Style Guidelines: This is a bigger version of MacLenny's Scottish Ale, with the addition of toasted malts. This is a full bodied beer if there ever was one. It is a worthy accompaniment to your favorite single malt scotch.
Rotation Schedule: Once a year, usually in early spring
Food Pairings: Shepherd's pie, haggis and a single malt; strong hard cheese.
Grain: British Pale, Amber, Carapils and wheat malts and American Victory (toasted) malt
Bittering Hops: British Northdown
Original Gravity: 1.08
Estimated IBUs: 23
Alcohol By Volume: 7.6%
First Tapped: 1996
About the Ale: So, what's an ESB, anyway?
On this side of the pond, you'll sometimes see ESB called "Extra Special Bitter." If you're in Britain, however, and ask for that, the person tending bar is likely to give you a quizzical look. Over there it's usually just "ESB."
If you ask anyone what that stands for, you'll be told, "Extra Strong Bitter."
So why's it so "special" over here and "strong" over there? The answer is quite easy.
Using "strong" as an adjective in a trade name or advertising for any alcoholic beverage in the U.S. would be a major no-no. Laws and regulations here provide that alcoholic content, as a percentage or "proof", must be printed on every label, but nothing else can be stated to puff it up, such as "kicks like a mule" or "two shots of this and your troubles are over".
Moreover, in the US of A, we can't make any health claims for any alcohol. So, while "Guiness is Good For You" is an iconic slogan on the OTHER side of the pond, you'll never hear any such claim over here.
So while beer contains no fat; is low in sugar; contains soluble fiber (a liter of beer contains 20% of your daily fiber needs); may reduce cholesterol levels (itself, it has none); moderate consumption of beer has been shown to reduce stress and the chances of heart disease; beer contains significant amounts of magnesium, selenium, potassium, phosphorus, biotin, and is chock full of B vitamins; and particularly real ale that hasn't been filtered may give you enough vitamin B to counteract a hangover...
...we can't tell you that.