Imperial Black Steam, introduced last summer as a 200 percent American-style lager and the third installment of the brewer’s Private Stock series of limited edition craft beers, is a California Common or Steam Beer, a style that goes back to the mid-19th century in California.
Hearty and rich in flavor, it offers a chocolaty raisin and plum flavor with hints of black currants and spice from the Northern Brewers hops. The beer was brewed with Choice malts and San Francisco lager yeast at warmer temperatures than most traditional lagers, allowing a signature flavor and hoppy bitterness. If you like Stouts, you’ll love Black Steam which has a retail price of $5.99 for a 22-oz. bomber bottle. It’s nine percent ABV with 30 International Bitterness Units. We found it to be one of the most interesting new beers we tasted last year, exceeding expectations.