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Style: California Common / Steam Beer
 
Style Information
California Common or Steam Beer is a style that has its roots in California (shocking, I know) in the mid-1800s. Historically speaking, Steam Beer was a bad-tasting brew that "may be defined as a highly effervescent beer made by brewing lager yeasts at ale fermentation temperatures." (from Wikipedia).

California Common Beer varies in color from light to dark amber. The aroma usually has smells of caramel, grains and low hop notes. The taste follows the smell, and has caramel malt tastes along with minor hop bitterness. The feel should be medium. ABV ranged from 4% to 5.5%. IBUs are in the middle of the range at 35 to 45.

More from Wikipedia:

"Historic steam beer, associated with San Francisco and the U. S. West Coast, was brewed with lager yeast without the use of refrigeration. It was an improvised process, originating out of necessity, perhaps as early as the Gold Rush. It was considered a cheap and low-quality beer, as shown by references to it in literature of the 1890s and 1900s.

California Common Beer is a lager beer fermented at ale temperatures, and has little or no similarity to the Steam Beer of the past. There is a lot of speculation about where the name "Steam" came from, but "it is also possible that the name derives from "Dampfbier" (literally "steam beer"), a traditional German ale that was also fermented at unusually high temperatures and that may have been known to nineteenth-century American brewers, many of whom were of German descent."

Recommend glassware for this style
 
GlasswareDescription 
Mug Typically very heavy and sturdy. A mug (or stein) is most commonly made of glass or stoneware. Traditionally German, one advantage is clinking glasses together without worrying about breaking th... [more]
Pilsner Glass Pilsener glasses are primarily designed for serving pilseners, but they do well with many other lighter beer styles also. They tend to start with a short neck at the bottom and taper unwards to ... [more]
Pint Glass Pint glasses are what most people recognize as a typical beer glass. There are actually three different types of pint glasses - shaker pints, nonic pints and tulip pints.

The shaker ... [more]

Top Consumed California Common / Steam Beer
 
 BeerConsumed
1. Steam Beer by Anchor Brewing Company26
2. 2011 Beer Camp California Common by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.24
3. Local Option Dampf Loc - Neue Welt Hefe Gerste by DOG Brewing Company5
4. Scratch Beer #32 - 2010 by Troegs Brewing Company5
5. Take Two by Two Brothers Brewing Company4
6. 844 Wyoming Uncommon by Freedom's Edge Brewing3
7. McSteamy by Starr Hill Brewery2
8. Low Self-a-Steam California Common by Draught Works Brewery1
9. Gold Rush Lager by Sly Fox Brewing Co. - Royersford1
10. Drop Anchor Steam Beer by Great Dane Brewing Company - Madison1

Top Reviews California Common / Steam Beer
 
 BeerAvg Score
1. Local Option Dampf Loc - Neue Welt Hefe Gerste by DOG Brewing Company77
2. Steam Beer by Anchor Brewing Company76
3. SFO by Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery74
4. Element 115 by Flat Earth Brewing Company70
5. Scratch Beer #32 - 2010 by Troegs Brewing Company68
6. Lug Nut Lager by Skyscraper Brewing Company68
7. 2011 Beer Camp California Common by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.66
8. Mosquito Beach by Lake Louie Brewery Company62
9. Barbary Coast Gold Rush by Minhas Craft Brewery56
10. Old Scratch Amber Lager (Gold Scratch) by Flying Dog Brewery30