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Bitters and ESBs are a family of styles originating in English pubs in the 1800s. Traditionally served "on cask", they are characterized by their caramely and/or biscuity malt profile, a moderate, but assertive, bitterness and a light to heavy English hop flavour and aroma. The name of the beer is somewhat arbitrary, but generally they are stratified by strength with a 3-4% bitter (sometimes called ordinary bitter) at the low end. Then a mid strength special bitter around 3.5-4.5% and finally the "full strength" extra special bitter (ESB) typically around 4-6%. These beers are designed to be quaffed by the imperial pint.

Mild is another form of traditional English pub ale. Maltier than bitters, mild often has roasty and toasted flavours, but with ABVs ranging from 3-4%, mild is also a quaffable session ale.

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