This beer has a couple of a different angles to come at, so let’s take a look shall we?
Wet hopping is a practice derived from seasonal hop growth with roots in Germany and North America. Wet hops, slightly different than fresh hops, are added to the kettle, sometimes just hours after being pulled from the vine, undried. Hops are known to start decaying almost immediately after being picked as they are a very thin, and delicate seed. Adding wet hops, and fresh hops (hops being slightly dried but still pulled within that season), to the kettle adds a softer hop character to the beer. The flavors and oils are still present, just presented differently with the medium. Within the United States, Sierra Nevada’s Harvest Ale is considered the first wet hopped beer in the market, which was soon imitated widely by other breweries. It is rumored that Ken Grossman learned of this technique in Germany which helped to inspire a very popular fall beer in the United States.
Now, to the other end of this puzzle of a beer. The ESB bit.
ESB stands for Extra Special/Strong Bitter, generally. There are many debates trying to define a historical difference between an ESB and a Pale Ale. I prefer Martyn Cornell’s research and consider them to be essentially the same thing with different meanings coming from preferential slang, alcohol content, and beer color. You can learn a pilgrim’s boatload of information from his blog Zythophile.
Now why would Dangerous Man call ours an ESB instead of Pale Ale if they are the same thing? Because of the difference in British and American yeast, and the products they produce. We pitched an British yeast into this batch definitely separating it from what we would consider a Pale Ale by North America’s standards.
This feels a little rushed, but one last thing I should definitely mention– all of the wet hops were provided are Minneapolis home grown hops! This is the pride and joy of Minneapolis, this is community, bursting with pleasant bitterness from your beer.
Won’t you be our neighbor?
Drink local, drink Dangerous.