Nailing the session beer
A Review of Bitter American by 21st Amendment Brewing Co.
Posted on 2/14/2013 by Chops
The 21st Amendment Brewing Company out of San Francisco, CA has made a name for themselves in many ways. Perhaps their most recognizable trait is the utilization of those familiar aluminum cylinders. They are one of the few can-based trailblazers that are showing the world that great beer can in fact come in cans. Tasty brews like the Back in Black IPA and Brew Free Or Die IPA are easily recognized on beer shelves and have become mainstays in many a beer fridge. On a recent trip to my favorite local pub, I noticed that the rotating tap had a new handle: the 21st Amendment Bitter American Session Ale, described as a ''long-overdue tribute to unsung, unwitting heroes everywhere''. Damn right, I'll drink to that.

In the glass, this beer has a hazy golden coloration. It comes with a thick and creamy white head that likes to stick around for a while. On the nose, I found a pleasant mixture of floral hops and tropical fruits. It's a pretty simple introduction, so I expected little surprise going into that first sip. Bitter American drinks a lot like a hybrid between a witbier and a hoppy pale ale. There is a savory citrus flavor that is quite warming and I couldn't attach it to any one style. I also found plenty of herbal notes and orange rind swirling around. The hops themselves are crisp yet muted, allowing for a lengthy session. The beer drinks very smooth and has a wispy dry finish.

Overall, the 21st Amendment Bitter American is a great representation of what session ales bring to the table. I could easily drink this beer all day long and never grow tired of it, which is exactly the point. It has great flavor that is easy to grasp without being aggressive or distracting. Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of this beer is that it tastes stronger than it is. I was surprised to discover a mere 4.4% ABV. That's good news for all levels of beer fan. Seasoned drinkers can indulge without fearing a sneak attack of drunkenness. Novices can especially benefit from this beer because it showcases that weak doesn't necessarily equate to bland. I love the fact that Bitter American's ABV is a full percentage point below most garbage beer. It goes a long ways in highlight the glaring problem with Big Beer: they're doing it wrong.

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Bitter American by 21st Amendment Brewing Co.
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