Skip to content

Beer Styles

More Resources: Tasting Sheet Study Guide

English-Style Pale Ale (ESB)

ESB stands for “extra special bitter.” This style is known for its balance and the interplay between malt and hop bitterness. English pale ales display earthy, herbal English-variety hop character. Medium to high hop bitterness, flavor and aroma should be evident. The yeast strains used in these beers lend a fruitiness to their aromatics and flavor, referred to as esters. The residual malt and defining sweetness of this richly flavored, full-bodied bitter is medium to medium-high.

Category: Pale Ales

Food Pairings

  • Roasted Chicken, Fish and Chips
  • English-Style Cheeses
  • Maple Bread Pudding

Glassware & Serving Temperature

Nonic Pint
50-55 °F

Commercial Examples

Commercial Examples

Appearance

Color

Gold to Copper

Clarity

Clear to Brilliant

Carbonation (Visual)

Slow Rising Bubbles

Flavor/Aroma

Alcohol

Mild

Hop

Hop flavor is medium to medium-high. Hop bitterness is medium to medium-high

Malt

Residual malt and defining sweetness is medium to medium-high

Esters

Fruity-ester and very low diacetyl flavors are acceptable, but should be minimized in this form of bitter

Phenols

Not common to style

Sensations

Body

Moderate

Carbonation

Low

Finish Length

Short

Attenuation

Medium - High

Ingredients

Hops

Kent Goldings

Malt

British Pale Ale, Crystal

Water

Some versions use medium to high sulfate

Yeast

Ale

Other Styles you May Enjoy