Tarnation California-Style Lager | Baxter Brewing Co.

33 Reviews
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Tarnation California-Style LagerTarnation California-Style Lager

Brewed by:
Baxter Brewing Co.
Maine, United States

Style: California Common / Steam Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BEERMILER12 on 03-04-2014

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Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 228
Photo of Beric
3.66/5  rDev +1.1%
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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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
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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Photo of Wiffler27
4.4/5  rDev +21.5%
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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Photo of mikeg67
3.33/5  rDev -8%
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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Photo of jimboothdesigns
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
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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Photo of Oldejoe
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
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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Photo of mynie
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
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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Photo of tone77
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
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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Photo of ManapuaMan
3.69/5  rDev +1.9%
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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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
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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Photo of sprat1960
3.24/5  rDev -10.5%
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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Photo of rangerman21
3.56/5  rDev -1.7%
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 HamdenHector
3.12/5  rDev -13.8%
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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Photo of horshack7
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
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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Photo of Duhast500
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
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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Photo of Etan
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%

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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Photo of buzzarooski
3.16/5  rDev -12.7%
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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Photo of Brackh
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

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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Photo of FeloniousDrunk
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

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 +4.4%
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 +0.3%
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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Photo of smcolw
3.71/5  rDev +2.5%
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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Photo of illpass78
3.79/5  rDev +4.7%
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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Photo of u2carew
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can

A) Pours with a two finger head. Tight and creamy foam. Bronze colored body, nearly clear.
S) Subtle hints of caramel, citrus and pine. Not overly aromatic.
T) Pleasant malty notes. Slightly astringent grainy taste. Some fruity tones-apple with a grapefruit rind finish.
M) Crisp carbonation. Medium-light body.
O) A decent brew. I'd drink another one.

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Photo of dasenebler
3.31/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Baxter Tarnation
12oz can, date not legible

Pours a clear, deep gold. One-finger foamy head, average lacing. Nice color. (4)

Aroma is yeasty, lightly fruity with subtle ethyl acetate. Caramel malt. (3)

Flavor is malty and balanced, leaning a bit towards the sweet. Biscuity malt, caramel sweetness, nice Bock-like malt profile. Finish is clean, with lingering herbal bitterness. Hop flavor is in the background, some spicy and tea-like character. Mouthfeel is medium body, with medium-low carbonation. (3.5, 3.5)

Overall a pretty clean, solid offering from Baxter, definitely better than most of their stuff. Ends up being a bit too sweet and lacking crispness towards the end of the pint. (3)

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Tarnation California-Style Lager from Baxter Brewing Co.
3.62 out of 5 based on 228 ratings.
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