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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.
very good

311 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 311
Hads: 469
Avg: 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 311 | Hads: 469
Photo of kojevergas
2.49/5  rDev -34%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz. brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Acquired as part of the beer camp pack. Purchased at Wally's Wine.

A: Pours a four finger head devoid of cream, of slight thickness, and good retention. Colour is a transparent dark copper-gold.

Sm: Smells of pleasant barley with light floral and cream tones. Very nice albeit light.

T: Maltier than expected. The cream goes flat in the third act, which I really don't like. The barley foundation is understated and bland. I only have one other beer (Anchor Steam) in the style I can compare to, but going by that, this is poorly executed. Simple, bland, boring, and imbalanced.

Mf: Smooth, wet, light, and thin.

Dr: It's very easy to drink and hides its ABV well, but the low quality and bland character will turn most consumers away. Are there even true fans of the style to buy this?

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Photo of Burt
2.56/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in pint glass.

Light clear amber with a thin head that dispersed pretty quick and no lacing.

Smell is of faint graininess and that's it.

Light malt taste to it, a little bitterness at the end. I can not pick up any hop flavors in this.

Nice and crisp, easy drinking beer for those hot days or right after cutting your lawn. Not sure if this beer is past its prime but seemed pretty plain to me.

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Photo of MacQ32
2.58/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Purchased from the Charleston Beer Exchange, poured a clear golden color with a 1/2 finger white head in my tulip glass. Pretty decent retention at first with minimal lacing

S: Grassy hops, some yeast, malt and a hint peppery spice. Weak nose overall - similar to Glissade

T: Mild malty sweetness. Hard to pick out the flavor due to blending of flavors with a mild earthy hop flavor. The hops are subtle but provide a nice balance, although I find this libation a bit bland for my liking.

M: Medium bodied. Fair amount of carbonation. Earthy finish

D: An easy drinking beer, could certainly have several of these, but not enough taste to keep me interested. (Not a big summer ale guy anyway)

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Photo of yesyouam
2.58/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Sierra Nevada California Common is a clear, sparkling, golden beer with a solid, dense, white head that has excellent retention and lacing. It has a grainy aroma with a grassy note, perhaps a touch of fruit in the nose. It has a foamy medium body with a pretty dry finish. It leaves the mouth a little rough. It tastes a little sweet, a little phenolic and reasonably bitter. There is a fruity note, maybe apple, like there was in the aroma. There is a strong alcohol flavor that sort of overwhelms the rest of the taste. It seems a little like fusel by the finish. Did something go wrong here? The rest of the Beer Camp 12-pack was great, but this one is kind of a dud.

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Photo of TheSquire23
2.6/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I grabbed the mixed 12 pack of beer camp before a camping trip and I was impressed with all but this one.
APPERANCE - Poured a golden color with a white head that fades quickly and leaves a little bit of lacing behind

SMELL - Spices and bready malt

TASTE - Like the nose good bit of spice upfront then slightly sweet malt comes out

MOUTH - This beer has a medium body with higher carbonation to it

OVERALL - Not too impressive

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Photo of cjgator3
2.76/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle

A- Pours a clear copper color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is grainy malts and not much else. Not a whole lot to note in the aroma.

T- The taste features some slightly toasted malts along with some sweetness and a touch of hops in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, this is a decent beer but nothing I would probably have the urge to drink again. 

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Photo of snilsen13
2.84/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My complaints are probably the same as other's praise.

The smell is okay, mild and not easily identified. Smells like a home brew. It tastes pretty strongly of alcohol, which shouldn't need to be the case. It's unusual in a beer of this strength, so I'll just rate it as an average, even though it's anything but average.

Overall, it's a lot like many home brewed beer I've made and this recipe is not a keeper. It needs tweaking. Still, it's a drinkable beer and while I wouldn't make it twice I still find it an enjoyable drink. I'll give it an average rating.

Strike 1 for Beer Camp.

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Photo of fizzy
2.86/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I don't know what it is about this brew, but there is just something about it that I would give a pass to when choosing the next beer from the case. Could it be the Kingsford in the grill that spoils the aroma? There is just to much sweetness going on in this beer and, like flavored beers in general, I just can't fall in love with this Sierra Nevada offering.

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Photo of beerman21
2.88/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, got it this from there beer camp variety pack. The only California Common I've had from the Anchor Steam Brewery. Which I find to be quite enjoyable and unique. So yet another CA brewery taking a swing at the California common. So lets see how it holds up..

A- Large active carbonation, color golden slightly hazy, I was expected a more Pilneresh appearance.

S-aroma sweet biscuit malts, wet sour dough, hints of floral hops hide behind the bisquity aroma. Nothing really pronounced.

T-Sweet tangy spicness. Earth tones of mild garlic flavor, bitterness is minimal but well balanced behind the up front sweetness of the malts. Carbonation really died down and i would of like to have had more of bite and crispness with it. Smooth but not in a good way.

M- Smooth almost a creamy texture. Nothing like anchor steam where its more chewy then anything. Overall its decent, I hate to compare but anchor steam still has it right. This beer is highly drinkable yet the 6.5%abv I'm sure could sneak up on you.

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Photo of mdfb79
2.96/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle of this at Stateline today. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip while I watch my Giants beat the Eagles.

a - Pours a clear golden orange color with high carbonation evident and 2 fingers of fluffy white head. Few minutes of retention and lots of lacing left on the glass.

s - Smells a bit musty, and of fruit malts, spices, and light bready malts. Not bad, but pretty average and not a ton going on.

t - Taste follows the nose with the fruity and bready malts, but there is a little bit of a weird taste to it as well that I can't place...like old musty fruit. A step down from the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a pretty average beer. Nothing really stood out about it and I wouldn't seek it out again.

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Photo of Cresant
2.97/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served this 12 oz. brown bottle in a Sam Adams glass. This came from the 2011 Beer Camp pack. The body was clear and solid gold. There was a minimal, eggshell white head that left no cap and no lacing.

The smell was vaguely lemony, fruity. Doughy and leafy. Pretty mild.

The taste was Bread crust and spiciness. Some "dirtiness" from the yeast. Under ripe pear. Mildly sour. The lingering bitterness was not harsh. Very drinkable.

The mouthfeel was medium to light bodied with plenty of carbonation. This is not one I would return to again and again but I'm glad I tried it.

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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.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-This beer is clear, crystalline amber. Lazy bubbles lift from the bottom of the glass. The head rises and dies off quite quickly. Almost no head remains after the die-off. Patchwork lacing dots the entire glass.

S-Sweet aroma. Smells a bit like apple juice to me. Light hops prickle the nose. A bit yeasty too. The hops are light and exhibit some floral characteristics. The malt is dough/bread like. The yeast is more evident after every sniff, also is probably where I am getting the apple juice smell from. The nose is complex but not very strong.

T-The sweet and bready malt is the first thing that hints me in the taste. Some light lemon and floral hops punch in soon after. I get more hops in the taste than in the nose. Well balanced. I can taste the yeast too. Still getting some apple juice flavor. A bit more intense in the flavor department.

M-More carbonated than the bubbles would lead you to believe. Lighter bodied. The consistency of the beer sticks around after each sip.

O/D-This is my final beer from the Beer Camp 12 pack. This was my least favorite of the four found in the pack. I still enjoy this beer, but I do not love it. Overall, the Beer Camp 12 pack is awesome. If this beer so happens to be my least favorite out of a variety pack, then that means you got a great variety pack.

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Photo of ms11781
3.04/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 05/13/2011. Bottled on 04/01/2011. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a completely clear, golden color with a minimal, fizzy head and no lacing. Carbonation is evident by appearance alone. The color and clarity of the beer are fantastic but they don't make up for the lack of head retention, or even a head, for that matter.

The nose is somewhat sweet. Sweet malts and some bready/biscuity malts are present. Perhaps a touch of citrusy aroma, more of a lemon or orange zest than a hoppy citrus aroma. There is a touch of what seem to be floral hops but not much at all.

The taste follows along with the nose. The malt stands out the most. Some sweet malt along with some bready malt characteristics. The hops show up a bit more in the taste with some floral notes but aren't relatively strong. There is also definitely a lemony taste that almost has a slight spice kick to it.

Crisp and clean. The mouthfeel is medium with carbonation to match. The carbonation tends to look much higher when judged on appearance alone but that's probably due to the clarity of the beer. It makes it seem as though the beer feels a bit heavier than it is.

Overall, this is a decent beer. Almost pilsner-like with the crisp and clean flavors and aromas. That being said, none of them really assert themselves, leaving the beer feeling a bit bland.

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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.

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

Bottle from BevMo in Stockton, CA

A - Poured a golden color with a white head that fades quickly and leaves some lacing behind

S - Is of spices and bready malt

T - Like the nose good bit of spice upfront then slightly sweet malt comes out

M - This beer has a medium body with higher carbonation to it

O - I'm not all that impressed with this one because the style doesn't do much for me to begin with and the addition of spices was the wrong way to go in my opinion this one wouldn't be my first choice for a beer as SN makes some way better beer than this

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Photo of Star80
3.1/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a golden color with adequate head. Smell is very malty, biscuity. Taste is again very malty with some cleansing hops, and some drying alcohol. No hop nose on this, which is surprising from a Sierra Nevada release. The taste is less like a Steam Beer more like a a strong euro-lager. The hops aren't citric like Anchor, the malts are too amped, and it doesn't have that briney, citric snap I love of Anchor Steam. I think it's just too damn big and boozy. I'm surprised that Sierra Nevada included it in this very good compilation of beers. Mouthfeel is fine, just not a very good beer overall.

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Photo of Vixie
3.12/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an orange color with maybe a hit of red. Forms a little bit of a white that that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving a little lacing.

I smell malt, yeast, a hint of spice and a little bit of citrus.

The taste of malt hits first, then it becomes spicy. Seems to be mainly pepper with a touch of clove. The hops kick in last, adding a bit of a floral bite at the finish.

It feels a bit thin, and there is a lot of carbonation here.

Not a bad beer, but nothing about it really stands out to me. Good for trying as part of a multi pack, but not one I'd intentionally pick out. Not a bad beer for a hot day, as it does go down easy.

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Photo of harrymel
3.13/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottled in late March.

A: Pours a nice bronze orange ale with brilliant clarity. Three fingers of eggy, creamy head which falls over a few minutes to a sheet of the same with centralized capping. Spotty lacing.

S: Grain, hey, grassy hops, a hint of metal. Sweet malts are quite evident. Not terribly complex, but actually relatively nice.

T: Floral malts are my initial reception: grass, sunflower, petunias. Slightest hint of bittering hops. Clean malts are munich in nature. Some hints of honey. Finish is short and sweet.

M: Medium body with low carbonation. Thick and sticky finish. Wish this was a little less resonant.

O: Sweet beer. Nice and light in flavor. Actually reminds me of SA Boston Lager, but only because it's so sweet. Not disappointed this is a short lived production from SN.

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Photo of Heatwave33
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a Dogfish Head Snifter.

Color: Copper with a white head.

Smell: A good hop with a yeasty aroma.

Taste: Same as the smell. Nice hop with a yeast flavor.

Mouthfeel: Lightly coarse and dry.

Overall: A decent brew to have but I wouldn't go searching for it. Enjoyed with some friends. A pretty simple beer. Nothing out of the ordinary. Cheers!

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Photo of JLeege
3.19/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle- poured into a pint

Appearance- pours a crystal clear bright yellow orange color with a small just off white head, that fizzles out to nothing. No lace either.

Smell- malty sweetness, slightly grainy, and some fruits I cant quite pinpoint.

Taste- Peach and pear are the fruits I am identifying. Pretty sweet throughout, but nowhere near cloying. A little bready and doughy. A slight citrus hop presence toward the finish. Slightly grainy throughout, slightly metallic.

Mouthfeel- medium full body, with fairly high carbonation.

Overall- Its alright and I am fairly sure it is a good representation of the style. Not a style I am too familiar with, but this just left me wanting more. More from the beer, not more of it.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.21/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours dark gold with a small white head, quite fizzy, average retention, very mild lace.

S: Smells just like Anchor Steam, very much to style with husky sweet malt, almost a corny ale fruit character.

T: Notes of white grape, fairly grainy finish with a hint of hop character. An OK flavour, nothing exciting. Not as clean as Anchor Steam.

M: Crisp, biting carbonation. Light-bodied, not a clean finish, little cloying at the end.

O: Fine enough beer, a little too sweet at times. Not as good as the classic.

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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.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass

A: Pours a golden color with a very slight amber hue, pours perfectly clear with no carbonation bubbles, a finger of bubbly white head that dissipates immediately, leaves nice lacing
S: nice scent of hops with underlying earthy tones
T: tastes different from the last time i had it, not bad just different, hits with initial hop bitterness then mellows out with a slight maltiness and finishes with an aftertaste like a bock, not sure why there's so much going on here
M: strong carbonation tingle, falls off the back of the palate relatively quickly
O: i enjoy this brew, but i did enjoy it much more the last time i had it, it was more mellowed out and crisp, if i can find it again ill have to revisit

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Photo of PhiloPsych
3.26/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is golden orange and completely clear. The head disappears quickly. The smell is faint, macro-lager-esque. The taste is much nicer than the smell--bright, crisp, with noticeable hop spiciness balancing the thin, slightly sweet malt. Medium-high carbonation adds to the clean, refreshing feel of the beer. This is a craft brew version of stereotypical American common beer--better than such common beer because there are no "off" flavors at all, there's a bit more substance/thickness to it, and it has a useful amount of alcohol in it. Pleasant enough beer.

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Best Of Beer Camp: California Common - Beer Camp #8 from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 311 ratings.