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Ironhorse Chicago Common - Argus Brewery

Not Rated.
Ironhorse Chicago CommonIronhorse Chicago Common

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

18 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 18
Hads: 68
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 1
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Argus Brewery visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
California Common / Steam Beer |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: emerge077 on 08-08-2011

With the re-release of our Common beer, Argus Brewery offers a very unique American beer. This type of beer was brewed in the San Francisco Bay Area from the mid 1800′s to the mid 1900′s, A hybrid style, it uses a lager yeast but is fermented at warmer temperatures typical of ale. Copper colored and medium bodied, Argus Ironhorse has full malt & spicy herbal hop flavors, producing a very unique character unlike any ale or lager.
View: Beers (14) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 18 | Hads: 68
Photo of Randygroves
4/5  rDev +16.3%

A little hoppier than their H. Lager but nice rich taste and mouth feel. All their beers taste like your in a dark tavern standing at the bar while the bar tender turns the wooden handle and out flows a foamy froth of goodness. These beers are excellent like drinking right out of wooden keg!! Ahrrg... (304 characters)

Photo of lwillitz
3.67/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12-oz bottle into nonic pub glass

A - 2 fingers khaki head over a murky body of orange/copper

S - toasted malts, caramel sweetness, grain

T - caramel-sweetness, toasty malt, spicy hops

M - chewy medium body, medium carbonation (230 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.59/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a light amount of carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that gradually died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of yeast and toasted malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except the malt flavors are a little stronger. A slight amount of bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly chewy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: Despite the malty taste, this beer is very easy to drink and goes down easily. It has a good balance between the malts and hops. (677 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
3.31/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Ironhorse Common Steam Beer from Argus is decent steam beer. The beer poured a nice rich amber with thin white head that is leaving a lace. The scent carries a slight yeast like spice...so does the taste....I want to say rye....but not sure. The mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall this is a tasty beer. (330 characters)

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. Landed this bottle from the local beer store for 99 cents. My first encounter with this brewery, and my second encounter with a California steam beer. My bottle's label is slightly different and says Argus California Style Steam.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter glass.

A - Pours four giant fingers of towering pillowy off-white head. Massive column of carbonation bubbles streaming topside. Body is a brassy orange color with some clarity. Big fat sheets of lace.

S - Smell is a lot different than expected. Very yeasty, almost funky, lemon peels, and little else. Smell seems to imply more of Belgium than it does California, to me at least. As it warms, bananas and coffee grounds begin to creep out.

T - Taste follows the nose. Slight hint of grassy lemony hops, tons of funky yeast, lightly earthy coffee grounds, and some toasted malt presence. Light bitterness and malty char. Very different from what I expected, but interesting enough.

M - Feel ends quick and clean, with some slight bitterness but otherwise no lingering flavors of any kind. Dry on the finish. Carbonation is a bit coarse and could definitely be toned down a bit.

Overall, not a style I am too familiar with, so I can't really say how it fares to the others. Definitely nowhere near as good as the Furthermore Oscura I've had before, but this beer at least has me intrigued enough to want to try some of the other beers being brewed by Argus. A light drinkable beer with a moderate 5.40% abv, worth a try.

Argus California Style Steam ---3.5/5 (1,588 characters)

Photo of tjsdomer2
3.41/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Thick syrupy appearance. Thick, crystalline carbonation that I really like. Solid brown in color. Similar to Anchor Steam.

Smell: Not much from what I remember. A bit of hops and a heavy maltiness.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Fermented sweetness that seemed to come from brown sugar or molasses. A bit thin in the finish.

Overall Drinkability: I would like to give this another shot. (387 characters)

Photo of Haze285
3.81/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I went to the Argus Brewery with a friend today and was given a tour of their facility and a brief history of the area. The staff was very friendly, knowledgeable, and you could tell they loved what they did.

A – Nice caramel color with a light head

S – I could not discern much smell from this beer other than a light hop aroma.

T – I was very surprised by the bitterness of this beer mixed with the malts and sweetness.

M – A light bodied flavor with a nice hop bitterness

O - Very pleasant taste that made me want to drink more. I would love to try more of what this brewery has to offer.

Serving Type: On-tap (628 characters)

Photo of braynstorm
3.66/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I went to Argus Brewery today and got to tour the facility and meet the staff. They were all fantastic!

California Steam, as with the rest of Argus's beer, was a little surprising in its complexity. I got a lot of flavors. Mostly, however, what got me was that each of the beers I tried was a little bit on the sweet side--not so sweet as to be cloying, but certainly more sweet than one would expect from the class of beer that they are representing. Let it be known, I don't find this to be a problem, in fact, I rather approve.

California Steam really hit the nail on the head between the balance of malt and subdued bitterness.

a - Lovely deep caramel color with a rather small, light head.

s - There wasn't much smell to the beer, honestly. The aromatics were present, but they weren't there to punch you in the face. I'm generally okay with this, though.

t - The taste was really interesting. It is a rather bitter beer, but you wouldn't really guess it at first taste by the way the malts and the sweetness hit you first. The taste of the beer was smooth and the bitterness was rather intensely quiet...almost like an instrument trying to play fortissimo with an incredibly heavy mute. I approve.

m - Light, crisp, and pleasant.

o - Certainly, I would drink this again. It is a wonderful, versatile beer that represents its brewery quite well. Excellent quality, excellent taste.

Simply excellent. (1,412 characters)

Photo of Lemke10
3.13/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I got a 12oz bottle of this as part of a M&M 6pk from Everett's in South Beloit, IL for $9.99 in early 2012.

Pours a clear reddish amber color with a bubbly head. Not too much of a strong scent but there are malts and hops present. Starts off smooth and semi-bold with malty flavor but finishes dry and slightly bitter. Drinks rather smooth and fast as I found myself not wanting to make the dry after taste last long. A nice find and a slightly better than average brew. (473 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a crystal clear deep bright copper body with a racing carbonation of microbubbles and a thick bubbly light beige head that turns rocky but last for a good bit.

S- The bright woody green hops of the NW coast come through with a flinty earthy quality that grows in the finish.

T- The smooth pale malt flavor has a touch off toasted malt to it and a spicy green woody hop flavor in the dry finish. There is a touch of fruity character and some dandelion greens in the hops and the hops linger a bit.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a full scrubbing fizz that is a bit overpowering but compliments the hops flavor.

O- The crisp hoppy lagered beer is very sessionable with some bright hop flavors that are nice. The fizz could be a bit softer but even with the full fizz the mouthfeel is a bit to big to be crisp and refreshing, but that is fine with me. (906 characters)

Photo of steveh
3.73/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Second beer for me from this new brewery.

A -- Clear, deep amber-copper color with a dense, persistent, off-white head.

S -- Spicy to mildly citrus hop character, but not overpowering. Vaguest of bready malts back.

T -- Spicy hop character up front that folds into fruit esters of peach or tangerine, then balanced by a nutty malt character and finishing bitter from hops.

M -- Mouthfeel is crisp and dry with a medium body.

O -- I wasn't expecting such a hop-forward character for a California Common. The spicy bitterness becomes a little overpowering and makes me think this beer is contending more with American Pale Ales than Steam Beers. Wish there was more malt, but certainly a drinkable beer. (706 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
2.5/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear, pale, and bronze in color. Quick head, no foam, and OK bubbling.

Clean hops, along with the bubbling carbonation enahnce a cracker like malt aroma of lightly toasted malts.

Tastes like lightly toasted water crackers meat very mineral rich water. There is a metallic twang I don't like. Crackers meets cut grass that was left out in the rain. (351 characters)

Photo of match1112
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: clear copper body. finger of white foam sits on top, quickly settles to a thin film leaving some sticky lacing.

s: hops, grains, floral, caramel.

t: caramel malts and hops.

m: medium body with so-so carbonation. goes down easy but has a bitter burnt grain aftertaste that sorta comes out of nowhere.

o: easy drinkin decent beer. falls way short of anchor's . (365 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
3.13/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: slightly hazy gold, some head, minimal retention

S: mild hop character up front, big time bread and caramel

T: watery and bland, faint grains, herbal hops, finish is hoppy, decent balance

Mf: light body, high carbonation

O: decent drinkability, decent amount of flavor (275 characters)

Photo of Erish
3.82/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass. No best by date.

A: clear bronze/gold color, an aggressive pour produced a nice two-finger cram head that fell into a thick cap with decent lacing.

S: floral/fruity English yeast-like aroma, cracker-like malt with a vanilla accent, the hop aroma is faint and herbal/floral.

T: light dried fruit, vanilla, and toasty malt up front, the middle has an light woodsy character with a light peppery note, the finish has a dry floral/herbal hop character that balances the beer nicely.

M: light-bodied, watery to very lightly silky texture, moderate carbonation and a decent hop bitterness combine to create a light to moderate mineral dryness.

O: a good session beer that would go good with a wide variety of foods. (767 characters)

Photo of JonB1958
2.71/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at Cavanaugh's in Chicago.

A nice looking beer with a frothy white head on top of a medium copper body. Smells are typical of session ales, with some grass and floral, and a little bit of citrus.

Flavor is not well balanced; a strong appearance of bitter pineapple juice followed by a bit too much hoppy bitterness.

Not horrible, but not great. Reminds me of a home-brewed version of Honker's Ale. (411 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.3/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

Hoping this beer, unlike its two predecessors, won't sully my glass too much. It pours a clear wan bronze topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises grass, sweet flowers, light honey, wheat, and light buttery biscuits. The taste doesn't change much of this up, but the sweetness and the graininess are both increased together, making for an interesting flavor combination, not unlike lightly sweetened Corn Flakes. The body is pretty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly watery feel. Overall, an okay brew, one that doesn't impress, but also one that doesn't necessarily disappoint, either. It's a nice easy-drinker, something some might call a good lawnmower beer (I could drink anything after/during yardwork, so this term has little meaning to me). (826 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Saturated copper orange, with a layer of white foam up top. Clarity is bright, and there's a healthy skim that remains on the surface. Some spotty sea foam lace, but nothing substantial.

Grassy, floral aroma, very soft and mild.

Mellow feel, light bodied with moderate carbonation. Grassy and floral again, some mild hop bitterness in the middle, lingering into the finish. A bit of smooth maltiness, husks and all, a simple flavor. With a bigger sip, there is more residual bitterness that builds in the aftertaste. Overall it's a simple, utilitarian session beer. Clean with no flaws, it just may not hold interest for everyone. (634 characters)

Ironhorse Chicago Common from Argus Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.