Bringing the best of California to the South
A Review of Southern Lager by Fullsteam Brewery
Posted on 9/16/2011 by Chops
Today I thought I'd show some local pride and sample Fullsteam Brewery's Southern Lager, an interpretation of the California Common Beer style. In all honestly, I have almost no experience with this beer style, so I'm going solely on style and brewer descriptions. I've been really impressed with Fullsteam's product line, so I'm excited to try their flagship. And not to confuse anybody, but Fullsteam's Southern Lager flagship is commonly called... Fullsteam.

In the glass, this beer takes on a rich and deep amber coloration. It sits right in the middle ground between an amber and a brown ale. It's semi-hazy and has a somewhat muddy appearance. There is very little aroma coming off of the beer, so you really have to dip your nose in to find much. I found a semi-sweet malty aroma, much like you would find in a standard amber. This beer has a very rich and thick introduction which had me looking forward to that first sip.

Southern Lager has a very interesting taste to say the least. The first attention grabber for me was a lush, smoked caramel zing. I really wasn't expecting such a remarkable flavor punch to jump out of this beer. It tastes much richer than it looks or smells. The first half of this beer is very smooth and savory. But, I would say that the beer's hook is on the second half. Once it warms for a bit, this beer transforms into a rich and roasted creamy ale with some spiced chocolate notes. It's a very big shift in flavor and definitely gives your taste buds something to discuss. The finish is malty and sweet, leaving a warm, pleasant aftertaste. The finish also quite lengthy, so give yourself plenty of time between sips. The train finally exits with an unexpected roasted hop note. I must admit, this flavor train is very interesting to study.

Overall, Fullsteam Brewery's Southern Lager is a very tasty brew with a remarkable flavor train. Unfortunately I don't know enough about California Common Beers to speak intelligently on the style. But if they are anything like this beer, I will definitely be seeking them out on my next trip to the beer store. They are very rich, very meaty and very satisfying. This is definitely one of the more unique beers that I have had in quite a while. So if you ever find yourself in North Carolina, swing by Fullsteam Brewery in Durham and knock back a few Southern Lagers. You'll be glad you did.

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Southern Lager by Fullsteam Brewery
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