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Bridgeport ESB | BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub

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very good
142 Reviews

Brewed by:
BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
Oregon, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-14-1998

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 142 | Ratings: 161
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

One of the more orange colored offerings in the ESB department. Comes in at a full one inch in height, the retention is phenomenal. Not only was the color orange, but the aroma was citrus orange like as well.

Taste had good bitterness, but caramel also helping to give the orange appearance from those malts here. A little thicker and more bitter than a traditional esb.

I'm plenty fine with this beer, good price, good format, would bang again.

 454 characters

Photo of mixedbrewer
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An all around great beer.

Its hard for me to find something I didn't like about this one. It was a nice gold color just as I expected. Its smelled and tasted like a well balanced ESB, slightly sweet and bitter enough to want more. This was very drinkable, and I will have it again.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hard pour produces a tall, thick, fluffy, off-white head of dense bubbles of varying sizes. Leaves satisfactory lacing along the sides of the glass. Beer itself is a semi-transparent bronze or copper color.

Scent is of vague sweet malt with amidst a more dominant floral hop backdrop.

The taste is a nicely balanced, smooth affair. Caramel and crystal malt sweetness with spicy and bittering hops that intertwine nicely. Secondary metabolites are interesting, and I pick up some spices like cumin with mild alcohol and esters in the background.

Mouthfeel is medium, with moderate, non-aggressive carbonation. Finish is relatively dry. Satisfying.

Quite a nice beer, very sessionable, and a solid interpretation of the style.

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Photo of Rickdiggity
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well balanced like an ESB should be. flavor is

crisp without being all over the place. Finishes

smooth. My Light beer drinking friends can enjoy

more than one!

Can taste the hop hints, but it is not

overpowering. Prefer the tap highly over the

bottle. Great session Beer overall.

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Photo of soju6
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice copper color with a small head that fades to some lacing.

S: Aroma of fresh grain with citrus and bit of malt sweetness mixed in.

T: Has a mild malt sweetness & citrus taste with a nice bitterness and a quite dry finish.

F: medium body, nice carbonation crisp & clean, very smooth. Very well balanced.

D: Excellant ESB. Good any time any place.

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Photo of DCon
3.74/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought Beer from Lukas Liquor in a Mix-A-Six. (2nd Beer of Night)

Appearance:Has a cloudy base with partials throughout? strange.

Smell: I smell the ale, freshness of the beer

Taste: Malt upfront with tons of sweetness. Can taste a banana/nut after taste, and get all the way through. AWESOME!

Mouthfeel: Full Bodied and love the spectrum of tastes

Drinkability: Wonderful if you are trying out beers from a wide variety. I would recommend to this beer to anyone!

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Photo of monkeycaveman
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Copper/ slightly orange, had about a 3 fingered head this time which dissipated rather quickly, left some lacing though.

S. Grassy with, umm, I guess you would call that lemon and slightly hoppy.

T. Crisp up front, hoppy but not much bite and mellow on the back end. Sweet with malts and slight caramel... if I dig for it.

M. Crisp, clean and not over carbonated.

D. A very session able beer, not too complex though.

Certainly worth the price if your looking for a good beer but don't have the bucks.

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Photo of Offa
4.68/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I finally got this cask conditioned at Bridgeport itself.

It is copper with a medium, solid pale tan head shrinking very slowly to a very foamy ring and some nice lace.

Aroma is mellow but very firm, very peppery-spicey and citrusy with firm caramelly toasted grain and bread underneath.

Taste is fairly complex, well-rounded, balanced. It is very leafy-woody with caramelised toastiness and light malty sweetness up front soon joined by more spicey-peppery bitterness, juiciness, and hints of citrus, cherry, and yeastiness, all married nicely together in the finish. It is flavourful but highly drinkable. Fell is firm but lively.

 635 characters

Photo of bfields4
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper hazy body topped with a nice off white head.

Smells grassy with sharp citrus and lemon hops.

A spicy crisp hop flavor is mellowed by a nice caramel malt. Very earthy well balanced flavors.

Has a great bready chewy mouthfeel very smooth and an incredibly nice drinker.

 277 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now here's a really good example of an esb to satiate American and English palates.

Good dark orange pour, massively thick off white head, excellent retention, totally looks the part. Aroma was citrusy as if an ipa.

Taste, melds the hops of America with the restrained bitterness of an esb. The caramel of an esb, the hop flavor of an ipa, the bitterness of both (this is not a hop bomb by any means, but well above traditional style, thankfully).

An enjoyable beer, can be obtained at a good price $6-7 frequently.

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Photo of udubdawg
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper in color, a bit more hazed and dull than I expected. off-white head fades to a thin cap but then shows good staying power and leaves spots of lace in its slow retreat.

very fruity aroma, light caramel and biscuit malts competing with flowery and fruity hops. Seemed to get a little citrus though I think this uses all euro hops. Exactly what I like in the style.

again fruity flavors flex their muscle. There is some citrus but mostly orchard fruits show themselves. There is some caramel but it isn't too heavily done. Biscuit balances with plenty of hop character. sweet up front and the impression is that the bitterness is low, but they show themselves well in the finish. What would seem sticky at first actually finishes reasonably dry.

medium body, soft carbonation, not too sticky sweet, just enough bitterness - it all adds up to an extremely drinkable brew.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: nice tawny-orange color with a light haze. One thick finger of ivory foam completes a pretty nice picture.

Smell: thick, rich, almost musty caramel malt aroma. I like it quite a lot. Hops are very light; spicy and floral in nature. The aromas complement each other well.

Taste: big malt flavors; toasty, caramelly, sweet up front and drier at the end. Hops, again, are mild and play a nice complementary role. This is a very tasty beer.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good level of carbonation; there's a very nice, creamy mouthfeel here. It works well with the smooth, balanced malt flavors.

Drinkability: the word for this beer is synergy. Each element complements each other in such a way that you get a great drinkin' beer.

 787 characters

Photo of Zekezilla
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this on a recent trip to Portland. Beautiful dark color with some lacing on the side. Taste --hints of some dark fruit and maybe a bit of apricot. Lightly carbonated but still made for an overall smooth feel. Delicious with the "vegan bowl" I had @ the BridgePort Brewpub.

 278 characters

Photo of bump8628
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big, sticky, fluffy, white head sits on top of a dark golden beer.

Aroma shows off some spicy hops that almost mask a dry, toasted maltiness.

Great balance of flavors showcased on the palate with a toasted graininess fighting off a sharp hop bitterness and spicy and herbal hop flavor. Finishes quite dry and with moderate-high carbonation.

This strikes me as more of a cross between an American Pale Ale (with the dry finish and higher level of carbonation) and an ESB (with the English malt and hop profile). Whatever you want to call it, it's a damn tasty ale, and one that I overlook far too often. It would also be a versatile pairing with food.

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Photo of Thur123
3.72/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ok so...this beer pours a quite hazy brownish orange color with little to no head on a heavy pour. The color and carbonation look good but the head was lacking. The smell is sweet malt notes of caramel and toffee, very English smelling with a thin fruity kind of hop edge over it, which also adds some bitterness to it, but over all this smells sweet.

Glug glug glug

The flavor is very balanced between its caramel malt and the fruitiness from the hops, with much more bitterness coming through in the taste. The overall effect is a little light. I know I have this before and have been more blown away by its almost perfectly balanced flavor, but this specific bottle is lacking. The overall texture is nice and there's still something effervescent about the Bridgeport ESB when I drink it that's amazing. Overall not bad but leaves me wanted to reviews this again with a better batch perhaps.

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Photo of allthatAles
4.68/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pour: A Thick well structured nearly beige head; breaks down slowly to just over a thumbnail plateaus and finally as a fine light coating the ale over. Thick legs remain over the coarse of the ale. Deep Amber with orange highlights.

Nose: slight cream & hop. Rather brisk and lightest touch of that 'citrus/grapefruit'. Additionally, I have noticed as a consistent favourite among PAs,IPAs,& IIPAs,

Mouth: Just off center, but well balanced all the same. A light malting, hoppy and effervescent. the cream foreshadowed on the nose is present in the end and gives way to a slight residual sugar.

a delightful 'everyday' ale. Though, how it got there is certainly a reason its one of this company's cornerstones. The price is a pro as well.

 744 characters

Photo of roblowther
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Honey-colored with a white head that quickly goes the way of the dinosaur. Smells of malt and sugar at first, which surprises me. Taste is warm caramel, with delicate hops just providing a nice floral aftertaste. Very delicate, very balanced and very, very good. Mouthfeel is soft and slightly undercarbonated. Drinkability is as good as it gets. I never figured an ESB to be so easy to drink. It has some of the understated softness of the English beers, but with a more balanced, approachable flavor. Very, very well done!

 524 characters

Photo of danielharper
4.39/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Beer tasted 10/27/2009. Notes transcribed verbatim below.)

A: Orange body, thin white head, significant bubbles suspended in glass. Head dissipates quickly.

S: Sweet, somewhat citrusy (perhaps due to yeast). Rich with caramel malt, some hoppiness.

T: Again with the caramel malt, some hops on the finish, very dry aftertaste. A very classic ESB.

M: Moderate thickness, some hops, no significant carbonation.

D: A very nice classic ESB.

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Photo of cbarrett4
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ap - Typical amber/copper hue with very little haze
Ar - Very light but pleasant malt and hop
T - Again, mellow with pleasant bitterness from the hops
M - Light body with some acidity balancing the hop tannins
D - Balanced and sips easily.


A well made session style ESB. Not my favorite Bridgeport (IPA all the way!) but another great beer like the amber for conversing with friends.

 394 characters

Photo of rtepiak
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pour is orange with a smaller head and a bit of lace. nose of citronella sun tea. palate is a perfect level of sun tea, lemon and nougat. the bitter is mild and earthy. quite a nice example of the style and perfectly place in form. simple and well done. a must have for the searcher of the perfect american esb. not as earthy bitter as an english in form but still quite refreshing.

 382 characters

Photo of OlRasputin989
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass

A: A slightly hazy dark gold brew with a 1 finger head that quickly dissipates. leaves no lacing

S: biscuit and caramel aromas with hints of peach

T: follows aromas, sweetness of peach and caramel with a biscuity background, also some slight pine flavors. finishes with biscuit, grapefruit and pine

M: Medium body with low carbonation but with just enough zest to keep your pallate refreshed. finishes dry

Overall, a pretty decent ESB, although not impressed. The flavors are fine, but the nose isn't as pronounced as some of this style.

 565 characters

Photo of COBeerBuff
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a very hazy orange copper with lots of suspended sediment and a finger of white head that recedes quickly leaving a light ring around the glass and a bit of lacing. The opacity of this beer is surprising. Little to no light comes through. I was expecting a much clearer pour.

Smell: Musty bitterness. It smells like an old-school gentleman's club with mahogany, cigars, and the musty scent of carpets and books that are well over 100 years old. Some bourbon and brandy notes as well.

Taste: Tastes very much like it smells with the bourbon moving to the front. The bitterness is also there, and the taste rounds out with a bready malt flavor not unlike a strong English tea left to soak overnight.

Mouthfeel: Initially crisp and well-carbonated, the mouthfeel turns sticky at the end. Whether it's the malts and grains, or the bourbon remains to be seen.

Drinkability: This beer goes down one of two ways: either remarkably smooth and quickly, or it becomes a sipper to be enjoyed like a fine, Scottish whiskey. The flavors are quite complex, and I have to say, this is one of the better Extra Special Bitters that I've had in a while.

 1,157 characters

Photo of PDXHops
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into a snifter.

See-thru copperish body with a finger of off-white head. Decent retention and lacing.

A lively and engaging brew. Lots of floral and fruity smells/flavors accompany the expected nuttiness. Plenty of toasty malt. A nice earthy bite at the finish.

Overall impression: Excellent balance, very enjoyable and sessionable. Pretty much spot on for the style.

 392 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.79 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazed, mahogany-hued body with a full inch of off-white head.

Smell: Sufficient ESB nose with notes of caramel and softly toasted biscuit-like malts with some hints of fruit, including citrus, as well as some spicy, zesty English hops.

Taste: Biscuity malts with a slightly caramel-coated sweetness to it. Small hint of lemony citrus fruitiness as well as a few select drops of apricot juice. Largely spicy hops with a zip of clean bitterness. Undertones of grains come through on the back end. Drying, spicy, lightly citrus-laden finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A solid, smooth, easy-drinking, fairly enjoyable ESB from BridgePort.

 772 characters

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Just hazy enough to make it hard to see carbonation streams. Pretty nice head with some bigger bubbles and a few patches of lace.

S- Lots of good smells from citrus hops to fruity pineapple to grainy alcohol aroma. Some butterscotch and some caramel.

T- Taste is interesting sort of like the malt characteristics of an English IPA with the hop character of an English Pale Ale. Extra Special indeed. The yeast has a pretty clean wheat-bread character with a dose of fruity esters.

M&D- Low carbonation and smooth body make for a sessionable brew.

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Bridgeport ESB from BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
3.91 out of 5 based on 161 ratings.
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