The Bitter End Pale Ale | Two Brothers Brewing Company

306 Reviews
no score
Send samples
The Bitter End Pale AleThe Bitter End Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Two Brothers Brewing Company
Illinois, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
13.5 Plato and 30 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-14-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 306 | Ratings: 747
Photo of dmfrench
3.49/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

 580 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

 382 characters

Photo of TheHoppiest
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a mug. Pours a copper-amber color, slightly hazy, with a 3/4" off-white head that leaves a decent amount of lacing as it reduces. A "best by" stamp indicates this should be consumed by 8/29/12. The bottle promises, "At the end of every glass you will discover how this pale ale got its name."

Has a grassy, honey aroma, with orange blossom, hints of bitter hops, white grapefruit, and husked wheat.

Thin malt, lemon-herb, fresh grass, hints of tobacco, and a fair amount of oak leaf combine with a hopped-finish that is dry and bitter.

Mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied, starting soft, and finishing with a dry tang on the tongue that intensifies as I get further into this brew.

A decent pale-ale, is a little more herby and lemony than I prefer. It's almost like this is a saison-APA mix, at perhaps 20/80, but enough to give it that farmhouse quality. Worth a try, but not one I'll search out again.

 939 characters

Photo of jaasen64
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from 6-pack

A- Slightly brownish gold, hazy especially towards top half of beer. Very thin head that leaves layered lacing. Above average carbonation.

S- Slightly sweet caramel malts, definitely maltier then your average pale ale, hops, a little bit of citrus.

T- The most dominate flavor is definitely malts, slightly sweet caramel, a little bit of hops, definitely a bitter and slightly sweet/tangy finish (hence the name).

M- Medium bodied, slightly creamy, a little bit above average carbonation, goes down smoothly.

O- I thought this was a good pale ale that is a little bit different then your average pale ale. It had a nice balance between the sweet malts, citrus notes, and hops. The bitter finish definitely adds a little bit of uniqueness that you don't get with most pale ales which makes this stand out.

 835 characters

Photo of Lawl3ss
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled 12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip pint glass. Best before date on bottle reads 5.12.12.

Look- Crystal-clear pale amber with a two-finger head that stuck around for a few minutes, leaving plenty of sticky lace as it settled to a respectable film. No visible carbonation.

Smell- Sweet tangerine, light pine, and something vaguely woody. Swirling brings out a hint of grass and a stronger graham cracker-like aroma. Nice, if subtle. Fairly sweet.

Taste- Surprisingly malty, it caught me off guard even after reading the bottle. Subtle lemon and grass start it off, teaming up with graham cracker malt not long after and carrying through to the end. Finish is exceptionally clean, with only the vaguest hint of lingering bitterness and buttery crackers. Like the nose, it's tastefully restrained. The more I drink, the more it grows on me. Not a hop-head's APA.

Mouthfeel- Medium-bodied, light carbonation. Comes off as smooth and refreshing. Quite easy drinking- makes me wish I'd picked up two (or six, or twelve.... you get the picture.)

Overall- Pretty good, but it's not going to knock your socks off (unless light malt-forward APAs are reeaaaaly your thing.) That being said, I'd definitely pick it up once in a while if it was available in my area.

 1,265 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an bright and clear golden amber. It has a small off white head. Carbonation is guite light. Beer looks medicore in appearance. Aroma on the other hand is fantastic. It has a wonderful hop bouquet thats smells fresh and lively. Hard to pin down an exact scent though. Sweet pale malts and a bit of yeast. The aroma is really the best part of the beer. Taste is thin and light and lacks flavor. Hops and malts are balanced but have a sort of watered down taste. Bitter end has a medium feel and is smooth going down. Overall the beer drinks well, it has a wonderful aroma and is easy drinking, but it looks and taste like it was watered down.

 647 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Yet another two Brothers beer I got from

A - A nice light amber brown, a touch hazy with a solid inch of sticky white head.

S - Biscuit and pale malts, touch of honey and some good citrus hops.

T - I like the bread malts in this. Almost like a light wheat taste with a touch of gram cracker honey flavor. Then comes the hops mild but inviting and finishes sweet. Tasty.

M - Light to medium a very good Pale ale.

Overall This is one of the better takes on the style with no overbearing bitterness or too much pale malt giving it a sort of skunk flavor. Would get again if I could.

 606 characters

Photo of Treebs
3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle served in a Great Lakes Brewing shaker pint. Best by date of 2/19/2012.

A: Pours a nice amber color with solid golden edges. A one and a half finger head forms on the pour that sticks around for quite sometime and leaves some nice cascades of lace.

S: The smell is that of a typical APA. Pale biscuit malts, some light citrus zest and dried rinds with a little bit of grassy, hay-like hops.

T: The is spot on with some bready malts, lemon zest, grassy hops and a subtle sweetness on the finish.

M: Medium to light bodied with a nice lively carbonation. I would like the flavors to linger around a tad longer, but it's hard to ask that from an APA.

O: This was probably the most balanced beer I've had from Two Brothers and overall the most solid. It was refreshing and it had a nice drinkability.

 815 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
3.46/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Ginger Man, NYC.

Pale bright orange with sheeting film. Very light orange cookie nose.
Cookie dough, a bit of salt, and light orange hops.
Crisp, light, round.

Drinkable to a fault. More like an English blonde, but doesn’t have the body or citrus to be called an APA. Forgettable.

 298 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly auburn color with a two-finger, off-white head of khaki colored foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of citrus and pine with sweet caramel notes.

T - It had a nice piney bitterness with a citrus kick. Good burnt toast maltiness with caramel and toffee flavors.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a clean finish.

O - This is a really tasty APA. Another good one from Two Brothers.

 467 characters

Photo of ferrari29
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured from bottle into a conical shaped Pint glass

A - Beer pours with a copper colored body; beautiful creme/off-white colored head rocky head forms from pour; one finger size head, which held very well; visibly well-carbonated body; no lacing though

S - Subtle hints of caramel malt, mostly at the end of every draw; citrus hop front; pine and green grass

T - Quick light pale malt taste, followed up with a caramel and roasted flavor that precedes the hop and pine finish; light citrus tart taste; crackers and biscuit

M - Creamy and bitter; not very overpowering in bitterness; moderate flavor profile making this a well-balanced beer; lingering tart bitter taste; not too extreme in the malt or hop direction

D - Good drink; easy to enjoy; not to heavy or light in the nose, taste, or mouthfeel category; not extreme, but pleasant; make this a staple in your fridge

 881 characters

Photo of Schneic8
4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a mug. Best by date of 12/27/11.

Appearance: Has a copper/orange color with mild carbonation. Poured a slightly off white head.

Smell: Had a slight citrus and honey smell. I could also get some spice in there. It was very faint and not too strong.

Taste: Great taste. It is just slightly bitter and finishes well. I get a touch of the citrus, mild floral tones, and some caramel.

Mouthfeel: Initially smooth with a slight crispness in the mouth. Goes down easy and leave a mild bitter after taste. Very refreshing.

Overall: Great beer. The mild bitterness is perfect. There is a good balance between all the flavor which is great. It is also easy to drink and I look forward to drinking it again.

 730 characters

Photo of schoolboy
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I know I tried some two brothers before and I will have to check which. This one is a good one. I am looking forward to the other I picked up.

It has a nice hoppiness (not really too bitter) and a bit of a floral bite. It laces nicely and has a light reddish brown IPA look. I see the style here listed as APA - that seems right, and this is a good example of the style. Very drinkable and a definite one to buy again.

 420 characters

Photo of Ascender
4.55/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I live in the Chicagoland area and I am a big fan of the Two Brothers Brewery in general.

Appearance: Darkish orange, slightly cloudy.
Pours with a thin head that quickly dissipates and light lacing.
Scent: Fruity with a bit of a floral note, light on the hops scent and some maltiness
Taste: An initial caramel touch with some slight malty notes and a citrus finish with a hoppy bite at the end. As noted, this is not an IPA in Pale Ale clothing, but a true ale.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, not overly carbonated. Round on the tongue
Overall: I love this beer. I can drink it all summer day long. The days are getting shorter and I'll be moving on to my heavier beers but it's a wonderful barbeque beer.

 696 characters

Photo of McNealc31
3.64/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The light butterscotch from the malt coats the mouth, while the hops provide the requisite kick at the back end. And as promised, there is some bitterness in the finish, too.

This isn’t the most complex brew, but it’s tasty, boasts a great balance of malt and hops with neither being overpowering, and at just a tick over 5% ABV, it’s a great session beer.

Solid, if unspectacular.

 389 characters

Photo of gatornation
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from 12 oz bottle

A- pours a clear copper color with a quick receding head a touch of lacing

S- pale malts with floral hops and sweet malts

T- nice bitter hop start with both floral and citrus notes a nice balance of sweet malts and caramel finish this off

M- was a touch bitter with hops crisp light carbonation with a sweet finish

O- 2brithers makes some great brews and they get better every year,,try any of thier brews they are a solid brewery and one i try frequently

 478 characters

Photo of shanblur
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by 9/18/2011 printed on botle. Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - A nice copper color with a fizzy white head which leaves moderate lacing.

S - Mostly sweet malts in the aroma.

T - Better than the smell. Starts with a sweet malt flavor, but this is balanced by a nice bitter hops finish.

M - Medium bodied with a light carbonation.

A nice beer for everyday drinking. Very nice for the style.

 414 characters

Photo of falloutsnow
4.21/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Friar Tuck's in Savoy, IL.

Pours a 3cm head, white to off-white in color. Fades in a few minutes leaving ring around glass and a few islands of foam. Lacing is good, with dots and streaks. Beer is a transparent amber-orange in color, with plenty of carbonation visible.

Smell is of light floral hops, citrus-grapefruit hops, mineral undertones, mixed with light malt in the back. Everything in good proportion, I can't find fault with this, but maybe slightly more maltiness in the back would be great?

Pleasantly hop-forward with herbal, floral, and citrus tones leading the taste and remaining throughout, until the end. Second half of taste features a malty, somewhat bready flavor. Aftertaste is of citrus rind, somewhat bitter.

Medium bodied, with adequate carbonation. FInish is expectedly dry.

Drinkable, good ABV, so sessionable, an overall great drinking beer. Will definitely pick up more of these.

 935 characters

Photo of flocculate
4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass

A: pours sharp and clear
S: soft hop bouquet appropriate for a pale
T: equally soft bitter hop notes. I like because its a pale as I used to know it. (considering today's pale's are now yesterday's IPA)
M: light and dry
O: a pale as it should be. not an closet IPA.

Serving type: bottle

 312 characters

Photo of BigPlay1824
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

A: pours a perfectly clear light golden color, pours with two fingers of pure white head that lingers a bit
S: nice hoppy scent with bright herbal notes
T: nice taste with bitter hop notes, a nice underlying sweetness and great overall hop presence
M: smooth, very slight carbonation tingle, slight foaminess left on the tongue
O: a great representation on the style with great hop notes, crisp taste and wonderful clarity

 446 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two Brothers Bitter End Pale Ale used to be a favorite of mine. But it seems that when Two Bros moved to their new location the Bitter End has eroded in awesomeness. Over time I have had bottles that have been over primed, this bottle that I am reviewing now has floaties....I hate floaties. But in the bitter end the Bitter End is a decent Pale Ale. The appearance is a rich copper color with decent white head that is lacing nicely. The smell is malt and hop with sublte undertones of pine and citrus. The taste starts light with pine and citrus then converts to more dry malty finish. The mouthfeel is very good and this is a proper session beer. definitely worth a taste!!!

 677 characters

Photo of cagocubs
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Pours a darker honeycomb amber with a thin white bubbly head that recedes to a thin film and laces glass.

S: Sweet malt (caramel), strong hops, citrus (grapefruit), pine, earthy. Nice smell to this apa, strong, but not overpowering.

T: With a name of "The Bitter End" I was expecting a much more powerful hop bite. The hops are present, but not kick you in your mouth. With that being said the beer is well balanced between the bitter hops and sweet earthy taste. An easy APA to drink and enjoy.

M: Carbonated tingle present, good mouth coating and bitter hops give it a nice dry finish. Body is fairly light.

 653 characters

Photo of Kylito87
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Heres we Goes!!! Poured into my Boulevard Pint glass

Appearance: Hazy amberish orange. Pours a prominent sticky off white 2 finger head. Settles into a nice cap with a lot of lacing.

Aroma: Citrusy hop aroma with a some sweet caramel malt back drop. There are some slight green apple and pine resin. This one is not over powering but very pleasant.

Taste: Very malt forward in flavor. Nice clean hop bite with a some herbal floral notes in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Sort of sticky at first and then dries out in the finish. Very smooth well balanced APA.

Overall: Very decent APA. Not my favorite but it is a solid example of the style. Well done 2 Brothers you never disappoint.

 711 characters

Photo of titosupertramp
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden amber in color, slightly hazy. A finger or so of white head. It leaves a decent amount of lacing and an attractive film with large bubbles throughout.

S: Mostly malt in the nose. Bready and caramel. The hops aren't terribly present in the nose, but I do get some grassy or pine like smell...hard to pick up.

T: Taste seems to be a little more balanced than the smell. Bready and caramel malts are present with grassy and herbal hops flavors. Has a bite to it, but I'm not sure what to attribute it to. Rye maybe? At any rate, this is a pretty tasty beer.

M: Medium bodied, well carbonated...slightly bitter and dry finish.

O: The Bitter End is a really nice pale ale that seems to focus more on the malt side of things, but of course, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'd buy this again.

 804 characters

Photo of JamnesCameron
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Holland Pint Glass. Pours a clear, light copper, with a two fingered light tan head that slowly drops, leaving some nice lacing.

Aromas of citrus, bitter grapefruit peel, grapefruit juice, caramel malt.

Flavors of firm citric bitterness, grapefruit peel, fruity yeast esters. Short finish, with emphasis on the bitter.

Mouthfeel is slightly astringent, good bitterness, good level of carbonation.

Overall, a very nice APA. Nothing too aggressive or out of place. But nothing to really make it stand out from the others.

 541 characters

The Bitter End Pale Ale from Two Brothers Brewing Company
3.74 out of 5 based on 747 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.