Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Extra Special Bitter ale, also referred to as ESB, is a British beer style that despite the name is not all that bitter. Bitter varieties such as this one, got their start in 1642 with the development of coke, a high carbon fuel made from coal that is used to roast malts. Before its invention, malts were mainly roasted over wood and peat, giving the malt a certain smokiness and an overall darker color.
Bitters are an English specialty, and an Extra Special Bitter beer is a full-bodied bitter. Extra Special Bitter beer ranges in color from dark gold to copper, and ranges in ABV from 4-7%. Packed with British pale ale malt, some crystal malt, and UK hops, a toasty, caramel brew that is medium to full-bodied, low in carbonation, and has a medium dry finish is produced. The most crucial part of a great Extra Special/Strong Bitter is its perfect balance and ability to be drunk easily.
Extra Strong Bitters are moderately strengthened, and should be firmly bitter in taste, without overpowering the malt. Of the bitter family, English Extra Strong Bitters are the highest gravity version, resulting in a few noticeable differences. Extra Strong Bitter beer has more fermentation, and additional malt character, which creates more alcohol, body, and flavor in the brew.
This Extra Special Bitter beer style pairs well with foods like grilled chicken, barbecue, spicy shrimp, and pizza. The Nonic pint glass is recommended for serving an ESB.
We are excited to feature a variety of ESB beers in our Beer of the Month Club! Join today to get an exclusive taste at a number of unique brews.
Green Man Brewery
As one of North Carolina’s original breweries, Green Man produces traditional English styles as well as innovative brews that are continuously recognized for their high quality and creativity.
Founded in 1997 as a brewpub, Green Man Brewery is Asheville, North Ca ...Read more...
Honoring the historic German town of Boerne, Texas, Boerne Brewery crafts a boutique collection of ales celebrating the area’s German roots, but with a Texas twist.
Located in Boerne (pronounced Bur-nee), a Texas Hill Country to ...Read more...
A father and son team up to craft authentic, premium, locally-inspired craft beers from the heart of the historic Pullman District in Chicago, Illinois.
Founded in 2009 by father and son team Bob and Patrick Jensen, Argus B ...Read more...
Hale’s Ales Brewery & Pub
An original Pacific Northwest craft brewery in Seattle, Washington.
Founded on July 4, 1983, Hale’s Ales is the oldest independently owned ...Read more...