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The Lake News Online
Norman Miller reviews brews, offers food pairings and writes about breweries.
Anchor has a new beer, Southern Tier brews a beer made famous by Anchor
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About this blog
By Norman Miller
Norman Miller reviews brews, offers food pairings and writes about breweries. Norman is a reporter and beer columnist for the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass. For questions, comments, suggestions or recommendations, email ...
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The Beer Nut
Norman Miller reviews brews, offers food pairings and writes about breweries. Norman is a reporter and beer columnist for the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass. For questions, comments, suggestions or recommendations, email nmiller@wickedlocal.com or call 508-626-3823. Or, follow the Beer Nut at his Twitter page at www.twitter.com/realbeernut.
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By Norman Miller
Aug. 9, 2013 5:06 p.m.



This week I’ll take a look at a pair of new-ish beers that you can find locally on liquor store shelves.

First up is the Anchor Brewing Company’s California Lager, the first entry in Anchor’s new Zymaster Series. It was previously released as a limited only draft beer.

The California Lager is a recreation of a lager brewed in California in the late 1800s by a brewery named Boca. Back then, due to the lack of refrigeration, it california-lager-label-500was difficult to brew lagers in California because typically lager yeasts ferment at colder temperatures. Interestingly, that’s how steam beers, the most famous being Anchor Steam, was created, because they fermented lager yeast at higher temperatures.

Anyhow, how is the new California Lager? Not bad. The alcohol by volume is 4.8 percent. It’s light tasting, with an almost doughy, bready flavor from the barley malt, with a hint of cereal graininess. The hops add earthy flavors, with a hint of citrus (maybe grapefruit) in the finish.

It is remarkable easy drinking, each sip seemed to deplete a fair portion of my glass. It is a good hot weather beer.

Talking about Anchor, the beer they made famous, the Steam, has gotten a face-lift from the Southern Tier Brewing Company, which has released the 2x Steam, an 8 percent ABV version of the classic style.

I went into this without high hopes – I never had an Anchor Steam and thought to myself, “Beer Nut, this is good, but an imperialized version would be even better.”

At first whiff, I thought my suspicions would be correct. I got a quick aroma of what smelled like toothpaste, but that quickly dissipated to a smell of sweet dough with a hint of caramel.

Flavorwise, this is all about the malts. There is just a hint of floral hops in the background, but the sweetness you get in the nose is the first thing you’ll taste. Again, caramel malts are the first thing you notice. The sweetness lessens the more you drink it, with more of a doughy, bready flavor.

I enjoyed this beer and would recommend it if you like beers on the sweeter side. Definitely not a beer for hopheads.

 

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