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Schlafly's Winter ESB (Extra Special Bitter) may have the word “bitter” in its name, but the key to this style is balance. While having more alcohol and English hop character than its Pale Ale cousin, the addition of extra crystal and biscuit malts give the beer a toasty, fruity flavor. Their ESB is dry hopped with a US grown hop varietal called Williamette, which has a pronounced spicy, lemon flavor.
In the early 1970’s, brewers in London and the south of England expanded the range of beers available in pubs, reacting to the wave of European lagers moving into the British pub scene. In addition to the ordinary bitters and pale ales, brewers developed recipes for stronger premium ales like ESB, special bitter and special pale ale. These beers contributed to the English traditional ale revival of the 1980’s, making their way into the beer portfolios of many American craft breweries.
ABV: 5.8% | IBU: 30
Appearance: Copper-colored, bright
Hops: Willamette (US), Mt. Hood (US), Pilgrim (UK)
Malts: 2-row and caramel malted barley, Munich malt, rye malt
Yeast: London ale
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