Bitch Creek ESB (Extra Special Brown) | Grand Teton Brewing Co.

Bitch Creek ESB (Extra Special Brown)Bitch Creek ESB (Extra Special Brown)
Liked This Beer
3.73 w/ 817 Ratings
Bitch Creek ESB (Extra Special Brown)Bitch Creek ESB (Extra Special Brown)

Brewed by:
Grand Teton Brewing Co.
Idaho, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bitch Creek perfectly balances big malt sweetness and robust hop flavor for a full bodied, satisfying mahogany ale. Like the stream for which it is named, our Bitch Creek ESB is full of character... not for the timid.

54 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-04-2003

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 817 |  Reviews: 349
Photo of luxbwin
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a St. Arnold's pint glass.

A- Deep Brown, pretty standard issue of a ESB
S - chocolate and malt
T/M - Nutty and chocolate. I like it!
D - This is my third time buying Bitch Creek. I am impressed with the simplicity and taste of this beer. I find this a staple in my fridge. Good work Grand Teton.

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Photo of cdizinno
3.04/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle as pictured.

A: Cloudy, cola brown color. Thick, fluffy light tan head. Moderate lacing.

S: Mostly malty and grainy. Some chocolate.

T&M: Texture is a bit rough. Fairly good flavor. Some nuttiness, mild roasted malts, and some hops. A highly carbonated beer. Light- to medium-bodied.

High quality brown but not as outstanding as other browns I've had in the past.

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Photo of sphmiel
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap @ Dressel's.
A- hazy, chestnut body, slowly fading tan head with great lacing.
A- toasty malts, but citrus hops quickly predominate
T- toasty, nutty malts up front, quickly balanced by citrus and resiny hops
M - medium mouthfeel, nicely carbonated
D - almost a sessionable beer - well balanced

paired well with a rich lamb burger

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Photo of avalon07
4.32/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a deep brown color and a thick, cloudy texture. There was an inch of foamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A surprising aroma of malt, that brown ale nuttiness, and lot of hops.

T: Tasted of the aforementioned nuttiness, malt, a big amount of hops, and some citrus. The latter two ingredients throw you off balance, but work surprisingly well. It's like a brown ale and an IPA had a baby.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a smooth, dry finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

D: Definitely an unusual take on a brown ale that won't always appeal to fans of the style. I, for one, thought it was very drinkable.

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Photo of saintwarrick
4.42/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, dark and brown pour. Solid tan head that builds strong then sticks around. Aroma is thick and hoppy, like an IPA or APA. Lots of citrus, pine and cocoa in the nose. Taste is smooth and malty like an English brown ale, but the hops and bitterness come on strong and fast. Definitely a hophead's brown ale. It gives Dogfish Head;s Indian Brown a run for its money as hoppiest American brown ale. A great and tasty brew.

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Photo of CanonJohn
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into a tulip.

A: Wow, this is a great looking ale. It is a very deep amber, bordering on brown. Murky, with a hint of gold right at the stem of the glass. The head, which was a full 2 fingers plus, is a light golden/tan. I got some nice lacing. Head held up for a while, but died out halfway through the drink.

S: A very complex aroma of malts, and florals. Maybe a hint of dried fruits in there too.

T: This is one of the most complexly flavored beers I have had. There are more notes in there tan I can identify, but the start is definitely a roasty malt, giving way pretty quick to a bitter hoppy punch. The finish is somewhat of a mix of the two, plus some citrus I can't place. I also get a hint of current grapes, but that might just be me. After taste is lingering bitter but pleasant.

M: Silky, smooth, not too carbonated. Goes down nice.

D: This one is heavy. A meal in a glass for me. I couldn't drink more than one of these. Even though it is only 6% ABV, it wears it on its sleeve. You know you're drinking alcohol.

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Photo of CMW
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Somewhat translucent deep brown color with a toffee colored head.

S - Grapefruit, molasses, candied sugar.

T - Starts off rather smoky. Has some nice roasted malt qualities. Then the hops wash through a citrus or grapefruit flavor that holds for only a second. Lastly, more roasted malt and a nutty aftertaste.

M - Silky and clean. Coats the pallet nicely.

D - Usually hoppy browns are not my style but this is going down pretty easy.

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Photo of RonnieBear
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Girlfriend picked this up on a whim and let me have one. Had one, decided I wanted a six pack for myself. Had never heard of this beer, much less the brewing company, so was not expecting much. Bottled on 11/09/2011, poured into glass.

Appearance: A brown, cloudy amber. Very caramel-colored head formed.

Smell: A bit of chocolate, a bit of malt. Light chocolate background.

Taste: Wonderful, more chocolate in the taste than is present in the smell. Not something I am usually crazy for in my beer, but this is balanced really well. A nice aftertaste of roasted malt. Occasional hints of the alcohol detract from it just slightly, but are usually unnoticed.

Mouthfeel: Light, but also warming and full.

Drinkability: Very easy to have two or three of these in a night. Not just because they go down easily, but because they taste so damn good.

Overall, a great surprise from a beer I was not expecting much from. Definitely plan on buying more of this from time to time. Worth a shot if available at your local store, but I wouldn't go too far out of my way to find this one.

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Photo of CaptainIPA
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presented in a 12 oz. brown bottle with river (creek, as it were) stones on the label. Bottled on 08/11/10.

Pours a chestnut brown with reddish-orange flarings and a khaki-colored head with good retention and admirable lacing.

Aromas of roasted malt, caramel and citrus hops. Rich toasted caramel malt flavors predominate. Moderate hop bitterness. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Traces of semi-sweet chocolate and cocoa on the finish. Artfully balanced between roasted malts and bitter hops. Full flavored and complex, Bitch Creek is one bitchingly sessionable ESB.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.17/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my buddy's favorites. I trust his judgment overall, so this should do good. Bottled on date 11/9/10, so a little more than 3 months old. That should be fine.
Not a classic brown ale in that it has a prominent sweet nuttiness and minimal on the chocolate or anything approaching a roast character. I like it, quite a bit actually, but it took me a bit to adapt to my expectations. Nice subtle hop aroma intermixed.
This bottle has a lot of sediment floating around. The website notes on a Sweetgrass bottling a few days earlier they had the same thing due to "hop particles coagulating with the priming yeast we use for bottle conditioning". Other than that, a good appearance. Dense creamy head and more reddish than brown color.
Nice little hop tang with the malty sweetness, that maintains a nutty character. The sweetness and nuttiness blend really nicely. Hop flavors are interesting and complex and also blend well with the bitterness. Hop flavors overall are done well.
Body is moderately light, but as noted by my drinking partner tonight (#1) it's holds a favorable smoothness. Prickly carbonation. Seems like the smallest bubbles possible.
Just a tad of richness and a slight sharpness to the hops decrease the final category, but having another is not a problem.

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Photo of crossovert
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.

It pours a dark brown with a creamy off-white head that sticks for a while and leaves some nice lacing.

The smell is a mix of brown sugar, roasted malt, a slight hint of fruitiness, and pine.

The flavor is pretty standard for a brown. It has a roasty bitterness, a medium sweetness, a subtle hint of tanginess, and some earthiness.

It is decent.

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Photo of StoneTSR
3.87/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Poured from a bomber into a standard pint glass a hazy, dark brown with a very fluffy, off-white half inch head resting on top.

SMELL: Nutty and malty

TASTE: Wow.  A lot hoppier than I expected it to be. The hop flavor was supported by some nutty and toasty malt flavors you would expect from a brown ale along with a hint of sour flavor to it. The aftertaste was a little more bitter and smoky.

MOUTHFEEL: Very sparkly throughout the sip with a high amount of carbonation.

OVERALL: Good stuff for a brown ale.  I would drink this again in a heartbeat even though it isn't normally my style. I'm looking forward to the Pursuit of Hoppiness. 

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Photo of morebeergood
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A gift from joshman for Xmas 2010. Poured into stemmed glasses from the bottle. The color was dark brown with a medium sized head. Smell had a nice aroma of dark biscuits. Taste had some nice flavors of fig, coffee, chocolate, and dark malt. The problem was that all of the flavors were so subtle. I was expecting a much more hearty presentation of flavor from this bottled format. Was there a bit of oak aging here? I got just a slight taste of it. Mouthfeel was smooth and drinkability was just fine for a brown ale. A nice take on the style, but nothing earth shattering to report here.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle purchased as a single somewhere localish.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/4" brown head over the cloudy reddish brown brew. Pillowy head dwindles bubble by bubble, with lots of lasting lace. Aroma is citrusy and sweet.

Taste starts sweet, strong citrus in the middle, and closes with grain husk malt and a light lemony bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth, although the lemon does get a bit dominant, and drinkability is pretty good. Interesting brew that has me enjoying at one sip, cursing the lemon at the next, and back again.

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Photo of HOPPYKC
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Bottled on Nov. 23 2010.

A- Pours a beautiful dark brown with a thick appearance. Gave rise to about 2" of tan bubbly head that dissipated quickly. Simi-opaque with very little visibility to see through. Shows mild carbonation.

S- The smell is amazing. Nice chocolate light flavors and roasted malt. It is well balanced with nice amount of hops.

T- Mostly roasted malts and hops. The hops are very bright and citrusy. They have a resinous type of flavor that sticks to the tongue. A bit of carbonation makes the bread-like characteristics fill the entire mouth.

M- A very full brown ale. A great drinkability that makes this ale one of my favorite brown ales.

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Photo of bum732
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

S: Minerally hoppy bitterness, citrus rind mostly, orange.

L: Light tan/orangish head, good retention. Great lacing, hazy reddish brown.

T: Leafy hoppiness with a semi-sweet caramel and woody malt. Strong mineralness with the bitterness. Finishes with mineral and an almost oaky finish. Very dry finish.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Fairly harsh, the mineralness was quite strong, i'm assuming its from the amount of hops in this beer. Not a fan, needs to be simpler.

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Photo of climax
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bitch Creek (nice) starts out well. The color is a brilliant mahogany, burnt orange to the light. The head is massive and fades ever so slowly with a crater in the center. It laces all the way down my pint glass. Lovely.

The aroma is appetizing to put it modestly. Sweet chocolate and cocoa are balanced by a juicy citrus kick from the hops. The intensity is more on the subtle side, but it's balanced wonderfully and a pleasure to sniff.

The flavor is more of the same, smooth and appetizing. Cocoa powder, roasted nuts, and an equally intense hop profile make up a well-balanced bouquet. The hop bill is mainly bitter citrus, mostly grapefruit, with a dash of grass.

The body is medium to light with a lightly carbonated chalky feel. It's smooth as smooth gets, the light hearted body makes for carefree drinking. Awesome effort here.

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Photo of MrDriscoll
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Slight amber tint to this brown ale. Nice foam head with distinguishable lacing all the way down the glass.

A - No one scent stood out more than another...slight hints of citrus, caramel and a touch of coffee.

T - Complex tasting action...starts off with some sweet fruity / citrus notes and fades into a sweet caramel / brown sugar note with a kiss of coffee.

M - Medium bodied with a good amount of carbination. Smooth and a little tangy finish.

D - easily drinkable, not sessionalble for me though. Didn't find it a typical brown but was quite nice.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of pisomojado8
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium to dark brown with a consistent fingertip or so of head throughout.

A faint smell of walnuts maybe freshly baked bread. There's something somewhat sweet there, but I can't pinpoint it.

Taste is huge up front -- somewhat sweet, exploding quickly to an aggressive dosage of hops, which remain in the finish.

Mouthfeel: chewy, well-carbonated.

The hops caught me a little off-guard, as this was my first American Brown. It grew on me. Not too shabby.

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Photo of JLeege
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- on tap, poured into a pint glass. Pours a lighter brown color with a soapy looking small head. A bit of lace is left behind.

Smell- malty, some earthy and pine hops. A tad metallic even.

Taste- A bit of toasted malts, some light pine hopping. Sweet and bready overall though. A slight nuttyness.

Mouthfeel- Low carbonation and a bit thin.

Overall- Maybe this was towards the bottom of the barrel, but it was a rather underwhelming brown ale, I have been pretty impressed by Grand Teton, but this did not do much for me. There are much better browns out there.

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Photo of jj311
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A dark, maple brown colored brew with a thick, light, tan-colored, two-finger foam head. Shows decent retention and lacing.

Smell: Very malty. Molasses and brown sugar and a little biscuity, with undertones of herbal and citric hop.

Taste: Starts with a tart, citrusy flavor complimented by biscuit, sweet caramel and roasty malts. Some bitterness at the end. An overall clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Slick, medium bodied. A sharp carbonation tingle.

Drinkability: Good drinkability, but not great.

Overall: This was my first time trying this beer. It was a step above what I expected. It wouldn't be my first choice, but definitely an option worth consideration.

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Photo of bbb099
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

A - Nice light, tan-colored head. Amber colored with bubbles and floating debris.

S - Not much in terms of smell, mostly malt with possibly a small hint of hops.

T - Nice, moderate citrusy and piny hops flavors. Aftertaste was somewhat nutty, which I liked.

M - Full-bodied and perfect amount of carbonation.

D - Not incredibly complex, but taste was good and I can definitely drink lots of it.

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Photo of harrymel
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes 7.2.10
Poured from bottle to Sam Adams glass.

A: Beautiful maple brown. Brown sugar depth. Medium clarity. Minimal head - only thin layer compensated by low ribbons.

S: Extremely malty for a brown. Nice molasses, brown sugar aroma.

T: Nice, balanced brown ale. Not exceptional, but a great beer for sessioning.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation that tickles the palate throughout life of beer.

D: I find this a decent beer now, and plan to review again in the future. I know have enjoyed on subsequent occassions since this review, and feel as thought an update may be in order.

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Photo of dwilson01
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12oz into an indian wells brewing co pint glass, splotchy light tan head tops a bodyn of dark brick red to brown color.

The smell is very mellow, I get a small amount of hoppiness combined with a biscuity bread type malt scent.

The flavor is quite good, the initial hoppiness hits you with some bitter qualities followed by a distinct sweeter brown sugar cinnamon type flavor and finishes with a sour yeasty flavor. Veryn interesting and stage based, I like it a lot.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin for my liking by it stands up well in its own category of brew for sure.

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Photo of bbkd3b
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Okay, into a pint glass the beer goes.

A - Pretty looking brew. Pours with a frothy, caramel-colored head about 2-fingers thick... Good retention to. The body looks like shiny, burnt sienna, and really reflects the light well.

S - Light malts with a strong blast of citrusy hops. Not at all what I was expecting. Also, there's a bit of a hint at bitterness, but not much more.

T - Whoa... This is a very citrusy beer. Sour or tart might be a better description. There's a layer of sweetness underneath and a bitter kick at the end. Certainly interesting, but I'm not sure that I like it all that much.

M - Light and sharp. The carbonation practically feels like a tap dance on my tongue. Clean on finish... I like it.

D - Combination of flavors doesn't really work for me. One's good enough, but the more I drank it, the more noticeable it's sour character became. On the flip side, it's light and easy to find.

Overall/notes - So, I must plead ignorance here: I did some quick shopping and bought this thinking it was an extra special bitter. Needless to say, I was caught completely off-guard when I drank it. It isn't a bad brew at all, but I don't think it's quite up my alley.

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Bitch Creek ESB (Extra Special Brown) from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 59.4% out of 100 with 817 ratings
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