Evensong “Common Land” Mixed-Culture Barrel-Aged Ale

Name: Common Land
Brewer: Evensong Brewing
Style: Wild Specialty Beer
ABV: 5.4%
Review Year: 2022

Loosely inspired by the original British barrel-aged stock ales and French rustic beers, Common Land by Evensong Brewing (Herefordshire) features a grist of floor-malted pilsner, wheat, Château Arôme, and aged hops. This beer was fermented with a mixed culture including an English ale strain and was aged in four neutral oak barrels for 24 months before being dry-hopped with Godiva hops. It was then refermented with quince juice from Pilton Cider. One of 240 bottles.


This beer is being evaluated as a Wild Specialty Beer (28C) in the context of the 2021 Beer Style Guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). The most current version can be found on the BJCP website.


Pours slightly hazy pale amber, white head. The nose evoked moderate cantaloupe, floral, wood, and earthy/tobacco aromas with a hint of acidity. Light-medium-bodied; moderately high carbonation. Flavors of cantaloupe and pomelo pith surfaced at medium levels supported by low earthy/tobacco and woody impressions. Also noted: soft tangy acidity (reminiscent of Sauvignon Blancs) and a subtle mineral-like note. Medium-low bitterness; no sweetness. Finished dry, with mineral and cantaloupe qualities.


Common Land is one of those idiosyncratic beers that are difficult to benchmark. As perceived, this beer features mainly cantaloupe, pomelo pith, floral, woody, and earthy qualities with a pinch of tangy acidity. In a way, this beer reminded us of classic British Bitters due to the absence of prominent citrusy attributes and the presence of familiar floral and earthy characteristics. A soft mineral quality was noted albeit not distracting; this might have even enhanced the perceived dryness of this beer.

Common Land is definitely one of the unique brews we have tried this year; it is characterful, refreshing, and memorable. We look forward to trying more beers from Evensong Brewing. Excellent.

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