Beer Types – Blonde Ale

“Gentleman prefer blondes” – this week I am featuring the Blonde ale. They are usually pale in colour Light yellow to deep gold in color. Clear to brilliant. Low to medium white head with fair to good retention.

The term “Blonde” for pale beers is popular in Europe – particularly in France, Belgium and the UK, though the beers may not have much in common, other than colour. Blondes tend to be clear, crisp, and dry, with low-to-medium bitterness and aroma from hops, and some sweetness from malt. Fruitiness from esters may be perceived. A lighter body from higher carbonation may be noticed. In the United Kingdom, golden or summer ales were developed in the late 20th century by breweries to compete with the pale lager market. A typical golden ale has an appearance and profile similar to that of a pale lager. Malt character is subdued and the hop profile ranges from spicy to citrus; common hops include Styrian Golding and Cascade. Alcohol is in the 4% to 5% abv range.

The UK style is attributed to John Gilbert, owner of Hop Back Brewery, who developed “Summer Lightning” in 1989, which then won several awards and inspired numerous imitators. Belgian blondes are often made with pilsner malt. Some beer writers regard blonde and golden ales as distinct styles, while others do not. Duvel, Leffe Blonde, Affligem blonde ale and, the one pictured here, Blonde de Chambly from Unibroue are examples of Belgian blonde ales.

One thought on “Beer Types – Blonde Ale

  1. Blonde ale is very popular here. There’s a local brewery that makes it – Pure Blonde. I’m not much of a beer drinker but I quite like it. Mmmmmm.

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