Public Ale
Community Beer Company

Public AlePublic Ale
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Bitter - English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #106
Ranked #34,877
3.73 | pDev: 13.4%
Community Beer Company
Texas, United States
Public AlePublic Ale
Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 152 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of mushroomcloud
mushroomcloud from Texas

3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz canned 12/11/19. Opened 4/3/20.
1/4" off white head, retains as a thin cap. Clean, copper amber colored ale. Wispy lacing pattern.
Fruity malt and some yeasty esters. Raisin bread. Sweet caramel.
Herbal and grassy hop flavor is first, sweet malt with somewhat of a bready undertone...dark bread / bread crust.
Medium body, low to medium carbonation. A little sweet on the finish, not so much as to be distracting but it does linger.
I have a feeling that on draft this beer sings a different tune...I'll try it when the opportunity arises and report back here.
5-30-20 Raising "taste" to 3.75 on my 3rd can.

Apr 04, 2020
Photo of mjurney
mjurney from Texas

3.61/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light copper, touch of haze. Medium rising bubbles. Thick creamy head. Fairly good head retention. Leaves a pretty good lacing behind.

Bready, some caramel, toffee-like, hint of brown bread, fruity esters, touch of earthy.

Bready, brown bread, bread crust, some caramel, hint of toffee. Some fruity esters, raisin. Hop bitterness is moderate, herbal-woody. Finish is mostly dry. Medium bodied, semi sticky, medium carbonation, fairly smooth.

Pretty good for English style ale.

Mar 10, 2019
Photo of Tucquan
Tucquan from Pennsylvania

3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2019-02-27 in Grapevine, TX from a 12oz canned on 2019-01-19

A - Caramel brown with a 1.5 finger tan head and mild lace

S - Caramel, graham cracker, sweet.

T - Toasted brown bread, caramel, earthy spice, moderate bitterness. Quite tasty

M - Medium body and light-medium carbonation. Slightly sticky.

O - Plenty of malt flavor to enjoy. A nice take on an ESB.

Feb 28, 2019
Photo of JacobusFavier23
JacobusFavier23 from Texas

3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L- Pours a small lacy headed beer that dissipates to a steady glass hugging head. Dark amber color is there. Nice honey look as well. Missing a more defined head but the presence so far is nice.
S- Earthy notes of fruit, such as apple, slight hoppy presence and a malty sweetness.
T- The flavor is very nice, starting with a sweet fruity touch, followed by a slight bitter bite. There are earthy notes and a well pronounced hop presence that isn't too much at all. A pleasure to sip on
F- Medium to full bodied beer.
O- A very tasty ESB. Extremely well rounded with a wonderful drinkability. It's weirdly nostalgic, as if I remember it from a pub at a simpler time. Very nice. Very much enjoyed.

Dec 29, 2018
Photo of gvickery
gvickery from Texas

4.21/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Light brown/copper, tan head. Faint, mostly malt smell. Very complex, malt, caramel, toffee, dried fruit, the 38 ibu is not overwhelming, but balances the malts perfectly. I prefer this to all UK examples I've tried.

Dec 10, 2018
Photo of brewerburgundy
brewerburgundy from California

3.91/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can, wine glass, canned 5/2/18.

The color is honey graham brown and hazy. There is a welcoming layer of light brown head to greet one as this sensory experience begins.

Treacle, light diacetyl, some soft fruitiness, a trace of earthiness.

Woody, earthy hops take a bite out of the front end before layers of malty complexity arrive. Sweet layers that taste of raisins and bread pudding, and more workmanlike biscuit and peaty layers. Things are in balance here, nothing is clamoring for attention.

The body is full and balanced by active, but creamy carbonation.

This is one of the best, or at least personal favorite ESBs I’ve had. It seems to have accrued some accolades and I agree. I feel a comfort while drinking this beer, as if it reflects a desired balance.

Jun 13, 2018
Photo of puck1225
puck1225 from Texas

3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Cloudy organs brow. Nice initial head and decent lacin. Pleasant spicy sweet smell. Very nice herbal and spice taste. Good balance of bitterness with the spicy sweet. Enjoyed it!

Nov 21, 2017
Photo of Thomas_Wikman
Thomas_Wikman from Texas

3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I am having Public Ale an English-Style Extra Special Bitter from Community, Dallas, TX, ABV 5.50%, IBU 38 according to the bottle. It is the first time I am having an ESB so I may not be the best judge on how they are supposed to taste, but I really like it.

Look: Copper color with a thin white head

Aroma: sweet malty aroma

Taste: Some sweetness and maltiness, crackers, caramel, and some barely noticeable fruitiness, maybe grapefruit or apple, as well as modest bitterness.

Feel: medium body, dry

Oct 04, 2017
Photo of Jbbdrinker
Jbbdrinker from Texas

4.29/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark copper with a spiced malt smell. Even poured recklessly, just a thin head forms and very quickly fades. Resinous and fruity up front with a roasted, buiscuit like finish. The full flavored body is quite dry and bitter. The color and roasted sweetness is a little like a cross between a brown ale and a marzen.

Aug 23, 2017
Photo of awv4803
awv4803 from Texas

1.59/5  rDev -57.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I have loved many beers from Community, but this one is a true stinker. Not good at all.

They say it's an ESB, but you can throw that right out the window. It resembles no ESB I've ever had, or at least not one I would drink again. If you have to have a Texas ESB, you'd be much better served by London Homesick.

Instead, this kind of tastes like Newcastle, though I would honestly prefer a Newcastle. That's the level of disappointment.

Don't judge Community on this one beer. Just do yourself a favor and instead pick up the Mosaic IPA. You'll be much happier.

May 11, 2017
Photo of Redrover
Redrover from Wisconsin

3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I had the Community Public Ale ESB at the Flying Saucer in Fort Worth.

It was served in a pint glass and the beer is a dark copper with a clingy beige head.

It has an aroma of grains and something sweet like brown sugar.

This is malt forward with caramel and toffee notes. The hops are evident in the back end and they are floral in nature.

Beer has almost too much carbonation but that is the only thing I would tweak as this is a nice take on the style.

Apr 14, 2017
Photo of champ103
champ103 from Texas

2.76/5  rDev -26%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours dull amber color with a minimal bubbly white head. Then recedes to nothing with no lace. Looks pretty lifeless.
S: Grainy, biscuit malts. With a leafy and earthy bitterness. That is it. Pretty average, with not a lot of depth.
T: Like the nose just grainy biscuit malts. Watery with a leafy and earthy bitterness. No malt complexity, no fruity esters, just kind of sub standard and mundane. I wish I got some of the apple/pear/cider quality others noted, cause I very much enjoy that in a bitter. Though I did not get any of that.
M/O: A light body, high carbonation. Though watery, and really thin. Really not digging this. No depth of character to me, and just blah. Does not hit much for style points either.

Man, I wish there was a good ESB, or regular English Bitter for that matter that is Texas made. I am tiered of basically light ambers with no malt depth. Just plain watered down grains, and no esters to speak of. Maybe they should at least try something from Fuller's? You know just so they can have a frame of does not seem like many have a clue what the style should be.

Sep 10, 2016
Photo of Todd
Todd from California

3.12/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bubblegum, Bitter, Fruity, Estery

Public Ale is slightly hazy amber with a thin lacing. Bubblegum dominates the aroma, but it dissipates as the beer warms, allowing some fruity and malty notes to pull through. Creamy and a bit sharp on the palate. This ESB has a light bitterness that's a bit leafy and grassy. Fruity, estery, with ripe apples and spicy and herbal notes along with a tea-like quality. Layers of malt underneath bring a toasty and caramel sweetness. Dry, bubblegum finish. Unfortunately, there’s too much haze and the bubblegum is over-the-top.

As reviewed in BeerAdvocate magazine #115 (August 2016).

Aug 23, 2016
Photo of zeff80
zeff80 from Missouri

3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz can. Poured out a clear, golden burgundy color with a small, off-white head of foam. It left some sudsy trails of lace on the glass. It smelled of caramel, bread crust and grasses. Sweet roasted malt taste with toffee and a subtle spicy bitterness.

Aug 12, 2016
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

not enough good esb out there, especially made in the states here. i was obviously more stoked on this than everyone else appears to have been. i think its an excellent example of the style, flavorful for sure, but also mild enough to consume a ton of it. on tap at the brewery, it pours a nice and heady foamy brassy color, but through the plastic cup they put it in, its hard to comment much further on the way it looks. the nose is great though, maris otter malt, maybe some english crystal, and then a whole bunch of straw-like grassy bitter hops that smell like late summer. some sweetness, lighter than caramel though, and with an english sort of dusty property to it starts off the flavor, but hops meet grain well before the middle of this, more hoppy in terms of taste than is common, not overpowering, but grassy and leafy and fresh, a neat contrast with the malt. bitterness is only moderate much to my surprise, and the whole thing is dry and gone in an instant, aided by aggressive carbonation well beyond what the english would do with a beer like this. i like that feature, especially in the context of a hot texas late spring afternoon. helps the refreshment factor. i know not a lot of people are going to get overly jazzed about a classic esb, but i liked this one a lot and think its a bit underrated here on BA...

May 16, 2016
Photo of mamaraza
mamaraza from Texas

3.16/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this one while standing in line for Aerosmith tickets.

Pretty smooth going down but I got a bit too much acidity in the finish.

Not quite there yet boys but a decent effort.

Nov 15, 2015
Photo of Chris_Huston
Chris_Huston from Texas

3.11/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Trying to be as fair as possible. I don't think ESBs are quite my style. It reminds me of the Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale I had. Oakiness, a bit of booziness, with a malty, bready backbone. Nice medium bronze/amber color. Texture/mouthfeel is light and slick. Again, not to my liking, but certainly fair for the style. Overall, very decent, and certainly recommended for ESB fans.

Oct 21, 2015
Photo of ranger7
ranger7 from Texas

3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look: golden and clear. Good head.
Smell: Typical ESB, which is good.
Taste: Very nice. Balanced and sweet. Reminds me of the prime example of this style; Fuller's ESB.
Feel: Smooth and slick.
Overall: Pretty spot-on, in my opinion. A great American attempt at the style. Would drink again.

Aug 18, 2015
Photo of infinitebruner
infinitebruner from Arkansas

3.21/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

June 5, 2015

12 oz bottle, English dimpled pint

A – Very deep amber nearing light brown. Some sediment haze, depending on how much yeast is poured (I poured way too much). An inch of off white foam with very low retention.

S – Caramel and sweet apples, perhaps some pear. Bready malt with a touch of spice. Some toffee. Herbal hops, not very strong.

T – Bread crust and light caramel. Somewhat similar to a thick carbonated cider. Very low hop flavor, maybe a bit herbal.

M – Moderately carbonated and fairly thick bodied. Again, like an unfiltered cider. Way too much sediment, yeast, makes it chunky, unfortunately.

O – Better than the sum of its parts, but highly flawed, especially the mouthfeel and lack of bitterness.

Jun 11, 2015
Photo of Premo88
Premo88 from Texas

3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass

L: murky orange, minimal head of beige foam, about 1/4-inch ... very cloudy brew; looks nothing like anything I've seen from the English pale ale family, ESB included

S: caramel ... caramely grain/sour grain; earth/dirt; slight butteriness

T: caramel, grain, earth hops ... following the nose very closely; buttery; tasting much more like an English brown, which isn't a bad thing; as we get into it, the butter note helps mask the caramel, and it takes on a UK brown ale flavor -- the dirt-hop bite here is helping a lot

F: full, carbonated well, perhaps a bit slick (big stout slick)

O: the lack of any bread-malt in the aroma or flavor is a big disappointment, but the earthy hop bitterness is nice and does have a good UK-ale taste to it; the buttery flavor is also English brown ale-like (Newcastle especially), and the more you get into the pint, the more UK character you find. overall, it's a decent shot at a style no American brewery seems able to nail down, so big E for effort

Mar 02, 2015
Photo of Karibourgeois
Karibourgeois from Texas

3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Cloudy peach colored pour with a small white head that dissipates quickly. Aroma has toast and bready malt with a hint of sweetness. Taste has a strong toast flavor upfront backed by grainy malt. Can also some light tropical fruit. Pretty well balanced beer. Medium bodied.

Oct 11, 2014
Photo of zander4dawin
zander4dawin from Texas

3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Overall dark fruit tones and mellow aftertaste is what's memorable about this beer. Slight caramel and toffee notes and a smooth texture. Not very toasty or bitter, more of a full bodied amber beer that tastes juicy and somewhat rich. To me it taste more like an Alt than an ESB but truely a well crafted beer and worth a try.

Jul 27, 2014
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sobchack from Texas

4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Cloudy caramel appearance with little head retention

S: Toasty, malty up front, burnt sugar, fruity

T: In line with smell. Malty, bread-like, tropical fruit on finish. Great balance.

M: Velvety, medium body

O: Respite for the hop-weary, but avoids the weightiness of a malt bomb. Yeast gives it a great fruitiness that begs for another sip and makes it very drinkable. Well done.

Jul 24, 2014
Photo of Domvan
Domvan from Texas

4.63/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This beer is truly a masterpiece, a full bodied and crisp ESB that has a nice aftertaste of dark fruit and is just a refreshing brew. A definitely great beer worth trying for all types of drinkers.

Jun 08, 2014
Photo of allengarvin
allengarvin from Texas

3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a nice walnut-colored beer, with a head that starts initially nice but fades quickly. The aroma offers some good biscuit malt scents, with a dusting of hops. On taste, the malt is a bit grainier, though with good caramel characteristics. Bitterness is moderate at best though, and there's not too much hop flavor.

Drinkable enough, but not something to seek out.

May 31, 2014
Public Ale from Community Beer Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 152 ratings