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California Blonde Ale - Eel River Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
California Blonde AleCalifornia Blonde Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

83 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 83
Reviews: 50
rAvg: 3.3
pDev: 16.36%
Wants: 0
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
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: 83 | Reviews: 50 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of philbertk
philbertk

Washington

2.68/5  rDev -18.8%
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 +3.9%
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 +32.7%
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 -11.2%
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 +1.5%
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 -3%
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 +3.9%
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 +1.5%
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
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, orange-amber body with a small, off-white head.

Smell: Light pale malts with minimal hints of grain and dry caramel. Spicy hops with a light herbaceous quality to them, imparting a vague tea-like note. Faint, faraway fruitiness.

Taste: As with the nose, it's light pale malts with a touch of graininess and some dry caramel with no more than some faint sweetish qualities to it. Minor hint of fruit. Spicy, slightly herbal hops with a medium-low bitterness. Again, it reminds me of a small sip of white tea. A slight transition back to the pale malts, but then the clean finish hits very quickly.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: An okay, adequate blonde in terms of an easy-drinking, balanced ale, but, to be honest, it's a tad forgettable.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2009 20:46:11 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of KarlHungus
KarlHungus

Minnesota

3.1/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a cloudy pale orange color. The head is a half inch in height, and recedes slowly into a nice cap of lacing. The aroma bready and toasty malt with no real hop presence. The taste is malty like the aroma, and bland in general. The mouthfeel is medium-light bodied with lively fine carbonation. Overall, this is a decent Blonde ale, but I don't think I'll drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2009 21:59:16 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of webbcreative
webbcreative

Oklahoma

2.68/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Feb 10, 2009
Light golden color. nice head. light and crisp taste. Good on a hot day, just not too much going with this one. Not something I will be seeking out again. Its definatly not terrible, its just really boring with nothing outstanding going on here.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2009 00:35:26 | More by webbcreative
Photo of aforbes10
aforbes10

Iowa

4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sixer from the Davis Co-Op. I don't drink a lot of easy drinking session ales, and i've decided it might be good to start, so this is one of the first. Pours a nice light amber color, with excellent clarity and a strong pillowy to creamy white head. Good head retention, looks nice. Aroma is subtle, with just a hint of sweetness from the malt and a lemony to grassy hop. Flavor is clean, very well balanced, with grassy hops, lemon spritz on top of a mild sweet to biscuity malt backbone. Some alcohol evident on the finish, as biscuity malt quality grows. Thin bodied, though not in a detrimental way. Drinks easily, an enjoyable session.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2009 02:40:09 | More by aforbes10
Photo of farrago
farrago

New Jersey

3.35/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Average thickness to the off-white head, lacing dissolves swiftly. Zinc orange color that gains from a slight murkiness, the rims drop off to a yellow squash hue. Sour nose of pine, grapefruit rind, tobacco leaf, meadow grasses and green straw, mineral water, even a touch of tar, presents light biscuit or oats in contrast. Light to medium-bodied, the heavy duty carbonation aims at masking the lack of heft. Through all the fizziness comes orange, lemon citrus peel, dried malts, snap peas, sourdough bread notes. The yeast there but not really concentrated. Lacks some sweeter component to provide contrast. Herbaceousness builds past the mid-palate. Hard to capture many positives, easily drinkable but not sure how it aims to hold your attention.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2009 00:14:54 | More by farrago
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.13/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, peachy-amber hue. Slim ring of foam.

Pithy pine and citrus aroma, clean,and minor-key, but hoppy, still.

Crisp, clean, minor hops up front, then smooth and done. Finishes quickly, leaves little flavor in the mouth, on the palate.

Drinkable, but forgettable. Lacks flavor, and I just can't give points for good intentions.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2009 07:57:50 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

3.05/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle, without any freshness info being offered on the label. Pours clear golden amber, minor head and I'm not seeing much lacing. A couple of sips of this one and I've had enough, somebody else mentioned an of putting plastic sort of note and I believe I'm getting a hint of that as well. Not real impressed with this one. With so much quality beer out there, give this one a pass.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2008 00:35:07 | More by Billolick
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at Four Firkins. Appears light appear with a very slight haze. Plain, light caramel aroma. The flavor has an odd/interesting dried bread/crouton malt taste before finishing with a peppery hops note. I'm not sure if I like the malt profile, but at least it's something different. For that I'll at least say that this beer is worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2008 02:39:06 | More by tempest
Photo of philipquarles
philipquarles

Connecticut

3.1/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear dark gold with minimal head and no lacing. Pretty uninteresting.

Smells faintly of sweet, almost honey-like malt, some grassiness, as well as a bit of hop. The taste is similar; quite sweet and grainy/grassy. Not offensive, just not much there.

Overall, a really mediocre blonde.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2008 02:08:20 | More by philipquarles
Photo of CWiggins
CWiggins

North Carolina

3.15/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Well, this is a style I certainly have avoided like the plague for a long time. My hunch was that it would be a rather bland, unexciting genre hardly befitting my need for a complex, tasty, and taste-fulfilling concoction. But, in the spirit of adventure, I was willing to go the extra mile and sample this version of the Blonde Ale style. Admittedly, it took a free sample bottle from a local representative to get me to that point, but, oh well!

It pours a straw yellow with amber-ish background, with a fizzy, white head that came and went very quickly. The aroma is mainly of grain and light malts, with a citrus overtone. Wow, this one sure is highly carbonation: one swallow and I felt my belly poof up like a balloon! It's lean bodied, and the mild flavor is mostly malt and sweet citrus. A mild hop character comes forward at the finish, but it, too, is lightly noticed. Definitely related to kolsch, but without the complexity.

Easy to drink, that's for sure. This is a style I don't find myself getting interested in, but I'm sure its "drinkability" will garner many fans.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2008 01:51:08 | More by CWiggins
Photo of cjgator3
cjgator3

Florida

3.18/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A- Pours a golden orange color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is a light fruity sweetness with some grain, citrus and floral hops.

T- The taste features some grain, citrus flavors and some peppery and earthy hops in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a heavy dose of carbonation.

D- Not a bad blonde, the 5.8% ABV helps keeps this one from being as sessionable but it is a solid beer that I could drink a few bottles in a sitting.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2008 03:00:51 | More by cjgator3
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

From Beers of the World. Serviceable, drinkable pale. Pours foaming white head on yellow golden. Above average carbonation that numbs the tongue somewhat,even much later. Neutral to maltish aroma. Bitter more than malty taste.Average to below average mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2008 01:09:34 | More by Sammy
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
MrHurmateeowish

New Hampshire

3.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle from the Lighthouse in Manchester. Pours an amber-yellow clear body with a half inch of off-white head that slowly dissipates. Smells biscuity with some diacetyl/butterscotch. Tastes like caramel and biscuit, with husky and butterscotchy notes toward the finish. Overall flavor is somewhat muted. Light in body with moderate carbonation. Very drinkable, a solid example for the style.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2008 01:40:40 | More by MrHurmateeowish
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

3.73/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazed golden amber with a thin white head. Dotted lacing sticks.

The smell is grainy, bready, with a hint of citric zest.

The taste is bready, yeasty and grainy. Some grapefruit and orange rind gives it a nice balance. A touch of alcohol gives it an unusual kick for the style - mixed feelings about that - kind of brings down the drinkability a bit for what the style should be. Finishes very dry. Light-bodied.

There are nice subtelties going on here, with a nice balance, but not quite the "session" brew it could be. Still, it has something to it making it a good one.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2008 15:39:09 | More by jwc215
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a bright, clear tangerine orange with a 2 finger, soft, pillowy head that was dirty white in coloring and lasting for several minutes after the pour before yielding to a thin creamy layering. Visible carbonation was medium.

S: fresh tangerines and oranges with soft, spicy hop undertones.

T: Semi-tart and dry oranges with a light dry floral hopping. Light dry citrus notes provide a gentle fade and finish. Palate had a nice maltiness to it per style adding some depth and fullness.

M: medium-full and was soft texture wise and carbonation wise on the tongue. Dry oranges and a nice floral hopping grace the tongue while leaving a nice slight residual malt lacing behind.

D: Very smooth, dry, and citrusy with a good maltiness makes this a great example per style and very good to drink. Can easily make this a session beer down on the beaches of orange county with a gentle breeze.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2008 22:25:23 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of NJpadreFan
NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Eel River- Blonde Ale

A- Light golden orange with a thick sticky head.
S- Nice floral hop aroma with a touch of sweet honey and wheat.
T- Sweet light honey flavor meets up with a nice little floral hop touch. I detect an orange/ tea flavor as well.
M- Light but VERY dry. Sweet finish.

Overall- I agree with another post, gets better further into the glass. A nice lite beer. Good for floating in the pool!

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2008 19:42:56 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of tgbljb
tgbljb

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly hazy bright golden color with modest white head. Some retention and sparse lacing.
Smell has a musty malt character, but is very mild.
First taste shows a profound dry character, that slowly moderates as the beer warms. Some more malt taste begins to show through.
Leaves a pleasant dryness at the finish.This is one beer that improves as the glass empties. What I really disliked at the beginning improved with subsequent tastes.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2008 00:17:10 | More by tgbljb
California Blonde Ale from Eel River Brewing Co.
76 out of 100 based on 83 ratings.