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Cullion
29th November 09, 11:47 AM
I just got back from a trip to my parents' place in Leicester, and in a local pub, for the first time ever, I saw a real American beer on tap. Anchor Steam Beer at 4.7%. I've never seen a real 'artisan' American-made beer on tap in the UK before.

It was much more carbonated than the ales and bitters I'm used to in England, and I liked the effect. Normally that level of fizz is something I'd associate with a lager, but the effect with a beer that has a strong flavour is amplifying as it sorta wakes up your tongue. Flavour on the front of the tongue was a well-judged fresh bitterness that didn't overwhelm but packed a punch when combined with the unaccustomed effervescence.

It had a slightly sweet and smoky (vaguely whiskey-like) aftertaste which I was a little bit unsure about. It reminded me a bit of McEwans' Export scottish ale.

For some reason, that may be to do with some kind of tariff, this beer was extremely expensive. It was 4.10 a pint (that's almost 7 USD). That's almost double the price of a pint of decent British ale like Speckled Hen.

I'd give this 8 stars out of 10 for flavour, but I'm knocking a star off on value for money.

Spade: The Real Snake
29th November 09, 11:55 AM
It's a San Francisco brewery so they have a "Guilty White Man" sur-tax.

partyboy
29th November 09, 12:16 PM
For some reason, that may be to do with some kind of tariff, this beer was extremely expensive. It was 4.10 a pint (that's almost 7 USD). That's almost double the price of a pint of decent British ale like Speckled Hen.

now you know how we feel when paying for english beers

Cullion
29th November 09, 12:19 PM
I should look this up. We don't have to pay a fortune for American whiskey like Jack Daniels or Jim Beam, or Canadian beers like Molson. They're just reasonably priced.

Maybe there's some kind of beer tariff between our countries ?

Keith
29th November 09, 02:47 PM
I doubt there's a seperate "beer tarrif" on top of any sort of alcohol tarrif. US craft beers are just expensive outright. Anchor Steam is a small brewery, so lower production volume means higher cost to the consumer.

Cullion
29th November 09, 03:41 PM
How small ? Wychwood brewery where I live is pretty small.

Adouglasmhor
29th November 09, 05:14 PM
You could drink Hobgoblin or Circle Master and you drank anchor Steam beer instead?

Cullion
29th November 09, 05:24 PM
I wasn't at home, I was in a pub 80 miles away. I wanted to try a real American beer and the chance doesn't come up very often. In fact that's the first time I've ever seen a real American beer on tap.

Adouglasmhor
29th November 09, 05:40 PM
Fair enough, have only had it bottled.

billy sol hurok
29th November 09, 06:42 PM
They make a pretty decent porter.

Keith
29th November 09, 07:10 PM
How small ? Wychwood brewery where I live is pretty small.
I don't know exactly how small. In their FAQs section they simply claim to be a "small" company.

Sun Wukong
29th November 09, 07:19 PM
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TheLordHumungus
29th November 09, 11:01 PM
I'd guess some sort of tariff. Anchor steam is the same price as any other bottle halfway at the other end of the country.

Adouglasmhor
30th November 09, 04:16 AM
I'd guess some sort of tariff. Anchor steam is the same price as any other bottle halfway at the other end of the country.

A bottle of Anchor Steam or their pale ale is the same price as a bottle of any other Import including European here and we do not have a tariff against European Imports - that's why it's called the common market. I am guessing because it's draught it has cost a bit more to bring in as it is a limited amount compared to the hundreds of bottles shipped in.

Or you got fleeced. The only time I have paid more than four pound for a pint was Leffe.

EvilSteve
30th November 09, 11:33 AM
Kind of surprised that you thought it tasted like McEwan's. The McEwan's I had was a pretty bog-standard scotch ale- big and malty. Anchor Steam over here is super hoppy both in palate and aroma, so it's really REALLY bitter.

Not a big fan of Anchor brewery, save for their Christmas ale which is IMO the best on the market.

HappyOldGuy
30th November 09, 11:43 AM
Their porter is my go to beer. I think it's the best domestic dark.

By boutique beer standards, they are actually pretty huge. Probably only behind Sam Adams and Sierra.

Zendetta
30th November 09, 01:10 PM
Had some of their brew last night.

Their Christmas Ale is Totally Tits.

Cullion
30th November 09, 01:32 PM
Kind of surprised that you thought it tasted like McEwan's. The McEwan's I had was a pretty bog-standard scotch ale- big and malty. Anchor Steam over here is super hoppy both in palate and aroma, so it's really REALLY bitter.

Not a big fan of Anchor brewery, save for their Christmas ale which is IMO the best on the market.

Only the funny sweet aftertaste, I appreciated the hoppiness at the front.

EvilSteve
30th November 09, 01:52 PM
You may like their Liberty Ale then. It's heavily dry hopped so lots of hoppiness up front but not as much in the palate.

Adouglasmhor
30th November 09, 06:28 PM
Yeah you can get Liberty here, that's the pale ale, morrisons sell it.

Cullion
30th November 09, 06:42 PM
Alright, I'll look for the Liberty. There are no Morrisons this far south that I've seen.

Zendetta
30th November 09, 06:45 PM
I thought the Liberty Ale was their summer brew? I don't think you can get it now.

Adouglasmhor
1st December 09, 02:14 AM
I have bought it at Christmas before and it was in date, they probably make a separate batch for export.

Robot Jesus
1st December 09, 07:56 PM
I should look this up. We don't have to pay a fortune for American whiskey like Jack Daniels or Jim Beam, or Canadian beers like Molson. They're just reasonably priced.

Maybe there's some kind of beer tariff between our countries ?

I haven’t ordered Canadian in a long time, it's usually the cheapest beer available at any given venue. cheaper beers are available but only at a retail establishment and not for consumption on site.

is there a British equivalent?

Zendetta
1st December 09, 08:04 PM
I have bought it at Christmas before and it was in date, they probably make a separate batch for export.

So americans can only get Liberty for a few days around the 4th of July, but our corporate oligarchs are willing to export Liberty abroad any time.

That is a potent metaphor.

Cullion
12th December 09, 05:46 AM
I haven’t ordered Canadian in a long time, it's usually the cheapest beer available at any given venue. cheaper beers are available but only at a retail establishment and not for consumption on site.

is there a British equivalent?

In the UK the cheapest beer in a non-retail setting is usually one of the milder-strength local bitters. Where I live Brakspear Bitter would often be the cheapest beer a pub served.

jnp
12th December 09, 10:40 AM
Another vote for Anchor Steam's porter and their delicious Christmas brew.

Hey Cullion, how is Sammy Smith's regarded across the pond?

Cullion
12th December 09, 10:48 AM
Are we talking about the Sam Smith's brewery in Yorkshire, England, or is this an American Sam Smith brewery we're talking about ?

If the former, then their pale ale is one of my favourite ever beers.

http://soheil.callage.com/photo%20Galleries/Beers/images/England-Samuel%20Smith%20Pale%20Ale.jpg

If we're talking about the latter, haven't tried it.

I tried a small bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale the other night btw. It was delicious, but I again noticed a slightly sweet aftertaste that would be unusual in an English beer.

Quikfeet509
13th December 09, 11:19 AM
It was much more carbonated than the ales and bitters I'm used to in England, and I liked the effect. Normally that level of fizz is something I'd associate with a lager, but the effect with a beer that has a strong flavour is amplifying as it sorta wakes up your tongue. Flavour on the front of the tongue was a well-judged fresh bitterness that didn't overwhelm but packed a punch when combined with the unaccustomed effervescence.



"Steam" beer is the one truly American beer and it was named as such for two reasons:

1. At the time, steam has teh kewl energy source so they were being topically relevant.
2. The beer does have a large amount of fermentation and opening a bottle gives a hissing sound that sounds like steam.


Overall, I love Anchor's Stout and their XMas ale, although it just doesn't seem as good this year to me for some reason. I did drink the hell out of their Steam beer (which Anchor has trademarked "Steam" beer, which is odd BTW since it is a class of beer) when I was in SF for a wedding, but it is not one of my favorites.

jnp
13th December 09, 12:27 PM
Are we talking about the Sam Smith's brewery in Yorkshire, England, or is this an American Sam Smith brewery we're talking about ?

If the former, then their pale ale is one of my favourite ever beers.
Yes, I was referring to the brewery in Yorkshire. There is no American beer named Samuel Smiths as far as I know. I buy it when I feel I deserve a treat as it is one of my all time favorite beers. I love their porter and their brown ale as well as the pale ale.



"Steam" beer is the one truly American beer and it was named as such for two reasons:
Explain the part in bold please. Do you mean it's an American recipe, or something else?

Kein Haar
13th December 09, 01:07 PM
"Steam" beer is the one truly American beer and it was named as such for two reasons:

1. At the time, steam has teh kewl energy source so they were being topically relevant.
2. The beer does have a large amount of fermentation and opening a bottle gives a hissing sound that sounds like steam.


Overall, I love Anchor's Stout and their XMas ale, although it just doesn't seem as good this year to me for some reason. I did drink the hell out of their Steam beer (which Anchor has trademarked "Steam" beer, which is odd BTW since it is a class of beer) when I was in SF for a wedding, but it is not one of my favorites.

According to Anchor Brewing, the name "steam" came from the fact that the brewery had no way to effectively chill the boiling wort using traditional means. So they pumped the hot wort up to large, shallow, open-top bins on the roof of the brewery so that it would be rapidly chilled by the cool air blowing in off the Pacific Ocean. Thus while brewing, the brewery had a distinct cloud of steam around the roof let off by the wort as it cooled, hence the name.

It is also possible that the name derives from "Dampfbier" (literally "steam beer"), a traditional German ale that was also fermented at unusually high temperatures and that may have been known to nineteenth-century American brewers, many of whom were of German descent.

Cullion
13th December 09, 01:11 PM
There was a Cornish beer called 'Newquay Steam' that I tried years ago. It was delicious. I don't know anything about how it was made. I think they went out of business in the mid 90s.

Quikfeet509
14th December 09, 12:28 AM
According to Anchor Brewing, the name "steam" came from the fact that the brewery had no way to effectively chill the boiling wort using traditional means. So they pumped the hot wort up to large, shallow, open-top bins on the roof of the brewery so that it would be rapidly chilled by the cool air blowing in off the Pacific Ocean. Thus while brewing, the brewery had a distinct cloud of steam around the roof let off by the wort as it cooled, hence the name.

It is also possible that the name derives from "Dampfbier" (literally "steam beer"), a traditional German ale that was also fermented at unusually high temperatures and that may have been known to nineteenth-century American brewers, many of whom were of German descent.


Not sure which history lesson is accurate, the one that Anchor puts out or the several pseudo-authoritarian books on homebrewing that I own.

In the end, it probably matters little.

Adouglasmhor
14th December 09, 02:29 PM
Another vote for Anchor Steam's porter and their delicious Christmas brew.

Hey Cullion, how is Sammy Smith's regarded across the pond?

Excellent brewery, a local pub sells their Scottish Heavy which they only make for a few pubs in Scotland. They also do an amazing stout.


Anytime I am York I go to the Brigadier Gerard which is one of the Brewery's pubs for a couple of pints.

Cassius
21st December 09, 12:32 AM
It was much more carbonated than the ales and bitters I'm used to in England, and I liked the effect. Normally that level of fizz is something I'd associate with a lager, but the effect with a beer that has a strong flavour is amplifying as it sorta wakes up your tongue.Interesting observation. The titular Anchor Steam Beer is, in fact, a lager brewed with a bottom fermenting yeast that is fairly tolerant of high temperatures. It is, in effect, sort of in between a lager and an ale, but is technically classified as a lager.

American craft beer is generally more carbonated than English beer, unless you're lucky enough to find American beer on cask.

Adouglasmhor
21st December 09, 02:00 AM
Interesting observation. The titular Anchor Steam Beer is, in fact, a lager brewed with a bottom fermenting yeast that is fairly tolerant of high temperatures. It is, in effect, sort of in between a lager and an ale, but is technically classified as a lager.

American craft beer is generally more carbonated than English beer, unless you're lucky enough to find American beer on cask.
That sounds a bit like a Beer Blonde / Beer de Garde which are sold as lager in supermarkets here (so are Belgian beers so it's no indicator - one chain were selling Killkenny as stout "Because Irish beer is called stout!"). Need to investigate further over new year.

Also noticed "Sierra Nevada" pale ale from Chico brewery in stock in Morrissons - anyone tried it?

Cassius
21st December 09, 02:27 AM
Also noticed "Sierra Nevada" pale ale from Chico brewery in stock in Morrissons - anyone tried it?Assuming it's fairly fresh and has been treated well, it's a prototypical American Pale Ale. I am quite fond of it, but as I think Cullion already mentioned, it might be maltier than you Brits are used to.

Cullion
23rd December 09, 07:36 PM
I agree with Cassius' assessment. I was tasting more malt at the back of my palate than I'm used to with an English ale, and more fizz as with a Central European Lager.

Edit: I thought I'd reviewed Sierra Nevada in this thread too? Oops. I'll look for it.
I enjoyed that one as well, but I remember tasting more malt than I'm used to at the back of that one too.