Roundabout Lure Verden

Val managed to find a James Beard award nominee restaurant that was known for their pizza and doesn’t take reservations. We got there right as it opened so we could see how it was. Val really enjoyed it and I thought it was just alright. This was the beer I had there.

ABV: 6.4%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “So, it is your typical start-up brewery story: Brewer wants to open his own place after working for breweries in FL, HI, CA (x3), CO, MO (x2), New Zealand, and PA (x3). Hmmmm, maybe that isn’t so typical. Regardless, we are so excited to finally open the doors to our brewery. Steve was already thinking about opening a small brewery back in 2003 so it took about 10 years and a couple of brewery jobs to make it happen. The support from other local breweries and business owners has been amazing and we are very grateful for their time and knowledge. We are happy to be a part of the awesome Pittsburgh brewing community. Now go out and support Pittsburgh craft beer.”

Random: I always like to pair a lighter beer with pizza.

The beer poured with a half a finger of slightly off white head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was most clear and a murky yellow-orange color. The nose was light with some grain and honey and a touch of grass. The taste was very similar to the nose. I picked up some honey up front and then light grain and grass. The body was light with generous carbonation. It had a quick finish with honey. I enjoyed this beer with dinner, but it wasn’t anything I would need to search out again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Cape Cod Breakfast Blonde

When Val and I were at the Cape Cod beer tasting in P-Town, the owner mentioned that they had just made a coffee blonde beer that she was very happy with. Although I got a taste of it at the brewery, I wanted a bottle to bring home as well.

ABV: 4.9%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Breakfast Blonde is an unexpected combination of flavors made in collaboration with our friends at Cape Cod Coffee. Enjoy the light toastiness of our Blonde Ale enhanced by the dark roastiness of their popular Vienna Roast Coffee. This light brew has a crisp and clean base with strong aromas and flavors derived from the single source coffee beans. Breakfast… it’s the most important beer of the day!”

Random: If you celebrate – Merry Christmas!

The beer poured with a half a finger of loose, pure white head. It dissipated quickly and left very little lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, bright amber color with a lot of visible carbonation. The nose was filled with coffee and had some grains as well. The taste was all coffee and not much else. I picked up some grain as well, but this was, as expected, very coffee forward. The body was on the lighter side with moderate carbonation. It had a quick finish with coffee. I liked this beer a lot, but I also love coffee. It was an interesting take on a blonde and I would have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Bronx Banner

I desperately need a new phone. My current personal phone (I have a separate one for work) won’t hold a charge for more than an hour. I just hate that phones only last a year or two without starting to have issues. Maybe a beer will make me feel less frustrated.

ABV: 4.8%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A crisp, refreshing golden Kolsch ale. We call this Kolsch, our Golden Easy Ale because it says what it means and it means what is says. Inspired by a borough with a fierce work ethic, this Kolsch is the perfect brew for those who embrace the grind. Wheat and pilsner malts are balanced by German hops, giving this easy-drinker, a slight lemongrass bitterness. This is our beer for those who make stuff happen.”

Random: This beer comes in at 24 IBUs and is a year-round offering from the brewery.

This beer poured with a one finger, thick, pure white head. It took awhile to dissipate and left some lacing on the glass. It was slightly cloudy and light yellow in color. The nose had some crackery malt with a touch of lemon. Some yeast came through as well. The taste was pretty bland. It had the same crackery malt with a touch of grass and a very mild floral note. The body was light with a lot of carbonation. It had a quick and unremarkable finish. Val brought this home for me in a mixed-pack from Trader Joe’s, so I have no clue how much it was. Either way, this beer was boring and there are many other beers of the style I would grab first, but it was refreshing.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Schlafly Double Bean Blonde Ale

I’m finally done with getting the blog current. This means that I can go back to scheduling posts! Let’s get started with this beer from Schlafly.

ABV: 6.3%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Darkness and romance lurk beneath the golden exterior of this ale that combines the prominent flavors and aromas of coffee and the smooth richness of chocolate. We use simple, straightforward malts and hops to keep the focus on the notable characteristics of the featured ingredients. After the beer is fermented, we let it rest on cocoa nibs sourced from Ghana—one of the world’s largest chocolate exporters. In the final stage of production we add a cold coffee toddy made from filtered water and finely ground beans roasted by St. Louis’ own Kaldi’s Coffee and sourced directly from the Shiwanda Estate in Africa’s southeastern Tanzania.”

Random: This beer is a special release from the brewery.

The beer poured with a two finger, very loose, slightly off white head. It dissipated quickly, but left very little lacing on the glass. The body was mostly clear and bright orange in color. It had a lot of floaties in the body. There was light carbonation visible. The nose had pale malt, chocolate shavings and light roasted coffee. The taste had slightly more depth than the nose, but not much. The chocolate shavings and light roasted coffee came through first. The pale malt came through next with some toffee as well. The body was on the medium side with moderate carbonation. It had a quick finish with coffee. A bottle of this was $2, which broke down to $.17 per ounce. I thought this beer was decent, but nothing mind-blowing.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Dogfish Head Beer To Drink Music To ’17 Tropical Blonde

Val picked me up the newest version of Beer To Drink Music to. It got much higher ratings than 2016’s version.

ABV: 6.8%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Music has been a part of Dogfish Head since before Dogfish Head. So it’s a natural fit for a brewery that makes ‘Analog Beer for the Digital Age’ to be the Official Beer of Record Store Day, a celebration of the unique culture of record stores and the special role they play in their communities. Of course, as the Official Beer of Record Store Day, we had to create a special brew for the occasion! Now for the second year, that’s just what we’ve done with Beer To Drink Music To. In volume two of this celebratory ale, this Tropical Blonde is brewed with hibiscus flowers and kiwi juice. It’s the perfect marriage of beer and music and best when paired with some of your favorite tunes. Clocking in at 6.8% ABV, Beer To Drink Music To ’17 is a pinkish-red brew with forward notes of tropical fruits with hints of berries and floral.”

Random: I’ve never gotten into vinyl.

The beer poured with a huge, three finger, white head that dissipated slowly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear amber color with moderate carbonation. The nose was very grassy with a lemon-lime soda note. There was also a kiwi hard candy note. The taste had a lot of tropicality with pineapple and lemon-lime soda and lime juice. Kiwi was present too. It also had some yeast as well. The body was light with high carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with lots of tropical fruits. A bottle of this was $2.50, which came to $.21 per ounce. I thought this was a really nice beer and would pair well with a ceviche or light fish.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

The Bruery Or Xata

Awhile back, I had a business trip in California and Val joined me for a long weekend. We made our way to The Bruery and took a tour. This was one of the beers that we drank during the tour and Val loved it. Since it was on tap at Brickwall, Val got a glass.

ABV: 7.2%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Horchata is a traditional, sweet, milky drink originating in Spain and Latin America that has become quite popular in Southern California, particularly with Mexican cuisine. Our homage to the traditionally non-alcoholic drink is a blonde ale brewed with a heavy dosing of rice, cinnamon and fresh vanilla beans along with lactose for a little extra creamy character. These ingredients meld together to create a taste and experience that hints at horchata, but it’s much more than that. The flavor is hard to describe, but for those who know it, you know you love it.”

Random: I’ve never had a real horchata. That needs to be rectified.

The beer poured with less than a quarter of a finger of white head. It dissipated almost instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a straw yellow color with a tinge of cloudiness and moderate carbonation. The nose was filled with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and grain. It was incredibly inviting. The taste was even better than the nose. The cinnamon and nutmeg notes were prevalent, along with rice and milk sugar. Vanilla came through as the beer warmed. The alcohol was well-hidden. It had a moderately thick body with just enough carbonation. The finish was lengthy with cinnamon and nutmeg. I thought this beer was outstanding. This is one of the best horchata inspired beers I’ve ever had.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Buffalo Bill’s Strawberry Blonde Ale

While doing the research for this beer, I found that the brewery redid all of their labels. This beer was obviously from the old labeling. I haven’t had much luck with this brewery, but Val wanted to try this beer, so let’s see how it was.

strawberryblonde

ABV: 5.2%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Enjoy the refreshing taste of Summer in every sip of Strawberry Blonde Ale with Ginger! This sessionable brew has fresh, floral notes of strawberry, and hints of spicy ginger, 5.2% ABV.”

Random: This is available from May through September.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated instantly. By the time I took the photo, it was all gone. The body was bright orange with a tinge of pink and mostly clear. There was a lot of carbonation visible as well. The nose was filled with strawberry syrup and some ginger. Grain came through as well and it reminded me more of a soda than a beer. The taste was incredibly artificial. The first flavor that hit was strawberry flavored medicine. The next was grain, along with some ginger. It also had strawberry pie filling. The taste was overly sweet for my liking. The body was on the lighter side with moderate to high carbonation. It had a quick finish with the artificial strawberry taste. A bottle of this was $2.67, which came to $.22 per ounce. This beer was a miss for me. I didn’t like all of the artificial notes and wouldn’t have this beer again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0