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Southern Tier Brewing Company

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California Common / Steam Beer
3.54 | pDev: 13.56%
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
2X Steam2X Steam
Reviews: 95 | Ratings: 434 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of cratez
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Rating from notes. Consumed November 2013. "A respectable Steam/Common with big aromas, solid flavours, and an unusually smooth mouthfeel. Good overall."

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cratez from Ontario (Canada), Jan 26, 2020
Photo of generallee
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Appearance: It has a light orange amber colored body with a light haze. The head is just off white in color and hangs on well. As I sip it makes lots of cool lacing on the glass. Smell: The aroma has a good bready base with a balanced orange citrusy hop presence. Taste / Palate: The flavor matches the aroma. It has a solid bready malt base with notes of orange marmalade and citrusy hop bitterness.

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generallee from Virginia, Apr 17, 2015
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #80 (Sep 2013):

Without a doubt, we can appreciate brewers taking a style and doubling or imperializing it. A job well done here. The brewer’s intention is clear, as this brew simply takes California Common and makes it BIG. All of the balance and drinkability is there, which is quite a feat, especially for a lighter-colored brew.

STYLE: California Common
ABV: 8.0%
AVAILABILITY: Summer Seasonal

LOOK: Orangey bronze hue, thin lacing

SMELL: Sweet maltiness, grainy, dried grass, clean, hint of alcohol, floral

TASTE: Toasted grain, peppercorns, mild caramel, apple skin, tobacco, grassy, sweet, clean, mild fruitiness, Grape-Nuts, filberts, warming, drying finish, breath of alcohol

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BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts, Mar 26, 2015
Photo of TMoney2591
2.75/5  rDev -22.3%

Served in an Ohio State shaker pint glass.

Is it steamy in here, or is it just this beer? Anyway, this stuff pours a clear copper-bronze topped by a finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises toffee, dried malt, mild flowers, milder pine, and a touch of candied orange peel. The taste brings in more of the same, though with a heavy, overarching dose of conflicting maple syrup and pine resin. This coupling clashes constantly, drowning out the otherwise mild and genial characters. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda dry and crisp finish. Overall, this is a bit too messy of a beer to do much good anywhere. It could be worse, though, so I guess there's that...

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TMoney2591 from Illinois, Aug 26, 2014
Photo of 57md
3.67/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is a cloudy light copper with a half finger of lacing. This offering is heavier in both body and flavor than the standards of this style. The flavor is malty with an almost molasses-like sweetness. The finish is semi-dry and lightly bitter. There is also a faint lingering sweet note.

I think that this experiment proves that not all beer styles are better "doubled" or "imperialed."

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57md from Pennsylvania, May 10, 2014
Photo of SLeffler27
3.54/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Fills a North Coast pint glass with clear bright copper (SRM 12-14) while occasional columns of carbonation add to a thin, short-lived, off-white foam that deposits modest lacing.

The aroma opens with caramel and rustic tones, followed by lightly toasted malt and perhaps a hint of mint. This is generally a “beery” aroma.

While sweeter than anticipated, late modest bitterness does present itself along with toasted malt and a lingering, sharp astringency in the finish.

Lingering body with light alcohol and fizzy carbonation and a watery texture.

While this is a fine drinking beer, it lacks the crisp refreshing qualities one typically seeks late on a long hot summer day.

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SLeffler27 from New York, Mar 16, 2014
Photo of dlcoblen
3.12/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

bottle 01/21/14

A: dark orange in color. Practically no head therefore minimal lacing.

S: smell mostly of malts. alcohol.. It was hard to get a nose on this one.

T: Not a strong hop presence. I tasted malts, molasses, brown sugar.

M: I'd say medium bodied, not the best mouth feel, it wasnt all the smooth and balanced.

O: It wasnt a bad beer. It was my first California Common which I understand is a lager that is fermented at higher temperatures. Would I buy this again? Probably not for myself. Although the wife liked this one a lot, so I guess it depends who you are.

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dlcoblen from South Carolina, Jan 23, 2014
Photo of CHickman
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours hazy gold amber color with a small off white head that was full of tiny bubbles and faded kind of quickly, leaving good lacing and a ring around the top.

Smells of malt, caramel, graham cracker, biscuit, lightly roasted grains, light fruit, herbs and something sweet like honey or syrup. Hops don’t come through and the aroma is soft and malty in general.

Tastes pretty malty up front, but there are some more dry leafy hops in the mix with alcohol also showing through; like the nose, the flavor consists of malt, caramel, graham cracker, biscuit, honey, lightly roasted grains, herbs, citrus, and yeast that leaves a sweetness like a bottle fermented Belgian. There was a bit of least left it the bottom of the bottle so it makes sense regarding the flavor, but this was more complex than an Anchor Steam and the ABV coming through was surprising as well.

Mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth, with mild carbonation, a medium chewy body and a sweet malty finish that has a little yeast funk like a penny.

Overall a pretty tasty beer that was more complex than I expected from a California Common/Steam Beer, and I think that the ABV showing through separated this from the pack in this style so I definitely want to have this again.

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CHickman from New York, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of nickapalooza86
4.17/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden amber, with a half finger of head, a good amount of sediment... But it is 6 months old so I am ok with that.

Smell is bready malt, pilsneresh hop, caramel, toffee, herbal hop, toast

Taste is sweet bready malt, herbal and pine hop, lager crispness, leafy greens, a little alcohol, bittering earth hops.

Mouthfeel is medium full but with heavy carbonation.... Takes the heaviness of a double beer with the crispness of a pilsner of lager and works it well!!! I enjoyed this and am mad I did not get more then a single when it was around.... If it was round next year I will not make the same mistake!

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Photo of Slatetank
3.51/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Brass Rail in Campbelltown, enjoyed chilled in a teku.

The color is deeply hazed amber with golden highlights and thick cream head with very fine bead and thick lace pattern. The smell is malty with a slight toasted nose with some gentle german yeast esters that bring to mind marzen with a mineral aspect. The feel is good, strong yet balanced with malt and some mild hop tinges with spice and mild bitterness with the finish heavy with alcohol, not too sweet actually more drying from the alcohol.

The taste is pretty decent with some malty flavors which are toasted and slightly caramel with some very nice hop flavors which are both woody and slightly spiced with some mild yeast flavors which seem to clash ever so slightly making the malt come forward along with a mild alcohol infused finish. This is an odd beer...I like the concept, but it doesn't quite deliver a 'double california common' it does provide the double strength which is probably why it doesn't get a better score since the alcohol kind of holds it back from being more enjoyable.

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Slatetank from Pennsylvania, Dec 21, 2013
Photo of corby112
2.3/5  rDev -35%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clear dark golden orange color with apricot edges and a one finger, frothy white head that slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Pretty good retention with streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Grassy, spicy and slightly herbal hop aroma with a sweet malt backbone and subtle booziness. There's an odd caraway/sunflower seed presence as well but it's complimented by the sweeter malt notes. Bready, biscuit-like presence along with toffee, caramel and biscuit. There's a strange perfume, slightl adjunct like character that I can't really put my finger on but overall the aroma has a decent balance of earthy hops and sweet malt notes.

On the lighter end of medium body with a bitter grassy hop presence up front that's countered by a very sweet malt backbone and an unpleasant metallic adjunct like character that lingers long into the finish. This sweet adjunct flavor was evident in the nose but is much stronger here and really hurts the flavor of the beer. I'm not sure if it's just in my head but there is a sweet corn or rice flavor that is really sweet, overtaking over the hops and interesting malt notes. There's a touch of boozy heat in the finish but the high ABV is nicely masked. Not harsh per se but the hop flavors are muted and the off flavors make it tough to finish a small serving.

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corby112 from Pennsylvania, Dec 17, 2013
Photo of LCB_Hostage
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is a classic "better than a sum of it's parts" beer. After reading a lot of reviews talking about how sweet this beer was, I was expecting not to like it too much. But honestly, I didn't get any of the sweetness others referred to. It was nicely balanced had a nice hop finish to clamp down on the solid malty backbone. My only complaint is that it's a bit thin. Not to the point of being watery, but a little less robust than I would have liked. I won't put this on a "favorites" list. but it's a thoroughly enjoyable beer.

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LCB_Hostage from Pennsylvania, Dec 08, 2013
Photo of StoutHunter
3.52/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Southern Tier's 2X Steam last month for $1.75 at Boyne Country Provisions. This is the last of the Southern Tier beers I picked up while i was up north, I wasn't too impressed with the last two and I'm hoping this one turns out better, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks ok and it has the typical layout for Southern Tier's 2x series, it says it's brewed with 2 types of hops ans 3 types of malts. It poured a slightly hazy golden/amber color that took on more of an amber hue when held to the light with two fingers worth of white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some spotty lacing behind. This was a pretty nice looking beer and it looks true to style.

S- The aroma starts off with a pretty high amount of medium sweetness that borders on being highly sweet and it's followed by loads of malts that impart a sweet malt, grainy, bready and caramel malt like aroma with a slight alcohol like aroma. Up next comes the hops which are on the lighter part of medium and impart some grassy, earthy, and herbal hop aromas, with no single aspect sticking out the most. This beer had a nice aroma, but I thought it was a little on the sweet side.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness that borders on being highly sweet and it's followed by lots of malts that impart a sweet malt, grainy, bready, and a light caramel malt like flavor with just the slightest bit of alcohol taste. Up next comes the hops that retain all the aspects that they had in the aroma with the addition of some light citrus rind flavors with no single aspects sticking out the most. on the finish there's a medium amount bitterness with a sweet malt and citrus rind hop aftertaste. This was a nice tasting beer, I wouldn't have mind more hop flavors, but it stayed fairly true to style.

M- Fairly smooth, clean, a little crisp, slightly creamy, on the slightly thicker side of being medium bodied with a good amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was nice, but it wish the body was slightly thinner.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and a good example of the style. I haven't had a lot of steam beers and I've certainly never had an imperial version, but I thought this beer did a good job at sticking to the basic steam beer formula but making each aspect bolder then it normally is. This beer had ok drinkability, it was fairly smooth, but it was a little filling and the I think I would get bored of the taste eventually so I think one is enough for me, and I think the sweetness also hurts the drinkability a little. What i liked the most about this beer was how true to style it was and the appearance, I thought both of those aspects were pretty good. What I liked the least was the sweetness and thickness, I thought they could be both be toned down a little. I wouldn't buy this beer again, it really not the type of beerddd that I would normally buy, but I would recommend it as a good strong version of a Steam beer. All in all I wasn't too let down with this beer, even though it was a little rough around the edges I thought it was solid for what it was going for and I thought it was also a pretty good deal for an 8% beer. Solid works guys, I'll keep a look out for more beers from this series.

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StoutHunter from Michigan, Nov 17, 2013
Photo of Reidrover
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle from "Lifesource" grocery in Salem OR $2.19 Holy cow 8%!! a steam? Pours a beautiful golden colour with a large ,thick and frothy off white head. Malty aroma..bready,a lot of cereal ( Cream o wheat),herbal and a touch of fruit as expected from style. Taste is like the aroma but sweeter and with a good touch of warming alcohol..but not over the top. Mouthfeel is good and substantial..smooth. nice. Really don't know how to judge this beer ..but i like it but maybe one bottle would be enough.

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Reidrover from Oregon, Oct 27, 2013
Photo of otterbearfla
3/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Very low head. Cloudy hazy golden colour with a small size off white coloured head. Low carbonation showing and there isn't much lacing. The head lasted for around 2-3 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hoppy, grass/herbal

Taste - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and hops. There is also some biscuit/cereal and a bit of a fruity sweetness.

Mouth-feel - Medium body

Overall - Not distinctively a steam beer. Less acidity then I expected.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of PaulyB83
3.46/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A- Light brown/medium amber with a small white head looks light to medium bodied

S- Slight malt sweetness with a lemony tartness, slight alcohol. Got a slight rye whiskeyness to it that I wasn't expecting.

T- Similar to nose, malty sweetness with a lemony tartness and a small bitterness on the tongue

M- Medium-light viscosity easy drinking

O- This is pretty good version of a California Common. Of course I compare it to Anchor Steam which prefer, but this has a surprising level of tartness that I found interesting and not to dominate and refreshing. I picked up a 6-pack of this for 5 bucks at my local bottle shop, how could I not pick it up!?

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PaulyB83 from Michigan, Sep 23, 2013
Photo of GuinnessAtRogerWilco
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle given to me by my sales rep. Poured into a Victory pint glass.

AP: Hazy dark gold colour with a 3/4" fairly foamy white head that dissipates down to 1/4". No visible carbonation other than the head.
AR: Mostly bready aromas like sourdough and rye with caramel, biscuit, cereal grains and baguette loaf. The only other aromas I'm getting from this is a hint of lemon and a faint bit of spice that is cinnamon.
T: Mirrors the nose for the most part. The caramel is much more pronounced in the taste than the nose, but all those bread-like flavours are there. The cinnamon scent is also a bit more prominent in the taste as is the lemon tartness which mixes oddly with the cinnamon/spice aspect but somehow works, IMO.
M: Moderately carbonated, enough to give the medium body a creamy mouthfeel. Finishes with a lingering moistness that allows the flavours to keep teasing your palate.
OV: An interesting beer. I've never had the style before, so had no preconceived notions about what to expect here. The flavour is good and the mouthfeel very nice. An interesting mix of flavours that work pretty well together and the 8% ABV is well hidden. Good effort from ST.

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Photo of StraightNoChaser
3.3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

appearance: Slightly hazy amber, not substantial off white head or lacing.
smell: "Biscuity" malt, a little fruit. Pretty nice nose, nothing special.
taste: A good bit of bitterness without a lot of definition. Not near as good as the nose. fairly dry, a bit of sweetness.
overall: Haven't had a steam beer in years since Anchor Steam "back in the day". Interesting brew and kudos to ST for going for something different. Good, not great.

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Photo of vkv822
2.72/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz : tulip

Pours a very slightly hazy, burnt-orange with a foamy off white head.

Toasty malts, the alcohol is a bit more prominent than I would prefer, along with some floral/fruit notes.

Medium+, foamy body.

Not a bad beer, but nothing particularly special, and for the style, I found the alcohol a bit more prominent then I would like.

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vkv822 from Oregon, Sep 13, 2013
Photo of spinrsx
3.56/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle from the Potsdam NY IGA for $2.50

Appearance - Slightly hazy golden colour with a small size off white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there isn't much lacing. The head lasted for around 2-3 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, light hops, grass/herbal

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and hops. There is also some biscuit/cereal and a bit of a fruity sweetness.

Overall - A good interpretation of the style I guess. It's quite boring and has the taste of a session beer with enough booze to slow you down. Another beer worth trying but not something I'd pick up again.

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spinrsx from Ontario (Canada), Sep 13, 2013
Photo of rlee1390
3.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Hazy orange, one finger head, leave some lacing, not much carbonation.

S-Very malt heavy, straw, wheat and grass. Exactly like you'd expect it to smell.

T-Semi-bland. Straw heavy, tad bit of grass. Not much in the way of hops, but refreshing.

M-Medium bodied, tad watery and it could be more crisp.

O-Maybe it is the style, but this beer did nothing for me. On a summer say it is refreshing but not very flavorful.

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rlee1390 from Indiana, Sep 09, 2013
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.51/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

just a tad too heavy to be golf course beer, and I made that mistake. that's on me. however, this is a nice fall brew, being a real malt forward offering and something highly rare as far as I know, an imperial steam style. smelling like german and English malts, caramel and toffee abound, but its not that sweet. liquid bread comes to mind, if it weren't for the ale yeast, which is bright and punctual, dabbing in and out with a lightness that seems to temper an otherwise heavy grain forward brew. almost lager clean in the finish, something to behold in terms of mouthfeel. could use a touch more vigorous carbonation, but the big body is right on. not my favorite of the 2x beers, but I absolutely caught this one out of context. full autumnal, I am wring to critique this fun beer too hard. great buzz for the price too, a sixer is a chore.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.57/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger that reduced to a thin ring. It is a pale orange color with great clarity and bubbles coming up through the center of the glass.

Smell: Bready and sweet pale malts, grassy hops, and a little alcohol.

Taste: Same as above with citrus hops a little noticeable in the taste.

Mouthfeel: A little smooth, chewy, crisp, refreshing, tingly hops, medium to full bodied, and medium carbonation.

Overall: A style you don't see too many breweries try, but this beer is enjoyable and good.

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Flounder57 from Massachusetts, Sep 02, 2013
Photo of JEdmund
4.33/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was really surprised and blown away by this beer. For one, steam beers are anything but common, and to find an imperialized version of one is pretty much unheard of. In fact, this is probably my first one. On to the beer... Rich copper color, lively carbonation, and a healthy white foam head that lingers. Smell is clean, with notes of herbal (Northern Brewer?) hops and light pale malt notes. Taste really wows as it's not heavy or sweet like I was expecting. Very drinkable, full-flavored. Good clean flavor from the lager yeast, neutral malt character (just a touch of toasty flavor), and a really nice snappy hop finish. That finish is clean and biting, and I just love whatever hops they used to do this. The strength of the beer is undetectable...until you finish; then you feel that this one packs a little more booze than normal. I was left really wishing I had gotten a six-pack instead of just a single. Definitely recommended, particularly if you like steam beers.

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JEdmund from Kansas, Aug 30, 2013
Photo of Franziskaner
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Copper penny color. Thin layer of foam on top. Light malt and that familiar California common yeast aroma. The mouthfeel is smooth and crisp. Very malty profile with the familiar yeast flavoring. I get some hop interplay in the back of the palate. Never had an imperialized California common. It is pretty good, but not amazing.

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Franziskaner from Missouri, Aug 26, 2013
2X Steam from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 434 ratings