California Common | Court Avenue Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
Court Avenue Brewing Company
Iowa, United States

Style: California Common / Steam Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BuckeyeNation on 03-08-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 2 |  Reviews: 2
Photo of Ragingbull
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer at the Court Avenue pub at the end of June. . . 28th I think. Review from my notes.

Amber color with a wispy head of lacing and a rim of foam. There is some faint prickle in the glass. The nose has some light hops and some easy malt tones. The nose is not the highlight, but its okay. The attack is robustly hoppy and the flavor stays mostly hoppy as well. The hops carries the whole way through the flavor and into the aftertaste. The malt is there, but is definitely the Scottie Pippen to the hops Michael Jordan. This is pretty hoppy for a steam beer and I believe it to reflect what I have had of california common/steam beers recently more than what I came to know of them since my drinking became legal. This one does have the low carbonation that I value, but it is also on tap and I think that helps. Good beer. It wasn't what I expected, but I was still pleasantly surprised. I hope that makes sense.

 927 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"It's the edge of the world
And all of Western civilization
The sun may rise in the East
At least it settles in the final location
It's understood that Hollywood
sells Californication."

--Red Hot Chili Peppers

Sunset tawny beneath a skimpy beige crown. For some reason, I expected a lighter colored beer, but I loved the one that was placed in front of me. I kept holding the pint glass up to the window and admiring it as I drank. Of less importance (since they were typical for a bar pour), the head didn't last long and there wasn't much lace.

My hopes weren't high after the aroma assessment. The nose was on the meek side and consisted of little more than lightly toasted grain and a whiff of hops. To be kind, I'll call it simple and uncluttered.

A minute or two after getting my beer, I spotted the brewer plying his trade on the other side of the glass wall, no more than 10 feet from me. When he came out and walked past my bar table, I waved him over and asked what went into the brewing of California Common. Here's the basic lowdown: pale, crystal and dextrin malts; 100% Northern Brewer hops; and San Francisco lager yeast.

I've only had three examples of this style before (including what most people consider to be the benchmark, Anchor Steam) and was impressed by none of them. My first sip of this beer was a pleasant surprise and my appreciation grew considerably over the remainder of the pint. I was expecting something simple and light, but that isn't what I got at all.

The quickest and easiest way to describe California Common is that it tasted like the lager equivalent of a well-hopped APA. A toasted white bread maltiness was the body of the beer and the hops were its heart and soul. I disparaged Northern Brewer in the review of my last beer, but the flavors that I was tasting must have been due to something else because the hops kicked ass in this one.

The hoppiness was grapefruit peel citric, floral and surprisingly spicy all at once. Not only that, but they were impressively aggressive. It's hard to put into words just how clean, how flavorful, how delicious and how elegantly constructed this beer was. I would love to see it become a permenent fixture in the brewpub's lineup.

Strictly speaking, the body/mouthfeel was a shade lighter than medium. However, it seemed to have a spine of tempered steel and faded not one whit on the finish. A generous amount of superfine bubbles fit the flavor profile like hand in glove.

California Common is uncommonly good beer and is easily one of the best I've ever had in this city. It blows Anchor Steam away and it isn't even a close race. Seriously, it's that good.

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California Common from Court Avenue Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 2 ratings.
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