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Bridgeport ESB - BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub

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Bridgeport ESB
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very good

158 Ratings

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Ratings: 158
Reviews: 141
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 9.16%
Wants: 3
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-14-1998

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 158 | Reviews: 141
Reviews by roblowther:
Photo of roblowther
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Honey-colored with a white head that quickly goes the way of the dinosaur. Smells of malt and sugar at first, which surprises me. Taste is warm caramel, with delicate hops just providing a nice floral aftertaste. Very delicate, very balanced and very, very good. Mouthfeel is soft and slightly undercarbonated. Drinkability is as good as it gets. I never figured an ESB to be so easy to drink. It has some of the understated softness of the English beers, but with a more balanced, approachable flavor. Very, very well done!

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a attractive deep copper color woth a this wispy head,big bready malt aroma off the bat but dissapates quickly leaving a light cherry-like aroma.Like this malt tilted brew here lightly sweet malt almost cherry-like again with a big biscuity backbone with a woody/cedar finish wich is light and appetizing.I really like ESB's and this is no different.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz slender brown bottle, “Bridgeport … Oregon’s Oldest Craft Brewery” in raised glass around the neck. Undecipherable freshness code on the back label.

Appearance: Tarnished and tawny reddish brass with a great foaming while pouring, clings to the glass in big chunky clumps as the head settles into a wild rocky formation.

Smell: Ripe fruity aroma with a mild woody hop aroma and sweet toasted caramel malt aroma.

Taste: Lush medium body with a slick crispness and creamy mouth feel. Touch of fruitiness up front with tones of raisins and figs, maltiness is from toasted to caramel and thick in flavour. Sweetness from the malt is countered by an abundant hop bitterness that flares with a woody / earthy flavour. Alcohol is thrown on to the palate with some esters.

Notes: This ale shows great poise, rich and satisfying. One of the top ESB interpretations I have tasted in a long time. Spicy baby back ribs with corn on the cob and potato salad is a perfect match to this brew.

Photo of Jason
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale shows great poise, rich and satisfying. One of the top ESB interpretations I have tasted in a long time. Spicy baby back ribs with corn on the cob and potato salad is a perfect match to this brew.

Photo of merlin48
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pours a clear amber body with a medium sized offwhite head that leaves some clingy lacing. Aroma of toasted caramel with pink grapefruit and some red apple notes. Medium body and carbonation. Well balanced taste, with an infusion of earthy hop bitterness atop the toasted caramel toasted malt backbone, kissed by hints of ripe pears. Tasty and very drinkable, a really nice American ESB.

Photo of Thrasher
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At last, a superior cask pour proves the ESB is still a quirky beer, and I would say that the reason this is better is not because of mishandling or freshness or conditioning or anything like that, but it actually comes from a better batch. I'm perfectly happy to accept variances in my fresh, local, cask-conditioned brew but the drinker should be aware that nuances can change. This beer has been downright bad before; thankfully it's much better. Yet the sparkling fruit hop element is brash and jarring, contrasting sharply with the intriguing malts, all the more so if the beer is too cold for malts to fully emerge. (It is. Cask pints pulled at the Hawthorne pub usually are.) Big bubbled lace forms a hardened crust of foam along the inside of the glass, above a dark wood brown colored beer with amber highlights. The flavor is mellow once the grapefruity hops have been taken into consideration, with flavors of dough, grain, whole wheat bread with nuts, a light caramel tang, and a slight smoky woodiness. The hops are quite citric, but also have a lot of herbalness which better matches the style. I'd like less grapefruit and more herbalness in the ESB, since if I want the Cascade hops I can always get the IPA. Actually, the beer is pretty well balanced as a whole but my final impression is that the cask version is not all that different from either the tap or bottle, only with an earthier, breezier quality from the yeast.

Photo of Dizzy
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours darker amber colored with creamy head. Smells of fruits and bread like malt. Taste is malty, fruity and finishes with hops. There isn't much hop flavor, but a little bit of bitterness is there. Medium body, with lighter carbonation. This is a great example of a style that isn't as common as it should be.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now here's a really good example of an esb to satiate American and English palates.

Good dark orange pour, massively thick off white head, excellent retention, totally looks the part. Aroma was citrusy as if an ipa.

Taste, melds the hops of America with the restrained bitterness of an esb. The caramel of an esb, the hop flavor of an ipa, the bitterness of both (this is not a hop bomb by any means, but well above traditional style, thankfully).

An enjoyable beer, can be obtained at a good price $6-7 frequently.

Photo of ADR
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Attractive clear copper appearance, lightly yellow head of 1/2 an inch and with compact bubbles. Laces drip to start, form fat rings later. Malty aroma, caramel and cinnamon sugar. Lower carbonation and fairly lush body. Flavor follows the aroma in some aspects, the caramel still comes through but there's a good bit of decided fruitiness to lighten the overall impression and to add some variety. That's where it tends to rest, the hop impact seems quite subdued and much more of a background player, mostly the malt seems to come through. Pleasant drinker here, I kind of like an added spiciness in an ESB.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark chestnut ruby brown with a nice vanilla off white head lacing left is evenly dispersed speckled patterned. Aroma: Very nice caramel malt with some vienna malts tossed in and an earthy hop aroma very classic almost like Fuller's in some sense a butterscotch twang to it all. Taste: Very sweet, slightly acidic with a load of woody hop character very earthy and piney at same time in the flavor good overall true ESB. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied ale with a nice sturdy carbonation holds up in my books as a classic brew. Drinkability: Decent the flavors work well together giving bonus points but the earthy hops throw me off just a little very tasty but not a beer I chill with all night.

Photo of IntriqKen
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Moderately dark clear amber with a full finger white head that sticks very well. Melting is slow.
Aromas are toasted sweet amber malts.
Mouth is filled with the same toasted sweet amber malts that fade to a moderately bitter hopping as you swallow.
Aftertaste primarily of the toasted, roasted malts with just enough hops to create a drying in the mouth.
Very, VERY sessionable.
While it might be 'spot on' for the style, I marked down taste simply because I've grown to enjoy a sharper, more citrus hoppiness in my ESBs.
Thanks to csims for giving me the opportunity to try this ESB.

Photo of soper2000
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite surprised to find this at my local Kroger so I picked up a sixer out of curiousity and I was not disappointed.

It pours a light shade of copper (a bit lighter than I expected) with a solid two fingered white head. Aroma brings floral hops to the forefront. The do not really produce a sharp bite but they are prevelant. Loads of sweet malt balance out the dominating floral nose. Taste is well balance with the English hops only giving way to carmel like malt in the finish. Extremely drinkable and it hides it's six percent strength very well as it tastes no more potent than a 4 percent session beer. I'll probably be picking this one up again (that is if my Kroger runs out of Elissa IPA).

Photo of tastybeer
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer color is a coppery-medium brown with a creamy tan head. Nice oily tight bubbled appearance with spotty bits of lace. Aroma is of sweet caramel and bread malts with a light nuttiness and spicy resiny hops. Fresh light and crisp aroma. Taste has a good amount of creamy smooth malt, grain and an even hop character. Spicy and a little bitter but not heavy on hops at all. More easy going and crisply flavorful. Mouthfeel has a grainy resinous feel to it among the smooth malts. Carbonation is good but could perhaps be heavier to back up the spicy hops. Very drinkable + very sessionable.

Good esb for large, warm weather consumption.

Photo of allthatAles
4.68/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pour: A Thick well structured nearly beige head; breaks down slowly to just over a thumbnail plateaus and finally as a fine light coating the ale over. Thick legs remain over the coarse of the ale. Deep Amber with orange highlights.

Nose: slight cream & hop. Rather brisk and lightest touch of that 'citrus/grapefruit'. Additionally, I have noticed as a consistent favourite among PAs,IPAs,& IIPAs,

Mouth: Just off center, but well balanced all the same. A light malting, hoppy and effervescent. the cream foreshadowed on the nose is present in the end and gives way to a slight residual sugar.

a delightful 'everyday' ale. Though, how it got there is certainly a reason its one of this company's cornerstones. The price is a pro as well.

Photo of ElGordo
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a coppery amber color topped by a half inch of pretty creamy white head. Aroma of mellow sweet caramel malt and mild fruity hops. Palate is nice and balanced, with the equally mild hops and sweet malt playing off one another well. Body is smooth and creamy, very enjoyable. Although I prefer the draft version, I could drink bottles of this all night. An excellent brew from a quality local brewery.

Photo of tempest
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is quite a tasty beer, I'm sorry to hear it's leaving the MN market. I drank it back-to-back with the Fuller's and while they're the same style, Bridgeport's is obviously more American. In general the caramel malt is bolder and the hops are bigger. It lacks some of the great ESB subtleties but its still a pretty good brew.

Photo of silver0rlead
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy amber with a descent beige head that dissapates quickly. The aroma has some citrus and floral hops, with toasted bread, caramel, fruity esters and hint of alcohol. The taste is similar, with a citrus and floral hops flavor initially, followed by caramel and toasted bread, some fruity esters and a trace of alcohol. The mouthfeel is light with moderate carbonation and drinkability is excellent. Honestly tastes like they took a good ESB and added an ounce or two of water...has a good foundation but weak as a whole.

Photo of russpowell
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a 4 fingers+ off white head. Good head retention& average lacing

S: Iron & piney hops up front. Fruittyness surfaces as it warms

T: Fruitty with piney hops up front. Breadyness emerges as it warms along with piney & citrus hops. Finishes fruitty with a nice hoppy snap

MF: Midly carbonated with great balance & medium body

Drinks very easy a pretty good restrained american-styled take on an ESB

Photo of DOCRW
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of dgallina
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with illegible freshness date.

Poured a hazed copper-orange with thin head but decent lace. Straight-forward citrus, pine, and resin aromas. Flavors begin with prickly but restrained fresh hops before building a very nice chewy toasted malt backbone. Finishes quite dry and pleasingly bitter. Very nicely balanced flavors. Light in body with moderate-to-strong carbonation.

An interesting twist on the ESB. The nose is full of distinctively North American hops, but the body is more characteristic of British examples.

Photo of Thur123
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ok so...this beer pours a quite hazy brownish orange color with little to no head on a heavy pour. The color and carbonation look good but the head was lacking. The smell is sweet malt notes of caramel and toffee, very English smelling with a thin fruity kind of hop edge over it, which also adds some bitterness to it, but over all this smells sweet.

Glug glug glug

The flavor is very balanced between its caramel malt and the fruitiness from the hops, with much more bitterness coming through in the taste. The overall effect is a little light. I know I have this before and have been more blown away by its almost perfectly balanced flavor, but this specific bottle is lacking. The overall texture is nice and there's still something effervescent about the Bridgeport ESB when I drink it that's amazing. Overall not bad but leaves me wanted to reviews this again with a better batch perhaps.

Photo of Rickdiggity
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well balanced like an ESB should be. flavor is

crisp without being all over the place. Finishes

smooth. My Light beer drinking friends can enjoy

more than one!

Can taste the hop hints, but it is not

overpowering. Prefer the tap highly over the

bottle. Great session Beer overall.

Photo of goochpunch
4.26/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber with hardly any bubbles in the body and a thin head that fizzles out. Aroma is full of yeasty fruitiness, lots of apple and pear, along with toasty malts and a bouqet of floral and herbal hop notes. I pick up lavender and sage. Flavor is full of the fruity esters, toasted malts, and floral hops. There is a lingering flavor in the aftertaste of jasmine. Mouthfeel is solid: smooth, soft and just about full. Could be a tad too sticky. Aside from the mild stickiness form the residual sugars, this is damned drinkable.

Photo of Spikester
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured nice amber color from a 12 ounce bottle.
Good one inch head with plenty of lacing.

Aroma is piney hops.

Taste is citrus, resinous hops with just enough malt sweetness to keep a good balance. Nice bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is average.

Drinkability is better than average. For me an ideal ESB for an entire evening. If you can't get enough hops this is not your brew. If you like balanced beers this is a keeper.

This ESB has become one of my "in-stock" beers.

Photo of BeerSox
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into mug.

Slightly hazy amber color with a thin light tan head. The head slowly settles to a razor thin cap, leaving stringy layered lacing.

Grainy malt base with a good balancing amount of piney hops.

Very thin malts contain a citrusy hop bitterness that perfectly balances the husky malts. Some buttery diacetyl makes its way through. The finish has lingering hop bitterness.

I really enjoyed this ESB. It's very balanced and complex. Seems like a toned down American Pale Ale. Maybe if one of those is too much, this one is for you. Recommended.

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Bridgeport ESB from BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
88 out of 100 based on 158 ratings.