Extra Special/Strong Bitter

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Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale) is a famous style from Burton-on-Trent. Stronger body than ordinary bitter, but slightly less bitter. A balanced, easy drinking beer that is malty and strong but not overbearing.


Strong bitters are high gravity versions of the classic English bitter style. In the UK, beer is often sold according to strength. English Pale Ales and Extra Special Bitters are simply the stronger variants typically with a more balanced overall flavor.


Medium to full body, with medium to high bitterness and hop aroma. Dry with a defined hop flavor. Golden to copper color. Crystal malt evident. Low carbonation for kegs, medium for bottled version.


  • Color Range: 6.0-18.0 SRM
  • Original Gravity Range: 1.048-1.065 SG
  • Final Gravity Range: 1.010-1.016 SG
  • Bitterness Range: 30.0-55.0 IBU
  • Alcohol by Volume Range: 4.6-6.2 %
  • Carbonation Range: 1.5-2.4 vols
  • BJCP Style Number: 8 C


  • English pale, amber and/or crystal malts
  • English hops
  • Water with high sulfate profile enhances bitterness perception (i.e. famous Burton-on-Trent Water)


  • Bass Pale Ale, Whitbread Pale Ale, Royal Oak, Fullers ESB, Marston's Pedigree, Black Sheep Ale, Great Lakes Moondog Ale, Shipyard Old Thumper, Alaskan ESB, Adnams Broadside

See Also