Extra Specialstrong Bitter Beer Recipes

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Extra Special/Strong Bitter

Newtonian ESB

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

This beer recipe is featured in the July/August 2015 issue of Zymurgy magazine. Join the American Homebrewers Association or start your 30-day free trial to access the Zymurgy digital archive and other exclusive member benefits!

This extra special recipe, courtesy of Gravity Brewing in Louisville, Colo., is a delicious ESB that's a perfect levity for thawing out after all those dark winter brews. Go more in depth into evaluation for this beer by reading "The Path to Cloning" by Amahl Turczyn (Zymurgy, Jul/Aug 2015) for tips and tricks for brewing your favorite craft beer.

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Extra Special/Strong Bitter

Up the Junction Bitter

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

Brian Phad of Lockport, IL, member of the PALE homebrew club, won a bronze medal in Category #8: Pale British Ale with a Strong Bitter during the 2019 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in Providence, RI. Phad’s Strong Bitter was chosen as a top three entry among 243 entries in the category.Read More

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Extra Special/Strong Bitter

Denizens Brewing Co. Lowest Lord ESB

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

This extra special bitter is a more hop-forward version of the English bitter from Denizens Brewing Co. With classic ESB notes of toffee and biscuit, they use a mix of English and American hops to create a floral and herbal balance with the malt.

This homebrew recipe is featured in 51 Craft Beer Clone Recipes 2019. Find out what recipe was featured for your state!

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Extra Special/Strong Bitter

Firehouse Brewing Co. Swarthy Beaver English Pale Ale

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

The oldest operating brewery in South Dakota, Firehouse Brewing Co. in Rapid City shares their recipe for an English pale ale brewed with biscuit and dark crystal malts balanced by Fuggle hops.

This homebrew recipe is featured in Top 50 Commercial Clone Beer Recipes. Find out what recipe was featured for your state!Read More

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Extra Special/Strong Bitter

Fuller’s ESB Clone

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

They're the United Kingdom's most decorated brewery. They devised the extra special bitter (ESB) beer style that has become a perennial favorite of North American craft brewers. Their name is synonymous with traditional British ales. They're one of the few independent London breweries that have managed to survive and thrive while others have faded away. They're Fuller, Smith & Turner, though their products are simply called Fuller's.

This ESB has won more CAMRA awards than any other beer. It was chosen as Britain's best strong ale seven times and was three times selected as the Champion Beer of Britain. The amber ale reveals a rich malt character and is noticeably aggressive on the palate. Many drinkers pick out an orange-citrus essence, which is characteristic of the house yeast. It finishes with a hop bitterness that lingers without harshness.

This recipe was originally featured in the March/April 2006 issue of Zymurgy. Note: Thanks to Bob Kauffman of Boulder, Colo.'s Hop Barley and the Alers homebrew club for helping formulate and test this recipe.

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Extra Special/Strong Bitter

Gone But Not Forgotten Burton Old Ale

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

In true Burton beer fashion, this beer is largely focused on perfection of water quality alongside traditional English malts and hops.

There's a history behind why people love this beer. There once was a British euphemism, "gone for a Burton." It was thought to have originated from a story about a British pilot who didn't return from a mission during the Battle of Britain and was said to have "gone for a Burton." It basically suggested he'd stepped out for a beer and may not return after a while. Funny thing...this beer's about the same. It's going to be an investment of your time and your space, but a year later you're going to have what many Americans believe to be a "smoky IPA", or a strong ale similar to a pale ale, but much darker and sweeter than India Pale Ale. This English style results in a more sophisticated, mature flavor due to prolonged cellaring that allows special flavors to develop.

This recipe was originally written by Jeff Renner in the 2012 November/December issue of Zymurgy.

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Extra Special/Strong Bitter

English Pale Ale (ESB) by AHA Members

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

Earlier this year we held an AHA Rally at the Brew Gentlemen Brewing Co. in Pittsburgh, Penn., where our members and the brewery collaborated on a beer that'd be distributed to attendees at a later date.

After deciding on the beer's country of origin, attendees voted on the style and ABV of beer recipe, with one lucky winner getting to brew with head brewmaster Zach Gordon. In the end, attendees wanted a cleaner, simpler style of an English Pale Ale, more specifically an Extra Strong/Special Bitter beer recipe.

If you want to learn more about the rally and the collaboration, read the full Brew Gentlemen Rally story.

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Extra Special/Strong Bitter

Valymber Strong Bitter

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

Jeff Neggemeyer of Longmont, Colo., took home a gold medal during the 2002 National Homebrew Competition in the Bitter and English Pale Ale category with this extra special bitter recipe.

If you're looking for a beer with malt up front and hops right behind it, look no further. This strong bitter comes up with a nice floral and hop aroma from the Centennial and Cascade hops that complements the 19 pounds of rich maltiness. The beer's well balanced hops and malt flavor give it great drinkability.

And if that isn't enough for you, this style is known for finishing well with appropriate warmth and hop bitterness. It has a medium to full body and the 10 pounds of forced CO2 give it the appropriate amount of carbonation. One judge from the 2002 NHC believed this beer had "no major flaws." In a word, it's wonderful. But don't take our word for it, try it for yourself!

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