Paige Latham Didora
judge this beer by its cover
I have been known to judge a book by its cover in a serious way. As in, I own several books with pretty covers that I know little about (and they are organized by color but I won’t get into that).
My best friend Sarah buys wine by the label. We go to the Haskell’s or Surdyk’s sale and stock up for the next year to come and her cart is always full of silk screened, radiantly glowing bottles of wine that neither of us have ever heard of.
If there is one beer that you should buy based on the label it is probably the Widmer Brothers Columbia Common. It has got to be one of the most beautifully simple labels I have seen recently.
Additionally, the colors coordinate very well with my house, so I have it pictured here on my brand new dining room table!
First, the malt and the hops are very well-balanced. The bready malt is substantial but not overpowering. It is present in the aroma along with the citrusy hops. The larger yeast comes through, and finally the floral and citrus hop notes round out the finish.
Secondly, the carbonation that is essential to the style is showcased. The effervescence significantly adds to the flavor by lightening what could otherwise be slightly too much sweet malt.
What stands out about this beer to me is the slightly herbal aroma that borders on mint. It also comes through in the finish.
Although the steam beer is not officially a spring seasonal, Widmer Brothers puts this beer out in the spring. I honestly think it would work appropriately in the fall or late summer as the malt is substantial but the carbonation is refreshing.
This is the first year for this brew but I hope they make it an annual tradition. It’s a solid California common and it looks really good sitting around my house. Although it won’t ever be sitting for very long.