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Thursday, February 17th 2011

Bitter American
(21st Amendment Brewery)

The newest release from the folks at 21st Amendment. This is their sixth canned offering to date. I think they've got a winner here. Session ales are getting popular and a low alcohol yet hoppy beer should sit well with those of us who are active and see the portability of cans as a big positive. We should expect to see more of these session ales popping up going forward. Cheers!

From the 21st Amendment site:

"If you'd been rocketed into space against your will, you might be a little bitter too. Bitter American is our long-overdue tribute to unsung, unwitting heroes everywhere. 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.

Bitter American is our late winter seasonal beer available from January through March in six pack cans and on draft. This extra pale session ale has lower alcohol but all the flavor and hop aroma you expect from a much bigger beer. Give one, or three, a try.

Here we go...


Pour - bright orange, clean and clear. Very well formed head with some lacing. Part of this pour is definitely the aroma, it comes streaming out of this can at full force and is a lot more pungent than one might expect for a beer this low in alcohol.


Aroma - lots of grapefruit, wow. All that resiny, piney, citrusy goodness is in present. This just smells heavenly. For a hoppy, sessionable pale ale I don't think one could ask for a better smelling beer. 


Taste - nice bitterness, piney and grapefruity hop flavors with some malty undertones. Not too sweet, not too bitter. A nice balance and a very light body. This one skips along the tongue leaving you satisfied and not weighed down by either flavors or booziness. I absolutely love the amount of hoppiness this beer presents, its a very nice surprise as I wasn't expecting quite so much.


Overall - one sip and you'll be hooked. I know I am. Big flavors and low ABV. We need a lot more of these. I am not exaggerating when I say that this one is off the charts when it comes to "drinkability". This should be available all year round.


Would I buy more of it? - definitely, there are not enough of these low ABV, hoppy brews on the market. Maine's Baxter Brewing has one called Pamola Xtra Pale Ale that also fits into this category but I can't think of too many others.


Note - The "space monkey" on the can is Ham the Chimp (or AstroChimp). He was "the first chimpanzee launched into outer space in the American space program. Ham's name is an acronym for the lab that prepared him for his historic mission — the Holloman Aerospace Medical Center, located at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico."


 21st Amendment's canned lineup thus far:





Hops Scale:
(See All Rated)
Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Bitter American
Style: American Pale Ale
Brewery: 21st Amendment Brewery
San Francisco, California  
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Simpson's Golden Promise, 2-row Pale, Munich and Crystal
Hops: Warrior, Cascade, Simcoe (dry hopping) and Centennial (dry hopping)
ABV: 4.4%
IBUs: 42
Date: February 17th, 2011

Posted by Russ

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Labels: Pale Ales