Relationships: steam beer, California Common, Anchor Steam(R) beer?

Relationships: steam beer, California Common, Anchor Steam(R) beer?

Post by Daniel P. B. Smi » Wed, 03 Nov 2004 02:25:23



Turn-of-the-century steam beer was cheap (Jack London writes "A bottle
of ginger ale cost the saloon ever so much more than a glass of steam
beer"). It did not taste good (Jack London again, writing of an
episode later in life: "Faugh! it was steam beer. I had learned more
expensive brews. Not for years had I drunk steam beer.") And it was an
indicator of low social status: In Frank Norris' novel _McTeague_, the
title's character's wife, as part of the process of making him more
socially refined, "caused him to substitute bottled beer in the place
of steam beer."

Two questions. This is for a Wikipedia article I'm working on, and I'm
came to the subject through its literary connection--I know virtually
nothing about beer.

1) As nearly as I can tell from Anchor's website, Anchor Steam(R) beer
is a craft-brewed lager. Although the company has corporate origins in
a brewery that may have been making turn-of-the-century-type steam
beer as late as the 1950s, Anchor does not actually claim any
similarity in flavor or brewing methods between Anchor Steam(R) beer
and turn-of-the-century steam beer. Is that right?

2) The term "California common beer" is used to avoid confusion with
Anchor's 1981 trademark on the phrase "steam beer." But does
"California common beer" refer to a) modern beer brewed using lager
yeast fermented without refrigeration? b) modern beer that is intended
to be in the same style as Anchor Steam(R) beer? c) Or is it used both
ways?

The article in question is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_beer
. Comments welcome, (or, as it is a Wiki, you can edit and correc the
article yourself),

 
 
 

Relationships: steam beer, California Common, Anchor Steam(R) beer?

Post by bregen » Wed, 03 Nov 2004 03:12:18



says...

Quote:
>1) As nearly as I can tell from Anchor's website, Anchor Steam(R) beer
>is a craft-brewed lager. Although the company has corporate origins in
>a brewery that may have been making turn-of-the-century-type steam
>beer as late as the 1950s, Anchor does not actually claim any
>similarity in flavor or brewing methods between Anchor Steam(R) beer
>and turn-of-the-century steam beer. Is that right?

At the brewery, they are quite clear that the recipe had problems when Fritz
took over in the 60's, and that it has changed a few times since then. Brewing
methods have been modernized of course, but the basic concept of using coolships
to keep fermentation temps low remains.

Quote:
>2) The term "California common beer" is used to avoid confusion with
>Anchor's 1981 trademark on the phrase "steam beer." But does
>"California common beer" refer to a) modern beer brewed using lager
>yeast fermented without refrigeration? b) modern beer that is intended
>to be in the same style as Anchor Steam(R) beer? c) Or is it used both
>ways?

The term Cal Common is intended to be a specific style similar to Anchor Steam,
and not just a brewing method. Check the BJCP Style Guidelines category 6C.

 
 
 

Relationships: steam beer, California Common, Anchor Steam(R) beer?

Post by evilpaul » Fri, 05 Nov 2004 04:51:37


I wonder with regard to the literary reference though....what was the
character of the beer itself? Was it just a poorly crafted, high
adjunct, low hopping warm fermented lager? Or did it have some flavor
to it, but a poor reputation perhaps from being a draught only drink
as the second reference there suggests?


Quote:
> Turn-of-the-century steam beer was cheap (Jack London writes "A bottle
> of ginger ale cost the saloon ever so much more than a glass of steam
> beer"). It did not taste good (Jack London again, writing of an
> episode later in life: "Faugh! it was steam beer. I had learned more
> expensive brews. Not for years had I drunk steam beer.") And it was an
> indicator of low social status: In Frank Norris' novel _McTeague_, the
> title's character's wife, as part of the process of making him more
> socially refined, "caused him to substitute bottled beer in the place
> of steam beer."

> Two questions. This is for a Wikipedia article I'm working on, and I'm
> came to the subject through its literary connection--I know virtually
> nothing about beer.

> 1) As nearly as I can tell from Anchor's website, Anchor Steam(R) beer
> is a craft-brewed lager. Although the company has corporate origins in
> a brewery that may have been making turn-of-the-century-type steam
> beer as late as the 1950s, Anchor does not actually claim any
> similarity in flavor or brewing methods between Anchor Steam(R) beer
> and turn-of-the-century steam beer. Is that right?

> 2) The term "California common beer" is used to avoid confusion with
> Anchor's 1981 trademark on the phrase "steam beer." But does
> "California common beer" refer to a) modern beer brewed using lager
> yeast fermented without refrigeration? b) modern beer that is intended
> to be in the same style as Anchor Steam(R) beer? c) Or is it used both
> ways?

> The article in question is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_beer
> . Comments welcome, (or, as it is a Wiki, you can edit and correc the
> article yourself),