On tap at 98 Cannon – Chestertown, Md., resilient amber lagered ‘common beer’ (a.k.a. California-styled Steam Beer utilizing lager yeast at warmer ale temperatures) brings fruity pale ale disposition to lightly pungent piney hopped herbage contrasting toasted caramel malting. Modest grapefruit-peeled orange rind bittering stays easygoing while rustic earthen grain minerality rides below.
On tap at Ambulance, flagship steam lager (a.k.a. California Common) blends raw-honeyed lemon rot with peaty compost earthiness, herbal notions and vegetal tinge above modest sourdough bottom.
Beginning with caramel-spiced glass sugaring and unrealized citric splotch, cardboard-like lagered steam beer reaches bland grassy-hopped raw honey finish.
Sturdy 2017 dry-hopped spring seasonal utilizes highly carbolic lager yeast to re-create San Francisco-styled steam beer. Mildly bitter citric spritz seeps into delicately pungent resinous hop astringency. Lemony grapefruit spurt and teasing fig-date conflux linger lightly above grainy earthen malts.
Ambitious Medieval Bavarian forest recipe of all-barley steam beer offers honeyed cereal graining to caramel-spiced creaming and sinewy molasses sap. At the midst, nutty toffee sweetness reigns on sugared citrus and bruised banana fruiting. Tertiary brown-sugared buckwheat, spelt and oatmeal notions fill the ample backend.
Sharp yellow-fruited grassy hop affability ascends above musky pale lager yeast (fermented at colder ale temperatures) for smoothly crisp yellow-bellied middleweight. Zesty lemon, grapefruit and orange tang stays brisk as musty floral earthiness settles behind honey-soured caramel malting.
Easily one of America’s finest and well-known lagered ales. Affluent tangy fruit bouquet perfectly meshes earthen-grained dry hop center of musty-wafted lager. Hints of mandarin orange get casually strewn across bitterly muddied finish.
Magic Hat’s boutique organic division brews Orlio series. Astringent moderate-bodied gold-hued steam beer retains off-putting orange-oiled sour lemon tartness and vagrant vegetal zeal. Caramel malts hidden faraway.
Grain malt enrichment, soft Scotch creaminess, slim barley sweetness, and slight smokiness caress delicate tangerine setting for simple middle of the road amber lacking distinction. Word has it Sapporo Brewery now makes these.