Barbary Coast Gold Rush
Minhas Craft Brewery

Barbary Coast Gold RushBarbary Coast Gold Rush
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California Common / Steam Beer
not listed
2.89 | pDev: 18.69%
Minhas Craft Brewery
Wisconsin, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Barbary Coast Gold RushBarbary Coast Gold Rush
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Reviews: 71 | Ratings: 84 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by bditty187:
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bditty187 from Nebraska

3.7/5  rDev +28%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Barbary Coast Gold Rush was contract brewed at Minnesota Brewing Company for the Tunner’s Guild Brewing Systems. Barbary Coast Gold Rush is part of the “Beers of America. Historical Collection.” These beers are designed to pay homage to the United States’ brewing legacy.

Translucent cherry-amber hue. Smallish, slightly off-white head, poor retention, almost no lace. Unremarkable nose, some malt, hints of fruity-ester, minimal hops profile. Tasty, decent malt foundation, noticeable hops for balance and light citrusy-bitterness. Simple yet agreeable, very drinkable. I enjoyed Barbary Coast very much, its as good as any Amber Lager I have tried.

Jan 09, 2003
More User Reviews:
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garymuchow from Minnesota

3.08/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hmmm, a California Common. Who knew? I suppose with a name like Gold Rush that figures.
Fairly tame malt aroma, but it's kinda' sweet a lager like and I'm not getting any hops.
Pours initially with a creamy dense head, but it sure leaves quickly.
Clear amber color of red and gold.
Malt flavor a little more prominent in flavor, but in the not really much more. A mild bitterness starts to grow from middle, but it stays mild and mixes with the malt, yet it maintains an empty flavorless quality. Too bad. It does better as warms and takes on a richer quality, but the hops seems to leave then.
Carbonated nicely with a decent fullness and really fine and soft bubbles. Overall holds a pleasant softness and fullness, closing in on a moderate body.
Drinks well enough.
Too bad, I was hoping for something better. Seems to approach style more effectively as it warms, but it's just lacking.

Jan 18, 2009
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cokes from Wisconsin

3.3/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden bronze with a patchy gray lacing.
Caramelized nose with flourishes of green pears, thyme, and grain.
Begins with the caramel graininess, inching towards molasses, and is immediately upswept in the fruity hues provided by sugared pears and peaches. Dries partially in the middle as grain seeps back in, but fruity eddies still churn about. It closes hoppy, with a dried herb stalkiness mixed with dessicated wintergreen. At this time a black cherry / bandage sourish astringency arises and dampens what is otherwise a fairly solid rendition.
Light bodied with a charging, kneading bubble.
This is pretty close to good, and it is drinkable, but the finish just shears it apart.

Dec 27, 2005
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Pegasus from Texas

3.03/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Deep copper in color, with a touch of haze, a large off-white head, numerous streams of fine carbonation, and scattered patchy lacing.

Aroma: Caramel notes dominate, also light fruit, perhaps a little cocoa as well.

Taste: Opens with strong caramel notes, followed by molasses and dark fruit, finishes dry with a lingering herbal hop flourish and an odd tart note.

Mouth feel: Feels a bit thin, with rough carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: Interesting, fairly drinkable, but nothing I would want to have again.

Preseentation: Packaged in a twelve ounce brown glass longneck bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a standard pint tap glass.

Jan 15, 2006
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TastyTaste from Minnesota

2.86/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From the way-overpriced American Beer History sampler. Bottle says it is brewed by MDII, but with a little research, I found out it was contract brewed by Huber.
Poured a clear copper carmel color, a little layer of head stays, but not too much. Smells slightly malty, but nothing that storong, no trace of hops in the nose. Hops are a little more present in the flavor, but this beer isn't that outstanding in any way. Mouthfeel is thin and moderately carbonated. OK beer, at best.

Dec 03, 2004
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shirfan from New York

2.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark red orange with an average layer of off-white foam.

Strong aroma of caramel and lesser of baked goods.

Taste: More caramel, mild fruity tones led by faint sour peach. Medium body, but a damp, watery finish leaves this as a bit of a bore. Boiled pasta notes ?!

An odd brew.

Jan 06, 2006
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hopsaplenty from District of Columbia

2.26/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Part of the "Beers of America" series. The label says "Gold Rush Style" Must be a new style since I didn't see it listed in the Beer Styles section.

Pours with a loud tall sand colored head of small and medium bubbles that quickly reduces to a smattering of head dust. Light amber in color with minimal carbonation streams. Smells of sweet grain. Taste is sweet up front with a slightly bitter finish. Light body and light mouthfeel. Nothing too distinctive and there are definitely better Steam beers available.

Jan 04, 2006
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Winter from Wisconsin

2.47/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear dark copper with a thin off-white head. Almost nondescript in aroma. There's some caramel, but that's about it. The mouthfeel is thin and watery. Things start off with a light malt and grain flavor upfront. Taste turns almost seltzer-like midway. Hops are very light toward the finish. Overall this is a pretty bland and uninviting finish. Disappointing for a commercial brewer. Honestly, I've homebrewed better batches of this style.

Feb 29, 2008
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oelergud from Virginia

2.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Transparent ruby body, very little carbonation. Tan tiny to small bubbled head with little lace and no retention.
Not a pleasant smell of mixed brown sugar and molasses. Faint hop spiced notes.
Roasted malts up front followed by nice warming toffee and caramel flavors. Aftertaste is very similar to the initial impression of the beer.
Medium body with very little coating.
It's ok but not a repeat brew.


Jun 03, 2006
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Frozensoul327 from Michigan

3.35/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a bad offering, yet nothing spectacular either. Poured out to a medium red color with a small 1/8 inch head of foam. No lacing noted. Aromas of malts and caramel. Taste was decent and enjoyable; caramel, roasted malts and a touch of raw molasses were present. Some grain on the finish. Mouthfeel was bland, kind of watery. Drinkability was average. Not a bad Amber, but not one I would seek out again. Worth a try.

Dec 26, 2005
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HardTarget from Texas

3.28/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

(Reviewed May 3, 2004)
Part of the Beers of America gift pack. Hope my pack isn’t over a year old, as the brewery is closed now.
Aroma: Kind of a dusty smell, hint of grapefruit.
Appearance: Clear amber with a fair off white head with minor lacing
Flavor: Much like Anchor Steam. A nice malt flavor but not really sweet. Dry.
Mouthfeel: Bit thin.
Overall Impression: A pretty good beer! Overall, fairly mild, but enough flavor to keep it interesting. Drinkability is very good. I was a little worried about the package gift thing, but this first impression has me interested in the rest!

May 28, 2006
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clvand0 from Kentucky

3.08/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color with a small head that doesn't stay around long and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. The aroma is nothing special. A little malt and a little hops, pretty plain. The flavor has a caramel malt character, but seems really watered down. Hmm. Flavor would be ok, if they wouldn't use so much water. Nothing to see here.

Feb 07, 2005
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sabrills70 from North Carolina

2.35/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bought this in a "Beers of America" twelve pack at Sam's Club. Comes ina neat wooden cary case and is makde to look "old fashioned" This years version seems to have switched brewers. It is still brewed by MDII but in Rochester, NY not Monroe, WI.

Poured a crystal clear medium amber with a 2 finger head that faded rather quickly but has good lace. Decent malt aroma, a bit smokey perhaps. Watery and a bit sour. Leaves a weird bitterness on the sides of your tounge. Dry. High carbonation and not very drinkable. A poor attempt at an amber. I hope the other 5 are not as bad. I shoul know by now not to get sucked in by marketing - I guess I am just curious.

Oct 20, 2005
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WesWes from New York

3.75/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a semi-sweet, malty scent that boasts of pale, crystal, and bisquit malts. It's also dry with a lager yeast fruitiness. The taste is decent. It has a light, yet malty flavor that goes down easily and finishes dry with breadlike notes. It has a light caramel flavor that is quite quaffable. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a damn good drinking beer. It's not the best around, but it goes down smooth. I got this as part of a seasonal sampler, so I'll look forward to having this again next year.

Apr 04, 2006
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granger10 from Wisconsin

2.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer comes as part of a "Beers of America" package I received as a gift.

Pours a dark copper, auburnish color. Golden around the sides. Very little head even though I gave a vigorous pour. Thin cap across the top. I really liked the color but the lack of head and lacing is disappointing. Aroma is weak but caramelly and toasty. A fruity sweetness begins the taste with apple notes. Caramel sugars come in next and then a more sour flavor follows. Hops seem to be there but too weak and I can't really discern a flavor. A little soapy in the mouth too. Finish is medicinal and kills what may have been good from this beer. Starts out decent but goes down from there. Also, the pamphlet that came with this said it was a steam beer which is a joke. I should mark it much lower if the brewers were trying to make a steam beer out of this. But I'll keep the ratings as is for it being an amber.

Aug 01, 2005
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SetarconeX from Florida

3.85/5  rDev +33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the brewery's "Beers of America pack"

Not having been a fan of the four previous beers from this brewery I've tried, this one was a pleasant surprise. It really is a tasty little brew. Dark reddish brown in color, with a head that barely sticks around long enough to check in, and a faint sweetness on the nose that's backed up with a whole lot of nothing. Didn't think this one would be all that great.

To my surprise, it's a fairly tasty little malty drink. Sweet and malty, though the slight flash of hops on the aftertaste seem a bit underwhelming. The soft, smoothness of the liquid almost makes up for it, making this by far the most drinkable beer from this brewery I've tried.

Nov 25, 2007
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merlin48 from Kentucky

3.25/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This 12 oz bottle is the best of the Minhas samplers so far. Pours an attractive clear copper amber with a small beige head that leaves some patchy lacing. Aroma reveals some toffee maltiness and some spicy hops. Understated but decent. Light body is well carbonated. Taste has a lot of malty sweet caramel and toffee, balanced by an earthy hop bitterness. Aroma promised more than the taste could muster, but not a bad drinking beer.

Mar 07, 2008
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cooncat from Ohio

2.91/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving from a 12 oz. bottle from a "American Beers" sampler pack, provided for me by my sister-in-law as a birthday present. No 'bottled on' date provided, so not confident of the freshness.

The pour produces a decent sized off white head, which dissipates fairly quickly to a thin rim that lasts until the end of the glass. Color is a deep copper, much darker than I expected. Some lacing was evident, but it didn't cling to the side of the glass. You have to swirl the brew to get any noticeable lacing. Clarity is very good.

Not much in the nose, except for a faint buiscuity maltiness. No hop presence detected in the nose. Very light and pedestrian. This beer is touted as being "equivalent" to Anchor's Steam Beer .. uh, I don't think so.

The taste is malty up front and through the middle of the serving. As the beer warms, a very light hop presence makes itself known, but it is so light, I can't adequately describe it as citric or grassy or fruit rind. Mouthfeel is moderately light, with a light and crisp taste, similar to macro "light" beers. The finish is clean and dry, but the maltiness never leaves, and is present at the end.

My experience is that beer assortments of this type are not much better than typical macro offerings ... with the disadvantage that they cost more. The 12 bottles did come in a nice wooden carrier which, when empty, could make a nice garden tool box. That might be the best thing about this assortment.

Final assessment. If you want a 'Steam Beer', you can probably buy Anchor's Steam beer for the same as what this cost, and have a much better beer. I can't really recommend it.


May 03, 2007
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

3.63/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lightly rusted tangelo with orange juice edges. The cap is the best part of the appearance. It's pale orange-tinted French vanilla in color and has a creamy stickiness that allows it to deposit a surprising amount of thick lace. I have no idea whether this is what a California Common should look like, but it does look damn good in the glass.

The nose is not nearly as impressive. It's well-balanced between malt and hops, the former being lightly toasted grain-like and the latter being fruit-herbal-earthy in the English style. I'm thinking Goldings. Pleasant, but not distinctive or interesting.

'Pleasant, but not distinctive or interesting' works on the palate as well. Barbary Coast tastes exactly like an English Pale Ale to me. The toasted malt backbone provides some measure of sweetness and flavor, but is superceded by the hoppier side of its personality. The beer is something less than moderately bitter with at least two thirds of the flavor profile comprised of orange fruity, tea-like, gotta-be-Brit hops.

California Common beer uses a lager yeast fermented at warm temperatures, giving it characteristics of both ales and lagers (taken straight from the 'Beers of America' pamphlet). This beer tastes and feels more ale-like than lager-like. The body is pale ale medium and is gently carbonated, both positives in my book.

After not having had a bottle in several years, I've forgotten what Anchor Steam tastes like. It's hard for me to believe that Barbary Coast Gold Rush is better beer than the originator of the style, but it's a tasty, drinkable little creation that does the style proud. I hope the rest of this 'historical collection' are at least as good.

Jul 18, 2006
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BigRedN from Nebraska

2.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Part of a mixed 18 pack of beers (got as a gift from Sam's Club, I think).

Appearance: Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer is amber in color with an off white head (about 1/2 inch). Head fades to a partial ring around the glass with no lacing. Pretty meh looking beer.

Smell: Nothing overly discernable, some lightly sweet caramel malt. No aromatic hop notes.

Taste: Some malty flavors (slightly sweet, some caramel, and yeasty bread). No hop notes. A bit bland.

Mouthfeel: Thin in body, light carbonation. Not overly exciting.

Drinkability: An easy drinking beer, not too exciting. When I think California Common/Steam beer I think Anchor Steam as the benchmark. This one misses by a lot.

Mar 22, 2009
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Dukeofearl from California

2.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of a "Beers of America" Collection received for Christmas (from Costco or Sam's Club, not sure which). Label is ivory background with "Barbary Coast Brand Gold Rush Style Beer" in green and yellow, with graphics of mountains, pick-axes, shovels, wheat sheaves, & hops (?), and "Iceless Fermentation" and "1894 Style" printed in smaller text. "Brewed and Bottled by MDII Monroe, WI".

Poursa medium amber with a small head that quickly vanishes. Aroma is slight, malty, grainy, maybe a touch of roastiness. Flavor is mostly roasted malts with a non-descript hop follow through. A little off-tasting, but nothing I can put my finger on (just not well balanced?). As my girlfriend would say, "it's beer". Not exciting, not terrible. Drinkable, but not memorable.

Feb 14, 2005
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Mdog from Minnesota

2.51/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a orange-brown color into my glass.

Smell: I sniffed this beer for about a minute and got nothing. Not offensive, just nothingness.

Taste: Again, just not much there. Faint breadiness, slight caramel.

Mouthfeel: The only impressive thing about this beer was a creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Easy to drink, inoffensive, but there are better choices.

Beer #2 of the beers of America historical collection. This beer just seems like a slighty different tasting macro brew to me. Nothing obviously wrong with it, just not much good to say about it either.

Dec 10, 2006
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tgbljb from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My fourth selection from the Beers of America Collection. Poured a medium amber color with white puffy head. Smell presents a bit of caramel and some sweetness. Taste is more caramel with some sweet fruitiness. Finish is more malt sweetness but not much else. Another misddle of the road beer. So far, except for the porter, I think they may have put different labels on the some beers.

Dec 06, 2005
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afinepilsner from Iowa

3.53/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle

Barbary Coast Gold Rush Style Beer was amber in color with an off-white head. The head was large to start with, but within a few minutes only a thin layer remained. The aroma was mainly malt. The taste was good, a malt base with good hop flavor and a little bitterness. The body and carbonation were medium. Good drinkability. Good beer.

Oct 01, 2006
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Gagnonsux from Texas

2.93/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My final beer from the American Beer History Collection. The pamphlet that come with the collection says this is a Californea common/steam beer. The appearance is carmel amber with weak head. Aroma is lightly malty and somewhat generic. Flavor is lightly malty also with pronounced wateriness. If this is a steam beer it could only be described as very watered down Anchor Steam. Drinkability is okay, for a beer this dark in color it works well as a thrist quencher.

Jan 11, 2005
Barbary Coast Gold Rush from Minhas Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 70 out of 100 with 84 ratings