Rebranding the ESB: 396 Centennial Red Ale
You may have already seen the exciting news: we have decided to rebrand our 516 ESB to the 396 Centennial Red Ale! The ESB has long been a staff favourite and we want to make sure that everyone has a chance to enjoy it as much as we do.
Here we give a bit more info for those of you who might want to know - why change the name?
The first reason for the name change is that our recipe is not true to style for an ESB. The ESB, or Extra Special Bitter, is an English style beer using traditional English style malts and hops. Our recipe fits the malt bill, but uses Centennial hops, which are neither a traditional nor English hop style. Centennial hops are very much a West Coast hop, lending pine, floral and citrus flavours. We chose Centennial hops as they are locally grown - right here in the Fraser Valley. The second reason we decided to change the name to the Centennial Red Ale is that the
higher number 516 and the word “bitter” in ESB confused many customers, making it far less approachable than it actually is. Similar classic English styles also use "bitter" in the name, such as the Standard/Ordinary Bitter, Special/Best/Premium Bitter, Extra Special/Strong Bitter (or English Pale Ale). With "bitter" following all of these styles we might expect the beer styles to have a lot of bitterness, but this is not always the case, and definitely not true for our recipe. With that in mind we wanted to remove the bitter expectation so that people wouldn't be misled by the name. The lower number 396 also now better represents its approachability and drinkability. So, what flavours can you expect from the 396 Centennial Red Ale?
The Centennial Red Ale provides balance between maltiness and West Coast hops, giving you a bit of both in a very sessionable brew. We use Simpsons Double Roasted Crystal malt which gives this beer a great body, a light sweetness, and a beautiful dark red colour. This malt also gives us some toasted notes of caramel and toffee. It is fermented with a clean yeast, letting the malt profile shine through. The Centennial hops finish this beer perfectly with flavours and aromas of pine, citrus, and a floral profile.