Common Ground | The Fort Collins Brewery

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Common GroundCommon Ground

Brewed by:
The Fort Collins Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ChainGangGuy on 09-11-2009

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Ratings: 54 |  Reviews: 37
Photo of bigreduw64
5/5  rDev +43.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber into a 22 oz weizen glass, it fits most of the bottle with a wonderful two inches of head. Looking at it, there is a beautiful mahogany color with a light tan head that sticks around. Bringing the glass to my mouth, I can smell fresh roasted coffee from a distance. Underneath the coffee is some burnt sugar and a touch of earthy aromas. Tasting the beer brings everything to life. The first flavor to come forward is coffee, followed by a great caramel malt flavor. Lingering on the back of the tongue is a touch of bitterness. This beer stick around for a while, a minute after taking a sip I can still taste it in my mouth, what a wonderful finish. This beer is wonderfully balanced with a great coffee flavor. The body is light and very drinkable. I could definitely drink this all night. This is a wonderful beer!

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.5/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A:single finger off white head. Amber with gold hues. Not much retention.

S: mostly sweet caramel malt with only a hint of coffee

T: very interesting. The sweetness of the amber with coffee seem to mix together throughout the tasting without a well defined boundary to either.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: this is one I would get again. Drinkable, flavorful and unique.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.3/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's awesome they were able to get all of the coffee character into an amber all without imparting any flavor or bitterness from the dark roasts. Pours a bright glowing amber hue with a slight off white head. Forms thick with thin speckled lacing left behind. Aroma nice robust coffee notes, earthy, with a hint of caramel malts...hidden in the roasted coffee are some money nutty characterisics like toasted almonds. Flavor is great light and drinkable like an amber ale with nice roasted coffee roasts and fresh creamer, more nutty aspects to follow with toasted almonds and cashews mixed. Mouthfeel is clean light to medium bodied with some slight oily texture from the coffee beans dry finish with excellent balance. Overall the most impressive coffee beer I've had in awhile it sticks ice brewed coffee roasts into a traditional amber ale bases and makes it work.

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Photo of katan
4.28/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz into a pint

A - Pours a very clear, light brown color. Head formation is strong, eggshell colored, 1/2" or so. Well retained thus far. Carbonation in the beer appears light.

S - A light amount of coffee roast, very smooth and only a hint of graininess. No malt, hops, or yeast detected.

T - Starts off with a light sweetness balanced by some light chocolate coffee roasted. Very complimentary. Some caramel comes through. Mid-stream, more bitter, but no hops. Finishes with the most grainy coffee note as it brings an only lightly astringent taste. Coffee sticks around on the aftertaste for quite some time. Overall malt forward with a nice coffee balance.

M - Solid beer body, moderate carbonation. Very creamy, bubbly mouthfeel. Leaves only a light sugar cling on the tongue and a bit of coffee edge on the outside.

D - Scary easy drinking. ABV is very manageable, almost for sessioning. Flavors are not overwhelming. Not filling. A well done balanced, coffee flavored but not overbearing, beer.

I really like this one, a surprising effort of being able to not overdo the flavors but still making sure you know its a coffee infused beer. Perhaps the fact it was teamed with more of a malty beer than the traditional stout was the biggest surprise.

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Photo of jsh420
3.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours clear burnt amber with a 1 finger off white head and left some spotted lacing

smell is not very strong but i get coffee and some biscuit malt

taste is much better then the nose and while the flavors are not extreme they are spot on - great coffee flavor not bitter or sour like many are the malt is a little nutty

mouthfeel is light crisp with good carbonation

overall - i enjoyed is beer quite a lot - when every new beer is all about high abv, barrel aging, or how many hops you can put into it this beer was a nice change of pace - an easy drinking coffee amber

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Photo of magnj
3.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bomber has been calling my name all week, picked it up on a whim last weekend and I'm finally pouring it into a simple pint glass tonight with a bowl of stew.

A - Very clear copper body sit underneath a generous and stick off white head. Little carbonation apparent.

S - Though this brew is not highly aromatic, cocoa dominates the nose. I was not sure what to expect, but this wasn't what I imagined. Instead of coffee I'm getting raw cocoa nib type chocolate aromas. Nice but not distinctly coffee to me. I'm sure it is coffee as the bottle states, it just seems like an awfully chocolatey brew.

T - Again cocoa dominates here. There is a distinct dry oily characteristic reminiscent of a french pressed coffee. Only long after the main flavors subside does coffee really start to take hold and then it is only briefly. Other than the coffee addition I'm not getting much in terms of hop or malt character. It seems like an otherwise ordinary beer.

M - Thin mouthfeel makes this interesting brew refreshing without being watery.

D - Easy to drink but regrettably one sided. I was hoping for a unique blend of styles to challenge my palate but was delivered what tastes like a red ale dry hopped with raw cocoa nibs. I give credit for being unique and possibly pioneering a combination I would like to see more of but am left wanting more complexity. Despite it's shortcomings this is a nice beer and would recommend trying it, just don't expect to be blown away.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.86/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16 ounce pint - $4.00 at the Brick Store Pub in Decatur, Georgia.

Appearance: Served up a clear, dark amber-gold body with a large, dense layer of light beige foam. Continued stream of bubbles throughout.

Smell: Sweetish nose of toasted bread crusts, brown sugar, and light caramel with splashes of fresh-brewed Colombian coffee and a minuscule amount of background fruitiness.

Taste: Toasted bready maltiness interspersed with a crisp grain taste and a sweet touch of light caramel syrup and light brown sugar. Then in come some basic mocha tones and eventually a full taste of added coffee beans. Small hint of fruit. Earthy, vaguely herbaceous hop character that, along with the roasty coffee, provides a medium amount of apparent bitterness that's exacerbated by the carbonic bite. As it warms it takes on a Snickerdoodle quality, though this could've readily been some misconceived notion wrought from my alcohol ravaged brain. Only time will tell. The effervescent finish is lightly sweet with a light persisting roasty undertone.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus, somewhat lively carbonation.

Drinkability: Indeed, it is an amber ale infused with coffee. Though it's by no means bad, it is initially off-putting, as it took a few moments to acclimatize myself to the mixture of an amber ale with coffee - I'm just so accustomed to coffee in stouts. I'm sorry for that. Even sixteen ounces later I wasn't sold on the notion and already it's one for me to revisit.

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Photo of tpd975
3.85/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an amber red hue with a small off white head. Very little retention with no lace.

S: Simple aroma of mild coffee, and sweet caramel malt.

T: Nice bold coffee flavors from the start. Nice caramel sweetness beneath. The finish is a nice blend of chocolate and coffee, dare I say cafe mocha? Overall much sweeter than I expected.... which in this case is not a bad thing.

M: Medium in body, okay carbonation.

D: Good, drank the whole bottle alone. I liked this one. Simple but good.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.81/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sad to see such low reviews on this since I paid 8 bucks for the bomber. Into a pint glass.

A - Hard pour and I only got a 1/4 inch of head that dissipates rather slowly making for decent lacing. Color is average amber brown color.
S - Love the smell sweet toffee malts meets coffee grounds.
T - It taste is pretty good sweet toffee and caramel malts meet some coffee ground taste. It's actually kind of interesting to try coffee without a stout or porter base since it takes the edge off the roasty factor. Tasty yet mild.
M - Kind of watery but on par with the ABV. Light to medium. Drink able.

Overall it was a good experimental that's why I picked it up. Sure an amber ale is a terrible body for a coffee infusion but these guys did it right. I like it.

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured up a lovely orange copper colour with about an inch and a half of foam on top which subsided to about three-quarters of an inch or so for nearly the remainder of the drink. Looked very nice poured from its bomber sized bottle into my pint glass.
Smell was about what I would expect from a well crafted red ale with all the usual sweet malts and gently toasted nuances, however, with the pleasant addition of modest, but certainly detectable, coffee.
I was uncertain what to expect from this one, not knowing if there would be no dicernable coffee at all, or if it would be almost overpowering. To my delight, it's actually rather modest, while not requiring an educated palate to detect.
Hops were extemely difficult to detect in this one, and to tell the truth, this was a fairly sweet drink from start to finish.
Mouthfeel, I felt, was a bit on the thin side, but it really suited this particular ale quite nicely.
Most coffee themed beers out there are really dark styles such as stouts and porters. I thought it was nice to find a coffee themed brew out there of a lighter style. I found this to be reasonable well crafted and I enjoyed the chance to review it.
My first offering from Fort Collins
Served at 14C (58F).

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Photo of emerge077
3.78/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$6.99 bomber at Sams.

Pours a tea-like amber into a Duvel glass. Generous foam that settles to a compact off-white cream colored head. The surface is soft and textured, but beneath the surface the bubbles are large. Crown of sticky lace is left behind with each sip. Second pour makes a flurry of carbonation and seconds later, there's perfectly still crystal clarity.

Nutty, maple aromas, some underlying coffee and husky malts too. Definitely a Fall seasonal style beer that compliments the season.

Flavor has the defining toasted/husky grain/malt of an amber ale, with a good coffee undercurrent. Not much bitterness at all, a faint metallic note surfaces but seems to blow off after awhile. Its fairly mellow and understated, not sharp or acrid as some coffee beers can be. Honestly I was hoping for a little more richness. The dry aftertaste of coffee is spot on though. Light bodied and dare I say sessionable. At the price of a bomber, probably not though. Glad to have tried it, and will check out Ft. Collins other limited/seasonal offerings.

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Photo of robwestcott
3.77/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured cold from the bottle a hazy golden amber to a dogfish head signature glass with 1/2 finger short lasting head leaving minimal lace.

aroma of black coffee from your mom's kitchen with a wee bit of chocolate in the way back.

tastes of iced coffee. very pleasant. nothing particularly special, but yet very enjoyable. i almost want to pour it over ice, and i do think i'll pop the other 1/2 of the bomber in the freezer for a bit. as it warms, a nice bit of toffee comes forward.

very smooth and creamy, almost sweet - not what i expected from an amber ale, albeit one brewed with coffee. the bitter is an afterthought and if you aren't watching for it, you'll miss it.

very drinkable.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of emmasdad
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange-amber color, with a rapidly receding light tan head. Huge aroma of freshly roasted coffee practically leaps from the glass, along with hints of caramel. A pretty basic amber ale, sweet, caramelly and refreshing, along with that huge blast of coffee. A pretty nice effort.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had a half pint of this at the FCB tasting room.

A bright copper colour with a small head of foam that dissipates quickly.

The smell had nice fresh ground coffee notes that dominated the nose for me so I can't I detected anything else in the smell.

The taste, again fresh ground coffee with some light malty notes and a bit of biscuit which brought light sweet tones to help balance out some of that coffee bitterness. Pretty good stuff I say.

It had a lightish mouthfeel with a medium level of carbonation and that was a nice combination.

Drinkability? Pretty much like most coffee inspired brews, I enjoyed the half pint I had but I wouldn't reach for another right away.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.72/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got from ummagum who bought it at Liquor Max in Loveland. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. No dating info on bottle but they show on their website that they originally got it in early Oct so that old at the latest. Was a clear orange amber color with some carb streams. Had an average sized light beige head that quickly dissipated into a collar with some central wisps. No lacing. Bottle states "Amber ale brewed with coffee".

The initial aroma was dominated by rich, roasted coffee with earthy, floral hops and caramel malt in the back. As it warmed, the coffee faded a bit and the hop aroma started to take over. Loved the coffee but not the hops. Just never been a big fan of the ones used in amber ales. But I rated it to style where it did meet the target. On flavor, the coffee was great and starts out dominant. As that starts to fade, the base amber flavors take center stage. I generally prefer the coffee porter or coffee stout. Still good but would love to try the coffee used here in an American Porter. Mouthfeel was medium with crisp carbonation.

Overall, a good coffee flavored amber ale with great choice of coffee in it. The base amber flavor brought the drinkability down a little for me but I rated the aroma and taste to style and it does good for the style. Recommend. Another solid outing from FCB. Rotation - not avail in TX so got from a friend as a gift. If avail here, I might do one every so often and at least once on tap.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into nonic.

Clear honey hue, almost the color they should put in the dictionary for amber. A one finger cream color head slowly settles to a perfectly even cap.

The coffee aromas are very Earthy and organic, rather than dark and roasted. Usually these things smell like I misplaced my beer and started reviewing a cup of Starbucks. The malts have a bit of a toasty characteristic.

A little bit of a sweet sugary flavor starts out up front, and is quickly met by some slightly assertive hops. The malts are biscuity, and the coffee has the same organic flavors. Full bodied, with a good amount of carbonation. The coffee bean lingers for a little while.

Not a bad coffee beer. A little different, but in a good way. Recommended.

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Photo of SamN
3.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sampled from my roomates bomber

This beer is a lovely orange-copper color, clear and with beautiful highlights in indirect light. Smell is of caramel malts and with a noticeable coffee aroma. Taste is mild and smooth, the malt flavors blend amazingly well with the coffee. It's thin bodied and a little watery, but this is a great session beer with almost limitless drinkability. A nice treat from Fort Collins brewery.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
3.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber of Common Ground after meeting with the Fort Collins Brewery reps at the local liquor store. Got a free sticker and pint glass out of it!

Beer poured from brown 22oz bomber to a pint glass.

A - The beer pours a translucent amber red color with a dark cream head that quickly dissipates to a silky film that lasts throughout. After reading the label I figured the beer would be darker.

S - A pretty nice mellow coffee aroma mixed with toasted caramel malts. Not much hop character or alcohol on the nose.

T - The beer is very similar in taste to the aroma. The coffee flavor hits immediately and lasts throughout. Not too overpowering. The middle of the beer brings out a mild bitterness with the toasted malt character. Some caramel.

M - Light to medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

Overall, this was a unique beer. A different take on the amber style with the coffee. Glad to have tried it. One of the beer beers from Fort Collins Brewery in my opinion.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 02-14-2011 14:55:17

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.67/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Brick Store Pub. Pours amber with a short head and good clarity. The smell is certainly a somewhat bizarre experience- you don't really expect straight black coffee aromas in beer this color, still, pleasant enough. The taste is also almost all black coffee followed by some earthy hops. Smooth in the mouth, and interesting over all, but more of a novelty than an every day drinker.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not the normal combination of an Amber Ale with coffee additions, it makes for a compellingly softer and smoother session than do the usual strong Stouts with espresso spice flavoring.

The beer opens like most Amber Ales do- with a medium auburn or copper coloring with golden highlights. A creamy off white head builds upon the the beer and rebuilds with a gentle swirl of the glass. Medium retention and moderate lacing gives the beer an inviting return to the glass, sip after sip.

Supple and moderate aromas of caramel and coffee dictate the nose but in a much more gentle notion than most coffee stouts. Nutty with the malt scent and nutty with the coffee scents, it's somwhat akin to pecans and Columbian blends of cold pressed coffee. A backgorund note of bread crust and toffeeish heartiness allows for richer complexities to influence the nose.

Flavors are a direct comparison to the aromas. Sweet caramel flavors lead the way in true Amber Ale fashion while the rebuttal of coffee gives a nutty Columbian or Kona taste that reminds me of butter nuts of pecans, cashews, and macadamia. Light in hop flavor, aroma, and bitterness; much of this is surplanted by the coffee aroma, taste, and oily bitterness that avoids astringency in texture.

Medium weight is in large part due to the malty viscous and carbonated airy feel. The texture holds onto it's moderate tone until late where all release and allow the coffee taste and texture to linger into finish. This reveals a slight grainy and thin coffee astringency to rise, but everso lightly.

The lighter and buttery coffee flavor is a welcomed spice to compelement the otherwise sweetly focused Amber Ale. From one whose tired of the one-dimensionally sweet American Amber Ale profile, I'm happy to see one with another taste of variety.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Red/amber color. Poured a 2 finger tan head with fari retention. Broken lacing washed down the glass.

S: Mild coffee and sweet caramel malt. Faint floral hops.

T: Bold coffee flavors up front. Bready caramel malts follow. Chocolate and more coffee near the finish. Sweetness lingers in the bitter finish.

M: Medium body. Medium carbonation. Surprisingly sweet. Coffee flavor IS in ground versus malt.

D: Big and rich; quite filling. Nice flavors, fair balance.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, pretty, appetizing amber with a fairly thick, if not too persistent, white head. Aroma has a strong coffee overtone, very unlike what I expect from an amber ale! There are some malty and even fruity hints as well. Flavor is rather like weak iced coffee with some malt flavor and a touch of fruit, mainly apple. Texture is smooth and just a little fizzy. Overall, not too shabby and worth trying if you are into unusual beers.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Clear amber color, with a fizzy off-white head. Retention is not a strength here. Seems an odd color for a coffee-infused beer.

Caramel notes seem to dominate, with a soft coffee and cream note. Not much in the way of hop aroma. All around, a soft feel.

Caramel starts in the mouth, but a nice coffee and cream flavor rushes in and demands attention. A bit of sweetness at first, but there seems to be a bit of an earthy finish, which is not bad. Malt may have a slight toasty edge.

Lighter side of medium body, with a good amount of carbonation. This is an interesting coffee beer that really has no roasty feel. Very simple and easy to drink. Interesting.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Thanks to my boi VDubb86 for sharin' this bottle!

Hmm...a coffee-infused amber, eh? Right on. It pours a hazy amber-orange topped by a half-finger of light ecru foam. The nose comprises peanutty coffee, a subsequent undertow of toffee, and a bit o' wood. The taste is pretty much the same, but generally lighter and with a touch more wood and a tiny addition of hoppy florals. The body is a pretty light medium, with a light carbonation and a watery-ish feel. Overall, a nice brew, nothing amazing, but also not overdone (something I figured would be easy with the addition of coffee). I'd drink it again if offered.

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Common Ground from The Fort Collins Brewery
3.48 out of 5 based on 54 ratings.
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