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 brdc
2.36/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Another one from the sampler (a good sampler as it brings eight different bottles, the only reason I tried - I never try the ple packs that bring 4 bottles of each thing I am trying to sample).
Small capped bottle, poured into a pilsner glass.

Light golden, clear, off-white head, average retention and lacing.
Aroma is way too subtle, with faint hoppiness, mostly citric, some fruity notes, possibly caramel.
Body is thin, average carbonation, and it lacks depth. Not really bitter or hoppy, not malty either. Seems to lack ingredients altogether.

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Photo of vitrael
3.01/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I'm not much of an ESB drinker but I do like Lakefront a lot and think the effort at an all organic beer is commendable.

A: Slightly hazy deep amber body with a small white head. Minimal lacing.

S: Very lacking nose, with only a slight hint at the malt body and bittering hops. Could use more going on here.

T: An initial taste of biscuit malt flavor gives way to a somewhat dominant lemony hop character. Moderately bitter and slightly astringent. I don't detect any estery or diacetyl flavors; if they're there, they are very mild. Easy drinking but not very interesting. Probably sessionable.

M: Medium-light bodied with pretty high carbonation.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

After mostly enjoying our homebrewed ESB, I'm excited to bite into another commercial example to compare it to. This one pours a clear straight amber (I'm still looking for the mosquito, it's so amber-y) topped by a half-finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises orange peel, grass, flowers, mild caramel, and buttery biscuits. The taste adds some mandarin orange character and wheat to the foundation set by the smell. Whatever maltiness that was there before is mostly o'ercome by the orange and lemongrass. The body is a rather light medium, with a just-light moderate carbonation and a generally smooth feel. Overall, a decent ESB, but a bit too fruity and slightly too carbonated for my liking.

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Photo of FanofHefe
3.16/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Another offering from the sample pack. No bottling date notched on the label. Hopefully fresh since most of the others have been.

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Nice clear, deep orange body with a off white two finger head. Leaves a little lacing along the glass. Looks good.

Doesn't smell particularly inviting. Seems one-dimensional in the malt category. Try as I might, I only get a little fruit in the background but not much.

The flavors don't improve much, but a little. Very biscuity malt flavor dominates with just a bit of tangy fruity hops following. Not much more complex than that.

I applaud the organic effort, but the mix doesn't really produce a hit, nor a beer I would drink regularly.

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Photo of chumba526
2.76/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appears hazy amber red in color with a small off white head.

It smells a little bread like and a little fruity and toasty.

It tastes slightly cinnamon like. I get a bit of a dirt like taste to the beer. There is also a chalky flavor to the beer. I get a bit of a bread like flavor to the bread as well. It tastes really odd. There is a very florial almost tea like hop flavor to the beer.

The carbonation is moderate low. With a bit of a smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability is ok. But it tastes a bit weird to me.

Overall an ok beer but this is not what I look for in an ESB it is ok but I will not buy this again.

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Photo of flyingspatula
3.75/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

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Photo of TheSarge
3.19/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Great appearance. Two finger thick off white head that sticks around for good retention. Body is dark copper colored and is cleanly filtered.

The aroma is mostly herbal and metallic in character.

Malty and caramel upfront. There is a slight hint of lemony hops.

Good carbonation and moist to the palate. This is a decent beer but I don't get this as an ESB. I'm not getting the leathery feel with lemony tea flavors.

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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 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 Lemke10
3.75/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

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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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Photo of CalhounJohn
3.55/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a beer that was what I expected. It's sold as an organic beer, so that makes me question whether or not it has the needed qualities of a fully rounded good beer. It looked good, poured from the bottle just fine and had a nice aroma. The taste was where it started to fall apart. It lacked the depth of flavor and full bodiness that the name (secondarily) implied. It sounds as though I'm very disappointed with this beer, which I'm not, but a beer being marketed as an "organic" isn't destined to be great and this beer proves that.

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Photo of chinchill
3.37/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in pint glass.

A - hazy amber/copper liquid capped by a thin off-white head with poor retention.

S - fruity; a bit yeasty,; caramel malt

T - dominated by caramel malt. Rather even sweet/bitter balance; a bit sweet for an ESB. Very slight metallic off-taste.

M - medium/light body with low carbonation.

A disappointing offering from a usually dependable brewer.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
2.21/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Shiny amber, very good clarity, topped by fist full of off-white foam that quickly dropped to two fingers. No lace.

A mild nose of hay and bread required some very deep pulls to get anything.

Taste comes in sloppy, with earthy herbal English hops, tea-ish malt, and soap all showing up at once, and no element aquitting itself well. Tasty sulfur note in the afterglow.

Okay mouthfeel. Very poor drinkability.

Being organic shouldn't do this to a beer.

Fullers has nothing to worry about here.

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Photo of soze47
3.42/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Drank a 12 oz. bottle tonight dated from the 4th week of this past July.

Appearance: One finger of head that was gone in a flash. Hazy brown color. Light lacing on the glass that slide gradually, but not too quickly.

Aroma: I get a toastiness to this with earthy hops (grassy) up front. Light caramel tones too.

Taste: Grassy hops come of first. Malty too. Well balanced and pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and crisp. Body is a bit heavy in the mouth, but not cloying.

Drinkability: Goes down well and very easy to drink. Aftertaste develops to be a little off-putting toward the end of the glass, so drink it before it warms up.

Overall: Not especially representative to the style as I've had before, but a decent beer. Certainly better than others I've had in the style, but not the best by a long shot.

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Photo of zeff80
1.95/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Poured out a hazy, amber color with a HUGE overflowing head. Only got half the bottle in one the first pour. (this happened with both bottles.

S - It smelled musty and malty.

T - This was incredibly sweet and just not good. No hop presence.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A medium bodied ale.

D - Honestly I drained poured the last half of the second one. Out of two 12 oz bottles I only consumed about 10 ounces because of overflow and drain pouring.

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Photo of donteatpoop
3.19/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear pale orange color with tons of head. The head retained really well, remaining thick atop the brew for most of the drink.

The smell was rediculously faint. Not unpleasant, but barely present. Smells of toffee and pine hops, but you gotta sniff hard to pick up on it.

The taste was thankfully more present than the scnet, the toffee and pine tastes were there but also a nice smooth buttery taste, some wood notes, and light bread malts.

Went down smooth enough, butter and oil like texture.

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Photo of gonger
2.82/5  rDev -14%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A-Nice amber color. Good head retention. Leaves very nice lacing all the way down.

S-faint hops, forest smells (not unpleasant), sawdust, bread,

T-Disappointing-watery. A little bitterness up front, but no real bite. Subdued yeast and malt flavors in the middle, but falls flat at the end. No real aftertaste. I had to search for the flavors.

M-Creamy-smooth. Decent body. A little thin.

D-Not bad, not great. It won't be on my want list.

It tastes diluted. A little heavy on the water. I've tasted comparable 'kit beers'.

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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 DrDemento456
3.72/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

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Photo of Soneast
2.42/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours somewhat hazy, copper color with a dense, 2-finger thick, cream colored head, with good retention.

Aroma is somewhat grainy, some hints of caramel and malt sweetness and green fruit esters.

The flavor is definitely balance towards the sweet side, a sort of sickly sweetness and mild caramel flavors some butteriness, an unusual tartness and next to no hop character

Hmmm....Bitter....or Sweeter? This beer has no hop presence, save for a mild, barely balancing bitterness. The rest is sweetness and not really a good sweetness, it's kinda tart and unrefined. Not a great ESB or beer IMO.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.48/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to beerwolf77 for this one.

Bottled During: Nov 2009, Wk 3

Pours a nice cloudy copper color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some nice spice notes, and lots of caramel. The taste is malty, slightly bitter, slightly spicy, with a good dose of caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, not bad at all.

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Photo of sweemzander
2/5  rDev -39%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Bottled week 1, March 2010. Thanks to BeerFMAndy for the bottle!

(A)- Pours a clear amber color that produced a quickly dissipating white head.

(S)- Sweet corn meal

(T)- Tons of corn husk & bitter honey. Some hay.

(M)- A low carbonation level. Very malty with little to no hop presence. Sweet. I thought this was an ESB?

(D)- Definitely not what I would expect from an ESB. I appreciate breweries trying to make more organic beers, but this one just doesnt do it for me, particularly when it doesnt fit the style.

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Photo of camp0474
3.55/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a light copper/caramel color with white head.

S: Smells like malt with some hints of herbal citrus and pale fruitiness. Picking up a bit of spicy yeast too.

T: Some sweet and sour fruit flavors balanced with a crisp bitterness. Toasted malt flavors add body and caramel/butterscotch sweetness.

M: Light Body and carbonation with a somewhat dry finish.

D: Balance of sweet and bitter makes this pretty drinkable. Personally I have not tried too many beers of this style but I may try more now.

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Photo of jwc215
3.3/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled during February notched on label:

Pours copper with a thin off-white head that settles to a lasting thin wisp. Some dotted lacing sticks.

The smell is of mild herbal, hint of citrus - spicing with slight toast and a light caramelish maltiness. A hint of butter is there.

The taste is thin - light malt, a touch of slightly salted buttered bread. Mild herbal bitter touch comes in late - more in aftertaste than in the actual taste, with watery tea. A mild ESB, if an ESB at all, though some alcohol does show.

Like everything else about this beer, the body is on the weak side, though manages to hold up enough. I would have been happy with a single, but the six-pack won't go to waste...

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