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The California Common, aka “steam” beer, is a lager/ale hybrid saved from extinction by Anchor Brewing some decades ago. Nonetheless, very few breweries make them, so Southern Tier’s entry into the category is welcome, even if they are turning the style on its head. Brewed to a robust 8 percent ABV, 2X Steam has the kind of bright, fruity character you associate with ales but also the malty, smooth, drinkable quality of a lager. It’s foamy and creamy, with toasted biscuit and toffee playing alongside honey bread and lightly herbal, floral hops. The carbonation is highly active, and the finish is longer than a winter night. Quite different than what you’d expect from a standard steam beer—and that’s not a bad thing! See if it suits your taste at Interstate Draft House.
Beer on tap: Westmalle Tripel
Beer on tap: Weyerbacher AutumnFest
Beer on tap: Tröegs Dead Reckoning
Beer on tap: Stoudt’s Gold Lager