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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 searsclone
2.9/5  rDev -14.2%
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 +9.5%
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 -2.1%
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 +16%
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 -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

P: There was a change in the packaing in 11/06: http://steamworksbrewing.com/main/newsID/17/do/news_detail )
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 -1.8%
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 -27.2%
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 -18.3%
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 -52.7%
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 than...it'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 +10.1%
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 +4.4%
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 +3%
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 +27.2%
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%
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 -7.1%
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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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by Date October 2006, Sampled September 2006
Pours with a brilliantly clear, reddish amber color. It is topped by a frothy, large bubbled, initially two-finger thick, pale amber tinged tan colored head that sticks around for a bit. The aroma is sweet with notes of caramelized malt, a touch of fruit and some herbal hop notes. The fruit character reminds me a bit of berries, and I think that it is at least partially hop derived. In addition to the caramel malt character there is a toasty grain like note that reminds me of sweet smelling fresh bread.

The taste has a certain sweetness to it, but it is well balanced by some hop character. The hop character in question is both a flavor component (herbal notes and that same berry-like note) as well as a balancing bitterness that flows throughout the flavor of this brew. This beer is really quite fruity tasting; I think it is combination of the sweet caramelized malt notes and the specific hops used. The beer is just a touch thin in the palate, it certainly makes it easy drinking, but somehow the body of this brew does not live up to (or better yet, accentuate) the flavors in this brew. I really do like the spicy herbal hop notes. Parts of this beer is similar in character to and remind me of a fresh Sam Adams lager, like I haven't had in about 8 years.

Purchased at: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of Padron4KM
1.74/5  rDev -48.5%
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 rowew
3.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz longneck bottle. Label is a bit cluttered with a description, plus all pictures of the four awards they have won. Best by date and month notched on the side.

Appearance: Pours a dark red-orange color with a thin head.

Smell: A bit of caramel, and sweet malt.

Taste: Smooth and balanced, but not overly exciting. A bit of malt sweetness in the start, and just a touch of hops at the finish, this one is a bit lacking in flavor.

Overall impression: Not bad, but certainly not the most interesting beer I have tried. It's drinkability is the best thing it has going for it, but it wasn't interesting enough to keep me coming back for more.

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Photo of 67cuda
4.13/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours 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. I found this to be a very drinkable beer from a brewery that is fast becoming one of my favorites, at least if their other beers are as good as this and their Colorado Kölsch!

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Photo of Beaver13
2.83/5  rDev -16.3%
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 gbontrag
4.28/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Fine-bubbled froth that holds well enough to make your acquaintance. It's a thin coffee color that's alive with carbonation tails.

Soapy suds aroma, beechwood, and cherries.

It's dry and crisp with a touch of vanilla, wild cherry-elderberry; puff of smoke and a dash of dry herbs. Wow! This is one helluva a delicious lager. "Lager?" I said to myself. Now, I say, "lager, and damn good." this deserves the recognition they advertise on their bottle.

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Steam Engine Lager from Steamworks Brewing Co.
3.38 out of 5 based on 129 ratings.
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