Bridge Builder Blonde | Parkway Brewing Co.

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Bridge Builder BlondeBridge Builder Blonde
Bridge Builder BlondeBridge Builder Blonde

Brewed by:
Parkway Brewing Co.
Virginia, United States

Style: Belgian Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An easy drinking Belgian style ale, Bridge Builder Blonde has a wheat malt backbone tempered with hints of clove, banana & pear.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 72
Photo of 88caprice
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle into a glass.

Overall: A good, enjoyable brew for a blonde ale, but I probably wouldn't pick it as a representative witbier.

Look: Pale honey color. Minimal head and lacing. Slightly hazed, but far from cloudy.
Smell: Some malty aroma with wheat twang. The smallest touch of clove, but nothing else. No other spice or fruitiness.
Taste: Starts bright with a tiny spice hint, then a wheat tartness, followed by a malty finish.
Feel: medium bodied, low carbonation.

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Photo of OldSwampy
3.86/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Nice funky yeasty nose. Gold color, white head, not especially durable. Taste nicely yeasty with honey elements, maybe some some fruit as well. Grew softer and sweeter as it warmed. Mouthfeel not notable. I don't disagree with the suggestion of some that this might be classified in another category, but I am not going to argue strenuously one way or another. I do wonder if some of the low ratings are a result of drinking beers past their prime; mine was fresh.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.69/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours cloudy orange with a small white head. Smells of sweet wheat, slight fruitiness, especially banana. Tastes of sweet wheat and very slight fruitiness. Beer is light bodied and nicely carbonated. Overall, a slightly above average beer.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.57/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The Bridge Builder is getting beat up by the BA crowd.....I didn't think it was that bad....had it fresh from the tap room....thought it was quite nice. The beer poured a golden clear with white head that eventually dissipated and did not leave a lace. The scent was fairly bland...some bread notes. The taste was evenly balanced and would be a great session beer. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall......I liked it.

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Photo of hophugger
3/5  rDev -13%

Was excited to try but was a little let down when I got the chance. Aroma, head, lacing, yada yada yada. The taste was lacking some carbonation and the "blonde ale" to me seemed a little closer to a saison, it was a little sweet to me. A decent beer but will not indulge again. Ill stick to the get bent IPA or try something else....

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Photo of RblWthACoz
2.1/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

So this blonde beer looks rather...amber. That's odd.

Whoa. This beer is a mess. Too much malt. Way too sickly sweet. Some spices mixed in for good measure. This is supposed to be a witbier? Not even close. A Belgian homebrew, at best. But since it's commercially packaged and sold, it's total crap.

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Photo of danmouer
3.39/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Prkway casts this a Blonde ale, but the name seems insppropriate. The brewery's PR describes what I would expect to be a hefeweissbier, but what I find in my glass is something else.

I noticed a distict lack of hiss when I popped the lid on the bottle, and my fears were confirmed by ony a modest crown of foam on pour. As others have noted, the carbonation level is too low, especially since I feel the brew would best be classified as a saison/farmhouse ale. The aroma is muted, but there are spicy notes and distinct fruity tones (apple-pear). Spice and fruit drown out malt or hops in the nose, and that is also true on the palate.

It happens the beer is not as flat as it first seems, but there is no doubt that the all around flavor and mouthfeel would be greatly enhanced if those nice fine bubbles were multiplied three or four times--perhaps even as much as would requirea higher pressure bottle. The finish is pleasantly dry and refreshing with a throat-cleansing touch of bitter that feels to me more like one from spices or bitter orange peel than from hops.

My overall take is this is a good farmhouse ale with a pleasantly rustic quality that is only flawed by inappropriate carbonation, and maybe a bit too heavy hand with either spices or bittering hops (I suspect the former). I hope to revisit this brew again later, from another batch, just to see if the brewery tweaks their recipe just a tad.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This bottle was in the fridge for a little while. I don't think it affected the beer.

This beer poured a little darker than expected for a blonde, but given the description, I agree with the style in that this is more of a wheat beer/hefeweizen. The carbonation is a bit low. The smell is light, but as described, banana, pear, and clove, with a sweetness present.

The taste follows suit, a lightly sweet beer with pear being the more up-front, the spice and banana taking a back seat before coming through a bit in the end. The missing carbonation might be nice here, or a drier finish, for my tastes.

Overall, I was initially impressed by this beer, but I altered slightly down on lack of carbonation, which I assume was not due to any extra age I put on it in the fridge. It is still a decent beer, nice to have on a sunny spring or summer day.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.19/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A friend sent this to me to try. Good looking beer, like the thick appearance and very good smell but nothing great. However very tasty beer that is very easy to drink, sucked it down. Not sure about cost but will certainly revisit if I see it at a store.

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Photo of oberon
3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first try of this Salem,VA. brewery.Not a style I go to very often but I wanted to give this brewery a try,I was pleased with the results.Poured into a small tulip glass a slightly hazed orange tinged golden with one finger white head that left a full ring of lace as it settled pretty slowly.Vanilla dipped pears,toasted creal grain,and coriander spice in the nose,the vanilla/pear notes stood out nicely.Flavors are yeasty clove spice and the vanilla spiced pears up front with a firm toasted grain flavor all the way thru,a white pepper-like spiciness lingers in the finish.Not bad,not bad at all,I really wanna try this breweries "bigger" stuff when passing thru the area next time.

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
3.79/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A decent, light-tasting, easy-drinking brew. Certainly not a powerhouse. Maybe a bit thin in taste but not bad. Probably stacks up ok in the world of blonde ales or witbiers. Could use more spices, more banana, perhaps a bit more hops. Decent session beer.

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Photo of obywan59
3.96/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Available at the Roanoke Kroger store at Brambleton and Colonial.

From the brewery: An easy drinking Belgian-style ale, our Bridge Builder Blonde has a wheat flavored backbone from the malt, tempered with hints of clove, banana and pear. Should come in around 5.9% ABV. The name is an homage to the many immigrants who constructed the unique arched stone bridges all along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Cloudy golden to orange in color, with swirls of sediment (in the second glass) .A hard pour yields a mounding 5 1/2 finger off white head that recedes quickly leaving minimal lacing. Carbonation is evident.

The aroma is of citrusy tart wheat with banana and spice, clove being the most noticeable.

The taste is twangy wheat with banana and clove and light Belgian yeast. There's a light bitterness, whether from hops or orange peel, I'm not sure. The brewery doesn't mention any added spices. Spicy aftertaste.

Medium to medium thick in feel.Light syrup for plenty of flavor retention. The second glass seemed more flat than the first. Lightly drying. Faint heat in the throat. (the third glass regained the peppery carbonation.)

I'm not sure if this strictly qualifies as a witbier, but it seemed closer to a wit than a blonde to me. Nonetheless, it's a superb brew. It's easy drinking and full flavored. A great spring/summer brew in my opinion. This is my second beer review of PBC, and I reiterate my opinion that they are vying with Blue Ridge Barrel House for best brewery in Virginia.

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Bridge Builder Blonde from Parkway Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.45 out of 5 with 72 ratings