Cornerstone Copper Ale | Chocolate City Beer

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44 Ratings

Brewed by:
Chocolate City Beer
District of Columbia, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Here in NE DC, CCB is building a brand to last. To succeed in that, we need a sound foundation. Cornerstone Copper Ale is a well balanced Copper Ale comprised of German malts and European noble hops. An ale we can build upon.

27 IBU

Added by mdfb79 on 08-19-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 44 |  Reviews: 11
Photo of Cbrazbox
3/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Navalartichoke
4.25/5  rDev +38.9%

Photo of BeerMeBrah
4/5  rDev +30.7%

Photo of circus_cat
3/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Jtc2811
1.75/5  rDev -42.8%

Photo of jjboesen
2.84/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This ale is brewed by one of several microbrewers that have been rising up from the once empty beer wasteland that was the Washington, DC beer scene. No longer is this the case. Chocolate City is the smallest brewery, having begun by two local home brewers.

As the name implies, this copper colored ale is their “cornerstone” beer; it possesses a dark body that lies beneath a razor-thin head. It seems to be inactive; no lacing, no visible carbonation within. Nor, does the nose provide much – except for a feint rush of apple. Take a sip; the palate receives a mild connotation of rye toast. That’s that.

While methinks it to be rather bland and unimpressive, it can be said that it is drinkable and as one who advocates local beers, I will continue to try their other beers.

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Photo of Chaney
3.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at Kramerbooks in DC.

A: Poured a very murky, amber (and on the dark side of that), with a slight sawdust formation posing as a head.

S: Not much at all, but once I dug a bit, I managed to summon up a tinge of caramel and malt.

T: Not too bad, but you hopheads are going to hate it: Caramely, with a rather light body, and definitely on the malty side of the spectrum.

M: Fairly thick in texture, but I would categorize it as "gummy" as opposed to thick, syrupy, or decadent. A fair amount of lacing was left on the glass and not much bitterness to make it interesting.

O: Infinitely forgettable, but better than what I had been told about this beer going into the session.

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Photo of Beer4MyBrajs
3.25/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of WMEugene
3.75/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of Rukasu
2.82/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From growler fill at brewery

A: Hazy slightly transparent dark amber. short, one finger creamy white head.

S: Very little scent of citrusy hops and bready grain.

T: Pretty average copper ale, similar to Otter Creek. Mild hops. Slight malt sweetness, but with a mild hop bitterness. Hints of soap and grass.

M: Fairly lackluster. Not enough effervescence, actually kind of flat. There is just enough hops to make it astringent, but too much malt?

O: Not sure what's up here, but just not my style. Easy drinking though and not at all heavy but just needs a little work, but am interested to track to their progress and see what else comes down the pike.

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Photo of DapperGrowler
3.21/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up this beer at the brewery in a growler.

A: the beer had a deep amber color.

S: Not much of a smell that i detected other then some light malt

T: Some caramel tastes but not that memorable.

M: smooth.

This beer seemed very average. Would drink it again, but not that memorable

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.26/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fair if a bit tepid amber ale.

Presentation: 16 oz draft serving. Menu notes special seasonal offering, and servers highlight the local nature of the brew. Served in a pint shaker glass.

A - Medium to deep amber pour with one finger of frothy head, fair retention with some nice touches of lacing.

S - Smell is not offensive… It is simply not there. It might be the temperature, the age of the keg, the serving… It does not matter much. Slight grainy bitterness if one is overtly imaginative but that is about it.

T - There is some flavor and it is generic but pleasing. Bitter caramel notes, some toasted notes, grassy hint...

M - Medium to medium-light body with moderate-soft carbonation, and a soft bitter finish after a moderately creamy sense.

O - A fair take at a US amber ale.

Notes: After all the bad things I had heard about this effort this brew was pretty decent. Sure, I do not care much for a run of the mill amber ale, and given that this is not the 80´s it might be hard to make a craft dent with this brew. A bit bland but quaffable, it sure deserves a spot ahead of many mass-produced brews, but that is about it for now...

 1,154 characters

Photo of Oasis
3/5  rDev -2%

Photo of drabmuh
3.11/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Is this an Alt or amber? Either way it is sort of a mess of a beer. Beer is amber, mild haze, on tap at a local beer bar served in a snifter, thin broken white head, low carbonation.

Light malt aroma, the rest diacetyl. Not appetizing.

Grainy dry finish, yeasty midpalate, this beer drinks a lot more like an alt than an amber, the yeast for an alt is more temperamental, the hop character is lacking, the malt is interesting. I don't think I'd have it again but I could be persuaded to try it twice.

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Photo of imbibehour
4.12/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at Ben's Next Door into a shaker pint glass. I wasn't expecting to run into this, but was surprised that I did.

A real nice amber orange and red cloudy body, I am guessing unfiltered? With a very creamy tan caramel head, it almost looks like it was pulled off nitro. Pretty nice looking if you ask me. Body is very opaque making it hard to see any possible rising carbonation.

Boy this nose totally surprised me. Great toast and cream milk and mild sweetness. Hints of brown sugar and crusty toasty malt, chewy, even milk chocolate with a little small hop bitter. This was probably the most impressive part.

Taste was even more surprising. Very big milkshake like feel, extremely creamy, with toasted malts almost brown whole wheat toast. A great milk chocolate finish even some fruitiness marmalade reminding me of an English Bitter almost.

Overall I didn't think this beer was going to be that good, I was real impressed. Having now looked at the reviews from the past I am kind of stunned, were we even drinking the same beer? Well that's what subjectivity is about. I was more impressed thinking this was going to be just an ordinary amber and it was anything but, this was one unique beer, to style? probably not, but it was real tasty to me.

 1,265 characters

Photo of federicotendroni
1.96/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

A) Copper with a small amount of head

S) Very mild smell of breads and malt.

T) Some malt sweetness and nothing else. I think they forgot to hop this beer.

M) Doesn't have any body. It was thin and unpleasant to drink.

It could definitely use carbonation and hops. Needs work before I'd order one again.

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Photo of DCBenny
4.42/5  rDev +44.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the launch at RFD and, DAMN, was this nice. Was completely impressed. Taste was great, smell was very nice, appearance was beautiful.

IMHO, this is their 2nd best beer right now behind the Cerveza Nacional, which says a lot (since the CN is tremendous). The hops are there but not overwhelming and the malt is nice. I'm fully on board with this one.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
2.5/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

From tap to nonic pint glass on 8/17/11 at Mad Fox's "Kick the Keg" event for DC Beer Week
*From notes

-- This was the unofficial release of Chocolate City's first beer! --

A: Slightly cloudy and resiny amber. Saying the beer had a .25 finger head would be extremely generous. Zero lacing ever materializes.

S: Non-exsistent. There's a faint trace of grain, maybe some canned malt extract. Minor hints of earthy dirt and a twinge of rust don't add to the overall presentation.

T: Blasé. It's slightly sweet, like they rushed this to market and left a bit of unfermented sugars in it. Hearty and quite rustic. I don't detect any semblance of a hop profile.

M: It needs something. In fact it needs many things. More carbonation would be a start, as it's almost flat. A richer, more robust and creamier texture would be welcomed, too. As it stands, it's offputting and uninviting.

O: Chocolate City's Cornerstone Copper is one of the most dissapointing debuts I've witnessed. I get the feeling this brew was rushed, and it absolutely drinks like it. You only get to make one first impression, and this wasn't a good one.

When your brand new, über-hyped beer is the last of five kegs to kick, please take note. Orange Whip? Gone in minutes. Monumental IPA? Not long after. And by the time I got there three hours later at 9pm, the only one left was the Cornerstone. And lots of it.

I'm not counting the folks at Chocolate City out, I merely hope they realize that quality defies all. If it ain't good then we, the craft beer drinking community, simply won't drink it, regardless of where it's from or how slickly it's marketed.

I'm still excited to sample the rest of the Chocolate City portfolio, and simply hope this was merely an aberration.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.18/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

O.G.: 1.056
IBU: 27
Specialty Grains:
Munich, Crystal

Here in NE DC, CCB is building a brand to last. To succeed in that, we need a sound foundation. Cornerstone Copper Ale is a well balanced Copper Ale comprised of German malts and European noble hops. An ale we can build upon.

Had on tap tonight at RFD at the launch party. Served in a pint glass. Unsure of the ABV.

a - Pours a somewhat transparent amber copper color with one inch of white head and light carbonation evident. Looks pretty nice.

s - Smells of bready malts, pale malts, maybe some light fruit. Pretty nice.

t - Taste follows the nose. Lots of bready and pale malts, some light fruit and toasted malts as well. Not bad, but pretty average.

m - Medium body and very, very light carbonation. Seems a bit undercarbonated to me.

o - Overall a decent, but average amber ale. After the flat ESB and barely any carbonation here, I'm hoping they don't have carbonation issues. Better than the 1814 ESB but below the Big Chair IPA.

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Cornerstone Copper Ale from Chocolate City Beer
Beer rating: 3.06 out of 5 with 44 ratings