The People's Pint Extra Special Bitter (ESB) | The People's Pint

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The People's Pint Extra Special Bitter (ESB)The People's Pint Extra Special Bitter (ESB)
Very Good
33 Ratings
The People's Pint Extra Special Bitter (ESB)The People's Pint Extra Special Bitter (ESB)

Brewed by:
The People's Pint
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-01-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 33 |  Reviews: 31
Reviews by 80x2HopHead:
Photo of 80x2HopHead
4/5  rDev +1.3%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at NERAX. Damn this in one aromatic brew, fruity with floral and mild herbal hop. Poured very clean and seemed to have dropped pretty well even though there is a mild haze to it that is probably from the hops. This brew has a great malt backbone, the fruitiness is not out of control but seems to be melded to the other flavours. This beer was a treat and one of the better US selections at NERAX.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Bauer's in Boston. Pours a creamy head while dark amber in color. Smells of faintly of hops but I can't place the hop variety. Tastes fairly bitter but the malt is more present. Mouthfeel is smooth and this is very drinkable. Probably would be a good session beer. Solid ESB.


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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber

This is a hazy, murky brown-tinted amber color, mellow carboantion with a substantial tan colored head. Dissiaptes pretty quick but leaves plenty of foamy smoothness left over.

It's a rich, earthy-chocolate scented malt, kinda spicey with mild cinnemon notes.

If a brew is lacking in complexity it's next best quality needs to be superb balance; I think this one deliver's exactly that. Mellow chocolate with a fine earthy spiciness and herbal hop. a green veggie flavor flows in from the hops as well.

This is a mellow, light to medium feel, pretty much right on style-wise.

It's an easy drinker.

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Photo of Sammy
3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on cask at the brewpub. Kent and Goldings hops were promising. Light amber colour. Low carbonation of course but also quite understated hops. Sessionable, average cask ESB. On the light bodied side.
Was better though very bitter in the bottle. Darker colour. Not so drinkable. My score averages the two,

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This offering is usually on cask at "The Pint". A pretty consistent beer. Pours a deep gold, with a slightly red tint. Nice froathy head, usaully not seen with this type of serving. As far as the ESB's lacking a little. In fact, it is actualy quite light tasting. Only mildly bitter, with a slight hop aftertastes.

The Pint delivers again!

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

This offering from the People's Pint pours a rusty brown orange leaving a thick tan head. The aroma is anise, spicy hops, buttery caramel, vanilla herbs. The taste starts with a traditional hoppy bite from mild English hops that move to a caramel sweetness with a slight tartness followed by a musty aroma that finishes a bit watery, dry, brisk hops of grapefruit and citrus rinds. Overall a nice ESB, nothing to get too excited about though.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from the 22 oz bottle. Great appearance of murky amber-brown, thick head with eventual lacing. Very sharp aromas of malt, grassy florals, hops and fruit; wicked, wicked good. All the other dimensions to this drink were a bit mediocre, but still pretty enjoyable. The taste was bitter along with other positives such as its yeasty taste and malt flavors. The bitter aftertaste lagged behind a bit in your mouth even. The mouthfeel did help balance things a bit with its medium body, allowing the flavors to be subdued. It is bitter, so if you are obviously searching for an ESB, this is a good choice.

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Photo of BitterRed
4.8/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of gentlebubbles
5/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

BA Bus Tour

In its home location, everything I love about this beer is there but even more so, especially the nose: lots of wonderful piney resins and caramels I could get lost in. The.Best.


A beautiful reddish copper with a dense, caramel latte head.
Just a whiff of butterscoth. Heavy fruity malt, with a hint of toffee and caramel. The tingling bitterness clings to the tongue and slowly resolves to piney resin.

I could drink this nectar of the gods all day and not get bored.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed at the brewpub, on cask.

Presentation size a pint of cask-condition ale, with a minimal head which lasted as a swirly layer of small bubbles atop the cloudy, medium brown brew. Aroma was earthy malts and fruity hoppiness. Taste was a nice package, with the grains working nicely with the lightly fruity hops, and a lingering bitterness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel and drinkability were superb. Had two pints, and could have had many more, excpeting I was driving home after a long day of visiting friends, and the little passenger was getting restless.

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Photo of twelvsies
4.52/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

When to the People's Pint tonight for the first time and got a few beers and some dinner. This was my favorite. Appears a darkish soft amber color with a layer of frothy foamy head that laces the glass nicely. Nice hop aroma, sharply bitter and very clean, not fruity.Taste is everything you'd want in an ESB. The hop bitterness is perfectly placed, complimented with a musty, dusty, herbal flavoring and a sweet but mild malt profile. More of an American take on the style, which I tend to like in ESBs. The texture of this beer was amazing. Creamy and perfectly smooth with a dusty dry finish. Classic cask mouthfeel. I wish I'd gotten a growler of this stuff, because writing this review is really making me crave more of this fabulous ale.

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Photo of smcolw
4.19/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The initial pour starts with soda-like large bubbles, but minute bubbles come up from the bottom and replace the big ones as they pop. The settled head is only a single layer thick. The lace is minimal. The color of the brew is solid brown and hazy--light glows through the glass.

Chocolate and caramel aromas; light floral hop in the background. Somewhat earthy.

Think: Highly hopped brown ale. Great balance. Powerful darker malts (crystal and chocolate?) are strong but still offset by the bitter hop. Not a delicate beer--full flavored and full bodied. The aftertaste is a long lasting hop pellet.

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Photo of Gavage
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a cloudy dark amber color with a short one finger head that fell immediately. A spot or two of lacing develops.

Smell: nice fruit sweetness and some floral bitterness are easily detected.

Taste: a bit bready with caramel and ripe red fruit sweetness. Decent bitterness gives it some spunk, but all in all its a pretty straightforward beer.

Mouthfeel: smooth from start to finish. Medium bodied. The aftertaste is quite brief as the caramel and fruit sweetness lingers for a few seconds.

Drinkability: decent session beer. Worth picking this up if you want an above average ESB.

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Photo of flexabull
2.77/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Freebie bottle courtesy of cburian, thanks again!

Pours a slightly hazy amber color, with a decent tall white head.

Aromas seem funky and wrong. Dusty, musty, sour, tart, and way off. I hope this didn't get ruined by spending some time in a truck in the Norcal heat.

Flavors aren't nearly as bad as the smell. But when I take a sip, those smells creep up my nose. There is a slightly dusty taste, a bit of a sun tea like malty flavor, and a bit of a mineral hop finish.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Feels full enough, and fairly well rounded in the mouth.

Drinkability isn't all that great. I can't get over the smell. I would give this beer another chance with the possibility that my bottle went bad. But if this smelled and tasted the same on the second go around, I would definitely pass.

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Photo of williamherbert
3.36/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a 22 oz bottle.

Pours a deep orangish-red color. Brownish head that goes away rather quickly. It's hazy and deep. Dark and more thick than a regular ESB.

Has a roasted pale ale scent. Like a pale, but burnt. There is also a hint of deep berry smell. There is some minor mustiness but I'll chalk that up to storage rather than the craft of the beer. Does smell a bit like a basement, though, I have to admit.

Pale malt taste with a toasted/dry ending. Slight taste of bitter hops. Much more burnt roasted taste that I would have expected. Also some dark berry which balances some of the roasted and bitter flavors.

The finish is dry and actually a little ashy. A bite comes at the end, and one that's not altogether welcome. Overall it's not a bad brew. It's a bit stiff and somewhat dry. Surely a darker ESB.

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Photo of jstilwell
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

The People's Pint delivers a brew here that is very indicative of the style. It pours a Rusty Brown Amber with a very slight head with some evidence of carbonation bubbles even after sitting still for a bit. The aroma is of "2 x 4" as my buddy put it. I also detect a smoky maltiness. This is a refreshing and balanced type of beer and would be nice in the summer. The taste delivers a quick hop kick with smooth malt and then hops again for a very crisp finish. The brew is a bit watery but very drinkable. A nice offering.

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Photo of bjohnson
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to brewhiker for trekking these east...

A: Pours a dirty penny copper color. Murky with a nice one finger cream colored bubbly head. Excellent fluffy looking retention.
S: Floral and slight sweet fruity hop notes. Good background of sweet malt.
T/M: Fruity and floral hop notes start this beer off. Good sweet malt and a bit of toasted grain in there also. Bitterness smacks the palate and hangs on well into the aftertaste. Nice dry finish. Fruityness in the finish. Hops aren't overpowering allowing the malt profile some elbow room.
D: A good session brew IMO. Smooth and easy drinking with a low abv. Tasty brew. For the price, it's worth a shot.

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Photo of albern
3.74/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is true to form, and it is a pretty characteristic ESB. It is fairly low carbonation, a bit cloudy dark copper amber color with not much head at all. This beer tastes like it might not be the freshest out of the bottle. The label on the bottle only went up to 2008, which is a tell tale sign that the beer is probably past its peak. Nevertheless, this beer has a nice floral hop aroma, biscuity malts, and maybe some dryish or nutty aromas.

The taste is slightly syrupy or sticky, but overall pretty watery for an ESB. The beer is nicely balanced. It has an earthy quality to it, some creamy hints, some acerbic hop bite, a good deal of florals, and maybe a touch of buttery and earthy diacetyl. The beer is quite flat, almost like cask conditioned in a bottle. The hop is leafy, bittering, and slightly biting. This is a bit watery, a bit flat, and probably past its prime. I would hope to try this again when I can be assured that the beer is fresher.

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Photo of mschofield
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a tawny red-amber topped with a two finger tan head. Leaves bits of lacing.
Pine, herb, toffee fruit, tea and caramel aroma.
Toast, flowers, herbs and fruit (red apple) jam taste. Butter, toffee and hot tea.
Wonderful medium body, rich and smooth feel.

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Photo of waughbrew
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color of reddish pine sap with a little creamy head on top, a bit sticky. This beer is great, a bit porterish for the style, with deep dark caramelish malts and flavorful hops (cascades and EKGs?). Nice cherry and some apple esters, but a much too attenuative yeast, very reminiscent of the Sierra Nevada brewery. The attenuation is really the only thing that I would change about this beautiful beer. Full-bodied, full-flavored. Great.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 fl oz brown bottle; served in a nonic.
'Brewed on' date not notched.

Hazy, auburn-highlighted copper in color. Creamy, porous white head with stable retention. Walls of condensed and spotted lacing.

Sweet, bready malt aroma; a touch of rounded diacetyl. Faint floral hops without a hint of mustiness. Lightly toasted hazlenut.

Full, biscuity malt with a welcomed buttery quality. A dry, nutty quality that works well with the bready, semi-sweet toasted malts. Spicy, floral hops fill the middle giving a nice bite and cutting the sweetness. Buttered biscuit with a burnt hop aftertaste.

Medium bodied; smooth, full for the style. Patches of film in spots, but mostly creamy.

A full-flavored, balanced ESB. Very few flaws in flavor. Congrats to the People's Pint for such a well-crafted offering. What a treat this one would be on cask.

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Photo of Brad007
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark red color with floaties (!) and a one-finger head into my glass.

Aroma is full of sweet malt and light hop bitterness in the nose. Smells normal for the style.

Taste is full of hop bitterness upfront with a decent amount of sweet malt as well underneath. Despite the floaties, it tastes like it should.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering hops and malt. Pretty normal for the style.

Always hard to describe ESBs but this beer is quite drinkable and seems where it should be.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had at the PP on 7/31/09, although it was called Hope Street Bitter on the board. Served in a standard pint. Amber in color, translucent clarity and a dense, frothy, two inch off-white head that formed thick concentric semi-circles of lace as the brew was consumed. Nose revealed some fruity esters and a hint of aromatic bittering hops on a malt backbone. Bittering hops comes out upfront in the flavor profile, with the malt character forming the backdrop. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy and consistency fell between light- and medium-bodied, but closer to the light side of the spectrum. In terms of drinkability, I have to say that this is an excellent brew - I'm not typically a fan of the style, but this was solid - tasty and easy drinking.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber. Hazy orange amber. Thin, wispy layer of head supported by a large bubbled collar. Mellow, malty aroma. Doughy and biscuity, with lightly herbal hopping and a dash of pear. Surprisingly hoppy flavor, the finish quite assertive with earthy, herbal english hops. Malt retains balance, biscuity, chocolatey and nutty, with a rather dry texture. Feels a bit thinner than I'd like, without that sweetish coating on the palate that the best english ESBs give. More of an ordinary bitter, but good nonetheless.

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The People's Pint Extra Special Bitter (ESB) from The People's Pint
Beer rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 33 ratings