Beak's Best | New Albanian Brewing Company - Pizzeria and Public House

35 Ratings

Brewed by:
New Albanian Brewing Company - Pizzeria and Public House
Indiana, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Viking on 01-29-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ratings: 35 |  Reviews: 11
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Quite an impressive beer. New Albany's beers all have a dough-ey and caramel-ey note to them anyway. This sets up to be a very solid brew. Still, the head retention and carbonation seem to be lacking from the tap, but the aroma is full of caramel, vanilla, maple syrup, and a bread / yeast flavor that creates richness and fullness, but without a thickening texture. The hops (American) adds spiciness that kicks it out of style, but still a very good beer. The hop flavor is assertive and pronounced without comanding the beer. New Albany's best brew!

 552 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of MSandahl23
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of mynie
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've drank like 4-5 of New Albanian's beers so it's kinda inexplicable that I've never reviewed any of them. Reviewing is what I do, see. Only I guess I only ever get the beers on tap, after I've already been drinking. And--no offense--but the beers are never that striking: they're solid, not particularly good or bad, and so it's hard to review them the morning afterwards, without proper notes.

So i decided to make this my first beer of the night, while my brain was still unclouded, and to take proper notes, even if I had to do so discreetly, so as to not look like a Melvin in front of my friends.

Malt profile is standard, if a little crisper than usual for an ESB: nuts, biscuits, toast. This is backed up very nicely, especially in the aroma, by a surprisingly strong kick of piney, peaty hops. The flavor is exactly what I want out of an ESB: it's crisp and tame all the way through until the very back end when the hops jump out and surprise you.

This was the only beer I had all night. Kept ordering it and ordering it. Not because it was superamazing, but because it is wonederfully brewed session. This is a hard style to keep both mild and interesting, but they nailed it.

 1,192 characters

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

Photo of zonker17
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of ZombiesAteMyDog
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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

(Tomlinson Tap Room) Poured a very nice light copper color with some decent head and a bit of decent lacing. Nice hoppy scent (slightly piney with a bit of earthiness beneath it) and a good sweet malt backing. Excellent pine and citrus flavors in the hops, with a good earthy/jerky hop finish (Fuggles?); had a very nice malt backing. Went down well, with a slight twinge.

 372 characters

Photo of freewill35
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of alleykatking
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap...

A- Poured a golden caramel color. One finger white head shows good retention. Nice streaks of lace on the sidse of the glass.

S- Nice underlying nutty aroma with a settle biscuity malt covering it. Hints of a light caramel malt toward the middle with a faded wet grain aroma. Ending shows the biscuity malts once again along with the nutty aroma ending with some light earthy hops. No real alcohol presence in the nose.

T- Biscuity malts with a strong overtone of roasted nuts right off the get go. This is the opposite of the aroma. Middle of the beer calms down with a dose of semi-sweet caramel malts that add a little depth to the beer itself. Biscuity malts are on the backend with hints of caramel and nuts. Earthy hops are in the backend which adds a nice bitterness to this beer without going overboard. Light alcohol helps to mute the flavors in the ending.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Biscuity malts, caramel malts, nuts, and hints of earthy hops are left on the palate. Aftertaste is mostly biscuity malts, light alcohol, and hints of both roasted nuts and earthy hops. Flavors were very well put together for the style I thought. No real off flavors were present. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

O- A fantastic ESB. The flavors are light but pack a nice overall rotating lineup. ABV is light and brings a crispness to this beer. A fantastic beer from New Albanian which seems to be the norm with them.

 1,468 characters

Photo of robwestcott
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

cold from the tap at tavern on south, poured a semi translucent caramel brown to a standard shaker pint with a thin, short lasting off white head leaving minimal and quickly fading lace.

fairly subtle aroma of dark nuts and piney hops.

hops forward, but not in your face and distracting. dark nuts, caramel brown malts, nice side by side subtle hops and sweet malts.

low carbonation, subtle bitter to the tongue, light bodied.

drinkable - yep.

overall - enjoyable, not knocking your socks off, but a good, solid beer.

 522 characters

Photo of neckbracesub
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of phishbone23
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Rempo
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of cwd
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of jkrich
3.51/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper and slightly opaque with a very nice fluffy off-white head. The aroma was spicy hops with faint malt odors. The initial taste was malty and slightly buttery with a good hop flavor in the aftertaste. There were some fleeting bready flavors as well. Good level of carbonation with a solid, thick mouthfeel. One could easily put back a few pints of this american style bitter. The butter flavor was the only drawback.

 421 characters

Photo of HopsMatt
1/5  rDev -74%

Photo of lilnicky068
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of craftbrew502
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

Photo of Nctide
2.86/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Had on tap. Tasted like a poor version of an English bitter with none of the flavorful malts. Overall it was disappointing.

124 characters

Photo of zerk
4.65/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Clear copper with a thin but persistent head. Aroma is very inviting, with a slightly sweet biscuity malt and herbal grassy hops. The flavor delivers on what your nose caused you to expect... upfront maltiness... some caramel flavors mixing with biscuit, then followed by a somewhat mellow and pleasant herbal bitterness. Body is medium to full, and the beer is quite smooth. An excellent ESB... probably the best I've tasted to date. Had this one side by side with a Fuller's, and I didn't even want to finish the Fuller's (which is a great ESB in it's own right.)

I'm really excited about Indiana's newest brewery, and looking forward to more great offerings from New Albanian.

 683 characters

Photo of jtd335
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Beak's Best from New Albanian Brewing Company - Pizzeria and Public House
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 35 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.