East Side Bitter
R & B Brewing Co.

East Side BitterEast Side Bitter
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English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #189
Ranked #33,319
3.67 | pDev: 10.08%
R & B Brewing Co.
British Columbia, Canada
East Side BitterEast Side Bitter
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Reviews: 7 | Ratings: 20 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of snaotheus
2.97/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12oz bottle with a screw cap. Label looks very different than the current picture on BA.

Pours slightly cloudy amber brown. Small to medium head, fades fast. Smell is more like a barleywine than an ESB, although I couldn't pinpoint what makes me say that. Musty, for one. Nutty.

Taste is, oddly, somewhat stale. Very little noticeable hops, some kind of rich nutty malt, but somehow hollow or lackluster. Slight toasty flavor.

Mouthfeel is thin, flat, still. Overall...I guess it's an average beer.

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Photo of LampertLand
4.06/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

R & B Brewing 'East Side Bitter' @ 5.5% , served from a single 341 ml bottle purchased for $2

A-pour is a burnt orange from the bottle to a clear amber in the glass , with a big off white head leaving a streaky lace along the pint

S-big hoppy 'ESB'

T-crisp , clean , surprisingly smooth

MF-big carbonation for such a small bottle , medium to full bodied

Ov-good beer , surprised by R & B craft lately

prost LampertLand

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Photo of biboergosum
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle, another example of the stupid 'exclusivity' concept of distribution in the otherwise beer-blessed province of Alberta. East side of Van City, eh? This should be one rough and tumble customer, then, I would presume.

This beer pours a hazy, muddled, yet bright, medium golden amber hue, with two hefty fingers of densely foamy, creamily puffy dirty white head, which leaves some heavily fuzzy patched lace around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells of bitter citrus rind - orange and grapefruit, trading off, it seems - tame pine resin (quite reminiscent of the woeful carcass of a Christmas tree that I just came from dismembering and taking to the big-ass blue boxes down the street), a tempered generic vegetal spiciness, some soft bready malt, a touch of caramel, bemused earthy yeast, and further grassy, floral hops. The taste is biscuity, grainy, bready malt, softly astringent pine needles, some equally tart citrus pith, a smidgeon of touristy tropicals, and sassy grassy, perfumed hops.

The bubbles are placidly pungent (yeah, I know), the body a decent medium weight, though it trips up a bit in terms of smoothness, what with all those latent hop esters still floating about. It finishes off-dry, the bitter fruitiness re-asserting itself to a certain degree, the malt holding fast and steady, and that heretofore understated floral booziness kicking it up a notch.

English bitters, say hello to your new West Coast hop friends - credit goes to R & B for not overdoing it here - the new world hops make their presence known, for sure, but the underlying biscuity, bready malt, and especially the bitter UK hops, are still quite in the game. Not as tough as the name may suggest, this is a flavourful, interesting meshing of styles and components. I believe that I need to find this next time I'm in a Lotusland taphouse.

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Photo of Muhly
3.27/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a deep copper with one finger of off white head. Hint of cloudiness. Head disappears in about 30-40 seconds leaving a nice white lace on the glass.

S-full hop aroma. A bit grassy and spicy. Also getting a bit of sweet malt smell. Something else lingers in the background which I can't quite pinpoint. It may be a bit of yeast, but may well be just a bit of mustiness.

T-Hops forward. I get a bit of pine needle and citrus. Malt is fairly subtle, but there is a hint of sweetness (brown sugar?)

M-moderately carbonated with a fizzy feeling on the tongue. A nice fullish mouthfeel that coats the tongue.

O-a decent hop forward beer. I was hoping for more of a true ESB style beer, but I think the hops dominate too much for that particular style. I did enjoy the beer and would have another if it was available. Would probably pass it over if there were other options.

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Photo of maclean25
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a couple of glasses in a quiet bar in downtown Vancouver.

My beers had a foamy head with a tinge of tan colour and low head retention. The body had a darker copper colour and was cloudy.

In the smell I sensed some malt, fruit salad, pear, and citrus. In the taste, the hops bitterness dominated. There was some creamy caramel in the aftertaste. However, I cannot say I found it well-balanced. On the mouthfeel, I found it had a very nice light carbonation and a medium body.

Overall, it was on the good side of what I expected from an Extra Special Bitter.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice bitter appearance: light copper, creamy head. Malty scent with a powerful hop background. A classic bitter, but with a definite NW hop character. Not an IPA, but this is not your classic "pint of best."

Creamy, bready malts. Light caramel, yeast. Citrus, fresh cut grass and a faint floral taste from the hops. Definitely a North West character to it.

Carbonation is a bit heavy, but not distracting. Let it sit for a while and the carbonation eases off a bit. Quite sessionable, very nice.

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Photo of Derek
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm really diggin' some of these new 'west-coast' bitters. Sessionable strength with a little more malt backing than some IPAs, but they don't have much crystal malt sweetness, which is great.

This one is coppery with an off-white head that has a nice retention & a bit of lace.

Citrusy Pacific Northwest aroma (tangerine & nectarine) with hints of underlying biscuity malt and tropical fruit.

The pacific northwest hops are upfront, but not overbearing; marmalade; quality biscuity malt; hint of nuts; solid, crisp bitterness.

The body is on the lighter side of moderate, with a crisp dry finish.

A good drinker.

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East Side Bitter from R & B Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 20 ratings