Organic ESB | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

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

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Reviews: 229 | Ratings: 382
Photo of russpowell
4.82/5  rDev +46.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was the star of the variety pack & I was very shocked at how much I liked this:

Copper Color with a large bubbly head that held up well once it dropped to about 1/3". Lacing was also good

Smell: Big malt up front (think bread or cookie dough) and a faint floral hopiness

Taste: Sweeteness followed up by a serious hop bite on the tongue and throat. Nice dry and crisp finish

MF Very well balanced hops bring out the faint bready maltiness that was thick but not too chewy. Good carbonation

Well put together beer that makes you want more. Will look for this one again

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Photo of Jason
3.38/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle with a bottling date on the label.

A- Three fingers of head adorn the orange golden brew, mild haze.

S- Mild biscuity grain, faint fruitiness of grape juice and peaches, and a earthy hop in the back.

T- Twang of fermented malt, tad yeasty with a fruity backing. A little salty. Earthy bitterness is a little sharp upfront. Hint of caramel underneath the toasted grain flavor.

M- Semi-smooth with a sharp crispness and a medium body.

D- Seems like the flavors don't mesh as they should, taste more like and altbier to me rather than and ESB.

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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.

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Photo of battlekow
3.86/5  rDev +17.3%
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 PorterLambic
1.71/5  rDev -48%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a nice honey/amber color with a smallish head.
Smell is minimal at best with the faintest hints of hops, honey and grass.
Taste is really weak with only hops showing up to work and they really aren't putting in 100% effort.
Mouthfeel is weak as well. A medium-light body with bubbles is all that's there.
Drinkability: Why? No complexity, no balance, no depth, no reason to buy it. Doesn't even stick very close to the style. Drinks like a megabrew attempt at a real beer. Back to the drawing board, folks.

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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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.66/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bright orange with candy corn colored edges, a slight haze and a large number of bubbles. The cap is the color of aged ivory, is hefty enough to persist and is sticky enough to leave sheets of cheese grater lace. While it doesn't hang around all that long and the lace that it deposits is less than long lived, it's decent while it lasts.

The nose is an unqualified letdown. I don't believe that I'm being presumptuous to expect some hoppiness in my ESB, am I? Orangic ESB smells more malty than hoppy with weak caramel and butterscotch in the forefront. It's somewhat fruity, but that aspect of the aroma doesn't seem hop related. What is smells like is an especially poor quality English pale ale.

Interesting flavor. Not bad. Not good. What it tastes like is an especially poor quality English pale ale that has had a hopectomy. Barely sufficient malt... no, on second thought, let's make that insufficient malt. The flavor is buttery, moderately sour, minimally sweet and modestly fruity. Not surprisingly, it doesn't hang together in any unified way. The mouthfeel is thin (bordering on watery) and is appropriately carbonated.

Lakefront Organic ESB isn't extra special, it isn't strong and it isn't all that bitter. Given the fact that I'm drinking this bottle at what should be the peak of its powers (it was bottled about one month ago), its lackluster showing is even more disappointing. Of course it's a damn sight better than Lakefront's execrable Pumpkin Lager. The flavor flashbacks from that one still cause me to break out in a cold sweat. I'd say avoid this one; even if you like ESBs.

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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!

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Photo of isubsmith
3.93/5  rDev +19.5%
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 Mitchster
3.55/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Brewed with Organic 2-row pale, Munich and Caramel malts. Hopped with Organic German Perle. Brewed June 2004. Bought as part of a sampler 8-pack.

Pours out to a slightly hazy amber-orange in color, forming a large light beige head with very good retention and nice sticky chunks of lacing. Carbonation is moderate. The aroma is very nice...mild spicy and slightly fruity hops balanced by warm grain husk, toast, apples, grass and residual sugars. Mouthfeel is soft, smooth and wet. The taste is really an echo of the aroma...The hops are a little more intense in flavor that an aroma and the bitterness is moderate. Unfortunately, there is an overly grassy hop note and mouthfeel in the finish, and a brief punctuation of higher alcohols, giving this a touch of macro-twang. It must be all that Organic junk they put in this:)

This is a decent beer, but probably the least enjoyable of the sampler. I'll sticky with my Un-Organic stuff instead. As far as ESB's go, this is decent for the style, but I don't like them in general.

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Photo of TastyTaste
2.96/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper color, small white head fades fast. Swwet carmel malts combined with a metallic tang and slight floral hops. Taste is very smooth and non-intrusive. Pretty bland, they should've called it Organic KOB (kind of Bland). Needs to be served warmer than I did (cellar temp), so maybe room temp? not very interesting, but not bad either.

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Photo of bditty187
3.18/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Clear, gold in hue, there is a nice yeast haze that glitters when held to a light. It is like looking a Vegas from an airplane (okay, not quite). The head was white in color, about a finger in height; head retention was acceptable, the foam slowly faded to a fizzy cap. This cap lasted a few more seconds before during to a thin collar. Subsequent lacing was spotty and infrequent. The first couple sniffs of the nose were very nice, fruity, bready, toasty caramel, grassy/flowery hoppiness, and then I set my glass down. When I picked it up again a moment later a vegetable aroma was noticeable, yuck (this scent is very, very weak but I could still make it out). Overall the potency of the nose is low, it is kind of clean too. The bouquet has a flaw but it still tolerable, not quite inviting though. The palate is decent, no flaws. There isn’t much going on really. What flavors are in play is a balanced offering of mildly zest citrus hints, some flowers, and a kiss of grass from the hops. Light bitterness. The malt offers a weak suggestion of caramel and toasty bread. This beer falls in the realm of an ESB; it could be way more flavorful. Malts could be richer, drier as well. Hops could offer more bitterness, more liveliness. It is the balance that saves this beer and like I said, it is okay. Medium-light in body, thin, light carbonation, the mouthfeel is empty. Sad. Drinkability is limited. One bottle will be enough for me. It is another yawner from LF. It was purchased as part of a sampler-pack in Milwaukee, WI.

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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.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a soft head which disappears completely after a moment. Color is a pleasant amber. Initial taste is a slight bitterness with some malt, which fades away with the finish. Not a lot of body, nor is it highly carbonated. Makes a decent session beer, but there's little unique about it.

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Photo of Tballz420
3.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a dark orange/brown body, with a small, off-white head topping it. The scent is floral/bitter hop, with a buttery tone to it. The taste has a buttery feel, caramel malts, bitter hops. Somewhat of a weird flavor present like tobacco or well-water or something. The organic aspect leads to a unique taste, but i cant say its the best in the land.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.36/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Fluffy white head with heavy lacing. Nice rust color with little aroma. The taste itself was pretty bitter with decent hoppiness. This is a very crisp beer with a grain-like finish. The taste left on the tongue is very dry and somewhat unrefreshing. This is not my favorite, but I do believe it is a decent brew by lakefront. I do like the whole organic thing!

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Photo of ADR
3.18/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear orangey copper color. Frothy pale cream-colored head, sticks in nice fluffy patches on the glass. Pleasant brown sugar/cinnamon smell, slightly buttery. A little on the fleeting side for mouthfeel, more would be better. Malt dominates the profile, toffee, maybe bare molasses but the thin texture makes it go away too fast. This leaves you wanting because the hoppiness is light for the style, just lightly prickly and not enough to save the finish from being pretty ordinary. Could use more body and spicy elements for an ESB, though its attractive and decently drinkable.

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Photo of cokes
2.21/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Hazed and dulled brass topped with plenty of beige suds.
Nose of dead leaves, stables, and cardboard.
Begins with a musty dry maltiness. Not flawed outright, at least not right away. Shows some oxidized traits, then the malt vanishes altogether, with a final stab of mushy, stale apple sauce. Strange esters fill the void. Band-aids mostly, and dustballs and tarter things too. Ends thin and modestly hoppy. Dry and grassy and unredeemed.
Too low on depth and too high on flaws. Pretty much worthless all around, and worth even less as it warms, as the problems seem to breed with each other.

I may begin advocating pesticides.

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Photo of putnam
3.95/5  rDev +20.1%
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 AtLagerHeads
3.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hazed amber body sports an off-white head and very little lacing.
The aroma is light and of malt and, perhaps, a bit of light hops. Medium body and a crisp mouthfeel; decent carbonation. The taste is nicely bittered by the hops and have a pleasant aftertaste. Easily drinkable in quantity.

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Photo of Winter
3.31/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a chilled hazed amber with an off-white head. Light aroma consisted of grain and buttery biscuit. Thin to medium-bodied mouthfeel, with decent carbonation. Bland front leads to a buttery toasted biscuit middle. Hop flavors also emerge at this point and sustain themsleves for a bitter finish. Easy drinking ESB.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
2.91/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: bright, amber/gold color, short, white head.
Aroma: clean, meaning, in this case, utterly empty.
On the palate, a brief tart sensation, from some assemblage of hops, and it's fast to fade. Some citric flavor, but faint.
Body is weak, texture is small, and a coppery feel dominates the flavor. Mouthfeel is smooth, to a fault.
I applaud the organic nature of the brew, but it doesn't enhance the taste at all, so I find little other reason to care.
Not a bad ESB, just boring.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.93/5  rDev +19.5%
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 jackndan
3.16/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lakefront Organic ESB: Decent thick, off-white head. Great color on this beer, deep brassy color, and the beer is virtually clear. Pleasant aroma, initially very sweet, with hints of new mown hay lingering.. Nice malty taste, with some initial sweetness, however the beer goes dry fairly quickly, with a clean aftertaste. Not much in the way of hops. Interesting alcohol warmth towards the end. Decent.

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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.

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