ESB. Extra Special Bitter. I couldn’t think of a worse name for this style of beer, but it was created long, long ago in a continent far, far way, so I had no say in the matter. Yes, “bitter” is in the name, but these beers aren’t bitter at all. They’re the opposite of bitter. They’re warm and malty, mellow and easy drinking. They’re toasty as all get out, without being too robust or saccharine. Sure, they were more bitter than the mild English ales that they were being compared to, and higher in ABV to boot. But by today’s standards, they’re anything but bitter. They’re more like an Amber’s older, more smarmy brother. In other words, the ESB is perfect fall beer territory.
Here are several you need to drink right now.