Beery Christmas Day 6: Lervig & Brewski Leif ESB
Hi, we hope you found today’s beer OK. Seems like it’s getting harder every day! But the search will be worth it…
Brewski and Lervig: 100% Scandinavian Craft Beer!
As well as becoming a regular fixture for Beery Christmas, all the way from Stavanger, Norway, the ever-popular Lervig is fast becoming a legend in European Craft Beer circles. In 2016 it joined Ratebeer's exclusive list of the world's top 100 breweries – quite an achievement considering that 80% of them were North American. The guys at Lervig attribute their success to a range of regular brews that appeal to the Newbie as much as the confirmed Beer-Geek. That said, they can't be accused of being boring, capable of turning their hand to exciting, out-there, radical brews when the mood strikes!
The same is true of their partners in the 2018 Beery Christmas adventure, Sweden's Brewski. Teaming up for a 100% Scandinavian collaboration, the award-winning Brewski from Helsingborg have an equally radical take on Craft Beer and the results are nothing short of awesome!
Extra Special Bitter: Isn’t Leif great!
To get you in the mood for a traditional Christmas Pudding, Lervig and Brewski present their own extra-special take on the Extra Special Bitter style, Leif. The name means 'happy' so, enjoy!
Not content with an ordinary ESB, Brewski - experts on brewing with fruit - suggested they spice things up with smoked prunes and plums, a Scandi delicacy, to add a sharp, smoky touch of northern Terroir to this sumptuous Ale.
Pouring warm ruby beneath a fine tan head, the soft carbonation releases fruity malts scents and a faint whiff of smoke to get you in the mood, while the medium body harbours more fruity malts and pleasing yeastiness. Lifted by the soft stonefruit sharpness and more gentle smokiness Leif ESB takes you to a long, dry, malted finish.
Food pairings for ESB and Best Bitter?
Thanks to the fruity malt and spicy hops, the classic English style ESB is a great way to cut through heavier dishes like that Great British classic, Fish & Chips and Mushy Peas (ask your mum).
The smoky plum character also means Lief is amazing with creamy French cheeses like Croûte Fleurie, or grainy, deeply savoury goats cheese, even hard English cheeses like Cheddar, Red Leicester or the ultimate Welsh cheese, Y Fenni.
For those of a sweet disposition, try a couple of oatmeal and raisin cookies. With their crispy, crunchy granola character and fruity raisins, it’s a fine match!
ESB – Putting the "Extra Special" into Bitter
The ESB or Extra Special Bitter style was created by the London brewer Fuller's way back in 1971. Breweries have always produced normal and special versions of classic English Bitter, however Fuller's knew their flagship brew, London Pride, was already special, so they decided to create whole new class - Extra Special!
Stronger than standard English Bitter, ESBs are characterised by a warm chestnut body, and rich orange caramel notes. You'll also find peppery, spicy, grassy hops notes and a biscuity profile courtesy of specially selected malts. Add to this a delicate bitterness and you've got the recipe for an Extra Special Bitter!