Tarnation California-Style Lager
Baxter Brewing Co.

Tarnation California-Style LagerTarnation California-Style Lager
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California Common / Steam Beer
Ranked #49
Ranked #42,970
3.59 | pDev: 12.53%
Baxter Brewing Co.
Maine, United States
Tarnation California-Style LagerTarnation California-Style Lager
Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 236 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of nhdjinn
4.19/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

color - golden copper
Smell - grassy and something else I cant identify. meh
taste - surprised - soft caramel with slight sweetness - hop finish very balanced bitterness of and English ESB ale
Feel - Good moth feel. nice head retention
Overall a very enjoyable beer you can crush. Like a ESB crossed with a steam beer

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nhdjinn from New Hampshire, Dec 03, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was poured into a pilsener glass. The appearance was a semi-bronzed orange to amber color with a one to two finger white foamy head that dissipated within less than about a minute. Lacing speckled the glass nicely. The smell started off with sweet grassy to a colorful caramel/toffee maltiness rolling in to balance decently. The taste was moderately malty sweet with an underscore of the caramel/toffee running into the grassiness balancing on in to the aftertaste and leading into the finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light on the body with a decent sessionability about it. Carbonation, uh...what carbonation, as its barely there, its really smooth and gives off a nicely done creaminess to it. Overall, for a California common, its a bit different, me I don’t mind it. Its definitely a food beer, I could see myself having this again.

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Photo of Beric
3.66/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving: August 2016
Served: From the can

Another bad can design from Baxter. I wanted to like this beer more than I actually did- this ended up just being a regular old beer. Nicely drinkable for sure, but there were enough hops in it to give it a pinch of awkward bitterness and flavor. Nonetheless, a beer that has its place and one I certainly didn't mind, but not one I would seek out.

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Beric from Massachusetts, Sep 19, 2016
Photo of Bierliebhaber3
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This California common style lager pours a slightly brownish orange color with a fairly large foamy white head. The smell is very mild, but has some faint malt and yeast scents. The flavor is pretty basic with grains and yeast coming through and a slightly bitter piney hop aftertaste. The finish is quite dry. The body is on the light end of medium. There’s not a whole lot to say about this one. It’s a pretty standard lager, nothing offensive, but nothing too interesting either, definitely not as good as Anchor Steam. Maybe not the worst beer in the Baxter summer variety pack that I got, but not the best either.

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Bierliebhaber3 from Massachusetts, Jul 24, 2016
Photo of Wiffler27
4.4/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a dark amber with a thick white head.

smells like sweet malt and not much else. very plain aroma.

taste is fantastic. a full flavored malt-bodied lager. malt forward and full of it. great taste, very clean and plain but one of the best tasting lagers i've ever had. goes down smooth, easy drinking. great full bodied lager.

overall this is my first california common/ steam beer but i like it. it has a full body and pure taste. could easily be a pale ale. a great beer overall. Baxter brewing has made a great variety pack.

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Wiffler27 from New Jersey, Dec 06, 2015
Photo of mikeg67
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can. Pours amber with tall, long-lasting, fluffy white head. Aroma is of grassy hops and caramel malt. Body is medium and smooth. Herbal hops and bready malt nicely balanced on the palate. Finish is long and bitter. Simple, drinkable brew.

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mikeg67 from New Jersey, Nov 10, 2015
Photo of jimboothdesigns
3.74/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a nice redish amber with a nice fine 2 plus finger head. Very nice smell and taste. Reminds me of an Octoberfest. Has a smooth malty taste and has a slight hop bitterness in the end. Not too sweet.

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jimboothdesigns from Pennsylvania, Oct 20, 2015
Photo of Oldejoe
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Looks. Slightly reddish golden hues, with a thin head.
Smell. Fresh slightly hoppy, slightly peachy? Nothing clear cut for me.
Taste. Mild gingery, malty start with a mildly dry hoppy finish.
Feel. Sparkley at the start, somewhat dry at the finish, medium light weight to the mouth feel.
Overall. Nice summer beer, especially if you need a break from all the IPAs

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Oldejoe from New Hampshire, Oct 04, 2015
Photo of mynie
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark red pour. Smells bready and malty with a tiny bit of hops like some kind of weird English mild mild. Tastes like it smells, like Sam Adams Boston Lager only not as well balanced because it's finish is far too tame.

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mynie from Maryland, Aug 18, 2015
Photo of tone77
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A thanks to the founding father of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12
oz. can. Has a bronze/orange color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of caramel, a bit of hops. Taste is malts, hops are present, some caramel, but not as pronounced as in the smell. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall a smooth and refreshing beer that was consumed quickly on this warm summer night.

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tone77 from Pennsylvania, Aug 10, 2015
Photo of ManapuaMan
3.69/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Crisp, refreshing lager with a little more hops and way more malt that separates it from the pack. An enjoyable beer to pluck from the cooler and down on a summer day but not one I would seek out.

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ManapuaMan from Massachusetts, Jul 13, 2015
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #88 (May 2014):

Grainy, Biscuit, Level

This is what we need, more and more craft brewers coming out with extremely drinkable lagers. Baxter throws down with this tasty California Common that retains an impeccable balance. Not your typical lager but certainly worth a visit or few.

STYLE: California Common | ABV: 5.3% | AVAILABILITY: Year-round

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BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts, Jun 26, 2015
Photo of sprat1960
3.24/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Look: Copper to orange in color; completely transparent. Lots of medium-sized bubbles. Pours with a large 2+ finger white head that dies down leaving an uneven layer of foam on the surface of the beer. Few patches of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Malt, grass and extremely mild hops. Smells like a good commercial beer; nothing special.

Taste: Sweet malty start, followed by a mild hoppy finish. Nice and smooth. Lighter flavor typical of a good lager.

Feel: Lighter in body; slight tingle from the carbonation; slightly dry finish.

Overall: A decent lager; nice flavor. Would be good to drink with pizza or Italian Food or burgers when you want something lighter to accompany the heavy food. Would also be good on a hot summer day. A very good commercial quality beer.

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sprat1960 from Massachusetts, May 29, 2015
Photo of rangerman21
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- Light amber with a white head and decent lacing
S- Slight note of hops
T- Balanced with a nice taste of hops at the end
F- Just about right
O- Nice and balanced. The nice hop finish makes it very drinkable.

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Photo of CTHomer
3.12/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

A: hazy; bronze; 1 finger off white head that receded to a wispy cap; OK lacing that lasts a long time;

S: caramel/toffee with a metallic back note; a hint of earthiness;

T: very restrained flavor; a little malt sweetness, a little floral, a little sour; mild bitterness at the end;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: nothing bad, just not a lot there;

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CTHomer from Connecticut, Apr 17, 2015
Photo of horshack7
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass is a slightly hazy amber colored beer with a thick off white and rocky head that leaves behind thick lacing as it thins out.

Aroma: Heavy grapefruit mixed in simple syrup, biscuity, twinges of butter. A light dryness lingers in the nose.

Taste: Crispness in the front with grapefruit and piney notes. Biscuty buttery texture on the palate and alight dry finish.

Notes: Very well brewed great dryness as well as a good balance between hoppiness and sweetness. Cheers.

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horshack7 from England, Jan 25, 2015
Photo of Duhast500
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz. can into a Samuel Adams perfect pint glass.

The color is a hazy orange/ amber with three fingers of foamy head and some thick lacing.

The smell has a slight fruity flavor that is just teasing a fruity pebbles aroma. It's like sticking your nose in the box before putting some into a bowl. There is a whipped cream aroma that is coming off the head as well mixed a slight malty aroma that braces the back of the aroma.

The taste is a bit lactic at first with a slight zing of carbonation and cream flavor. The malts come out after letting out a slight biscuit flavor that is a tad dry but also filled with a quick buttery flavor that gives into a tangy fruit flavor and finally a twang of bitterness at the end.

The feel of this beer is smooth with a medium body that goes down easy. There is some hop aftertaste that hides until the end and makes things feel bigger than before.

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Duhast500 from Rhode Island, Dec 23, 2014
Photo of Etan
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%

A: Nice amber orange with a dirty white head.

S: Light caramel maltiness, yeasty in the nose.

T: Taste is toasted malt, dry yeast, bit of green bitterness. A "malty" lager on first blush but it's quite dry compared to other amber lagers.

M: Light-bodied, creamy, crisp carb.

O: Definitely grew on me. Nice to have a sweeter lager that's not overly sweet.

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Etan from Wisconsin, Oct 23, 2014
Photo of buzzarooski
3.16/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

LOOK: Nice Golden Color, White Foamy Head Disappears Quickly
SMELL: Subtle/Mild
TASTE: Good Over-All, Not Over-Powering, Slightly Bitter Finish
FEEL: Smooth and Mild Carbonation,

OVERALL: Good Solid Lager with above average ABV (5.3%) that Doesn't Over-Power You....I enjoyed It....and will Purchase it again....But I WON'T be Rushing Back To The Store for MORE.

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buzzarooski from Massachusetts, Oct 04, 2014
Photo of Brackh
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Pours a brownish color with little head. Very faint smell. A decent little lager. Malty and an easy finish. Nothing spectacular here. Overall good though.

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Brackh from Georgia, Sep 08, 2014
Photo of FeloniousDrunk
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Pours nicely from the can, with a chestnut brown color, white head, and decent lacing. Mostly clear and inviting. Sweet malts up-front on the nose with caramel, cherries, and not much else detected. Very light aroma. Taste is clean and refreshing. Malty, with a hint of damp basement in-mouth and a dryish finish. Sweet tea, wood, chocolate caramel, and a touch if sediment round out the flavors. The mouthfeel is pretty unobtrusive, with a clean finish and polished overall feel. Overall it's a nice lager, but lacks a distinctive trait to help it stand out.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a shaker pint, the beer is a crystal-clear, copper coloring, with a steady flow of carbonation, and a bubbly, fluffy, clingy, off-white head. Nose of toasted grains, subtle toffee sweetness, and roasted notes throughout. Flavors are roasted caramel sweetness forward, with an underlying hops bitterness and roasted character. Richly sweet throughout, on a slick, mid-body. The aftertaste is roasted, as well, with a sweet caramel characteristic, and some nutty notes mixed in. Clean, smooth finish. More body than what I would expect from the style, but damn tasty and drinkable.

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Photo of jlindros
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting Steam Lager from a can. Could be interesting, esp for a hot summer day like today. Bottom has a code on it, but no legible date, that's just as annoying as nothing.

Pours a huge frothy head that forces me to stop pouring early, hits 2+ fingers but fades back fairly quickly at least, decent spotty lacing, a clear but sediment laden nectar orange color, plumb of bubbles streaming up.

Nose is fairly steam-esque, a light doughy lager malt, light golden malts and toastiness, light and aromatic malts, with a little grassy hop kick to it, and a bit of a crisp slightly fruity lager note.

Taste brings more of the same, a coppery like malt, little toasty and doughy, with some almost but not quite grainy lager malts, mild straw, etc. That starts to wane as big hops kick in, mostly grassy and leafy, little herbal earthy as well, quite bitter dominating over the light crisp lager underneath. Finish is dry and crisp but big bitter grassy almost spicy hops, little herbal and earthy still, long lingering bitter finish.

Mouth is med to a bit lighter bod, nice carb.

Overall not bad, I do like the malt base, and aroma is decent, but the hops turn up a bit too much on the taste for a nice lager, at least in this case it just overpowers it, something like American Darling they go well as the lager and malts are stronger and they balance, this just goes a little overboard on the hops. Still a nice crisp enjoyable summer lager.

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jlindros from Massachusetts, Jul 13, 2014
Photo of smcolw
3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Chunky white head. Copper amber color and clear. Plenty of ring lace with a couple clumpy areas.

Caramel aroma from the toasted malt. Low hop nose.

The taste is better balanced--the hop is far more pronounced. Dry finish but with a caramel overtone. The aftertaste is biting and bitter, but not long lasting. Full body but the carbonation is high as well.

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smcolw from Massachusetts, Jun 27, 2014
Photo of illpass78
3.79/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had a pint on draft at Borealis in Portland, Maine.

Appearance: Pours a neat clear amber with a fluffy white, or maybe off-white, head. Carbonation heavy. Leaves some nice lacing. Looks like an amber lager; king of like a Yuengling to my eyes.

Aroma: Smells clean and crisp with some nice floral hops in the background.

Taste: Nice easy-drinking lager. Tastes sweet and malty with some nice hop bitterness. Some biscuit and bread-like character in there; maybe a slight bit of toffee. Slightly complex but eminently quaffable.

Mouthfeel: Easy on the palate with a nice hoppy finish.

Overall: Baxter seems to have phased out Amber Road in favor of this brew. I dug Amber Road a lot but this is a really good beer and will probably appeal to a broader audience. I had one with a grilled cheese on a sunny day and it was, as we say in Maine, of the finest kind.

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Tarnation California-Style Lager from Baxter Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 236 ratings