The Beerspotter: 21st Amendment Bitter American A hoppy, low-alcohol winter brew

Where Spotted: Rick’s Wine and Gourmet, 3117 Duke St., Alexandria

Price: $9.49/six pack

See the Light: When it comes to beer, I am a proponent of quality and quantity alike. This has fueled my quest for beers low in alcohol and high in flavor, a rarity in the world of high-octane IPAs and imperial stouts. But there are some great beers out there with less than 5 percent alcohol by volume—Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale and Stone Levitation spring to mind—and of this class, Bitter American is king. Its hop aroma is full of grapefruit zest and pine, leading to a bright and bitter taste that disappears as fast as you can gulp.

Promised Land: People often approach good beer with a bargain mentality, willing to shell out for strong beers but not as forgiving for session beers. But Bitter American is actually 21st Amendment’s most expensive beer to produce, even more so than its potent Belgian-style beers or rich black IPA. That’s because it’s made with copious amounts of Simpsons Golden Promise, a specialty malt from Scotland that fills out the beer’s midsection. Without good malt, it’s just hoppy water.

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Our Readers Say

The best beer I have had in a long time!
Agree 100%. 21st Amendment has hit another home run with this one. As good as the beer is, the packaging may be even better. I love the tag line on the packaging: "Let’s face it, if you’d been rocketed into space against your will, you might be a little bitter, too." Hopefully it'll stay around for a little while longer than March as I think it'd be a great late spring or summer beer.

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