Organic ESB - Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Organic ESBOrganic ESB

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BA SCORE
75
okay

373 Ratings
THE BROS
77
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 373
Reviews: 228
rAvg: 3.28
pDev: 15.55%
Wants: 2
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Lakefront Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.42% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-22-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 373 | Reviews: 228
Reviews by pmcadamis:
Photo of pmcadamis
3.38/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours reddish amber with almost no head (even with a fairly aggressive pour). Head is initially 1/4 inch and then immediately fades to a only a bubbly lace on top. After a good swirl, a very fine lace sticks to the glass, but drops quickly. Like Don Ho once sang..."tiny bubbles....in my beer...."

Smells bitter and lively, slightly buttery. First sensation is hops, then some malt. Smells hoppy but very sweet with some diacetyls.

Tastes very rounded and buttery with a definite hop bite. Malts come through secondarily. Very well balanced. I taste a bit of orange flavor mixed with bitters. There is very little aftertaste going on here....seems to be very drinkable, but slightly boring. In both the nose and mouth I'm picking up a bit of mustiness that is actually very pleasant. Sort of like damp leaves after a rain in the summer.

This ESB feels slightly "sharp" in the mouth ...like a pale ale, but then finishes more roundly and smoothly, and less dry. Probably due to the more prevalent maltiness here.

Overall, this is a highly drinkable beer that is somewhat lacking in complexity, but very good none the less. The lack of complexity is probably what makes it so easy to suck down. Less thinking and more drinking.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
2.37/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I havent had many Lakefront brews but the ones I have had have not impressed and this was borderline awfulPoured into a standard pint glass a bull copper color with a nice one finger white head that nver really tottaly subsided,from there it goes way down hill.Sour aromas like apple cider vinegar because a bit of green apple in there some residual toastiness as well,flavors are sour and astrigent makeing me pucker a little that apple is really pronounced its got a firm toastiness but it cant help cut thru the astringency of this beer.Ehh a drain our nuff said.

Photo of MadScientist
3.72/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This is a somewhat hazy medium amber having a thin, persistent and creamy, light tan head.

S: Mild fruity esters of apricot and orange with a mild floral hops and a biscuity malt aroma.

T: The flavor is mostly a mix of fruity easter, a caramel and biscuity malt flavor with a moderate hops bitterness taking over at the end. The balance is mostly towards the bitter. The finish is dry with a malt aftertaste.

M: A crisp, medium-light bodied with a moderately-low level of carbonation.

O: This is a nicely balanced ESB with a a bit of fruitienss and a nice malt flavor. A little cloudy for an ESB it lost a bit on appearance.

Photo of blackearth
3.74/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from Trader Joes. Pours a deep copper body with a thick, frothy off-white head. Aroma is sweet caramel. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Flavors of sweet toffee upfront with some malt spiciness leads to a low bitterness at mid tongue followed by sweetness again in the finish. Drinkability is very good, but I'll like to see more hop aroma and flavor from this one.

Photo of Jason
3.38/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle with a bottling date on the label.

A- Three fingers of head adorn the orange golden brew, mild haze.

S- Mild biscuity grain, faint fruitiness of grape juice and peaches, and a earthy hop in the back.

T- Twang of fermented malt, tad yeasty with a fruity backing. A little salty. Earthy bitterness is a little sharp upfront. Hint of caramel underneath the toasted grain flavor.

M- Semi-smooth with a sharp crispness and a medium body.

D- Seems like the flavors don't mesh as they should, taste more like and altbier to me rather than and ESB.

Photo of merlin48
3.9/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear, copper amber body is topped by a small, beige head. Good retention and some spiderweb lacing. Aroma is biscuity caramel malt, citrusy and spicy hops, and a hint of red apple. Mouthfeel is light bodied with good carbonation, but unfortunately thins considerably to the point of being watery by the end of the glass. Taste is pretty good for style, with bready caramel maltiness that is balanced well by fruity and citrusy hops. A hint of pear is noticed in the finish. Not a bad effort, and very sessionable. Way too thin in the mouthfeel category, however.

Photo of Osiris9588
2.82/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Amber color, with a weak one finger white head. The aroma is of spicy hops and citrus, very zesty.

The flavor just seems off--all I taste is fruit and yeast, with a little burst of hops, and then an unpleasnt slightly phenolic finish. It just seems out of balance. It doesn't taste like the other ESBs that I have had either.

The mouth begins brightly, then just dies on the palate, lacking sufficient carbonation I think, and then finishes with the aformentioned aftertaste. Thus, the drinkablility is pretty low.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.78/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Another bottle from my favorite brewery tour. Copper pour, thin off white head that is below .5". Lacing and retention are decent though. Aroma imparts almost nothing but a mild undercurrent of breadiness and bitterness. Very miniscule, very far from robust.

Bitterness and cardboard are the heavy hitters in the flavor profile. Cardboard lacks any caramel or toffee notes. Kind of a headscratcher. A tiny bit of old closet mustiness. Copper + cardboard doesn't make for the best of beers. I've had better bottles than these, but even those weren't awesome by any means. There's just a void of hops in this beer, and even when viewed through the most stringent (I should mention the beer is also astringent, without hops, like it was dry hopped with cardboard and pennies) traditionalist viewpoint of an old school English esb.

Kinda hurts to give a brewery I really like a negative review. I think for some, the word 'organic' on the front is license to charge a bunch for an underwhelming product.

Photo of ADR
3.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear orangey copper color. Frothy pale cream-colored head, sticks in nice fluffy patches on the glass. Pleasant brown sugar/cinnamon smell, slightly buttery. A little on the fleeting side for mouthfeel, more would be better. Malt dominates the profile, toffee, maybe bare molasses but the thin texture makes it go away too fast. This leaves you wanting because the hoppiness is light for the style, just lightly prickly and not enough to save the finish from being pretty ordinary. Could use more body and spicy elements for an ESB, though its attractive and decently drinkable.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.15/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears a sligh hazed caramel copper with a cream cofee head, the lacing comes forms even and thick with each sip. Aroma has leafy obacco notes with caramel bready malts a slight lingering tartness combined with a metallic citrus hop twang. Flavor full of cereal notes as in I gotta eat my Wheaties esque with sweetcaramel notes more leafy herbal qualites tea like really. After few sips the flavor grew on me but it wasn't textbook ESB sort of interesting but so so in the end. Mouthfeel smooth natural carbonation medium bodied flows nice with a touch of acidity lingering. Drinkability is decent a nice variety twelve pack offering but definitely note a highlight.

Photo of chinchill
3.37/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in pint glass.

A - hazy amber/copper liquid capped by a thin off-white head with poor retention.

S - fruity; a bit yeasty,; caramel malt

T - dominated by caramel malt. Rather even sweet/bitter balance; a bit sweet for an ESB. Very slight metallic off-taste.

M - medium/light body with low carbonation.

A disappointing offering from a usually dependable brewer.

Photo of waitforit
3.16/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Beautiful, rich russet red. A reasonable amount of cream-colored head. Decent lacing.

S: Very faint. Caramel and cherries.

T: Biscuity and burnt, with just a little spice.

M: Average. Rather clean finish.

O: One of the more piquant ESBs I've had, slightly different from the run of the mill.

Try it again? 4 - Probably

Photo of biboergosum
3.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, number 2 in the Milwaukee mix pack. Is that cow leaping or flying?

This beer pours a mostly clear medium amber colour, with one fat finger of foamy pale beige head, which leaves some low-reaching, random spiky lace around the glass as it settles. It smells of crackery cereal malt, confectioners' sugar, and mild floral, leafy hops. The taste is plain bready malt, a bit of grape character - leaf and fruit, and green, earthy hops. The carbonation is quite sedate, the body medium weight, and innocuously smooth. It finishes off-dry, the bready malt seeing only a light floral hops counterbalance.

While rather easy to put back, on the ESB scale, this offering is quite lacking. Not crisp, not really bitter, not biscuity. Ergo, not a proper ESB. Drink this while not thinking too hard.

Photo of dacrza1
3.23/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

DATE TASTED: November 22, 2013... GLASSWARE: Howard's Pub pint... OCCASION: Shark Tank Friday... APPEARANCE: another handsome ale from Lakefront--a dark copper body with a slow,, steady carbonation; milky, thick head again, formidable lacing... AROMA: nice buttery, toffee fragrance floats easily through the nostrils; pleasant malts and sugars balance reasonably... PALATE: strong backbone belies the alluring scent; medium-bodied and a bit stronger than the average ESB, I would suspect...TASTE: impactful at the teeth--some fruit suggestions and malt that stacks itself rather earnestly--a rather thin profile, overall...OVERALL: I prefer my ESBs light, buttery, nutty and drinkable; Lakefront's edition offers little engagement in these areas, coming on a bit too strong for my expectations...

Photo of asabreed
3.87/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Colorful label is notched bottled during the first week of July.

Appearance: A hazy dark brown and copper color with hints of yellow coming through with some light shed on it. This is pretty cold, so I imagine that's one of the reasons why the head dissipates quickly, but alas.

Smell: Initial aromas of grapes, raisins, caramel malt, light bitter chocolate, buttered biscuits, bread crust, vanilla, and other fruits are present, though I don't get much in the way of citrus or hops. Still, quite pleasant and not what I was expecting.

Taste: More malt and fruit is present than anything else, with the vinous characteristics also present, along with some hints of sweetness from chocolate, vanilla, and also the tropical fruit. Not much of a hop presence, and because of that it's probably a bit sweeter than it should be, but I find it welcoming and that provides a long finish. Maybe not the most representative beers of what one would deem a true ESB, but this is not what I was expecting, which is always a plus if I still enjoy the brew.

Mouthfeel: Moderately carbonoted and seemingly a bit thicker than most ESBs, but that doesn't detract from the flavors and actually I think helps with the long finish and the ability for many to make their impact there.

Drinkability: Though the sweetness does maybe make this less than a highly anticipated session beer, I enjoyed the experience, and this is quite different from a lot of ESBs I've had. If you can find a bottle, try it, but you may want to hold back on more than that.

Photo of cokes
2.21/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Hazed and dulled brass topped with plenty of beige suds.
Nose of dead leaves, stables, and cardboard.
Begins with a musty dry maltiness. Not flawed outright, at least not right away. Shows some oxidized traits, then the malt vanishes altogether, with a final stab of mushy, stale apple sauce. Strange esters fill the void. Band-aids mostly, and dustballs and tarter things too. Ends thin and modestly hoppy. Dry and grassy and unredeemed.
Too low on depth and too high on flaws. Pretty much worthless all around, and worth even less as it warms, as the problems seem to breed with each other.

Bogus.
I may begin advocating pesticides.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.7/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Delicate, lightly sweet, caramel-accented and subtly toasty malts combine with a thin thread of yeasty fruitiness and billowing grassy and floral hops to give this crystal-clear, dark amber brew a quaffability that's worth noting. It's well-balanced and drinkable with just enough character to keep you coming back for more. It makes an excellent session ale; serves as a great introductory beer to the uninitiated; and also works well for a backyard BBQ or sunny sporting event. It's worth trying; and it gets bonus points for being organic!

Photo of ElGordo
3.52/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orange-golden color with a faint white head that disappears almost immediately. Aroma of lightly sweet, biscuity malt, with some mildly fruity hops blending in. Palate is again mildly sweet, with notes of biscuit and light, almost tropical fruit. Body is smooth and just a tad creamy. An easy-drinking ale, but nothing spectacular.

Photo of dirtylou
3.63/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, Woodman's West

I purchase a lot of organic food products (mostly produce) so i'd like to give more organic beers a chance

appearance: pours into a mash house pint glass, clear amber-copper, decent beige head with a standard amount of lace for an esb

smell: sweet malt aromas, chalky, noticeable bitterness, red apple, light tart aroma, biscuit-esque, caramel, earthy

taste: I have had a lot of bad esb's lately...this one is better than most of those...it still has the vegetal and metallic traits that bother me about the style but they arent as defined...sweet caramel malt, tart and tangy, fruity apple/pear, nutty, bready and biscuity.

mouthfeel: tart, medium-light body

drinkability: fairly good...actually one of the better organic beers (insert grain of salt) i have tried

Photo of cjgator3
3.23/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. The aroma is slightly toasted malt, a touch of caramel and hops. The taste is biscuity malt with a citrusy hop finish. The mouthfeel is thin and moderately carbonated. Overall, this is a decent ESB, but nothing to get overly excited about.

Photo of hammer09
4.07/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear, amber-brown with moderate head development that dissapeared a little too quickly. Smell exhibits a mild hop aroma and is somewhat malty; a nicely balanced aroma between hops and malt. Taste is malty at the front with a clean, bitter finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and refreshing with adequate levels of carbonation. Overall, this is a good example of a session-quality ESB; very easy to drink and very enjoyable.

Photo of russpowell
4.82/5  rDev +47%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was the star of the variety pack & I was very shocked at how much I liked this:

Copper Color with a large bubbly head that held up well once it dropped to about 1/3". Lacing was also good

Smell: Big malt up front (think bread or cookie dough) and a faint floral hopiness

Taste: Sweeteness followed up by a serious hop bite on the tongue and throat. Nice dry and crisp finish

MF Very well balanced hops bring out the faint bready maltiness that was thick but not too chewy. Good carbonation

Well put together beer that makes you want more. Will look for this one again

Photo of jackndan
3.16/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lakefront Organic ESB: Decent thick, off-white head. Great color on this beer, deep brassy color, and the beer is virtually clear. Pleasant aroma, initially very sweet, with hints of new mown hay lingering.. Nice malty taste, with some initial sweetness, however the beer goes dry fairly quickly, with a clean aftertaste. Not much in the way of hops. Interesting alcohol warmth towards the end. Decent.

Photo of bditty187
3.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Clear, gold in hue, there is a nice yeast haze that glitters when held to a light. It is like looking a Vegas from an airplane (okay, not quite). The head was white in color, about a finger in height; head retention was acceptable, the foam slowly faded to a fizzy cap. This cap lasted a few more seconds before during to a thin collar. Subsequent lacing was spotty and infrequent. The first couple sniffs of the nose were very nice, fruity, bready, toasty caramel, grassy/flowery hoppiness, and then I set my glass down. When I picked it up again a moment later a vegetable aroma was noticeable, yuck (this scent is very, very weak but I could still make it out). Overall the potency of the nose is low, it is kind of clean too. The bouquet has a flaw but it still tolerable, not quite inviting though. The palate is decent, no flaws. There isn’t much going on really. What flavors are in play is a balanced offering of mildly zest citrus hints, some flowers, and a kiss of grass from the hops. Light bitterness. The malt offers a weak suggestion of caramel and toasty bread. This beer falls in the realm of an ESB; it could be way more flavorful. Malts could be richer, drier as well. Hops could offer more bitterness, more liveliness. It is the balance that saves this beer and like I said, it is okay. Medium-light in body, thin, light carbonation, the mouthfeel is empty. Sad. Drinkability is limited. One bottle will be enough for me. It is another yawner from LF. It was purchased as part of a sampler-pack in Milwaukee, WI.

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.3/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Originally reviewed June 8 2007. 12 Oz Bottle. Poured a ruddied hickory brown, with a rim of off-white. Aroma was a whiff of sea salted grain sugars and light tannic hop character. Mellow. Flavor was a nice middle ground, with clean fresh earth, bright malt character and suave drinkability founded in a crisp lemony hop presentation. Noble and fresh. I’m actually rather enthused by the quality of this particular example. Nothing stellar, but good ester formation, nice bright salty touches and a fresh presentation. Underrated in my book. Paired nicely with a Turkey Burger.

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Organic ESB from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
75 out of 100 based on 373 ratings.