Aroma: Low to moderate malt aroma, often (but not always) with a caramel quality. Bready, biscuity, or lightly toasty malt complexity is common. Mild to moderate fruitiness. Hop aroma can range from moderate to none, typically with a floral, earthy, resiny, and/or fruity character. Generally no diacetyl, although very low levels are allowed.

Appearance: Pale amber to light copper color. Good to brilliant clarity. Low to moderate white to off-white head. May have very little head due to low carbonation.

Flavor: Medium to high bitterness. Moderately low to moderately high fruity esters. Moderate to low hop flavor, typically with an earthy, resiny, fruity, and/or floral character. Low to medium maltiness with a dry finish. The malt profile is typically bready, biscuity, or lightly toasty. Caramel or toffee flavors are common but not required. Balance is often decidedly bitter, although the bitterness should not completely overpower the malt flavor, esters and hop flavor. Generally no diacetyl, although very low levels are allowed.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium-light body. Low carbonation, although bottled examples can have moderate carbonation.

Overall Impression: Low gravity, low alcohol levels, and low carbonation make this an easy-drinking session beer. The malt profile can vary in flavor and intensity, but should never override the overall bitter impression. Drinkability is a critical component of the style.

Comments: The lowest gravity member of the English Bitter family, typically known to consumers simply as “bitter” (although brewers tend to refer to it as Ordinary Bitter to distinguish it from other members of the family).

History: The family of English bitters grew out of English pale ales as a draught product in the late 1800s. The use of crystal malts in bitters became more widespread after WWI. Traditionally served very fresh under no pressure (gravity or hand pump only) at cellar temperatures (i.e., “real ale”). Most bottled or kegged versions of UK-produced bitters are often higher-alcohol and more highly carbonated versions of cask products produced for export, and have a different character and balance than their draught counterparts in Britain (often being sweeter and less hoppy than the cask versions). These guidelines reflect the “real ale” version of the style, not the export formulations of commercial products.

Several regional variations of bitter exist, ranging from darker, sweeter versions served with nearly no head to brighter, hoppier, paler versions with large foam stands, and everything in between.

Characteristic Ingredients: Pale ale, amber, and/or crystal malts. May use a touch of dark malt for color adjustment. May use sugar adjuncts, corn, or wheat. English finishing hops are most traditional, but any hops are fair game; if American hops are used, a light touch is required. Characterful English yeast.

Style Comparison: Some modern variants are brewed exclusively with pale malt and are known as golden ales, summer ales, or golden bitters. Emphasis is on the bittering hop addition as opposed to the aggressive middle and late hopping seen in American ales.

Vital Statistics:

OG: 1.030 – 1.038

IBUs: 25 – 35

FG: 1.007 – 1.011

SRM: 8 – 14

ABV: 3.2 – 3.8%

Commercial Examples: Fuller's Chiswick Bitter, Adnams Bitter, Young's Bitter, Greene King IPA, Brains Bitter, Tetley’s Original Bitter

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Monty Brewing Co. - Range View Hotel Opening Late 2019
10481 New England Highway Highfields,Queensland 4352 Australia
Monty Brewing Co - Production Brewery
12 Sportsman Drive Highfields, Queensland  4352 Australia
montybrewingco.com.au