Common Sense - Upstate Brewing Company

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Common SenseCommon Sense

Educational use only; do not reuse.

19 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 19
Hads: 79
Avg: 3.51
pDev: 12.82%
Wants: 0
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Upstate Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: tviz33 on 06-15-2013

This beer is a revival of a beer style that was one of the most popular beers in America prior to prohibition: Kentucky Common Ale. It has a dark color with a rich flavorful taste and a decent hint of hops (22 IBU), but it is light and easy drinking.

Many people today mistakenly think that this style is supposed to have a sour taste, but our research led us to the over 100 year old "American Handy Book of the Brewing, Malting & Auxiliary Trades" (see page 818) which makes no mention of it having a sour quality or using a sour mash to brew it.

Instead, it was just a dark yet refreshing beer that the working class people of the time loved to drink very fresh, which was around 2 weeks after being brewed. We also serve up Common Sense 14 days after brewing it. It is a great resurrected beer for all modern beer lovers!
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 19 | Hads: 79
Reviews by Huffs:
Photo of Huffs
3.08/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured to a pint glass, nice head developed, a bit bubbly, with mild retention and lacing. Appearance was a copper / amber color with a slight haze. Aroma had notes of malt and citrus with some sour thrown in. Tasted earthy with notes of malt, toffee, grass and wood, almost a woody / whisky taste. Mouthfeel was light, almost watery, with a mild and dry aftertaste.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #83 (Dec 2013):

A resurrected style from a pre-prohibition era around the Louisville, KY area. Great choice packaging this beer in 16oz pounder cans as it is super drinkable, just enough flavor and a pinch of complexity too boot. Offer this one up to a novice beer drinking friend with the story behind the beer and they’ll probably want more.

STYLE: Kentucky Common Ale
ABV: 5.3%

LOOK: Dark copper hue, healthy looking lace

SMELL: Spice, faint tartness, dried grass, toasted bread crust, herbal hop, orange zest

TASTE: Deep smoothness, dry graininess, crisp, mild twang, lasting breadiness, light hopping, leafy, herbal, dried hay, faint broth, clean, dry and grainy finish

 734 characters

Photo of Jefe25
2.6/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of csmartin6
2.5/5  rDev -28.8%

Photo of Billolick
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16 ounce can purchased as part of a four pack for $9.99 at peekskill Beer and soda, Peekskill, NY

Pours near clear chocolaty amber, supporting aa creamy and slowly morphing darker khaki head. Leaves decent amounts of low sheeting and then fine webs and spots of lace on the glass.

Sweet malt nose with powdered chocolate on the nose.

On the sweet side with more nice tasting lite chocolate and malts carrying this one forward.

Easy drinking and pleasant enough. Respectable take on the style.

(BTW they call this a "Kentucky style common ale" on the notes on the can)

Not really my favorite style, but this one would do fine helping to marianate some pork or in a pot of chili, or a decent choice to help expose a newbie to better beer.

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Photo of mjtiernan
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of butters_mcgee
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of Griffith
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of KenC
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Ralphs66
2.75/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of scootny
3.69/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A lovely white head and a lot of retention and decent lace. Moderate carbonation and a very clear dark garnet amber color. Nose is malty with some sourdough yeastiness. Light floral bitterness. An almost lager like bitterness atop an ale malt and test bill. Fruity and bready with a light sweetness. Tight dry finish with a light pucker. Smooth and easy feel that has a tingly carbonation and crispness. A solid craft beer that lends itself to session drinking.

 461 characters

Photo of logicalparadox
4/5  rDev +14%

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bar Louie in Greece, NY.

Pours a darker clear amber, with a half inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like toasted malts, but not strongly. That's about it.

This is a bare-bones, basically unexciting amber ale. There's some slight hop bitterness, with stronger flavors of toasty bready malts. Nothing to get too excited about.

This one is medium bodied, with a higher amount of carbonation, and a crisp doughy mouthfeel.

Second beer from these guys, not as good as the IPW I had from them.

 513 characters

Photo of campfirebrew
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of goosemop
2.76/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of eddsan
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of metter98
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is crystal clear reddish amber in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving patches of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of sweet toasted malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has light flavors of toasted malts, but the sweetness is mostly replaced by a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels just about medium-bodied and a little creamy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink and doesn't seem to be over the top with any of the flavors so it would probably be a good choice for a novice beer drinker.

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Photo of bilhelm
2.25/5  rDev -35.9%

Photo of pknyc
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of DoubleMalt
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Noelito76
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of tviz33
3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing from memory. I'll update this when I have it again.
Served in a red solo cup at a grad party.

A- Pours clear but dark with some orange/red hues and an inch tall off-white head.




O- This beer is really easy to drink. Creamy and smooth. It was perfect for a nice day of drinking outdoors. Even the non-craft beer drinkers seemed to enjoy it.

 375 characters

Photo of CHickman
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Drank from the can, no clue what it looks like. Nice history behind this beer listed on the can: "Based on a style of beer that was popular before Prohibition in the Louisville, KY area. After Prohibition, many small regional breweries never returned, and the style died out. We read about Kentucky-Style Common Ale in an old book on American brewing. Now we're bringing it back." Ballsy mission statement, I like it.

Tastes of caramel, floral hops, wheat bread, malt, light hoppy spices like pepper and coriander, and a touch of earthy sweetness like roasted grains dipped into wine. There is no booze flavor, but the wet grain sweetness is hard to nail down. All flavors are neutral and none really jump out, but the flavor is still pretty decent.

Mouthfeel is medium, with average carbonation, an almost watery smooth feel and a slightly bitter aftertaste that leaves a grainy sweetness that's almost got a metallic funk similarity. No sign of the ABV at all.

Overall it was decent. An above average lager, but not sure what a Kentucky-Style Common Ale should be like. Nice effort from a new brewer taking on a recipe from a book and maybe starting a revival. Better than most macros, it was worth $3.75 for the pint can. A little on the sweet and basic side, but worth a try.

 1,282 characters

Photo of guidom2
3.44/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look: Clear brown with hints of amber in the light. No head, very little lacing
Smell: Faint malt notes
Taste: Initial sweet malt with slight hops throughout, cascade notes. Fairly well balanced with earthy finish. Lingering bitter.
Feel: Overall smooth, slightly creamy with very low carbonation.
Overall: Easy drinking with pub food.

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Common Sense from Upstate Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 19 ratings.