Interchangeably referred to as a “Golden Ale” or “Blonde Ale,” a Blonde Beer predominantly accentuates its name due to its color appearance — at least to an average consumer — which is somewhere within the vicinity of light amber to pale yellow.
Outside of its visual manifestation, what makes a beer a Blonde Beer?
Defining What a Blonde Beer Is
One of the most significant differences between a Blonde Beer and others is that it feels very easy to consume. It doesn’t have the intensity and the drive of other strong beers out there. However, it can be a light beverage and a great starter drink to get through a long hot sunny day or a cold wintery afternoon.
Apart from its low ferocity, the typical characteristics of a Blonde Beer are as follows:
- Aroma/Smell: Succinctly put and generally speaking, a classic Blonde Beer will give out smells of fruit, spices, malt, and or hops.
- Appearance/Look: As described above, the color of such beers tends to be a lower shade of yellow, amber, golden, etc. Interpret as you please, but it hovers around that kind of color scheme.
- Flavor Profile: American Blondes’ final product can taste a little sweet, with a combination of a fruity sensation, along with a discerning texture & palate of biscuits or bread.
- Carbonation: In terms of visuals, it could be anywhere in between medium to rapidly springing bubbles. As it relates to the mouthfeel, it can be categorized from medium to high.
- Alcohol Content or ABV: These beers can quickly go below the general 4.5% ABV. According to Hop Culture, American Blondes can go as low as 3.8% and as high as 7%.
What Is a Good Blonde Beer/Ale?
Taste can be subjective to an individual; nevertheless, a few well-known sites and magazines highlight worthy Blonde Beers/Ales to help us narrow our focus. See below for two such resources that should provide a great head-start into the journey of Blonde Ales.
- Craft Beer and Brewing Magazine: On this link, you’ll find 21 Blonde Ales that are blind-tasted and ranked by this site.
- Imbibe Magazine: In this resource, you’ll find this magazine’s take on which 10 Blonde Ales a reader should give a chance. The post is from May 2017, but it is still relevant as it delineates some very unique Blonde Beers.
Separately, there are up-and-coming breweries that make gluten-free versions of Blonde Ales. Two incredibly tasting brands that I have a personal experience with are:
Holidaily Brewing Co.’s Favorite Blonde. If you’re into the local scene and are passionate about beers that are U.S. Based, Holidaily should be on your list — as far as gluten-free beers go — and those that also are Blonde Ales.
If you like to venture into international brands and breweries, Glutenberg hails from our neighboring country Canada. They have at least nine diverse varieties of gluten-free beers, with Blonde being one of them.
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Blonde Beers or Blonde Ales can be distinguished from other beer styles because of their color, remarkable aroma, and unbelievable flavor profiles!
It can be instantly guessable that a beer is a Blonde because of its appearance and alcohol strength. Not to mention, many brands are recognized for devising phenomenal Golden Ales. While on the other hand, many more indulge in making gluten-free versions of the same beer type and are rightly earning praise and acclaim.
Expert Sources & Citations