Organic ESB | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

229 Reviews
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Organic ESBOrganic ESB

Brewed by:
Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.42%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Organic E.S.B. (Extra Special Bitter) Ale

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-22-2002

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Reviews: 229 | Ratings: 382
Photo of russpowell
4.82/5  rDev +46.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was the star of the variety pack & I was very shocked at how much I liked this:

Copper Color with a large bubbly head that held up well once it dropped to about 1/3". Lacing was also good

Smell: Big malt up front (think bread or cookie dough) and a faint floral hopiness

Taste: Sweeteness followed up by a serious hop bite on the tongue and throat. Nice dry and crisp finish

MF Very well balanced hops bring out the faint bready maltiness that was thick but not too chewy. Good carbonation

Well put together beer that makes you want more. Will look for this one again

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Photo of Offa
4.19/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice, tasty ESB, with both good balance and flavour.

It's copper with a medium, off-white head that steadily shrinks to a thin wispy top but leaves no real lacing.

The aroma, very nice if somewhat mild, is fruity bread, kulich, light caramel, candied citron, hints of pine, caramel, and pineapple.

The taste is similar with candied citron, caramel, a fraintly sour light earthiness, a lightly spicey piney bitterness, and a bready finish. It's light and perhaps a little too sweet and with a little too much of a candied fruit-caramel quality, but has persistent flavour, some complexity, and pretty good balance. It's better than many US ESBs that I've had.

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Photo of baos
4.13/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured out of bottle into pint glass.

A: Nice translucent amber color. Two finger head that dwindles to a nice sheen with bits of lacing here and there.

S: Nice floral hops and light malt character makes for a fresh smelling esb!

T: ESB's aren't one of my favorite styles, but this one seems a bit different. The lighter malt character makes for a great flavor. A bit of malt sweetness and floral hops at first this evens out into a pleasant bitter hop flavor.

M: A bit watery, just a bit more would be nice, however, this would make a great brew from a hot day.

O: Not a bad bier, try one on for size!

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Photo of xjapanhomebrewx
4.1/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a beautiful amber with tones of caramel, looks like a big candy apple in a glass.

S: smells fruity and tangy like apple juice, lots of characteristic English yeast aromas as well.

T: fruity sweetness at first that transitions into a smooth, crisp bittering. some great malty flavors in there. toast with butter dipped in a cup of cider with a side of strong cheese. lots of flavor here.

M: very smooth throughout, medium-bodied with the alcohol hanging out in the background which really actually enhances the overall mouthfeel.

D: satisfying and delicious, this is one beer that I wouldn't mind getting stuck on a desert island with for the rest of my life.

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Photo of Chugmonkey
4.1/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I typically find organic brews underwhelming. Not so with this specimen.

Medium brown with nice off white head and nice lacing. Bready, caramelly sweet aroma and taste.

Perfectly carbonated, very balanced with a nice sweet finish that makes you want more.

I think this would be incredible fresh on tap. Extremly drinkable and refreshing. Despite my flaming disdain for anything from Milwaukee, Lakefront continues to impress me. A perfect balancing act, highly recommend this beer for any type of meal. A job well done for sure.

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Photo of hammer09
4.07/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear, amber-brown with moderate head development that dissapeared a little too quickly. Smell exhibits a mild hop aroma and is somewhat malty; a nicely balanced aroma between hops and malt. Taste is malty at the front with a clean, bitter finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and refreshing with adequate levels of carbonation. Overall, this is a good example of a session-quality ESB; very easy to drink and very enjoyable.

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Photo of hooligan
4.07/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden beer with some chill haze and a thin lacy head. Smell is clean and malty, with some floral hop aroma cutting through. Upfront floral hop and sweet maltiness, cleaned up by a pleasantly piercing bitterness. A very clean beer, light yeast character, strong hop and thick malt perception. An excellent American ESB.

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Photo of BierFan
4/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

One finger of tan foam on a fairly hazy rusty brown body. The lacing is okay. Syrupy candy-like malty sweet aroma. I'm enjoying the heck out of this beer right now. Really smooth and easy-drinking. Quality all around.

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Photo of nocheinsbitte
4/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this from a 12-oz bottle.

A: Pour a nice cloudy, orange tint that has good carbonation. Lacing throughout, I really like the look of this bier.
S: A mild sweet and moderately hoppy bier. Very pleasing
T: Follows the aroma well. A very nice sweet hoppy taste that has a mild bitter aftertaste that reminds you it is an ESB.
M: Very pleasing
D: Easy to drink, could have many of these without issue.

Overall, I really like this bier and recommend it to everyone. Enjoy, Prosit!

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Photo of gmfessen
4/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a slightly hazy orangish-red color with a minimal head. Smell is a nice balance of hops and amber malt. Taste is very well balanced, an initial sweet maltyness followed by a dry, hoppy (slight citrus) finish. Excellent. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, but it goes down light and has little carbonation. A definite winner, drinkable for sure. I suppose if you were on some organic kick this beer would definitely be worth trying.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle from The Lighthouse in Manchester as part of this brewery's sampler 8-pack. Pours amber-red with a quarter inch or so of off-white head. Smells like caramel malt with hints of earthy hops. Tastes like caramel and nut with chocolate notes toward the finish. Medium in body with ample carbonation. A good example of the style for sure and quite drinkable. A solid ESB.

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Photo of Foyle
4/5  rDev +21.6%

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: pours a 1" frothy cream colored head. Color is rich, cloudy amber with plenty of evident carbonation.

Aroma: potent malt forward aroma -- bread dough and some caramel, also some pleasant floral and earthy hop spice.

Mouthfeel: light to medium bodied and sticky with a quite dry, slightly astringent finish.

Flavor: strong malt presence -- rich roasted barley, some butterscotch and caramel, ripe fruit, raisin, the bittering earthy hops round out the finish.

Overall: well done and enjoyable. Fits the style well.

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Photo of putnam
3.95/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a more-than-decent brew.
Lean and agile as a pole vaulter. It announces with bold, reddish bronze colors touched with highlights of blue (from the monitor.)
On the nose it's mild and bready. Woven patches of dried herb lay over the liquid like a veil. Toasted, underfermented bread, slathered with butter is evidenced below, while in between, crunchy, tart, preserved lemons bridge the gap.
A sudden, arid grip of stemmy tannins shuts down the finish rather quickly.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.93/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep copper color with moderate slightly off-white head.
Smll is light with but a few caramel notes.
Taste is nicely malty, but the hops are so restrained as to be virtually undetectable.
Finishes very thin with little, if any, taste retention.
An easy to drink beer, the taste is somewhat lacking.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.93/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Color is a clear golden hue of yellow with a inch high head of bubbly froth settling fast leaving a thin haze and big bubbles on top with thin stringy and spotty lacing. Smell is very light of floral hop and slight grass note. Taste is nice and sweetly bitter with good strong malt backbone thats a bit of caramel. The feel is light and is almost full with great sweet bittering dryness thats up front and smooths out through the finish. This stuff is very drinkable, very smooth and has a finely bittering tolerance. Quite nice.

thanks jeffboo

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Photo of isubsmith
3.93/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Brownish orange, pretty transparent. White head just barely sticks around the edges of the glass.

Nose: Mild hops, mild spicy. Some fruity notes. Perhaps a hint of grain or grass.

Taste: Taste reflects the nose quite a bit - hops, mild spicy flavors. Bitter finish (though not a bad thing).. Not sure what the ABV is, but there is a spike in alcohol flavors in the finish as well. Low carbonation.

Overall, this is a rather drinkable beer, but nothing phenominal. I've had better ESBs, but this is still worth a try.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.91/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Lakefront imperial Pint.
Bottled Apr Wk2 (2012) notched on label.

A - Pouring a delicious clear copper color with a tall egg-shell head comprised of densely packed bubbles, Lakefront's Organic ESB looks beautiful. Plateauing to a thick pile of foam, the head randomly dots the pint in chunky lace.

S - Earthy and harsh opening, little caramel and some wet, spent grain notes arise followed by slight hop aromas, but nothing about it screams ESB. Soft, earthy hops seem present, but in very low levels.

T - Very malty right off the bat, caramelization flavors pull through with toffee slivers and toasted Vienna notes. Wet grain undertones hide behind a slight earthy hop flavor. While the grain bill seems on par, the hops only balance in flavor. It isn't until bitterness becomes a part do they really kick this ESB towards the style a little more.

M - Medium-light bodied and smooth in the entry, Organic ESB is well-balanced by a bitter, dry finish from the organic hop additions and a lingering finish on the tongue.

O - The under-rated and humble Lakefront scores again with the first USDA certified organic beer! While this ESB doesn't hold a candle to the classics from England, Organic ESB features a nice, tasty malt base with subtle earthy hop overtones and a refreshing bitterness along the finish. A great session beer to put pint after pint back while chatting up the blokes at the bar, I'd say!

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Photo of merlin48
3.9/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear, copper amber body is topped by a small, beige head. Good retention and some spiderweb lacing. Aroma is biscuity caramel malt, citrusy and spicy hops, and a hint of red apple. Mouthfeel is light bodied with good carbonation, but unfortunately thins considerably to the point of being watery by the end of the glass. Taste is pretty good for style, with bready caramel maltiness that is balanced well by fruity and citrusy hops. A hint of pear is noticed in the finish. Not a bad effort, and very sessionable. Way too thin in the mouthfeel category, however.

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Photo of beerdown77
3.9/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I will admit that the whole ESB genre is a newer find for me. I just started taking interest in them. Having just had Greenman's version, which was hoppy and flavor packed, I may have been expecting the same with this Organic ESB. It is, in no way, similar...they are both beer. This beer pours cloudy copper and has a nice foamy head that lasts a little longer than the other beers form this brewery. The nose is fruit and caramel; I can definitely expect some sweetness if the smells are indicative at all. Not the case. This beer is pleasantly bitter and mild. It is smooth and drinkable, one of the easiest drinkers that I've had to date. I really felt like I was having an iced tea...if iced tea had a delicious malt aftertaste. The medium body and crispness make this enjoyable throughout.

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Photo of sjohansen
3.88/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with some slight carbonation. Head is off-white with some pretty decent retention and good lacing.

Pick up some hints of pine in the nose. Also get a whiff of caramel.

Sweet, smooth and malty on the front of the tongue. Nice bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is thin, but active. Heavy carbonation and puckering hop finish.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I don't know if it's spot on for the ESB style, but it's something I'd recommend and purchase again.

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Photo of mynie
3.88/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an almost eerily translucent red with a tiny little head that's just about the norm for co2 ESBs.

Smells like light english hops, light toffee malt. Hmm... have my senses gone dim? That's two room temp beers in a row that haven't smelled like very much at all.

Tastes like something more than something, thank goodness. Malt starts off thick and krumpety with an almost cloying amount of buttery smoothness, like a Ritz cracker on cracker crack. This is backed up delicately with a wee hint of dry English hops. I can't place them so I'll just go and assume they're fuggle, in spite of their being a little more citrusy than I'm used to. (Note: Website says its Cascade, which just blows my mind. First because it's sacrilege. Second because it's sacrilicious.)

So is that's what holding so many bottled ESBs back, their insistence on using English hops? Maybe. If it weren't for a mute aroma this would be a world class exemplar of its style, but at any rate it's a spectacular session.

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Photo of asabreed
3.87/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Colorful label is notched bottled during the first week of July.

Appearance: A hazy dark brown and copper color with hints of yellow coming through with some light shed on it. This is pretty cold, so I imagine that's one of the reasons why the head dissipates quickly, but alas.

Smell: Initial aromas of grapes, raisins, caramel malt, light bitter chocolate, buttered biscuits, bread crust, vanilla, and other fruits are present, though I don't get much in the way of citrus or hops. Still, quite pleasant and not what I was expecting.

Taste: More malt and fruit is present than anything else, with the vinous characteristics also present, along with some hints of sweetness from chocolate, vanilla, and also the tropical fruit. Not much of a hop presence, and because of that it's probably a bit sweeter than it should be, but I find it welcoming and that provides a long finish. Maybe not the most representative beers of what one would deem a true ESB, but this is not what I was expecting, which is always a plus if I still enjoy the brew.

Mouthfeel: Moderately carbonoted and seemingly a bit thicker than most ESBs, but that doesn't detract from the flavors and actually I think helps with the long finish and the ability for many to make their impact there.

Drinkability: Though the sweetness does maybe make this less than a highly anticipated session beer, I enjoyed the experience, and this is quite different from a lot of ESBs I've had. If you can find a bottle, try it, but you may want to hold back on more than that.

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Photo of wheatyweiss
3.87/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a semi-cloudy light amber with a one finger head.

Aroma is of sweet malt and candied yams. Very sweet aroma with a hint of citrus and grass.

Flavor is bright malts with a nice bready undertone. There is a citrus flavor there that sneaks through. The hops are citrus and grassy, quite an earthy flavor. There is a strange mustiness present, like mildew almost, probably the yeast strain. The flavor of cut grass is very apparent.

Mouthfeel is quite dry and there is a decent chew to the mouthfeel, not bad.

Unusual flavors for an ESB, but a refreshing beer nonetheless.

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Photo of battlekow
3.86/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm having an ESB contest, featuring this, Arcadia Lake Superior ESB, Great Divide HotShot ESB, Greak Lakes Moondog Ale, and the famous Redhook ESB.

Appearance: All appear similar, the Organic being a fairly clear, dark gold color, minimal head, and little lacing.

Smell: Much better than the Redhook, this smells pleasantly of floral, perfumy hops, with a little malt thrown in.

Taste: Malty upfront with a little hop presence to give it a slightly bitter finish. Hops aren't nearly as present as they are in the nose.

Mouthfeel: Nice and thick, feels good.

Drinkability: I'm captivated by this beer's aroma--it must be similar to some perfume my mom wore when I was a baby, because I'm irresistably drawn to it. Other than that, the beer is good, but unexceptional.

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Photo of neenerzig
3.85/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My friend Passow (imaguitargod) picked up a sampler pack of this recently and gave me the bottle of this offering. Poured into a mug. This beer is a clear copper/amber color. White head is about 2/3 inch when pours and eventually settles to nothing. Lace is decent at first but then also settles to nothing. Has a sort of malty, biscuit aroma and not much else. The taste is made up of sweet malt and mild hops. Good balance, not a very complex flavor, but tasty enough. It reminds me of an APA more than most other ESB's I have had. Has crisp and frothy, medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate amounts carbonation. easy to drink. A decent beer here, but nothing special. I would certainly drink this again, but it is not something I would go out of my way to track down or drink again.


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Organic ESB from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
3.29 out of 5 based on 382 ratings.
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