Beer Maverick

California Common Beer

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Category: Hybrid
BJCP Comparable Category: 19B - California Common

Style Description

This is the description of how the California Common Beer style of beer should taste, feel and look. However, there may be perfectly fine beers in this style that fall outside of these ranges and descriptions. This information is just to show the most commonly accepted ranges for the California Common Beer beer style.

California Common beers are brewed with lager yeasts but fermented at warm temperatures like ales

  • Color: Light amber to medium amber
  • Body: Medium
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: Medium level toasted and/or caramel malt attributes are present.
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: Low to medium-low
  • IBUs/Bitterness: Medium to medium-high
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters are low to medium-low. Diacetyl should be absent.
  • Common Ingredients: Pale ale malt, non-citrusy hops (often Northern Brewer), small amounts of toasted malt and/or crystal malts. Lager yeast; however, some strains (often with the mention of “California” in the name) work better than others at the warmer fermentation temperatures (55 to 60 °F) typically used. Note that some German yeast strains produce inappropriate sulfury character.
  • Commercial Examples: Anchor Steam, Flying Dog Old Scratch Amber Lager, Schlafly Pi Common, Steamworks Steam Engine Lager

Brewing Properties of California Common Beer

These are the functional brewing properties of California Common Beer beers, as descided by the Brewers Association. These guidelines reflect, as accurately as possible, the historical significance, authenticity or a common profile in the current commercial beer market.

The alcohol by volume is shows the amount of alcohol this style of beer should have.
4.6 - 5.7%
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
35 - 45 IBUs
SRM is a scale for measuring the color intensity of a beer. Low SRM grains impart a pale straw color while higher values mean it will add a darker color to the wort. Learn more »
8 - 15 SRM
(16 - 30 EBC)
Original Gravity
Original Gravity (OG) is a measure of the sugar content in the wort before alcoholic fermentation has started to produce the beer.
1.045 - 1.056
Final Gravity
The Final Gravity (FG) is how much sugar is left over in the beer when fermentation is complete.
1.010 - 1.018

If you see an error in our data, please let us know!

Based on Brewers Association 2020 Beer Style Guidelines with changes. Used with permission of Brewers Association.