Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Organic ESB | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
229 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 229 | Ratings: 382
Photo of BoitSansSoif
2.97/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours an brownish-amber w/faint garnet hue and a beige head that fizzled in less than 30 seconds. No retention or lacing/tracing.
S-Doughy, toasty malt w/faint bitter hops, and a light metallic aroma.
T-Toasty sweet malt w/slight sourness that emerges midway, and a pleasant lightly bitter finish.
M-Light-bodied w/heavy carbonation that carries the flavors nicely. Fairly good overall balance.
D-Not bad. I have poor luck with this brewery overall, but this one was rather enjoyable.

 487 characters

Photo of SixpointJMH
2.98/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pretty good looking, slightly hazed brownish copper colour with an off-white head that is quick to dissolve and leaves nary a mark on the glass.

The aroma has a buttery earthy malt feel to it with some caramel notes and, well, that's about it. Very tame, faint and average.

Flavour is more of the same: butterscotch, somewhat earthy malt and a touch of caramel. Each sip is sweet at the front and middle and finishes a bit rugged. Flavours are just as bland as the aroma. Mouthfeel is light bodied and just not smooth enough for an ESB. A bit overcarbonated to me.

This one isn't really bad in any aspects, but it is straight on average everywhere. Boring and fairly uninspired. I'd skip it for a livelier more flavourful ESB.

 743 characters

Photo of Blakaeris
2.98/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear light copper. Head is a white fluffy mass.

Aroma is malty and metallic. Bready caramel, with hints of citrus hop.

Taste is grainy caramel malt. Plenty of biscuit. Light fruit, notably apple. Earthy hops bring a spicy bitterness to the finish. Overall flavor is balanced, but there is a dissonant sour metallic quality that is throwing the flavor off for me.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Pretty average. I wouldn't purposefully get this again. Flavor is not unified resulting in an unimpressive beer.

 515 characters

Photo of vitrael
3.01/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I'm not much of an ESB drinker but I do like Lakefront a lot and think the effort at an all organic beer is commendable.

A: Slightly hazy deep amber body with a small white head. Minimal lacing.

S: Very lacking nose, with only a slight hint at the malt body and bittering hops. Could use more going on here.

T: An initial taste of biscuit malt flavor gives way to a somewhat dominant lemony hop character. Moderately bitter and slightly astringent. I don't detect any estery or diacetyl flavors; if they're there, they are very mild. Easy drinking but not very interesting. Probably sessionable.

M: Medium-light bodied with pretty high carbonation.

 652 characters

Photo of GarrisWH
3.03/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a clear reddish-copper color with one finger of off-white head that leaves pretty solid lacing behind. Retains a decent cap throughout drinking.

S - Not a whole lot going on in the smell. Slightly sweet, toasted caramel malt aromas with a hint of tart fruitiness in there as well. A little bit of earthy, slightly floral hoppiness hiding in the aroma as well.

T - Pretty similar to the smell. Some bready, toasted, somewhat sweet malt flavors up front. A bit of tart fruitiness comes through in the middle. Pretty weak hop character, that adds a little bit of bitterness, but doesn't really balance out the breadiness all that well. Finish isn't very clean and has a "dirty", earthy characteristic.

M - Light bodied and somewhat watery. Moderate level of carbonation.

D - This one is pretty much average all around. It's not horrible, but it really isn't that great and doesn't leave me wanting to drink another at all. Pretty glad I just bought a single, because I wasn't all that impressed.

 1,007 characters

Photo of TheSSG
3.03/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice, soft, soapy head that has nice persistence and leaves great lacing. Sweet, nutty aroma is almost tart with caramel in the back. Lovely burnt umber color. Starts with an almost tartness, sweetness, and floral hoppiness. Becomes medium bitter as a nuttiness melds with toasted malt behind the hops. The finish is lingering toasted malt with floral hop bitterness, and a hint of caramel wafts in and out. There is a bit of a biting carbonation to it, I almost dislike that.

Overall, this isn't too bad. It's a nice mix of toasty malt and hop bitterness. Not my favorite, but not terrible. Fairly average.

 616 characters

Photo of wordemupg
3.03/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

355ml bottle poured into pint glass 3/11/11

A clear copper with lots of big bubbles feeding a fast falling finger of creme colored foam that leaves a few polka dots of lace

S some dry cereal and purple candy with a little caramel

T not far from the smell really a little malty and lacking the hops for a great bitter

M a little flat and thin with just a little bite

O pretty basic beer if you ask me, nothing offensive but not what I look for in a bitter

nothing special going on here, it went down without any problems but I don't think I'd bother buying it again

 575 characters

Photo of ybnorml
3.03/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An orange/amber beer with a slight haze. Has a big foamy off white head. There is a light sweet cereal grain character to the aroma with a hint of caramel in the background. The sweetness carries thru to the taste where the caramel note is more pronounced. With just a light sting of bitterness on the outer edges of your tongue. The finish is both sweet and dry. With a light tea like note in the background.

 409 characters

Photo of dbalsock
3.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

App: Pours a dark amber with a thin white head and a decent amount of haze.

Smell: Yeasty and floral with a malt background that seems a little off and one dimensional.

Taste: Good straightforward malt taste with a nice woody hop presence. Not a lot going on, but that's a good thing.

Mouthfeel: Slight to medium bitterness and a a good malt sweetness, but still lacks something I expect from most bitters. I can't put my finger on it.

Drinkability: An off taste seems to interfere with the goodness of this brew and keeps the low complexity from making this very drinkable.

 578 characters

Photo of Phocion
3.06/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours from a 12 oz. bottle into my pint glass a hazy copper with a thin, but well-lived foamy white head.

Aroma is mild, but dominated by roasted and bready malts. Very slight spicy and grassy hoppiness in the background.

Slightly sweet. Mostly fruit tones (peach, grape). Light roasted grains and just a touch of caramel. Not much else to it...

Crisp and sharp mouthfeel, but not particularly smooth. Drinkable in a pinch, but overall pretty poorly balanced and bland, not typically what I look for in an ESB. For a fan of the style, definitely not thrilled...

 571 characters

Photo of JMBSH
3.06/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Nice amber color. No head when poured into pint glass.Carbonation is very light to almost none existent.

Scent - Almost also non-existent. A faint carmel aroma.

Taste - It tastes more carbonated then it looks. A smooth floral taste with the hops being only slight in taste though though the flavor they provide seems to built up with every sip.

Mouthfeel - Smooth with only a hint of aftertaste.

While I like beers that are a bit more on the "heavy" side of flavor, this is a very refreshing beer. I even found myself taking the glass out to my patio where it seemed to "fit" for a hot summer afternoon.

 630 characters

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.06/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this up, er...actually, I was given this. Free. No charge. Left to drink on my own. After having the fabulous Wisconsinite and Local Acre Lagers recently, I wasn't sure what to expect here and now that I've nearly finished downing this, I'm not sure exactly what I had. Many reviewers on here wondered what was missing on here and it comes as no surprise that the ingredient lacking in this is none other than HOPS. If you're expecting this to be bitter, keep expecting. This is unlike any other EB that I've ever had.

This poured like a Weizenbock with an apricot hue, cloudy appearance, and somewhat decent head that lasted for a little while. Not much of an aroma to this and the taste was bland and uncarbonated. Lots of brown sugar, apricot, and crystalline sweetness here with the sugar holding on for a while after each sip. Maybe some signs of a light Ale from Belgium here without the alcohol, or dark fruit that would categorize this as such. A slight earthy bitterness was found here but was this anything like Fuller's, Goose Island, or Red Hook? No way...

I can't quite tell where this missed but I wish the alcohol was a bit stronger, if for no other reason than to giver this beer some teeth. I downed it pretty quick but I prefer to savor my beer as I search for the distinctions in it. Unfortunately, there's not much memorable to this, even if "organic" was printed on the bottle. A disappointment, to say the least.

 1,443 characters

Photo of kimcgolf
3.07/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nothing much to this beer. Poured to a hazy copper-amber color with little head or lacing. Aroma tried to be a mix of malty fruit and hops, but was very faint. Mouthfeel a bit bland for this fairly thin-bodied beer, little noticeable taste, and just a so-so finish.

While there was nothing to actually dislike about this beer, there was nothing much that stuck out either, and it has a lot of growing up to do to become a bitter.

 430 characters

Photo of SmashPants
3.07/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Bottle: a standard 355mL brown bottle with a pretty ordinary farmyard label with a dodgy cow-dog hybrid (meant to be a cow I guess).

Appearance: copper-orange in colour with big carbonation. A white head pops up and fluffs away to a half-finger cap, decent lacing. Looks decent.

Aroma: a fairly demure nose for an ESB - some orchard fruits and light caramel. Still, it offers some promise.

Taste: again a fairly plain orchard fruits and caramel across the palate - certainly nothing special. Not special enough for the price.

Aftertaste: doesn't really pick up too much on the aftertaste either. Oh well.

Mouth feel: lighter in feel with lower to mid carbonation.

Overall: not a bad beer, but it certainly isn't good enough for the price of AU$110+ a case. I also wouldn't say that I hate the "organic" scene that has been sweeping the globe of late, but I absolutely cannot see the difference in taste or quality with either beers or food. The sooner that "organic" products that are no better than standard but twice the price disappear, the happier I'll be.

 1,066 characters

Photo of philbe311
3.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Two fingers of very fizzy slightly off white foam... Orange copper color with only the slightest amount of carbonation noticeable post pour... An impressive fairly thick lacing is noted once the head dissipates...

S - Faint in all regards... Perhaps some european hops... Toffee... Grains... Malt... Fruitcake... Overly all this has a slightly musky scent...

T - Understated... Biscuit... Caramel... Butter... Quick bite of hops at the finish...

M - Medium bodied... Smooth... A good bit of carbonated fizz on the tongue... Not overly complex...

D - Uninspired version of an ESB... The appearance is the most redeeming quality of this brew... The scent and taste aren't bad, they are just incredibly subdued and weak... This beer while not terrible, lacks any discernable personality...

 794 characters

Photo of roller
3.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy burnt orange with a thick, frothy head that breaks down into nice lacing-- looks very carbonated. Smells like orange rind; slightly soapy. When tasted, my first thought was "sub-par homebrew." Taste is bitter citrus with some caramel malt and nothing spectacular. Lots of hops. Medium bodied and is, indeed, very carbonated. Not a terrible beer, but not something I'd pick up again.

 397 characters

Photo of allengarvin
3.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a soft head which disappears completely after a moment. Color is a pleasant amber. Initial taste is a slight bitterness with some malt, which fades away with the finish. Not a lot of body, nor is it highly carbonated. Makes a decent session beer, but there's little unique about it.

 288 characters

Photo of duffextracold
3.1/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

hazy orange hued amber color. lots of bubbles shooting up from the bottom. some floaties. Slightly fruity smell. not much else in the aroma department. Taste is sweet and fruity. has a hint of apple juice. slightly peppery, but just for a second. hardly any noticable hop bitterness, just enough to try to balance it out. nice carbonation level...crisp, but not overwhelming. Overall not bad, but not great either. perhaps a bit too sweet, not extremely well balanced.

 468 characters

Photo of Procrastinator
3.11/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle dated Nov. 19, 2006 poured into tall weizen glass

Appearance: coppery colored with 1" pillowy head after vigorous pour, recedes to leave slight lacing on glass with little head.

Smell: slightly sweet aroma, grains and nuts.

Taste: sweet on the tongue immediately followed by slight bitterness, but not quite enough for me. Mild alcohol and nutty characteristics.

Mouthfeel: easy drinking "session" beer, just not enough depth
as what I expect of most ESBs.

Drinkability: let this one warm up a bit to obtain any subtle flavors.
Could drink several of these, just don't know that I'd want to with
so many other great esb out there.

 662 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.12/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: clear orange in color with a short 1/2" head that breaks apart immediately. No lacing develops.

Smell: very soft fruit sweetness and caramel are hard to pull from the glass but the aroma is pleasant.

Taste: bready malt, caramel, pears, overripe black plums, and a very mild bitterness which missed the mark to bring some balancing here.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp to start and a bit smoother towards the finish. Aftertaste is short-lived with a bready tone. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: so-so at best. As with most organic beers, the flavors seem muted. This needed some more balancing hop bitterness IMHO.

 621 characters

Photo of mwilbur
3.13/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a orange-amber with a hint of cloud. Minimal white head quickly dissipates.
S: Hops and a hint of caramel. Weak aroma.
T: Some floral hops and hint of caramel...follows aroma.
M: Smooth and oily mouthfeel. Takes awhile for the bitterness to come out...and not a lot does.
D: An average beer. I like the organic nature of it, but other than that not much special here. This beer doesn't seem to follow style, which in some cases is good...just not this one.

 514 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.13/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Comes out of the bottle a beautiful clear copper, almost mahogany, with a thick sandy off-white head that dissipates fairly quickly. Aroma is malty with an undertone of cinnamon and a sharp hint of fruit. Flavor is on the thin side, strongly but not fiercely bitter. Texture is smooth and just a bit watery, not very tingly. Not the best I have had, but acceptable.

 365 characters

Photo of Jparker37
3.14/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - This light amber ESB poured relativly bright with a nice, barely off-white head full of small bubbles that colapsed to a small but diligent cap of foam. Left a little bit of lacing on the glass.

S - Disappointing smell. Expected some dry hopping or maybe some big toasty malt, but I am left with a very mild, slightly sweet maltiness.

T - The malt begins to come around with some nice toastiness and a little bit of balancing hop flavors and bitterness finishes quite different than it starts. On the lighter side of the English Bitters spectrum. Not all that rich and complex in flavor.

M - Has a nice full bodied mouthfeel with a light gentle carbonation.

O - A little light to be an ESB. Not very complex in flavor or smell. Overall I am not a big fan of this beer but cool with all organic ingredients.

 816 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.15/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears a sligh hazed caramel copper with a cream cofee head, the lacing comes forms even and thick with each sip. Aroma has leafy obacco notes with caramel bready malts a slight lingering tartness combined with a metallic citrus hop twang. Flavor full of cereal notes as in I gotta eat my Wheaties esque with sweetcaramel notes more leafy herbal qualites tea like really. After few sips the flavor grew on me but it wasn't textbook ESB sort of interesting but so so in the end. Mouthfeel smooth natural carbonation medium bodied flows nice with a touch of acidity lingering. Drinkability is decent a nice variety twelve pack offering but definitely note a highlight.

 667 characters

Photo of canucklehead
3.15/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with a decent head. The nose is mostly malt with a small hop note. The beer is decent but there is a lack of complexity with the hops that makes an ESB interesting. Drinkable for sure and no real faults but it gets a little boring over time.

 260 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest┬« Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!