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:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 131 |  Reviews: 97
Photo of MinorThreat
3.31/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served from a 12oz bottle

A-Gorgeous. Amber/copper absolutely crystal clear nice pure white head and decent lacing.

S-Toffee and roasted nuts mild sweetness

T-Nutty with a toffee sweetness. Not much complexity, fairly tasty, probably a nice fall session brew.

M-Decent, soft slight bite. Pretty good

D-In a perfect world this would be what domestic macro brews tasted like. Not offensive, not impressive, pretty 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 dsa7783
3.57/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single, twelve-ounce bottle copped from New Beer Distributors on Chrystie Street in Manhattan...
Pours a ruddy, copper-colored hue, dark to medium orange with no head and very little lacing...
Earthy, grainy, butter aroma - very mild and unassertive...
Taste was dominated by nuances of bread and butter, light caramel, and a hint of vanilla...
Smell strongly complemented the aroma to say the least...
Malty flavor with a honeyed, candied, sweet finish... Light-bodied...
A decent stab at the style, and a very easily drinkable brew...

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Photo of ZAP
4.86/5  rDev +42.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An outstanding highly drinkable California Common.

The characteristics that jump out at me are the toasty malts and caramel notes...both on the aroma and the taste...both are fantastic.

Has a bit of a woody or rustic hop dimension that complements rather than exerts itself.

Also some real mild but sweet fruitiness (Think baked apple pie filling mixing in a little with the caramel) on the aroma and taste.

Not as clear as it should be..

I find this beer fascinating and spot on for the style. Light side of medium bodied...carbonation is firm

Perhaps I have had too many old and outdated Anchor Steams lately but this one blows it out of the water based on what I have had recently...also better than the Flat Earth California Common.

To top things off this is from a can. I can't think of a better beer to have at BBQ's, while fishing or on the golf course. Great session beer with character.

I think this is my first beer from this Brewery and I have never heard of it before..I hope their other beers can match this one..

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Photo of Beer-Zombie
4.27/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours an amber color with very small, quickly dissipating head. no lacing. the nose is sweet malts and a fruit. the fruit is a yellow apple. taste is crisp hops, fruits (yellow apple), sweet malts. light bodied, low to medium carbo, sweet finish.

a delicious summer beer!

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Photo of rye726
3.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a nice suprise and a decent California Common. It has an amber brown color with a tan head. The nose is fairly light. Some sweet malts and mellow hops. The taste is very malty with agian some light hops. perhaps a little too sweet for the style, byt still good. Good medium body and well carbonated. A good brew, but like I said, a little sweet.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best before July, 08.

Appearance: Perfectly clear bronze. Thin bubbly off white head. Lace is left in patches sporadically.

Aroma: Light toasted malt notes and some grain as well.

Flavor/MF: Clean malt profile. Slight toasted qualities and slight caramel. But nothing really stands out. Clean yeastiness as well, as to be expected. A bit of a honeyed nuttiness on the aftertaste. This has the potential to be pretty good. But as is, it is not all that bold or complex or unique. Decent enough though, and definitely not flawed. The medium full body adds some girth to this beer.

Drinkability: Solid beer overall. I could drink some of these. But I expect a little bit more of this style.

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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 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 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 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 RblWthACoz
3.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly darker amber with very little head that left a slight bit of lacing. Flavor is a little earthy and somewhat smoky. Mouthfeel is standard and it is highly drinkable, though in this case I think that is a bad thing. It’s just so drinkable because it is way too even. There are no unique characteristics and nothing mind blowing to really warrant trying this, or coming back to it. I had my eye on this brewery and some of it’s brews for a while, but I have to say I am disappointed with this offering.

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Photo of benito
3.31/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Steamworks's version of a steam beer has won a ton of awards in the past few years; thanks to that, they've come up with the curious slogan "Arguably the best American-style amber lager in the World." There are enough qualifications on their for any legalist, and, thankfully, they even leave room for dissent.

It is a pale copper with a thin, persistent, and creamy head and lots of carbonation. The bouquet is muted--a hint of honey and nothing more. It has a strong caramel flavor matched by earthy, woody hops; the mintiness that I associate with Northern Brewer hops (and Anchor Steam) is missing, and I wish the length of flavor were a little greater. The hint of honey is a nice touch. It has a smooth, well-balanced and easy-to-drink feel. The spritziness of the finish distinguishes this from being some sort of generic "red beer," and keeps it squarely in style.

Overall, this is a fine and somewhat unenthralling steam beer. I do love to see a brewery stake its flagship brew on an unfairly minor style; unfortunately, it doesn't come close to touching Anchor Steam.

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Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer departs the 12 ounce bottle a reddish amber color with the head bright white and creamy, the size about three fingers, as it slowly diminishes, the lace forms a fine curtain to drape the glass. Nose has a nice malt sweet aroma, crisp and clean, also has just a touch of fresh dirt, start is malt laden, somewhat sweet with a touch of tartness at the back, top is moderate in feel. Finish has a spiny acidity, the hops delectably spicy and the semi-sweet and dry aftertaste lingers long, have had this in the can & bottle, both taste the same to my palate.

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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 ttu94
3.32/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this beer from hotterthathell which is what the weather is like around Dallas for October 2.
Not the best looking beer. Clear slightly dark. Almost no head. Very malty smell. Sweet taste, slmost too sweet but a slight hop bitterness saves it in the end. Not a bad brew but as far as the style goes I think Anchor Steam is a better brew. I will have to do a blind taste off in the name of beerdom.

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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 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 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 BadRockBeer
3.72/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Serving Type Sampled: 12fl. oz. brown crown top bottle. Features freshness date. And a bad ass photo of a steam engine.

Appearance: Amber to copper in color with golden hue. Slight chill haze. Nice 1½ finger white head that faded into a foamy lace.

Smell: Herbal hops sweet malt, some what biscuity.

Taste: Big malt right up front, sweet and toasty. A little spicy hops poke through. The finish is somewhat grainy but still pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium in body. Well carbonated.

Drinkability: Great. This is a very refreshing lager, a little on the thick side but still very satisfying. I will be purchasing more of this brew. I do have to say that I obtained this brew from the local brewery rep. after I had a bad bottle of their beer. Steamworks customer service is A+.

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Photo of Domingo
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark golden color. A little head is present, but not too much.
Smells unoffensive, but nothing special. A little bitter hops, but I doubt I could blind choose it instead of a macro.
Flavor's a tiny bit sweet at first, but then turns to a huskyness and finishes dry with the hops. Reminds me of a Yuengling to be honest. It's got a little more flavor, but it's a little thicker, too. As it warms the flavor comes through more, but it loses some drinkability.
This brew goes down VERY easy when served cool. Compare it to a macro, or the earlier mentioned Yuengling...which is a good thing. A lager like this should go down easy, and it does.
I don't really thing this is a world beater, but it's a pretty good quencher.
It's a style I like for a day to day beer and I have no problem going back to this one. The only real issue is that it's more expensive than comparable beers like Yuengling or Karl Strauss Amber.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at Old Chicago. Must say that this followed a Titan and SN PA.
Poured a semi cloudy brown body, topped by a small and lackluster white head. No retention.
Smell of sweet malt and a bit of butterscotch.
Taste is more of a light lager I think. The malts are held down, and the hops don't grow. Overall the taste is sublte, yet it is a bit refreshing. Drinks quickly.

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Photo of tonistruth
4.3/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- poured a copper color with auburn hues, sports a 1/2" white head with good retent that will settle to a little ring, good lacing

S- floral aromas as well as caramel and pine

T- Malty with a distinct hop presence, almost like an amber ale. Caramel and toasted malts. Piney flavor throughout the whole brew, estery finish with a toasty aftertaste.

M- smooth and crisp light bodied brew

D- fantasic brew, awesome beer for this style (which is a califorina common, dont know who put this in as an ale). Sessionable, looking forward to this one again.

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Photo of seedee17
3.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber color with a little chill haze, lingering thin head
S: Caramel aroma, a little toasty malt and a hint of alcohol
T: Mild flavor all around, not too much going on except a little fruityness and a slightly bitter finish
M: The carbonation is really nice, beer is slightly viscous
D: A really inoffensive beer all around, nothing really to get excited about, but an easy drinker.

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Photo of russpowell
3.14/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours amber with a a 4 fingers+ fluffy sand colored head. Great lacing & head retention

S: A hint of caramel & malt

T: Sweet malt & herbal/piney hops; finsihed prickly & semi-malty

MF: Light/medium bodied with pricklyness, not balanced

Drinks average, this is a different beer than bottled version; I'm so confused???? Way better can beers availible in CO; weak

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Steam Engine Lager from Steamworks Brewing Co.
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