The Austin Chronicle

The Bitter End

November 14, 1997, Food

The Bitter End is an upscale restaurant with brewing equipment. The food menu includes trout, pasta, and designer pizzas. "We get people that just want a beer and people that want to try a craft beer," said Steve Tidwell, who shares the brewing duties with Tim Schwartz. The brewpub tends to concentrate on English-style beers, but they will soon have a Munich lager that is "great." They produce cask-conditioned ales, but unfortunately for us, the beer engines were broken while we were there, so the Honey Mead Ale was not available for tasting. The Honey Mead Ale is not a true mead (a honey wine) because it is mixed with malt instead of honey. The Bitter End has five regular beers on tap and two taps that are used to rotate specialty beers and give the brewers a chance to experiment.

1. EZ Wheat This pub's biggest seller, a cross between a wheat beer and a light ale.

2. Aberdeen Amber A Scottish export-style ale with the emphasis on malt. Uses a small amount of peat-smoked malt like that used in Scotch whiskey for flavoring.

3. Bitter End Bitter An English-style Extra Special Bitter using English hops and malts with an American malt base.

4. Fog City Lager Not a true lager, but in the style of steam beers or California common beers invented in the 1800s because of the lack of refrigeration. The lager yeast that usually requires a lower temperature is kept at ale temperature, giving the beer a fruitier and hoppier flavor.

5. Austin Pale Ale The pub's hoppiest beer using all-American hops and malts. Stronger, like an India Pale Ale.

EZ Wheat

Aberdeen Amber

Bitter End Bitter

Fog City Lager

Austin Pale Ale

Michael Bertin 18
Bad smell -- like what they use to clean the floors at Burger King -- a decent brew, despite said smell. Nice taste but a watery aftertaste.
This beer is like one of Spike's comments: sassy, but with a bit of taste. [That might just get you laid, Michael. Love, Kate.]
I just copied Kate's numbers.
I think they just gave me the same beer. The food is great, though. How do I grade it?
I bet this is killing off all of that ebola I've got running around inside me. No, I kid because I care. Medicine-y smell.
Patrick Earvolino 8
A special brew of plastic and match heads.
Redman tobacco nose; full-bodied brown, nice finish; pleasant pinch on sides of tongue.
Good head. Smells great, but tastes like nada.
Puts the Bitter in Bitter End.
Smells moldy.
Spike Gillespie 14
This beer, for some reason, made me giggle harder than the 12 that preceded it. It's fine. I could certainly stomach a pint or two.
I can't think of a thing to say, but that's good. It means I'm more interested in drinking this than thinking about it. Stinky little after-taste -- but I'm not complaining.
What is up with the aftertaste? It's sort of like the flavor is written in invisible ink and shows up too late.
Not as bitter as Don Rickles, but pretty bitter. Not recommended for chug-a-lugging, but it is a beer with a personality.
Swallow, not spit.
Johnny Hardwick 26
Drink it and dance! Dance! Dance! Look, I'm dancing right now, and I don't dance! Hoo Hoo Hoo, Ha Hoo, Macarena.
Another winner! I have never Limbo-ed this low!
Gramma's beer. Post-turkey alcohol. Have two and fall asleep with your hand in your pants.
Grampa's beer. I mean that in a good way. You try sticking your hand in your pants and see if you don't have a good time, Dammit.
Well, since my hand is in my pants now, I'm liking everything. Hey, let's go to Amsterdam and judge space cakes! Wooo! 60 cowboys!!
Pableaux Johnson 24 25 29 28 28
Kate Messer 13
5:10 p.m. Bruce won the pissing contest. This tastes like when my mom would dry the dishes with too much Jergens on her hands and the lemonade tasted like lotion.
I imagine that this is the type of beer that real food writers describe as full-bodied.
I just copied Michael's comments.
Johnny is starting to talk in character (as Dale) and so is Bruce.
This one smells like a hotel room -- a fine, but affordable hotel room, perhaps a Ramada. Michael is talking about ebola and now I'm doing Dale (the voice).
Meredith Phillips 18
Light, yet bitter. Rather like a lemon-fresh cleanser.
Appearance: promising. Flavor with a lot of depth. Amber color. Nutty.
Taste is a slight letdown after the deep, rich smell.
I'm overwhelmed by the excellent smoked fish sampler. This beer is very complementary to good food.
Nothing offensive or inoffensive about it.
Bruce Robison 19
I like. Light, but tasty.
Good beer. Or maybe I have a buzz on.
Comes on strong, then fades. Faint odor of patchouli -- no, that's somebody at my table.
Goes good with free calamari.
No likee -- tastes like Lysol -- but I'll drink it!
Kelly Willis 24
I like it good. Better than all light beers at Copper Tank.
Reddish color. I like red. I don't like [the] taste. Too bitter, but at this point, I can drink anything! What's the name of that date rape drug drink?
I love this beer very much. My favorite! Perfect in every way. I reserve giving it all 10s because -- just because.
This is a good beer and a touch of bitterness. The bitterness is forgivable. Considering it's beer.
Well, this one caused me to "break the dam." Feeling better now. Ear waxy, I have to say.

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