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Now you’re going to have a chance to try an award winning ESB from Blue Ridge which took the Silver at the 1995 World Beer Championships. When bitters are vibrantly red colored, they are sometimes compared to the red wines of Bordeaux. Blue Ridge ESB is just such a coppery red color, distinguishing it from the pack. Blue Ridge’s ESB is brewed with a combination of two-row pale, Munich, Crystal, Carapils, and Victory malts. It’s hopped with Horizon, EK Golding and Cascade 3 times during the boil and once during the whirlpool. Look for a predominantly sweet malty nose with some traces of biscuity pale malt and hop spiciness evident. This medium-bodied filtered ale starts slightly malty, and quickly moves into a spicy, floral hoppiness. We found the finish a bit dry and bitter leaving you wanting more! Overall, a very full tasting, flavorful ESB.
Founded by Kevin Brannon, a home-brewing former lawyer, and Marjorie McGinnis, a beer-loving psychology student, the Frederick Brewing Company has been pumping out quality beers for years. After deciding to go ahead with their plan to open a brewery, Kevin and Marjorie brought in Brewmaster Steve Nordahl and Brewery Representative “Frenchy” Tluszcz to complete the team. While Blue Ridge has won awards for many of the styles they produce, we chose the ESB, which was recently rated “Highly Recommended” by the Beverage Testing Institute.The national drink of England is an ale called “Bitter”, designated as “Ordinary”, “Best”, and “Extra Special Bitter”, or ESB, depending on its strength and body. Since World War II, American soldiers returned Stateside knowing bitters to be the most popularly called for drink in the realm of British beer drinkers. Most bitters fans believe the special flavor is so successful it overcame the name. The word itself is only a reference to the hoppy dryness of bitters versus that of milder brews. Bitters always have a signature hoppy dryness, but also can contain a suggestion of soft-fruit. Bitters aren’t necessarily bitter at all. They can be sweet, although they will most certainly possess a hop emphasis. The color of bitters isn’t standard but they do share one trait: Bitters are almost always translucent in color. The color varies from one brewer to another, and can run the gamut from rich copper red to old gold to pale bronze.For more information about the brewery and scheduled tours, call (301) 694-7899
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