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California Blonde Ale | Eel River Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
77
okay
57 Reviews
THE BROS
81
good
Read the review
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.62%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-12-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
57
Ratings:
117
Avg:
3.33
pDev:
22.22%
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
9
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 57 | Ratings: 117
Photo of BlakeDaSnake
5/5  rDev +50.2%
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!!!

 598 characters

Photo of berkeleymaw
4.37/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Packs a deceptive punch at ~6% ABV. Clean and crisp tasting without being bitter, very smooth and inoffensive. Decent hoppiness, but nothing approaching the psychotic amount of hops you find in your typical microbrew ale these days.

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Photo of WeezyBoPeep
4.33/5  rDev +30%
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!

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Photo of thejewthatbrews
4.19/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap @ Eel River. Way better than the bottle.

A: Golden hue to it, with a small head, less than an inch.
S: Clean smell, fairly hoppy, but nowhere near a pale.
T: Taste was slightly hoppier than the amber, but once again, nothing close to a pale or IPA. Nice overall balance, with a slight shift away from malt, although the malt is not completely negelcted.
M: Good mouthfeel, although not really anything special. Not heavy at all, and with only a slight lingering taste.
D: Extremely drinkable, due to a lighter body, and a refershing balance between the hops and the malt. Definately a two or three pinter.

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Photo of kwjd
4.17/5  rDev +25.2%
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.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4/5  rDev +20.1%
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.

 900 characters

Photo of aforbes10
3.98/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

 640 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.95/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a slightly hazy golden yellow color. A 1" head lasts a bit, plus some spotty lace sticks to the glass.

Smell: light fruity sweetness is all that is detectable.

Taste: light but decent malt sweetness along with some soft green grapes tones, hints of honey, and a nice mellow bitterness that balances the sweetness out.

Mouthfeel: crisp and clean throughout. Lighter in body.

Drinkability: easy to drink with some decent flavors for the style. When you are in the mood for a lighter beer this one hits the spot.

 534 characters

Photo of schrist275
3.95/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice Sunday afternoon, mowed the grass getting ready for football and to cool down... this. Somewhat plain label, will still keep it as I do all the others. Pours a hazy lemonade until it strikes the glass at which time it transforms into a semi solid gold, fingers are barely visible thru the glass. Head drifts into lazy whisps across the top and has a nice tall "ring around the collar". The nose comes in fruity with a slight citrus, typical ale.. stronger than blondes that i've previously had, nice. Taste attacks the side of the tongue right off the bat with a sweet and fruity, dont know what else to call it. Its good. Looks good, smells good and tastes good.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.86/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

 402 characters

Photo of tgbljb
3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.7/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
3.7/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

 590 characters

Photo of rkuhnel
3.68/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchsed from Northcoast Coop in Eureka, CA. Poured a nlight amber wtih a nice fat head that left decent lacing. A deep whiff brings up clean malts and a hint of hops. There is a touch of citrus in the flavor and mouthfeel is clean and refeshing. This is a nice beer if you like light and mild brews and is easy to drink.

 328 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

 354 characters

Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

 640 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.56/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Organic, Light, Malty, Approachable

Pale yellow in color with a slight haze and thin white lacing. Aromas of fresh malt, cereal grains and a soft floral quality. Light-bodied but with creamy carbonation. It’s a beer defined by crackery malts, a watery hop character of lemon-lime rinds, and a slight oiliness that pulls through and melds with mild fruity esters that linger into the finish. A good, easydrinking brew.

STYLE: American Blonde Ale | ABV: 5.8% | AVAILABILITY: Year-round

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine issue #99 (APR 2015)

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.53/5  rDev +6%
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!

 408 characters

Photo of nekronos
3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Very nice brewed. Keep in mind the blonde ales are not necessarily clear ones. This was more a bit of amber. The organic hing is good for the health but not the best type of beers. I liked the concept and the fact they are reaching the country and give us more than Bud or MIller. The head is nic stays in there for a while.

 324 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

 261 characters

Photo of tempest
3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

 355 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good starting head that leaves some spotty lace. Straw is the color of the liquid with a touch of haze.

Mild, but pleasant blend of the classic pale malts and flowery hop.

With the lightest of pale malts, there is a slight sourness to the initial sip. The carbonation is high--high enough to bubble over the bottle. It cuts through the body making this beer overly spritzy. Overall, this is a pleasant and easy-to-consume lighter, but flavorable, beer.

 454 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
3.47/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

 526 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.45/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Slightly more tangerine than amber with lemon peel accents at the edges. Several fingers of pale khaki colored froth looks decent and shows a bit of character during descent. Lace is on the scarce side, but isn't bad.

The nose features pale grains and is very slightly wheaty. There's also a fair amount of musky-earthy hoppiness from Saaz and Tettnang. Maybe just a hint of citrus from the Cascade, though it's in the background. So far, not bad at all.

Kudos to Eel River for brewing a better than decent American blonde ale that actually has a good bit of hop flavor and bitterness. I haven't had very good luck with these guys in the past (with a few notable exceptions), so California Blonde Ale is a pleasant surprise.

The malts don't provide much flavor (natch), though they contribute the proper amount of balancing sweetness. Bitterness leads the way from beer entry to beer exit. The Euro hops have it all over the American, which is fine. It almost makes CCBA taste like a pilsner brewed with a slightly estery ale yeast.

The mouthfeel is of sufficient size, but the bubbles are too fizzy early and are fading too quickly now that I'm into the bottom half of the bottle. Room for improvement here.

Eel River Certified California Blonde is a pretty good representation of a style that is hard to love. Raven's Eye Imperial Stout is still their best, but this little ale shows the skill that is lacking in most of the rest of their lineup.

 1,453 characters

Photo of williamjbauer
3.43/5  rDev +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.

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California Blonde Ale from Eel River Brewing Co.
77 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.
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