California Common beer evolved in the San Francisco area during the late 1800s. Refrigeration was rare and ice hard to come by so brewers made beer with lager yeast fermented at warmer ale yeast temperatures. The beer was called steam beer but Anchor trademarked the name in 1981 so anyone else making that style of beer had to come up with a new name, and California Common was born. In many cases the resulting product is a little meh and is an amber beer produced for the novice craft beer fan. BlackStack Brewing Common Place (5.3% alcohol by volume) has nothing commonplace about it and captures why people came to love the style. It has a mild woody, minty hop with moderate bread crust, hint of caramel, and hint of fruit. The malt supports the hops. the beer's freshness - mine was packaged about a week ago - helps maintain the rich aromas. Fight now I am enjoying watching my tulips through the beer. It is brilliant light copper under a 2.5” beige cap with good retention. Initial spicy, minty, fruit flavors spread over the tongue and then the beer gives up a solid bitter in the middle followed by a very pleasant lingering dry finish with just a hint of sweet fruit. The hops are handled magnificently. The fruit comes out as it hits mid tongue and then it segues into the finish. The malt is moderate. The beer has some bread crust and a hint of caramel that provide support for the hops. It finishes dry and crisp with some lingering citrus. The body and carbonation are medium. This full flavored California Common is very well done and a delight to drink especially due to the rich development of malt flavors and the development of the hop flavors and bitterness. the flavors sit and pleasantly linger in the mouth real well making it a beer you can sit nurse and contemplate yet it is light enough to for an evening of social drinking. I really like this a lot and rate it 89.
Go to California Common for an introduction to the style, food pairing information, recommended glassware, and links to reviews of similar beer.