Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Night Suds - Lone Tree Brewery California Steam Ale

This week's Sunday Night Suds continues the review of Lone Tree Brewery beers by looking at their California Steam Ale.

As mentioned in last Sunday's post, Lone Tree Brewery is based in Neve Daniel (Israel) and was started by two olim who missed the quality beer they enjoyed before they moved to Israel. (For more on Lone Tree and its founders click here:

Having successfully rationed my supply of Lone Tree, I sampled the California Steam Ale without the influence of other Purim related alcohol. Before discussing the Lone Tree California Steam Ale, reference is due to the gurus at BA who offer the following explanation of the California Steam style:
The California Common, or Steam Beer, is a unique 100% American style lager. It's usually brewed with a special strain of lager yeast that works better at warmer temperatures. This method dates back to the late 1800's in California when refrigeration was a great luxury. The brewers back then had to improvise to cool the beer down, so shallow fermenters were used. So in a way the lager yeast was trained to ferment quicker at warmer temperatures. Today's examples are light amber to tawny in color, medium bodied with a malty character. Mildly fruity with an assertive hop bitterness. Anchor Brewing Co. trademarked the term "Steam Beer" and as such all other beers must be legally referred to as "California Common."
Before going further in discussing the Lone Tree I must admit that I am unfamiliar with the process that Lone Tree uses in making the beer and as such I don't know whether the yeast utilized does ferment at warmer temperatures. Additionally, the beer had some interesting characteristics which make me hesitate to classify the beer as a California Steam (lager). The bottle had a fair amount of sediment in it and the pour was quite cloudy. The beer also was quite dark in color and had an abundance of fruit.

So what is the Lone Tree California Steam Ale? Its certainly not a lager and even reminds me of a barleywine. Having said that, the beer was quite drinkable and I wished that I had savored it with a stew as I believe that it would make a great combination.

Lone Tree beers are under the hashgacha of R' Abba Shaul from Gush. The Lone Tree website ( contains a link to the certification along with a complete list of the beers offered by Lone Tree.

As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver. (The Lone Tree bottle even indicates in Hebrew on the reverse side label that the beer should be consumed responsibly). If you've tried this beer or any others which have been reviewed on the kosher beers site, please feel free to post your comments (anonymous comments are acceptable).

Finally, if you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!


Stephen Rosenthal said...

I had the great pleasure of meeting Susan and John, the other half of the Lone Tree Brewery, at the LaBeeratory in the Gush about 3 weeks ago. Being a homebrewer, my cousin who lives nearby hooked me up. I spent a wonderful 3 hours with them. I sampled several of their beers including the IPA, the Pale Ale and the California Steam Ale. While not having the nose or the palate of a judge, I know what I like and these beers were just great. As they look to expand their operations in the next year or two, I look forward to seeing their beers in the stores in Israel and hopefully maybe on the shelves in the states. I am not sure they will make it to South Dakota where I live but they should do well on the coasts.

Neil T said...

I am very jealous of you.

I hope that they will begin export to the US soon.