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Columbia Common - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Columbia CommonColumbia Common

Educational use only; do not reuse.

48 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 48
Hads: 232
Avg: 3.61
pDev: 14.4%
Wants: 7
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
California Common / Steam Beer |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: welldigger888 on 12-29-2012

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (81) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 48 | Hads: 232
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.56/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 12/15/12.

Pours a clear honey orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, biscuit, grain, and grassy aromas. Taste is much the same with malt and grassy flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a distinct grass forward aroma and flavor.

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Photo of metter98
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear light amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that gradually died down, leaving lots of lacing down the sides of the glass and a thick layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: Light to moderate aromas of earthy hops are present in the nose along with some hints of toasted malts.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has flavors of toasted malts plus earthy and grassy hops along with a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light-bodied and quite dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The dryness persists through the finish.
O: This beer may not appeal to mainstream beer drinkers, but it's very good considering the style. I really enjoyed the aromas and flavors imparted by the Columbus hops and the dryness.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

a style of beer id like to see come around a little more, this is a great spring seasonal with all the necessary attributes. it pours an amber to copper color, clean and neat, with an inch of lasting white head. the nose is pretty well hopped, a little citrusy, with a fairly big malt profile for such a light and crisp beer. there isn't rye in this, but is has a certain spice element to the smell as well. the flavor is really well balanced. plenty of grain happening, some caramel sweetness, a little tannic thing going on, and a good size body. the hops are exclusively in the finish, hardly bitter at all, but of a neutral fruity feel to them, good compliment to the bigger malt flavors. the finish is super crisp and refreshing, and this is an easy beer to drink quite a few of. I like it in early spring here because its got the clean satisfying drinkability and summery hop complexion, but it also has enough body to be useful when its still cold out. a well made example of a style that I am finding I really enjoy.

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Photo of zeff80
3.76/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Poured out a clear copper color with a one-finger, off-white head of foam. It left some sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled floral with a malty/bready backbone.

T - It tasted somewhat spicy with notes of sweet bread and caramel.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a good steam beer, maybe even better than the original.

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Photo of jlindros
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Need to switch up from IPAs for the moment, so a Common/Steam should do nicely.

Pours a small fizzy airy bubbly head covering, kinda pathetic head actually, fades at a med pace, what's actually there of it that is, touches of lacing, very clear iced-tea brown colored.

Nose brings some typical steam beer aromas, smooth soft malty note, a little mineral water and herbal tea, actually quite a bit of tea and more like iced tea, hint of grainy, mild caramely note too.

Taste brings malts at first, a strange malt character though, it does have the mild grainy toasty with soft steam beer notes, but also sweeteners without much sweetness, caramel, toffee, touch of candy crunch nutty sugar daddy like, then that weird iced tea flavor again, just like a strong Lipton iced tea and herbal as well, with mild grassy herbal hop kick on the back end. Soft minerals and crisp lager like notes although it's listed as a "spring ale". Finish is soft and a bit crisp, mildly sticky but dry still, bit more iced tea, mild herbal hop bitterness, bit more of the soft minerals but also caramel and more candy without the sweetness.

Mouth is lighter bod, soft, decent carb.

Overall OK, but nothing too special, it has the nice soft feel, soft minerals, that iced tea is really different, and the candy notes are also off for a steam beer, but an interesting twist on it. I wouldn't say I didn't enjoy this a bit, it was a pretty good beer, just not what I expected.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.52/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Lgunitas mason jar.

This style isn't quite as common as the name would suggest... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear sunset bronze topped by a short finger of off-cream foam. The nose comprises flowers, light wheat, a touch of funky wheat, and a light dusting of powdered sugar. The taste holds notes of mild biscuit, greens, light grass, flowers, and a twinge of nougat (yeah, I'm not sure where that came from, either). The body is a hefty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a pretty nice little steam beer, something I could see seasonal drinkers really digging in the sunshiny months.

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Photo of mactrail
3.49/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fairly dark amber with golden highlights. Attractive appearance with a nice cap of foam on the tall glass. Modest beer smell with a hint of apricots.

Light body with a faint oily sensation. A little of the biscuity taste. Hops are pretty shy, but there is a nice herbal zing and a little resin in the nose. Just slightly bitter in the aftertaste.

Overall, this is a light and quaffable brew of no real distinction, but I'm always willing to try a lower-alcohol beer from a reputable brewery. From the 12 oz bottle bought at Sprout's Market in San Diego. I've got five more bottles from the sixer, so this will probably end up at DIPA Helper.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.74/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark gold color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains citrus, lager yeast, caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of lager yeast and a hearty malt character. Then some sweet flavors of caramel and citrus come in. The hops presence is mild and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid sessionable beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed this from the 12oz brown bottle in a teku chilled, purchased at Brass Rail bottled on Feb 3 2014.

The color is deep amber bordering on bronze with light chill haze, but thick proud head of white with very fine bead with great retention, the lace sticks in a web formation. The smell is very herbal from the hops with slight grainy odor with earthy yeast element adding a light spice ester. The feel is moderately carbonated with gentle bitterness and mild sweetness with a toasted grain texure and light hint of yeast fruitiness with semi-dry finish.

The flavor starts peppery and herbal from the hops which bring out a sort of earthy complimentary malt element with lager-like yeast flavors bringin some mineral elements along with toastiness in the malt and a light almond-like nutty sweetness with a subtle caramel or vienna flavor which compliments the yeast and adds a bit of depth. Overall I would not say this is the best example of the style, but it is better than average in most regards including drinkability...I would try this on draft.

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Photo of russpowell
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 12/12/12

Pours an effervescent honey /bronze color with 2+ fingers of pearl colored head. Good lacing & alright head retention

S: Green apple skins, some dry cereal scent, pear notes, a bit of toastyness

T: Pears, a touch of herbal hops & some lemon zest up front. Fruittyness & a touch of lemons as this warms, plus a some dryness & golden delcious apple. Finishes fruity & crisp

MF: Medium bodied, light carbonation, crispness picks up as this warms, nicely balanced

This started a little shakey, but improved as it warmed. Very drinkable, would love to get some fresher just to see if it is any better

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear medium orangish amber in color with some light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation along with some orange and copper highlights. The beer has a finger tall off-white head that slowly reduces to a medium to large patch of thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of toasted malts with earthy hops.

T: Upfront there a light to moderate flavors of toasted malts with light to moderate flavors of grassy and earthy hops. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness are present.

M: Light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Fairly dry throughout.

O: A style that I do not come across very often but I do enjoy trying when I get the chance - a little dryer than I would have expected for the style but enjoyable and sessionable.

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Photo of tdm168
3.25/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A - pale, see through orangish amber with a thin cap of soft, white head that has little retention

S - very faint nose; citrus, toast, caramel

T - caramel, some sweetness, lagery taste, very faint bitterness in the finish

M - light bodied, well carbonated

This is a disappointing beer. The nose offers very little. The flavor follows. There isn't much here. It's a simple, subtle flavor profile. The mouthfeel is also a bit thin. This just isn't for me. I need something a little more bold and flavorful.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.18/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I plucked this from the cooler at the Knickerbocker Hotel last weekend, a story in and of itself. That said, this is the Bros.' Spring Ale, following closely on the heels of Penn Brewery's Winter Ale. What day/season is it today? I have no idea after sitting through a bone-chilling baseball game yesterday.

I know/understand the style and I am not going to even touch the in-fighting of some of the previous reviews. Please, look at the style descriptor(s) and do some reading before launching into one another.

I went with a fairly aggro pour which resulted in a surprisingly brief finger of light-tan head with relatively low retention. It is a cool day and there is little to no humidity and the lack of head retention was surprising. Color was a deep-copper with NE-quality clarity and if there was a way to cash it in at my local recycling center, I would be on my way there now. I had a babe of a g/f in the early 1990's and her hair was both copper-colored and coarse as wire. I wonder if she braids it up and sells it as scrap? Man, what a beauty! Both the g/f and the beer. Nose was solidly malty with a slightly minty/grassy scent underneath. I was vaguely reminded of Girl Scout mint cookies. Taste was semi-sweet and quite tasty. It occurred to me, in writing this review, that I have never reviewed Anchor Steam, despite it being one of the first micros I ever put up to my lips, I wonder how the two will compare. This was worthwhile.

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Photo of wrightst
2.77/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Good name for this one. Not a bad beer, well above the adjunct axis of evil - you know who I mean. But in the current craft environment, this just blends in. It's even on the label - common.
The look is of any spring ale, maibock, pilsner, etc., which is to say medium to dark, but as I like to say, you don't drink the look.
Smell and taste are indistinct, this beer does not want to stand out. I won't call it lazy, but it certainly is not working very hard. I'm not asking them to put cherry blossoms or grass nibs in the fermentation - I don't need a beer to be so exotic, but a range of flavors would be nice. There is a mild hint of grass, citrus or pine, but not much. More malt than hops, in fact very little hop aroma or flavor at all.
Widmer is in the Redhook Kona Pyramid family of beers and they are starting to seem like the GM of beers to me. Decent, working vehicles, some really good, but there's a whole lot of overlap between them leaving you to wonder, if there wasn't a label on the bottle, could you tell the difference?
Drink Beer, Be Happy!

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Photo of Zorro
3.87/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Clear copper colored ale with a medium sized off-white colored head. Darker than expected.

Smells malty with a strong caramel scent. Herbal and fruity hop with some grass. Toasted grain an a faint scent of melon and roasted chile pepper. Smells woody and very faintly smoky.

Starts out mildly sweet and woody with a strong caramel syrup on wheat biscuit taste. Bitterness is about medium and perfectly matched the the malt. Some mineral water taste. Faint wood and smoke. Not real complex but it is quite tasty.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a surprisingly tasty beer. Wasn't expecting much here but this is an excellent mild ale.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.74/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up tonight at the COOP... Poured into my slim tulip glass.. clear light amber/orange... short lasting eggshell head really doesn't leave much in the way of lacing or a cap.

Nose is pale malt with a nice toast punch... hoppiness is an odd but inviting mix of floral and grassy elements.

Flavor pretty much mirrors the nose with a decent finish of toasted malt and the above hop notes that weigh heavier on the grassy side of things.

Body is a solid medium, especially for such a low ABV beer... carbonation is light/medium.

Tasty and very drinkable.. I will buy it again.


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Photo of flagmantho
3.72/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Apperance: medium orange hue with a haze-free body and a moderate effervescence. Head is a finger of frothy ivory foam with moderate retention. Not too bad.

Smell: toasty malt aroma with a very yeasty/bready character. There's a resiny twist at the end which may be the hops. Mostly clean, but a little bit raw if you're not expecting it.

Taste: much like the aroma, but a little bit rounder and more finished in general. Creamy, yeasty flavor to which the toasty malt provides a little contrast; the hops are kind of minty and resiny, and bitterness is on the low side but still balanced.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a well-integrated carbonation and a pretty big, satisfying creaminess. I like it.

Overall: while this beer seems a little rough around the edges, it's actually not a bad example of the style. This beer is worth a try if you are into the style and want to expand beyond Anchor Steam Beer.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.47/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle stamped 15:48-DEC 03 13. Sampled on May 3, 2014.

It is a handsome looking mahogany amber pour with a modest off-white head that settles back shortly into a ring.

The aroma emits roasted caramel malts and perhaps some butterscotch but little in the way of hops. They must be well integrated into the mix.

Light to medium body and smooth.

The rich roasted caramel malts play up a bit more in the taste and the bitterness is must by it finishes clean and balanced. Not sure how often I would have this. Not a "go out of my way to get it" kind of beer.

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Photo of Brad007
3.27/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark gold with a one-finger head into my glass. Bog standard. Someone complained that it doesn't look like a pils. That's because it's NOT a pils!

Sweet with a buttery edge. Bit of pine on the nose. The bottle indicates that this was brewed at Redhook's facility in NH.

Pretty much tastes the same as it smells. Light hop flavors/aroma. Tastes close to a bitter for some reason.

Lingering pine and buttery malt make up the mouthfeel. Not bad. Crisp.

If you like the style, you'll like this. I think it's ok.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.44/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured a clearish brown body with decent head and lace on top of a slightly fruity but more piney, earthy hop aroma. Beer isn't bad but I just found it bland (boring) and a little toned down for the masses. There is a good hop presence but it's more of just some minor earthy, piney hops that have a little citric to them and help give off an easy, crisp and dry finish. Not much else going on as some fruit and sweet notes are muted and the beer isn't watery but definitely a thinner body helps you pound it.

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Photo of avalon07
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a clear texture. There was a half inch of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Fair lacing.

S: An okay, if somewhat underwhelming, aroma of malt and light hops.

T: More than anything else, malt was the centerpiece of the flavor. It's not overbearing, but certainly very present. Also had light malt and a citrus element as well. A solid, light flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a lively, yet smooth, finish. Light-bodied.

O: While this beer won't win any points for originality or complexity, it is refreshing and easy to like. Drinkable.

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Photo of barczar
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brilliant light copper color with a dense one inch cream head that slowly dissipates, leaving holy lacing.

Grain, malt, and floral hops form the initial aroma.

Flavor is fairly grainy, grassy, and floral. Slight toasted malt backbone and hints of citrus lead to a tad bitter finish.

Body is moderate, with carbonation a touch high.

Very sessionable beer, but nothing outstanding.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.59/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer is served a clear amber color with a one finger off white head that has a moderate level of persistence. The head fades after a few minutes of time to leave a lighter level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is a mix of a more grainy smells with some lighter roasted malt and bready smells. With these aromas are some lighter notes of a more citrus and floral hop smell mixed with the lightest amount of a caramel sweetness.

Taste – The taste begins with a more bready flavor mixed with some caramel sweetness. There is a little bit of a roasted malt flavors more toward the middle of the taste along with some hop of a more grapefruit citrus variety. At the end, more hop flavors come to the tongue, this time of a more grassy flavor, which in the end leave a lightly hopped and crisper malty flavor to be left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the medium to slightly thinner side with a carbonation level that is on the higher side. Both are rather nice for making a crisp and rather easy drinking brew as this one is meant to be.

Overall – While not a flavorful powerhouse, it does have a nice easy drinking and refreshing taste with just enough complexity to not be boring, but not too much too take away from its more session like (at 4.7 % abv) and easy drinking qualities.

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Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is just shy of amber, a nice yellow-orange. It's nearly clear with maybe just a touch of haziness in the middle. An off-white head grows to sit at around 3/4 of a finger. Dissipation is fairly quick, though a sturdy island of foam remains. Lacing is left on the glass by way of light, thin patching and some spotting.
All said, this is a nice beer overall and, as I understand, a very nice example of a Common. There's some dryness to it and some toast in the nose lends itself to a cereal grains note, but over all of that is a solid, sturdy aspect of what really comes out in the flavor: a predominantly floral note complemented by grass and a bit of perfume. It's got sweetness as well, which really rounds it out nicely as well as creating an added complexity. Pear and apple flesh, a lightly herbal note, and even a touch of woodiness make for a very well-rounded flavor profile.
The carbonation works for this beer; it doesn't go crazy, doesn't get too spritzy or bite too hard. It does, however, provide this beer with a good nip and a creaminess in a light-medium body.
All in all, this was a pleasant surprise for me.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.47/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A finger of head on a medium straw colored body.
The aroma smells like a sack of grain, which is nice enough.
A light, dry bitterness; with a mild sweet note and a medium dry, grain finish.
The texture is crisp and light with moderate carbonation.
A flavorful but still light ale.

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Columbia Common from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.