Best Of Beer Camp: California Common - Beer Camp #8 | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Best Of Beer Camp: California Common - Beer Camp #8Best Of Beer Camp: California Common - Beer Camp #8

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: California Common / Steam Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Brent on 05-11-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 312 | Ratings: 469
Photo of CampusCrew
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was one of the beer I had at the Sierra Nevada beer dinner at Kickbacks. not favorite style but it was well done. big body for style, apple and nice malty flavors. Was a great night. Had amazingly paired food with one of my all time favorite breweries. I would love to have this beer again as well as others from the night.

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Photo of blackcompg
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pourd from a 12oz bottle from their beer camp sampler -

Appearance - Poured a quick 2 fingers of eggshell head, color of the beer is a slightly haze lite orange amber. Nice lacing left after this session.

Smell - Apples, pears, floral hops, a touch of wheat, and lite spices, really smells good.

Taste - Wow, this is delicious and very refreshing. Starts out with crisp slightly sweet spiced apple, spice seems to be coriander and some nutmeg, dries to crusty well done apple fritter, then joined by some really nice grassy floral hops - the hops do not replace the sweetness, but complement the semi-sweet fruits and biscuits.

Mouthfeel - Nearly medium, as there is a slight creaminess going on here, but the carb keeps everything crisp on the sides of the tongue, and the finish is pleasantly clean and a touch dry.

Overall - I'm really impressed by this beer, and really enjoyed this years beer camp sampler. My favorite was the DIPA, but all were great beers. I totally agree with another reviewer that this would be a great spring/summer beer. A 6.5% ABV makes this a pretty sessionable beer, I hope to see this one again.

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Photo of Popp24
4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I loved this beer and it was my favorite of the Beer Camp choices. This beer has a nice creaminess to it that makes it an easy beer to drink. I really feell like this should be a year round beer for Sierra Nevada or at least a beer that comes out in the Summer or Spring.

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Photo of GbVDave
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

A: Pours a crystal-clear, dark honey gold color with 2 fingers of shortlived foam on top. After about 20 seconds all that remained was a thin collar.

S: Initial aroma was of caramel apples. After it settled for a bit some spicy and herbal hops crept out to look around.

T: See above. Caramel apples that led into some crackery malt and/or toasted bread crusts. Caramel flavor runs through the whole time.

M: Spicy and prickly and easily the best thing about this beer. Takes the edge off the caramel which could've devolved into a overly sweet and slick mess.

O: Pretty impressed. I wasn't expecting much at all and ended up being sufficiently suprised.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a light orange color with a white head. The aroma is full of bread and graham cracker. I also get a little bit of honey in the aroma. The flavor has the same malt component as the aroma, with the addition of some toffee and grass from the hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. I am not usually a huge fan of this style but this beer was pretty good.

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4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle to stein. Beer Camp #8, sampled 6/22/11.

A: Frothy and airy, the off-white, yellow-tinged 3 finger head lasts for a respectable amount of time. The body is perfectly clear and is light golden orange in color. Lacing is spare to none.

S: Somewhat toasty, the aroma is not malt heavy, but the balance leans far from the hoppy end of the spectrum. A little bit of caramel and a touch of grass if anything. There is almost nothing going on in the nose, although this improves as the beer warms.

T: The flavor is among the best of what California Commons have to offer. A rustic earthiness is balanced by light fruity esters, although the latter is quite subdued. Very grainy and mildly papery. The alcohol content is higher than usual, so as the beer warms, it's no surprise that it rears its head on the nose and palate. For that reason, I enjoyed drinking this beer more on the colder side.

M: Medium-full body with a fizzy carbonation that is fine and expansive, bordering on lively. Minerally texture and a light bitterness on the end to keep things clean.

O: I'm not so surprised, honestly, that I enjoyed this beer as much as I did. If Sierra Nevada will put their name on it, it's always worth a try. And a lot was done right with this one.

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Photo of foles
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper colour, with a thin modest head without looking creamy. Citric/lemony/robust hops on the nose with a slight metallic edge. Bitter lemons, mint and slight creamyness (in a creaming soda sense) as well as some background caramel on the palate. Dry hop bitterness, an imaginary sweetness, and a creamy mint like finish on the back of the palate as it goes down. Very moreish!

Solid beer.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of the new Beer Camp series and I love Sierra Nevada so had to get it. Have only tried one other California Common (Anchor Steam) and really liked the style and the subtleness to it. Appearance is a little bland not too appealing, but the nose is nice and aromatic. Taste is super smooth and light to medium bodied, nice balance of the hops and the classic 'steam' beer taste. Great drinkability, hides the ABV well. Nothing fancy, but true to the style and a solid session beer.

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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 adam42381
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a honey amber with a 2 finger frothy egg-shell colored head. Nice lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt and grains with a hint of hops in the background.

Taste: Bready malt and a hint of citrus up front followed by grains and sweet malt in the middle and ending with a nice hoppy bitterness that isn’t overpowering at all. Aftertaste is a nice blend of malt and hops. Very well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Light-to-medium-bodied with a fairly high amount of carbonation. Goes down very smooth.

Drinkability: You could knock back several without much trouble. The slightly elevated ABV is very well masked.

Overall: Excellent beer overall. While this is only my second California Common/Steam Beer, I’ve always loved Anchor Steam. I dare say that this is may be better than Anchor Steam, which is quite a statement. I would love to see this in six packs year round.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours a light orange/amber. A solid cap of flat white foam with great retention. Leaves layered rings of lace behind.

Aroma - kind of a standard grainy start, but the hops emerge after a moment. Slighty citrusy, slightly floral, very nice and with good resilience.

Taste - light biscuity grain, the hops follow with some light orange and pine notes. Excellent balance, a mellow bitterness on the swallow. A good pale ale flavor, but in handy, smoother lager form.

Mouthfeel - smooth, good crispness. Nice body without being too heavy.

Drinkability - excellent camp/fireside beer. I'll hate to see the last of these go.

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Photo of bushbeer75
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle part of the 2011Best of Beer Camp Variety Pack

Sierra Nevada California Common Camp #8 poured clear light amber producing a small off-white fizzy head that left fizzy lacing. The aroma is of light toasted malts and light flora grassy hops in the background. The taste follows the nose with malt upfront and at the finish a light hoppy lingering bitterness. The mouth feel is light-medium with a generous and active carbonation, clean and crisp.

Overall, California Common #8 is an easy drinking brew nice for the spring and summer.

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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 CrazyDavros
3.29/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with a large, fading head.
Nose shows floral and spicy hops, sweet resinous notes, lots of sweet clean malt as well as some light fruit (apples, white grapes, pears). Very nice!
Flavours are quite different, with toasty, nutty malt, bready characters, industrial alcohol, cardboard notes and spicy hops. Quite a mix. Unfortunately the industrial character is really quite prominent.
Too much carbonation, which only serves to emphasise that off-flavour.

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Photo of JednoPivoProsim
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 fl oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottled on day 91 of 2011 (April 1). "2011" California Common. From the 12 pack box: "Our take on California's native style. It is a unique hybrid brew with complex aromas from the use of specialized ale yeast, combined with the smooth and clean flavors of a refined lager."

Appearance: Pours a clear copper with a thick white head.

Smell: Smells of yeasty booze. Somewhat bready in the aroma.

Taste: Very bready and boozy. Reminiscent of a strong lager or bock. At 6.5% ABV, I guess that is to be expected, but other high ABV SN brews hide the alcohol better. I like the flavor, but this is definitely far from a session beer.

Mouthfeel: Appropriately, crisp and refreshing. Not too heavy, but definitely not thin whatsoever. Not a ton of carbonation. I get a bock sensation in the aftertaste as well.

Overall: A good, albeit not great, beer. Interesting indeed. Based on the description above concerning the specialized ale yeast, does this qualify as a California Common/lager? Does it matter?

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Photo of TheWhiskerReview
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasting sample- pours yellow-orange.

Nose is a nice mix of pale malt and caramel with some estery apricot and hoppy hints of orange and flowers.

Palate is med-bodied with a big carbonation and a very sizable bitterness that really took me by surprise. Flavors of toasted grain and bitter walnuts pick up a bit of fruity orange and finally some caramel on the still bitter finish.

Definitely one of my favorites from the Beer Camp pack. The bitterness surprised me for the style, but then again the only other steam beer I've had is good ol' Anchor. But also, the bitterness doesn't surprise me from this producer. Good take on the style.

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Photo of spicelab
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mulder1010 for hooking this up.

Orange gold, clear and bright, with a decent off-white sudsy head. Good lace trails, a slightly raised ring and a slow bead remain.

Starts with a lagery grainy character that I always fail dismally to place. Underlain by decent amount of candied citrus, mainly tangerine. Touch of banana and pear and a certain je ne sais quoi.

Rich malt character dominates, treacle and toffee and some more rustic earthy and nutmeg notes. Don't get much citrus hop character. Dull metallic character comes through later and tends to deaden the flavour profile.

Syrupy and vibrant in the mouth - sticks to all points of the palate. Only flaw is the slightly prickly micro-carbonation. Deceptively dry finish.

The presence in the mouth is by far the best characteristic for mine. Unfortunately the dirty grain action reminds me too much of bad Aussie beer and drags down the other characteristics.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a metallic gold colour, very light bead in the clear body. Head is slightly off-white, fluffy and dense, retaining a finger of clingy lace. Looks good.

Smell is fairly pleasant. Plenty of hop character - some citric notes but largely resinous and slightly metallic edge as well. Hint of golden syrup underneath and a whisper of toasted muesli at the back. Good California Common aroma.

Taste is sweet to begin with, with lots of cereal grain, oats and barley that develops slightly earthy hop notes midway, even as it becomes sweeter, with a real caramelised grain note late-mid that goes along with the mildly resinous hop character. Finishes a little sweet, with a cloying, sticky yeast note not quite cleaned up by the hops, which add a tartness without cleansing.

Bit of fizz is noticeable through the insufficient body. Not offensive, though, just a bit too much tingle.

As the result of a Beer Camp, this beer leaves me very slightly disappointed. But as a brew, it's very good.

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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 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 beerdown77
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a nice orange with large fluffy head. The lacing and retention are superb. The smell is pretty mild…light malt and sweetness. There is a refreshing bitterness to this that is almost lager-ish. The malt is pretty dominant, but there is a decent balance of hops to make this a summer refresher. The beer is well crafted and good, but I don’t see myself craving this style in general. I prefer Liberty Ale to Anchor Steam too, I just lean toward the hops. However, I like a curveball now and then, and this beer tickled my fancy.

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Photo of match1112
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: light yellow in color. head was like dish soap but didnt last long.

s: bread, sweet malts and a hint of spice.

t: very sweet, not at all what i was expecting.

m: a bit rough, yet still drinkable. little alochol burn on the back end.

o: my favorite of the beercamp series, but not as good as anchor. oh well s.n. still has a lot to be proud of.

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Photo of AustinBeerLvr
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a dimpled mug. Relatively pale colored body, with lots of sediment floating around. Bottled on the April 2nd according to the bottle code.

Lot's of sweet flavors going on here...Ranging from toasted bread to honey graham crackers to sweet like fruit pears. Alcohol definitely presents itself as well. Surprisingly, there is barely enough hop bite at the end to keep everything in check. Semi-hot alcohol hit makes the finish a bit harsh.

I am probably not alone when saying that Anchor Steam sets the standard for this style. In my opinion, SN's Camp version is decent, but it lacks the body and overall smoothness I generally look for in the style. I believe this brew would greatly benefit from some addition of caramel malts and a lower attenuation yeast strain as well as higher mashing temperatures, as the alcohol is too assertive. A decent effort, but certainly my least favorite from this year's Beer Camp releases.

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Photo of ADZA
3.46/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

So stoked to see the beer camp brews finally hit our shores and this one pours a see through fluro copper hue which leaves a two finger head and clingy lacing,the smell is sweet malts,candy,brown sugar and ripe peaches,the mouthfeel is medium bodied and has tastes of sweet pale malts,a touch of candy,bready malts,ripe fruit and finished with a mix of sweet malts and stonefruit and overall its a nice steam beer thats easy to quaff but not a fan of the smell as it borders on macro but the taste doesnt and neither does the mouthfeel which is nearly spot on for style cheers.

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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 treehugger02010
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this bottle from the Beer Camp variety case from Bryn Mawr Beverage in Rosemont, PA. I poured it into a pint glass.
Appearance: The body is a dark straw light amber color. The head is a bright white color, 3 fingers tall, small sized bubbles, good retention, abundant thin lacing.
Smell: The aromas are yeast, green apple, and earthy hops. The might be some grape fruit. The flavors are rather muted.
Taste: The flavors citrus hops (grapefruit), yeast, and some earthy hop notes.
Mouthfeel: The body of this beer is medium, with a crisp clean finish.
Drinkability: This beer is pretty good.
Don't drink and review.

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Best Of Beer Camp: California Common - Beer Camp #8 from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.77 out of 5 based on 469 ratings.
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