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Common Ground - The Fort Collins Brewery

Not Rated.
Common GroundCommon Ground

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

52 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 52
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.4
pDev: 19.12%
Wants: 0
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Fort Collins Brewery visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ChainGangGuy on 09-11-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 52 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by hopfacebrew:
Photo of hopfacebrew
3.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber of Common Ground after meeting with the Fort Collins Brewery reps at the local liquor store. Got a free sticker and pint glass out of it!

Beer poured from brown 22oz bomber to a pint glass.

A - The beer pours a translucent amber red color with a dark cream head that quickly dissipates to a silky film that lasts throughout. After reading the label I figured the beer would be darker.

S - A pretty nice mellow coffee aroma mixed with toasted caramel malts. Not much hop character or alcohol on the nose.

T - The beer is very similar in taste to the aroma. The coffee flavor hits immediately and lasts throughout. Not too overpowering. The middle of the beer brings out a mild bitterness with the toasted malt character. Some caramel.

M - Light to medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

Overall, this was a unique beer. A different take on the amber style with the coffee. Glad to have tried it. One of the beer beers from Fort Collins Brewery in my opinion.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 02-14-2011 14:55:17

hopfacebrew, Jan 27, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of Beaver13
3.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Pours an orange amber with a small frothy white head that quickly goes to a thin film that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is strong slightly stale toddy coffee with a little chocolate.

The flavor is sweet caramel malts with a touch of fruits blended with a lot of coffee. The finish has light grassy bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly watery.

Overall, an OK, rather one-dimensional, coffee beer. It is a bit interesting that it's on the lighter side (color and alcohol). From what I remember, it's similar to NB Giddy Up.

Beaver13, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.33/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's awesome they were able to get all of the coffee character into an amber all without imparting any flavor or bitterness from the dark roasts. Pours a bright glowing amber hue with a slight off white head. Forms thick with thin speckled lacing left behind. Aroma nice robust coffee notes, earthy, with a hint of caramel malts...hidden in the roasted coffee are some money nutty characterisics like toasted almonds. Flavor is great light and drinkable like an amber ale with nice roasted coffee roasts and fresh creamer, more nutty aspects to follow with toasted almonds and cashews mixed. Mouthfeel is clean light to medium bodied with some slight oily texture from the coffee beans dry finish with excellent balance. Overall the most impressive coffee beer I've had in awhile it sticks ice brewed coffee roasts into a traditional amber ale bases and makes it work.

WVbeergeek, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of IPAylor
2.5/5  rDev -26.5%

IPAylor, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of cjgator3
2.8/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle

A- Pours a clear amber color with an off-white head that turns into a ring of lace around the side of the glass.

S- The aroma is pretty interesting. It takes everything you love in a good amber (slightly toasted malts and caramel) and hits it with some coffee notes. Not much hops in the aroma, if there are try are mostly overshadowed by the coffee. The coffee notes are not as intense as you would find in a strong coffee stout but they are a pleasant subtle addition.

T- The taste like the aroma almost tastes more like a Red Ale than an Amber with a lot of toasted malts and some caramel. There is some roasted coffee flavors in the finish that almost resemble a hint of smokiness as well. Could use a little more hops in the finish in my opinion.

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

D- Overall, not a bad beer and a different twist to an amber. I don't think the coffee works as well in this kind of beer as it does in a big thick stout but it is an interesting twist.

cjgator3, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of beerthulhu
3.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a flat orange with a brilliant clarity and an ivory colored foam head, about 2 fingers to start before slowly dissipating after several minutes. The lacing was suspect, sliding easily down the glass with only a faint reminder of its presence. A ton of micro-bubbles sticks to the glass walls but quickly vanishes to a quiet scenario.

S: Wet coffee grounds, straight from the pot comes off earthy and moist on the nose. The strength is medium but rather linear and lacks depth of character but still provides subtle highlights to be appreciated.

T: The flavor opens with underlying notes of fruitiness which quickly succumbs to a fresh soft roasty flavor of smoothly brewed ice coffee. There is some suggestions of sugary sweetness balancing and complimenting the finely light wet coffee grounds. It should be noted this is not a coffee stout, but rather a amber with coffee influences and should be regarded as such. Overall a sweet bodied amber minus the citrusy hops with added coffee highlights. The flavor and impression was mixed at times offering some appreciable moments but also appearing watery at times.

M: Medium body, a bit syrupy with a smooth and fine texture. The initial rabid carbonation from the onset is now a soft reminder with a lazy, light presence. A fine wet coffee powdery lacing gently lines the tongue.

D: Overall drinkability may be limited by its overall sweet appeal. Good for a bomber but don't know if it would rank high my list of repeat purchase. Some watery moments hinder this just enough to garnish average regards here.

beerthulhu, May 21, 2010
Photo of emerge077
3.75/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$6.99 bomber at Sams.

Pours a tea-like amber into a Duvel glass. Generous foam that settles to a compact off-white cream colored head. The surface is soft and textured, but beneath the surface the bubbles are large. Crown of sticky lace is left behind with each sip. Second pour makes a flurry of carbonation and seconds later, there's perfectly still crystal clarity.

Nutty, maple aromas, some underlying coffee and husky malts too. Definitely a Fall seasonal style beer that compliments the season.

Flavor has the defining toasted/husky grain/malt of an amber ale, with a good coffee undercurrent. Not much bitterness at all, a faint metallic note surfaces but seems to blow off after awhile. Its fairly mellow and understated, not sharp or acrid as some coffee beers can be. Honestly I was hoping for a little more richness. The dry aftertaste of coffee is spot on though. Light bodied and dare I say sessionable. At the price of a bomber, probably not though. Glad to have tried it, and will check out Ft. Collins other limited/seasonal offerings.

emerge077, Oct 10, 2009
Photo of jsh420
3.98/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours clear burnt amber with a 1 finger off white head and left some spotted lacing

smell is not very strong but i get coffee and some biscuit malt

taste is much better then the nose and while the flavors are not extreme they are spot on - great coffee flavor not bitter or sour like many are the malt is a little nutty

mouthfeel is light crisp with good carbonation

overall - i enjoyed is beer quite a lot - when every new beer is all about high abv, barrel aging, or how many hops you can put into it this beer was a nice change of pace - an easy drinking coffee amber

jsh420, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of BeerSox
3.68/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into nonic.

Clear honey hue, almost the color they should put in the dictionary for amber. A one finger cream color head slowly settles to a perfectly even cap.

The coffee aromas are very Earthy and organic, rather than dark and roasted. Usually these things smell like I misplaced my beer and started reviewing a cup of Starbucks. The malts have a bit of a toasty characteristic.

A little bit of a sweet sugary flavor starts out up front, and is quickly met by some slightly assertive hops. The malts are biscuity, and the coffee has the same organic flavors. Full bodied, with a good amount of carbonation. The coffee bean lingers for a little while.

Not a bad coffee beer. A little different, but in a good way. Recommended.

BeerSox, Sep 26, 2009
Photo of TexIndy
3.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got from ummagum who bought it at Liquor Max in Loveland. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. No dating info on bottle but they show on their website that they originally got it in early Oct so that old at the latest. Was a clear orange amber color with some carb streams. Had an average sized light beige head that quickly dissipated into a collar with some central wisps. No lacing. Bottle states "Amber ale brewed with coffee".

The initial aroma was dominated by rich, roasted coffee with earthy, floral hops and caramel malt in the back. As it warmed, the coffee faded a bit and the hop aroma started to take over. Loved the coffee but not the hops. Just never been a big fan of the ones used in amber ales. But I rated it to style where it did meet the target. On flavor, the coffee was great and starts out dominant. As that starts to fade, the base amber flavors take center stage. I generally prefer the coffee porter or coffee stout. Still good but would love to try the coffee used here in an American Porter. Mouthfeel was medium with crisp carbonation.

Overall, a good coffee flavored amber ale with great choice of coffee in it. The base amber flavor brought the drinkability down a little for me but I rated the aroma and taste to style and it does good for the style. Recommend. Another solid outing from FCB. Rotation - not avail in TX so got from a friend as a gift. If avail here, I might do one every so often and at least once on tap.

TexIndy, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of jaydoc
3/5  rDev -11.8%

jaydoc, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of Bierguy5
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Clear amber color, with a fizzy off-white head. Retention is not a strength here. Seems an odd color for a coffee-infused beer.

Caramel notes seem to dominate, with a soft coffee and cream note. Not much in the way of hop aroma. All around, a soft feel.

Caramel starts in the mouth, but a nice coffee and cream flavor rushes in and demands attention. A bit of sweetness at first, but there seems to be a bit of an earthy finish, which is not bad. Malt may have a slight toasty edge.

Lighter side of medium body, with a good amount of carbonation. This is an interesting coffee beer that really has no roasty feel. Very simple and easy to drink. Interesting.

Bierguy5, Nov 04, 2011
Photo of Tyrawlings
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%

Tyrawlings, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a perfect pint.

4.0 A: Wow, I'm shocked at how light this is given that coffee is involved. Clear orange amber color. Two fingers of foamy beige head. Retention is good given that coffee is involved and a short ring of lacing is left.

3.5 S: Smells somewhat like a really weak cup of coffee. Big toastiness and grainy malts from the base beer. Actually, this smells like a coffee filtered full of coffee after the coffee has been brewed. It's not a great aroma, but for some reason I like it anyway.

3.5 T: Tastes like it smells. Big toastiness and graininess. Weak used coffee filter. 'Nuff said.

4.0 M: Lighter medium body. Good active carbonation. Reasonable creaminess. Light and crisp.

3.5 D: Not an impressive brew by any means, but super easy to drink and different than every other coffee beer I've ever had.

DavoleBomb, Apr 09, 2012
Photo of DrDemento456
3.8/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sad to see such low reviews on this since I paid 8 bucks for the bomber. Into a pint glass.

A - Hard pour and I only got a 1/4 inch of head that dissipates rather slowly making for decent lacing. Color is average amber brown color.
S - Love the smell sweet toffee malts meets coffee grounds.
T - It taste is pretty good sweet toffee and caramel malts meet some coffee ground taste. It's actually kind of interesting to try coffee without a stout or porter base since it takes the edge off the roasty factor. Tasty yet mild.
M - Kind of watery but on par with the ABV. Light to medium. Drink able.

Overall it was a good experimental that's why I picked it up. Sure an amber ale is a terrible body for a coffee infusion but these guys did it right. I like it.

DrDemento456, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of JayS2629
3.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A clear amber with a thin white head that fades fast but leaves sticky lace. Where is the coffee? The smell is of sweet malts, faint earthy hops, and watery faint, faraway coffee note. If you are going to name a beer after the coffee I expect to smell it and taste it, but they went for subtle on the coffee and I can't find it. Maybe it is just my glass or maybe I'm used to big roasty coffee stouts? This was a nice, sweet but watery amber with a slight roasted note in the far background. I was disappointed.

JayS2629, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Thanks to my boi VDubb86 for sharin' this bottle!

Hmm...a coffee-infused amber, eh? Right on. It pours a hazy amber-orange topped by a half-finger of light ecru foam. The nose comprises peanutty coffee, a subsequent undertow of toffee, and a bit o' wood. The taste is pretty much the same, but generally lighter and with a touch more wood and a tiny addition of hoppy florals. The body is a pretty light medium, with a light carbonation and a watery-ish feel. Overall, a nice brew, nothing amazing, but also not overdone (something I figured would be easy with the addition of coffee). I'd drink it again if offered.

TMoney2591, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of magnj
3.95/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bomber has been calling my name all week, picked it up on a whim last weekend and I'm finally pouring it into a simple pint glass tonight with a bowl of stew.

A - Very clear copper body sit underneath a generous and stick off white head. Little carbonation apparent.

S - Though this brew is not highly aromatic, cocoa dominates the nose. I was not sure what to expect, but this wasn't what I imagined. Instead of coffee I'm getting raw cocoa nib type chocolate aromas. Nice but not distinctly coffee to me. I'm sure it is coffee as the bottle states, it just seems like an awfully chocolatey brew.

T - Again cocoa dominates here. There is a distinct dry oily characteristic reminiscent of a french pressed coffee. Only long after the main flavors subside does coffee really start to take hold and then it is only briefly. Other than the coffee addition I'm not getting much in terms of hop or malt character. It seems like an otherwise ordinary beer.

M - Thin mouthfeel makes this interesting brew refreshing without being watery.

D - Easy to drink but regrettably one sided. I was hoping for a unique blend of styles to challenge my palate but was delivered what tastes like a red ale dry hopped with raw cocoa nibs. I give credit for being unique and possibly pioneering a combination I would like to see more of but am left wanting more complexity. Despite it's shortcomings this is a nice beer and would recommend trying it, just don't expect to be blown away.

magnj, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev +10.3%

DrunkinYogi, Dec 01, 2012
Photo of cvm4
2.8/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Definitely pours amber in color, slightly opaque with a white head.

S - The coffee is definitely on the nose, just not "in your face" like I'd expect from a coffee beer. There is some toasty element to it.

T - Coffee throughout with a malts on the backend and a bit of caramel flavor.

M - Light bodied with medium carbonation. Pretty crisp, not sticky or cloying.

O - This is just the wrong style for a coffee beer.

cvm4, Apr 26, 2013
Photo of robwestcott
3.8/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured cold from the bottle a hazy golden amber to a dogfish head signature glass with 1/2 finger short lasting head leaving minimal lace.

aroma of black coffee from your mom's kitchen with a wee bit of chocolate in the way back.

tastes of iced coffee. very pleasant. nothing particularly special, but yet very enjoyable. i almost want to pour it over ice, and i do think i'll pop the other 1/2 of the bomber in the freezer for a bit. as it warms, a nice bit of toffee comes forward.

very smooth and creamy, almost sweet - not what i expected from an amber ale, albeit one brewed with coffee. the bitter is an afterthought and if you aren't watching for it, you'll miss it.

very drinkable.

robwestcott, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of kojevergas
3.05/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served on-draught into a 3 oz sampler glass in high altitude Fort Collins, Colorado, at Fort Collins Brewing's tasting room. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a half finger head of slight cream, fair thickness, and decent retention. Colour is a semitransparent gold.

Sm: Malt heavy, with coffee (when I search for it), and full barley. A moderate strength aroma.

T: It's a simple malt bomb with slight tame bittering coffee. It's pleasant if simple, and nicely balanced and built. I don't know that the malt heaviness is justified.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with too much coarseness and dryness - especially on the finish. Doesn't complement the style.

Dr: Easy to drink, in spite of its coarseness. Cost was $1.25 for a taster. Its simplicity holds it back.

kojevergas, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of BEERchitect
3.63/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not the normal combination of an Amber Ale with coffee additions, it makes for a compellingly softer and smoother session than do the usual strong Stouts with espresso spice flavoring.

The beer opens like most Amber Ales do- with a medium auburn or copper coloring with golden highlights. A creamy off white head builds upon the the beer and rebuilds with a gentle swirl of the glass. Medium retention and moderate lacing gives the beer an inviting return to the glass, sip after sip.

Supple and moderate aromas of caramel and coffee dictate the nose but in a much more gentle notion than most coffee stouts. Nutty with the malt scent and nutty with the coffee scents, it's somwhat akin to pecans and Columbian blends of cold pressed coffee. A backgorund note of bread crust and toffeeish heartiness allows for richer complexities to influence the nose.

Flavors are a direct comparison to the aromas. Sweet caramel flavors lead the way in true Amber Ale fashion while the rebuttal of coffee gives a nutty Columbian or Kona taste that reminds me of butter nuts of pecans, cashews, and macadamia. Light in hop flavor, aroma, and bitterness; much of this is surplanted by the coffee aroma, taste, and oily bitterness that avoids astringency in texture.

Medium weight is in large part due to the malty viscous and carbonated airy feel. The texture holds onto it's moderate tone until late where all release and allow the coffee taste and texture to linger into finish. This reveals a slight grainy and thin coffee astringency to rise, but everso lightly.

The lighter and buttery coffee flavor is a welcomed spice to compelement the otherwise sweetly focused Amber Ale. From one whose tired of the one-dimensionally sweet American Amber Ale profile, I'm happy to see one with another taste of variety.

BEERchitect, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of emmasdad
3.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange-amber color, with a rapidly receding light tan head. Huge aroma of freshly roasted coffee practically leaps from the glass, along with hints of caramel. A pretty basic amber ale, sweet, caramelly and refreshing, along with that huge blast of coffee. A pretty nice effort.

emmasdad, May 15, 2010
Photo of SamN
3.68/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sampled from my roomates bomber

This beer is a lovely orange-copper color, clear and with beautiful highlights in indirect light. Smell is of caramel malts and with a noticeable coffee aroma. Taste is mild and smooth, the malt flavors blend amazingly well with the coffee. It's thin bodied and a little watery, but this is a great session beer with almost limitless drinkability. A nice treat from Fort Collins brewery.

SamN, Dec 10, 2010
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Common Ground from The Fort Collins Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.