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Organic ESB | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 229 | Ratings: 382
Photo of minnunderground
3.31/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice honey color billowy off white head 1 finger, sticks around for a decent amount of time.
S-bready biscuit malt, maybe a slight hint of hops
T-kinda like the smell bready malts and maybe at the end a tad bit of bitter. Really has more aftertaste than up-front taste.
M-Decently carb, kinda light tho
D- Pretty drinable and light, no overpowering flavors.

So I don't really know if being organic has anything to do with this beer. Flavor is kind off dull...maybe from not being genetically freaky malt and hops?

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Photo of stakem
2.95/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours an amber color with less than a finger of head that has a slight yellowish tint to it. The head has almost no retension whatsoever. Lacing is nonexistant. Initial smell suprised the hell out of me as it was just like vinegar that eventually gave way to a more pine-like aroma. Taste is a little bitter upfront with the pine taste and a slight bit of citrus in there as well. Really a crisp finish with this and a lingering taste of the citrus/pine combo. Feel of this beer is quite light. Little to no malt presence here but picking up on a bit of grain/biscuit as it warms. This is just leaving me looking for something more in this beer, but it just isn't delivering.

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Photo of blackearth
3.74/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from Trader Joes. Pours a deep copper body with a thick, frothy off-white head. Aroma is sweet caramel. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Flavors of sweet toffee upfront with some malt spiciness leads to a low bitterness at mid tongue followed by sweetness again in the finish. Drinkability is very good, but I'll like to see more hop aroma and flavor from this one.

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Photo of Tone
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, copper color with lighter golden color along the bottom of the glass. 1/2 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of pale hops, yeast, grain, herbs, and slight spice. Fits the style of an ESB. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of pale hops, herbs, slight spice, and slight yeast. Overall, a decent brew, but the blend hurt by being too heavy on the herbs.

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Photo of tone77
3.41/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some notes of hops. Taste is refreshing, hops with some malts. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a fairly good beer.

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Photo of Knecht
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Had to force the pour just to get a half-finger head, which disappeared almost immediately. Has a nice bronze color that looks fairly inviting. The aroma is sweet and malty... not a whole lot going on.

Taste is of sweet malt, but has enough hop undertones to balance the beer pretty nicely. It has a medium-light body and decent carbonation (maybe just a tad bit under-carbonated). Overall, it's pretty decent stuff... if I ever get in the mood for an E.S.B. (which , admittedly, is not often), I'd go for this one again.

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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.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.41/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my nonic pint glass. The bitter appears a murky amber akin to iced tea with an inch of fluffy off white foam. A decent looking pour. Nose and flavor are of toasted bread, sweet and fruity, caramel, a touch of nuts. Medium in both body and carbonation. Not too shabby.

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Photo of nightcrawler
3.39/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer pours with a large, long-lasting head. However, it has little smell. It just smells like....beer...

It has a really good grainy taste with a small following of hops. The mouthfeel is surprisingly watery considering how thick the head is. But overall, it is a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of tatoodkelt
3.41/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 8/1/09- from notes.

Dating says it was bottled in the second week of June.

12pz brown bottle poured into a shaker glass.

A- A lively clear amber with yellow hightlights, a fluffy off white one finger head.

S- Very muted. Sweet bread was about all I got.

T- A little malty sweet, a little fruity, not as bitter as I expected.

M- Fairly tingley from the carbination, medium bodied.

D- Pretty easy to drink, but I probably wouldnt have more than one or two in a sitting. Still not found a good sessionable ESB.

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Photo of bamadog
3.51/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this ESB this weekend on a trip to Blacksburg, VA at the Vintage Cellar. Pour is from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a nice deep coppery color and has some lighter peachy highlights when held to the light; body is cloudy and there appears to be sediment floating throughout; body pours a little viscous, actually; comes with a short 1/2 finger head that slowly dwindles to a full, but uneven head that is a very light khaki color; moderate carbonation bubbling up; faint strings and spots of lacing hold to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Smell is of ripe fruity/apple or, strangely enough, artifical grape esters (comes across as a little acidic) and some sweet caramel malts - almost reminds me a bit of a caramel apple (?).

Taste: Flavors are definitely that acidic fruity taste and the sweet caramel malts; aftertaste is a bit of bitter, acidic apple flavor as well; slight presence of alcohol, which I think is a little odd as the ABV is pretty small.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is quite strong and keeps the mouth and causes strong tingling, even comes across as a bit sharp on the tongue; enough left behind to create a bit of a stickiness; and overall the palate is left a little tingly once it all goes down.

Drinkability: It's pretty decent, the flavors, while albeit a little "off" as there's that bit of artifical grape aspect to it, the acidic fruitiness is actually alright and the malty backing is quite pleasant; the carbonation could be just a bit softer, but still not too bad. I wouldn't mind picking up another one or two bottles of this on my next trip to VA.

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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 brewmudgeon
3.72/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

lakefront organic esb
3.5 somewhat murky copper iced tea color. short head sprints to a cap. good sign for a lakefront beer, at least.
4 ok, well, this smells like ... a pina colada! tok a bit to place, but now it's quite clear. grateful it doesn't smell like their pilsner or dark lager.. this is pineapple, coconut, and freakin rum. not expected, but not bad.
3.5 on tasting, this is clearly in the same general vein as their cattale ale. but sweeter and with hints of toffee and caramel. lemony finish. not spectacular or very interesting, but not bad.
3.5 a bit watery, yet the co2 adds a nice creaminess.
3.5-4 one of the best lakefront beers i've had so far, though that's not saying all that much really.

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Photo of Risser09
3.48/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner - fridge - bottled 3rd week October 2008

Appearance: Pours a transparent copper color with orange highlights, lots of carbonation and 1" head. It's eggshell in color and lasts a short while. It leaves no lace behind.

Smell: Especially nutty aroma of almond, biscuit, fresh cereal, toast without any hops.

Taste: Slight bitterness is mineral and earthy, with a well attenuated malt flavor. Caramel, almond and pinchy pecan. Yeast meets alcohol in the lively finish.

Mouthfeel: Lots of attacking carbonation lasts way into the finish and all the way into the stomach. Not at all sweet, with some bitterness. Medium body.

Drinkability: A great E.S.B., a style that doesn't get much attention these days. These were the session beers just 20 years ago, and I sure could go for another. Nicely done, and organic, too!

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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 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.

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Photo of williamherbert
3.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The appearance is red-orange. Hazy, fluffy head. Nice carbonation. Nice enough.

The smell is a pleasant English-style ale aroma. Bready malt with a mild estery hop. Some unusual musty funk; maybe due to age.

The taste is decent mild ESB-flavor. Subduied hop, more of a bready malt. Surprising alcohol at the end. Twinge of spicy Belgian malt, but just for a sec. About average, mostly because of a slightly musty aftertaste.

The feel is creamy, almost in the vein of Guinness. Very substantial. Warming alcohol. It's an English-style all the way. Has a weird, musty funk, but drinkable if you don't think about that part.

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Photo of Seanibus
2.23/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5


Pours clear copper with a decent head that collapses to nothing very quickly. The aroma is slightly malty with a weird sour hoppy character that is not appetizing. The flavor is sticky and malty, bready with a touch of caramel, and slightly sour, with a flavor I associated with inexpertly produced homebrew. There is relatively little hop bitterness on the finish - more like a hop sourness - with an overripe floral hop aroma that is not pleasant. The mouthfeel is thin and runny with little carbonation and a sour finish.

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Photo of CheapHysterics
3.77/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pleasant looking amber color with a reddish-orange tint to it. Head dissipated soon after pouring.

Smells sweet and malty with a little hint of fruitiness.

Tastes pretty much like it smells. Mouthfeel is a little chewy. has a nice balance of sweet and bitter, with the bitter really showing up on the finish. Not exceptional, but definitely above average. At $28 for the case I was very pleased with quality/price ratio.

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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.

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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...

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Photo of bitterthebetter
3.71/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a cloudy golden copper with creamy white head

bready nose, with subtle hops and slight lemon

on the palate the breadiness starts up followed by good hops, pine first and then slight lemon on the finish

light bodied, with a good balance between the malts and hops

smooth, crisp, well structured. I prefer a bit more hoppiness, but its a very good stylistic ESB.

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Photo of wiseguy142
3.3/5  rDev +0.3%
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 +4.9%
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 +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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Organic ESB from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
3.29 out of 5 based on 382 ratings.
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