Kentucky Common

Recipes:
381
BJCP 2021:
27A
Era:
Historical
Origin:
🇺🇸 United States
Fermentation:
Top
Color:
Amber
Strength:
Normal
Taste:
Balanced

Profile

Kentucky Common is a distinctive American beer style that traces its roots back to the Louisville, Kentucky area, where it was popular from the post-Civil War era through to Prohibition. This style was historically enjoyed by the working class and was relatively inexpensive due to its reliance on local ingredients and a quick fermentation process.

The appearance of Kentucky Common is usually dark amber to light brown in color with good clarity, although some versions may be slightly hazy. A moderate off-white head may form but often dissipates fairly quickly. The beer's visual texture sets the stage for an inviting experience, reminiscent of traditional dark ales but generally lighter in body and less roasty.

Flavor and aroma profiles for Kentucky Common are characterized by a grainy sweetness, supplemented by a touch of caramel or toffee notes. A subtle corn-like presence is often detectable, reflecting the historical use of adjuncts such as corn or maize in the mash bill. Though hop flavors are typically low to medium-low, enough bitterness is provided to balance out the malt's sweetness without overwhelming it. Any hop aroma should be similarly restrained. The beer's fermentation process imparts mild fruity esters that augment its flavor palette without becoming dominant.

In terms of related styles, Kentucky Common shares some attributes with Cream Ale and American Lager due to its clean profile and refreshing nature; however, it distinguishes itself through its darker color and more pronounced malt character – aspects that might fleetingly recall an English Mild or Brown Ale, albeit with a unique American twist rooted in pre-prohibition brewing practices.

Specifications

Alcohol

Specification
4.0 – 5.5 %

In Database
3.8 < 4.9 < 6.0 %

Bitterness

Specification
15 – 30 IBU

In Database
15 < 23 < 34 IBU

Color

Specification
22 – 39 EBC
11 – 20 SRM

In Database
18 < 28 < 41 EBC
9 < 14 < 21 SRM

Original Extract

Specification
10.9 – 13.5 °P
1.044 – 1.055 OG

In Database
9.8 < 12.0 < 14.2 °P
1.039 < 1.049 < 1.058 OG

Final Gravity

Specification
2.6 – 4.6 °P
1.010 – 1.018 FG

In Database
1.8 < 2.8 < 4.3 °P
1.007 < 1.011 < 1.017 FG

Popularity Over Time

Most Used Yeasts

Most Used Hops

Dosage of Hops

Hop Pairings

Brewing Recipes