Organic ESB | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

382 Ratings
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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 GRPunk
3.7/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle with a bottled on date of June Wk 2 poured into a pint glass.

A- 1/2 finger off-white head that quickly drops to a light lace that leaves some light sticking. Fairly rich amber body with lots of carbonaion.

S- There was a strong initial aroma that was really interesting. It somehow had a grapejuice scent to it. On further inspection, I could pull out some caramel malts and floral hops peaking through.

T- A little weak. What is there, was a decent mix of caramel malt and earthy hops. Initially it was stronger on the hop side than malt. The malts come through stronger as the beer warmed.

M- It had a light-medium feel that's a little heavy handed on the carbonation.

D- It's a pretty easy drinker and a refreshing beer. I could see putting them back during the heart of summer.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.7/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, pours copper-brown, with a foamy, beige head that leaves a little lace. Aromas are malty with toasted grain, brown sugar, spicy/earthy hop. Tastes are lots of brown sugar with caramel, toffee, toasty grain, bready, earthy, complementary spicy hop, some fruity notes in there as well. Mouth-feel is creamy and smooth, with a little over-carbonation, but it does allow for the flavors to meld on the palate. Overall, it seems to be that I liked this one more than most. I thought it was good, regardless of whether it was organic or not.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.65/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a hazy orangish-amber color with a thin tan head that does not stick around long. A few bubbles meander up from the bottom of the glass.

Aroma is thick with earthy malt and earthier hops. This baby smells like mother earth herself. Natural like all the beers I enjoy, but this one has a different nose. Some bright flowery hop notes as well. The taste is balanced nicely, a bit of a grainy malt taste and some nice flowery hop character. A little spice and alcohol as well. Interesting for sure. Not really along the lines of any E.S.B. that I have had before, but who cares? It's organic!

Well OK that truthfully means nothing to me I was just being funny. I do find this beer different and interesting nonetheless. Pretty good body with a smooth feel only giving way to a carbonation burn right at the end.

Drinkable...? Sure thing.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.63/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, Woodman's West

I purchase a lot of organic food products (mostly produce) so i'd like to give more organic beers a chance

appearance: pours into a mash house pint glass, clear amber-copper, decent beige head with a standard amount of lace for an esb

smell: sweet malt aromas, chalky, noticeable bitterness, red apple, light tart aroma, biscuit-esque, caramel, earthy

taste: I have had a lot of bad esb's lately...this one is better than most of still has the vegetal and metallic traits that bother me about the style but they arent as defined...sweet caramel malt, tart and tangy, fruity apple/pear, nutty, bready and biscuity.

mouthfeel: tart, medium-light body

drinkability: fairly good...actually one of the better organic beers (insert grain of salt) i have tried

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Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip

A: Warm amber-orange. 1 finger white head. Falls quickly. Spotty lace.

S: Bready caramel overtones. Citrus (orange) hop.

T: Very malty. Biscuit and multigrain bread. Bitterness finishes but not at all aggressive. Light aromatic spice, buckwheat, sone fruit. Very good drinking ESB.

M: High in initial carbonation. Drying on the finish.

D: Good for the style. Not overly hopped. Well balanced and sessionable.

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Photo of Tballz420
3.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a dark orange/brown body, with a small, off-white head topping it. The scent is floral/bitter hop, with a buttery tone to it. The taste has a buttery feel, caramel malts, bitter hops. Somewhat of a weird flavor present like tobacco or well-water or something. The organic aspect leads to a unique taste, but i cant say its the best in the land.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.61/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer is absolutely crystal clear. Amber color with definite orange highlights. Nice frothy white head. A bit of a fruitiness on the nose. Some definite earthy hop tones on the tongue. A shallow bitterness. Very easy drinking. A fair amount of carbonation. A little too much for my liking in a bitter. Nicely balanced. Has a unique taste that I think stems from the organic nature of this beer.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.6/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a bottle this beer was a very cloudy amber color with lots of visible sediment. The two-finger, fluffy, beige head retained pretty well as a cap and left very good lacing in curtains at first, then bands. The aroma was of light citrus hops, spices, grapefruit, caramel malt, and a little doughy malt. The flavors were a little odd, starting with hoppy bitterness it then went into a little spice followed by doughy and biscuity malt. The finish was crisp but the flavors just didn't seem to come together properly. The mouthfeel was good, the body medium and the carbonation light.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I seem to have a recent penchant for running through the bottle portion of my backlog. I realize that I have been neglecting The CANQuest (tm) as a result, but at the same time, purging these pesky bottles is satisfying.

From the bottle: "Brewed with Organic Malted Barley & Organic Hops"; "Certified Organic by the Oregon Tilth"; "Brewed in Milwaukee for people who like beer."

I like Milwaukee, I like beer, I like people & I like to Pop! the cap on a bottle of beer. Once this was accomplished, I used a gentle pour to fill my glass, followed by an in-glass swirl. This raised a brief finger of foamy, tawny head with low retention. Color was Amber to Deep Amber/Light Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a hay-like, grassy, bready quality, reminiscent of home-baked bread during the summer at my grandparents' house. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was a bit sweeter than I might have liked, but it was definitely malty with a light, grassy hoppiness to go with it. Finish was semi-sweet, which is a part of the style. It caused me to realize that I do not drink all that many ESBs, but I had no problem with this one.

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Photo of nickfl
3.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Small, one finger head of off white foam that settles quickly to a thick film. Nice, amber/ orange color with excellent clarity.

S - Malty and sweet with some light caramel. Mild apple ester aroma with just a hint of hops.

T - Malt flavor dominates up front with some raisiny caramel and a bit of fruitiness. Roast grain flavors appear in the middle, with chalky bitterness. Heavy maltiness in the finish, not quite fully balanced by the hop character.

M - Medium carbonation and medium body with a sweet finish and chalky, slightly astringent aftertaste.

D - Nice malt and hop character, but a bit sweet for me. Overall, it is a reasonable session beer and a nice ESB.

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Photo of plaid75
3.57/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark copper hue with a half finger foamy head. There was little retention and lacing.

The smell was a very subtle graininess cut by a mild flowery hop aroma.

The taste featured a strong biscuity body with a spattering of bittering hops. There was a definite sweetness up front. Bit of a light roasted grain aftertaste.

The mouthfeel was very clean with a nice biting carbonation.

Overall a very drinkable ESB. Unique because it is organic, however does not stand out among other ESBs.

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Photo of Lexluthor33
3.57/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour amber color with a small head and lace.The aroma is of caramel malts,light hops and fruits.
The taste is sweet with hops,caramel, malts and a slightly bitter finish.
Good carbonation and decent balance. The malts in the feel are ever present and almost give you a toffee hint. Not dry and has a touch of oil.

Notes: Buy it,try it and just remember that it is a decent brew and not to expect anything special. The organic label may be a temptation for a lady friend who is not so much into beer. So keep a few around. I thought it was very sweet and caramelized.

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Photo of Ri0
3.56/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

poured 12oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

A - Dark red brown color, with a 2 finger dirty white head that fades slowly and leaves a ring and some lacing on glass.

S - Caramel, toffee, light roasted malts. Honey, fruit, nuts and floral hops.

T - A nice sweet malty caramel and toffee with bits of honey and fruit. Floral hops are in the background and provide a very subtle bitterness to go with a slight nutty flavor. Pretty good.

M - Medium body with light carbonation. Somewhat sticky sweet finish.

O - A nice offering if hops are not your choice. It is a nice beer to drink with almost any meal. I would definitely get this beer on tap at a restaurant, but would not buy it in the bottle to drink at home as a stand alone.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.56/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a nice red with a fluffy white head. Smells of some grassy and flowery hops. Tastes of nice grain with some grassy hops, bitter, but not overly so. Beer is carbonated nicely light bodied and goes down great. Overall an above average beer.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.56/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice, but not special, fruity-malty-lightly bitter English-style ale that is easy enough to drink. Only a light grain flavor and feel gets in the way.

A veyr froathy pour brings about a lot of lace above the long-retaining off white foam. Brilliantly clear with a medium copper color. A very handsome looking beer.

Fruity and malty to the nose. Caramel and bread crust set the stage while a non-descript fruity note (fruity Pebbles cereal) gives a bit of complexity to the scent. Lightly earthy/grassy hops can be found in the background.

Flavors behave much the same. But the caramel/toasty malts are accompanied by a grain husk flavor that keeps the malts from giving the deep malt character that is expected. Caramel flavor doesn't have the depth of English Pale Ales. Hops are timid and weak in flavor but appropriate in bitterness. Quite fruity-sweet throughout with a sweet bread finish.

Froathy early and then transitioning to an easily quaffable finish, albeit somewhat grainy.

This ESB is nice in the fruity/hoppy foot forward but I would like to see a more complex malt profile that perhaps a Marris Otter malt can give. Also, more East Kent Goldings or Fuggle hop aroma and flavor could be a welcome.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.55/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber/copper color with minimal head and no lacing.

Smell is pretty much all caramel malt.

Taste is malty at first, good crisp mouthfeel, good caramel presence, slight citrusy bitterness at the end, in the end though it's fairly one-sided.

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Photo of iceball585
3.55/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Light brown color, semi-cloudy, thin cream color head that lowered to a thin ring around the glass

S- Fruity, grains, buttery, biscuits, hint of earthy hops

T- Light fruits, yeast, toasted grains, light malts, grassy, bitter hops

M- Medium body, light/medium carbonation, smooth, crisp bite

D- Worth trying

Didn't really taste like most of the ESBs that I've had before but still wasn't bad.

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Photo of CalhounJohn
3.55/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a beer that was what I expected. It's sold as an organic beer, so that makes me question whether or not it has the needed qualities of a fully rounded good beer. It looked good, poured from the bottle just fine and had a nice aroma. The taste was where it started to fall apart. It lacked the depth of flavor and full bodiness that the name (secondarily) implied. It sounds as though I'm very disappointed with this beer, which I'm not, but a beer being marketed as an "organic" isn't destined to be great and this beer proves that.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.55/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Brewed with Organic 2-row pale, Munich and Caramel malts. Hopped with Organic German Perle. Brewed June 2004. Bought as part of a sampler 8-pack.

Pours out to a slightly hazy amber-orange in color, forming a large light beige head with very good retention and nice sticky chunks of lacing. Carbonation is moderate. The aroma is very nice...mild spicy and slightly fruity hops balanced by warm grain husk, toast, apples, grass and residual sugars. Mouthfeel is soft, smooth and wet. The taste is really an echo of the aroma...The hops are a little more intense in flavor that an aroma and the bitterness is moderate. Unfortunately, there is an overly grassy hop note and mouthfeel in the finish, and a brief punctuation of higher alcohols, giving this a touch of macro-twang. It must be all that Organic junk they put in this:)

This is a decent beer, but probably the least enjoyable of the sampler. I'll sticky with my Un-Organic stuff instead. As far as ESB's go, this is decent for the style, but I don't like them in general.

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Photo of camp0474
3.55/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a light copper/caramel color with white head.

S: Smells like malt with some hints of herbal citrus and pale fruitiness. Picking up a bit of spicy yeast too.

T: Some sweet and sour fruit flavors balanced with a crisp bitterness. Toasted malt flavors add body and caramel/butterscotch sweetness.

M: Light Body and carbonation with a somewhat dry finish.

D: Balance of sweet and bitter makes this pretty drinkable. Personally I have not tried too many beers of this style but I may try more now.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, fruit, nuts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with some mildly sweet flavors of caramel and fruit that fade quickly. Then a hearty but not too heavy malt character comes in. There are some background flavors of honey and nuts. The hops good for the style and brings a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, it’s not a bad beer but there are others in the style that I would choose first.

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Photo of pweis909
3.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A=Slightly hazy amber, with a solid head that stuck around for several minutes before receding.

S=Caramel with a bit of hops, reminiscent of the noble hops found in a European pilsner, possibly a Czech pils. Maybe this is the Safir hops? Not 100% sure as the Lakefront website is ambiguous about the hops. The hop aroma fades soon. By the end of the glass, I can pick up a more grainy, breakfast cereal character that hides underneath the caramel.

T=The caramel malt presence dominates, to the extent that it comes close to overpowering the flavor contribution of other components. It is sweet, but not unbalanced, as there is sufficient hop bitterness to prevent it from being cloying. Still, I would prefer this a little dryer.

M=Nothing stood out to me about the mouth feel.

Overall, I don't mind this beer, but the dominance of sweet caramel makes it a bit of a one-trick pony. I would probably not want to drink several over the course of one evening. While I am happy to support an organic beer, I must say that the ESB moniker sets up some expectation of toasty maltiness and hoppy bitterness and aroma that just don't seem strong enough to me in this example. It is much more like a caramelly American amber, or even an Irish red.

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Photo of Deuane
3.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Golden orange with a nice medium off-white head.

S-Biscuity grain with a faint wafting of earthy hops.

T-Earthy bitterness upfront fades quickly into the sweet notes of caramel malt and biscuit grain.

M-Medium-light body with a nice crispness, maybe a bit thin feeling.

D-Not bad...but a bit too malty, not enough hop bite and a little thin for my liking. Certainly drinkable but could be more.

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Photo of superspak
3.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 7/10/2013. Pours fairly cloudy deep orange copper color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of orange peel, apple, caramel, toast, biscuit, brown sugar, herbal, grass, light nuttiness, and toast/yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, earthy hop, and yeast ester notes; with decent strength. Taste of orange peel, apple, caramel, toast, brown sugar, biscuit, light toffee, light nuttiness, herbal, grass, and toast/yeast earthiness. Fair amount of earthy herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of orange peel, apple, caramel, toast, brown sugar, biscuit, light toffee, light nuttiness, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Good balance and decent robustness of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and lightly creamy mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with no warming present after the finish. Overall this was a good ESB. Well balanced dark/bready malt, earthy hop, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A pleasant and enjoyable offering.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hazed amber body sports an off-white head and very little lacing.
The aroma is light and of malt and, perhaps, a bit of light hops. Medium body and a crisp mouthfeel; decent carbonation. The taste is nicely bittered by the hops and have a pleasant aftertaste. Easily drinkable in quantity.

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