This beer has an interesting story and some changes were applied along the way. We see craft brewing as a course of experimentation, and repetition. The more you brew, the more you will improve the recipes and apply the necessary changes to come up with the ideal final product. Sometimes it takes months, sometimes takes years, all fine!
We used to brew small home-brew batches when we decided to come up with a California Common recipe, a style that was quite difficult to find in the bottle shops around the country. A California Common style is roughly a beer brewed with lager yeast but fermented at ale temperature (20 to 23 °C). However, we changed the water profile, and added some extra hops to the recipe, turning the beer into an IPL – India Pale Lager. Surprisingly, the final result was better than the previous original one.
When we opened the brewery in 2017, we decided to release the California Common we had brewed at home. As the beer wasn’t fitting into the California Common profile, we came up with the idea of calling the brew “California Uncommon”, and asked the designer for an artwork inspired by the iconic California flag for the can, featuring a bear ‘uncommon’ to the state – unlike the official brown bear mascot. The beer was first released in 440ml cans.
This year, we came up with a social media poll and asked people what beer we should brew again, and California Uncommon was the winner. Once again, we decided to add some extra love to this one. For the grain bill, we used Pilsner as the base malt, Spelt, Oats, Wheat, and Dextrin., the spelt gives a slightly toastier flavor to the beer than wheat, and a bit of spiciness as well. Instead of a lager yeast strain, we used an ale yeast strain, adding some fruity flavors and aromas to the brew.
The result is the 2021 version of our California Uncommon, far from being Common, but offering a dose of tropical fruit aromas, with mango and pineapple being predominant, with a touch of breakfast toasties.
The artwork for this beer was illustrated by Clara Dudley.
Clara is a multidisciplinary creative based in Dublin, Ireland, but originally from San Francisco, California. Inspired by a wide range of art styles – from folk art, botanical illustration, science fiction, animation, graphic novels, vintage children’s books, – she works in graphic and web design, illustration, and copywriting/editing for print and digital media.