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Esser's Best Original - Cross Plains Beer Company

Not Rated.
Esser's Best OriginalEsser's Best Original

Educational use only; do not reuse.

28 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 28
Hads: 43
Avg: 3.49
pDev: 12.89%
Wants: 1
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cross Plains Beer Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  ABV ?

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brakspear on 03-13-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (3) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 28 | Hads: 43
Photo of scaliasux
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L - Light copper. Clear. Tall, soapy, white head with good persistence.
S - Sweet grainy malt.
T - Light and malty. Grain and biscuits. A hint of hops in the finish.

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Photo of jwc215
3.28/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours slightly chill-hazed amber with a fizzy head that doesn't stay around long. Minimal lacing sticks.

The smell is of some grain. Clean.

The taste is of sweet grain balanced by a bitterish hop touch in the clean, crisp finish.

It's a bit fizzy, but smooth enough. It's a basic, clean, crisp, lager.

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Photo of cagocubs
3.32/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Clear light gold with a lot of active carbonation that forms a thin white head that quickly dissipates without lacing. Really weak pour.

S: Some bready yeast, adjunct corn, some malt.

T: Light malt, some bready grain, and a little floral taste. A safe taste that is neither great nor bad.

M: Easy drinking with nice mouth coating. A pleasant aftertaste.

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Photo of mynie
4.05/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at 3 Cellars in Milwaukee, where you have the owner's guarantee that all the beer are fresh and good.

But were it not for that guarantee, I'd figure this a Gluek-type offering (that's a bad thing), where a middling or mediocre microbrewer tries to evoke a sense of pre-prohibitionness with their adjunct offering. As much as I wish they didn't, beer labels matter.

This is an excellent helles. There's no dating on the bottle, but it tastes wonderfully crisp and fresh. The aroma is lightly biscuity with nodes of big, sweet caramel. It tastes biscuity and caramel but with some weediness in the back end along with some crisp, doughy yeast.

Helles go bad quick, which probably accounts for the wide disparity among reviews for this beer. If you can find it fresh, and if you're in the mood for a wonderfully crisp and refreshing lager, pick up an 8 pack.

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Photo of 1844original
4.45/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I tried this beer at a restaurant/bar near Madison WI. I started with this beer and a plate of hot wings and it was a perfect match. They went together perfectly.

I poured the Essers Best in a glass. It had a very nice head with very nice retention. I thought it was an excellent beer for the style and had a few with my dinner. It really went well with the spicy food and I thought the inability was great.

I have purchased this beer several times since I first had it and as long as I can find it I will continue to buy it.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.02/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this in a 8-pack Mircobrewery variety pack from Woodman's in Janesville, WI for $12 in late 2010.

Esser's is one of the lesser known and smaller Wisconsin beers. It pours a golden amber color with a good scent of malts and hops. Upon tasting there is a good full flavor taste that is long lasting and delicious. I was certainly surprised by it's taste. A must try for any Wisconsin beer lover.

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Photo of KI9A
3.66/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep gold, creamy head, nice lace windows.

S: sweet malts, toffee.

T: malty, sweet, light floral hops. Bready.

M: light body, refreshing.

D: Nice session beer, pretty much spot on for the style. Some will cry about not enough hops, but, this is the style, gang. It's not supposed to be a hop bomb.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.88/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass. 2379 printed on the neck, no other info.

A - This golden yellow beer is virtually inactive after the pour. It's almost haze-free and has a two-finger white head with low retention and only small fingers of thin lace towards the bottom.

S - Esser's Best smells soft and light with a creaminess to it. Unfortunately the creaminess comes from a corn-like nose. Pale malts seem a bit husky too. Hop aroma is totally void leaving this German style lager smelling more like an American cream ale.

T - Pale malts make up the majority of the flavor while a low husky grain flavor lingers annoyingly in the background. A kiss of floral hops is there too but could definitely use some bringing out. Generic tasting otherwise.

M - Esser's Best is medium-light in body with low carbonation making it a smooth brew with a soft creaminess to it. Not bad but not on par with the style. Again, it feels more like an American cream ale.

D - Sorry Esser but if this is your best, you've got a lot of work ahead of you. It's mediocre at best and granted, I'm not having it in it's prime (assuming the neck numbers resemble a date) but I think that the leeway I gave it certainly makes up for that possibility. Just plain and out of the style, it needs to be hoppier, crisper, and cleaner in flavor. It missed the mark on this but it remains drinkable for what it is.

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Photo of dstc
3.21/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, slightly cloudy gold color with a foamy white head. Head falls to a minimal one. Thin lace.

Has a rather nice malt aroma. Smells like it could be good.

Decent enough malt taste. Bit tangy. Somewhat sweet in the finish. Average.

Medium bodied with average carbonation.

Good effort. Not great but better than a macro lager.

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Photo of Tone
3.77/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, golden / copper. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Slight retention and poor lacing. Smells of pale malt, yeast, slight citrus, slight roasted malt, and some hops. Fits the style of a Munich Helles Lager. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of yeast, pale malt, slight grain, hops, and slight citrus. Overall, a better than average munich helles lager with nice blend and body.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass the beer is an orange golden color with a tiny bit of head. No lacing to be seen. The smell is sweet grain With a malty tone. The flavor is rather muted. Fairly dry. Some malt some hop bite but nothing really pops. The beer seems rather light in body. Moderate carbonation. This is a pretty standard german lager.

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Photo of zeff80
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly golden yellow color with a small, bubbly white head. It left a couple thin rings of lace.

S - It smelled of light caramel malts and some grains. Not much else there.

T - It tasted of sweet caramel and a light spicy zest from some hops.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A fairly light bodied beer with a smooth finish.

D - This is a very sessionalble brew. Not the best representation of the style, but not bad either.

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Photo of MadTown1000
3.66/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a darker golden straw than a lot of lagers. Only about half an inch of head, fairly quickly receding, but it leaves some lace on the glass and some foam floating on top. Not a lot of aroma. Very malty and more flavorful than I expected, however. Between the flavor, the color, and a rich, almost porterlike mouthfeel, it plays more like a red ale than a lager. It's definitely not the light, crisp beer I thought I was getting, but it was a pleasant surprise.

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Photo of emerge077
3.32/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured this into a 12 oz. stange cylinder glass.

Color is an amber gold, upward streams of carbonation. One finger of head fizzles out and leaves a ring of lacing.

Initial grassy hop whisper when the cap was opened. Some malt sweetness, buttered biscuits, and a random whiff of lime zest.

Taste is a little dull, it has a clear malt flavor, not as crisp as a Helles should be. Somewhat sweet, ghostly bitterness on a big swallow. This is a utilitarian German-style Helles, nothing too unique, but not too flawed either. Average.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.73/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, orangey body with a tired, tiny, white head.

Smell: Some hints of floral and spice and pale malt -- all in all, it's pretty basic.

Taste: Pale maltiness with just a hint of sweetness. Floral, spicy hops. Taste of sour graininess. Medium hop bitterness lingers into the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: No thanks.

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Photo of Homerbag
3.35/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep gold body with thin head that does not retain much.

Smell is a sublte balance of malt and spicy hop. Smells a little to light for the style. Not much to it.
Taste is balanced between toasty malts and some spicy hops. Very clean and sessionable. It is easy to drink, but lacks anything to make it memorable. That being said I would not turn one down.

This is a good beer. Simple and to the point. If you want a step up from a BMC, this is a contender. I would support small craft brewery first and this is a way to do it when you want something simple.

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Photo of drpimento
3/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

typical common pale lager writ olde fashioned. A shade more hops and malt than the average, perhaps. But not so's I'd remember. Yellow gold color with a white short lasting head. A bit of lace after tipping the glass. Corn characteristics. Bittersweet with a bit of hops. LIght body. Clean finish.

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Photo of brdc
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a bright golden brew, nicer-looking "body" than the average that however has a poor white head with little retention.
Its simple smell of hops, grains and malts is quite pleasant, and it hints to the overall taste.
Its body is medium, better than average, with a crisp tastethat is mostly dry hops, but has some discernible malty taste that balances it quite well.
This is a solid, easy to drink brew, probably better drank during summer, but nonetheless a well-crafted, although simple, beer.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Esser's Best pours a clear, very deep golden bodty beneath a short head of creamy white foam. The head retention and lacing are somewhat better than average. The aroma is fresh and inviting with a malty character and some bright floral hops. It's medium bodied and crisp in the mouth. A subtly toasty maltiness is at the heart of this beer, but floral and lightly spicy hops give it charisma. It's very well-brewed, clean and well-balanced. A stiff bitterness backs it, and it finishes mostly dry with a dollop of grainy malt and some lingering hops.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, Woodman's - West

appearance: As seen in the lovely little midwestern indie flick about high school hockey, "No Sleep Till Madison"...pours into a pint glass a bright golden orange, light carbonation bubbling, very light beige head with minimal lacing

smell: toasted malt, bready, yeast, sweet apple fruityness, slightly buttery, very light citric-earthy hopping

taste: a rather sweet lager...toasted grain, toasted malt, buttery, light grassy hopping, sweet candy apple, light caramel....not much more to say, its a decent lager

mouthfeel: moderate carbonation, medium-light body

drinkability: strong

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sparkling amberish orange that looks as pure as spring water. The lightly lemon-tinted ivory head is thickly creamy and gives the beer a classy, well-brewed look. There isn't a huge amount of lace, but there's enough to solidify the appearance as one of the best Munich Helles Lagers in recent memory.

The nose is pleasant enough and aromatic enough, even as it leans toward the simple side of things. It's tough to find a razzle-dazzle nose in a beer of this style, I suppose. Lightly toasted malt with a wee bit of caramel and faintly musky German hops combine to give Esser's Best a better than average MHL nose.

Good beer, not great beer. Simple still applies, although it isn't quite as simple on the palate. It's definitely malt dominant with a sweetish, toasted grain, aged in wood (though I don't believe that it was) flavor that isn't exactly a wilting flower. Hops play a secondary role and contribute earthiness and a bit of an herbal character as well.

I had an idea that the body would be to my liking during the pour. Some beer just exits the bottle and splashes into the glass with a thick luxuriousness. This one felt and sounded like a stout and let me know that the body would be full, rounded and heavily silky; as indeed it is.

Esser's Best is a beer that was first brewed by George Esser in 1863. The recipe was translated from the original German and was resurrected in 1995. Even though I've had better Munich Helles Lagers, this one has stood the test of time and is worthwhile for its abundance of flavor and the simple pleasure that it provides.

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Photo of doubleshovels
2.46/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Esser's Best poured a classic white head, but it disappered as quick as it formed. In the glass, this beer had a good clarity and golden hue. Its aroma was filled with sweet yeasty fruit, and it was the sweetness that carried over to the taste. A little too sweet and not balanced enough for me in the mouth, the bitterness only hits during the finish and even then it has a more sour then bitter.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Pours out a clear yellow with a lot of bubbles. Grassy, somewhat skunky smell. Malty bread flavor with an herbal, grassy bitterness. There's some caramel flavor too. Not too complex, but the malt and hops work well together. Becomes a little watery in the finish. Good drinkability. This is a pretty good Germal style beer, and a little better than Esser's other offering.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.18/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice little cross-over beer for the BMC lovers. Not too much going on with this one. Plain old light malt taste with a thin, watery finish. There is a bready backbone, but not much else going on. I could handle about 4 of these in a row, but wouldn't if I had other options.

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Photo of brakspear
3.61/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An interesting attempt at an authentic German style lager. The beer is contract brewed for the Cross Plains Beer Company by the Stevens Point Brewery, and I detect some of the Point style in this beer, whether intentional or not.

The beer looks very nice in the glass, golden body with no haze and a nice soft white head forming.

The smell was a bit harsh. I don't think European noble hops were used, perhaps they used Cluster with their distinctive bit.

The taste is full-flavored but leaning heavily on a grainy malt base followed by a surprising hop bitterness that smooths out quicly for a very nice finish.

The beer has a very nice full-body to it, but it still remains very drinkable.

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Esser's Best Original from Cross Plains Beer Company
81 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.