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Esser's Cross Plains Special - Cross Plains Beer Company

Not Rated.
Esser's Cross Plains SpecialEsser's Cross Plains Special

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

28 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 28
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 3.2
pDev: 19.06%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cross Plains Beer Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
German Pilsener |  ABV ?

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-09-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 28 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Satan70
2/5  rDev -37.5%

Satan70, Aug 03, 2014
Photo of RobinLee
3.5/5  rDev +9.4%

RobinLee, Aug 16, 2013
Photo of MarshMan71
3.5/5  rDev +9.4%

MarshMan71, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of Jimboe
2.75/5  rDev -14.1%

Jimboe, Oct 03, 2012
Photo of RoamingGnome
3.23/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a tulip.

A) Straw yellow, and clear. Ample carbonation. About a finger of foamy white head. No retention on the head, and no lacing.

S) The aroma is of grain, cornhusk, and a white wine sweetness.

T) The taste is pretty close to the nose. It's a little buttery, and it closes with a nice hop bitterness.

M) This is a light bodied brew with ample carbonation. It is rather crisp and has a dry finish.

O) Well, not special as the label proclaims. It did quench my thirst after enjoying some award winning cheese.

RoamingGnome, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of bootsdomino
3/5  rDev -6.3%

bootsdomino, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of WastingFreetime
2.53/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Transcribed from my notebook.

Pours out transparent golden straw colored, short lived head that disintegrates way too quick for my tastes...but the color and clarity are nice looking...Slightly skunky aroma, but mostly light grassy hops on mild biscuit malt, but way too much buttery diacetyl is present...hops are too lackluster in flavor, body is of pleasingly light texture and good carbonation at least, but most other aspects of this brew need some serious work. Drinkable, but that is about all, so I can't really recommend it.

WastingFreetime, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of crossovert
2.7/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz twist off bottle.

It pours a honey gold with big, bulky bubbles and a soapy white head.

The smell is light and clean. It is unoffensive, with noble hops and light biscuit.

Th flavor is a bit of a letdown. It has a big buttery diacetyl flavor and it is under carbonated. Other than that there is a mild hop flavor, but it is a buttery, sweet, malty pils.

crossovert, Dec 15, 2010
Photo of biker30x
3.5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint a clear honey golden with a white head that fades immediately. Little nose, just a hint of hay and crackers. Mouthfeel is light & satisfyingly carbonated. Clean flavors of grain & hints of biscut with a sweet finish, lacking the sometime sour after taste this style can have. There are no dominating big flavors and that's not a bad thing. This is a crisp pils with lots more flavor and character than the macros. Nice, not great.

biker30x, May 10, 2010
Photo of BadBadger
2.15/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I am sad to say that there is nothing special about Esser's Cross Plains Special German Pilsner. There is an initial monster foamy head that very quickly dissipates. The aroma is a first yeasty and then only slightly floral, with a metallic note hitting the nostrils. The taste is empty and wet. I do not recommend trying this beverage, if any other options are available.

BadBadger, Feb 13, 2010
Photo of Florida9
3.15/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Yellowish straw in color. Served with a 1/4" of white head that dissipates quickly.

S: Biscuit malt. Straw. And the flawed scent of diacetyl.

T: Biscuit malts and classic noble hop bitterness. Has a surprisingly long finish. Thankfully, the butter aroma is not present in the flavor.

M: Thin with relatively high carbonation. Light and crisp. Refreshing summer beer.

D: Easy drinker and easily sessionable, but not really a beer with a lot of character, even for the style. Butter aroma is off-putting and there really isn't much more going on that would make it worth returning to.

Florida9, Aug 12, 2009
Photo of Tone
3.85/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, golden color. 1/3 inch head of a white color. Decent retention and poor lacing. Smells of slight roasted malt, yeast, hops, and slight citrus. Fits the style of a German Pilsener. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of slight pale malt, slight roasted malt, yeast, hops, and slight citrus. Overall, a better than average German Pilsener. Good body, complexity, and drinkability.

Tone, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of robbyc1
3.95/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful light yellow and clear with a lovely white fluffy head, thick and creamy with good lacing.

Smells of fresh malts and hops, very inviting.

Roasty malt fills the tongue, with a slight bitter bite at the end, just right for the style. Stands up to some of the macros of this style very well.

Decent heavyness for the style, good carbonation, just a great ballpark type beer. This looks light colored like a macro but drinks much nicer.

Very drinkable and satisfying, would make a nice session beer, abv estimate is around 4.5%.

robbyc1, Mar 11, 2009
Photo of keoki182
2.9/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Lemony appearance and aroma. Some wheatgrass tossed in. Smooth and inoffensive in flavor, feels fairly thin during swallow. Almost no hop presence to speak of, this beer reminds me more of a general American lager than a pilsener. Not memorable at all, but definitely a local brew I could drink while grilling out on a nice summer evening.

keoki182, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of emerge077
2.83/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Golden orange with an active swarm of bubbles, thin soapy head, then nothing. Looked like apple juice, and was actually mistaken for Red Bull when sitting unattended on the counter. Swilly grains and dull generic beer smell. Maybe a touch of honey sweetness, but that was a stretch. Flavor was watered down and sweet grain was about the only identifiable taste. Bland and lacking distinct character. With a bigger chug, there was a vague bitterness suggesting trace elements of hops, but no actual taste from them.Thin and gassy, not a crisp clean Pils like I was hoping for. Inoffensive all around, which seems to be what they were shooting for here. Won't try this again.

emerge077, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of wheatyweiss
3.83/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pils glass.

Pours a light honey with a bubbly head that disappears immediately. Crystal clear.

Aroma is light DMS and cooked veggies. The grain on the nose comes across more like wet cardboard than grain.

Flavor is slightly sweet malt with a huskiness to the grain. There is a small hop hit, not bold like hallertau or munich's, more like a few cascades per barrel. The grain gives a slight sweetness. Refreshing, just bland and thin.

Mouthfeel is thin and bubbly.

wheatyweiss, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of daledeee
3.48/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single bottle to try(not available in Iowa).

This beer pours a very macro like appearance. Clear yellow with small head that doesn't stay around. Nose is weak but clean and fresh with grains and slight malt.

Taste is slightly tart or hoppy with a mild hop flavor. Mouth feel is of average carbonation and leaves the tongue feeling slick.

I don't want to be too harsh here. This is way better than most macros; just not distinctive. Overall a very drinkable beer.

daledeee, Dec 01, 2008
Photo of Chaz
3.13/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant straw in color, topped with an off-white head. Head dissipates after a minute or two leaving a sudsy ring around the glass.

Nose is biscuit-y, lightly tangy, and dominated by pale malts. There's a definite honey note here but it's unobtrusive. In terms of hop use it's generally to-style, but as no varietal stands out (I'm looking for you, Saaz...) i have to rate it less than average.

On first sip its smooth, a touch creamy and tangy, with a light sweetness emerging mid-way through the palate and a dry character and some lingering bitterness toward the end of the palate. Fairly clean overall, if not exactly light in body. Good drinkability.

Overall it's a good pale German-style lager, but a bit more hop bite would do wonders in nailing the Pils style.

Chaz, Sep 27, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.98/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, very light, pale orange body.

Smell: Mild, basic aroma of pils malt, honey, and flowers.

Taste: Sweetish pils malt and a taste of crackers. Mild honey hint. Slight taste of sourdough developing. Light hop bitterness. Finishes as sweetish as it started off.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Oh boy, what a snoozer!

ChainGangGuy, May 14, 2008
Photo of ATLbeerDog
2/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours extremely light yellow in color with hardly head, slight lacing and not much carbonation. Smells of floral hops, and fruits. Taste is severely lacking any flavor at all. Not worth boiling hotdogs in! If you did the resulting oily liquid would have a ton more flavor. This is not good at all.

ATLbeerDog, May 10, 2008
Photo of Derek
2.88/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear yellow, fizzy white head, no retention or lace.

S: Grassy, spicy hops with a little corn.

T: Grassy, metallic hops; some sweetness (so there must be some malt, but I'm not tasting it!); modest bitterness, hints of buttery diacetyl.

M: Light to moderate body, moderate carbonation.

D: Approachable. Like a macro with a little more quality hop flavour.

Derek, Jul 15, 2007
Photo of drpimento
2.5/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this at the Between the Bluffs fest. Poured a white head that went away. A little lace after tilting the glass. Typical world pilsner writ olde fashioned. Deep yellow gold color. Very carbonated. Thin and watery. A hint of hops and malt, but more that many. Forgetable. Clean brief finish. Could do worse.

drpimento, Apr 29, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pristine honey with an active interior of rapidly rising bubbles. Their goal, of course, is the creation and maintenance of a dirty ivory cap that resembles meringue immediately after the pour. It isn't that sticky, however. What lace makes its way to the glass, melts soon after.

The nose is rather simple and could use more power besides. About all I can appreciate is fresh, untoasted cereal grains and a whiff of musky (probably German) hops. There are no bells and whistles, but then beer of this style rarely features such things.

Cross Plains Special is pretty much what I expected after the sniff test. Actually, it's pretty much what I expected prior to cracking the crown. For all its straightforward simplicity, it's obviously a quality lager. More than most pilseners, it strikes me as a jack-of-all-trades beer. One that could be sessioned solo or could be paired with all manner of foods.

Perhaps ECPS's biggest asset is its remarkable balance. At no point does fresh, sun-ripened barley gets its nose in front of mildly musky, somewhat spicy hops (or vice versa). The flavor profile favors barely sweet early and barely bitter-dry late. While the more unkind would call it generic, I appreciate its well-crafted nature.

The mouthfeel keeps things on the right track. It's light-medium in a general sense, refusing to give an inch until well after the swallow. I'm having trouble thinking of ways in which it could be improved.

I liked Esser's Best Original (a Munich helles lager) and I like Esser's Cross Plains Special just as much, if not more. They're both down-to-earth, honest beers that are light years better than any of the lagers emanating from the Big 3 of American brewing. Actually, in a perfect world, this is exactly what Budweiser would taste like.

BuckeyeNation, Mar 25, 2007
Photo of dirtylou
3.7/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz single, 1.39, perhaps from Steve's - University

appearance: poured into a 42nd street oyster bar pint glass...very cleary watery golden yellow, very clear but to the style

smell: grainy pilsner malts, quite well spiced, smell is very traditional german pilsner, quite clean, touch biscuity, peppery, light grassy hop presence

taste: Very much a tradition german pilsner...sweetened pilsner malts, strong grain taste, biscuit, apple sweetness, grassy hoppiness, a touch of midwestern corn...i expected the worst but it turned out to be quite drinkable

mouthfeel: light and a touch watery but true to style

drinkability: quite so

dirtylou, Jun 28, 2006
Photo of beveragecaptain
3.68/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Clear golden with endlessly rising bubbles. Biscuity malt aroma. Pilsner malt flavor with some grassy hops, although the malt dominates. I would like if there were a little more hop flavor. Finishes dry. This beer lacks the weak, watery flavor found too often in this style. The mouthfeel is medium. Great drinkability. This is a nice hot weather beer from a decent local Wisconsin brewery.

beveragecaptain, Jun 05, 2005
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Esser's Cross Plains Special from Cross Plains Beer Company
77 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.