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Welcome to the Wench's World--the A2 Beer Wench to be exact. If you've stumbled upon me, cool. What follows may or may not be directly related to the craft brewing business but it sure will be fun and many times profane as the circumstances warrant! Enjoy (or not) at your own risk!
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Friday, April 26, 2013

It's Hardly Common

My beer feature this week is....

COMMON REACTION
~California Common~
5% abv ~ 33 IBU's

From the brewer's lips to your ears:

"The Common Reaction is defined by its moderate caramelly and toasty flavors and aromas that are balanced by an assertive hop bitterness and specific hop flavors of the U.S. Northern Brewer hop that are described as minty, rustic and woody. Ours finished fairly dry and crisp with soft fruity esters in the flavor as well.

First thing to consider when talking about a "California Common" is the style itself.  It originated on the American west Coast of course and is defined by three very specific points:

1.  It is fermented using lager yeast, but at "cool-ale temperatures."  This is about 58-62 degrees F (normal lager fermentation temps are between 48 and 55 degrees F). This warmer fermentation helps to develop more fruit character in the beer coupled with the smoothness of a lager yeast.

2.  A Common is brewed to showcase the U.S. Northern Brewer hop variety. This hop is characterized by its above mentioned flavors: "rustic, minty, woody."

3.  This style is most commonly associated with Anchor Steam beer from San Francisco. Anchor Brewing Co. trademarked the term "steam beer" because in the past a California Common was known as "steam beer." This was because it was originally brewed without the help of modern refrigeration so Anchor Brewing would place the fermenters high up in their brewery and as the hot wort cooled down in the open fermenters (which looked like a big shallow kiddie-pool) they opened the windows in the brewery to let the cool air from the San Francisco Bay naturally cool down the wort. Which in turn produced what looked like steam coming off the cooling wort.

Our Common Reaction is brewed in all the same ways except for the shallow, open fermenters...and the San Francisco Bay.

Cheers!





Wench (and Brewer)
Have a good weekend. I think it may not snow for a change....you know, since it's ALMOST MAY.

 

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