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Best Of Beer Camp: California Common - Beer Camp #8 - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Best Of Beer Camp: California Common - Beer Camp #8Best Of Beer Camp: California Common - Beer Camp #8

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

468 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 468
Reviews: 311
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 4
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
California Common / Steam Beer |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Brent on 05-11-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 468 | Reviews: 311
Reviews by chinchill:
Photo of chinchill
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 12oz bottle served in pint glass.

Pours a clear amber with a durable and dense bone head. Plenty of visible carbonation.

Aroma of a relatively strong Pils; hops with a touch of sweet malt. Higher ABV all too evident after warming.

T - Some sweetness initially, but bitter in the end. Finishes mildly bitter and sour with hoppy aftertaste.

M- Medium-high carbonation; crisp with a semi-dry finish

O - Decent, mildly hoppy beer, and rather refreshing. Slightly bolder but not as good as Anchor Steam. Changes complexion with warming.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I actually poured a bottle and a half into a 1/2 liter stein,a brilliant bronze color with a large fluffy white top,great definition and great lasting power to the head.The hoppiest steam beer I have come across at least aroma wise,to go along with herbal/grassy hops came a big sweet caramel base.Herbal hops again make a presence on the palate but the sweeter side kinda wins out,caramel and drunken fruit with an iron tinge overtop of herbal hops.This a brash steam beer with big sweetness and a healthy dose of hops,its brash,would you expect anything from this series?

Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was a golden color with a thick white head. A tiny bit of lace.

Sweet malt aroma. A good deal of fruit.

Caramel malt. Fruity orange taste. Some light hops.

A crisp, refreshing beer.

Easy to drink and very enjoyable. I would drink this again.

Photo of Beaver13
3.23/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Pours a clear golden orange with a smallish white head that goes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is subdued - slightly sweet grains with some fruits.

The flavor is crisp grains with some sweet fruitiness and a dry noble hop finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with some sharp carbonation.

Overall, not my favorite style, but a good representation of it.

Photo of Billolick
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, from the box, which I believe I paid about $20. No freshness info to be had.

Pours typical almond amber, tan head, tiny bubble film. Lemony hop nose, with earthy hops.

Easy drinking, hoppy ale. Balance in full force. Some more lemons, maybe earth, subtle spice. SESSION beer....in a very good way. Nice summer quaffer. Fine with all sorts of food. Well worth enjoying...This is the way the good stuff tasted 30 years...

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a light orange color with a white head. The aroma is full of bread and graham cracker. I also get a little bit of honey in the aroma. The flavor has the same malt component as the aroma, with the addition of some toffee and grass from the hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. I am not usually a huge fan of this style but this beer was pretty good.

Photo of bsp77
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Note: I reviewed this on 5/8/11 under the old listing for this beer before everything was fixed.

Best of Beer Camp #8: California Common (Nothin in Common)

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint. Bottled on 1091 (April 1, 2011)

Appearance: Clear golden-amber with initial frothy white head, leaving slight lacing behind.

Smell: Biscuit, cherry and citrus (lemon and orange) predominately. Light caramel and spiciness.

Taste: Somewhat sweet malt backbone of cherry, toast and caramel. Tastes like a German lager, but fruitier and with more citrusy hops on top of the malt backbone. Not much bitterness; just a spicy (noble?) hop kick.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, semi-dry finish. Really smooth but somehow slightly boozy.

Overall: Overall, it seems a little too malty and boozy for a California Common. As a result, it comes across like a bigger, fruitier German lager. This is not really a bad thing, as it is quite tasty, but I expected more.

Photo of ehammond1
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

BevMo!
Oceanside, CA

Clear copper and golden with a pillowing nearly white head. Lots of spiderweb lacing down the glass.

Toasted and bready malt aromas with a touch of lemon along with some old dishrag.

More toasted malt and a hint of lemon sweetness. This beer is also somewhat bitter and earthy. Simple, yet flavorful, and a great example of the style.

Medium to full bodied. A pleasure to drink.

A unique steam beer with lots of flavor and a touch of sweetness and bitterness--a nice combination. A good beer for the summer.

Photo of MattyG85
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Bright golden orange with a lot of rising bubbles. Big three finger white head with good retention and lacing.

Smell: Aroma of pale malts and caramel giving a good amount of biscuit smell. Hints of a mesquite like spice and some earthy hops. Also a little yeast.

Taste: Bready caramel and toffee malts with biscuit back up a surprisingly strong hop bitterness from earthy, floral hops. Also some hints of citrus. Somewhat dry and spicy.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Crisp and smooth.

Overall: A very solid version of a California Common that is fairly full bodied and hopped.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gold colored pour, plenty of clarity to it, small white head fades, but clings to the glass. Aroma was sweet.

Sweet be thy name in the taste, really delivers on the sweet lager yeast mouthfeel, mildly hoppy. Was amazed to see how high the alcohol (6.5%) was on this, must be hidden by the appreciable sweetness from this one, didn't taste it, a really easy drinking beer, kinda similar to Weinhard's lager's sweetness, but better hopping, sturdier body.

Anchor Steam ain't got nuthin' on this beer, other than longevity. Gonna try and hold on to a bottle of this until summer weather comes around to this part of the country (hasn't been above 70 in weeks, raining right now). Eh screw it, I'll just buy another variety pack, all the beers are good in it.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Crystal clear amber color pours with a beautiful thicket of off white head, forms fine even speckled lacing. Aroma has a hint of citrus hops with a nice fruity caramelized malt profile. Fairly sweet wave of malts with barely any noticeable balancing hops, really one dimensional that actually finishes with a bit of booze. There's not much besides the malts to cover up the 6.5% abv, overall not my favorite California brewed steam beer but a solid effort from a mixed 12 pack with such a diverse group of beers. I really wouldn't want this beer in number, overall I'm happy with it but it lacks the great thing that Anchor Steam has going...drinkability.

Photo of glid02
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the mixed 12-pack purchased from Green’s on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a clear light copper color with a white heading leaving decent lacing.

Smells of pale malts with solid amounts of light citrus and floral hops. Also present are slight amounts of breadiness and spicy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Light pale malts up front are joined by bright citrus and slight leafy hops. Slight bready flavors come into play before fading out and allowing the hops carry through to a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is OK, with a light thickness and decent carbonation.

Overall this was a nice beer, a significantly lighter take on the APA due to the yeast. It could use a bit more body but a good beer nonetheless. Very similar to the first release from the original beer camp.

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

ST: 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear brassy amber with ample carbonation and a thick white head that has wonderful retention. It does not leave much lacing.

S: Malt, sour apple, bread, and some bubblegum.

T: Fruity malt, bread, mild roasted malt, some bitter citrus grapefruit, and some warming alcohol.

M: Medium and smooth with dry finish.

O: Nice fruity flavors balance of the slight roast and bitterness of the hops. It is pretty light thanks to lots of carbonation. The finish is strong and creates a slight off balance in flavor profile.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer pours a clear deep orange body with a swirl of microbubbles supporting and off-white head that sticks to the glass with each sip and last for a good bit.

S- This beer has a woody green hop aroma with some pale biscuit malt underneath but is overall really clean.

T- The pale malt is dry with a green woody hop flavor to follow and some citrus hops notes in the finish. The soft green hop pellet flavor grows a bit to balance the citrus notes and there is a green bitter hop note that lingers after the dry finish.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a tight carbonation and a crisp texture.

O- This beer has a nice smooth Northern brewers hop character with a good biscuit/pale malt blend and it is very crisp and light with a subtle depth. Great beer for warm weather.

Photo of lnashsig
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my DFH snifter- pours a transparent orange color, visible small carbonation bubbles. Smell- light fruits, maybe apricot? bready malt, sweet floral smell. Taste- sweet apricot up front, the carbonation makes the sweet flavor a bit dry, some sort of green apple, light fruit flavor on the end. Mouthfeel- I love the carbonation on this- it is perfect. Drinkablity- this is highly drinkable, if it wasnt 6.5%, it would be the perfect session beer.

Photo of racer2k
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this Beer Camp series beer into my favorite pint glass

A- This beer pours a very clear orange hued color There is quite the carbonation action going on with a 1/2 finger white head on top of the pint glass. Plenty of lacing on the glass which hangs around.

S- This beer has a steam beer like aroma with hints of hops and pale bready malt. Very clean smell to this beer.

T- Beer starts off with a dry taste profile with a bit of hop flavor and some nice citrus notes to finish which is quite crisp and dry atypical of traditional sierra nevada beers. Nice taste profile though!

M- This beer has medium carbonation footprint that is crisp and clean in the delivery.

O- Nice character to this beer and a nice change-up from the norm of IPA and Pale Ale style of beers. If you like "steam beers" in particular Anchor Steam you will very much enjoy this offering from Sierra Nevada. It is great to feature the best of the "Beer Camp" experiments.

I would recommend that Sierra Nevada consider this as an all year round beer for their portfolio. Very nice beer!

Photo of mdaschaf
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes:

A: Poured a clear golden color with a one finger bone white head on top. Nice retention with little bits of lacing.

S: Not a lot going on in the aroma, some light fruit and citrus hops, pale/grainy malt, and a little bit of doughy malt.

T: On the sweeter side, not as much floral/fruit/hops as expected based on the aroma. Heavy malt base with some bread/dough, a little bit of toffee, and some lemon peel.

M: Light to medium bodied, medium carbonation, but there are some small bubbles that roll across when drinking.

O: Nothing really stood out, but it wasn't bad. Not a ton in the style to compare it to, but it works.

Photo of prdstmnky
3.08/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass, 1 finger of quickly fading frothy head, and very little (if any) lacing. The body is very clear, golden in color with some rising bubbles. Faint aromas, all I'm really picking up are some caramel malts when I get my nose an inch from the surface.

The flavors are much more pronounced than my nose led me to believe. Fairly sweet - caramel / honey are predominant upfront and through the finish. Also picking up on some fruity hops making their way through this sweet, bready beer. Light to medium bodied with a nice dose of carbonation, a bit of alcohol comes through as it warms which I didn't expect or care for with the style.

Not a style I'm extremely experienced with, but just cant get over the lack of aromatics, kinda bland appearance, and alcohol heat in a beer of its abv.

Photo of BennyL1
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Next to last offering from this Beer Camp. Poured into a pint glass.

This California Common pours a light copper body with a slim head that goes away fairly quickly. Moderate lacing along the glass.

Aroma is fairly subdued. Some biscuity malt in there with a bit a yeast note. Light touches of grassy hops too.

Taste is a bit more complex with a nice balance of sweet malt and some lemony hops. Some slight fruitiness adds a nice touch. Medium carbonation and body.

This beer was a good addition to this mix pack, not my favorite but still enjoyable.

Photo of GilGarp
2.99/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served cold into a pint glass.

It has a golden yellow color with good clarity. The head is short-lived and leaves no lace behind.

Aroma is pretty unremarkable. It's hard to get any specific character out of it.

Flavor grainy and mild. It's a classic beer taste with more character and flavor.

Mouthfeel is light in body and well balanced.

Overall it's ok if you're looking for a more full-flavored lager. Honestly, not all that exciting for me.

Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good summer beer though drying finish, correlated with the dry hopping.Neutral aroma, light amber coloured body with generous retained white head. A hint of lace. Above average mouthfeel, quality malts and a low but crafted bitterness Cascade and Hallertau Magnums hops. Very drinkable. Let's see more of these,

Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden copper with one finger of head. Nice retention. There's a very faint nose; yeast, piny hops, and a little malt. Taste is light, smooth malt flavor and pine hopes. The bitterness from the hops lingers on the palate. Well carbonated and crisp.

Not a bad beer. Not as good as the others in the mix pack, but it's drinkable and it doesn't really disappoint.

Photo of secondtooth
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clean, clear copper in tone. Lovely. Big suds and beautiful clouds-and-trees lace.

Nose is really malty-sweet, like yeasty rolls and honey. Nice.

Lots of flavor! Baked biscuit, a hint of citrus hops tanginess.

A delicious and flavorful warm-weather brew (with a deceptively high 6.5% ABV). Would please any fans of a good lager, for sure.

Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.36/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a dark apple cider with a quarter finger of semi tan head some medium speed bubbles move to the top....

Some faint band aid and and hop notes hit the nose a little sweet with a hint of barley, all quite faint

Sweet salted wheat pretzels and spiced alcohol notes by and large create the flavor profile... quite nice, a malty boat thats good to ride

Full-medio bodied character, a bit chewy, or slimy, but well met on the tongue, carbonation works in perfectly

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The yeast strain used for "steam" beer or "California Common" is the Christian Schmidt strain from Philadelphia. Does that really fit with the true history of the style? We don't know. (Possibly, yes, there are some thing that would point to something along those lines considering that John Wagner brewed the first lager beer in American in Philadelphia in 1840). But what we do know for sure is that the current ideal of "steam" beer was created by Anchor Brewing Company and that's the strain that they're using. So, what about that? Well, it gives the beer a bit of sulphur along with some fruitiness. It has a bit of a bite to it, and a touch of character. That's what distinguishes it from either a straight-forward ale or lager. The question then is, does Sierra's "Beer Camp California Common" have it? And the answer is yes. There's a touch of sulphur and a nice, wide fruitiness that's mainly reminiscent of juicy apple. (If you don't find the sulphur at first, you should find it in the burp - it should remind you of a lager). The rest is easy: pulling together the malt bill with a little bit of caramel; and focusing the bitterness level - both achieved! Overall it's quite pleasant, and it's got a lot of character to it despite its being basically a malt and yeast beer as the hops are kept in check. It's nicely done; and well worth checking out given the fact that the other beers in the "Beer Camp" 12-pack are quite nice as well.

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Best Of Beer Camp: California Common - Beer Camp #8 from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 468 ratings.