California Route | New Belgium Brewing

very good
55 Ratings
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California RouteCalifornia Route

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: California Common / Steam Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

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.

Added by Zach122 on 11-15-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 55 |  Reviews: 15
Photo of Sierrascout
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Photo of xmorgan
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Photo of neckbeered
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

Photo of Cfeezy
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Zach122
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of D-18V
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of alexipa
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark yellowish orange, crystal clear, bright white head. Lots of lacing.

S: While pouring from the can I noticed how bold and strong the scent of this beer is. Strong citrus up front, with grainy-hay like malt backing it up. Reminds me of a great Saison.

T: Lot's of citrus hops, but I would consider this malt-forward. Fruity, grainy, even some funk in there. This tastes like a saison, possible brewed at pretty high temps?

M: Mmmmm, creamy and medium-full bodied. ABV is expertly hidden, this goes down smooth.

O: This is a winner, I hope they decide to brew it in larger quantities year-round. This could definitely find its way into my pack on every hiking/climbing trip this upcoming season.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.16/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

 1,243 characters

Photo of Lemke10
4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

 280 characters

Photo of spoony
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz can (stamped March 23, 2014 on the bottom) into a nonic.

A-A normal pour produces about two fingers of pillowy, off-white head. Retention is decent at one-minute-plus. The lacing is pretty good with the sticky head leaving its mark all the way down the glass. The brew is murky and light-golden/straw in color.

S-The smell is a nice mixture of semi-sweet, doughy/bready malts and grassy/floral hops. I get a little bit of biscuit in there, too. For a pale lager type beer, the aroma is pretty intense.

T-The taste tracks the smell closely with earthy straw, grass, and lemongrass playing off of the doughy, bready malt base. A little bit of citrus creeps in there, as well. The finish is slightly grainy. Nice balance.

M-The brew tends towards creamy with lower-than-average carbonation and a wet feeling. The finish dries up and moves more towards crisp. Easy drinking.

O-This is one of the better beers from New Belgium that I have had in a while. It is drinkable, balanced and intriguing. The beer is low enough in ABV that I don't need to stop after one can on a school night, but packs enough flavor that I can stop after one can on a school night and leave satisfied. I hope they bring this back somehow.

 1,229 characters

Photo of seanthornton152
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Schwegler
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of JohnnyNicks
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Keith_R
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of mechamifune
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Jameswoody
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of dvmky
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of bralston345
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of bikesnbeerFtc
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Alex5
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Localdrinklax
4/5  rDev +2.8%

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California Route from New Belgium Brewing
3.89 out of 5 based on 55 ratings.
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