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Esser's Best Original - Cross Plains Beer Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

39 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 39
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 12.61%
Wants: 0
Gots: 1 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: brakspear on 03-13-2002)
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Ratings: 39 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2008 21:42:17 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Homerbag


3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2008 07:26:14 | More by Homerbag
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2007 01:16:44 | More by drpimento
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2007 23:46:51 | More by brdc
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.93/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2007 22:43:08 | More by NeroFiddled
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

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2006 23:00:38 | More by dirtylou
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2006 19:53:28 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of doubleshovels


2.4/5  rDev -31.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2006 03:22:52 | More by doubleshovels
Photo of beveragecaptain

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2005 01:30:05 | More by beveragecaptain
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya


3.15/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2005 01:04:00 | More by ALESwhatCURESya
Photo of brakspear


3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2003 20:01:14 | More by brakspear
Photo of cokes


4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice helles here.
Pours a chill-hazed golden body that leans ever-so-slightly towards amber. Ivory head is adequate, but doesn't last all that long.
Clean and pleasant on the nose, with both the malt and hops making an impression.
Begins malty sweet, with flavors that approach carmel. Vienna-like in a way. Turns breadier towards the middle as the sweetness fades. Some coarse graininess enters late. Miniscule toasted/nutty notes. Grassy, rustic hops provide the finale.
Smooth medium bodied with rolling carbonation.
Solid all around and very authentic tasting.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2002 23:47:22 | More by cokes
Photo of ZAP


4.13/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You know how sometimes everything works for a beer. I would say that sums up this very classy lager. A terrific golden yellow color with a soft lace that coats the glass as you drink it. Very smooth, with a good malt backbone. Some quality hopping as well, but I find this a very balanced and tasty lager. Creamy in texture and medium in body for a lager. Similar to S.A Boston Lager in body, but not hopped with the same 'hops"...Both are very good. I wish some of you could get your hands on this to try. For a lager it is pretty special.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2002 01:36:44 | More by ZAP
Photo of Bighuge


3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice frothy white head that doesn't last too long. Golden in color with a faint orange tint. Malt and a bit of yeast are evident on the nose. An "Old World" taste is present. A bit musty. This beer has a bit of a bite. A bitter finish is evident. Seems to be more bitter than most lagers I've had (excluding the highly saaz hopped pilsners).

Robin Shepard notes in his book, "Wisconsin's Best Breweries and Brewpubs" that "Esser's Best may be the closest you'll get to a golden German Lager without going to Germany." I have not been to Germany, but agree that this is a fine lager.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2002 23:26:08 | More by Bighuge
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Esser's Best Original from Cross Plains Beer Company
80 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.