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California Common Beer Reviews

Born in the Bay Area, these medium-bodied amber beers were originally brewed in large, open fermenters that capitalized on the regions cool temperatures. Anchor Steam brewers, the style’s creators, used a lager yeast that functioned at cooler ale fermentation temperatures. They also featured the Northern Brewer hop varietal, which should be apparent in the aroma of any example. A light fruitiness and caramel or toasty malt should also be present. In the taste, a distinct hop bitterness and woody hop flavors complement a moderate maltiness with a caramel or toast essence. Very light fruity esters are often present, though the overall drink should be clean. ABVs span 4.5 to 5.5 percent.

Pair: Practically pairable with any dish, try a California common with West Coast cuisine: These beers pair incredibly with grilled salmon; the toasty malt mirrors the fish’s meatiness, while the beer’s hops lift the fish’s oils from the palate.

Glassware: pint glass