Good and steamed: California's steam beer - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Good and steamed: California's steam beer

Updated: May 2, 2013 03:47 PM EDT
© iStockphoto.com / Gene Krebs © iStockphoto.com / Gene Krebs
  • FOX 10 Arizona Morning's Food & RecipesMore>>

  • Recipes: Beef bourguignon; pecan pie & cream cheese ice cream

    Recipes: Beef bourguignon; pecan pie & cream cheese ice cream

    BEEF BOURGUIGNON RECIPE2lbs of grass fed braising beef cut into chunks (Beef Chuck)2 onions cut into quarters4 carrots, sliced roughly1 leek sliced into ½ pieces4oz bacon lardons5 red Lasoda potatoes (blanched in boiling water until fork tender- cool and cut into quarters)2oz of butter3 tablespoons oil1 tablespoon garlic1 tablespoon of tomato pastebouquet garni1 bottle of red wine10 cups of beef stock10oz of blue oyster mushrooms (Roasted with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper to taste)Method:Heat b...
    BEEF BOURGUIGNON RECIPE2lbs of grass fed braising beef cut into chunks (Beef Chuck)2 onions cut into quarters4 carrots, sliced roughly1 leek sliced into ½ pieces4oz bacon lardons5 red Lasoda potatoes (blanched in boiling water until fork tender- cool and cut into quarters)2oz of butter3 tablespoons oil1 tablespoon garlic1 tablespoon of tomato pastebouquet garni1 bottle of red wine10 cups of beef stock10oz of blue oyster mushrooms (Roasted with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper to taste)Method:Heat b...
  • Dishes Inspired by 'The Hundred-Foot Journey'

    Dishes Inspired by 'The Hundred-Foot Journey'

    Dishes Inspired by The Hundred-Foot Journey with Chef Jon-Paul Hutchins
    Dishes Inspired by The Hundred-Foot Journey with Chef Jon-Paul Hutchins
  • 4th of July desserts using 4 ingredients

    4th of July desserts using 4 ingredients

    What better way to celebrate the 4th of July with cakes? Pastry chef Country Velador from Cowboy Ciao and Super Chunk Sweets Treats shows us how to create desserts made from the same four ingredients.
    What better way to celebrate the 4th of July with cakes? Pastry chef Country Velador from Cowboy Ciao and Super Chunk Sweets Treats shows us how to create desserts made from the same four ingredients.
  • Past stories from SaveurMore>>

  • The love of tea

    The love of tea

    Wherever you are in India, you're never far from a tea vendor peddling chai, a sweet, milky tea, from trays of steaming glasses.
    Wherever you are in India, you're never far from a tea vendor peddling chai, a sweet, milky tea, from trays of steaming glasses.
  • Cape Town's classic shake

    Cape Town's classic shake

    This avocado-mint milkshake from South Africa makes a cooling summer treat.
    This avocado-mint milkshake from South Africa makes a cooling summer treat.
  • Southern comfort, Indian-style

    Southern comfort, Indian-style

    Crisp griddled dosas -- savory South Indian fried crepes -- pave the way for new friendships.
    Crisp griddled dosas -- savory South Indian fried crepes -- pave the way for new friendships.


By Ken Weaver

As I settle onto a bar stool at Vesuvio Cafe in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood, the bartender pours me just what I've come here for: a perfect pint of Anchor Steam beer.

It's brilliantly clear, deep amber in color, and capped by a bone-white head of foam. Savoring its crystalline-sugar sweetness, all I can think is how far this beer has come.

Chicken recipes at Saveur»

Steam beer traces its lineage back to the frontier brewing conditions of late 19th-century San Francisco. Back then, efforts to re-create the popular pale lagers of Europe — which required cool temperatures to ferment — were hampered by the city's lack of affordable refrigeration.

The solution was to brew a beer with lager yeasts at warmer temperatures, often associated with ales. The "steam" moniker is said to have come from the hissing of kegs filled with the brew, which bubbled with CO2 produced by the over-heated lager yeast. The taste was often sour. Still, nickel schooners of steam beer were a welcome option for San Francisco's laboring class.

16 easy casseroles at Saveur»

As brewing technologies evolved, steam beer became an anachronism. In 1965, the last company making it, Anchor Brewing Company, was near bankruptcy when it was bought by Fritz Maytag. The washing machine heir overhauled Anchor's formula, replacing adjunct sugar and rice malts with pure barley malts, improving quality control, and buying only the choicest hops.

Anchor eventually trademarked the term "steam beer," but its essence lives on under the sobriquet "California Common."

The Saveur 100: Recipes and techniques»

Lucky Hand Brewing Company in Novato, California, makes a slightly spicy Common that's one of my favorites, while Oakland's Linden Street Brewery bases its entire lineup on steam-brewing techniques, calling them Old California-Style Lagers.

"This is a beer style that was born right here in America," founder Adam Lamoreaux says. "We only have a couple of those."


Tasting Notes

Anchor Steam Beer
The modern-day archetype, Anchor Steam ties minty Northern Brewer hops to a deft backing of pale and caramel malts with a subtle, refreshing fruitiness.

Lucky Hand Cali Common
Spicy German hops, Munich malt, and effervescent carbonation yield a mildly bitter and lively California Common-style beer that happens to be certified organic.

Linden Street The 'Town Lager
A crisp, toasty hybrid with an herbaceous finish, this beer is not sold in bottles and is only available at bars within the Oakland city limits. My favorite place to have one is at the English-style CommonWealth pub in the KoNo neighborhood.

 

© 2013 SAVEUR
All rights reserved.
*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices