With a little over a month in the keg, it’s time to test out the Clonal Common! The recipe is intended as a clone of Anchor Steam, in the California Common (steam beer) style. For the sake of comparison, we also picked up a 6-pack of commercial Anchor Steam beer.
- The Basics
- Original gravity = 1.049; final gravity = 1.012; abv = 4.8%; estimated IBU = 35
- A sharp woody/minty aroma is prominent (I can only assume this is from the Northern Brewer hops), but not overwhelming. I also pick up a caramel malt aroma in the background. Overall, a clean and pleasant aroma.
- Very clear, but not quite bright, with a medium-gold color. The off-white head is moderately fine and prominent when poured, and sticks around for awhile.
- The flavor is nicely balanced between the hops and malt–both have a light and pleasant touch. The bitterness is there, but not over the top. The malt character is a combination of caramel with a bit of toastiness faintly at the rear. There is a very light apple/pear fruitiness on the finish, which is pretty pleasant.
- This is a beer with medium-light body, moderate carbonation, and a medium-dry finish.
- Would I brew this again?
- As this beer has matured, it has turned into a very quaffable drink. I wouldn’t say this is my favorite style of all time, but it definitely is a very solid recipe and one that I’ll brew again. There’s not much I’d really change on this.
- Overall score: 7 / 10
|Beer vs. Beer (homebrew on left, commercial version on right)|
- The Basics
- abv = 4.9%; additional data not available
- Malty with a caramel-forward note; some fruity esters in the background. No noticeable hops to my nose.
- The head is low and moderately-fine, with an off-white color. Head retention is reasonably good. The beer itself is a light amber or medium gold color.
- Prominent caramel malt flavor, almost butterscotch-like. The bitterness is subdued and most evident on the finish, rather than being hops-forward. The hops finish is slightly woody.
- Medium-light body, with moderately high carbonation. Moderately dry finish.
- General comments
- A good beer, and I suppose the epitome of the California Common style, but I like mine a bit better, in terms of its more subdued malt. Both my wife and I agreed that my homebrewed version was more to our tastes. The commercial version was just a little too fruity and cloying.
- Overall score
- 6 / 10