serving type: can

05-23-2013 05:10:44 | More by dar482
Photo of Fatehunter


3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a finger of head on a clear straw colored body.
The smell is amazing: rich caramel malt with a wonderful blend of citrus.
The taste has a moderate bitterness throughout with a backbone of malt, but the sweet never shows through.
The texture is softer with moderate carbonation.
Its aroma blew me away, the taste was a backup player but it's still a tasty drink with a low ABV.

Serving type: can

05-11-2013 05:14:38 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of Chaney

District of Columbia

4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned 2/11/13

Served in a DC Brau tulip.

A: Poured a very dense, foggy, bright orange color with about a 1/2 finger or so head that looked like diluted Alka-Seltzer.

S: Nice, fresh fruit bill here: Tropical orange, orange peel, a hint of mango, and ever the slightest bit of pine.

T: Pretty full flavor for a session beer. Inside the fruit component, there was sort of a grainy, crushed Flintstone vitamins.

M: Nice hop bitter slap at the end, mild splotchy lacing, and highly drinkable disposition.

O: I could drink these all day. Cheers!

Serving type: can

05-02-2013 22:57:32 | More by Chaney
Bitter American from 21st Amendment Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 979 ratings.