Archive for the ‘California Common’ Category


Day #82 – Anchor Steam Beer

March 24, 2011

I’m back from my trip and it was a fun one.  I really enjoy camping and would certainly like to do it again sometime soon.  I came home to a good beer waiting for me in the fridge, and it’s a new style!

Anchor Steam Beer

Anchor Brewing Company is based out of  San Francisco, California and is the 15th largest craft brewer in the United States.  Their Steam Beer is the flagship beer of the company and is classified as a California Common.  There is a bit of history behind this style.  In the 1800’s, there was a major rush out west during the Gold Rush.  This was certainly the wild west and people lived without the luxuries of the East Coast.  Refrigeration technology was one thing that people had to do without.   This also applied to breweries so many had to improvise.  They began to brew beers with lager yeast that fermented at warmer temperatures.  If you remember from my beer styles page, ale yeast ferments best at warm temperatures and lager yeast ferments best at colder temperatures.  Because of the brewers fermenting the lager yeast at warmer temperatures, the lagers (which normally are smooth and crisp) began to develop fruity esters typical of an ale while still maintaining a bit of the lager smoothness.  Thus, a new style was born!  It’s been probably 4 years since I’ve tried this beer, and I am very much looking forward to having it again.

On we go….

This beer pours a very clear bright orange color with a lovely foamy head.  The head sits calmly upon the beer and doesn’t dissipate quickly at all.  Lots of carbonation bubbles are rising from the bottom.  Looks appealing.

The aroma is heavy on the grains with some light fruit esters and a touch of hopped bitterness.  Smells fairly smooth however.

The flavor is very dry upfront, with bitter grains and a slight touch of fruit.  Slight banana esters.  This is very dry and grainy.  Bitter flavor and bitter finish with some tastes of copper.

I realize this beer is a classic, but I’m not really feeling it.  Much too dry and bitter.