Chautauqua Brew
Southern Tier Brewing Company

Chautauqua BrewChautauqua Brew
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American Amber / Red Ale
3.49 | pDev: 16.05%
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Chautauqua BrewChautauqua Brew
Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 45 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of tdm168
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery's tasting room on 12/23/11.

Pours a pale gold with a 1/2" of soft white head. The nose is faint grass and mild caramel. The taste is similar; faint notes of caramel and hints of grassy, earthy hops. There is a faint bitterness in the finish. This one is very light and well carbonated.

This is a very easy to drink beer. In fact my brother-in-law and I took little time to finish our pints. Flavor-wise, however, it lacks anything special for the style. Honestly, for an amber ale, it didn't have many of the things I would expect like amber body, heavy caramel notes, and a heavier mouthfeel. Don't get me wrong, this is in no way a bad beer, just simple and light.

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tdm168 from Pennsylvania, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hazy amber with a decent head. Smell was a muted hops, with definate hints of grain and even a slight caramel. Taste was a bit thin, but had a definate sugary touch to it. Hoppy dry finish with a tiny pine bite. Very drinkable. Overall this was a decent beer, I could see this being served in large numbers as it is very smooth and very drinkable

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mikesgroove from South Carolina, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of rlee1390
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up at the brewery a few weeks ago and I finally got around to trying it.

A-Semi cloudy to clear yellow-orange. About a finger worth of head that doesn't stay along very long.

S-Wheat with some hops.

T-Lemon and some slight wheat tones to start, not much bitterness is present either.

M-Light and crisp

O-So far one of the worse ST brews out there, but it was worth the try. All fans of ST should try this one once, but don't expect much.

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rlee1390 from Indiana, Jun 12, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
3/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drove 6 hours to the brewery to take a tour last summer. I was one of the first people in line and they told me they were out of tickets already. I was pretty pissed, So I decided to drink my anger away and I started with this one.

This brew pours like most Red Ales do, this beer had a decent head on it and a fairly hoppy aroma. It was on the lighter side when it came to mouthfeel, and the taste was moderate. Hops came first and dry malt in the finish. This beer is just one for the people who don't have any clue about what Southern Tier does. I look at this the same way I looked at Dogfish Head's Lawnmower Ale.

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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania, Apr 08, 2011
Photo of mdaschaf
3.47/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to THECPJ for providing this beer.

A: Extremely light yellow, reminds of a BMC beer. Small white head, very little lacing, small carbonation bubbles released from the bottom.

S: A little bit of hay, some grains, a little doughy malt, and a very weak floral aroma.

T: Similar to the nose, light grains, a little floral and grassy. Slight lemony flavor at the end.

M: Light bodied and crisp, would make for a good summer beer.

O: Very simple, not a ton going on, but nothing wrong with it either. Lawnmower beer for sure.

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mdaschaf from Washington, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of MadScientist
3.95/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Crystal clear pale golden with a creamy white head that quickly dissipates.

Aroma: a light aroma with faintly citrusy hop aroma with a nice balance of malt.

Flavor: A good balance of citrusy hop and malt flavors with a bit of caramel/biscuit in the background. A good flavorful beer for he style.

Mouthfeel: A nice bright, bubbly mouth feel with a pleasing weight on the palate

Overall Impression: This is an excellent light style beer from Southern Tier who is better know for high alcohol, aggressively hopped beers. It's a nice crowd pleaser that would be an excellent choice to into introduce ale to you macro-brew/lager friends.

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MadScientist from New York, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of generallee
3.35/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: From the pour I got a clear golden yellow beer with a bright white head. The head is light and fades quickly to just a light film covering.

Smell: The aroma is light and has notes of pale grain and fresh white bread with just a hint of grassy hops.

Taste/Palate: The flavor matches the aroma with a clean light grain and white bready maltiness balanced with light grassy hops. I also get just the slightest hint of citrus hop flavor in the quick, dry and slightly acidic finish.

Notes: This is a light and very basic ale, which is nice, but I will defiantly be sticking with there other more interesting and bigger beers!!!

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generallee from Virginia, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of mtnbikerpa
2.84/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass at the brewery. This is a local beer only distributed in Chautauqua area. Bright golden color with about an inch of head. Strong scents of straw and freshly cut hay. Very earthy flavors stand out the most ahead of any real hops or malty flavors. Mouthfeel is smooth. Pretty easy to drink on a warm day, but I was not a huge fan.

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mtnbikerpa from Pennsylvania, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of billab914
3.36/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Surly shaped glass. Poured golden yellow in color with a thin white head scattered across the top.

The aroma is grainy and slightly sweet with just a hint of hops to it. Pretty plain and light but also clean and crisp. Not bad for the style.

The taste is similar to the nose in that it has a slightly sweet, grainy, malt flavor to it. It's light, crisp and clean which all fit with the style pretty well.

The mouthfeel is light and carbonation is moderate. It's a pretty good beer if you look at it as a substitute for a macro, but nothing special overall. Easy drinking on a hot day, and goes down easy.

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billab914 from Virginia, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of biegaman
3.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Chautauqua Brew looks nowhere near as unusual as its name sounds. It is a stock, uninspiring, lightly foggy shade of yellow that will look quite familiar to all beer drinkers everywhere in the world. Its surface has shed of all its head and, despite the constant updraft of bubbles, seems incapable of growing any more. Lacing will be impossible.

Fortunately, this beer fails to have the off-putting smell of corn syrup or adjuncts like most pale lagers in the U.S. do; unfortunately, it also fails to do anything to decorate the boring and lifeless bouquet that results from a simple pale malt grist. Knowing these brewers, I expected a spattering of zesty, colourful hops... but this is not Hop Sun.

While that particular beer, despite its lightness and mindless quaffability, is fit to impress even the more refined palates, it's evident that Southern Tier has aimed this offering to more mainstream, less choosy drinkers. And that's fine - hops aren't mandatory, provided of course that they keep the malt profile clean, relatively tasty and quenching.

Which they certainly have. The crisp, pure, lightly grainy, faintly bready flavour of pale malt comes across the palate without the tiniest hint of corn, rice or buttery diacetyl. A snippy, grassy, lemon zest-like bitterness cuts the flavour off before it begins to linger in the form of an aftertaste (assuming it would be strong enough even to do so).

Start the lawnmower, Southern Tier's covered the refreshments. There was a time (pre-Prohibition) when hundreds of American breweries were crafting agreeable, unadulterated beers like this. While the style leaves much to be desired, it's still good to know there are again breweries offering pale lagers in their pure, traditional form.

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biegaman from Ontario (Canada), Jun 26, 2010
Photo of bamadog
3.32/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review is from notes taken on 5/10/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass. Glad I finally came across this beer on a recent trip back home. Not nearly as good as some other beers from Southern Tier, but definitely solid enough in the end. Worth trying, but not necessarily seeking out.

Appearance: Pour is a pale golden/yellow straw color; starts with a one finger white meringue-like head with solid retention; body is very clear and shows very strong and fast carbonation; fair and dry looking washes of lacing hold on to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Some dry, toasty grains. Nose is very faint and not much coming out of it.

Taste: Not too shabby -- a little plain overall, but crisp and light toasty grains; a bit of a thin and sweet malty backing; very faint hop bitterness that's a little lemony.

Mouthfeel: Very light and crisp body with strong and lively carbonation; a very clean finish.

Drinkability: This is the kind of beer that could be drank all day, but it's really kind of plain and lackluster overall; not bad and a solid beer, and it's not as if everything has to be he huge or exotic or barrel-aged, but I think there are ultimately better offerings from other breweries that meet this criteria much better.

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Photo of kels
3.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks so much to bamadog for sharing this one with me. I'd like to get to ST myself one day and take a look around.

Pours a bright golden yellow with complete clarity, exposing tons of little bubbles rising quickly throughout. The 2 finger foamy, soft white head fades and retains well at a 1/2 finger solid skim. Lots of thick lace sticks to the sides of the glass.

Not much aroma to speak of at all. There's the slightest hint of the dry crispy grain, but that's a stretch to find.

Very tasty beer that's quite representative of its style. The grains are crisp, toasty and dry. They are complimented by a nice light lemony citrus hop presence. After the drink, the graininess comes through slightly nutty, but not heavy. Flavors are not too bold and are well-balanced, and when coupled with the bright, effervescent carbonation and fizzy, mouthfilling feel creates one heck of drinkable and refreshing tasty beer.

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kels from Virginia, May 05, 2010
Photo of aerozeppl
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bwyker for this. Long a bane of my wants list.

A: This is not an amber ale.Perfectly clear golden color. Nice clarity. Minimal white head. poor head retention

S: Tons of sweetness with not much else helping out. Not a good nose at all.

T: You do get malt which is a plus. Beyond that quite a bit of sweetness. Little touch of fresh grains. Finishes a little bit on the dry side.

M: Dry for the style. Different.

D: This should be an all malt lager. There is no way in hell this is an ale. A good example of the style however. In Chautauqua County this is king. I like that they took their own stamp on a style for a local market. On a hot summer day I could put back a few of these.

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aerozeppl from New York, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of riversider76
3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden with a thin white head.Very little retention and just a bit of lacing. Aroma is of bready malts with some hints of fruit. Body is light and carbonated. Taste is of grain,and grassy hops.Hints of fruit,and a nice finish.Great session beer. Always good from Southern Tier!

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riversider76 from New York, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of bobsy
3.89/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Viggo gave me this bottle in exchange for a Edmund Fitz or a Troegs Dead Reckoning after we got back from Buffalo. Like him, I was also surprised to see this on sale because I thought the geographic availability was far more limited. Anyway, cracked open a bottle to celebrate the start of the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.

Pours a lightly hazed gold with a good two fingers of white head, which eventually settles to a thin film and then a sparse collar. A few spots of lace are left here and there, but the appearance is decidedly average for the style, and better retention would have been nice. The aroma more than makes up for this, though, with its gentle grassy and toasted malt notes. It smells like a session beer! Joining the party are summer berries, baked apples in caramel and a bouquet of fresh flowers. All of these subtly combine in the flavour, which while it will never wow you, does make for the perfect session brew. If I had to nail down the key flavours in play I'd probably highlight toasty malt, fruit and caramel. Its subtle, but its gone before I know it. Quenching mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

Its not a big bruiser like some of Southern Tier's brews, but proves to me that they can make smaller beers just as well as the bigger ones. I could imagine this being a staple sixer if I wanted to kill some beer while watching a sports game.

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bobsy from Ontario (Canada), Oct 13, 2009
Photo of Viggo
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Picked up a 6 pack of this at Consumers Beverage in Buffalo. Surprising because I thought they only sold it in Chautauqua County.

Pours a slightly hazed golden, some amber highlights, thin white head forms, quickly settles to a nice ring around the glass, few lace spots stick. Smell is nice, very sweet and malty, honey and caramel, grainy, toasted oats, very fruity, some floral, tea like hops, lightly grassy, pretty nice for an American blonde. Taste is similar, some apples, grain, caramel malt, biscuit and toast, some light floral and fruit, very light flavour but balanced a drinkable, a bit of lemony tartness in the finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium to high carbonation. A good session beer.

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Viggo from Ontario (Canada), Sep 29, 2009
Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.06/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found this brew in Erie County in six pack form, and was seriously ecstatically thrilled to sample and notch this one under.

A: Good golden yellow in color, nice noticeable white head and killer lacing that stoled the show.

S: Mild malt, light grain, splash of slight citrus notes.

T: Nice balance of minimal hops and that there malt action, tastes pretty clean, dry in the back.

M: Watery in texture, tolerable carbonation, abv nonexistent.

D: Good crisp brew overall, has session written all over it. It gives the style some justice, but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of DawnL
3.78/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale golden color with lacing.

Oaty, barley nose with a slight wheat germ aroma.

Light in flavor with a honeyed rolled oat quality. There's a little banana on the back end. It's not overwhelmingly banana.

Good, porridge-like mouthfeel.

This is a very drinkable session ale. It is clean tasting with very primal, comforting flavors. One of the surprises of the evening.

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DawnL from New York, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of adamette
2.94/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap at the brewery 8 28 09 into a clean, clear glass. Review from notes.

A Very clear, light, brief head. Kind of boring look, really. 2.0

S Grains, mostly barley sheath smell. Smells exactly like the taste when I chewed on some barley malt during the tour of De Halve Maan brewery in Brugge, Belgium this summer. 3.0

T Not interesting at all. It tastes like the barley that makes up most of the beer (second to the water). Not much of a hop presence. 2.5

M Very light, not impressed. 2.0

D Great but I do not think that I will order this again 4.5

Notes: A thin, uninteresting beer offered as a kind of a "pub exclusive" at the empty pint, Southern Tier's pub in Lakewood, NY. As far as a tribute for the locals, this leaves a lot to be desired.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

was surprised to find this at the store, thought it was for locals from chautauqua county only. poured from cellar temp bottle into my southern tier pint glass. pours similar in appearence to a big macro lager. clear pale golden straw color with some fizzy white head that dissappeared quickly to a thin ring. lots of rushing bubbles, some medium lacing.

the aroma is fairly light. some light grainy malts, a little buttery, slight grassy hop in there as well.

nice balanced flavor. nice light buttery malt flavor up front with a nice light bitter hoppy finish. a little yeastiness going on as well.

nice light mouthfeel, although slightly heavier than most macros, creamy mouthfeel, good carb. good drinkability as well, very sessionable beer, nice for the summer.

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dogfishandi from New York, Aug 17, 2009
Photo of jmalex
3.86/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I didn't think this was available anywhere other than locally at the brewery so I made sure to pick some up when I visited last month.

APPEARANCE: Pours into a Southern Tier shaker pint a crystal clear pale golden yellow. The head is loose-bubbled and somewhat small, but what's there holds fairly well.

SMELL: The aroma is not terribly intense and quite simple. The most striking thing is how clean it is allowing crisp pale malt and a mild earthy, noble hop aroma to come through perfectly. The beer is so clean that it almost seems like a lager-like sulfur character is present.

TASTE: Crisp and balanced, but the finish features a slight bit of yeast esters unlike the aroma. Noble hops provide a balancing bitterness to negate any sweetness. It's clean, it's refreshing, and the simplicity speaks for itself.

MOUTHFEEL: Light bodied with an average carbonation level. There's not much to say except that it's pretty much exactly what it should be.

DRINKABILITY: Naturally, drinkability is quite high. Just a great everyday beer that you could have a few of.

It's no-frills but it works. Consider yourself lucky if you have access to this, but it's not exactly something to ever seek out.

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jmalex from Pennsylvania, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of goblue3509
3.81/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Recently changed the label on this one and I was excited to get it. It pous a very clear yellow-gold color. Starts out with a two finger head with gives way to some lacing on the glass. The smell is very faint. The smell of some malt is there. Taste is not complex taste of barely and malt but very faint. The mouthfeel is dry and slight carbonated. The drinkability is very high this is one of the smoothest beers I have ever had. Even though it lacks complexity of other beers it is very enjoyalbe an can be enjoyed over and over again.

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goblue3509 from Pennsylvania, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of drcarver
2.88/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

A - a light yellow body small white quickly fading head. No lacing

S - No real aroma. A little malt.

T - Similar to that you Molson Canadian. Strong mid-mouth malt flavor. Non-offensive. It's a great local.

M - Some bitterness and a light metallic feel

D - Beers don't go down much smoother than this one.

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drcarver from Pennsylvania, May 17, 2009
Photo of woodske1
3.41/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Well...I love the idea of a Beer only sold in one county...very cool. That's about it for this one though.

Outside of being very easy to drink there isn't too much of a reason to hammer down on these.

It also seems southern tier is fazing this one out. I've been to the Empty Pint a few times where it wasn't on tap.

It's also almost impossible to find bottled around the lake. You can get it on tap in many local bars though.

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woodske1 from Pennsylvania, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of JohnQVegas
3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft at the Southern Tier Brewpub (The Empty Pint).

Poured a clear a light golden amber with a bit of a fizzy white head.

Aroma is light, crisp malt.

Taste is clean and light - bit of grainy, slightly biscuity malt with a very light grassy hop bitterness. Finish is clean, not much lingering flavor to speak of.

Decent session beer. This would be a nice one for a day on the patio in the summer.

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JohnQVegas from Tennessee, Jan 31, 2009
Chautauqua Brew from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 45 ratings