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Style Spotlight: Extra Special Bitter

Extra Special Bitter or E.S.B. as it’s commonly referred to, is a full flavor session beer bursting with well-balanced maltiness and a big hop character. With its origin deep in history across the pond, there are many versions that fit the style guidelines. E.S.B. was first used by Fullers as a brand name, but American brewing culture has adopted it to describe a malty, bitter, reddish, English-type ale.


Recipes would include; Pale Ale malts, Amber, and Crystal malts with many using a small amount of roasted malt for fine-tuning color. Try using all English malts for an authentic flavor. The use of sugars or small amounts of adjuncts is allowed and can lend a unique house character. Hopping can be English or a combination of English and American.


This highly quaffable session beer is great all year ‘round and pairs well with many foods or just a pint glass. Some commercial examples include; Fullers ESB, Bass Ale, and Morland Old Speckled Hen.


Stats- OG: 1.048 – 1.060, FG: 1.010 – 1.016, IBUs: 30 – 50, SRM: 6 – 18, ABV: 4.6 – 6.2%

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