Sky Blue Golden Ale | Carolina Brewery

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Sky Blue Golden AleSky Blue Golden Ale

Brewed by:
Carolina Brewery
North Carolina, United States

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
15 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-05-2003

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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 112
Photo of Cavanaghty
2.14/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served on tap in a pint glass.

Appearance: Darker yellow with a thin white head.

Smell: No smells really, maybe a sweeter grassy notes, but it's faint.

Mouthfeel/ Taste: Smooth light bodied. Taste of sweeter grassy and corn taste. Bit of a source after taste.

Overall: OK, beer glad I tried it but not likely to have it again.

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Photo of mothmanscott
2.97/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy straw yellow producing 1.5 fingers of shortlived, foamy, white head that leaves streaky lacing. Aroma is lemony, chalky/mineral, dry, grain, yeast, faint sulfur, light grassy hops. Taste is watery & thin, pale malt, lemony to the point of being cloying, some grass & maybe a little wheat finishing dry with a lingering bitterness & a little sour. The mineral note from the nose is also very detectable as is the sulfur hint & maybe a little wet paper. The aftertaste is an unpleasant blend of lightly bitter, sour, sulfury dryness. Mouthfeel is light bodied with moderate carbonation, watery, dry & not very drinkable. My overall opinion is that the sample I tried was oxidized or otherwise spoiled or contaminated. There were too many off-flavors for this to be true to what the brewery intended.

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Photo of vabeerguy
3.21/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a can into a nonic glass. Golden color. Not an intense smell but maybe this is a trait of the style. Taste is somewhat refreshing. I remember drinking it on draft in the summer. Seemed to be very satisfying then. Perhaps this is meant to be a warm weather beer.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.69/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Clear golden pour. Normal head characteristics.

Nice nose of biscuit as a base with notes of pear and orange zest.

Light body with a smooth texture. Normal carbonation with a touch of middle effervescence and a fairly prickly finish.

The flavor profile is very good. It is a kolsch, so flavor intensity is laid back. You get the flavors of the nose and a clean finish. Everything is subtle with this beer, as the style typically is. 2012 GABF bronze medal winner.

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Photo of ordybill
4/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a pint glass Aroma- a slight citrus aroma Appearance -A cloudy light yellow with a small head Taste - A mild flavored Kolsch, goes down well. Palate- has a lot of carbonation but is light bodied Overall- A good example of an American brewed Kolsch. Worth a try

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Photo of jfhrtn92
3.4/5  rDev +5.6%

Has a pale almost wheat color to it with a minimal head while pouring. Has a hoppy grainy taste with a slight biterness. After taste has a bit of a lemon to it. No sweetness noted in this one at all. Has quite a bit of carbonation but is very light bodied on the mouth. Overall a pretty decent drink

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Photo of Amalak
2.83/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I had at the Ale House at the Raleigh-Durham Airport.

A. It's clear gold with some bubbles that leaves a limited head and some lacing.

S. Not much of a scent. Slightly soapy, possibly the glass.

T/M. It is lemony and tart. Very crisp, but not much flavor. It has a sour aftertaste. Light body.

O. It might be nice for a hot summer day, but not much else here.

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Photo of Mojo
3.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce can -> Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass

A - Pours up very pale hazy straw with a small head that sticks around, and plenty of lacing left behind.

S - I don't get much off the nose but maybe lemon zest. Not unpleasant, but not complex.

T - This is a very easy to drink beer. Lemon is the predominant flavor with some grassy notes and a mild hop presence.

M - unremarkable with a bit of a lemon aftertaste

O - easy to drink, perfect summer afternoon beer, but not complex and not bold in any aspect.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap a Mediterranean Deli in Chapel Hill, NC

A: Pours a crystal clear medium yellow with moderate to heavy amounts of visible carbonation and some light golden yellow highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall sudsy white head that quickly reduces to a small patch of extremely thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of bready and grainy malts with a touch of citrus zest. Light touches of grassy hops in the background.

T: Light to moderate flavors of pale and slightly bready malts with a touch of light fruit sweetness (think green apple) followed by moderate flavors of lemon citrus zest. Light hints of grassy hops towards the finish which contributes a light amount of bitterness which fades rather quickly.

M: Light bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Crisp.

O: One of the first warm spring days (visiting NC from NYC area) and this beer was very easy to drink and very enjoyable. Nothing really special about this beer but quite refreshing on a warm day.

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Photo of JGood
4.35/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Loved this beer! It has a great taste that I was not expecting in that it was light yet still malty and left a nice aftertaste for the buds. I am not a professional beer reviewer and have not partaken in much beer as of late, but liked this so much I was compelled to share my experience on beeradvocate.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served this Kolsch style beer on tap, in a pint glass. Poured a golden clear color, produced a average white head, nice retention and it left excellent lacing on the glass. The aroma consisted of a light malted grain, very mild. Light in body, light malted grain, slightly hopped. This would be a nice summer beer, session beer. Overall, it's decent, not the most authentic Kolsh that I have sampled, it actually reminded me of drinking a blonde ale. Still would take this over a Adjunct Lager any day.

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Photo of Cylinsier
2.71/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3


Light clear golden color with a white head.

Not much in the nose, slight detection of grassy malt.

Very light citrus flavor with grassy malts.

Thin light body with low carbonation.

Just too light for me. Nothing bad about the taste or body of this beer, just not enough of it. I've had other kolschs that I could at least taste. This was like a good Kolsch with water added.

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Photo of tdm168
3.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright yellow with an inch of soft, fizzy, foamy, white head that has decent retention. The nose has notes of straw and faint citrus zest. The flavor is zesty and citrusy up front followed by a smooth straw-like finish. There is a heavy yeast component here too which is over the top for the style. The mouthfeel is crisp and very light with a decent amount of carbonation.

This is solid, sessionable beer, but light and simple. This would make for a good pool side beer in the summer (and it comes in cans for the occasion.) As it stands, it was good to try once but I believe there are better in the style out there.

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Photo of VaterRoss
3.47/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from a growler into a tumbler

Crystal clear straw yellow, little to no head, disappears quickly. Very little to smell, hint of fruit. Taste, a bit of grass and some grain. Little to no bitterness with just a touch of hops. Has a bit of that clean lager taste. Mouthfeel is extremely light and refreshing, low carb (perhaps due to the growler?)

Not a bad Kölsch, my second favorite NC Kölsch after Mother Earth's Endless River. As a style with not a lot going on this one can be easy to mess up but Sky Blue is a solid effort. High drinkability as befits the style, just not as much going on as in the top Kölschs. Nice abv for the style.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.73/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I didnt know the style at first when i ordered it, but upon tasting I knew it was a Kolsch.

Pour is very light, almost looks like an AAL. Minimal head and carbonation.

Smell is lifeless at best. I can feel Corn Pops and lots of water.

Holy hell this thing is drinkable. I actually prefer it to Riessdorf Kolsch (god help me). The corn feeling is a bit more pronounced than in Riessdorf, making it more smooth and slightly caramel-like. No hop presence, but its not really missed.

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Photo of Wegomlegging
3.02/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Misty yellow with decent head and unfortunate sludge at the back, the nose is curling sour. Flavors are a mix of wheat and grapefruit. A nice soft drinkable level of carbonation helps offset the lemon zest hit on the mouth. Overall decent for a one-time try.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.52/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

House-sitting for a buddy in NC, and he left me a six pack. I poured from the can into a pint glass, and the beer is a very pale, crystal clear, watery yellow-gold coloring with a thin, sparse, large bubbled foam head. Aromas of toasted oats, light lemon essence, and a slight honey sweetness. The beer is light and toasty in mouth, with only a hint of honey sweetness at the end. The aftertaste is citrus and honey sweetness again, but only for an instant. Literally the blink of an eye. The finish is super quick, slightly watery, and extremely light overall. Decent hot weather cooler.

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Photo of devilben02
3.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow color with a thin, foamy white head. The aroma is mild but complex, with a wheaty tanginess, a bit of lemon and banana, a light earthiness, and a soft fruity apple-juice-like character. The flavor is likewise light and sweet yet reserved, with a sweet corn character that is contrasted by some light wheat and a dull earthiness. The carbonation is fine and prickly, and the overall effect is somewhat drying. Overall, though, the beer is light and pleasant without being too bland, making it good for general consumption on a hot day.

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Photo of nickd717
2.66/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the brewery.

Pours a clear yellow color with a small white head that has average retention.

Very grainy and slightly herbal aroma, not much to it really.

The flavor has a touch of cardboard, which doesn't help it much. Pale malt, grain, and mild hops besides that.

Crisp at least, with lighter body and average carbonation.

Not too impressed by this one.

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Photo of DmanGTR
3.98/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the brewpub with a couple of friends along the drive down to Florida.

Poured a brilliantly clear pale yellow, like the color of straw, with a short lived white head. Quite nice and fitting for a Kolsch. Hint of pilsner malt, metallicness, and a faint grassy aroma. All of this is very subtle, I would have appreciated just a hair more. Crisp, refreshing, and quite nice. Very clean finish, maybe a tiny hint of earthy hops. Light and crisp, but not bubbly. Drinks nicely. Something I could drink all summer day.

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Photo of ComfortablyBum
3.08/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pint glass at Dirty Dicks Crab House on the OBX.

A pale yellow. Reminiscant of lemon or urine. Very little head.

S. Yeast and straw. Not much else.

T. Pretty bland with a hop bitter finish.

M. For being so light a beer it still has a medium mouthful. I like the smooth bitter finish.

D. This ios not something I wpuld drink a lot of. Though it is smooth, I had to force myself to finish it. I will try it again next time I am in Chapel Hill.

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Photo of akorsak
3.68/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pint served on-tap at the Philly Cheese Steak shop in Corolla, NC.

A: The blonde ale is appropriately golden, nearly clear, with a pale hue. A steady stream of bubbles supports a finger of head that generates no lacing.

S: The ale has a soft fruity aroma driven from the malts and yeast. Very little hop-wise. Based on the aroma and look, I penciled this up as a kolsch. Seems like another Carolina Brewery entry calls it a kolsch so I'm not too far off base.

T: A soft ale, backed with plenty of malty fruits. I was expecting a blueberry ale with the name Blue Sky. Instead I was surprised with an easy drinking blonde ale. There isn't much hoppiness to muddle things up; instead the pale malts create a mild fruity backdrop. A very easy beer to drink.

M: The mouthfeel is bready, very light, with plenty of sweet notes to go around. I was very surprised at how nice the ale is.

D: Hard to believe that this ale is heavier than OBBS's altbier (see previous review). I made it through a pint and a half in no time.

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Photo of saatana
2.68/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is is not the best that I have ever had but is also not the worst. It is approximately straw colored when poured from the growler. There was not much of a head on it with not much smell and a slight taste of hops. There is light carbonation and it is highly drinkable but is merely a decent beer.

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Photo of CampusCrew
3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

OK. I had the sampler and this was one of the samples I had. I would nto chose this but the bud drinkers would be ok with it.

appearance: light yellow

smell: slight hops

taste: ok, blandish

mouthfeel: good carbonation

drinkability: easy and smooth.

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Photo of CWiggins
2.58/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The Carolina Brewery in Chapel Hill produces a small number (five, I believe) of "always on tap" beers and a seasonal. Their Sky Blue Golden Ale is a regular, and appears to be one of the most popular–at least from what I can glean while visiting. I had this one from a tap at Tyler's Taproom in Durham last evening and am reviewing from notes.

It certainly is reminiscent of the Kölsch style, at least in appearance and aroma. Hazy yellow with golden highlights and no head, just a lean whitish foam that doesn't entirely cover the surface. I really couldn't distinguish any particular scents from a good sniff; there's not any aroma at all! The flavor is lacking as well. One may struggle and find hints of light fruit and grainy malts, but takes some serious concentration. An aspect of this beer I did like was the mouthfeel: it's a little on the bready side, particularly at the finish.

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Sky Blue Golden Ale from Carolina Brewery
3.22 out of 5 based on 112 ratings.
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