Five Shades of Blonde
Seasonally Rotating Series
Blonde ales are often considered a "lawnmower" beer (perfect after, or while, mowing the lawn on a scorching summer day). They can be quite tasty, but are often overlooked because they lack "punch you in the face with hops" character. Many seek an IPA alternative, so I have developed Five Shades of Blonde as a rotating series of beers that are approachable, crisp, and refreshing. Each shade highlights a different ingredient, technique, or brewing region.
Game Day Blonde
Cream Ale, 23 IBU, ABV 6.0%
Game Day is modeled after an American cream ale style. The use of corn and rice in the grain bill gives a light and delicate body, while a pinch of liberty hops adds a subtle floral aroma. Game Day Blonde is a perfect companion while watching the big game or sitting poolside.
English Blonde, 24 IBU, ABV 6.0%
Lucy is fashioned after English pub ales. Prior to naming, I brought this beer to share at a friend’s party. One of the first to taste it was a blonde woman from England named “Lucy” (meaning “light”). The coincidence was perfect, so this English Blonde ale is named after her. Wanting to highlight the English background, I chose to use 100% English malts and the quintessentially English East Kent Golding hops. The combination gives a smooth floral, lavender, and honey flavor up front with a “light” doughy biscuit malt finish.
11 IBU, ABV 5.0%
Heidi is a light blonde colored ale based on a German style called "Hefeweizen” and is brewed using 50% wheat malt in the grain bill. Not a hop forward beer, Heidi relies on a special yeast to create apple and banana aromas with hints of clove. This refreshing beverage is highly carbonated and the malty finish is similar in character to a light cracker or biscuit.
Belgian Blonde, 24 IBU, ABV 6.0%
Amber is more of a brunette with blonde highlights. Based on a Belgian pale recipe, Amber is fermented with a Belgian yeast to create notes of pear and honey. The malt blend adds hints of caramel and raisin on the finish. Balanced with a touch of hops, Amber is a perfect dinnertime guest.
24 IBU, ABV 5.2%
Aria has a body as light as a song. With a reddish hue, she is a strawberry blonde with red, ripe, strawberry notes in both flavor and aroma. No strawberries were used in making this beer, instead the flavor and aroma are both derived from the hops. Using a technique called “hop bursting,” I’ve added all of the hops during the last 20 minutes of the boil to push the strawberry aroma up while keeping the bitterness restrained to produce a truly unique Blonde moment!
Double IPA, 95 IBU, ABV 8.5%
A fan of the big, crisp, clean flavor and aroma that comes from using an abundance of hops, I designed Bliss to blend the best hops the West Coast has to offer. Huge amounts of Cascade, the grand pappy hop of West Coast IPAs, form a solid base of citrus, grapefruit, and floral character. I like doing things in fives around here, so I built hop complexity by layering four more citrus forward hops at different points in the brewing process (the boil, whirlpool, and fermenter). Whether you are already a hop lover or just getting started, this brew will bring a feeling of pure Bliss to your taste buds.
Robust Porter, 40 IBU, ABV 6.0%
Once upon a time a good friend (and member of my brewing club) brought in a large batch of bagged hops. He asked us to blindly grab a combination and brew a single beer using each of them. I collected an assortment of grains left over from my previous batches and found I had the makings of a porter. Well, the hop character could have been better, but the grain bill turned out to be remarkable! The recipe has evolved since then and now has a more traditional English hop presence. You’ll discover a rich and roasty brew full of dark chocolate and coffee character emerge from our blend of five different roasted malts.
Red Rye IPA, 75 IBU, ABV 6.5%
I'm not sure why - maybe to elevate it to “extra special” - but I like rye beers to have a red hue. The rye malt in this red IPA gives a smooth silky mouthfeel and a “dry” and slightly spicy malt flavor. The malty base is perfect for heaping layer upon layer of Hallertau Blanc hops upon. This German hop is known for the flavor and aroma of tropical citrus fruits with a touch of sauvignon blanc and blends perfectly with the rye to give a balanced fruit forward IPA.
Double IPA, 23 IBU, ABV 9.0%
Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from the West Coast hop juice I love so much and head in a different direction. Serenity is Belgian styled, golden hued, and brewed strong with a very simple grain bill. At 9% ABV, Serenity is surprisingly light and full of crisp pear and subtle spice flavors. Under that dry champagne-like finish is a clean ale that will leave your palate feeling peaceful and serene.