Full Steam Ahead

Ferment / 28th May, 2014

Revisionist Steam BeerI must admit, I didn’t quite know what to expect from an own label Tesco ‘Craft Beer’ brew. The Co-op ones are unexpectedly excellent, especially the Mersea Island brewed Growler varieties, but my expectations were a little flakier for the new ‘Revisionist’ Steam Beer.

Tesco have jumped on the Craft Beer wagon and it seems a bit like brand fuelled bullshit propaganda to me but I have to admit defeat, it’s actually a damn fine Beer. Marstons are at the helm on this one and it’s much more like a Lager / Ale combo, very American (hence the California Common tag), fairly spicy, almost amber, very drinkable.

The ‘Revisionist’ American Steam Beer style comes from a mid 19th century process when the yeast is fermented at a far higher temperature than usual, producing a rich copper pan coloured fruity brew, but with the thinness and fizz (read: quaffability) of a Lager rather than the density of a heavier Ale. Steam Beer is a real rarity at supermarket level so this is a pleasant addition to the mainstream Beer cupboard. I hope Marstons pump it out to the Pubs without messing it up.

In fact the last time I bumped into a good Steam Beer must have been in Santa Cruz in the nineties, most likely San Fran Anchor. We’d gone out to see Donal Lunnys Coolfin playing at a club and poor Mrs Forté struggled to get decent Cider, while I managed to grab a really decent brew. Before that it must have been good old Cornish Newquay Steam, whatever happened to that one? Great Beer.

Maybe Steam Beer is making a revival. Let’s hope so…

Posted by: Forte