Pick Axe Blonde Ale - Keweenaw Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pick Axe Blonde AlePick Axe Blonde Ale

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129 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 129
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 3.26
pDev: 17.48%
Wants: 2
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Keweenaw Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TastyTaste on 02-16-2005

The lightest in our family of ales, a true single malt. Refreshing to taste, gorgeous to look at and a great introduction to the extraordinary world of craft-brewed Michigan beers. This light golden ale comes with a distinctive malt flavor and just a kiss of hops.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 129 | Reviews: 56
Reviews by linnymtu:
More User Reviews:
Photo of OStrungT
3.68/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a very pale light yellow color, with a thick, white, fluffy head. The head fades very slowly, leaving a massive lacing.

This beer has a grainy aroma. It has a very mild spicy aroma as well. All aromas are very subtle. Grains dominate though.

This beer tastes much like it smells. Grainy, with some spice. It has a slightly bready flavor as well.

This beer is very light bodied. It is high in carbonation, suiting the style. It leaves a grainy aftertaste.

This beer may make a decent session beer. It has a very mild flavor, and the alcohol content is probably pretty low.

Overall: Thanks go to OHLRangers for the generous hook up. This was a decent beer. Nothing I would keep stocked, but I was glad to have tried it.

Photo of tjsdomer2
4.34/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Golden with decent white lacing and foam. Very little carbonation.

Smell: Strong pineapple, apple, and caramel. Very fresh end an extremely unexpected tropical surprise.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Sour apple and tropical pineapple. Again, very unexpected and excellent. Light crisp body with a slight vinegar aftertaste.

Overall: One of my new favorite light beers.

Photo of tempest
3.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a can from Bello Vino in Ann Arbor. Poured into my Sam Adams glass, it's a slightly hazy gold with no head retention.

The aroma is all malt with pale barley, a bit of toast, a hint of sourdough, not bad. The flavor follows up with tart apple (though not actually very tart) and the sweet toast and barley. There's only a slight hint of peppery hops in the aftertaste, making this a very malt-centric brew.

I'd certainly call this a respectable Kolsch. The boys up in the U.P. should be proud of this one. I'm sure it's great for trips to the lake in the summer.

Photo of BigAl18
3.71/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Refreshing, crisp. Excellent lighter beer.

Photo of Kegatron
3.18/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy pale gold, with a finger of soapy brite-white head. Thin wispy layer of foam skims the surface, throwing a decent looking cascade of spotty lacing up on the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of bready malt sweetness, a bit of fruity citrus, and some grassy hops that float along the back.

The taste is sweet grainy malts, with a splash of green citrus, and a lightly spicy and drying bitterness running throughout. The mouthfeel is lighter bodied, with a bit of sharpness to it, before giving way to a somewhat flatter feel underneath. Pretty easy overall.

Light but lively sums this up perfectly. Pleasant enough flavors, with a crisp enough body, I could easily down a couple of these on a camping or boating trip.

Photo of CharlesDarwin
2.2/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Originally reviewed March 19, 2005. On tap at the brewpub. Light haze in a golden pour, with thin diminished hear. Decent lacing. Fruity macro aroma. Lacks much flavor. A little bitter, dry aftertaste. Very oaky finish. Hops are congruent with the beer. There's a certain element of cheap corn flavor involved here.

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz can to a pint glass, the liquid is ultra-pale yellow with ok carbonation. The Head is small white and leaves little lace.

The smell is ok, a bit of yeast and citrus.

The taste follows, yeasty bready malt, some citrus and mild hops. Maybe some tart bubblegum

The mouthfeel is thin, with good carbonation.

The drinkability is ok, not bad as a refresher but I would not say you need to try it.

Prost, MK

Photo of philipquarles
3.52/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to rmasen for this one.

Pours a nice, clean gold with a small white head that recedes quickly to leave minimal lacing. The scent gives away a sweet, grainy malt bill and some pleasant grassy hops. The hop presence is slightly stronger in the taste, giving it a faintly bitter character backed up with a bit of malt. Nice, clean, and refreshing. Pleasantly surprised by this one.

Photo of SickGnar
2.31/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: ridiculously big bone-white head that turns out to leave good lacing. Straw golden - sort of pale and cloudy. Very active rising bubbles. Foam jumps out of the can a bit as soon as it is opened. Huge foam, cloudiness, and fizzy bubbles make me think something could be off. It actually does look nice though.
S: Grainy, faintly malty with a good hint of wheat. Odd yeasty scent - sharp, a tough metallic, and vaguely sour. A smell I am going to call "off," as I can not imagine that this was intended.

T: Same "off" taste through. Possibley slightly soured? Grassy, decently bitter, hops come through in finish and aftertaste. Some light grainy, slightly bread pale malts with the barest hint of sweetness manage to poke through, but are are mostly hid by the sour twang. I am going to say that this was somehow infected at bottling and soured in the can. It may have been sitting a while too. I bought it as a single at a small soup-to-nuts store in the U.P. that had a "do not break apart six packs" sign on the cooler door near a small selection of singles. Hmmm...??? With an eye toward variety, I thought I would clean-up after the scofflaws. Oops. I guess this is what I get for being a cheapskate and good Samaritan.

M: Still manages a medium body, but with well over medium carbonation that is well on its way to being fizzy. Between the sour twang and CO2 (carbonic...) this has a rather hefty bite.

D: A Blond (Ale) ought to be easy. And this is not as pleasant as it probably once was. It is sort of hard to judge a beer where something appears to clear have gone off the rails. The "off" / sour / funk is completely out of place for style. It all but states, "infected," and surely was not intended by the brewer. Still, it is not totally offensive. Seems sort of like a very pale sour beer - almost refreshing - a sort of accidental kellerweisse.

Photo of BierFan
3.32/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a pint glass.

Modest white bubbley head on top of a slightly hazy yellow body. If I was going purely by taste I would guess that there's some wheat malt in this beer, but the ingredients on the side of the can list barley as the only malted grain. Perhaps the yeast is throwing me off. A little bitterness rounds out the experience.

Photo of buschbeer
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can
Served in a pint glass

A - It pours a hazy yellow and is topped with two and half to three inches of white head.

S - I get some honey and floral hops. I also get some grain and biscuit. There's some fruit in there, too.

T - There is a pronounced sweetness (honey). I get a little biscuit and a "kiss" of hops.

M - Thin but not as watery as an adjunct lager.

O - It was better than I thought it would be. I bought it after a Michigan game and had a couple left to review. I was pleasantly surprised.

Photo of redmosquito
4.1/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yeah, craft beer in a can. As a golfer who has long suffered on the course due to poor selection at the beer cart, this excites me. This all malt beer pours a nice clear golden color with a slight tint of copper and a quickly dissapating head. The aroma is nice bready malt, with a hint of caramel and floral hops. The flavor is clean, good malt flavor, some bitterness, and a nice lingering yeasty aftertaste. The beer has plenty of body and is smooth. I look forward to enjoying this beer in the summer.

Photo of mdwalsh
4.09/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ahh, beer in a can. I like that they are honest about their goal, to turn beer drinkers into craft beer drinkers. It's a noble endeavor and sets a good tone.

A: Orange-gold, and only a small white head that faded very fast. A little cloudy, but good active carbonation from the looks of it.

S: Not much, but I get a little caramel/cooked fruit. Just, as the can says, a kiss of hops. Very light, very appropriate.

T: A little bland, but there's a bready taste going on for sure. Sort of a dry, crusty taste. Still very light and really refreshing.

M: Light, but smooth, not at all biting. I wish it had a little more bite.

D: Superb. A craft drinkers lawnmower beer, or a BMC drinkers gateway beer, good either way.

Photo of GbVDave
3.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz can into a 20oz imperial pint. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a pale straw-gold color with a decent dallop of creamy white foam that, unfortunately, doesn't stick around for very long and leaves no lace behind. Pretty actively carbonated at first, but settles down around the same time the head dies off.

S: Aroma of biscuits and toasted sourdough bread along with tart green apple and tangy lemon.

T: See above. Pretty much tastes just as it smells. Noticed a faint hint of noble hops, as well. Finishes sweet, bready, and fruity.

M: Crisp and brisk with a distinctly tangy edge and a pleasant oilyness.

D: Pretty light but most certainly refreshing. I think this would be my summer "go to" beer if i lived in the UP.

Photo of plaztikjezuz
4.15/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It comes in a can!! but it tastes great. this is michigan upper pennisula's first micro brewery.

Pours Golden with a decent head. the aroma is hops and malt. the flavor is malt, hops, slight hint of honey. the flavor is robust at first but mostly drops off with a lingering hop bite.

I like this beer, will buy it if i ever see it around, i am usually put off by beer in cans (yes i know they are better then bottles), it reminds me of when i was a kid and drank cases of the big boys. the can has a cool label

ps. glad to see my home area (michigan's u.p.) finally get a real micro brewery and have a good product.

Photo of LanceW
3.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The local market had these in a varitiy pack and I thought I would give it a try.

I was expecting somthing a bit lighter but was impressed to find the body of the beer to be much thicker. The overall drinkability was pretty good. I would recommend this beer to another beer advocate but i would be less likely to give this to an average joe.

Overall I enjoyed it and would drink it again.

Photo of Acadia09
3.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

One of KBC's better standard beers, but there seems to be something missing in the overall flavor of the beer. Maybe it is the hop content or the malt, but if you would like a decent Blonde Ale this would be a good place to start with a small brewery from Michigan's UP.

Photo of woodychandler
3.93/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

CAN you believe that my CANQuest has become so well-known that some places WANT me to review their beers? At the GTMW, I mentioned my mission and said that I had just scored two of their beers in sixes and they asked which ones and handed me one each of the other two as I left the park. Keweenaw, this review's for you!

I got a finger of bone-white, marshmallow-Fluf like head with decent retention. Color was a beautiful sunshine-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Nose had an odd malty aspect, very sweet, moreso than the CAN led me to expect. I thought of cotton candy, frankly. Mouthfeel was medium with a light sweetness, but underlain by hops. For those who may not realize/remember, Schlitz claimed to have "just a kiss of hops", also. If Schlitz had just a kiss, it was a peck on the cheek. This was a kiss, and DFH 90" is a French Kiss. They did not skimp on this beer. I am becoming a HUGE fan of this brewery! I wish that I had more of this beer. It had a light dryness on the finish that was perfect in the sweltering humidity that we are currently experiencing. More!

In other, unrelated news, from the CAN: "The Keweenaw Brewing Company, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, was founded with the goal of turning beer drinkers into craft-beer lovers. Pick Axe Blonde is the lightest bodied in our family of ales, a slightly malty American Blonde Ale with just a kiss of hops."

Photo of Drk93TT
1.42/5  rDev -56.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

Had on draft with high hopes of a blonde brew. Got this. It was bland bland bland. Looks transparent yellow like a bud light. Tastes sort of malty but then meh not so much. Not like me to bash a beer but im dissapointed In this one. Its ok at best wont have it again. I might tap the rockies before drinking another "pick axe" blonde. Meh.

Photo of nicksta
2.9/5  rDev -11%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I would have imagined that this beer would be a little bit more inspiring. The beer comes in a tacky can that on the plus side does offer an interesting read. I pours a pale gold with a small head that leaves only a little bit of lacing on the glass. The smells is a weird sweet smell I can't quite put my finger on. The taste isn't really bad or good. At first it is adjunct sweet, and then pale sweet. With hints of fruit? I don't know. The hops may decide to stick around or make just a brief appearance. I think it tries to be so many different things that it merely gets a C on all of them. The mouthfeel isn't watery for a beer so pale. It is slightly drinkable. I live close to this brewery and I hope they start to distribute their other beers.

Photo of hopdog
3.42/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz can.

Poured a lighter and hazy yellow color with an averaged sized white head. Aromas of toastiness, grains, and some grassiness. Tastes of grains, some citrus, and had a fruity sweetness. This was one of those pleasant surprises.

Notes from and tasted on: 1/19/08

Photo of TastyTaste
2.46/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Looks like I am the first non-Uper to try this beer. Found at a grocery store in Ironwood Michigan, in cans only. Slightly hazy gold body, with a small white head, looks fairly creamy. Smell is light citrus and malt, very light on the nose. Taste is light and fairly crisp, malt tastes a little skunked, hops are barely present. This is not a very good beer, vs. the style. Tastes too much like a macro lager.

Photo of weizenbob
3.95/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 ounce can purchased at Tom's in Acme, MI ($6.99/6 pack). Canned July 7, 2011. Poured into a nonic pint glass. The pour yields a finger of white head that quickly disappears. Lacing is nowhere to be found. A little bit of carbonation is seen through the glass. The brew is colored...wait for it...blonde. Duh. It is a pretty clear glass of beer with no apparent sediment and only the faintest haze. Though blonde ale is not most people's idea of an impressive beer style, this is easily the most impressive looking beer in the Keweenaw canned lineup.

Pick Axe Blonde is surprisingly aromatic. Fruity aromas are the scents-du-jour. Apples are noted. There is also a funky smell that I normally associate with dry red wine. Take from that what you will.

The flavor shines. This is surprising given a couple of things; the style's relative meh-factor, and Keweenaw's relative meh-lineup. It is pretty much an all malt-affair with "just a kiss of the hops" as the can's label lifts from my beloved Schlitz. Fruity flavors rule the roost with a lot of apple-like flavor up front. Some melon rind manifests in the middle. If you're paying attention some (very) mild hop bitterness is detectable. It finishes a little grainy with some lingering aftertaste. Easy drinking seems to be the name of the game, but for such a tame beer the taste is surprisingly exceptional.

The mouthfeel is incredible. The can claims that this is the lightest bodied brew in the Keweenaw lineup but I would have to disagree. It is indeed light bodied, but it is also incredibly creamy. Paired with the malty flavor, this blonde is a great experience in the mouth.

Overall, this is a great example of a light, easy drinking yet flavorful brew. The price point on Keweenaw beers has recently dropped dramatically, making this a pretty good value to boot. I dig it, and I really think my light lager drinking buddies would dig it too. At this point it's the only one of Keweenaw's canned efforts that I could wholeheartedly recommend.


The Two-Schlitz Scale: (reference my profile for an explanation)
Even Keweenaw acknowledges the mighty Schlitz, lifting their "Kiss of the Hops" trademark for Pick Axe Blonde. It is indeed a fine comparison and I could easily interchange Pick Axe as an ale substitute for Schlitz. As such, I do give a Schlitz for Pick Axe Blonde.

Photo of Realale
3.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear-ish pale gold with yellow overtones. Very fine bright white head dissipates quickly to an incomplete cap.

Yeasty notes lead the nose over bright, crackery malt, and just a touch of grapey, citric hop. Nice Koelsch nose, though the yeastiness could be toned down a bit for me.

Light side of medium in the mouth. Mostly light slightly toasted malt in the mouth, with a subtle dose of yeasty complexity. Just a bit of hop flavor. Finish is quick and without bitterness, but with a metallic note.

Mouthfeel is a bit fizzy which accentuates the lightness of the beer. Very quaffable, and lovely on a warm St. Louis night. Can four out of a six pack. Thanks to Brian700 for the trade.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.41/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden color with good clarity and head retention alike. A small amount of yeast sediment is noticed.

Clean malty aroma with a fresh yeasty smell and sweet grains on the back end. Almost like a Belgian but distinctly grainier with a less noticeable hop note.

Taste is clean, with some muted fruit esters from the yeast, coarse grains and small bitterness. Has a Belgian type flavor actually which I wasn't quite expecting. Hops chime in with a noble, herbal element.

Light feel, but well carbonated and clean. Overall, this is a pretty solid little beer for those who like easy drinking camping beers.

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Pick Axe Blonde Ale from Keweenaw Brewing Company
75 out of 100 based on 129 ratings.