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Hi All, 

As always, a huge thanks to all who entered the last competition. 19 entries, but our fantastic judges did a great job and hopefully gave some useful feedback. The brewer in 3rd place, Matt, chose the next style to be California Common. 7B in the BJCP guidelines: Full link here http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style07.php

Overall Impression: A lightly fruity beer with firm, grainy maltiness, interesting toasty and caramel flavors, and showcasing the signature Northern Brewer varietal hop character.

Comments: This style is narrowly defined around the prototypical Anchor Steam example. Superficially similar to an American pale or amber ale, yet differs in that the hop flavor/aroma is woody/minty rather than citrusy, malt flavors are toasty and caramelly, the hopping is always assertive, and a warm-fermented lager yeast is used.

Ingredients: Pale ale malt, American hops (usually Northern Brewer, rather than citrusy varieties), small amounts of toasted malt and/or crystal malts. Lager yeast, however some strains (often with the mention of “California” in the name) work better than others at the warmer fermentation temperatures (55 to 60?F) used. Note that some German yeast strains produce inappropriate sulfury character. Water should have relatively low sulfate and low to moderate carbonate levels.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.048 – 1.054
IBUs: 30 – 45 FG: 1.011 – 1.014
SRM: 10 – 14 ABV: 4.5 – 5.5%

Commercial Examples: Anchor Steam, Southampton Steem Beer, Flying Dog Old Scratch Amber Lager

Good luck to everyone! I have chosen a date as far from Beervana as possible so I hope everyone can make it out to Hallertau, 3 PM.


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Replies to This Discussion

Count Si McManus and I in again!

where in AKL could I buy an example bottle of this style?

Try Brother's Brewery on West Wellsley St. Or try Liquorland New Market. I have seen Anchor steam here.


Also Village Winery Mt Eden usually carries it. Keep an open mind when you try it though, I like em a little darker and a little hoppier than anchor steam to really showcase that awesome minty and woodyness of Northern Brewer. The recipe in Brewing Classic styles is a good example of what I mean.

One really important thing to note when tasting Anchor Steam is that it doesn't travel at all well. Try to account for the fact that fresh on tap, it's a lot less caramelly (oxidation kicks it's ass in warm transit) and those hops shite through woody and fresh. To get a very rough idea of the hop character, get yourself a bottle of Mac's Sassy Red, dose it with a couple of pellets of Northern Brewer, re-cap it and leave in the fridge for 5 days or so, then try it. Why Sassy Red? I think the existing hopping harmonises well with NB hops to produce the "right" profile. You can also try it clean in your (least) favourite no-flavour macro lager, and then tell me how wrong I am etc. ;)

The hops shite through, do they Greig?  ;)

Ahem. :)

2112 smack pack is expanding well , a big starter overnight and brew tomorrow evening....

pretty active fermentation going on at 15.8C , what is the format for the competition, do we just turn up at a certain time with a chilled bottle of beer? how much do we bring etc?

Turn up by 3PM to be in time for judging.  Bring two bottles, one for the judges and one for the group to taste.

Well i have to say when 2112 drops out it DROPS OUT

too scared to take a FG reading...

ok getting the woody minty taste characteristic from fermenter,  in bottles now.  


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