Premium Bitter/ESB

Reads 1020 • Replies 22 • Started Friday, October 12, 2012 4:53:48 PM CT

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kdm1984
beers 814 º places 7 º 16:53 Fri 10/12/2012

The banana/raisin bread qualities of this style really intrigue me, but Iíve noticed there is a great divide between the original British versions and the American takes on the style - American ESBs tend to taste much more like APAs or IPAs than true British ESBs. Has anyone else noticed this? I love APAs and IPAs, but I also think ESB is an interesting style, and not enough American breweries seem to really know how to approach it.

 
BBB63
beers 6557 º places 146 º 17:52 Fri 10/12/2012

English Base Malts, English Hops, English Yeast... how damn hard is that?

 
kdm1984
beers 814 º places 7 º 19:20 Fri 10/12/2012

Hard, yes, but why not just label it something different if the hops and malts canít be differentiated enough from more typical pale ales?

 
JoeMcPhee
beers 9267 º places 532 º 19:34 Fri 10/12/2012

Itís because Americans usually brew bitters with US/Canadian pale malt and it just doesnít have the character of UK malts. American brewers also tend to mash differently on their low/mid-gravity styles.

 
kdm1984
beers 814 º places 7 º 19:41 Fri 10/12/2012

Thanks, J. mike, true, they arenít as banana as hefes - banana is more of a secondary characteristic to the raisin bread one, which tends to dominate the ESB style from the English ones Iíve had so far.

 
NobleSquirrel
beers 3439 º places 209 º 06:34 Sat 10/13/2012

Paging Ron Pattinson. To put all English Esb into a single class is a shame. Iíve had a few hop forward English Esb that donít really have the character youíre talking about. It mostly comes down to malt selection (crystal) and fermentation. Personally I prefer less fruity notes and more hop and malt flavor.

 
keanex
beers 1789 º places 63 º 08:19 Sat 10/13/2012

Iím drinking a Fullerís ESB and get no raisin or banana.

 
obguthr
beers 5646 º places 21 º 09:01 Sat 10/13/2012

Capitalist America values marketing over authenticity. Our so-called ESBs lack the richness of the English ones. American wheats bear little resemblance to German weizen beers. Hell, Miller is supposedly "True Pilsner Beer".

 
JoeMcPhee
beers 9267 º places 532 º 09:47 Sat 10/13/2012

Originally posted by obguthr
Capitalist America values marketing over authenticity. Our so-called ESBs lack the richness of the English ones. American wheats bear little resemblance to German weizen beers. Hell, Miller is supposedly "True Pilsner Beer".

Itís not even that - even brewers who make great craft beer canít seem to get this style right. The only place Iíve seen come close is a small brewpub in Vermont.

 
NobleSquirrel
beers 3439 º places 209 º 16:36 Sat 10/13/2012

Originally posted by JoeMcPhee
Originally posted by obguthr
Capitalist America values marketing over authenticity. Our so-called ESBs lack the richness of the English ones. American wheats bear little resemblance to German weizen beers. Hell, Miller is supposedly "True Pilsner Beer".

Itís not even that - even brewers who make great craft beer canít seem to get this style right. The only place Iíve seen come close is a small brewpub in Vermont.


I will say, Iíave had plenty of homebrewed examples that have the profile right.

 
notalush
beers 5728 º places 391 º 06:50 Sun 10/14/2012

Originally posted by JoeMcPhee
Originally posted by obguthr
Capitalist America values marketing over authenticity. Our so-called ESBs lack the richness of the English ones. American wheats bear little resemblance to German weizen beers. Hell, Miller is supposedly "True Pilsner Beer".

Itís not even that - even brewers who make great craft beer canít seem to get this style right. The only place Iíve seen come close is a small brewpub in Vermont.


Next time you come to Denver, I will take you to Hogshead Brewing. Their beers are the real deal.