Green Man Brewery - ESB
- ABV: 32
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 5.5%
- Serving Temperature: 47-55º F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: Golden Promise, Double-Roasted Crystal, Brown, Chit, Chocolate
- Hops: Fuggle
English Bitter is a traditional low-ABV English style that’s not particularly bitter, but is more assertive than other low-ABV brews like English Mild Ale. ESB (which is short for Extra Special Bitter or Extra Strong Bitter) is a more amped-up version of Bitter, boasting higher ABV, a bit more hops, and generally richer flavors. As is par for the style, Green Man’s ESB presents an attractive amber-brown color topped with a head of khaki foam. On the nose, we picked up a deep-down toastiness first and foremost, with notes of brown bread, roasted nuts, caramel with a touch of toffee, a wisp of chocolate, and hints of tea and wood. In the flavor department, look for a boldly toasty character to take center stage, with prominent roasted, nutty, and woody elements cascading across the palate. A touch of fruit leather pops in too, alongside a bit of actual leather, while a sweeter note of scorched caramel is well-balanced by moderate hop bitterness. The overall impression is one of subtle complexity and balance within a satisfying medium body, which is emblematic of the finest English ales. For pairing options, the brewery recommends German pretzels or poached pears with Dulce de Leche. All manner of roasted or grilled meats should pair nicely, too, especially pork and chicken. Cheers!
Green Man Brewery got its start back in 1997 when it opened up as a brewpub in downtown Asheville, NC. The brewpub known as Jack of the Wood on Patton Ave was the original brewing home, with Dirty Jack’s on Buxton Ave serving as a tasting room and eventual brewing location. The Green Man moniker is a reference to a mythic spirit representing the cycle of yearly growth and spring rebirth, and is a motif common among English pubs. It’s a fitting reference for this brewery whose specialty has been the production of traditional English ales.
In 2010, the brewery came into the hands of Dennis Thies and his wife Wendy. Dennis was no stranger to the beer business, having grown up in it. His grandfather was operator of South Florida’s first Miller distributor back in the ‘50s. When Dennis, Wendy, and their kids moved to Asheville in 2008, the beer business still beckoned, and ultimately they bought Green Man and set to work expanding the business beyond the local Asheville area. In March of 2016, they opened a new facility they called the Green Mansion, a three-story, 20,000 sq. ft. facility featuring a packaging line, a retail shop where visitors can buy merch and get growler fills, and an indoor/outdoor tasting room with views of the Blue Mountains.
Green Man currently offers nine year-round brews, along with a rotating multitude of limited-run offerings including sour ales, chocolate stout, farmhouse ales, barrel-aged brews, and more. For more info about the brewery and their Asheville locations, visit them at www.greenmanbrewery.com.
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