Common Ground | The Fort Collins Brewery

Common GroundCommon Ground
Liked This Beer
3.4 w/ 54 ratings
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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 54 |  Reviews: 37
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 bobhits
3.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Coffee amber for about 7 bucks a bottle. I expect something rather intense. Instead this is a light easy drinking beer with an interesting coffee finish. Too many hops would result in a poor flavor. Too much coffee with this body would similarly fail. Instead this one hits a light flavored mix that works well, even if the price is just insane.

Clear amber ale, very clean. A bit of white head but not much lasts and only a touch of lacing.

Light aroma with hints of coffee and caramel with a touch of hops.

Overall a tasty brew that's overpriced and isn't really something I think I'll consider again.

 609 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

 677 characters

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 JayS2629
3.57/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A clear amber with a thin white head that fades fast but leaves sticky lace. Where is the coffee? The smell is of sweet malts, faint earthy hops, and watery faint, faraway coffee note. If you are going to name a beer after the coffee I expect to smell it and taste it, but they went for subtle on the coffee and I can't find it. Maybe it is just my glass or maybe I'm used to big roasty coffee stouts? This was a nice, sweet but watery amber with a slight roasted note in the far background. I was disappointed.

 511 characters

Photo of katan
4.28/5  rDev +25.9%
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.

 1,264 characters

Photo of SamN
3.7/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

 420 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 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 Vdubb86
3.33/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a mug

This beer pours a cloudy orange color with a half finger of white foam on the surface. The initial smells are of spent coffee grounds and supported by a hint of honey. When the flavors first hit your tongue all you taste is really cheap coffee, like the freeze-dried grounds that are mass produced kind of coffee. The flavors that follow that consist of sweet sugary malts. There is a slight nutty flavor to it that when combined with the other flavors reminds myself and the other sharing of peanut butter. The mouth feel is light to medium with the appropriate level of carbonation and it goes down fairly smooth with no real bitterness. Overall it's an interesting beer, I've never really had anything quite like it.

 736 characters

Photo of robwestcott
3.77/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

 693 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 atsprings
3.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber into a Duvel tulip pours a slightly hazy orange with a barely there off-white head that diminishes to barely a ring and leaves a bit of lacing on the glass. Aroma is fresh ground coffee in front of sweet malts. Taste is an interesting blend of sweet caramel malts and subdued coffee, not too overbearing on either front, an interesting beer to say the least. The beer is medium bodied and an easy drinking beer, even for Summer. Overall, this is a beer I may very well try again, but not one I'd seek out that often.

 528 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 emmasdad
3.75/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

 291 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 TexIndy
3.72/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

 1,465 characters

Photo of SilentSabre
3.8/5  rDev +11.8%
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).

 1,232 characters

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.13/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

"A celebration of craft beans, craft brews, collaboration and innovation resulted in this rare and enticing brew. Together FCB and Jackies Java carefully cupped, sniffed, roasted and brewed three distinct varieties of coffee that resulted in an ammber ale playfully infused with bold coffee notes".

Served from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Emerges crystal clear and deep bronze in color with a foamy and effervescent white head of about two full fingers in size. The head slowly recedes into a thin layer of film on top of the beer and leaves sporadic lacing down the sides of the glass.

Aroma is as the beer is labeled; amber-like with a hint of coffee. There is a bit of a sour metallic aroma with the beer as well that detracts significantly from the overall pleasantness in the nose. Raw cocoa with bitter coffee followed by a touch of caramel.

Weird flavor. As I purchased this beer, I though to myself that this could be an interesting beer: It could be different and great or different and a mess. Unfortunately, it is the latter. Kind of sweet up front with a coffee-like liqeur flavor lending a sticky and artificial sweetness to the flavor and body. The coffee is quite muted but lends itself to beer in a fake sweetness. None of the flavors gel very well and makes this one a mess.

Thin bodied and sticky sweet bordering on cloying. More of the metallic coffee comes through in the finish, which is quite dry and clean. You ask "How is this beer sweet and sticky yet finishes dry?" I ask myself the same thing. The only conclusion I have is the addition of some sort of coffee syrup used for flavor. This beer is too light in color to have real coffee in it. Get this one for the novelty but not an overly sessionable beer.

 1,743 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 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 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 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 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 magnj
3.95/5  rDev +16.2%
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.

 1,474 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Common Ground from The Fort Collins Brewery
Beer rating: 27.8% out of 100 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.