Review: Columbia Common, Widmer Brothers

Columbia Common
Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. — Portland, OR

  • Style: California Common
  • Bitterness: 32 IBU
  • ABV: 4.7%
  • Malts: 2-Row Pale, Munich 20L, Caramel 40L, Chocolate Malt
  • Hops:  Alchemy, Columbia, Willamette
  • Sampled:  12 oz. bottle

Description:  "The Columbia Hop was near extinction when we brought it back to create this crisp, easy drinking common ale. With a rich amber hue, Columbia Common, the new spring seasonal release for 2013, has a mild grassy and spicy hop notes are complemented by a fruity character and clean finish brought on by the use of Hefeweizen and lager yeasts and unique malt bill. It's the perfect beer for spring. Prost!" — Widmer Brothers Brewing Co.

Random thoughts: I'm drinking Columbia Common as part of my series on spring seasonal beers. I first tasted this new beer a month ago at a preview hosted by Widmer Brothers Brewing and decided to revisit it for a full review. At the event, I spoke with Ben Dobler (Brewer at Widmer), who told me Columbia Common is simultaneously fermented with both ale and lager yeasts (in the same tank). Normally a common (or steam beer) is fermented with lager yeasts at ale fermentation temperatures.

The tasting: Medium to dark amber in color, hazy, with a white head that dissipates fairly slowly. Aroma of caramel at the forefront, earthy hops, and notes of yeast. Overall, it's quite malty. Taste is very similar to aroma. It's very malt forward with toasted and bready malt. It has a touch of sweetness and a moderate amount of earthy and grassy hop bitterness. Alcohol is not present in aroma, but a small amount is noticeable in taste. Columbia Common is medium bodied, moderately carbonated, and finishes with notes of caramel and earthy hops.
Rating: 4 star. Really Good! I want this again!  Columbia Common's malty flavors and mild hop bitterness remind me of an Oktoberfest. Although this is spring seasonal, I think it would also be a great choice for the fall season.

Have you tasted Columbia Common?

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  1. This does sound like a good spring seasonal!

  2. My local here in MA has it on tap and I am dreading the fact that they are going to run out soon since it's a seasonal. Love it.


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