Steam Engine Lager | Steamworks Brewing Co.

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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 pezoids on 07-29-2005

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Reviews: 96 | Ratings: 129
Photo of Proteus93
3.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on Wednesday evening at Beer Run here in C'ville as part of a tasting sample for this brewery and found it to be enjoyable. Picked up a can to explore it further.

A: Amber. When I think amber, this would pretty much be the colour I think of. Head is almost non-existant, but the little bit that is there manages to hang on to the glass walls alright.

S + T: Scent is a modest, but pleasant maltiness with a touch of sweetness. Taste is similar with a little more oomph on the malts - a little more creamy and caramel like than expected. I found the hops to be pretty minimal - both in the nose and flavour, so ultimately, it came across as maybe a little one-dimensional. Pleasant on both counts, though, so it balances out.

M + D: This is one of the more accessible beers out there... something I may consider something of a lawnmower brew. Nothing too intense, alcohol is within reason, and it feels fairly smooth... not too much carbonation sting, not watery or anything. I'd have another one or two on the right occasion.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 10 Apr 2008.

Medium sized copper color head. Minimal carbonation, almost flat. Clear dull copper color. Aroma of caramel, resin and cinnamon. Starts lightly caramel sweet. Becomes moderately sour, finishes the same. Medium body, medium alcohol.

Aroma is the highlight of this one.

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Photo of dwpiercetx
2.68/5  rDev -20.7%
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 tpd975
2.8/5  rDev -17.2%
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 thekevlarkid
3.83/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Off the tap at their brewery this "California Common" style beer (a uniquely Americanized lager) was a tawny amber color with a bright white head. The retention was decent and it left moderate lacing. The aroma was appealing, clean, semi-sweet malt, hints of toasted malt and some earthiness. The flavors were at first malty and nutty but it then went a little spicy with the hops before returning to the roasted malt finish that lingered on my tongue. Nicely layered. The body was medium, the carbonation the same and the mouthfeel semi-smooth. A pretty good example of the style and enjoyable.

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Photo of Oxymoron
2.24/5  rDev -33.7%
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 Jyubei
3.17/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A. Reddish gold brew under a cream colored 1 in head. the head vanishes quickly and there is almost no lacing.

S. Bitter hop smell with a hint of bread and flowers.

T. Malty at the front of the mouth and hops at the back with a bready aftertaste.

M. Very smooth with a little stickiness.

D. It tastes good,although it has limited complexity, but the head disappears too quickly. I probably won't buy it very often.

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Photo of allengarvin
2.95/5  rDev -12.7%
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 Atlas1
3.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

More beer in a can. Pack it in, pack it out.

Figuring it deserves a proper lager send-off, I pour this one into my Sam Adams crazy glass. Nice dark amber brown color with bright hues of orange and red meandering throughout. Pleasantly surprising head on top; thicker than I imagined, with good staying power. Bits of lace as the beer recedes. The nose is sweet and fruity. Apple and strawberry, with a nutty pecan scent as well. Caramel malt too. Tastes quite nice to me. Nothing crazy here, or overwhelming, but very subtly pleasant. Lightly malty sweet with faint fruit flavors (mostly apple and pear). A funky popcorn aftertaste lingers a bit too long, but it's relatively inoffensive. Creamy mouthfeel up front lasts longer than expected as well. Not as crisp as I would have liked, but certainly nothing to shake a stick at.

A solid outing here, if you ask me. I don't have much steam beer experience to compare this with, but this is a fine lager. Not as crisp and refreshing as I would have thought it to be, but a totally drinkable, quite tasty beer. At 5.5% ABV, you can easily make this a session beer, and the cans make it one of your best friends on a camping trip.

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Photo of WesWes
3.65/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a 1/2" offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a sweet crystal malt scent along with a nice nutty, roasted aroma. The taste is decent. It has a dry roasted flavor with a nutty, sweet caramel finish. It's a bit thin in the finish with some lingering roasted flavor. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a tastey beer, although I feel they got a bit off track with the style.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can, obtained in the under a hundred bif

appearance: poured into a ND soccer pint glass, cloudy amber body with a minimalistic beige cap and little retention...a very placid appearance

smell: rustic malts, caramel, tart red apple, a little metallic, a touch of honey and a slight nutty characteristic

taste: classic lager malts, metallic notes, caramel and apple, a touch nutty. Overall, pretty flat and dull flavors but an easy drinker on a football saturday

mouthfeel: flat and medium-light bodied

drinkability: fine

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.16/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one finger head with a decent head retention. There is a nice amber color as well.

Smell is very faint and only caramel malts come through. No hops on the nose at all.

This beer is very malty. It's sort of like an amber lager. The caramel malting is fine, but I want some hop bitterness to balance. There is a bit of diacetyl butteryness. The hop bitterness heightens up a bit later, but the beer is still lackluster.

The mouthfeel lacks adequate carbonation. The malts are a bit thicker than some other beers. I just want more hops and more carbonation.

This is an average beer at best. Luckily it comes in a can if one needs to drink at the beach or something. But then again, I have oskar blues for that.

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Photo of Onslow
2.46/5  rDev -27.2%
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 Ragingbull
3.82/5  rDev +13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Amber in color with little to no head and tiny prickle. Malt nose with almost a citrus tone to it. Fresh attack with a mild malt flavor that grows towards the finish and resonates in the aftertaste. Caramel malt notes hidden throughout. I would recommend this beer to anyone who prefers lagers and especially to those who are fringe microbrew fans because they are scared off by "big" or "dark" beers. This is a great bridge beer in my opinion.

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Photo of kgotcher
4.05/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very drinkable Amber lager. Actually I prefer it to Sam Adams due to the malt driven flavor that is a bit sweeter than SA.

Typical amber color with good carb and nice head. Good retention and lacings.

Aroma is strong on malt. Bock-ish if you will. I actually like the smell more than the taste, Mouthfeel is a bit too carbonated.

Taste is refreshing sweet malt with a nice balanced finish of floral hops.

I would put this as a really nice amber. Nothing awesome, just really drinkable.. But it helps to live in Durango if you want to drink this often.

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Photo of MinorThreat
3.31/5  rDev -2.1%
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 -12.7%
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 +5.6%
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 +43.8%
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 stumac
4.27/5  rDev +26.3%
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 -2.4%
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 +4.4%
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 -23.7%
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 -11.8%
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 -18.6%
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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Steam Engine Lager from Steamworks Brewing Co.
3.38 out of 5 based on 129 ratings.
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