Bitter American - 21st Amendment Brewery

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Bitter AmericanBitter American

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very good

1,254 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,254
Reviews: 361
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.95%
Wants: 51
Gots: 121 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-16-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,254 | Reviews: 361
Photo of Mojo
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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

Photo of Jwale73
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Photo of 08Deltadawn8
4.76/5  rDev +23.6%
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.

Photo of Act25
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of Goosehunter75
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

Photo of patpbr
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Photo of MacQ32
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
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

Photo of cjgiant
3.58/5  rDev -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.

Photo of 57md
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Photo of Dave1999
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of athesing10
4.57/5  rDev +18.7%
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.

Photo of chinchill
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of timmylange
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

Photo of ghengisflan
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

Photo of philbe311
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
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...

Photo of jjboesen
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

Photo of gpogo
3.19/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of dar482
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of Chaney
4.08/5  rDev +6%
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!

Photo of TheElusiveAlexT
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Poured this into an old Vikings pilsner glass, mistake, terrible pour. A mostly yellow color with a warm orange/honey. The head was thick and thins out nicely staying with the beer until the end. Lots of patches of lacing. Perfectly balanced carbonation.
Smell: Familiar beer smell for an extra pale ale. Extra lemon/orange citrus and grapefruit. Sweet malts and flowery hops. Nice.
Taste: A smooth citruse flavor, the hops have a nice kicks but nothing too strong, more of a bitter finish on your palate. Malty but not too sweet, more so grapefruit but not overpowering like in the Leviathan I reviewed years ago. It suffers "tinny can" after you finish the thing.
Mouthfeel: Wonderful, light and crisp balance without the sting of carbonation. A model to its peers.
Likability: Very easy to drink for most. The aftertaste may drive off someone so its not perfect.

Photo of ckollias
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a Belgian tulip glass.

A: Pours a copper hue with thin white head that slowly dissipates into a wispy lace leaving a decent trail down the glass.

S: Hoppy aroma with malty edge.

T: Equal mix of bitter hops and sweet malts. Finishes on the dry side of hoppy.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Really good APA. Great mix of the hops and malt.

Photo of DrewSnyc667
3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can poured into a pint glass. Very cool graphics of a space monkey!

A: Bright orange and yellow, big fluffy head that lingers and sticks, some activity

S: very floral and tangy, piney

T: First it's sweet, then it lives up to it's name with a big bitter bite. The hope are not spicy though and the bitterness is almost a crisp rounding finish

M: Nice carbonation keeps the palate clean. Typically i find my problem with hopper west coast pale ales is that the hop spice sticks to my tongue and becomes unbearable. This is nicely rounded and very easy drinking

O: A total impulse buy and a style I normally wouldn't choose, but overall, I am very happy I gave it a whirl.

Photo of NiceTaps
4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz. can poured into a pint glass. Thirty-nine days old.

A- Hazy burnished orange color with visible carbonation. A bit fluffy 2-finger head that lasts and leaves sticky lacing.

S-Mstly malty, semi-sweet aroma. Some orange rind anf citrus/pine hops.

T-More pale malts and orange rind, well blended. A bit of bitter pepperyness, perhaps.

M-Light, crisp, and tangy. More body than I expected from a 4.4% abv. Slightly bitter with a long clean finish.

O- It surely is an extra pale ale, the 42 ibus are laid back just right. More malty, but not sweet. Quite good and very drinkable.

Bitter American from 21st Amendment Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,254 ratings.