Sunday, April 28, 2013

Widmer Brothers Columbia Common Review

I apologize for my finger at the bottom right corner, it will not happen again

Tonight I'm looking at a spring seasonal offering from Widmer Brothers Brewing called "Columbia Common", which is a Steam Beer/California Common style beer. 

To give a Spark Notes explanation of what a California Common is, it is basically a beer fermented  with yeast which ferments at warmer temperatures. This was developed in the 19th Century by brewers in California who had to develop a yeast strain which allowed to it to ferment in California's warm climate.The name "Steam Beer" is trademarked by Anchor Brewing Company so other breweries wishing to make this style must call it a "California Common." 

It pours a dark orange color with a pretty clear appearance. You can see a mild amount of carbonation climbing up the sides of the glass and the lacing retention is quite good. 

The nose has some fairly strong yeast and barley notes which are backed up by a pretty mild Pilsener-like grassiness. It does smell like, in a way, liquid bread.

Flavor wise, it has the yeast and barley flavors I've come to expect but it also has a strange hefeweizen-like spicy zing to the flavor. I'm guessing it's the Columbia Hops they've used in making this beer as it does advertise "spicy hop notes" on the company website's description of the beer.

The beer itself is pretty moderate in terms of weight and the carbonation only has a slight kick to it, so it does feel pretty refreshing especially right now after this long day.

It's a decent beer and gets the job done, but I felt the spicy aspect of the flavor was unnecessary. I understand it's what makes this beer a "Columbia Common" but I'm pretty sure if I like my California Common without spice in it.  It is not a bad beer, however if I wanted a spicy beer I would have a Rogue Chipotle Ale instead.

Widmer Brothers Columbia Common - 7/10

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