The CFL is a huge fan of Extra Special Bitter. You should be too!
The expression bitter as a word for beer first appeared in England in the early 19th century as part of the development and spread of pale ale. Breweries tended to designate beers as “pale ales”, though customers would commonly refer to the same beers as “bitter”. It is thought that customers used the term bitter to differentiate these pale ales from other less noticeably hopped beers. But fundamentally they are the same beer but differing flavour profiles.
Salt Spring Brewery ESB is a take on the classic English bitter and is a beautifully balanced and aromatic ale with whole cone hops and organic pale malts. It pours a deep rich brown colour, with a billowing soft white foam head. It is noted for its rich toffee and malt flavours with a medium body and distinct, but subtle hoppiness and is an excellent example of a classic Extra Special Bitter.
Sadly not all ESBs are able to match the excellent drinkability of Salt Spring ESB. But some like Spinnaker’s Mitchell’s ESB and Russell’s Blood Alley Bitter come close. If you are interested in sampling local ESB, there is a guide based on the SSESB = 5 (top drawer).