Organic ESB | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

Organic ESBOrganic ESB
Liked This Beer
3.28 w/ 382 ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 382 |  Reviews: 229
Photo of wiseguy142
3.3/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a murky orange with a frothy off white head that dies down quickly but leaves some clinging lacing and some dots of foam in the middle.

Smells of medium woody English hops, cane sugar.. almost like a Belgian. Very fruity and raisiny but still very British. An obvious Maris Otter base from the aroma or at least copious use of dark crystal.

Taste is sort of a kick in the mouth right off the front. Alcohol and raisin up front with a lingering sweetness in the finish. Sweet British hops back up both the raisin and the crystal.

Mouthfeel is a little heavy for the style IMO. It doesn't suite the flavors to make a crisp, drinkable ESB.

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Photo of albern
3.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty mediocre beer that isn't much of an ESB, and with a 5.42 ABV, this doesn't pack much of punch either. The beer pours an orangy amber color with a very nice ceamy off white that retains well and laces. The beer is decently carbonated and ever so slightly hazy. The nose on the beer is biscuity malts, some caramel, some earthy hues, some toffee. The caramel and toffee get going as the beer settles.

The beer is very muted, has some bittering hop flavors, but is mostly a pretty uniform malty, slightly bittering, caramel biscuity beer. This isn't much of an ESB, but on its own the beer is decent enough. The beer is light to medium bodied with a slightly tangy aftertaste. There maybe some florals wrapped around the hops somewhere in this beer, but there isn't enough flavor to really call it out.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.65/5  rDev +11.3%
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 Chugmonkey
4.1/5  rDev +25%
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 Fartknocker
3.17/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle

A- dark golden to light browninh color
S- average malt aroma
T- bitterness comes through right away for me, but doesn't linger
M- plenty of carbonation, but nothing out of the ordinary
D- one of a sampler, but I could see drinking a few more

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Photo of Gavage
3.12/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle acquired in trade - thanks R&S.

Large light tan head, well carbonated. Clear orange brown color. Smells like bananas, nuts. Starts with a sweet nuttiness, almonds and hazelnuts. Toasty mild bitterness predominates. Moderate alcohol, medium body. Finishes with some astringency. Not quite to style but not bad.

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Photo of mwilbur
3.13/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of Amalak
3.78/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got as part of a beer of the month deal. It had a light-rust color with a great foamy head. It had a hoppy scent to it, not surprising since it's an ESB.

Here's where I got confused, I was expecting a very bitter flavored beer, but that is not what I got. It was actually very smooth, which I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad. It's a good, hoppy beer, but not what I was thinking it would be.

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Photo of iceball585
3.55/5  rDev +8.2%
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 Pamola
2.73/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Having terrible luck with organic beers in the past, i decided to give this one a shot simply because it's an esb and one of my favorite styles.

A: Poured with a one finger tan head. Beer was strangely yellowish for an esb.

S: Deep, subtle malt. Not much else. Rather sweet.

T: Fizzy and totally devoid of flavor up front. This fades into a honey/malty sweetness. once again, not much like an esb in my eyes.

M: Light and effervescent at first. Once the honey flavor kicks in it coats the mouth with a small corresponding increase in body.

D: Drinkable, yes, but to call this an esb? wtf? This is a terrible example of the style and even if one takes it at face value, it's still a mediocre, overly sweet beer.

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.07/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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Photo of Squelch
2.1/5  rDev -36%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Very Hazy brown colored. Small head. Does not look appetizing.

Smell: No noticable aromas hopwise or maltwise present in the nose of this beer.

Taste: Bad. Very stale. Overuse of crystal malts give way too much raisony sweetness with no hop balance. Slight puckering astringency.

Mouthfeel: astringent. Puckering. Medium to medium light bodied. Low carbination. Best part of this beer.

Drinkability: Really does not suit my tastes. I may have a bad beer here because this is not good.

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Photo of Blakaeris
2.98/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

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Photo of wheatyweiss
3.87/5  rDev +18%
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 bashiba
2.42/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer starts out almost perfect, dark clear amber with a big off white head, and nice retention with very good lacing.

The smell is almost nothing, just a very mild bit of bready malt.

The flavor is bland, some mild grain and toasted malts with a hint of minty hops. With kind a strange musty basement taste that lingers long after the hops.

Mouthfeel is light with a dry, yet cloying finish

Another dud from Lakefront, I will be steering clear of this down the road.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.3/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I haven't been too impressed with the organics I've tried lately; maybe this can turn the tide. Pours a translucent orange amber with a bubbly wet cap of head with a touch of lace. The nose has caramel malt, a touch of hops and a slight metallic tinge. Brown sugar and dark fruit notes seem out of place here.

Some nice hops up front but are quickly buried under some grimy malt. The aftertaste is a bit muddled, with some closing bitterness. Overall, the main character here is graininess. The texture is reasonably smooth under the circumstances, this beer just doesn't taste smooth.

This is above average for the organic beers I've tried but not great among the better ESB's out there.

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Photo of dwilkins
2.3/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - very light orangish brown. Way too light for an ESB. Head is good - not too much and some lingering foam around the edge persists being just right for the style.

S - Aroma of malt is all I can detect. ESB's should not be over-hopped, so this is a good thing. But... the hop aroma is very cereal like. The smell of raw pilsner or brewers malt predominates. I can detect no caramel or deeper aromas - weird.

T - malty side matches the smell, tastes like barely kilned malt, no depth. Hop balance is not bad, just a little kick of bitterness in the finish which is correct for an ESB.

M - thin and watery. Very little body.

D - I could drink a few bottles of this. While it misses the style target, it is not offensive in any way.

Tell ya what, a little crystal malt to provide some deeper caramel maltiness and darken the color and we're almost there. Perhaps this, along with a higher mash temp would keep the ABV the same and add to the body. If finding organic crystal malts is a problem, perhaps the same could be achieved with decoctions. I know this adds to the expense, but it would be closer to an ESB.

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Photo of GRPunk
3.7/5  rDev +12.8%
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 Goliath
3.75/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light brown/amber color with a one inch off white head. Decent retention and some spotty lacing.

The aroma is very pleasant. Some sweet malts, caramel dominates. A very light hoppiness adding a subdued citrus component.

Taste is decent and quite interesting. Some nice caramel malt, and again a bit of citrus. Somewhat sweet with minimal bitterness. Very reminiscient of iced tea. I kind of dig it actually.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with ample carbonation leaving a nice tingle.

Drinkability is fairly high. Flavors are decent and the low alcohol makes this brew pretty sessionable. Not a bad choice, although probably not the best example stylewise.

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Photo of morimech
2.81/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear amber with a large, dense head that has good retention. Large amounts of lacing is left on the glass.

Right after the pour I can smell some hops. But then something goes off. Smells almost sour with a touch of diacetyl. Perhaps a touch of caramel malt as well.

The flavor is not very good. Too much diacetyl throws everything out of whack. Its flavor dominates everything else.

Has a solid body with very good carbonation.

I will pass on this one next time.

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Photo of BoitSansSoif
2.97/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

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Photo of roadhouse
3.51/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

Appears a slightly hazy orange-copper color with a one finger off-white head that sinks down to a cap that stays with it all the way. Very minimal lacing.

Aroma is mild but has notes of toasted malt, caramel malt, and some floral hops.

Taste is also quite mild. Starts out with some caramel malt and bready, toasty flavors. Finishes up with some tartness that reminds me of green grapes.

Mouthfeel is medium-light, a bit watery maybe, but it is very smooth drinking.

I haven't had a great amount of ESBs to compare this to, but I thought it was pretty good. Probably the best tasting organic beer I have had at least. It's not gonna blow you away but it's certainly drinkable.

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Photo of sleazo
3.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A_Pours medium clear brown with a very dense head. The staying power is extraordinary.

S_Not too strong smelling but pleasant enough. Mild maltiness with a bit of generic hop bitterness.

T_Stronger on the malt than on the hops. There is a nice bitterness in the follow through but this more geared towards the caramel malt which meets the tongue upon first sip.

M_On the lighter side for the style but the nice head keeps this nice to drink.

D_Decent but not great ESB.

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Photo of dickroop
3.15/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured bronze, clear, with a fast-fading head. Not much aroma, a little malty, toasted, earthy.

Taste had a busy profile, but undistinguished and a bit muddy. Some toasted barley tea, some malty sweetness. Then the bittering hops it the palate and dominate. Overall, I picked out licorice and notes of green pepper. Also a sour tank. Mouthfeel was watery but saved from dismal by good carbonation.

Drinkability? I don't want more. Lots of better ESBs out there.

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Organic ESB from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 17% out of 100 with 382 ratings
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