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 birchstick
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - pours a copper brown with a 1/2 finger head

S - smells of some caramel and bready malts with some bitter hops

T - the taste follows the nose: caramel malts are balanced by a little bit of piney hops. The malts stand out more in the flavor profile than the hops. Nice balanced flavor flavor that is enjoyable throughout.

M - Solid mouthfeel - full and very smooth

D - this is a good pale ale that is easy drinking and went down quickly. Not bad, but nothing special in my opinion.

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Photo of CHickman
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper color with a 2 finger foamy tan head that faded slowly and left good spotty lacing that slid down the glass after each sip.

Smells very hoppy up front, with sweet malt, caramel, biscuit and grapefruit in the nose. The aroma is soft and floral and sweet at the same time, and it's nice to savor.

Tastes of sweet malt, caramel, grapefruit, floral hops, light orange peel or lemon, biscuit or light grains and a flowery, earthy taste like potpourri. It starts off sweet and then seems like an IPA, but then goes back to the bread and malt taste which was kind of strange and all over the place. The taste is not bad, it's actually pretty good but just confusing.

Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth and bordering on light and watery, but this is a medium bodied beer with a semi-dry finish that was slightly bitter and I guess living up to it's name.

High drinkability if you like APA's that lean towards the malty side; this beer is crisp and goes down easy and I would drink it again. A fine example of the style and a definite session beer. Overall this was very good, and while not very hoppy, it was very balanced and really easy to drink.

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

Reviewed from notes.

A: I always have instant appreciation for a brewery that dates their bottles. Translucent copper, over a finger of ivory bubbly head. Light cap of retention and a good amount of lacing.
S: The wind is blowing the hoppiness right into my face upon pouring. Aromas are berry esters, light biscuit malt, and sweet caramel. The hops are nondescript compared to the malt profile. They're there, I am just enjoying the malts.
T: A deliciously balanced pale ale, right off the bat. The bitter/berry esters/hops are subtle, but there. Just like in the aroma. The malts follow with a barely toasted biscuit. Mouth is medium bodied and nicely carbonated.
D: Subtle flavors, but easy drinking and balanced. I definitely see myself buying this now and then, as it has great session potential.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at the brew pub as part of a sampler and the tour guide recommend this as his favorite beer and the brothers father's favorite beer. All I can say is really? Its decent but lets get realistic fellas....A very light but clear copper, very good retention, even better lacing...The aroma is super nice and balanced, malty caramel on the front with an awesome slightly grass and floral and strong hops, the hops really make this aroma nice. Light lemon citrus on the back...The taste is a big let down from the aroma. Its very similar to an esb, way to dominated by malt caramel, then a very bitter pine finish. Get rid of the malt and this might really be good.

Worth a shot, especially if you like esbs.

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Photo of ThaBobfather
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light golden copper color with plenty of thickish beige head.
Smell is very flowery-fresh and crisp of hops.
Taste is lightly hoppy on the front end with a solid barley body.
Finish is quick and with some lite bitter after taste.
Drinks very middle of the road- good tasting APA with solid ABV for style.

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Photo of Amalak
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this out of the bottle at the Encore Bar in Chicago.
A- Nice clear copper color with some small lines of bubbles. Good white head that leaves some lace.
S- Has a rye sort of scent with a hint of citrus.
T- This has a nice mix of bitter hops that leads into a pleasant rye taste. The citrus is there and has a floral appeal as well. Very nice, smooth APA.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean orange-ish color, with a white head. In the aroma, a small hop presence and a orange/ coriander note. In the taste, just like the aroma, nice hop presence and a small orange sweet backing up the maltiness. A small hop bite and medium bodied mouthfeel with a semi dry hop and small citrus in the aftertaste. Nice pale, balanced hop and refreshing with citrus.

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

A bitter end, a fitting slogan for so much of our lives...yikes, I think I am getting a bit too deep for my own good.

The beer is a nice radiant orange color with a barely present head.

Aroma is very floral, nice and malty.

Flavors kick with a very sweet caramel malt and a good dose of butterscotch.

Mouthfeel is a little watery, but about the right carbonation level.

Decently tasty and a pretty easy beer to drink but a little underwhelming. Still good though.

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Photo of HosP
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by 7/19/10 printed on label. Cutting it pretty close!

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

S- First smell detects hops! Pine mixed with citrus. I can detect some caramel malt aromas though, but not a lot.

T- Get a lot of bitter hop flavors at first. As this beer warmed, the bitterness started to mellow a bit. The malt flavors started to mix well with the hops. Some bitterness keeps toward the end!

M- Medium body with decent carbonation.

D- Solid beer. Could easily drink more of it. Had two brothers hop juice the other night and really enjoyed it. May have to start looking a little harder for two brothers.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

4 oz cask pour into a small tasting pint at the Two Brothers Tap House in Warrenville, IL.

A - Appears with a large pile of frothy whit head with moderate retention and bits of lace left on the glass. Lightly hazy golden yellow beer was left a little lonely.

S - Citrus and pine hop resin aroma bursts from the hand-pumped cask pour. It seems very aroma hopped late in the boil. A nicely balanced malt backbone appears but doesn't steal from the hop showcase of the nose.

T - Smooth caramel malt blends well with a nicely balanced mild hop flavor of pine and resin showing it is truly more about the aroma and balance than the big hop flavor.

M - Smooth and creamy served perfectly at cask temperature around 55° to 60°F. The nice medium body had a fantastic feel to it.

D - Good drinkability, The Bitter End wasn't all too bitter but well-balanced and served properly. It would do well in an English pub methinks.

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Photo of Augustiner719
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a very attractive amber/yellowish crystal clear color with a nice thick foamy head. really nice honeycomb color. Smells a bit muted. does have that nice sweet mango/pineapple like sweetness with some balanced hops in there. Taste is really balanced. might be up there with my top APA's for the balance on this one. Has a great hop bite, but controlled with sweetness from the malts. Carbonation and is spot on, very nice. the drinkability is very high on this one is very very high as its delicious. A really nice find.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a standard pint glass
Clear, copper/gold in color, with a moderate head of foam
Aroma-Faint hop and malt notes
Taste-Easygoing malt and hop combination-nothing overpowering-English style earthy hop notes, nice hop bite in the finish.
Overall, a decent, easy-drinking pale ale-Although called "The Bitter End", the bitterness is relatively mild and easy on the tastebuds.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Browish, light orange. 2 fingered head.

S-The faint citrus, slight pine aroma, but very weak for this nose.

T-seems below medium for mouthfeel, little much carbonation for how light the mouthfeel is. The hops are very faint at the tail end of the sip.

D-Not bad, solid session beer and of course much better than the BIG 3 (BMC). I would definitely drink it again, but this Pale Ale makes me pine for a good IPA, like I'm being teased. Good starting beer for your friends who are new to "GOOD" beer. Also, would be an outstanding substitute for the Big 3 on a hot Summer day.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle courtesy of bauermj thanx for this extra

A: poured a golden orange with yellow highlights and a thin head that left barely any lacing on the glass.

S: citrus zest and floral hop aromas with malt presence and hints of honeysuckle, candy sugar, and booze.

T: citrus piney hops up front with a good amount of malts to balance it out that had wheat, slight apricots, and boozy notes..
The honey adds some sweet accents as well.

M: light to medium body with very little amount of carbonation and had a sweet mild hop bite finish.

D: very drinkable pale ale that I could have about a six pack to the neck easy. This was the first two brothers beer I had and I got to say it was quite pleasent.

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Photo of
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass at the brewpub.

Dark in appearance with a small, moderately sticky head. Smells and tastes aggressively hopped, with grapefruit rind and kiwi. Some dark fruit flavors come in but are clearly in the background. A good amount of carbonation gave this a very nice mouthfeel and drinkability, slightly pop-like. Good on a hot, sticky day.

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3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an Imperial pint glass.

A: Nice golden hazy hue with good head retention and minimal lacing.

S: The aroma is that of spicy hops, showing the bitter side of this beer.

T: The ale has a good well balanced taste from hops to malt, then back to hops on the finish.

M: A nice sharp, refreshing hop presence with the finish. A nice bitter lingering taste.

D: Good APA, this is one that could be used for a session beer for myself, and it has. With a lower ABV, this one is nice for cooling off on a summer day, but cannot wait to see how it warms on a winters night.

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Photo of KBomb
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, copper-brown color. Small head leaves little lacing.

The smell is somewhat mild. Yet, you get a broad spectrum of hop aroma. Its not hard to detect hints of floral, spicy, and citric hops.

Taste is bitter, hoppy. A nice peppery hop flavor stands out, supported by a very subtle but sufficient malt background. The finish is just on the harsh side of average. Taste is decent, but aftertaste is just slightly more bitter than my palate likes.

Some robust carbonation keeps the the strong flavor from overwhelming the mouth. For being such a hoppy brew, the beer isn't at all "sticky", for which I'm grateful.

Moderate weight and body makes it easy enough to drink, but the excessively bitter finish means that I myself probably won't purchase another sixer of it.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

A: The beer is a light golden brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of grassy hops, caramelized malts and some citrus.

T: The taste starts with a strong but not over-powering burst of floral hops bitterness. Then there is a hearty but not too heavy malt character that comes in followed by some citrus and caramel sweetness creating a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer but there are several others in the style that I would choose first.

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Photo of BigBry
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Lodge, Chicago - Happy Hour, all domestics $4.
Pours golden-orange in color, one inch of thick head with nice retention and lacing. Citrus and flowery hop aroma. Mildly bitter, crisp hoppiness. Citrus, fruity, a bit grassy. Some malt notes, but not alot of sweetness. Clean and crisp, dry finish.
A nice sessional, easy drinking beer. Not great, but a good solid APA.

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Photo of jsh420
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

best by 9/13/10

pours bight golden copper with a 2 finger head that left no lacing

smell is light floral hops and carmel malts

taste is very good - light floral hops bitter grapefruit hops - nice balance of malts

mouthfeel is weak - light to medium body with almost no carbonation

drinkability is good - might not like the feel but the flavor is there

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

poured from a bottle at The Chicago Diner

light creamy frothy head, light retention, a nice amber color for a pale ale. lots of red tones.

light hoppy scent, mainly bitter citrus, light pine, light bready malts.

light malt backbone through out. light bitterness up front, almost a rye like flavor. through the finish it got a bit more bitter with a more citrus tone, mainly white grapefruit. lots of spice in this for a pale ale.

light body, but not thin, very moderate. nice light to moderate carbonation.

this was awesome. ive been pretty let down by everything ive had from two brothers but this was as solid as it comes, and very refreshing and fun to drink

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

Cloudy amber, with a thick and rich head of tan bubbles. Spectacular lace. Definite points on presentation.

A nice, sweet, and floral/citrus hops aroma immediately permeates the air around this one. Certainly a promising opening!

Tastewise, it's a smooth and hoppy character with a well-balanced malty presence that counteracts the more acidic and bitter elements that other pale ales exhibit. Smooth finish, too.

A standout, and a fine example of the style. Highly enjoyable.

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

Like this one much more on draft than bottle. Poured with a nice fine foamy off white head and a little lace. Aroma is nice with some hop, malt, citrus, and perfumey spice. Flavor is like aroma but with a few other things too - minerals, wet leather, earth, resin. Body is good and so's carbonation. Finish is like flavor and medium in length.

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

Pours a hazy golden color with a large, off-white head. Retention isn't the greatest but it does manage to leave some sticky lacing.

The nose is full of light floral and citrus hops. Light grapefruit and orange characters come to mind, which you don't usually find in a Pale Ale. It's good, but very subtle. I wish it was more straight forward.

Starts out with a nice hop character, floral and citrus notes. Also a fairly strong pale malt backbone. Surprisingly bitter, which shouldn't be surprising given the name.

Lighter body with a heavy carbonation. Finishes a bit dry and bitter. Drinkability isn't bad.

Overall, not a bad Pale Ale. Subtler than I would have liked, but still a great beer. Nice one by Two Brothers.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

Best By 7/6/10

A: Pours a crystal clear, golden orange color with a 1 1/2 finger, bright white, and bubbly layer of foam on top that sticks around for a bit and leaves some pretty lacing behind.

S: Aromas of caramel, piney hops, pear, and a slightly grassy smell.

T: Hops move a little more to the forefront here. Piney with hints of citrus. Toasted bready malt and caramel in the finish.

M: Nice array of dry/toasty malt, spicy hops, and slightly sweet fruit (pear). Finishes dry and bready.

D: This is one of those APA's that you can drink all friggin' day. It's no Alpha King, but it most certainly gets the job done!

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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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