Oct 16, 2015

AleSmith Brewing Anvil ESB

While I awaited another sighting of AleSmith’s Speedway stout in my area, I soothed my woes with a few of their other products. The first, was a tasty IPA. The second was Anvil ESB, the type of beer on which I initially cut my craft beer teeth many, many moons ago.

When I first started my craft adventures, Redhook’s ESB was readily available. It wasn’t extreme — that didn’t exist back then — but it was easily drinkable and pretty well balanced. Anvil ESB reminds me of those early days. This is a beer that has great flavor, balance and, had it been lighter in alcohol, one which I could enjoy all day long.


Copper in color the beer pours with a persistent cap of light beige foam.

AleSmith Brewing Anvil ESB photo


A soft roasty malt character drives the aroma with hints of caramel, a light piny hop presence and toast. The beer smells great.


This is about as solid an ESB as you are going to find. Rich — but not too rich — malt, toast, a soft roast and gentle hop bitterness all get along in the pool wonderfully. It’s super clean and smooth with a lingergin tingle in the lasting finish. The medium bodied brew is low enough in alcohol to enjoy a couple, but not quite sessionable.


Drinkging AleSmith’s Anvil ESB reminds me of simpler times, of not having to wait in line to buy a single 12oz bottle of beer. It’s a style of beer that helped form my support of microbreweries and probably one that I have neglected since. With Anvil ESB no readily available, perhaps that won’t be the case any more.

Rating: 3.75/5

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