City Steam Careless Love | City Steam Brewery Café

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28 Ratings

Brewed by:
City Steam Brewery Café
Connecticut, United States

Style: French Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
It's not everyday we'll tell someone to be careless with one of our beers, or with love for that matter. Almost in a category by itself, this unique FARMHOUSE STYLE brew has become a cult favorite with the fans of out little downtown Hartford microbrewery. Strong and malty, its original recipe was was inspired by the tastes and atmosphere of Northern France. It is oak-aged and served unfiltered. Like love itself, each sip is better than the last....until it's gone!

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-15-2005

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 28 |  Reviews: 15
Reviews by jbhollis1180:
Photo of jbhollis1180
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

More User Reviews:
Photo of tigg924
3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the brewery

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, clear, amber in color, moderate carbonation,

Smell: light oak and dark fruit--not the strongest smell

Taste: apple, dark fruit, vanilla and light oaking as it warms

Mouthfeel: sweet with light bitterness, light bodied with medium carbonation

Overall: Interesting and surprisingly light for the abv. One of the better beers I have had from City Steam. I like the apple taste and will pick this up again.

 460 characters

Photo of far333
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pilsner glass. Somewhat cloudy, chestut colored. It has a thick look to it. Sorry to give a low number for appearance because it's not Ron's fault - the server just poured it right to the rim with no head whatsoever. A light aroma of sweet malt and fruits. Flavor is immediately sweet without being cloying, and is rich and complex, driven by nuances of butterscotch, sweet pear, ripe apple, rich doughey malts, and caramel. Each of these play off each other, no one takes center stage at any time, but they all play their part. Finishes with a marshmallow flavor, and rolls off the back of the tongue with a banana flourish. An understated citrus hop rides beneath. Mouthfeel is full and creamy, and finishes with a tingle of carbonation. Amazing beer.

 765 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.66/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Griffith
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Gmann
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from on tap at the brew pub. Pours a cloudy brown color, average off-white head that settled into a sparse cap. The aroma was faint, some brown sugar and maple syrup. The taste was of brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, oak, caramel and some sort of spice. The brew had a moderate body with prickly carbonation, sweet overall and had some alcohol belly burn. A unique biere de garde, very sweet with a big maple syrup presence.

 433 characters

Photo of Westyn
3.54/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of mjc410
4.68/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Served in a very oversized (22oz?!) Pilsener glass

Appearance: Darker orange-clear, slightly golden. Short off-white head (due to the bartender's pour, he made every cup overflow so that the head was short). The head quickly became very rocky before dissipating to a thin froth with sustained lacing.

Smell: Covertly sweet, smells a bit vinous. Odd smell for a beer that nevertheless is quite nice.

Taste: Nothing like what I expected from the smell! Oak, vanilla, coconut (especially in the aftertaste). Alcohol is extremely well hidden. Everything is sweet, not to the point of cloying, but just right. Phenomenal.

Mouthfeel: Just in the middle of light and heavy, perfectly coats the mouth and conveys the beer's flavors very well.

Drinkability: What can I say? It goes down with an unparalleled smoothness, yet brings rich flavors with it. I've never had a beer this strong finished so fast. I only bought one because I wanted to keep my senses for the Hartford bar tour.

Notes: This is the first time I've had this style. The best beer that I've ever had. If only they could sell it bottled or in growlers. CT laws suck! The only downside for this beer.

 1,190 characters

Photo of wyllder
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


As noted by others, this comes served in a tall pilsner flute.

Deep mahogany in color with some visible cabonation but little in the way of a head.

The nose speaks of mild fruits and caramel malty goodness. Dark cherries, bready scents and caramel are here.

Flavor is balanced, with the bread & dark fruits vying for supremacy on the palate. Just past midsip there's a slight alcohol feel in the back of the mouth that plays nicely.

Mouthfeel is solid, slightly creamy with an almost liquor feel that's not at all unpleasant.

I could spend a long time drinking this.


 601 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
4.89/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


This beer stole the show during my trip yesterday. Humble Patience recommended it while drinkin earlier in the day. Thanks!

The beer arrives in a tall fluted pilsener glass. The brew is a clear mahogany color with an edge layer of off white head.
Aroma is actually fairly sweet with some toffee mixing with berries, cherries and vanilla. Very appealing!

First sip reveals a very fine gentle carbonation and average body.
Flavor is sweet and alittle sugary up front. I get cherries and raspberries with some light caramel as well. This flows to some pears and finishes with a touch of vanilla. Very smooth and easy to drink for 7.2%! Wish I could have had a growler of this one! I would have probably poured a glass for breakfast!

Go get it now!!!

 768 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Damian
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank on-tap at City Steam Brewery, Hartford, CT

Poured a clear, dark mahogany with a tight, white, one-finger head that left an intricate webbing of lacing down the glass.

The aroma was super oaky and dry. When I smelled the beer, all ll I could imagine was a dry white wine.

The flavor was similar to the aroma except perhaps a bit more complex. As in the nose, the oak flavor dominated. White wine-like qualities were again apparent. Quite woody, dry and tannic with green grape notes. Some bright, lemony, citric qualities came through in the center along with a touch of warming alcohol. The beer finished right where it started. Dry, oaky and quite tannic with a lasting, woody aftrertaste.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied, smooth and creamy with a fine, moderate effervescence.

Drinkability was decent. Although the oaky notes were quite overwhelming, the alcohol prowess of this brew was rather well masked.

This was quite an interesting biere de garde. Never before have a sampled a beer that had such overwhelming white wine-like characteristics. I am usually a fan of oak aging but I feel the brewer got a bit carried away with this offering.

 1,155 characters

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


good beer we have here.

served in a pilsner glass, like carolus at delaney's. looks similar too.. a reddish brown with nice head and aroma.. wow. sweetness. sugar and fruits. taste is like a really light chocolate.. not like a porter, like a chocolate-covered-raspberry. adding to the sweetness. and caramel character. light at the same time, but full of flavor.

i could have drank this all day, but i have work to do. helped me with my pool game. could i get this in a 20oz'er with a mug club membership?

$35 seems cheap now.

 553 characters

Photo of slim2043
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of Deuane
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing a growler.

A-Brownish copper with a thin light tan head that reduced to a thin veil and left spotty lace.

S-Lightly sweet caramel malt, biscuit grains with apple and honey. This is like an apple muffin, just like it was described to me!

T-Much like the aroma, flavours of sweet caramel and honey covered apple override a light spicy hop presence.

M-Medium bodied with a light slickness and a mildly bittersweet finish.

D-Quite nice. Fruit and honey sweetness mix well with caramel and spicy hops. An interesting flavour profile that works well and equates to a pleasant brew.

 609 characters

Photo of rsant
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of Durge
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tall pilsner style glass at City Steam Brewery Cafe, this cold Biere de Garde (Farmhouse Ale) shows a darkish caramel color with a sturdy white layer of fuzz on top and very solid lacing. The aroma is brown sugar and caramel wheat and herbal berry hints, very interesting, a touch medicinal but in a good way I think. There's also some lemon flower here. Then the first mouthful brings a cloying mid to full bodied wave of soapy clove with an oak undercoating. It delivers sweet vanilla cream and a lazy licorice backdrop that collects at the back of your mouth. The soapiness relents a bit as you go, thankfully, and it becomes a unique blend of woodsy clove and malt. Midland drinkable although it's not so much the alcohol as the thick "soapy" quality I pick up. I enjoyed it as something kind of different and would definitely recommend it for a try.

 868 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The last beer stop on our trip coming back from Kate the great day - I ordered this on tap -served in a tall pils glass

A - A medium dark brown shad w/ good clarity and 1/2 in of light beige cap w/ lace streamers that hold on to the glass

S - A 'apple muffin' smell as FooFaa said is apparent - mildly apple yeast and slight cinnamon note w/ a bready malt accent and light biscuit-like earthy notes

M -A clean feel w/ mild maltiness and crisp carbonation - hints of toasted malt w/ moderate hop bitterness very clean texture

T - A sweet mild fruit taste w/ gentle toasted malt flavor and mild cinnamon-like spice from the yeast w/ mild herbal hop notes and bran-like sweet cereal quality

D - A very drinkable Biere de Garde especially considering it drinks like a session brew practically - the carbonation level is perfect giving it a lighter feel w/ refreshing malty lager quality-not something you usually say for a beer over 7% - the beer has plenty of noble hop character to balance

 993 characters

Photo of ejane
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of mltobin
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap in a 14-oz. pilsner glass at City Steam Brew-Ha-Ha Comedy Club in Hartford, Conn.

A: Poured a deep, reddish amber color with a thin, frothy head of off-white foam which left little to no lacing on the glass. Clarity is excellent and the color is vibrant and inviting.

S: Lots of fruity esters with a range from muted pear and apple to red raspberries. A whiff of spicy booze permeates the fruity and slightly floral aroma.

T: Sweet, luscious and fruity malts dominate the palate with very little in the way of bitterness. Any heat is derived from the higher ABV as a result of the malt-rich blend. Hints of caramel, roasted grain, raspberries and cherries fill the palate with a smooth, yet boozy and somewhat herbal and cloying finish.

M: Full-bodied brew with some slightly sticky and puckering fruity esters as well as a warming, boozy alcohol bite.

O: This was a very enjoyable brew, but a French Biere de Garde? I don't think so. Either the recipe changed to that of an American Strong Ale (which it is described as such on the menu) or my understanding of the style is far too obtuse. Regardless, Careless Love is a very tasty, sweet, fruity and strong malt-bomb to warm the palate, body and soul.

 1,222 characters

Photo of Hautacam
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice deep amber with a small tannish head that drops to a film in a tall pilsner- type of glass.
The smell is dried fruits and vanilla.
Taste is very sweet....caramel,vanilla,some slightly acidic apple , pear...some other fruits..berries?....layers of flavor..a bit of alcohol...a very nice brew.
Mouthfeel is high end of medium with kind of low carbonation.
It all works well together...very drinkable.
I've had this a few times in the last year or so and it is consistently good.

 488 characters

Photo of Boto
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Draught @ Brewpub: This was quite the nice brew. The color was a slightly reddish shade of copper, and was fairly clear. The head was small and tan. The aroma was interesting: There was a lot going on there, but I got some notes of floral, vanilla, oak, caramel, and many other unidentified aromas. The taste was quite good. It was sweet, with some caramel, vanilla, fruits, all coming together to make a really good brew.

 422 characters

Photo of cosine
3/5  rDev -25.2%

Photo of Duffman79
4/5  rDev -0.2%

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City Steam Careless Love from City Steam Brewery Café
Beer rating: 4.01 out of 5 with 28 ratings