Lake Tahoe Drink of the Week: South Lake Brewing Company’s Young Punks E.S.B.
One of the largest components of Tahoe’s nightlife is the mix of countless breweries, bars and restaurants that offer unique drinks difficult to find outside the basin. In our Drink of the Week segment, we’ll showcase one type of beer, wine, cocktail — you name it — to try around the basin.
In the mid to late ’90s, Extra Special Bitter (ESB) beers were somewhat commonplace in America. Once the craft beer scene started taking a bigger hold and the IPA wars started raging out of control (along with other unspeakable beer flavor mash-ups), they seemed to go the way of the Jedi.
But, in full “Star Wars” saga mode, they look to be poised for a comeback, which brings us to this week’s drink of the week from South Lake Brewing Company: their Young Punks ESB.
Perhaps one of the reasons they went out of style is because of their name. While extra special bitter would have you believe it’s a bitter beer — and we all remember those bitter beer face commercials, right — it’s surprisingly not.
It’s like watching the “Sixth Sense” and thinking you know what you’re watching but then only to have it revealed that Bruce Willis has actually been dead the whole time. In this case, Bruce Willis is the ESB. Mind. Blown … oh, spoiler alert — sorry.
The beer is malty in flavor with only a touch of bitterness at the end and some citrus notes in the middle. It’s crisp taste throughout gives you an actual lighter beer drinking experience — one that could get you into trouble if they go down as smooth as the one did for me.
It clocks in at 5.6 percent ABV so it shouldn’t drag you down like the ending of “Old Yeller.” You know, ’cause the dog di…eh, spoiler alert again — although that movie came out in 1956, so if you haven’t seen it by now you’ve bound to heard the ending from someone, but I digress.
In fact, it’s fitting with a name like Young Punks because this beer is perfect for mosh pit fuel. It gives you that liquid courage to step into the circle while not weighing you down with too much extra load in your belly that’s sure to get jostled around when you take an elbow to the rib cage.
With SLBC’s ESB’s (that’s a tongue twisting acronym) balance of flavor, it makes it very easy to enjoy this easy sipping beer. Hey, I made up my own ESB. Feel free to steal. I’ll wait for my royalties down the road.
Learn more about SLBC online at http://www.southlakebeer.com. The taproom is located at 1920 Lake Tahoe Blvd. and is open Mondays through Thursdays 2-9 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays noon through 11 p.m., and Sundays noon – 9 p.m.