Common Ground | The Fort Collins Brewery

Common GroundCommon Ground
BA SCORE
3.4/5
54 Ratings
Common GroundCommon Ground
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Fort Collins Brewery
Colorado, United States
fortcollinsbrewery.com

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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
37
Ratings:
54
pDev:
18.82%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
4
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 54 |  Reviews: 37
Photo of kylehay2004
4.5/5  rDev +32.4%
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.

 394 characters

Photo of jaydoc
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

 1,801 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.02/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served on-draught into a 3 oz sampler glass in high altitude Fort Collins, Colorado, at Fort Collins Brewing's tasting room. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a half finger head of slight cream, fair thickness, and decent retention. Colour is a semitransparent gold.

Sm: Malt heavy, with coffee (when I search for it), and full barley. A moderate strength aroma.

T: It's a simple malt bomb with slight tame bittering coffee. It's pleasant if simple, and nicely balanced and built. I don't know that the malt heaviness is justified.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with too much coarseness and dryness - especially on the finish. Doesn't complement the style.

Dr: Easy to drink, in spite of its coarseness. Cost was $1.25 for a taster. Its simplicity holds it back.

 757 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.78/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

 1,056 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.86/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

 1,489 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

 649 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.3/5  rDev +26.5%
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.

 868 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.67/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

 397 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
3.75/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

 680 characters

Photo of Haybeerman
3.65/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

 468 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a flat orange with a brilliant clarity and an ivory colored foam head, about 2 fingers to start before slowly dissipating after several minutes. The lacing was suspect, sliding easily down the glass with only a faint reminder of its presence. A ton of micro-bubbles sticks to the glass walls but quickly vanishes to a quiet scenario.

S: Wet coffee grounds, straight from the pot comes off earthy and moist on the nose. The strength is medium but rather linear and lacks depth of character but still provides subtle highlights to be appreciated.

T: The flavor opens with underlying notes of fruitiness which quickly succumbs to a fresh soft roasty flavor of smoothly brewed ice coffee. There is some suggestions of sugary sweetness balancing and complimenting the finely light wet coffee grounds. It should be noted this is not a coffee stout, but rather a amber with coffee influences and should be regarded as such. Overall a sweet bodied amber minus the citrusy hops with added coffee highlights. The flavor and impression was mixed at times offering some appreciable moments but also appearing watery at times.

M: Medium body, a bit syrupy with a smooth and fine texture. The initial rabid carbonation from the onset is now a soft reminder with a lazy, light presence. A fine wet coffee powdery lacing gently lines the tongue.

D: Overall drinkability may be limited by its overall sweet appeal. Good for a bomber but don't know if it would rank high my list of repeat purchase. Some watery moments hinder this just enough to garnish average regards here.

 1,574 characters

Photo of cjgator3
2.85/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle

A- Pours a clear amber color with an off-white head that turns into a ring of lace around the side of the glass.

S- The aroma is pretty interesting. It takes everything you love in a good amber (slightly toasted malts and caramel) and hits it with some coffee notes. Not much hops in the aroma, if there are try are mostly overshadowed by the coffee. The coffee notes are not as intense as you would find in a strong coffee stout but they are a pleasant subtle addition.

T- The taste like the aroma almost tastes more like a Red Ale than an Amber with a lot of toasted malts and some caramel. There is some roasted coffee flavors in the finish that almost resemble a hint of smokiness as well. Could use a little more hops in the finish in my opinion.

M- The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, not a bad beer and a different twist to an amber. I don't think the coffee works as well in this kind of beer as it does in a big thick stout but it is an interesting twist.

 1,032 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.81/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

 761 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
2.48/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a slightly hazey copper with a very quick and bright white head atop it. There is barely any bubbling in this overall, nondescript looking beer. The aroma is of weak coffee grounds and watery bread. The taste some faintly sweet toasted malts mixed with old Hills Brothers coffee grounds. Then some watery and sparse palate to say the least. This beer is different, but not one I will recommend to anyone.

 410 characters

Photo of jzlyo
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.65/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

 440 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a perfect pint.

4.0 A: Wow, I'm shocked at how light this is given that coffee is involved. Clear orange amber color. Two fingers of foamy beige head. Retention is good given that coffee is involved and a short ring of lacing is left.

3.5 S: Smells somewhat like a really weak cup of coffee. Big toastiness and grainy malts from the base beer. Actually, this smells like a coffee filtered full of coffee after the coffee has been brewed. It's not a great aroma, but for some reason I like it anyway.

3.5 T: Tastes like it smells. Big toastiness and graininess. Weak used coffee filter. 'Nuff said.

4.0 M: Lighter medium body. Good active carbonation. Reasonable creaminess. Light and crisp.

3.5 D: Not an impressive brew by any means, but super easy to drink and different than every other coffee beer I've ever had.

 833 characters

Photo of jsh420
3.95/5  rDev +16.2%
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

 575 characters

Photo of Beaver13
3.44/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Pours an orange amber with a small frothy white head that quickly goes to a thin film that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is strong slightly stale toddy coffee with a little chocolate.

The flavor is sweet caramel malts with a touch of fruits blended with a lot of coffee. The finish has light grassy bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly watery.

Overall, an OK, rather one-dimensional, coffee beer. It is a bit interesting that it's on the lighter side (color and alcohol). From what I remember, it's similar to NB Giddy Up.

 560 characters

Photo of tpd975
3.85/5  rDev +13.2%
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

 514 characters

Photo of denver10
2.78/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark amber with just shy of a thumbs width cream head. Head leaves pretty quickly though. Aroma started off great but kinda started to wear on me towards the end. Very strong coffee been aroma. French vanilla, caramel, doughy, and just a little earthiness. Tastes definitely of a marriage between an amber ale fused with coffee and sweetened cream. Again liked it more at the onset than the finish, by the end of the bottle it had wore on me. I also would have liked a bolder, dark, coffee flavor. I drink my coffee black and thats the flavor I'd have preferred here, personally. Medium bodied to this, silky in mouthfeel, not much carbonation. Bought this blindly, the concept of fusing amber and coffee appealed to me and had me super curious. Glad I tried it, its definitely a unique beer, but I did not generally care for it. Would probably not drink this one again.

 878 characters

Photo of Tyrawlings
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Common Ground from The Fort Collins Brewery
Beer rating: 3.4 out of 5 with 54 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.