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California Route - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
California RouteCalifornia Route

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

52 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 52
Reviews: 15
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 9.72%
Wants: 3
Gots: 3 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
California Common / Steam Beer |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
2013 marks 40 years in business for our Ventura, California-based outdoor clothing company. To celebrate, the good folks at New Belgium Brewing crafted a special lager beer made in the "California Common" tradition - tawny in color, medium bodied, with a malty character and earthy hops. Staying true to Patagonia's longstanding commitment to organic cotton, the beer is brewed with certified organic ingredients.

Fun fact: a recent study found that lager yeast originated in the Patagonia region of southern Argentina, in beech forests where the year-round climate is quite cool. Dubbed Saccharomyces eubayanus, it's perfectly acclimated to the cool temps in which brewmasters ferment their lagers. And while lager beer is said to have originated in Bavarian cellars, native Patagonians made their own fermented beverage with the same yeast back in the day.

The name of our beer pays homage to the California Route on Patagonia's Mount Fitz Roy. First climbed in 1968 by Yvon Chouinard, Doug Tompkins, Dick Dorworth, Lito Tejada-Flores and Chris Jones, the California Route is considered a Patagonia classic, with good rock and fun free climbing in a wildly beautiful setting.

(Beer added by: Zach122 on 11-15-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 52 | Reviews: 15 | Display Reviews Only:
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3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

08-18-2014 16:16:01 | More by sweemzander
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5/5  rDev +27.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

06-22-2014 15:50:47 | More by backslide311
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3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

06-10-2014 22:03:32 | More by CSO
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4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

05-16-2014 00:11:09 | More by Cfeezy
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4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

05-12-2014 16:04:23 | More by neckbeered
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4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

04-09-2014 04:46:15 | More by afsdan
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4/5  rDev +2.3%

04-05-2014 15:36:21 | More by seanthornton152
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3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

03-30-2014 18:39:08 | More by Zach136
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4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

03-27-2014 23:14:07 | More by D-18V
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4/5  rDev +2.3%

03-17-2014 06:04:18 | More by Localdrinklax
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4/5  rDev +2.3%

03-04-2014 21:42:05 | More by JohnnyNicks
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4/5  rDev +2.3%

03-03-2014 15:15:27 | More by bikesnbeerFtc
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3.95/5  rDev +1%

12 ounce can - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The bottom of the can is dated 23 MAR 2014.

Appearance: Pours a very lightly hazed, dark yellow body with just under an inch of white foam. Not particularly much lacing.

Smell: Agreeable biscuit nose, a thin, thin sliver of caramel sweetness, and hop notes scented of citrus fruit, flowers, and dried herb.

Taste: Lightly biscuity, lightly toasted grains with a thin layer of incorporated sweetness. Citrus, floral, spicy-edged herb hop notes. Medium-light bitterness. Soft yeastiness. Drying, modestly spicy finish with a mild, lingering fruity lemon flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Refreshing, easy-drinking.

02-22-2014 23:22:15 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Jadjunk


3.71/5  rDev -5.1%

"To celebrate 40 years of fun hogging, New Belgium and Patagonia, Inc. have crafted this medium-bodied, unfiltered organic lager in the 'California Common' tradition." Brewed in the style of a California Common Lager/Steam Beer. One time collaborative canned release by New Belgium with Patagonia outdoor wear.

Poured from a 12 oz. can to a pint glass. Served above 54º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a foamy pearl-white head over a moderately hazy amber-yellow body. Retention is very good, lacing is light and spotty. 4.25

(Smell) Lightly sweetened pale malts with a clean caramel grain malt. Hop potency is very bold, with earthy, spicy hop aromas and a moderate bitterness. Balance is equally in favor of bitterness and sweetness, with high accessibility. The aroma is very sessionable, potent and appealing. 4

(Taste) Up front, expect a very light, mildly sweet pale biscuit malt, joined by a mellow earthy hop profile with a mild peppery bitterness. California Route finishes with a notable lager lightness despite some meager complexity from some muted lemon and biscuit. Very drinkable, although not all flavors come through as boldly as they do in the aroma. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Lightly chewy, mildly acidic, otherwise clean. Carbonation generates some froth and fizziness. Body is shy of medium for the style, light+ overall. Alcohol presence is light. 3.75

(Overall) While I don't care about Organic endorsements, I found California Route to be an enjoyable, easy-drinking lager. Those looking for more flavorful lager options outside of the macro choices should consider trying the California Route. 3.75

New Belgium Brewing's
California Route Organic Lager

02-08-2014 04:37:10 | More by Jadjunk
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3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

02-03-2014 18:57:46 | More by GraduatedCashew
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North Carolina

4/5  rDev +2.3%

01-31-2014 20:28:33 | More by mechamifune
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3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

01-31-2014 06:23:38 | More by lsummers
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3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

01-29-2014 00:03:47 | More by ironchefkook
Photo of MattyG85


4.16/5  rDev +6.4%

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a New Belgium Globe glass. Date on can is March 23, 2014.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of white head that settles into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A crisp, zesty, and balanced aroma with nice hints of biscuit and earthy hops. Pale malt with hints of biscuit, grains, yeast, straw, caramel, and cracker. Surprisingly strong hop presence with good earthy, floral, and citrus aroma. Hints of grass and slight pine. Citrus hints of orange and lemon zest. A very solid and well balanced lager aroma.

Taste: Like the smell, a crisp and zesty well balanced lager taste with good biscuit notes and a strong hop balance. Bready pale malt with notes of biscuit, grains, straw, yeast, crackers, and caramel. A very solid hop balance with floral, earthy, and citrus notes. Grassy taste along with some pine. Citrus hop notes of orange peel and lemons. A very nice zesty taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Crisp, nicely chewy, and smooth. Finishes dry.

Overall: A really solid take on the California Common style. Good biscuity malt presence with a really nice zesty hop balance.

01-21-2014 07:56:21 | More by MattyG85
Photo of Lemke10


4.15/5  rDev +6.1%

This pours a hazy, yellow color with a foamy, off-white head. The aroma has a slightly bitter tone with hints of yeast. The taste is a smooth, mellow lager taste this well balanced in hops and malts. This isn’t anything that will wow you, but it is very drinkable and well made.

01-21-2014 01:44:04 | More by Lemke10
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4/5  rDev +2.3%

01-20-2014 02:00:17 | More by Schwegler
Photo of Clints1991


3.95/5  rDev +1%

Poured from a 12 oz can in a glass. It pours a hazy Golden color. With a white head that's about half an inch thick. The nose it has a nice piney hop smell with a little grain to it. The taste is medium body, has that nice pine hops and some yeast to it. The hops don't linger which is nice. Overall this is a really nice beer. A really nice refreshing beer

01-19-2014 20:32:23 | More by Clints1991
Photo of flagmantho


3.89/5  rDev -0.5%

Poured from 12oz can into a pint glass.

Appearance: yellow-orange hue with a moderate haze and moderate effervescence. Head is two fingers of fluffy eggshell foam. I think it's quite attractive!

Smell: grainy malt with evergreen-scented hops and a moderate, chalky yeastiness. Pretty spot-on for the style, I would say. I quite like it.

Taste: grainy, yeasty and a little bit hoppy. It's sweeter and less hoppy than the aroma; I admit I like the aroma a little bit more, but it's still quite good.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good roaminess. Good carbonation here yields a satisfying creaminess which I quite enjoy.

Overall: a pretty damn good example of the California Common style. Typically, New Belgium's brews aren't in my palate's wheelhouse, but this is a pretty successful and drinkable brew.

01-11-2014 01:49:07 | More by flagmantho
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4/5  rDev +2.3%

01-07-2014 01:07:58 | More by evergreen_machine
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California Route from New Belgium Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.