So... California common ale, aka California common beer, originated in California. And I can guess that some people were reluctant to call it Steam Beer, as it was also known, since that name is trademarked.

But why is it called "common"? What is common about it? I haven't been able to find anything on the internet about how that name originated.

1 Answer 1


From what I read on several sites/articles, when the style was created, this kind of beer was known as a cheap, find everywhere, refreshing beer.

Therefore everybody was able to drink it hence the name common.

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