Organic ESB | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

382 Ratings
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 Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 382 |  Reviews: 229
Photo of Onenote81
3.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very murky amber/copper color with a large head. This took about 5 minutes to pour the entire bottle into a pint glass.

Smells sweet with some honey overtones. Some floral, malt, and maybe some toffee as well.

Taste was very well-balanced. A nice sweet/tart mix going on. A slight metallic bite to it, but not overwhelming. Finished a tad bitter. The beer gets more tart as it warms.

Overall, very well-balanced beer. Good beer from the boys at Lakefront.

 470 characters

Photo of number1bum
3.19/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part of NEPA BC split #16.

Pours an orange amber color, slight chill haze with about two fingers of creamy beige head. Head retains well and leaves rings all the way down the glass.

Smell is slightly fruity, in a funky way though, and has a buttery diacetyl like aroma. Bit of caramel/toffee, too, and maybe a hint of toasted malt.

Taste starts off with a funky sort of fruity flavor, then gives way to some toffee/buttery flavor and finally some toasted grain and a dash of hop bitterness. It's better than the nose and the buttery toffee flavor saves it and is actually pretty pleasant.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin but smooth and adequately carbonated.

This is not a terribly good ESB, although I do like the attempt to do it organic. It did start to wear on me, but the initial funky fruity flavor held it back a bit. The combination of the funky fruit character and the buttery diacetyl pretty much kill the nose for me, as well. A decent beer, but still not something I'd likely revisit.

 994 characters

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.

 254 characters

Photo of Ragingbull
3.17/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Copper to almost red in color with lots of prickle that is mildly active. No head to speak of after pouring into a pint glass. Banana hints in the nose that knuckle under to the dominant smell of hops. Clean attack and smooth flavor with a thick mouthfeel. It presents as a malty beer and finishes hoppier. No significant aftertaste. I would call it a C myself.

 361 characters

Photo of Kookiekwan
2.7/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a orange/amber, has a two finger head with some serious retention (the head sat on top throughout the whole beer like a little white sponge)with thin lacing. The aroma is faint but I picked up some hints of caramel and very faint earthy hops. The taste is a big let down, I expect ESB's to be bitter (it is in the name) but not this one it tastes more like a dulled down version of an Amber ale. The mouthfeel was good, it was highly carbonated but still drinkable and it felt like it woke my mouth up.

Reflection: I wouldn't recommend this one to anyone who likes good beer but I would drink it again if someone handed me a free one.

 652 characters

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.

 567 characters

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.

 384 characters

Photo of Greggy
2.7/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- nice 2 finger head, fluffy, clings to the glass above the amber body with no sediment.

S- Nice fruitiness or raison and plum, along with some pear, a nice spiciness. Mainly malty, but a definite hop spice.

T- Velvety smooth with a dark chocolate, maltiness as well as some residual cherries. Overall, tastes more like a LIGHT dubbel than an ESB. Not a whole big hope presence.

M- Very smooth, but it has all of the wrong flavors for an ESB.

D- This definitely doesn't taste like an ESB to me, so regardless to say, I will not being having this again.

 558 characters

Photo of treehugger02010
3.2/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I got the Lakefront Variety Pack at Bryn Mawr Beverage in Bryn Mawr, Pa and poured it into a pint glass.
Appearance: Transparent, amber body with a huge white head, good retention and lots of lace.
Smell: Slight spicy hop, solid nonroasted backbone.
Taste: A bit watered down, maybe continental hops.
Mouthfeel: Rigid.
Drinkability: Decent.
Don't drink and review.

 364 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.38/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden amber color with a tight head that dissipated quickly into a sparse cap. The aroma is very light, I pick up some caramel malt, rust, and some earthy hops. The taste is of bready malt, a touch of caramel and honey. This is followed by earthy tea like hops. There is a metallic twang that runs throughout this brew. The feel is light with fizzy carbonation, finishes with a lingering bitterness. Seems to be fairly close to the style. On par with the other Lakefront offering that I had. Nothing stands out with this brew.

 541 characters

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.

 671 characters

Photo of Patrick999
3.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a pint glass, attractive amber body. Very good head retention and lacing.

S - Light aroma of cookies.

T - Pretty good. The aforementioned cookie malts are tasty, balanced by a twinge of hop. Perhaps not *quite* enough hop bitterness.

F - Somewhat creamy feel.

D - Although nothing really stands out, this is a perfectly enjoyable and easy beer to drink.

 375 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 Misfit138
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

A- Amber in color with inch head that quickly dissolved.

S- Light hints of caramel, almost sweet smell.

T- Pretty smooth, I was thinking it was going to have more bitterness based on the name. Never had this style before. Mild malts and possible caramel. Some hoppy bitterness at end but it is rather subtle.

M- Moderate, a little heavier than it looks, slight carbonation.

D- I kinda liked this one, I wouldn't turn it down, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it. Its a pretty mild drink that has some flavor.

 553 characters

Photo of oberon
2.37/5  rDev -28%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I havent had many Lakefront brews but the ones I have had have not impressed and this was borderline awfulPoured into a standard pint glass a bull copper color with a nice one finger white head that nver really tottaly subsided,from there it goes way down hill.Sour aromas like apple cider vinegar because a bit of green apple in there some residual toastiness as well,flavors are sour and astrigent makeing me pucker a little that apple is really pronounced its got a firm toastiness but it cant help cut thru the astringency of this beer.Ehh a drain our nuff said.

 566 characters

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.73/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a deep amber with a thinnish, but persistent ivory head. Plenty of fine lacing. Smells quite biscuity from the malt, thin herbal bitterness but an overall sweetish aroma.

Taste is much like the aroma. A very British style ESB, lots of biscuity malt and a present but understated herbal hops presence. Finished very, very clean. Mouth is a bit on the thin side. If I had to pin this beer down to one style I would probably say it's just a bitter instead of an Extra Special Bitter.

It's not bad at all but could bring a little more as far as flavor. Good session beer.

 578 characters

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.

 471 characters

Photo of cjgator3
3.23/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. The aroma is slightly toasted malt, a touch of caramel and hops. The taste is biscuity malt with a citrusy hop finish. The mouthfeel is thin and moderately carbonated. Overall, this is a decent ESB, but nothing to get overly excited about.

 277 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.16/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish-brown body with a frothy, medium-sized, white head.

Smell: Mild nose of bready maltiness, faint hint of berries, and a spicy hop presence.

Taste: Lightly sweet malts with a taste of toasted breadcrusts. Touch of fruitiness. Spicy hops impart a light bitterness. A bit more malty sweetness before a rather abrupt, though crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Somewhat harsh carbonation, I must say.

Drinkability: Fairly middle-of-the-road when it comes to the noble ESB style.

 516 characters

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.

 401 characters

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.

 677 characters

Photo of Mdog
3.48/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy orange-amber.

Smell: Some sweetness, earthy notes.

Taste: Starts with a citrus-like bitterness (but not strong IPA style citrus), gives some sweet fruity flavors, a touch of metallic bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Seems a little light.

Drinkability: The first couple sips I was not impressed but it grew on me. I could have a session of this if I was in Milwaukee.

Finally got around to reviewing a Lakefront beer after using their pint glass for about a year. A pretty good sessionable ESB here, maybe leans a little more towards citrus than herbal hops and not as much breadiness or fullness as other ESBs.

 636 characters

Photo of ffejherb
3.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle into DFH specialty glass

A - Attractive clear cherry wood-colored body with garnet and ruby tones and almost one finger of frothy off-white head. Sparse, slow-rising carbonation bubbles travel to the top of the glass. Head only left a thin ring and very minimal lacing around the glass.

S - Aroma imparts a spicy bread aspect with toasted malt and sweet berry fruit. Hops are barely noticeable, with trace amounts of citrus and fresh flowers.

T - Toasted malt flavor with some hefty breadiness. Hops are a mild blend of citrus fruit and light floral notes. Finishes with a nice toasted barley flavor, which is quite pleasant.

M - Light to medium body with a lively effervescence on the tongue. Texture is a bit on the syrupy or oily side; not thick per se, but actually a little on the thin, watery side. Still, it's quite smooth and easy to drink.

D - This is a tasty organic brew with a nice toasted finish that I enjoyed. I'd definitely pick up more of these in the future if I come across it.

 1,017 characters

Photo of PhageLab
3.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Cloudy orange coloration, perfect two tip head that stuck around a while, although it is murky, you can still detect floating bits of sediment, and the lacing was spotted.

S - Nice bitter aroma, not a lot going on, but what's present is pleasant.

T - Rich malty malty body with a fresh, bitter backing. Hints of ginger can be detected and while the profile is considerably bready, it finishes clean.

M - Light bodied, decent carbonation level, slightly gritty feel.

D - Very good, I could enjoy several of these and be quite content. Very nicely balanced ESB. Definitely worth a try if you see it.

 641 characters

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.


 791 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.