The word bitter is sometimes believed to be interchangeable with the word "ale." 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 this signature hoppy dryness, but also can contain a suggestion of soft-fruit. Bitters aren’t necessarily bitter at all. They can even be sweetish, 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. But there the standard ends. The color varies from one brewer to another, and can run the gamut from rich copper red to old gold to pale bronze. When bitters are vibrantly red colored, they are sometimes compared to the red wines from Bordeaux. Blue Ridge ESB is just such a coppery red color, distinguishing it from the pack.
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. Blue Ridge’s ESB is brewed with a combination of two-row pale, Munich, Caramel, Carapils, Victory, and chocolate malts. It’s hopped with Nugget and Willamette hops 3 times during the boil and once during the whirlpool. Look for a predominantly sweet malty nose with some traces of hop spiciness evident. This medium-bodied, light amber, filtered ale starts slightly malty, and quickly moves into a spicy, floral hopiness. We found the finish a bit dry and bitter leaving you wanting more! Overall, a very full tasting, flavorful ESB.
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