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 MrHurmateeowish
4/5  rDev +22%
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.

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Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +22%

Photo of Foyle
4/5  rDev +22%

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: pours a 1" frothy cream colored head. Color is rich, cloudy amber with plenty of evident carbonation.

Aroma: potent malt forward aroma -- bread dough and some caramel, also some pleasant floral and earthy hop spice.

Mouthfeel: light to medium bodied and sticky with a quite dry, slightly astringent finish.

Flavor: strong malt presence -- rich roasted barley, some butterscotch and caramel, ripe fruit, raisin, the bittering earthy hops round out the finish.

Overall: well done and enjoyable. Fits the style well.

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Photo of whallgren
4/5  rDev +22%

Photo of putnam
3.95/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a more-than-decent brew.
Lean and agile as a pole vaulter. It announces with bold, reddish bronze colors touched with highlights of blue (from the monitor.)
On the nose it's mild and bready. Woven patches of dried herb lay over the liquid like a veil. Toasted, underfermented bread, slathered with butter is evidenced below, while in between, crunchy, tart, preserved lemons bridge the gap.
A sudden, arid grip of stemmy tannins shuts down the finish rather quickly.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.93/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep copper color with moderate slightly off-white head.
Smll is light with but a few caramel notes.
Taste is nicely malty, but the hops are so restrained as to be virtually undetectable.
Finishes very thin with little, if any, taste retention.
An easy to drink beer, the taste is somewhat lacking.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.93/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Color is a clear golden hue of yellow with a inch high head of bubbly froth settling fast leaving a thin haze and big bubbles on top with thin stringy and spotty lacing. Smell is very light of floral hop and slight grass note. Taste is nice and sweetly bitter with good strong malt backbone thats a bit of caramel. The feel is light and is almost full with great sweet bittering dryness thats up front and smooths out through the finish. This stuff is very drinkable, very smooth and has a finely bittering tolerance. Quite nice.

thanks jeffboo

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Photo of isubsmith
3.93/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Brownish orange, pretty transparent. White head just barely sticks around the edges of the glass.

Nose: Mild hops, mild spicy. Some fruity notes. Perhaps a hint of grain or grass.

Taste: Taste reflects the nose quite a bit - hops, mild spicy flavors. Bitter finish (though not a bad thing).. Not sure what the ABV is, but there is a spike in alcohol flavors in the finish as well. Low carbonation.

Overall, this is a rather drinkable beer, but nothing phenominal. I've had better ESBs, but this is still worth a try.

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Photo of Sir_Illo
3.92/5  rDev +19.5%

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.91/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Lakefront imperial Pint.
Bottled Apr Wk2 (2012) notched on label.

A - Pouring a delicious clear copper color with a tall egg-shell head comprised of densely packed bubbles, Lakefront's Organic ESB looks beautiful. Plateauing to a thick pile of foam, the head randomly dots the pint in chunky lace.

S - Earthy and harsh opening, little caramel and some wet, spent grain notes arise followed by slight hop aromas, but nothing about it screams ESB. Soft, earthy hops seem present, but in very low levels.

T - Very malty right off the bat, caramelization flavors pull through with toffee slivers and toasted Vienna notes. Wet grain undertones hide behind a slight earthy hop flavor. While the grain bill seems on par, the hops only balance in flavor. It isn't until bitterness becomes a part do they really kick this ESB towards the style a little more.

M - Medium-light bodied and smooth in the entry, Organic ESB is well-balanced by a bitter, dry finish from the organic hop additions and a lingering finish on the tongue.

O - The under-rated and humble Lakefront scores again with the first USDA certified organic beer! While this ESB doesn't hold a candle to the classics from England, Organic ESB features a nice, tasty malt base with subtle earthy hop overtones and a refreshing bitterness along the finish. A great session beer to put pint after pint back while chatting up the blokes at the bar, I'd say!

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Photo of merlin48
3.9/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear, copper amber body is topped by a small, beige head. Good retention and some spiderweb lacing. Aroma is biscuity caramel malt, citrusy and spicy hops, and a hint of red apple. Mouthfeel is light bodied with good carbonation, but unfortunately thins considerably to the point of being watery by the end of the glass. Taste is pretty good for style, with bready caramel maltiness that is balanced well by fruity and citrusy hops. A hint of pear is noticed in the finish. Not a bad effort, and very sessionable. Way too thin in the mouthfeel category, however.

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Photo of beerdown77
3.9/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I will admit that the whole ESB genre is a newer find for me. I just started taking interest in them. Having just had Greenman's version, which was hoppy and flavor packed, I may have been expecting the same with this Organic ESB. It is, in no way, similar...they are both beer. This beer pours cloudy copper and has a nice foamy head that lasts a little longer than the other beers form this brewery. The nose is fruit and caramel; I can definitely expect some sweetness if the smells are indicative at all. Not the case. This beer is pleasantly bitter and mild. It is smooth and drinkable, one of the easiest drinkers that I've had to date. I really felt like I was having an iced tea...if iced tea had a delicious malt aftertaste. The medium body and crispness make this enjoyable throughout.

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Photo of sjohansen
3.88/5  rDev +18.3%
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.

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Photo of mynie
3.88/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an almost eerily translucent red with a tiny little head that's just about the norm for co2 ESBs.

Smells like light english hops, light toffee malt. Hmm... have my senses gone dim? That's two room temp beers in a row that haven't smelled like very much at all.

Tastes like something more than something, thank goodness. Malt starts off thick and krumpety with an almost cloying amount of buttery smoothness, like a Ritz cracker on cracker crack. This is backed up delicately with a wee hint of dry English hops. I can't place them so I'll just go and assume they're fuggle, in spite of their being a little more citrusy than I'm used to. (Note: Website says its Cascade, which just blows my mind. First because it's sacrilege. Second because it's sacrilicious.)

So is that's what holding so many bottled ESBs back, their insistence on using English hops? Maybe. If it weren't for a mute aroma this would be a world class exemplar of its style, but at any rate it's a spectacular session.

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Photo of asabreed
3.87/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Colorful label is notched bottled during the first week of July.

Appearance: A hazy dark brown and copper color with hints of yellow coming through with some light shed on it. This is pretty cold, so I imagine that's one of the reasons why the head dissipates quickly, but alas.

Smell: Initial aromas of grapes, raisins, caramel malt, light bitter chocolate, buttered biscuits, bread crust, vanilla, and other fruits are present, though I don't get much in the way of citrus or hops. Still, quite pleasant and not what I was expecting.

Taste: More malt and fruit is present than anything else, with the vinous characteristics also present, along with some hints of sweetness from chocolate, vanilla, and also the tropical fruit. Not much of a hop presence, and because of that it's probably a bit sweeter than it should be, but I find it welcoming and that provides a long finish. Maybe not the most representative beers of what one would deem a true ESB, but this is not what I was expecting, which is always a plus if I still enjoy the brew.

Mouthfeel: Moderately carbonoted and seemingly a bit thicker than most ESBs, but that doesn't detract from the flavors and actually I think helps with the long finish and the ability for many to make their impact there.

Drinkability: Though the sweetness does maybe make this less than a highly anticipated session beer, I enjoyed the experience, and this is quite different from a lot of ESBs I've had. If you can find a bottle, try it, but you may want to hold back on more than that.

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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 battlekow
3.86/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm having an ESB contest, featuring this, Arcadia Lake Superior ESB, Great Divide HotShot ESB, Greak Lakes Moondog Ale, and the famous Redhook ESB.

Appearance: All appear similar, the Organic being a fairly clear, dark gold color, minimal head, and little lacing.

Smell: Much better than the Redhook, this smells pleasantly of floral, perfumy hops, with a little malt thrown in.

Taste: Malty upfront with a little hop presence to give it a slightly bitter finish. Hops aren't nearly as present as they are in the nose.

Mouthfeel: Nice and thick, feels good.

Drinkability: I'm captivated by this beer's aroma--it must be similar to some perfume my mom wore when I was a baby, because I'm irresistably drawn to it. Other than that, the beer is good, but unexceptional.

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Photo of neenerzig
3.85/5  rDev +17.4%
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.


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Photo of rembrant
3.85/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.83/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

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Photo of ClearDog
3.78/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

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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 PhageLab
3.78/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

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Photo of cdkrenz
3.78/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

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Photo of CaptainIPA
3.78/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

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