Organic ESB | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

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 rembrant
3.85/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Orange and hardly any head,though a little offwhite head is possible with a harder pour. Had my first of Hopslam + Nugget Nectar since coming East and this looks the same...but does not pack the same aromatics. Here the aroma is moderate with the caramel malts,some breadiness and some fruitty hops in near equal balance.

A nice ESB. To me ESB's tend to hover between a Pale Ale and an Amber and compared to others this leans more toward the Amber with the Caramel malts quite present start to finish. The hop side is very much there for flavor but hardly gets bitter Kind of a different fruit blend here with nothing too dominating. I get pineapple,tangerine,just traces of grapefruit and lime and there's even a wee bit of Juicy Fruit gum...and I'm not saying that's a flaw. This beer does decent complexity and originality without being at all "big".
The aftertaste has some oak wood and a little tangerine. I like the hop mix. You could double that up,put in a nice bunch of dark roast malts and get a top Black IPA.
The Viscosity is good. Carbonation is bit underdone. Maybe that's a nod to the British pub ESB's. For how a beer like this is drank here,more bubblies would make this a damn good summertime beer that does not shock the BMC flock nor bore the BA beer geek.

Drinkability is exceptional and evidently the target. It's a bit too subtle to be the headline beer of the day but istasty and likeable even if a bit shy of the fizzies.

 1,448 characters

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

Appearance -- Amber with a nice foamy head

Smell -- Smells of fresh straw

Taste -- Light and clean tasting. Just a tinge of bitterness. Very light overall. This is a beer both beer snobs and the common macro drinker will enjoy.

Mouthfeel -- Very light

Drinkability -- Very drinkable. One could easily throw back a few on a pleasant Friday summer evening after work while sitting on the porch. This is the second six-pack I've purchased. The first pack I tried was excellent. This time around the beer tastes more common like a Miller High Life. It could be that I've been spoiled by drinking a lot of IPA's and Imperial IPA's though. Still a great beer. I would recommend this beer to someone who is looking to move up from macro beers to the finer micros.

 768 characters

Photo of Amalak
3.78/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

 404 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 cdkrenz
3.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

$9.99 / 8 Pack
Variety Pack
Dan's Liquor
Plover, Wisconsin

Appearance - Deep auburn color, almost a dark burnt orange. The head stood about 1/4 inch, tops, for only a few seconds. The head gave way to wisps of white on the surface of the ESB.

Smell - It gives off a malt and caramel scent and once taken from my nose the hops follows through. I can almost smell it in the back of my throat. I can barely wait to take a sip.

Taste - Carmel moves very smooth to a hop flavor. The hops start out ever so slightly and slowing increase in intensity. However, it never overwhelms the brew. This is an intriguing taste that I'd imagine to some time to perfect.

Mouthfeel - Smooth beer that goes down easy. The taste is notices in a variety of locations on my tongue.

~ Like my last Lakefront Brew review, I'd really like to give this a try from the tap because I have to believe the bottle might be taking something away. The craft of this beer seems to be so well thought that I look forward to another chance at a trial.

 1,034 characters

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

Pours a caramel copper color with a one-finger, off-white head that fades to a rimming of lace that sticks to the side of the glass.

Aromas of caramel malt, brown sugar and hops.

Toasted caramel malt sweetness melds with a moderate hop presence. Suggestions of yeast and biscuit surface. Subtle snap of ginger. Finishes crisp and smooth. Light to medium bodied with a mild carbonation.

Organic ESB is well balanced and drinkable, but somewhat lacking in character. Cheers to the fact that it's organic. So drink up.

 518 characters

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.

 424 characters

Photo of Skidz
3.76/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out golden yellow and sits golden amber in the glass with a small off white head.

Smells of malts and an assertive hop background. Hopping is mildly citric with note of nuttiness.

Flavor pulls from malts to a nutty and leafy tasting base of hops. A nice balance, but the hops definately dominate, very pleasing at that. No off-flavors, and the Perles definately come through very well. Finish is well bittered.

Mouthfeel is clean, creamy and smooth with easy carbonation. Melts in your mouth, but holds it's body. Very pleasing.

It's a very nice break from the usual beers and might be a good way to introduce a person into the world of IPAs and hoppier beers. Tolerable and easily enjoyed.

 708 characters

Photo of flyingspatula
3.75/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The yeasty smell hit my nose as soon as I opened the bottle, and I liked it. This beer has a nice amber/brown (more brown) appearance with a two finger head, and lovely bubbles. I haven't had that many ESBs before (not sure why) but it has a nice rounded taste, some malty sweetness, but also a biscuity/bready tatse with hints of fruit (but not fruity). I would drink it again.

 378 characters

Photo of granger10
3.75/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mohagany colored with a medium, fizzy egg foam head. Smell is yeasty with notes of yeast phenols and a bready aroma. Solid fruit precense and some butterscotch sweetness. Flavor is similar but less yeast driven. A bit of minty flavors in there and even a touch of dark fruit. But its more of a light fruit complexity beer. Bready base. Floral hop notes at the top zip in. Finish is my only real problem as it gets metallic. Body is smooth and slick. Medium in feel, not heavy at all. Flavors aren't heavy either. Almost too little really. Although the yeast gives medium weight, the flavors don't quite hold their own. A bit more malts and hops, the same proportion already used, and this could be really good. For now, its decent to solid.

 740 characters

Photo of Lemke10
3.75/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought a Lakefront 8-pack variety from Woodman's in Janesville, WI for about $11 in Fall 2010.

I don't know if this beer is worthy of the title E.S.B. but at least it's decent. It pours a cloudy dark amber color with a slight scent of wheat. Has a good strong wheat flavor with a slight bitter finish to it. Drinks rather smooth and is quite different from the taste of many other of Lakefront's beers.

 405 characters

Photo of Goliath
3.75/5  rDev +14%
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.

 665 characters

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.

 394 characters

Photo of karengarys
3.74/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hmm, a bitter. Lakefront? I've liked their brown, l'll give it a try.

Pours rich amber, but the bubbles are big like pop and there is no real head. Not the most charicteristic beer to look at. it doesn't look BAD, just not very interesting.

Smells very beer like. The bitterness is apparent, it is some sort of floral like bitter. There is a slight offsetting balance of malt and alcohol, but the bitterness rules.

The taste, as you would expect, nails you in the mouth with hops. A bit dry, but mostly pine like. Alcohol flavor is present too in this somewhat syrupy brew. I thought it would be lighter, but this seems a bit thick. I don't know bitters that well, though, so take that for what it is worth.

Mouthfeel is just average, not rich and creamy, not flat, not soda pop, just passing as a "this is a beer" mouthfeel.

It has a strangely syrupy sweet finish which is quickly upset with a bitter pine hop whallop which, unfortunately, sits around and lingers a while.

This is a decent beer worth trying.

 1,028 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 MadScientist
3.72/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This is a somewhat hazy medium amber having a thin, persistent and creamy, light tan head.

S: Mild fruity esters of apricot and orange with a mild floral hops and a biscuity malt aroma.

T: The flavor is mostly a mix of fruity easter, a caramel and biscuity malt flavor with a moderate hops bitterness taking over at the end. The balance is mostly towards the bitter. The finish is dry with a malt aftertaste.

M: A crisp, medium-light bodied with a moderately-low level of carbonation.

O: This is a nicely balanced ESB with a a bit of fruitienss and a nice malt flavor. A little cloudy for an ESB it lost a bit on appearance.

 632 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.72/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Taken from a bottle found in my 8 pack variety case
A - Cloudy amber color with slight sediment and a decent amount of fluffy head.
S - Slight grain and sugar. Picked up a bit of malty sweetness.
T - A pretty well balance of sweet and bitterness from hops and malts. Expected more grainy lager taste since I compare this to Red Hooks ESB but it was tasty.
M - Kinda chalky and dry. Wasn't terrible.
D - Well you really can't find it here so low but if I crossed paths with a fresh bottle I would have to try it again.

 518 characters

Photo of biergeniesser
3.72/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This 12 oz bottle of Lakefront Organic ESB poured amber-brown with a thin, fizzy white head that dissipated instantly.

The aroma was dominated by malt characters. Toasty and biscuity malt notes were most evident.

As with the aroma, the flavor of this beer was dominated by malt characteristics. A pleasant, round, toasty biscuit malt character was dominant with some earthier malt tones in the background. As for the hops, Lakefront Organic ESB has a mild to moderate hop bitterness with a subtly pleasant kettle hop flavor.

Medium bodied with a nice mouthfeel and low to moderate carbonation.

What a nice beer! Well balancedÂ… though slightly better suited for the malt lover than the hop head. This ESB could be a good session beer as well.

 755 characters

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.

 711 characters

Photo of beerwolf77
3.71/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint glass the beer is partly cloudy golden orange. Full off white three finger head. Huge globs of lace left all around the glass.

The aroma is lightly hopped. Tart apple cider seems to be the closest I can compare this to.

The flavor seems to hit the mark. Some initial sourness gives way to a smooth malt finish. If an ESB is supposed to be balalnced this is well done.

Medium to light body. Moderate carbonation.

Overall a nice beer from Lakefront. It took me long enough to finally review this one.

 525 characters

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

Pours a clear light copper. Has a head that stays at around 1/4 inch, and leaves patches of lace on the glass. Aroma is pretty mild, with some grass and bread notes. Flavor is very nicely balanced, with a touch of sweetness, some bread-like flavors, a pleasant earthy bitterness, and a hint of alcohol. Mouthfeel is on the thin side, with low carbonation. This is very subtle for an ESB, but makes for a very easy drinking beer.

 428 characters

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.

 371 characters

Photo of airforbes1
3.71/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an orange color with some cloudiness at the bottom of the glass. Fair head retention. The aroma is modest; I don't get much besides grains and maybe some grape.

The taste is simple, with some grape and butteriness. It's a straightforward ale, but it's pleasant. Maybe a bit thin, but I'm enjoying it.

Unlike most reviewers, I thought this beer is a good example of the style and favors well when compared to Fuller's E.S.B. I'd seek this out again if I wanted a smooth, highly drinkable ale.

 499 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.7/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Delicate, lightly sweet, caramel-accented and subtly toasty malts combine with a thin thread of yeasty fruitiness and billowing grassy and floral hops to give this crystal-clear, dark amber brew a quaffability that's worth noting. It's well-balanced and drinkable with just enough character to keep you coming back for more. It makes an excellent session ale; serves as a great introductory beer to the uninitiated; and also works well for a backyard BBQ or sunny sporting event. It's worth trying; and it gets bonus points for being organic!

 542 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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