One of the beers that we brew is not the most “common” among brewery portfolios, but it is one that is near and dear to my heart. The Transcontinental is a malty, amber ale with just a hint of spices and a very drinkable 5.6%. The style is called “California Common” and is based on the beers that German brewers created in San Francisco after the Gold Rush.
This beer was my first all-original homebrew recipe, I designed it after deciding I wanted to open a brewery. I had been reading a book of beer styles and California Common stuck out since I wasn’t very familiar with the style. I thought since I hadn’t tried many I should just brew one and see what happened (which is similar to how I brewed a Kolsch and ended up putting coffee in it).
I was really pleased with the results an continued to refine the beer for 4 years before Saint Benjamin opened. I named it “Transcontinental” because it was a traditional California style being made on the East Coast. I had the idea that images of the Transcontinental Railroad should be on the eventual label design. I was expecting this beer to be our flagship, but that was perhaps a bit premature on my part. It’s always had a solid niche which I am fine with.
The first summer that the brewery was open, I was able to really make this beer live up to its full potential by serving it in a firkin. Of all our beers, Transcontinental and Foul Weather Jack are our two best firkin beers. I look forward to getting more of this beer out and in people’s glasses, and of the day where I can put an entire batch into firkins.