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 kjyost
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle BB 8/14/11 chilled to 4C poured into a tulip. 
A: Orangey-red and clear with a nice fluffy white head that retains well and leaves light lacing. 
S: sweet caramel malt at the forefront with grapefruit and citrus hop aromas playing nicely with each other. 
T: Fairly straightforward APA, but this is not meant as a slight. Lightly sweet body balanced well with a lingering bitterness and a nice level of American hop flavours. 
M: Strongly carbonated, with a little too prickly a character for my liking. Good lingering finish. 
O: A solid and enjoyable APA I could definitely consider drinking a whole host of...

 624 characters

Photo of stercomm
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle

A - Hazy golden almost honey in color.

S - Get strong malt, maybe some slight pine.

T - Not very complex or deep, some malt on the front end, a bit of hops on the back end.

M - mild bodied, mild carbonation.

D - Okay, could use a bit more depth and character.

 283 characters

Photo of steelerguy
3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden, moderate carbonation, just off white, sticky head. Head lasts for a good bit and fades to a healthy covering that leaves nice lacing.

S - Lacking, a little grassiness from the grain, a touch of sweetness, not much in the way of hops.

T - Good solid light malt base, some sweetness from light crystal malts, a nice bitterness from the hops, wish there was some more hop flavor and not just bitterness.

M - Light to moderate body, refreshing.

O - Good beer, would rather have a Sierra Nevada.

 506 characters

Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is slightly hazy light copper in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that quickly died down and left lacing.
S: There are light aromas of biscuit and caramel malts in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the initial taste is rather malty with flavors of caramel and some associated sweetness; however a mild to moderate amount of bitterness develops towards the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink because the taste has a good balance between the malts and hops.

 608 characters

Photo of beerdown77
4.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours a nice dark, hazy orange with a chunky head. There is decent lacing and retention as well. The smell is more potent than I was expecting for a pale ale. The citrus and hops are obvious, as well as the malts and sweetness. This has a very well rounded hop/malt complexity. Before it dawned on me what the name meant, I was thinking to myself that just about when you expect this beer to bring that sweet malt flavor through in the aftertaste, it truly does finish bitter.

 481 characters

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

On tap at Remy's Fenway before the Sox/Cubs game on Sunday. Served in a standard pint glass. Nice golden sunshine colored body. Moderate carbonation, and a little lacing. Smell had a nice honey and malt aroma. Taste was very appealing. Very mild taste of fruit, like apples and grapes, balanced well with just enough malt in the back. Surprisingly though, not a lot of hops present here. Would have categorized this as more of a golden ale. Still, very smooth on the palate and quite drinkable. This may be my new drink of choice near Fenway, replacing GI Honkers Ale as my pre-game libation.

 592 characters

Photo of RA1NMAN1205
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Golden/amber color with a light bubbly head which it loses quickly except for the very minimal ring left around the top, and a very thin, stain-like middle.

S: Malty and hoppy with citrus and pine notes.

T: Balanced flavors of malt and hops, starting a light sweetness and finishing with a light bitterness. I also tasted hints of orange, caramel, and bread.

M: Average. Light carbonation. Nothing special.

O: Easy to drink. To me, it is a little above average for a pale ale. Nothing special, but all in all it was enjoyable.

 534 characters

Photo of argock
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-cask from beer engine into a clear imperial pint glass at Clark Street Ale House (Chicago, IL).

A: Burnished amber with tightly bubbled, 1-2 finger maple-wood colored head with great retention and nice caking of lace down the imperial.

S: Citrus and pine sap are understated but present, and the maltiness is strikingly nicely complementary with a nice kick of toffee-caramel and some biscuity elements.

T: A really nicely drinkable pale ale which, but for the slight citrus components could go for an English IPA on cask like this. The citrus and pine meet more herbal, grassy flavors and the maltiness again brings wonderful balance with nice toffee, caramel, and a little crackery-biscuit to the mix.

M: The cask delivery is a great way to give this brew a whirl -- smooth and layering on the palate with a nice crispness despite the low carbonation.

O: A real highlight of the night, a surprising pale ale which packs a lot of complexity and a brew I would try again on cask given the chance.

 1,011 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i grabbed this one in a trade an cracked it open to mess around on the grill. served cold and poured into a pint glass,

nice golden yellow pour with a huge amount of carbonation that was streaming up from the bottom of the glass and reached the top to form a huge head of white that towered over the rest of the glass.

aroma is light herbal hops, lots of wheat and grain, hints of grassy notes and herbals that blend with a light spiced rye note and a really well done light floral finish. perfectly drinkable this was simply an amazing pale to drink on the first 85 degree day. long finish of light hops and grains that rolls through slightly dry but clean and crisp.

overall an amazing choice that i was so happy that i made. i was just immensly impressed with this beer.

 776 characters

Photo of BrewIrish98
3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice copper color. Tint of orange and ruby.

S: Smell orange and honey. Also, some good spice there.

T: Good taste. Just the right amount of bitterness. Has a clean finish, with a nice bite. Looking for citrus which really isn't there. Almost tastes like a really good pilsner on steroids.

M: Light head, crisp and refreshing.

O: Overall I'm impressed with this beer. I would drink it again in a heartbeat. I would put it up against any other pale ale, even though it lacks some of the orange I was expecting.

 519 characters

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

Not your run of the mill APA, as the look would suggest. Orange/copper body, with a thin cream colored head to cap it off. Strong smells of cascade hops and some caramel malt. Nice and bitter, all the way through. Very grapefruit reminiscent with a fair malt backbone. Nice and strong on the flavor with as full body as you can ask for from a pale ale.

 352 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

I love the random fridge-pullings. This one pours a clear sunrise amber topped by a relatively short-lived finger of lightly dirty foam. The nose comprises orange peel, light lemon zest, flowers, light greens, and a pinch or so of light coriander. The taste holds notes of bitter orange rind, light caramel, light buttery biscuit, and what seems like some peppery rye bread in there as well. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda dry finish. Overall, a nice pale, nothing truly special, but a nice beer to just sit back and enjoy without pretense. Something like that.

 649 characters

Photo of Knapp85
2.15/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had some odd metallica flavors going on in it. I was kind of turned off by this. Some beers have this happen and I try to look passed it. Sometimes it's easier said than done. The beer is a good APA overall. It's got a good color and aroma to it. The hoppy quality isn't too bad either. Just that metallica flavor I was getting killed this one for me.

 351 characters

Photo of Erish
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint. Best by 6/10/11.

A: clear golden color, 2-finger head quickly falls into a decent cap with good lacing.

S: citrus/pine and a hint of floral hop aromas, the malt is lightly sweet with a touch of caramel.

T: lightly sweet malt, orange, lemon zest, light caramel, some herbal and floral mid-notes, the finish is indeed nicely bitter. Pretty much exactly what I expect from an APA, nothing more.

M: light to medium-bodied, silky to lightly oily texture, plentiful carbonation.

D: very drinkable, as the bottle says, perhaps not "incredibly" so. Still, it is not overdone or cloying in any way, which is something.

 673 characters

Photo of Brunite
3.36/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured a deep amber color with white head that didn't hang around to long.

S- First smell detects hops! Some restrained pine mixed with citrus. I can also smell some caramel malt aromas as well.

T- Moderate bitterness followed by a dry grainy, biscuit flavor. Never crosses into sweet but nice balance.

M- Medium body with decent carbonation.

D- Better than average but no mind blowing. A little pricey for a PA. Still...very drinkable.

 443 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my New Belgium tulip.

a - Pours a somewhat transparent amber color with one finger of fluffy off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus hops, pine hops, bready malts, and a bit musty.

t - Tastes of citrus and pine hops, fruity malts, bready malts, grain, musty. Very slightly bitter.

m - Medium body and moderaye carbonation. Pretty smooth and creamy.

d - A pretty good pale ale. Some mustiness to it but also some nice bready malts and citrus hops. Would have again.

 532 characters

Photo of goblue3509
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orangish amber color with a white two finger head which gives way to okay lacing. The aroma is of breadiness and a nice big pine hop smell. The flavor has a bread malt backbone with a nice pine hop flavor and bite at the end. Not overly bitter, but a nice smooth bite also a hint of fruit. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated. Overall it is a solid beer, enough flavor to make you want more, but an easy drink as well.

 435 characters

Photo of tjsdomer2
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Excellent! Thick golden amber and light overall. Nice slow carbonation and yeast particles suspended in the glass. This definitely impresses me.

Smell: Kind of one note. Fortunately, that one note consists of strong, fresh pine hops. It seems this beer only can do one thing, but it does it well.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Excellent mouthfeel and flavor. Initially I get some active bubbly carbonation that turns smooth and velvety at the end. This mouthfeel does well in complimented the bitterness of the pine hops that definitely dominates the flavor.

Drinkability: I would rate this higher but this level of hops might be hard to keep up with.

Overall: A top-notch pale ale.

 685 characters

Photo of JTahoe
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice look, very pleasing to the nose with malty grains and mellow pine. very smooth and clean drinking APA...a great regional variation, though not too bitter as the name implies. the bitterness does show way back on the finish. fairly subtle, but not to say weak. I dig this...sessions!

 287 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark golden with a fairly grainy looking head. Smells quite bready, with a touch of fruit and earthy hops. Tastes very grainy, and a bit thin with some slightly watered down fruit and grain. Fairly smooth, but ultimately fairly uninteresting and not really crisp enough for a pale ale for my taste.

 304 characters

Photo of geryeb624
4.17/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle received as an extra from klshanks. Thanks man! Marked best by 1/9/11

A- Nice orange marmalade color with a finger of white head.

S- Some sweet maltiness, but a nice, citrusy hop kick as well, with a hint of pine. Nice balance in aroma.

T- Very nice balance here as well. Excellent hop flavor, a little citrus and pine, but not a crushing bitterness. Well-balanced malt profile as well.

M/D- Nicely carbonated with a light mouthfeel. Hugely drinkable, with a great balance of flavors.

A really top-notch pale ale. Balance is the key, as nothing dominates necessarily, but everything is in harmony. Great session ale.

 636 characters

Photo of CalhounJohn
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very full with thick head. It has a nice, expected aroma for a pale ale and the taste lingers and is deeper than expected. It goes down very easily and, in my opinion, is a great beer to drink every day and to share with people who don't really appreciate beer. Actually, this may be a great introductory beer for these people!!

 328 characters

Photo of despainmakesbeer
4.09/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep reddish copper color. Good amount of sediment on bottom of glass. Thin white head, larger bubbled ring on edge of glass. Awesome lacing. Dark floral aroma. Hops almost dominated my maltiness in aroma. Wasn't expecting that much malt in aroma for an APA but both blend nicely for a very pleasant aroma, hop aroma becomes the more dominant as beer warms. High Carbonation, last throughout whole glass, a swirl or two at any time brings back a thick white 1/4" head. Again malt very present in flavor, more evident and heavy at end of drink, with a dry floral hop finish. Sweeter maltiness in middle of drinks, starts with a dark orangy grassiness. Bitter finish lives up to the name but definitely no where close to unbearable, quite nice.

 742 characters

Photo of WildTurkey
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Mostly clear, slight haze, amber copper color. Some visible carbonation

S: Nice aroma. Hoppy, citrus, light fruit aroma. Stronger aroma than I was expecting.

T: Well harmonized malt and hoppiness for this style. However, less hops flavor/bitterness than I was expecting based on the smell.

M: Medium body, and a little carbonation. Dry

D: Good session beer.

 364 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours golden with a white head. The nose brings some earthy spice and a bit of some herbal characteristics. Really light grain and a bit of caramel. The taste is slightly bitter with some floral and earthy characteristics. Light and slightly dry with good carbonation. Drinks quite well, although not as sessionable as it could be.

 353 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.