E.S.B. (Evan's Special Bitter) at Noble Ale Works, Our Drink of the Week!
Can we be done with the ridiculously hoppy West Coast IPAs now? Seriously, the beer man's equivalent of Rombauer Chardonnay (lovingly known in bartender circles as "cougar juice") is some hoppy 60-, 90- or even 120-minute IPA that blows your taste buds apart. There are some great ones, but most just taste like nothing and cause the sides of my tongue to curl under.
Fortunately, a couple of places are starting to make ESB. ESB stands for Extra Special (or Strong) Bitter, which is still a hoppy beer, but nicely balanced with malt; at Noble Ale Works, though, it stands for Evan's Special Bitter, named after Evan Price, the TAPS brewer who escaped to industrial southeast Anaheim.