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Kentucky Common

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In the area around Louisville, Kentucky, in the years before Prohibition, a distinctive style of dark ale was popular. Referred to at the time as Common Beer, a term which was also used in other areas to refer to Cream Ale and other beers, or sometimes as Dark Cream Common, it is now generally called Kentucky Common, the term used in the Wahl-Henius Handy Book.

Kentucky Common was made with was usually made with about 75% malt and 25% corn grits or sugar. The grist included 1 to 2% black malt and sometimes also 1 to 2% crystal malt per barrel. Also, , and a small amount of brewers caramel was sometimes used. There is some evidence that partial sour mashes were used to lighten the body - 2% lactobacillus to the yeast. Like cream ale, it was consumed fresh, usually as draft beer. In 1913 it was estimated that 80% of the beer consumed in Louisville was of this type.

Although now largely a defunct and forgotten beer style, it is occassionally brewed by American microbreweries, including the New Albanian Brewing Company in New Albany, Indiana.

  • OG: 1.040-1.050
  • FG: 1.010-1.015
  • IBU: 20-30
  • SRM: 10-23


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