Steam Engine Lager | Steamworks Brewing Co.

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Steam Engine LagerSteam Engine Lager
131 Ratings
Steam Engine LagerSteam Engine Lager

Brewed by:
Steamworks Brewing Co.
Colorado, United States

Style: California Common / Steam Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stirgy on 07-29-2005

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 131 |  Reviews: 97
Photo of Bitterbill
1.6/5  rDev -53.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Purchased at Wilbur's Liquors in Ft Collins as part of a mixed 6 Pack.

It pours from 12oz can a very nice clear deep amber with a very large head of billowy foam that shrinks slowly leaving a fine broken layer.

The smell is very floral and borders on chemical-like. Not a good nose in my book.

The taste on first sip has some caramel malt that is semi sweet and. there's something odd here....after the swallow, I smack my mouth and I get a really foul taste. Tastes like..umm...ashes???
Yucky yuck. I've taken about 3 mothfulls and that's gonna do it for me. The rest is going down the drain. :^( As a side note, the can has these numbers on it: 6 04 04 A 1 B A. If this was canned in 2004 asw the numbers may suggest's sad that this one was still in circulation but I have to say, I've been to Wilbur's many times and this last visit was the first occasion that I saw this beer. Anywho, I can't recommend this one from the experience I'm having...

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Photo of Padron4KM
1.74/5  rDev -49%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz can, from a sample six pack. No freshness date.

Clear amber, with a two finger short lived head.

Faint aroma of caramel, and and even lighter citrus aroma.

Flavor is slight burnt sugar with a mildly bitter finish.

Not very interesting.
Their spiel is that they are a bridge from macro swill to micros. I think that bridge is washed out.

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Photo of timlyon
2/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of Oxymoron
2.24/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Seems like everyone is canning these days. Pours a crystal clear amber color with a defining red hue. A soft white head that quickly dissipated to the edge of the glass and left next to no lacing.

The nose is malt centered with some noticeable off notes. The crystal notes really come out nicely but have a blood or metallic type of aroma that is off setting. More of a sweeter caramel note versus a kettle caramel thing. A slight DMS but more of a nutty aroma with some minor yeast notes. As it warms a touch of acetaldehyde as well.

The taste has a strong mineral flavor that just is off setting. The malt comes out nicely but is limited. The caramel flavor backs off, which gives that off flavor more emphasis. The yeast is cleaner but the acetaldehyde comes out more. Some minor honey and a lighty bready note. There is a light herbal/spicy note on the back end.

The body is light which also brings out the mineral flavor. Carbonation is low. Overall not sure if I would call this a steam beer but really limited flavor and noticeable water issues.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
2.46/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This bottle was brought from CO by my sister's boyfriend. At least he's good for something...LOL.

Pours a deep reddish amber color with a bit of chill haze. Thin off-white head disappears rather quickly. Lacing isn't a factor.

Sweet malty aroma with a buttery back ground.

The flavor is sweet and buttery. Not anything like I am used to in a Steam beer. Almost a sour butter flavor.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery. Aftertaste is a turn off for me. I don't think I will finish the rest of the glass...those last couple of sips can go down the drain. And just when I thought he may be good for something....

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Photo of Onslow
2.46/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

this is really a rustic amber lager! ... is smooth and quite a simple liquid ... is similar to an ale in a few ways ... is refreshingly different in the mouthfeel location ... pretty nice stuff but there is something about this brew ... a touch different but it does the job...

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Photo of carteravebrew
2.5/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of NitroGen
2.56/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

P: There was a change in the packaing in 11/06: )
Here is what I can tell you about the change:
P: A 12 oz. brown longneck bottle.

While on the Steamship website found:
Alcohol by Volume - 5.3%
International Bitterness Units - 25
Standard Reference Method - 12.3

Freshness marker on the back label with “Best if consumed before:” then a vertical listing on the right side of the label:
(Bay stands for the Bayfield, Colorado Steamworks Brew Pub and the DGO is for the Durango, Colorado Steamworks Brew Pub)

There is a slight nick that has been taken from the label next to a Month/Date/Year/BAY or DGO. My beer was ‘best if consumed before Nov, 07 and was made at the Bayside BrewPub.
While previous reviewers allude that this may made similar to Anchor Steam’s method of beer making , I could no mention of that on the Steamworks Web site.

A: Clear amber pours with minimal foam that quickly dissipates to a slight cover and minimal lacing.

S: Slight and thin malty nose that made me think of a sweet soy sauce. And this is my first beer this evening!

T: Light malt with a hint of hops that does have a hint of sweetness and leaves a clean and dry aftertaste.

M: Smooth and crisp that I found a bit dull towards the bottom of the glass.

D: Would drink before a Budweiser on a hot day, but not by much.

Please note I may be doing this beer a disservice as it is so close to it’s ‘best by date’. Will be interested to see how this compares to other reviews.

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Photo of JDV
2.58/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thin, transluscent copper with small quickly fading offwhite head. Smell is apple juice and malt. Is that the acetaldehyde or whatever I read about that tastes is similar to green apples? Anyway, some of that, and regular old malt and some tartness and dustiness as well that I'm not too crazy about. Taste is a bit metallic up front. Slightly sweet, but balanced by the hops. Crisp bubbly, average body. Nothing special, but I've definitely had worse.

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Photo of ZoomanCru
2.68/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Steam Engine – Amber Lager (5.5%) - Steamworks Brewing Co. (Colorado)

App: Pours a resilient copper with a tight two-finger head of small bubbles. Head dissipates fairly quickly, but doesn't totally evaporate. Lacing is loose, but present. Slightly hazy.

Smell: Malt totally dominates nose with a severe husk-like graininess. Smells unfermented, with a distinct cereal aroma. Hop bitterness faint, but not totally absent. Like having your head in a grain bag.

Taste: Tastes slightly over boiled. Husky astringency noticeable on the first sip. Not a whole lot of character. Malt body is light, slightly sweet, and very grainy. Was expecting more caramelized notes based on the color. Overall, this beer is fairly clean on the palate, but it does have some lingering grain astringency that's a little off putting. That being said, the pale malt character that dominates this brew is nice if you like that flavor. Hops bitterness is minimal, with no discernible taste. Cracker like toastiness, slightly sweet, and somewhat astringent. Reminiscent of Kentucky Common without the esters.

Mouth: Light bodied, right for style. Less carbonation that your typical lager. No lingering sensation, save a slight, lifting bitterness long after the swallow.

Home tasting, 12oz can into Tulip Glass. 5/3/14.

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Photo of ATGHomebrewer
2.68/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle in Denver, Colorado
A - not much aroma to speak of
A - redish amber color, about an inch of head, dissapates mostly after a few sips
M - medium body, medium carbonation
T - malt, a bit tinny flavor. a slight bit of hop flavor in the aftertaste
D - this beer is drinkable, but not very memorable. an average beer for the style

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Photo of dwpiercetx
2.68/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not a big lager fan, so this could be a little skewed. Nice coloring for a steam beer. Light reddish-brown. Decent foam with good lacing. Again, not a lager fan, so taste was a bit BMC-ish. I would definitely recommend it to lagerites. Having it in a can was kinda cool too.

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Photo of HardTarget
2.75/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle Inspection: New to Texas, marked best by J 08 (sampled F 08- classic dumping of old product on a new market) also marked Bay, which I assume means it was brewed in the Bayfield CA brewery. No abv, but "Arguably the best American Style Amber Lager in the World"

Aroma: Sweet malt nose, lightly grape, lightly bready, almost a dopplebock nose.

Appearance: Perfectly clear slightly dark amber glass that struggles to hold a collar with only a trace of cover that gives up some lacing.

Flavor: A light dopplebock taste too! That's to say the flavor is malt driven, no hop notes but sweetness is far from cloying. The mild black grape flavor is there (esters are a no no in a lager, no?) but it's not unpleasant, in fact it's one of the few flavor characteristics there.

Mouthfeel: Light body, weak carbonation that ends up being a bit lifeless.

Overall Impression: Lager characteristics come out, mild flavor, clean finish, but there just isn't a lot to get excited about here. An easy drinking beer that would make a decent session and one to lure non-craft beer drinkers over. Glad I tried it, but I doubt I'll be back.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
2.76/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Welcome to the mountains here's your trail map to the campsite and a canned six pack of fresh lager.

Pours out a copper penny, two finger head and a thick tan appearance. Smells of light hops and caramel. Tastes of the same with an up front sweet caramel and a hint o' can and light hops finish. mouthfeel is medium heavy with a decent amount of thick bubbles on the tongue. Drinkability is average figuring this is a cooler packer for a boat or camping trip. I like a little more pizzaz in my beer but for the style this is pretty decent.

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Photo of Andbrew
2.76/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a shaker glass at Shugas Bar in Downtown Colorado Springs.

Nice crystal clear light amber pour with a good head that diminishes quickly. Nice and sweet malt aroma with almost no hop smells.

Light body and crisp fizz mouthfeel to it. Hunk of malt on the top with just a hop hint around the edges. Slightly bitter but enough malt to smooth it out.

Not bad overall, refreshing, but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of tpd975
2.8/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to SeaBass for this one.

A: Nice light copper hue. Small fizzy head which quickly dies to nothing. No lace.

S: Sweet caramel malt with a dash of hops.

T: Rather simple. Roasted caramel malt with a touch of hops.

M: Sort of thin.

D: Just okay overall.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.83/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours a reddish amber with a fizzy head that quickly goes down to a ring.

The aroma is grainy/corny malts, a little DMS, some sweet caramel, and some spicy hops.

The flavor is slightly sweet watery malts, some cherry and oak with a little spiciness at the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied but watery.

Overall, very similar to the Dillon Dam Straight Lager. It seemed pretty pedestrian. I liked the Dillon sample a tad better.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.85/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served on draught into a pilsner glass in high altitude Fort Collins, Colorado. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a three finger head of slight cream, fair thickness, and pretty decent retention. Colour is a semitransparent copper-amber.

Sm: Slight hops, caramel, and light cream. A mild strength aroma.

T: Pleasant malt, slight cream, and light hops. Decently balanced, if simple. I like the build for what it is. The caramel is well-handled.

Mf: Smooth and wet, sort of suiting the style.

Dr: A decent beer for the style. Okay quality, but largely unremarkable.

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Photo of searsclone
2.9/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz can into a 16oz pint glass.

No head to speak of, or smell for that matter. I tried and tried but I couldn't really get any smell. Maybe a little perfume or floral, but nothing stood out. It reminded me of a Smithwicks. I personally feel like they both have the same taste and smell as a glass of water. The mouthfeel is similar to a macro brew, fizzy and smooth. For all of these reasons, as I am drinking and typing, I find it to have a high drinkability. Maybe it's because I am searching for a smell or flavor and not paying attention to the amount I'm consuming, but it is almost gone. For that, I gave it a high drinkability. Not a beer I will go out of my way to try again. Almost gone now, maybe a little malt and hops???

FYI: the can is marked 6 04 04A 1 B A and it is now 01/21/2008

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Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
2.91/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours an apple cider color with a good off-
white head with really good lacing. Nice
bubbles floating up, love carbonation.

S: No apparent aromas come off of the pour.

T: No overwhelming flavors...bland at best.

M: Watery, just plain watery

D: There is no body to this and along with the
lack of flavor and aroma, there seems to be
no good reason to keep drinking this one.

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Photo of treehugger02010
2.92/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I got this out of the variety case, which I bought from Bryn Marw beverage in Rosemont, PA. I poured it into a pint glass.
A: The body is a transparent brown color. The head is zero fingers tall, a tan color, awful retention, no lacing and small size bubbles.
S: The aromas are caramel, coffee and misplaced fruit notes.
T: The flavors are light expresso, some weird berry stuff going on and caramel.
M: The mouthfeel is very thin and edgy.
D: This is an average beer.
Don't drink and review.

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Photo of allengarvin
2.95/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

New canned beer here in Dallas... into a Chimay glass, it pours a light mahogany color with a thinnest of heads on top. The aroma is very faint, just a light dusting of hops. Hmm, flavor is bland, with a light caramel and no hops to speak of, a very watery body...

The canned form of this beer is very inferior to the bottle (which is not great, but at least is drinkable).

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Photo of FightingEntropy
2.95/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This light copper beer pours with very little head, but what's there is white with small bubbles. Light malty nose but little else, but nothing off. Sharp initial taste, acidic almost, and then malt. Very light in the mouth, watery, disappears on the back of the tongue. Not dry--the beer just drops off. Light and relatively smooth, but nothing to drive to Durango for.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.98/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice reddish amber color, with a small white head. It smells sweet and hoppy, with a little bit of malt in the background. the taste is nice and crisp, with the malt showing just a bit, and the bite from the hops is good but not overwhelming. The mouthfeel is nice and balanced, much like the taste, quite good.

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Photo of Mora2000
3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a orangish-copper into a pint glass. Smell is lightly fruity and some malt and yeast. The taste is nothing like the smell, with heavy on the fruit with a little malt and no detectable hops. Not sure what the fruit flavor is, maybe some kind of berry.

There really isn't much here for this beer. Nothing bad about the beer, but nothing too good about it either. I easily finished the beer but not sure if I would drink another.

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Steam Engine Lager from Steamworks Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.41 out of 5 with 131 ratings