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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Reviews: 37 | Ratings: 54
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 SaCkErZ9
3.13/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

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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 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 Beaver13
3.44/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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