The Bitter End Pale Ale | Two Brothers Brewing Company

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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

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Ratings: 747 |  Reviews: 306
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of InebriatedJoker
3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into my favorite beer drinking glass.

Poured a cloudy gold -with lots of bubbles two finger head with little lace.

Taste was bitter with malt hints- citrus hints - Not really what I consider a pale ale -

Drinkabiltiy was just average for me - may purchase again but not a great pale ale compared with others

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Photo of MowryJC
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A - Brassy, clear color with some carbonation bubbles trailing off the glass. A moderate-to-light head which quickly degrades into an irregular thin head, with light lacing that falls with the level of the beer as you drink.

S - Nice hoppy aroma, fruity with a good amount of citrus up front. Not a lot of malt in the profile.

T - Great balanced bitter flavor, with a slight sweetness naar the end, quickly fades back into a lasting enjoyable bitterness.

M - Not really anything memorable here, just average mouthfeel that leaves quickly.

D - Pretty drinkable, like most of the Two Brothers line, I could definitely knock a few of these back.

All in all a fulfilling pale ale with nothing fancy about it (that's a good thing in this case). Keep it up, Ebels.

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Photo of hopjuicer
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured in an imperial pint glass.

Pours with a small head and a golden/straw color, not cloudy.

Nose is earthy, hops, grass, and grain.

Taste starts very bitter and finishes with evidence of heavy dry hopping. Flavor is dry and acidic.

Very enjoyable APA.

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Photo of jlindros
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A creamy and fizzy head rises to almost a finger and fades slowly. The beer is very hazy and yeast chunk filled.

The nose brings some light grassy and herbal hops, a mild hop aroma, some light chewy hops, sweetness, almost a caramel and honey aromas, and a light fruit aroma too.

The taste is more malty, with some crystal malts, some Munich I think too, light toasty. Some light hops too, grassy and herbal, a little spicy and chewy hops as well. A nice pale hop flavor, and mild bitterness. It finishes with a lingering bitterness that intensifies a bit but never gets overwhelming. A light sticky feel too.

THe mouth is medium to lighter bodied with decent carbonation.

It has a decent drinkability, clean dry finish but a light sticky feel. It also has a light bitterness making it pretty drinkable.

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Photo of lstokes
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice beer, pours coppery with little bubble streams rising up and smells like caramel with very lovely citrus hops.

I thought those two tastes clashed a little bit in the drinking of the beer--they're both very good notes, but there's something like burnt barley or a resinous oil? that comes through in the end and put me a little bit off of the taste.

Still, it is very smooth, crisp, and drinkable, and I think a lot of my non-hop-head friends would really dig this.

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Photo of champ103
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a beautiful bright dark copper/orange color. A big frothy white head rises to over two fingers with excellent retention. As the rocky head gently recedes, rings of sticky lace is left behind. This looks really nice.
S: Big floral and herbal hops up front. Like green tea leaves. Some citrus aromas as well. Musky and dank. A malty sweetness lingers, as well as dry bread/cracker aroma. Very nice.
T: Again, floral and herbal hops are strong that I really like. At first a big musky and dank flavor that I get with several Two Brothers beers, though that fades as this warms up. A light citrus and grapefruit like bitterness lingers. A big hop flavor, but is is really well balanced with a dry cracker like flavor and some sweetness.
M/D: A medium body and perfect carbonation. Really clean, crisp and dry. Very easy to drink. I can put a few back with ease.

A well done pale. Just an all around enjoyable beer. Something I would highly recommend.

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

Standard, simple, and pure- It's a beautiful thing to make a blanced Pale Ale with no frills, bells, or whistles; just high and effortless drinkability. Two Brothers gets it right.

A mostly clear (light haze) copper-amber hue carries a froathy off-white head that retains the session and laces very well. The beer does everything it's asked to do, at least to the eye.

Balanced aromas of graham crackers or caramels swirl with citrusy-grassy hops for bold but alluring scent. Low on esters and super clean, the beer fits the bill.

Again, balanced flavors of caramel (butterscotch) graham crackers, and raw barley sets the pace while an equal and opposite reaction of grapefruit, orange zest, and fresh cut grasses round out a bittering and flavoring zesty finish. If anything, a cola-like taste comes in the finish and gives more rise to the sun-kissed grain character of the barley.

Medium throughout, the beer starts moderately creamy and froathy, but fades evenly into a drying malty, bitter, and fleeting finish. Very consistent and easy to drink.

Though I prefer my Pale Ales a bit on the drier and hoppier side, this beer demonstrates a balance that is right down the center of the style. ...just a pace off of classics like Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Equal parts orange and amber. Leaves a little bit of lace. Good hop and bitter aroma, not overpowering, but a lil jacked up for style.

Taste, very flavorful, a good astringent bitterness to it, but without solely using bittering hops, there seems to be a decent amount of dry and flavor hopping as well. Lemongrass flavor comes out, hope it isn't psychosomatic from the yellow bottle.

Easy enough to drink, unless you really don't like your pales bitter. Great name, I like the brewery, just with they had better distribution.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my buddy Doug for bringing this back from the Midwest. Label reads best by 9/30/10

Pours with a nice finger of white foamy head. Straight amber in color with excellent clarity. Noticed a little sediment later in the pour... Some carbonation rising to the surface. Splotchy lacing remains in the glass.

Aroma is fairly light. What's there is fruity with some hop character.

Flavor is very nice and well balanced. Tons of fruity esters. Bitterness and malt notes are in perfect balance and harmony. Biscuit like malt flavors. Present but subtle bitterness for a moment, then finished a bit bready and very fruity.

Carbonation is slight, body is medium light and a touch oily.

Very nice beer. One you could sit and enjoy several of over dinner or hanging with friends. VERY glad I was able to sample this beer.


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