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Common Ground - The Fort Collins Brewery

Not Rated.
Common GroundCommon Ground

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

37 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 37
Hads: 54
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 10.77%
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:
Beer added by: ChainGangGuy on 09-11-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 37 | Hads: 54
Photo of scruffwhor
2.48/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a slightly hazey copper with a very quick and bright white head atop it. There is barely any bubbling in this overall, nondescript looking beer. The aroma is of weak coffee grounds and watery bread. The taste some faintly sweet toasted malts mixed with old Hills Brothers coffee grounds. Then some watery and sparse palate to say the least. This beer is different, but not one I will recommend to anyone. (410 characters)

Photo of denver10
2.78/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark amber with just shy of a thumbs width cream head. Head leaves pretty quickly though. Aroma started off great but kinda started to wear on me towards the end. Very strong coffee been aroma. French vanilla, caramel, doughy, and just a little earthiness. Tastes definitely of a marriage between an amber ale fused with coffee and sweetened cream. Again liked it more at the onset than the finish, by the end of the bottle it had wore on me. I also would have liked a bolder, dark, coffee flavor. I drink my coffee black and thats the flavor I'd have preferred here, personally. Medium bodied to this, silky in mouthfeel, not much carbonation. Bought this blindly, the concept of fusing amber and coffee appealed to me and had me super curious. Glad I tried it, its definitely a unique beer, but I did not generally care for it. Would probably not drink this one again. (878 characters)

Photo of cvm4
2.83/5  rDev -21.8%
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. (424 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
2.85/5  rDev -21.3%
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. (1,032 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.02/5  rDev -16.6%
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. (757 characters)

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.13/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

"A celebration of craft beans, craft brews, collaboration and innovation resulted in this rare and enticing brew. Together FCB and Jackies Java carefully cupped, sniffed, roasted and brewed three distinct varieties of coffee that resulted in an ammber ale playfully infused with bold coffee notes".

Served from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Emerges crystal clear and deep bronze in color with a foamy and effervescent white head of about two full fingers in size. The head slowly recedes into a thin layer of film on top of the beer and leaves sporadic lacing down the sides of the glass.

Aroma is as the beer is labeled; amber-like with a hint of coffee. There is a bit of a sour metallic aroma with the beer as well that detracts significantly from the overall pleasantness in the nose. Raw cocoa with bitter coffee followed by a touch of caramel.

Weird flavor. As I purchased this beer, I though to myself that this could be an interesting beer: It could be different and great or different and a mess. Unfortunately, it is the latter. Kind of sweet up front with a coffee-like liqeur flavor lending a sticky and artificial sweetness to the flavor and body. The coffee is quite muted but lends itself to beer in a fake sweetness. None of the flavors gel very well and makes this one a mess.

Thin bodied and sticky sweet bordering on cloying. More of the metallic coffee comes through in the finish, which is quite dry and clean. You ask "How is this beer sweet and sticky yet finishes dry?" I ask myself the same thing. The only conclusion I have is the addition of some sort of coffee syrup used for flavor. This beer is too light in color to have real coffee in it. Get this one for the novelty but not an overly sessionable beer. (1,743 characters)

Photo of bobhits
3.16/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Coffee amber for about 7 bucks a bottle. I expect something rather intense. Instead this is a light easy drinking beer with an interesting coffee finish. Too many hops would result in a poor flavor. Too much coffee with this body would similarly fail. Instead this one hits a light flavored mix that works well, even if the price is just insane.

Clear amber ale, very clean. A bit of white head but not much lasts and only a touch of lacing.

Light aroma with hints of coffee and caramel with a touch of hops.

Overall a tasty brew that's overpriced and isn't really something I think I'll consider again. (609 characters)

Photo of Vdubb86
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a mug

This beer pours a cloudy orange color with a half finger of white foam on the surface. The initial smells are of spent coffee grounds and supported by a hint of honey. When the flavors first hit your tongue all you taste is really cheap coffee, like the freeze-dried grounds that are mass produced kind of coffee. The flavors that follow that consist of sweet sugary malts. There is a slight nutty flavor to it that when combined with the other flavors reminds myself and the other sharing of peanut butter. The mouth feel is light to medium with the appropriate level of carbonation and it goes down fairly smooth with no real bitterness. Overall it's an interesting beer, I've never really had anything quite like it. (736 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
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. (1,574 characters)

Photo of atsprings
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber into a Duvel tulip pours a slightly hazy orange with a barely there off-white head that diminishes to barely a ring and leaves a bit of lacing on the glass. Aroma is fresh ground coffee in front of sweet malts. Taste is an interesting blend of sweet caramel malts and subdued coffee, not too overbearing on either front, an interesting beer to say the least. The beer is medium bodied and an easy drinking beer, even for Summer. Overall, this is a beer I may very well try again, but not one I'd seek out that often. (528 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
3.44/5  rDev -5%
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. (560 characters)

Photo of JayS2629
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
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. (511 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (833 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
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. (677 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
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. (649 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
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. (1,801 characters)

Photo of Haybeerman
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Red/amber color. Poured a 2 finger tan head with fari retention. Broken lacing washed down the glass.

S: Mild coffee and sweet caramel malt. Faint floral hops.

T: Bold coffee flavors up front. Bready caramel malts follow. Chocolate and more coffee near the finish. Sweetness lingers in the bitter finish.

M: Medium body. Medium carbonation. Surprisingly sweet. Coffee flavor IS in ground versus malt.

D: Big and rich; quite filling. Nice flavors, fair balance. (468 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, pretty, appetizing amber with a fairly thick, if not too persistent, white head. Aroma has a strong coffee overtone, very unlike what I expect from an amber ale! There are some malty and even fruity hints as well. Flavor is rather like weak iced coffee with some malt flavor and a touch of fruit, mainly apple. Texture is smooth and just a little fizzy. Overall, not too shabby and worth trying if you are into unusual beers. (440 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.67/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Brick Store Pub. Pours amber with a short head and good clarity. The smell is certainly a somewhat bizarre experience- you don't really expect straight black coffee aromas in beer this color, still, pleasant enough. The taste is also almost all black coffee followed by some earthy hops. Smooth in the mouth, and interesting over all, but more of a novelty than an every day drinker. (397 characters)

Photo of BeerSox
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
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. (746 characters)

Photo of SamN
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
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. (420 characters)

Photo of hopfacebrew
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
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 (1,185 characters)

Photo of TexIndy
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (1,465 characters)

Photo of emmasdad
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (291 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had a half pint of this at the FCB tasting room.

A bright copper colour with a small head of foam that dissipates quickly.

The smell had nice fresh ground coffee notes that dominated the nose for me so I can't I detected anything else in the smell.

The taste, again fresh ground coffee with some light malty notes and a bit of biscuit which brought light sweet tones to help balance out some of that coffee bitterness. Pretty good stuff I say.

It had a lightish mouthfeel with a medium level of carbonation and that was a nice combination.

Drinkability? Pretty much like most coffee inspired brews, I enjoyed the half pint I had but I wouldn't reach for another right away. (680 characters)

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Common Ground from The Fort Collins Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.