Amber hybrid beer is a category including two styles traditionally brewed in Germany and a uniquely-American style. All three of these unique, copper-amber colored styles typically embody a nice balance of hops and malt
The Kentucky common was a once popular recipe that originated in the Louisville, Kentucky area. Lost to Prohibition and recently resurrected, this has once again become a popular style of beer across the Bluegrass state and beyond.
George Turner of Warren, MI won a bronze medal in Category 11: Amber & Brown American Ale during the 2018 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in Portland, OR. Turner’s Kentucky common earned 3rd place among 266 entries in the category.
Jeremy Adams of Jefferson, MA, member of the Mid-Mass Malt Mashers (M4), won a gold medal in Category 11: Amber and Brown American Beer during the 2018 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in Portland, OR. Adams' California common was chosen as the best among 266 entries in the category. Read More
On-Sight Alt won a bronze medal at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival in the German-Style Altbier category. Hutton and Smith Brewery of Chattanooga, Tenn. describes this beer as a light, crisp drinker with a malt-forward nose and flavor.
Keith Eisel of Raleigh, NC and member of Cary-Apex-Raleigh-Brewers-Of-Yore (CARBOY) won a gold medal in Category #7: Amber Hybrid Beer during the 2016 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in Baltimore, MD. Eisel’s California common beer was chosen as the best among 149 entries in the category.
John Boyd of Sacramento, CA won a gold medal in Category #7: Amber Hybrid Beer during the 2015 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in San Diego, CA. Boyd’s Amber Hybrid Beer was chosen as the best among 157 final round entries in the category.Read More
The steam beer, or California Common, is an American original first produced in California during the gold rush (late 19th century).
While the origins of the steam beer name aren't fully known, one explanation is it may have come from the steaming sound the beer made during the heated fermentation process, another is the warm conditioning caused the highly carbonated beer to spray when opened.
Anchor Brewing Company claims the name came from the steam emanating from the roof of breweries because there wasn't any way to cool the hot wort during the brewing process. Brewers pumped the wort up to the roof and let the cool San Francisco air chill the wort, thus steam was often seen rising from rooftops across San Francisco.
If you're not from California, don't let that discourage you. Dave Dixon from Bedford, TX, took home the Gold Medal at the 1999 National Homebrew Competition Final Round with his California Common beer "Dave's Dreaded Sunday Steam Beer." Check it out below and get steaming!
In the late 19th century, Anchor Brewing Company began brewing their still-famous "steam beer." Utilizing local ingredients and forgoing the lagering techniques that were popular during the time, Anchor Steam was highly affordable compared to other commercial lagers, which made it a favorite among the working class in San Francisco during the Gold Rush.
Today, Anchor continues to brew their steam beer for the masses, while other commercial and homebrewers make their own version of the uniquely-American style now known as California common.
This recipe was originally featured in the July/August 2003 issue of Zymurgy and created by Marc Sedam.
Patrick Barry of Cambridge, MA won a gold medal in Category #7: Amber Hybrid Beer during the 2014 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in Grand Rapids, MI. Barry’s Amber Hybrid Beer was chosen as the best among 164 final round entries in the category.Read More
In many ways Düsseldorf altbier is the essence of a hybrid beer. The term “alt” refers to an old German style of brewing using ale yeasts, before bottom fermenting yeasts were widely available. Fermentation temperatures are kept on the cooler end of the ale spectrum, creating many of the smooth characteristics found in lagers but with an ale yeast.
The medium bodied ale showcases the richness of specialty malts while allowing for noticeable bitterness to make an appearance. Altbier is a great style to session for both malt and hop heads alike.
This recipe comes from the July/August 2009 issue of Zymurgy magazine.
Jeffrey Jantz of Albuquerque, NM, member of the Dukes Of Ale, won a gold medal in Category #7: Amber Hybrid Beer during the 2013 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in Philadelphia, PA. Jantz’s Amber Hybrid Beer was chosen as the best among 156 final round entries in the category.Read More