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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
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468 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 468 |  Reviews: 312
Photo of jsh420
4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours clear bright golden orange with a 1.5 finger white head that covers the glass with lacing

smells of sweet bready malts apples pears - hint of grassy hops

taste is very similar to the nose but with a good deal of hop bitterness to help balance the sweet bready malts

mouthfeel - medium body with great carbonation that gives this lager life without being too harsh

overall - very impressed with this offering - reminds me of a heavier SN summerfest with the bitterness of the SN esb

 491 characters

Photo of GilGarp
2.99/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served cold into a pint glass.

It has a golden yellow color with good clarity. The head is short-lived and leaves no lace behind.

Aroma is pretty unremarkable. It's hard to get any specific character out of it.

Flavor grainy and mild. It's a classic beer taste with more character and flavor.

Mouthfeel is light in body and well balanced.

Overall it's ok if you're looking for a more full-flavored lager. Honestly, not all that exciting for me.

 461 characters

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 5/24/11
*From notes

A: This is one dark Common. It's sappy amber in color. 2.25 finger head on a good pour with killer lacing.

S: Bready and hearty. It's earthy with a really unique herbaceousness to it.

T: Rich and hoppy. Bitter. It's one hell of a big beer for the style, and just plain delicious.

M: Prickly and a bit sharp considering the richness of the beer.

O: Sierra-Nevada's Beer Camp CA Common is night and day from Anchor Steam's. Where the other is light and sessionable, SN's is big, robust and layered. This is an oustanding beer and sets the bar high for the style. Without question, this is worth seeking out for high quality, summertime quaffing.

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Photo of beagle75
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a becker glass.

A: Clear, brassy golden color with two fingers of persistent white foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Toasty and estery, with a faint metallic edge that fades after a few minutes.

T: Begins off-dry, with abundant pale malt accented by an acidic sharpness. Herbaceous hop aromatics, slightly tea-like and joined by mild fruity esters, emerge in the middle, transitioning into mild and crisp bitterness that lingers on the palate.

M: Medium viscosity, slightly sticky on the palate, with low carbonation.

D/O: While the inclusion of this beer in the "Best of Beer Camp" mix pack initially seemed like an afterthought, or perhaps a symbolic nod to California brewing traditions, it turns out to be an exceptional contribution to a style that is all too easy to overlook. It displays an appealing collection of nicely-balanced qualities that are centered around robust toasted grain. Despite all of its appeal and its limited availability, this beer can even serve as a fine gateway selection for the timid.

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Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: golden-copper in color, spotty coating of white, bubbly carbonation

s: malty lager aroma with toasted barley and a discernible honeylike sweetness, hops grassy and slightly earthy, crusty bread/biscuit, sugary aromas of white grape and pear

m: carbonation lively but smooth, medium-high in level, body riding the border between light and medium - crisp and refreshing but not thin

t: light but malty base with lots of lightly toasted barley malt flavor, sweet pear and white grape juice, honey sugars hit in the middle with a grassy, slightly metallic bitterness soon pushing through, bready grains linger

o: a very nice common, balanced but plenty flavorful and easily consumed

picked up as part of the 2011 beer camp mixed 12

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Photo of mikul93
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A Poured a dark golden with a hint of red maybe? Very little head

S Malt and a little hops

T Malt, some pine and a slight bitter aftertaste

M Smooth, easy drinking beer. Medium Carbonation. Very refreshing

O This is a solid beer. Cannot wait to try the other ones.

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Photo of jgreenearrow
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a golden amber color with a 1/2' head that mostly dissipated, however some remained atop the beer and leaving some lacing on the sides.

S: Smell of lemon, yeast and malt. The nose of this beer is not very complex.

T: There is a lot more going on with the taste than with the nose. Sweetness of malt and some yeast begin the sip. Some lemony citrus enters in the middle trailing off into some hop bitterness in the finish.

M: This is a light bodied, refreshing beer with ample carbonation.

Overall, this is an excellent beer. This is a style that I haven't run across very often, but I thoroughly enjoyed this offering from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of dfillius
4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A; Aggressive pour yields 1 finger of tight white head with good retention. Clear golden amber liquid is good looking - typical for S.N.
S: Clean and bready with a crisp Noble hop balance. Herbal with slight lemon peel.
T: Tastes like it smells. Clean and bready with some caramel notes. Crisp seemingly Noble hops have an herbal flavor and balance well with slight citrus. Flavors stay paired well all throughout. Cascade? hops emerge near the end.
M: Crisp and clean and full
D: Love it! I want another and I would buy 6. Perfect for a warm day.

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

Thanks very much to abru17 for giving me this bottle -poured chilled in a willybecker and shared with octopus87(my wife).

The color is ruddy hued golden with great clarity and a 1/2 khaki cap. The bead is average sized and streams of pin sized bubbles are rise rapidly, lace clings spottily. The smell is nice -a slight bready nose with a lager-like aroma, slight noble hop tinge which gives a light lemon scent, with mild fruit ester from the yeast. The feeel is decent with somewhat hop focused with moderate bitterness and slight creaminess from the yeast which accent the malt slightly giving a more toased bready feel and the finish seems semi-dry and mildly bitter, yet clean.

This California common is very tasting w/ tea and apple skin-like notes indicative of Northern Brewer hops with a slight yeasty tanginess which blends well with the piney elements in the hops which also display some noble lemony/herbal accents. The only thing is the yeast and hops seem to lean away from the malt even though it is balanced well overall. I like the dry refreshing quality and the semi-bitter hopping is right in line. Overall I enjoyed the heck out of this. I could drink this style year round and this is slightly better then the classic Anchor Steam beer.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Crystal clear amber color pours with a beautiful thicket of off white head, forms fine even speckled lacing. Aroma has a hint of citrus hops with a nice fruity caramelized malt profile. Fairly sweet wave of malts with barely any noticeable balancing hops, really one dimensional that actually finishes with a bit of booze. There's not much besides the malts to cover up the 6.5% abv, overall not my favorite California brewed steam beer but a solid effort from a mixed 12 pack with such a diverse group of beers. I really wouldn't want this beer in number, overall I'm happy with it but it lacks the great thing that Anchor Steam has going...drinkability.

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Photo of ncfranklin
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to a shaker pint.

A: A golden orange, translucent throughout, small white head that recedes to a ring quickly.

S: Light smell of biscuity malt, some piney hops, little else.

T: Some malt, piney levels, minor bitterness. Overall very clean.

M: A little heavier than what i'd call "light". But good crisp carbonation.

D: Hey, it's a Steam Beer. It's designed to be sessioned.

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Photo of codfeast
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle to pint.

A: Nice gold color, 1/4" head.

S: Malt, caramel, slight hint of lemon.

T: creamy malt, with a slight bitter finish.

M: Nice and creamy with medium carbination.

O: Looks like an anchor steam, smells like an anchor steam, tastes like an anchor steam. what's not to like about that.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The only beer from the beer camp I could find at my local mixed six place.

A - Pours a bright yellow with an orange bit of color. Head is frothy with an inch of head and little to no lacing.

S - Smells of faint sweet malts, touch of sweet honey, and a bit of flowery hops. Very faint smell.

T - Not bad I actually get a bit of citrus hops but mostly sweet tones of honey or toffee like malts. Just the right amount of bitter from the hops keeps it in check.

M - Light to medium. Pretty nice.

Overall a very nice steam beer that has a bit of hops is very interesting. Could buy the case at 41 dollars but will have to wait since I am broke.

 644 characters

Photo of musicforairports
3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz into a tulip.

Golden-amber and very clear. Few bubbles, small head, no lacing.

Smells like light caramel and flower petals.

Taste is flowers, sweet malt, some nuttiness, honey and maybe some citrus. Reminds me of somewhere between an amber lager and a kolsch. A bit sweet.

Medium mouthfeel, light-medium carbonation.

This one is easy to put down, but a bit sweet and not something I'd seek out. Reminds me of a robust kolsch.

 435 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

And here the Beer Camp experience ends. Shame, really. It pours a clear brass topped by a finger of soapy white foam. The nose comprises wheat, coriander, sweet flowers (I'm leaning toward violets on this one), and even sweeter honey. It's not the most flamboyant aroma around, but it is definitely pleasant. The taste holds notes of wheat, light toffee, grass, sweet flowers, and a touch of orange rind. The body is a hefty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a nearly crisp finish. Overall, a very nice steam beer, something easily drinkable, especially for those who like the lighter things in the summer.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark gold color; a slight haze. Poured a 3 finger creamy off-white head that dissipated to 1 finger layer. Lightly decanted. Laced in wide rings.

S: Sweet, bready malt and musty wet grain. A hint of citrussy hops (or maybe it was light fruity yeast).

T: It was yeast esters; more like green apple. Transitions to bready malt that's slightly sweet. Mild, building bitter in the finish; balanced and a little spicy.

M: Medium body, Moderate carbonation. Smooth and malty. A little sweet more than bitter.

O: Good malt character and fair balance.

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

A - Pours with one finger of off-white foam on top of a clear, dark golden colored body. The head settles down fairly quickly and leaves light lace on the glass.

S - Musty, earthy hops with a bit of bread and light toffee malt qualities.

T - Herbal hops and red apple yeast notes up front. Some bready malt comes out in the middle with a hint of honey. More spicy hops in the finish as the malt is balanced by moderate bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Not bad, this is a pretty average example of the style. The malt seems a bit overly thick with perhaps more grainy sweetness than necessary and this hurts the drinkability a bit.

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Photo of dcook11
4.44/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper hue with decent lacing at the start that fades into nothingness after ten minutes or so. Smeels of light hops and sweet malt, some caramel as well. Balanced. The taste is similiar to the smell, with just a touch more hop presence. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied. Overall a very enjoyable and balanced offering.

 340 characters

Photo of nrbw23
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a clear, copper color with a very thin white head. Head stays the whole time and leaves very little lacing, just a cap.

S- Smell is pretty light overall. Smells of a touch of citrus and floral hops. A touch of toffee, pale malts, and bread.

T- Follows the nose pretty well as its pretty light. A bit of hop bitterness, a bit of pale malts, and bread.

M- Fairly light in body and carbonation.

O- Not my favorite from this pack by any means. Just pretty light and almost boring.

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Photo of drinkiusmaximus
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep golden color. A very dense pillowy three fingers head on the initial pour. Little retention but a Fair amount of lacing left on the glass.

S - A slightly malty, sweet smell. Not overly aromatic.

T - A very refreshing beer. For a beer that is very malty, it isn't a beer you need to sip. A nice background of sweetness (almost like honey) combines with a nice hoppiness to make a beer that is really well balanced. The alcohol is barely noticeable.

M - A good amount of carbonation and medium bodied stays slightly filmy in the mouth.

D- I enjoyed this beer and look forward to another.


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Photo of shand
3.61/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

This brew pours a rich golden color with two fingers of head. Retention is poor, but lacing is alright. The aroma is primarily sweet clean malts, without much else. The taste is a bit better, with the clean, sweet bready malts and just a bit of citrus hops making a simple, yet refreshing brew. The mouthfeel is nice, it's a bit thicker than most brews of this style, but it's also got a much higher ABV. Drinkability is quite good, especially considering the hidden ABV. Overall, a solid steam beer, not as good as Anchor's though.

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Photo of bfields4
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good looking clear golden lager with a tight white head.

Nice clean malt and lager yeast aroma.

The sweet malt gives way to a crisp hop finish. The bitterness kindof builds in the aftertaste.

Nice easy drinking beer. Not complex on the flavors, but done well. I might still defer to anchor's offering, but a good beer without a doubt.

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

A- Bright golden color with a little white head on top and around the edges. A little bit of lace, but very thin.

S- Smells of malt sweetness and lager yeast.

T- Little bit of sweetness up front then drys out into a slightly bitter finish. Can taste the lager yeast in there too

M- light to medium body, with a little syrupy texture to it. Mild carbonation on the palate.

O- Not a bad beer at all, good for a hot day outside on the grill.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a wine glass (only piece of glassware available at the time). No bottle date but these have been out for about a month now.

A: Clean, yellow/orange color. Crisp, white head. Good carbonation. Some light lacing, but nothing major.

S: Shockenly this smells like a pilsner (?). Mild to NO hop aroma. More maltiness from the nose.

T: This tastes almost like a blend of a pilsner and a pale ale (which I think is kind of the style). Dare I say, this tastes like a Stella but maybe my palate is confused.

M: This is fairly light bodied. Doesn't coat the mouth at all.

O: This beer is OK. It's drinkable. Would I grab another 12 pack to sample more of this, no. But had to try it at least once. Cheers to SN for doing this little experiment!

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pous a medium amber color and is nice and clear.
Pours with a rather big white foamy head fades into a thick surface coating leaving some good lacing around the glass.

Aroma is crisp and malty. The malts have a bready aspect. There is very little hop pop that I can tell.

Mostly malt based taste. malts have a caramel essence, and are faintly toasted. I don't taste in much way of hops but htere is some low level of hop bitterness. If anything I call the hop flavor rustic.

A medium body beer with medium carbonation. This beer has a crisp semi dry finish with little aftertaste.
Drinks clean.

Overall I'd say this is a good everyday beer. There nothing too overpowering with this beer.

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Best Of Beer Camp: California Common - Beer Camp #8 from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 468 ratings
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