Known as the “beer drinker’s beer,” the ESB (or Extra Special Bitter) is a style you don’t often see on tap walls these days as
Known as the “beer drinker’s beer,” the ESB (or Extra Special Bitter) is a style you don’t often see on tap walls these days as it has been surpassed by the popularity of the IPA in its many forms (hazy, cold, imperial, milkshake…the list goes on).
The ESB is the quintessential balanced beer, in which the quality of the malt and hops is showcased with a harmonic balance between malty breadiness and a bitter, aromatic hop presence.
Our ESB, brewed in honor of one of our long-time regulars, is a mostly true-to-form take on the style outside of a punchier ABV. Rather than aim for the 4-5% ABV typical of ESBs, we went for 6-7% to give it a little more oomph for the modern palate. In its final form, it landed at a very drinkable 6.8% ABV.
English beer styles are hard to replicate in part because of the unique water profile of the small town of Burton Upon Trent. Once known as the “Brewing Capital of the World,” Burton features a water supply with naturally high levels of gypsum. As a byproduct of that, Burton’s water is hard and packed with minerals.
Before we attempted to brew an ESB, we first treated our in-house filtered water with gypsum and more to mimic, as best we could, the water profile of Burton Upon Trent.
European malts make up the bulk of the grain bill to further keep with tradition, but we strayed somewhat in our hop selection by featuring two American hops, Idaho Gem and Amarillo, in moderation to bring out more citrus-forward aromatics than the earthy, herbal hop notes typical of the style.
We think the modifications make for a delicious take on the ESB style, but you can be the judge of that.
The name Loyal Wingman is a play on both our long-time regular’s loyalty that inspired this brew and, given our proximity to Dallas Love Field, some fun within our airplane/airport theme in the brewpub. A “Loyal Wingman” is a yet-to-be-deployed type of unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) that seeks to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) and work alongside next-generation combat aircraft.
Thought the true aircraft may not yet be deployed, you can catch Loyal Wingman ESB on tap after 5 PM on Thursday.