Author Topic: The Missing American Blonde  (Read 3520 times)

Offline JJeffers09

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The Missing American Blonde
« on: April 04, 2016, 07:22:12 PM »
What is the deal?  Used to be I could walk into any micro/brewpub and have a couple of good American Blonde ales... now they seem to somehow faded the style into a bad hybrid version of a fruity/dank/floral hops close to an APA.  Silly hop Junkies... instead of a malty not quite sweet but almost, the amazingly balanced and quaffable ale.  Or they come across like a Kolsch, lager conditioned and taste like hay or straw.  What is it about the style that is just missing aisle after aisle, or bad example after bad example.

You can thank this rant to sailfish brewing company - brought to you by "1/2 a glass full of shame Blonde Ale"

I married an American Blonde, we have three children, and I want that beer to remind me of how great American Blondes are.  because I married one, and sometimes it is hard to remember... ;)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2016, 07:24:10 PM by JJeffers09 »
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trentm

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Re: The Missing American Blonde
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2016, 07:30:30 PM »
The problem is with styles in general.  First you need beer.

You also have 5k+ craft breweries trying to make money and do what sells.  Hops and macro lagers sell lots of beer.  Craft beer is first about money, then about beer.  Thank Koch for that or God - whomever you bastards worship.

Offline 69franx

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Re: The Missing American Blonde
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2016, 07:40:48 PM »
Dont have the answer, but I do know that the good news is you're here. You can brew your own. One of the biggest draws for home brew is to make something you love but cant get locally/any more. Should be plenty of recipes on here in the wiki. Try one or all of them and tweak as you feel they need. Good luck on the journey to find your second favorite American Blonde
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Offline Stevie

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Re: The Missing American Blonde
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2016, 07:43:14 PM »
I think in part the Blonde Ale acted as the gateway style and now people are more open to craft beer in general. I like blonde ales, but only if done well.

Offline goschman

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Re: The Missing American Blonde
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2016, 07:43:22 PM »
I think breweries used to use the American Blonde as the gateway to Craft beer. Most people are familiar with what craft beer is by now so maybe breweries are less inclined to brew that style. That's my hypothesis anyway....

EDIT - looks like Stevie and I are on the same page...
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: The Missing American Blonde
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2016, 07:48:45 PM »
I think breweries used to use the American Blonde as the gateway to Craft beer. Most people are familiar with what craft beer is by now so maybe breweries are less inclined to brew that style. That's my hypothesis anyway....

EDIT - looks like Stevie and I are on the same page...


+2.  You guys beat me to it.
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Offline barliman

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Re: The Missing American Blonde
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2016, 08:54:48 PM »
I am about halfway through a batch of Magnum Blonde, which I would suggest as a starting point. The recipe is here, http://www.experimentalbrew.com/recipes .

J
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: The Missing American Blonde
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2016, 09:32:04 PM »
I am about halfway through a batch of Magnum Blonde, which I would suggest as a starting point. The recipe is here, http://www.experimentalbrew.com/recipes .

J

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Offline narvin

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Re: The Missing American Blonde
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2016, 09:39:06 PM »
I'm not a hop head, and I love a lot of simple styles, but they should at least showcase something interesting.  When I think of most old school brewpub American Blonde Ale's, I think of:

- Briess 2-row with some crystal sweetness
- 1056
- Light hopping, little to no aroma.

There's just not a single ingredient here I'd want to taste on its own.  Not saying that they can't be made to be interesting, but most weren't.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: The Missing American Blonde
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2016, 10:44:05 PM »
I'm not a huge fan of blonde ales, but I was thinking the same about ambers recently. Once upon a time every microbrewery (back when they were still called that) had an amber (often just called "X Brewery Ale"), and every brewpub had a blonde ale.  These were the flagships of the 90s craft beer scene, and they have largely vanished the way of Pete's Wicked Red.

I'm planning on brewing an amber for summer cookout season for nostalgia's sake, although I will probably use some modern hops in it to make it "mine". That's the cool part of homebrewing - we can resurrect extinct beer styles whenever we want, whether they're 15 years old or 150.

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Offline brewinhard

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Re: The Missing American Blonde
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2016, 10:46:59 PM »
I'm not a huge fan of blonde ales, but I was thinking the same about ambers recently. Once upon a time every microbrewery (back when they were still called that) had an amber (often just called "X Brewery Ale"), and every brewpub had a blonde ale.  These were the flagships of the 90s craft beer scene, and they have largely vanished the way of Pete's Wicked Red.

I'm planning on brewing an amber for summer cookout season for nostalgia's sake, although I will probably use some modern hops in it to make it "mine". That's the cool part of homebrewing - we can resurrect extinct beer styles whenever we want, whether they're 15 years old or 150.

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I really enjoy my amber ales with a healthy dose of "down under" hops for that fruity, dank combination. Yum with the malts.

Offline tommymorris

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Re: The Missing American Blonde
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2016, 10:48:28 PM »
I love a good blonde ale myself.

I make mine as mentioned above except I hop them a bit more late. I like a nice 0 minute addition to get hop flavor and aroma without turning it into a pale ale.

PS. There are a lot of styles that don't sell. I love a good bitter but those are hard to find commercially in the US.

Offline majorvices

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Re: The Missing American Blonde
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2016, 10:58:24 PM »
I'd far prefer a kolsch or Helles to an American blonde almost any day.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: The Missing American Blonde
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2016, 11:04:16 PM »
I'd far prefer a kolsch or Helles to an American blonde almost any day.


Keith, you read my mind again. Those are my 'blonde' styles. I don't brew many beers that disappear as quickly as those.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: The Missing American Blonde
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2016, 11:05:00 PM »
I'd far prefer a kolsch or Helles to an American blonde almost any day.
Sure, but most brew pubs and smaller breweries weren't offering these 10 years back. Maybe this is due to ease of maintaining a single yeast or lack of lager skills/equipment/capacity?