Colorado Brewed: Left Hand Sawtooth Ale

Each Wednesday in this column I post my insights about one of the thousands of beers brewed in the great state of Colorado. Feel free to shoot me an email with your suggestions of Colorado beers you’d like me to feature – Lee Williams at – or leave your ideas in the comments.

The ESB or extra special bitter, too often, is overlooked by drinkers and breweries in favor of more en vogue styles of beer.

When executed knowingly, the ESB is a rich and layered beauty. An ale suffuse with strata of soft malty biscuit, sweet caramel, and ripe red berry notes. Bitter in taste, the ESB should never be.

Lucky for us, there are a few breweries that do understand and fully appreciate this classic English style of ale. One or two of these breweries even produce an ESB as a year-round flagship offering. In Colorado, one of the best known and widely available ESB’s is Sawtooth by Longmont’s Left Hand Brewing Company.

A deep amber pour, with a billowing egg-shell colored head, Sawtooth makes an accurate and handsome first impression. Brewed with all American hop varieties, the beer presents a more angular citrus aroma and gravely bite than its English cousins.

In the drink, a dark cereal sweetness takes the lead, a mild hop derived bitterness, a polite backseat.

The best approach to pairing food with an ESB is to always remember its statue as a quintessentially British pub ale. Pair a couple of leisurely consumed pints with any of the following: Ploughman’s lunch; steak and kidney pie and chips with gravy; Shepards or cottage pie; roast lamb dinner with mint sauce; a hearty English breakfast; or for dessert, a serving of spotted dick pudding with a good lashing of warm Devonshire custard.


  • Brewed in Colorado by: Left Hand Brewing Company, 1265 Boston Ave, Longmont CO 80025
  • Released:  Available year-round in 12oz bottle and on draft
  • Beer style: American ESB
  • ABV: 5.3%
  • IBU: 27
  • Hops: Magnum, U.S. Goldings, Willamette, Cascade
  • Grains: Pale two-row, Crystal, Munich, Wheat, Black Malt

Check back next Wednesday when I highlight another Colorado Brewed beer. Cheers.

About Lee Williams

Beer writer. Founder of Hoptopia. I write for various beer related publications, websites and festivals. Email -

  • Mark

    Shared a bottle of this with the missus whilst traveling from Seattle to Portland, OR on the Amtrak Cascades. Great beer.

    Mark T, Stourbridge, England

  • Lee Williams

    Thanks for your comment Mark. Cheers,