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California Blonde Ale - Eel River Brewing Co.

California Blonde AleCalifornia Blonde Ale

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BA SCORE
76
okay

81 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 81
Reviews: 50
rAvg: 3.29
pDev: 16.41%


Brewed by:
Eel River Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  5.62% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-12-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 81 | Reviews: 50 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.44/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bulldog Brewery in Murrieta, CA.

Pours a clear light yellow with a foamy bone head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and grassy aromas. Taste is much the same with grain and grassy flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a subdued smell and better taste.

Serving type: on-tap

06-01-2013 01:15:36 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of williamjbauer
williamjbauer

West Virginia

3.43/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap in a nonical glass

A - Light copper amber with 1 finger amber head with good retention and good lacing, bubbly head.

S - Faint wheat aroma.

T - Fairly bland wheat backbone with a touch of yeast and breadiness.

M - Light body, moderate-high carbonation, watery.

O - A slightly above average blonde. Once is enough for me.

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2012 17:02:43 | More by williamjbauer
Photo of BlakeDaSnake
BlakeDaSnake


5/5  rDev +52%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: This Blonde is pretty pure in the glass. Solid Golden color

S: It's smell is almost exactly like the taste. Nothing harsh or aromatic though about it.

T: I'm in love....Light Blonde beer at it's finest....Surprised at the average score. Definitely should be higher.

M: Light and Refreshing...Not Malty or Hoppy. Leaves the glass in gulps

O: I really believe 100% in try it if there is one good review and this is might be that one good review. Seriously I think this beer is amazing and refreshing and it's priced pretty good. I bought a pint of it for only $5....C'mon that's unheard of!!!

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2012 20:24:54 | More by BlakeDaSnake
Photo of mrfrancis
mrfrancis

Kentucky

2.95/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a hazy gold with a thin white mousse.

S: Very neutral on the nose, with aromas of grass, lemon, biscuits, and caramel taking some time to reveal themselves.

T: Notes of caramel, grass, straw, chalk, minerals, lemon, and biscuits wash across the palate. The finish is fleeting with notes of lemon, grass, and biscuits.

M: On the lighter side of medium in body, chalky, and very dry. Carbonation is extremely active. A bit busy and distracting and a real chore to drink.

O: This is a very mediocre ale. There just isn't enough flavor for this to be all that interesting. Skip this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 13:44:28 | More by mrfrancis
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

2.98/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

An attractive amber in the glass, on the darker side, with plenty of carbonation. A little bit of a grainy nose. Slightly sweet with a cereal flavor like peaches 'n' cream instant oatmeal. Some hop flavors enliven it a little. Caramel flavors go along with the more substantial than average body and mouthfeel.

There still seems to be a weedy, seeds and stems flavor to this allegedly organic stuff. Slightly harsh vegetable aftertaste, like artichoke. Otherwise, totally forgettable.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2012 05:09:34 | More by mactrail
Photo of WoodBrew
WoodBrew

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Trying the Eel River Blinde and it is OK. The beer pours a cloudly orange with decent 1/2 in white head that is lacing nicely. The smell is a very heartly orange citrus. The taste is a spunky citrus powered more by malt than hop. The mouthfeel is a body is medium body with good carbonation. Overall it is not reallly a great Blonde but worth a sampling.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 01:23:37 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of brown2cu
brown2cu

Ohio

2.9/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a hazy blonde with a fleeting head. There is a faint ring on the outside of the glass; no lacing.

S: A sweet grainy sweetness topped by a delicate hop aroma. Nothing flashy

T: Tastes like carbonated water that has had grain steeped in it for a couple of minutes. Not a lot of character. There is a soapy bitterness towards the end. Overall it seems to taste like a batch of beginner home brew, not something I would expect from a large brewery.

M: Heavily carbonated, not sure how appropriate it is for the style, but makes for easy drinking.

O: comparable but better than most macro lagers, However, not something I would buy again. I want to give another example of this style a try before I write it off.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 01:38:39 | More by brown2cu
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

3.48/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very faint haze to this copper and hay hued brew. Quick head and only a little residual ring of foam after a sip or two. Good bubbling.

Clear and crisp, light toasted malt and oatmela before you add milk or water. Then a little light earthy hops and just a hint of general cream.

I get cream of wheat, of more like creamof oatmeal from start to finish. Lightly toasted grain and malted grain. Maybe some faint, earthy hops.

Good bubbling on the tongue, and a fresh, flavorfl, and clean palate. Great for session drinking.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2011 01:11:31 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of ZenAgnostic
ZenAgnostic

Texas

3.55/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. No stamped date.

Appearance - Loose, frothy two-finger white head after a vigorous pour. Cloudy gold body with a touch of bronze. Head has good stick and decent retention.

Smell - Sweet candied sugar. Pixie Stix and apple juice.

Taste - Dusty dry front. Some mild hop and alcohol. Mild maltiness in the otherwise clean finish.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium bodied. Somewhat solvent and acidic. Head offers some creamy frothiness. Sort of refreshing.

Overall Drinkability - Inoffensive. Light. Unchallenging. But I suppose you don't usually get much better than this if you're going all out organic.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2011 00:15:38 | More by ZenAgnostic
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Good presentation, a darker gold color, not that super faint straw yellow you come across in some blondes. Pretty mild aroma, some sweetness to it, that's about it.

High carbonation and light body should lead to some kolsch comparisons and discussion. Easy drinking, nothing bad or adventurous to it.

A little more expensive than it should be given the relative lack of ingredients, I don't understand why this and their porter, ipa etc. . .are the same price.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2011 18:53:50 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
PeprSprYoFace

California

3.75/5  rDev +14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint. Clear hay amber color. Thin white head. A bit of lacing.

Aroma is kinda like smelling a bag of 2row if you know what I'm talking about. Not much else.

Taste is solid. Easy drinkin blond. Not too sweet or malty.

Mouthfeel is clean and refreshing.

I'm actually impressed by this companies organic ales. I was under the impression that they usually suck. Not bad the last 2 that I've had.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2011 07:41:30 | More by PeprSprYoFace
Photo of Onenote81
Onenote81

North Carolina

3.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Single 12oz bottle picked up in a mixed-sixer from Total Wine. Haven't had anything from these guys. I was in the mood for something light and easy-drinking, so I grabbed this.

Pours a lightly hazy dark gold with a thick 2-finger bone-white head on top. No lace left behind. The nose is really sweet with honeysuckle, apples, and sugar. The mouth is overly-carbonated IMO. Way too spritzy of a beer to be downed easily, which is within the bounds of this style. Simple sweet flavors carry over as well. Pale fruits, honey, lemon noted. Little-to-no bitterness present. Lighten up those bubbles and this is a decent summer beer. Glad I tried it. Not bad for an organic concoction.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2011 16:30:41 | More by Onenote81
Photo of robbrandes
robbrandes

Oregon

2.65/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

poured from a 12oz bottle, left behind by a friend...

pours a slightly-hazy light orange. tight, dense head with reasonable lacing.

the smell took me a while to finally put a finger on - burnt sugar. not necessarily 'bad', but it smells exactly like a wort boil-over when homebrewing.

taste is utterly unremarkable, even for a blonde ale. honestly, plug your nose and you're in borderline BMC territory. the nice-looking carbonation is too harsh, and annoying when actually consumed.

another underwhelming performance from the undoubtedly nice folks at eel river...glad this was a left-behind from a friend, as eel river is now 0 for 2 in my book.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2011 04:45:11 | More by robbrandes
Photo of kwjd
kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap in California, I think it was Toronado in San Francisco, though I'm not 100% sure of that. Reviewing from my notes. I had written Eel River Blonde, so I'm assuming this is the correct beer.

Pours a cloudy orange colour with a finger of white head. Smells of burnt sugar, almost of marshmallows from a campfire. Maybe I'm crazy though. Very nice sweet flavour. Smooth mouthfeel. I'd have this again.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2011 20:43:36 | More by kwjd
Photo of AwYeh
AwYeh

Ohio

1.8/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Golden-amber, two fingers of head thanks to an extremely aggressive pour. So cloudy that I can barely see my fingers through the opposite side of the glass; mere shadows are cast in their place. Great lacing though, bumps this up to a 2.5.

S: This smells like Stouffer's Macaroni and Cheese, and I've washed my hands since last touching cheese. Maybe a bit of sweet, maybe caramel malts, but there's really not much going on for me here. In the end, I'll have to declare this as buttery smelling.

T: Quite bland; there's a generic "beer" taste (think pale macros) that's built upon just a bit by offering a fuller malt profile even if their particular flavors are indistinguishable. No hops to be spoken of, not even a hint of bitterness on the finish.

M: Medium bodied, with moderate+ carbonation, which lends this beer a creamy character that bolsters its enjoyability.

D: I'm fine with one glass of this, and won't be inclined to pick another up. Not sure I could identify it as an American Blonde... though the 5.6% (high for the style, from my experience) is unnoticeable. Bland taste and almost popcorn-style smell probably should knock this one down a level... but it goes down easy, so I'll leave it for now.

Despite my bad review, props to Eel River for providing a widely available, reasonably priced organic blonde ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2011 09:15:26 | More by AwYeh
Photo of ozmodium
ozmodium

British Columbia (Canada)

2.53/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Purchased a 6 pack from the BC liquor store. On sale $4 off. But it was right by the cash register! How could I resist an organic American micro 6 pack for $8?

Pours a bit hazy light orange. I have a jar of natural honey in my cupboard that I sweat looks IDENTICAL to this. Minuscule head. No lacing...

Smell is pleasant enough, interesting. Sweet honey and light malt. Some fusel alcohol funk? Mildly hopped but there're still right there, fresh.

Sweet honey, bitter grapefruit rind hops and again the fusel funk on the tongue. Some fusels are good in some styles. Not this one... It reminds me of the time made a hefeweizen at home a few years ago. I fermented it at a few degrees too hot for the final few days. The yeast went nuts and got fusel on me. It didn't make it undrinkable but the he subtle burnt plastic flavour is undesirable in this style.

The bottle has no info regarding abv, but my guess is around 6%? The low carbonation makes it feel more boozy than I think it really is. Not a chugging beer. Not terribly enjoyable.

It seems to me that the brewer has placed this in a bit of an awkward niche. I think that either making it lighter or stronger would have made for a much more interesting offering. Too boozy to be a summer quencher, too watery for the complexities of a strong belgian. It is however the best 8 dollar 6 pack I've ever bought in BC, where decent beer costs upward of 13 bucks for the goos stuff

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2011 04:37:21 | More by ozmodium
Photo of kellyst
kellyst

Ohio

2.6/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear pale yellow with minimal head and no lacing. Aroma has some slight estery something going on but doesn't have the aromatic expressiveness of a good blonde ale. The flavor is ok, but uninspired. Soft grainny malts with a hint of sweetness. This beer really needs some balancing hops to round out the flavor.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2011 19:33:40 | More by kellyst
Photo of philbertk
philbertk

Washington

2.68/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Eel River Brewing Company--Fortuna, CA--California Blonde Ale. 5.80% ABV. 20 IBU's? Foamy lacy white head. Clear pretty dark rich bright gold color. Very light hop front. Thin mild sweet dry fully fermented light malt body. Spice hint dry citrus hop end. Bland Blonde! (2.0 / 5.0) 5 oz. Taster @ Fremont Oktoberfest on 9/24/2010.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2010 04:13:54 | More by philbertk
Photo of DaveHS
DaveHS

California

3.43/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at The Grove in San Francisco. Served in a 14oz. pilsner glass.

A-Light amber with a thin white head. No lacing.

S-Pale, sweet maltiness. Not much else. But it's a pilsner, so I'm not too worried.

T-A generic tasting American kolsch. Has the malt/grain character of a macro lager, with slightly better ingredients. Very simple.

M-Light and soft, moderate carbonation.

D-High, despite my not being too thrilled with it. This beer was made to be chugged on a hot day.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2010 22:26:20 | More by DaveHS
Photo of WeezyBoPeep
WeezyBoPeep

Florida

4.38/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Single bottle from WFM for a mixed tasting session. Poured into a standard frozen pint glass.

A: Hazy, dark gold with an orange tint. Little lacy head with small bubbles, remained with the beer.

S: Tea leaves, honey, wheat bread with hints of sugar cookies.

T: A very mild ale, the name fits it perfectly. Makes me think of a California blond. I really like this one. Semi-sweet with honey, tea leaves again and a finish that reminds me of Tres Leches cake or sugar cookie. Goes down very smooth.

Drinkability: Buy a six pack. I'm regretting I didn't. You could enjoy these for an evening.

Value: At around $2.00 for a single, I'd say just cough up enough for a six pack. It's worth it. A great organic ale!

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2009 16:55:00 | More by WeezyBoPeep
Photo of birdypowder
birdypowder

Oregon

2.93/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This Blonde showed up in my fridge and I seriously don't know how she got there. She was cold so I offered her my coat, though I think the Bud Light Lime next to her was colder. Glad I didn't buy a sixer of this (same for the BL lime) but glad I tried this Eel River offering.

Aroma:
Sweet and malty! Juicy, smells like unfermented wort. A slight floral hop aroma? Hard to tell.

Appearance:
Small to medium sized white head which forms and then leaves quickly. Slight lacing, lacing light? Very hazy. New filter operator? Golden with very slight orange notes and some greenish yellow too.

Taste:
Sweet with vigorous carbonation. Gentle backend bitterness and medium bodied. Enjoy the first several sips because the taste goes somewhere after that.

Finish:
semi-sweet and semi-dry finish

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2009 04:52:39 | More by birdypowder
Photo of ChopperSmith
ChopperSmith

Minnesota

3.35/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a large bottle into a small beer glass.

Appearance: Deep golden and clear with good foamy head and nice standard lacing.

Smell: A mix of hops and grains/malt with a slight perfumed floral scent.

Taste: Slightly sweet and malty with some nice malt flavors. Very subtle flavors and very easy to drink with a meal.

Mouth Feel: Light to medium body with good carbonation. Very smooth with little bitterness.

Drinkablity: A good mild beer with some nice flavors. I would drink this one again.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2009 18:31:56 | More by ChopperSmith
Photo of TeeCee
TeeCee

Louisiana

3.2/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Quick review: I get more enjoyment from a Budweiser. But I think this may be old stock.

This beer happened to be at Dorignac's one visit. It's one of several beers that have come onto our scene recently unannounced.

I poured it into an American style pint glass hard enough to produce ~3" of head, which quickly dissipated leaving little behind. I can swirl it and produce some tight-knit foam which also dissipates on short order. The body is a shade or two towards brown going from Honey.

Malty on the nose with something else like peanuts. A little funky as it warms up.

Drinking it, I can't really taste the maltiness or peanuts I was smelling. The taste is a bit thin. It also almost takes like someone was smoking cigarettes when they brewed this beer. I get all kinds of bittering hops as I drink it, but not so much of anything piney or flowery.

Medium to thin in the mouth. No carbonation to add to it. This beer is rather uneventful in the mouthfeel department.

I could drink several of these if it was what was around, but I'd prefer something with more to it. I'm not saying I'd take a Heineken over this.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2009 23:11:03 | More by TeeCee
Photo of drtth
drtth

Pennsylvania

3.43/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a goblet. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a clear bright golden yellow color with a ½" smooth white head filled with tiny bubbles. The head persists for a fair while before receding to a ring around the glass and a patch of foam. Sipping early on leaves lots of legs and speckles of lacing and even as the beer reaches its end there are lacing speckles.

Smell: The pleasant aroma contains light caramel or bready pale malt with light citrus or herbal presence.

Taste: The flavor is primarily pale malt (bready) with very light, tangy grapefruit and orange zest notes.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is light bodied with lots of carbonation. The finish is on the short side but ends on a lightly dry note.

Drinkability: This is a reasonably drinkable beer but not really special in any way. (Maybe it's the style which I'm not as familiar with as I should be. But it does seem better to me than the first Blonde Ale I tried) This is a good solid beer to have for refreshment or to go with a meal. I could have a second but probably won't and I probably won't make a point of looking for it in the future.

Serving type: on-tap

07-30-2009 01:23:08 | More by drtth
Photo of yesyouam
yesyouam

New York

3.35/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Eel River California Blonde Ale is a slightly hazy, light golden ale topped with a thin white head that fades. It has a resiny, fruity aroma. It kind of smells like... a barleywine. It has a light body and a smooth, clean finish. It tastes mellow and well balanced with a wood resin slightly sweet finish. This has a lot of character for a blonde.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2009 13:32:06 | More by yesyouam
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California Blonde Ale from Eel River Brewing Co.
76 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.