Fullsteam Common Good Kentucky Common/Sour Ale
This review marks two firsts for The Beer Counselor. First, I am reviewing a beer that I have had before. Second, it is the first beer I have reviewed from a bottle and not a growler. I did not have time to review a growler this week because I would not have been able to review it within 3 days of having the growler filled. So, here is the bottle review.
Fullsteam Brewery is a production brewery located in Durham. However, it is a little more than that. Fullsteam has a stated mission of being a “distinctly Southern” brewer. Specifically, they are pioneers in the “plow to pint” and slow food movements. They strive to use local ingredients as much as possible in order to help create a “Southern Beer Economy.” They are in my opinion what a food/drink business should strive to be.
That said, I have not always liked their beers. Not that they make bad beers. They are always interesting and well crafted, but they do not always fit my pallet. That is an important thing to remember. Just because you do not like a beer does not mean it is not a well-made beer. It just does not fit what you like.
The Common Good is an interesting beer in conception. It is a sour ale based on the recipe of a Kentucky Common Beer which is a variation on a style (California Common) best known as steam beer, but which cannot be called steam beer because Anchor Brewing has copy written that phrase (I like pointing that out as much as possible because it is quite ludicrous.). It is brewed with apples, rye and barley, sour mash (all locally sourced ingredients) and fermented with brettanomyces.
When you pour it in the glass it is actually quite pretty. It is a nice and brilliant copper/garnet color with a good off-white head that does dissipate pretty quickly. The aroma is of tart apples and brett funkiness. It reminds me most of a Lambic or a dry apple cider and not of a common style beer.
It has a dry feel in the mouth and has a good carbonation. It doesn’t stay on the pallet very long, but still has a tart sour apple taste. It is actually quite refreshing on a hot day (like the one on which I taste it).
In all honesty, I am not a huge fan of sour beers, though I do find them interesting. I do find this beer a good sour. It has a crisp and refreshing taste that is belied by its dark garnet color. If you can find a bottle of it, save it for your 4th of July celebration. It seems perfect for the more adventurous of your beer friends. Chill it and serve it while sitting under a tree or on a shaded patio and watch the fireworks.