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Beer – #168 – Queenstown Brewers – Steam Brew

Another new find – Queenstown Brewers – Steam Brew – Brewed by Queenstown Brewers in the Style of a California Common and not surprisingly they do this in Queenstown, New Zealand.

330ml bottle 5.9% ABV (around 1.3 standard drinks) and an IBU of 33 – which is low end English Bitter . Califonia Common – Style originating in 18th century California, where brewers without access to refrigeration produced beers using lager yeasts and warm temperatures. These still retain some of the rounded character inherent in all lagers, but with a dose of ale fruitiness.

Queenstown Brewesrs - Steam BrewDuring the Otago gold rush, miners brought with them a thirst for a beer that originated in the Californian goldfields called Steam. It was a highly charged brew that let off a good head of steam when the barrels were tapped. The brew had the smooth richness of lager, combined with the fruity bitterness of ale, much like the beer you are drinking now.

Bready yeasty aroma to kick off with.  It is a really nice brown colour beer, and has a decent head to go with it. Aroma on the pour moves more to hops.

This is decently bitter, but instantly I’m thinking it lacks body. There are grass notes on the palate, but there isn’t a lot of length in the taste to linger over it. There’s not a lot of swee under notes either. A bit one dimensional.

It is decently carbonated and as it sits for a bit the floral note is more evident. But it’s not really enough to move this forward. It is another new brewer doing something safe and middle-of-the-road, which for a commercial enterprise is dandy and fine. But this isn’t going to ring any bells and as a result the pdubyah-o-meter says that this is a middling 6 of it’s things on the scale of things.

If I’m in Queenstown again I’d be sure to look up the brewery and be in awe of the enterprise. This though as a beer is drinkable, enjoyable and would carry you a night of merriment and good company, but it wouldn’t be remembered for it’s presence. And that’s a pity.


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