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Bitter American - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Bitter AmericanBitter American

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

1,156 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,156
Reviews: 345
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 46
Gots: 76 | 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: 1,156 | Reviews: 345 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gkunkle
4/5  rDev +3.9%

gkunkle, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of Hoptometrist
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from the can into a mug at Lizardville

A- Poured a clear orange with soapy head that left minimal lace

S- Very faint aroma, light floral and malty aroma

T- Biscuit malts with mild citrus and earthy hop flavors

M- Lighter bodied, pretty good carbonation, but does not finish dry

O- A very easy drinking beer, mild in flavor but tastes good. This would be a great beer to session in cans but not memorable.

Hoptometrist, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of JaredKent
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This beer pours a golden, amber hue with an off-white head. The head is very strong on the pour with solid residual strength. The lacing is strong as the beer reaches the bottom of the glass. Around an 11 or 12 SRM

Scent: I admit I created an aroma sin on this beer; the shaker glass. Strong citrus aromas up front. I smell very prominent grapefruit. Not too floral, definitely American hops. Very mild malt aromas that really push the hops forward.

Taste: Once again, the hops are right up front to greet you as soon as you take a sip. More grapefruit, but much more dialed down from the aroma. In fact everything is pretty mellow. Mellow malts balance out the hops and a smooth bitterness on the finish makes this a great session beer.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied solidifies the “session ale” title.

Overall: I’m a big fan of 21st Amendment’s Back in Black and the Bitter American has lived up to my expectations. The aroma screams American Pale Ale with the strong grapefruit nose. As you take a sip the flavors mellow out, and when I say mellow I don’t mean dull. I mean the bold flavors of an American Pale Ale smoothed out to form the ultimate session beer.

JaredKent, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of WMEugene
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear orange amber color with a head that quickly dissipates with very little lacing.

S - A nice blend of earthy hops and sweet malts. Citrus, grapefruit and piney aromas come through. Surprisingly distinct for such a low abv beer.

T - This is a surprisingly hop forward beer. The citrus and earthy notes from the nose come through strongly. Other than a little sweetness, I'm not really picking anything substantive up from the malts. Definitely an American take on the "bitter" style.

M - Really thin bodied, good carbonation. It definitely has a hoppy/oily finish commonly seen in a lot of IPAs.

O - When viewed as an American take on the English "bitter" style, Bitter American is a much more interesting beer than if viewed as a simple APA. Not really too sessionable unless you really like hop flavors. Regardless, Bitter American is a tasty and worthwhile brew.

WMEugene, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of whartontallboy
4/5  rDev +3.9%

whartontallboy, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of wedge
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear orange colored liquid under a big, frothy head. Fresh hop flower sweetness greets the nose, a whiff of biscuity grain not far behind. Peppery floral and citrus...herbal and very "green" smelling. Oily, spicy citrus hops upfront, though they don't bash you over the head. Sweet and leafy flavors striking a pretty good balance with the dry grain. Crisp, slick, and on the lighter side, but not watery. Very refreshing. Quite the nice straightforward APA.

wedge, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of JupiterJesus
4/5  rDev +3.9%

JupiterJesus, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of LukeD23
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a really nice orange with hints of amber coming through. The aroma is huge for such a small beer, tangerines, clementine and grain come through with a tuch of toasted cracker in the background. The flavor has lots of pine character melding with a cream sickle like smooth fruitiness. Mouthfeel is good and light. Overall I love the big flavor in such a low alcohol beer. Yum

LukeD23, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of sweisel80
4/5  rDev +3.9%

sweisel80, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of enginero
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

enginero, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of damndirtyape
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz can (canned on 12/23/11) poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Crystal clear copper-dark amber. 1/8" white head upon pouring died back to thin skin across the top. Plenty of islands and strands of persistent lacing.

Smell: Heavy on the pine with some grapefruit. Quite hoppy but very pleasant.

Taste: Up front hoppy pine/citrus moving quickly to a sweet malt and a mild bitter lingering finish. Like a good APA, but with the volume halved if that makes sense to you. It does to me anyway. I was expecting a stronger taste with all the smells going on, but that was not the case here.

Mouthfeel: Light, good carbonation that was prickly on the tongue. Tad watery once the carbonation goes away though. Some hop oil sticking to the teeth.

Overall / Drinkability: Well, I can't say that this is truly a "session" ale, unless you want to say that I've had one and I'm ready to move on and come back to another one later. If the goal here is to be an American take on an English Bitter, well, I think it succeeds. If the goal is session so that you don't mind having another one right away, nope, it's not that drinkable. Don't get me wrong, it's good, just one is enough right now. But for an APA, it's a good beer.

damndirtyape, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of Jimmys
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz can canned on 12/12/11.

A: pretty orange. very clear. very bubbly, very big head. retention is reasonable. some lacing.

S: very mild notes of floral, aromatic american hops. there is a greater impression from the malt backbone. a little bit a toast, a lotta bit of cereal. great balance between the two.

T: certainly bitter. the hop profile is very present and is very american. citrus and smooth. there is a definite malty presence that comes towards the finish. quick before a dry finish that leaves you wanted more.

M: a moderate/high amount of fizz. light bodied.

D: love the flavor on this super sessionable ale. nice presence and with the super low abv these things are dangerously crushable.

Jimmys, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of Double06
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Double06, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of Mosley1212
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Mosley1212, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of schoolboy
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a beer that achieves what it sets out to do extremely well.It may be the best session beer ever. It has a taste and aroma that intices and does not insult, yet you could drink a boat load of thes.

I wish this were available everywhere. You could have a great brew or five and not pass out. Wonderful stuff.

schoolboy, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of mbs11
3/5  rDev -22.1%

mbs11, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of StJamesGate
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear pale amber with a puffy white head that fades to steady film and rims and rings. Nose is an outrageously fresh leaf and orange blossom hops burst that eases off to show some light tropical fruit.
Big toasty malts up front with some mango and cracker followed by passionfruit and orange hops with a bit of resin.
Slight orange rind finish and clean fruity linger. Thin, soft, round, a mere hint of cling.

Canned on 12/12/11.

Plenty of Centennial in that nose, promising good things. But the body just isn't there to be any kind of APA, which is a shame, because you could load up on Crystal without raising the ABVs. It shouldn't have to sacrifice feel to be sessionable. And tastes closer to 30 IBUs than 40.

In the end it plays like an English Pale Ale which, give this is around typical strength for that style, is no surprise.

I thought 21A had come up with something truly new - unfortunately not.

StJamesGate, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of leinie13
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

leinie13, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of JimKal
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Amber gold in color. The head was frothy and dissipated quickly.

Faint citrus smell with another odor I can't quite put a name to. The can has a freshness date on the bottom indicated the date it was canned.

It had some citrus taste to hit but finished with that classic bitter taste. This one reminded me somewhat of Goose Island's Honkers Ale.

This is a taste that really appeals to me. Very different from other Pale Ales.

Despite the low ABV I think the mouthfeel was quite good but I may be influenced by how much I liked the taste.

Found this a Total Wine and will be visiting again soon to pick some up.

JimKal, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of allouez86
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

allouez86, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of judzillah
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

judzillah, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of FalconA
4/5  rDev +3.9%

FalconA, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of bmf5581
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

bmf5581, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of morimech
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, light amber color with just over one finger of head that had decent retention before settling to a thin cap. A little bit of sticky lacing is left down the glass.

Smells terrific. Citrus and citrus rind from the hops. The malt gives off some toasted bread aroma but the hops are the star of the aroma.

Almost like 21st Amendment made this beer with me in mind. The one fault in the beer that I can find is that the malt does not give enough flavor. Clean citrus hop flavor. I would describe it as having grapefruit and orange rind flavor. The malt is bready with just a note of toast. Overall has a dry quality. Moderately bitter despite all the hop goodness.

Light body and this is where the low ABV is evident. Would of liked some more heft to carry the bitterness. Nothing remarkable about the carbonation.

Very impressed with this self-described "session" beer. Very enjoyable drinking several of these in a session.

morimech, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce can - Hop City in Atlanta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a crystalline, dark golden body with a tall, proud, off-white head. Tiny blots of lacing on the way down.

Smell: Moderate maltiness, predominately throwing off a whiff of crisp grains followed by a fresh, inviting scent of flower petals and juicy citrus fruits.

Taste: A light treacle-like sweetness given to the grainy maltiness, scantly toasty, chased by floral hops, citrus tastes of citric lemon and grapefruit juices. Medium-plus bitterness. Drying, lemony finish with a lingering citrus presence.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Bitter American is somewhat along the lines of the Stone session ale awhile back. Somewhat. Always happy to see some lower alcohol options.

ChainGangGuy, Jan 08, 2012
Bitter American from 21st Amendment Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,156 ratings.