Today's beer review is one of my favorite beers, that I continue to savor with a variety of meaty dishes. As you can see from the picture, I am talking about Alesmith's Anvil ESB. For the uninitiated, ESB means extra special bitter, from the days in England when most beers tended to be sweeter stouts and porters. An ESB was a lighter beer with light carbonation, and certainly more bitter than a stout. By today's California standards for IBUs, an ESB is not especially bitter.
Alesmith's entry into this category is its flagship beer. It has a nice dark copper tone, with a bit of head and not too much carbonation. It has a very nice nutty taste that always tempts me to drink it too quickly. I like to drink this ale out of a pint dimple mug, the traditional English drinking glass for bitters. Even tough it is a bitter, my palette has become so used to west coast IPAs that I find this to be a little sweet, mainly due to its maltiness. (Kids, that's probably not a word.) However, I would also say that this entry has more hops than its English cousins. For me, that makes the almost perfect beer, sweet, malty but with just enough bite from the hops.
Available, at Keil's and your fine local liquor stores.
Cross posted from Tiger Lily's Island.