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Bitter American - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Bitter AmericanBitter American

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

1,068 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,068
Reviews: 336
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.92%
Wants: 41
Gots: 49 | 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:
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: 1,068 | Reviews: 336 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mntlover


4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale light orange color with smaller cream colored head that leaves some spotty lace.

Aroma is wonderful light sweet malts loaded with big orange notes with pine mingled in for good measure. Aroma is wonderful pleasant and inviting, hop candy.

Taste is well, for a 4.4% brew pretty good not as sweet and inviting as the aroma. Sweet malts taste more grainy bready lightly astringent. Loads of hop flavors though citrus bitterness mostly. Over all enjoyable nose just makes you expect perfection maybe, but it is a solid ale.

Mouthfeel is light medium with pretty peppy amount of CO2.

Drinkability is good enjoyable, heck worth checking out a favorable session ale if there ever was one.

Serving type: can

05-09-2011 21:56:55 | More by mntlover
Photo of Scotchboy


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

12oz can poured into a pint glass.

A: Crystal clear orange/straw colored beer, with a nice fluffy/sticky off-white head and good carbonation.

S: Hop-forward on the nose; juicy orange and orange peel, light honey notes, some floral characters, a touch of astringency and a small amount of lightly roasted malt. Smells balanced, light and refreshing.

T: Starts bitter and hop forward, with pine and juicy citrus notes and some caramel and toasted malt characters. Quaffable and refreshing.

MF: Surprisingly this thing covers a lot of ground, starting bitter and wet and ending with a nice dry, piney hop finish.

O: This beer holds its own next to offerings like FFF Alpha King and Sun King Osiris. A great hoppy session ale.

Serving type: can

05-03-2011 21:28:41 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of rootbeerman


3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours from can a nice clear light copper. The head is bubbly and is off white and lasting as a thin layer with a little bit of lacing.
S: a bit of caramel sweetness, a really nice hop pine and light citrus.
T: if I didn't see that it was 4.4% I would have guessed it to be around 6%. Sweet malt balanced with a nice hop bitterness. Hops are mainly pine with a little grass.
M: smooth, and clean. Nice carbonation and is a little crisp.
O: could be sitting on a thin line between an IPA and a pale.

Serving type: can

05-01-2011 08:21:05 | More by rootbeerman
Photo of DrDemento456


4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty much got this just for a can review.

A - For a session ale it's got a nice amber hue with a solid inch of head.

S - Wow it has a nice bitter pine smell some grain with a slight dough or bread tone.

T - Actually pretty hop forward in fact one of the hoppiest session ales I ever had. Hops, grain, and a sweet bread tone keeps things in check.

M - It actually has a nice medium body but drinks light. I could see pounding a sixer no problem.

Overall it is actually one hell of a session ale. Worth the 1.75 a can or 10 dollars a sixer? Definitely. I may just pick it up again. Worth a try if your into full bodied light beers.

Serving type: can

04-29-2011 03:29:07 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of plaid75

New York

4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On draft at The Lark, East Northport, NY.

Poured a dark copper hue with a one finger frothy white head. There was good retention and sticky lacing.

The smell featured a vibrant piney and herbal hop and soft sweetness.

The taste consisted of grainy, yet slightly doughy malt, which was dominated by a full herbal hop spice.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a vibrant and beautifully tasty ale. Sessionable to say the least.

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2011 23:49:51 | More by plaid75
Photo of Franz4


3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can packaged on the 46th day of 2011 (I think) which would mean around Feb 15th. Poured into a pint glass.

A-Orange/copper translucent in color, nice head settles quickly to a thin cap leaving just a little lacing the last 1/4" or so.

S- nose is packed with citrusy goodness! It's all here, lots of orange with a bit of lime in the background. Highly impressive, my prejudices against 4.4% beer are falling to the wayside, this smells like a DIPA.

T- slightly bitter, nowhere near as flavorful as the nose. Big letdown after the nose. If there's citrus here it's mostly lime, definitely more diluted than what I was expecting.

M- Light carbonation, slightly dry finish.

O- Well, the nose on this beer alone is worth a try, but don't let it get your hopes up. This is a solid beer, and being 4.4% and in a can this might find its way on some outdoor trips with me this summer. Nice brew, but I feel like it could have been so much better.

Serving type: can

04-26-2011 23:48:14 | More by Franz4
Photo of JamnesCameron


4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a New Holland Pint glass.

Pours a deep golden color with a few fingers of creamy off white head. Lots of huge and medium sized bubbles in the foam. Head drops slowly leaving some lacing.

Aromas of light citrusy hops, lemon and orange. Some malty sweetness. Some fruit (like subdued JuicyFruit gum).

Flavors of nice malt/bitter balance. Some sweet cararmel maltiness, fruity yeast esters, and a firm, but balanced bitterness. Some lemon and tangerine hop accents.

Mouthfeel is medium, with a mouthcoating bitterness, a slight pull at the back of the teeth.

Overall, to me, an outstanding American session beer. The flavors are not aggressive. The malt and bitter are in near perfect balance. I could sit and drink this beer all day long at a ballgame or backyard BBQ. Wish I could get this closer to home. This would be my favorite everyday beer.

Serving type: can

04-19-2011 22:27:32 | More by JamnesCameron
Photo of BeerBelcher


3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

"Tasty crack cans." There's a lot I like about this beer, but I felt a little let down in the taste department.

I love the concept - a hop forward session beer in a can. In fact, I made an IPA which accidentally turned out very low gravity but had plenty of hop wallop. And that experience led me to be a touch disappointed with this beer. It is quality, looking good and tasting good, and it achieves its mission of a tasty, sessionable beer. However, I would've liked a little more flavor and specifically a little more bitterness and hop character. It's there, but sort of indistinct bitterness...would love a beer like this with more late addition to hops to bring out pine/citrus/etc.

I liked this beer, and would buy it again, but more than anything it has fired up my homebrewing imagination.

Serving type: can

04-19-2011 14:34:15 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of nickthetick


3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: pours a clear amber gold with about two fingers of off white head that slowly dissipates and leaves a fair bit of lacing.

S: crisp light orange hops and sweet light malts.

T: light orange hop flavors. Biscuity and a little sweet.

MF: medium body and a tad watered down, the flavor could be a little more pronounced.

O: a slightly above average beer, for the price it won't be seeing the inside of my fridge real soon.

Serving type: can

04-19-2011 01:44:41 | More by nickthetick
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark golden color, good head to it. Aroma was metallic and hoppy, grapefruit and a tad soapish.

Good bitterness, not harsh, accompanied by ample hops of the grapefruit vein. Low malt bill allows more of the bitterness and hop mouthfeel to shine. A great tailgate beer here! Don't let the low abv fool you, this packs plenty of flavor into a can. Uplifting feel, given the carbonation, light body and hoppiness of it.

One of the better pales on the market, and truly pale. Keep this one around for outdoor activities, $8 a 6 pack makes this a good score overall.

Serving type: can

04-18-2011 21:12:48 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of krisandajt


3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A tasty brew courtesy of mymrnngjckt. Cheers Kevin!

Appearance: Poured from the can into my DFH Chalice, the beer is a clear amber color with a good inch or so worth of white frothy head. Retention is non-existent, the head fades away very quickly down to a thin ring.

Smell: Mostly a bready malt, not really much in the way of hops...even for a pale ale.

Taste: Again, not too much in the way of hops. The bready malt powers through and pretty much takes over the whole flavor profile of the beer. Could definitely use some hops...but then again so could every beer.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, crisp and clean feel to it. Not bad.

Overall (Drinkability): Not a bad tasting brew. Drinks pretty easy, isn't overly complex (sometimes you just want a simple beer). If you're looking for a simple session beer, this is it.

Serving type: can

04-17-2011 00:42:04 | More by krisandajt
Photo of chodinheaven


4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Golden amber color, a little hazy with a healthy white head on top. Great retention, sticks to the glass nicely. Smells really good. Very hoppy on the nose, close to the way a strong IPA smells. Not much hits me in the way of malts in the scent.

Malts do come through in the taste however. Taste starts and finishes bitter, but the malts shine through in the middle of the taste. They are bold (like the can says they are) enough to stick with the strong hoppy flavor that book-ends the taste. It's not the most bitter APA I've had, but it's actually really balanced and well done. It's more complex than I imagined it would be. The mouthfeel is crisp and clean and therefore very refreshing and enjoyable.

Very solid beer and very easy to drink. It tastes fresh and clean, and not at all metallic, so maybe this canned craft beer thing is on to something. I like what 21st Amendment is doing with their stuff.

Serving type: can

04-16-2011 03:15:36 | More by chodinheaven
Photo of Johnnyfacelift

New York

4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - I can't get myself to pour this brew into a glass, there's just something about the can; I enjoy drinking straight from the container. The brew appears to be light and clear with a nice foam.

S - Great hoppy floral smell that make's this brew tempting. I can also pick up on citrus notes that are fresh and inviting.

T - Following the smell comes the great hop flavor that has all the citrus, floral and light resin taste. The bitterness is up front but not overwhelming, nicely balanced with the malt profile.

M - Exceptional mouthfeel that is creamy and delicious. I've read that beers that are carbonated with sugars rather than CO2 gas are "creamier" and wonder if that is the case here.

O - This is a great session strength beer that doesn't sacrifice taste and body to be a lighter ale. The mouthfeel is so full that it keeps you coming back for more. The rich hop profile is that of an IPA... very tasty. Great beer.

Serving type: can

04-14-2011 00:27:01 | More by Johnnyfacelift
Photo of goalie33

New York

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

Poured from 12oz can into 16oz pint glass. No best by date on can.
A) Pours a crystal clear orange color, very carbonated, one and a half finger foamy white head.
S) Nice, hoppy aroma with some tropical fruit notes and a strong caramel malt backbone.
T) Hoppy beginning with a juicy middle. Malty finish along with a hint of bitterness and citrus. Bit of a bready malt lingers.
M) Light body, crisp and carbonated. Doesn't really coat the mouth. Seems to be absorbed into the tongue.
O) Good solid APA. Claims to be a session ale on the can and it is exactly that. Has nice flavor, easily drinkable and low abv.

Serving type: can

04-11-2011 17:56:33 | More by goalie33
Photo of GregBlatz


4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Copper golden in color. Nice rocky 1/2" head that settles slowly and laces the glass. The beer is pretty clear.

S - Simcoe hops dominate the aroma. This reminds me of a Surly Furious in aroma. I know that this is a smaller beer, but that is what it smells like to me. Toasted grains and Simcoe hops.

T - Aggressively hopped. Somewhat thin and refreshing. Again, the piney resinous flavor of Simcoe. Just checked the website, Simpson's Golden Promise is the base grain. Just like Surly Furious.

M - Thin body and solid carbonation. Maybe a 1.050 gravity with a dry finishing gravity.

O - Really nice APA. This is my favorite 21st Amendment offering. I don't know what I paid for this. I always thought that craft beers ought to base pricing on the size of a beer. For example, a different price point for an IPA vs a Kolsch due to the fact that a sixer is the same quantity of beer, but the IPA contains way more hops than a Kolsch or a pale ale. Therefore the price point should be different. I doubt that is the case.

Serving type: can

04-11-2011 00:36:35 | More by GregBlatz
Photo of JayQue


3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very good lower abv/session beer. heavy duty hops presence without paralyzing alcohol strength...a perfect session beer (using stringent abv % standards) for hopheads.

Pours a clear amber with a generous size frothy white head. Good head retention and lacing.

Smell is of the robust citrus hops variety...as impressive as a lot of IPAs.

Taste is a bit milder and more balanced...still a hoppy beer but somewhat balanced...representative of an APA more than an IPA.

Mouthfeel is crisp and a bit weak to start....more robust as the hops take over the tongue.

A peer this good at this low level of alcohol is great. you could pound a few of these and still enjoy the good flavor, smell and appearance.


Serving type: can

04-11-2011 00:28:11 | More by JayQue
Photo of number1bum


3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear light amber color with two fingers of ivory head. Settles pretty quickly to a thin but full lace, with a splash of stick here and there on the sides of the glass.

Smell is pretty nondescript, with grainy, bready malt aroma as well as just a touch of leafy and citrusy hops. Hops open up a bit as it warms, which helps.

Taste is smooth and clean but I'm afraid the can's claim to contain bold hop and malt flavors isn't quite true. The flavors are subdued and subtle, but frankly that's just fine given that this is intended to be a sessionable, low abv pale ale. Seems a silly claim to make in the first place. Anyway, like the nose this has a braedy, slightly toasty/grainy malt base. Very light caramel sweetness. Hops are leafy with a touch of citrus, and a modest bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and has a snappy carbonation, a bit too snappy I think. I'd like it if it were a bit calmer and softer on the tongue. It is smooth and clean however.

This isn't bad, and I like the fact that they went for a sessionable beer here. I think they could have done a bit more with the hops, however, and particularly given the fact that they claim hop flavor to be bold, I don't think they did enough. Decent beer, but not something I think I'd go out of my way to grab again.

Serving type: can

04-09-2011 01:23:19 | More by number1bum
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale copper with a slight head but with nice tight, white bubbles. Smells gently malty with some biscuity malts and some light citrus and earthy hops. The taste is a bit hoppier, with the biscuity malt playing second fiddle to a more robust hop presence with some nice citrusy flavors that taste quite nice along the malts. Smooth and well integrated in the mouth, this is a very satisfying lower abv beer. Kudos1

Serving type: can

04-08-2011 22:55:29 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of OnThenIn


4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Half finger of slightly off white head on top of a clear copper body with a hint of red.

S: Smells of straight citrus hops and really like an ipa. There is maybe a hint of dish soap odor in the background.

T: The flavor is all citrus fruit and a bit of grapefruit with a bit of sweet flavor and a lingering bitterness. Really refreshing and just really nice. I love this beer.

M: Thin body with a decent level of carbonation. It was pretty good, but I wish that there was slightly more carbonation.

D: Stupidly drinkable. This beer is the official beer of hop head summer.

Serving type: can

04-07-2011 20:51:22 | More by OnThenIn
Photo of CupcakeNY

New York

4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer on tap at Rattle N Hum in NYC.

Poured a dark copper color, with a small, white, fluffy head.

Aroma was piny and herbal, with light malt notes and some grapefruit.

Mouthfeel was good--this is a pretty heavy-bodied beer, with light to medium carbonation.

Taste is pretty complex; they aren't kidding, this is a bitter beer, with a lot of resinous character, coupled with a overlay of citrus and some herbal notes. Not much malt to be tasted, and it finishes pretty cleanly.

This is a really flavorful, complex beer which is an excellent accompaniment to food. Its low alcohol means you can drink it all day, though the bitterness mught get to you after a while. Pretty impressive!

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2011 18:43:49 | More by CupcakeNY
Photo of Kegatron


4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, with several big fingers of eggshell-white head. This settles down into a soapy ½ finger and leaves behind some thick patchy swathes of lacing. The aroma is deeply floral in the nose, with bright feeling citric flavors that meld well with the grainy sweetness of the malts. Man, this has a fresh tangy pop in the nose!

The taste if all green citric bitterness, which spread out across the mouth with a fresh wave of flavor. This is very well balanced by the sweet toasty grains of the malts, yet this still keeps the focus on those hop flavors, with a finish that is moderately dry and earthy with a splash of lingering fruit and sugars. The mouthfeel is lighter-medium bodied, with a fantastic smooth crispness that is equal parts light prickle and silky underlying slickness.

I love when a beer blows away my expectations and this beer did just that, with a ton of bright yet balanced hop flavors packed into an extremely easy drinking and approachable (I'm loving that sub 5% ABV) body. This is by far the best of these 21A canned efforts that I've had so far and a real steal out there on the shelves right now. Just a great session beer here!

Serving type: can

04-07-2011 14:46:21 | More by Kegatron
Photo of MrOH


4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

brilliant gold with a thin white head, good lace.

Smells great. Big, overripe tropical fruit and citrus with a little bit of grass underneath. I actually coughed and spilled some while pouring and thought, "Man, that smells awesome!" while cleaning it up.

The taste doesn't quite follow the nose, but for a lowish abv APA, its to be expected. Bready malt, oranges and then fades underripe mango. Still good, just a letdown after the nose.

Good carbonation and med-light mouthfeel, definitely how I would want this beer to be.

This is a great "make a day of it" beer, especially for this season. I would have no problem drinking several of these while sitting outside, reading, chatting, and watching the world come back to life.

Serving type: can

04-03-2011 23:33:48 | More by MrOH
Photo of projectflam86


4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz can poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a crystal clear copper color with a thick foam head that settles to a thin ring. Nice lacing left behind.

S- Huge citrus grapefruit nose with some pine and a touch of caramel malt. Very hoppy aroma.

T- Ruby red grapefruit and C-hop bitterness. A bit of lemon, floral hops, caramel, candied fruits, and tons of grapefruit hop flavor. Slightly sweet finish with no detectable alcohol presence.

M- Light bodied with nice carbonation. A touch thin but that is to be expected considering the ABV.

O- Wow, this will definitely become a summer beer for me. Tons of hop flavor and light enough to drink a few. Very impressed, exceeded my expectations.

Serving type: can

04-03-2011 22:22:40 | More by projectflam86
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz can served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear bright copper color with a beige head that left a good amount of lacing behind.

S - piney hop aroma.

T - piney hops balanced out with a sweet malty taste finishing dry yet sweet.

F - light/medium bodied with light carbonation making it very easy to drink.

O - a good tasting, sessionable beer.

Serving type: can

04-03-2011 20:31:33 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of ppoitras


4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz can purchased as part of a six-pack from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a 1/2" light beige head above the clear coppery golden brew. Head recedes gradually, with leggy lasting lace. Aroma is pungent green hops.

Taste is slightly sweet upfront, quickly overcome by fruity bitterness, which then gives way to some strong pine. Wouldn't have been surprised to see a hop cone fall out of the can. Mouthfeel is soft and a bit thin, with good drinkability. Could use a bit more malt, but for a quaffable 4.4% abv, I can deal.

Serving type: can

04-03-2011 16:42:12 | More by ppoitras
Bitter American from 21st Amendment Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,068 ratings.