This California brewery is best known for their pioneering barrel program, a program that produces some of the best barrel aged brews in the country. Sometimes, then, smaller brews like dba get lost in the sea of hype over the next big beer. That’s too bad, because this American take on the classic English ESB (Extra Special Bitter) is just the sort of beer every alehouse should have on tap. This amber colored beer tastes of bread, caramel, and earthy hops, but what sets it apart are the subtle vanilla notes from (you guessed it) barrel aging. It almost reminds you of the excellent cask ales England is famous for, except with a fresher, Americanized hop profile. Eminently drinkable and available now at Capone’s.
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PW's Year of Beer: Tröegs Mad Elf