Blonde Ale | Saint Archer Brewing Co.

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Blonde AleBlonde Ale

Brewed by:
Saint Archer Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Modeled after the bright, beautiful ales of Koln, our interpretation has a clean, crisp malt character similar to a Pilsner. The authentic Kolsch yeast strain pairs perfectly with our unique blend of aromatic Noble hops from Germany.

Added by mactrail on 04-25-2013

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Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 149
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

An exquisite example of a Blonde ale. Straw golden and transparent with a white frothy head. Very clean with a hint of Vienna malt. Just enough flavor to not be distracting and leave you wanting to quaff more.

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Photo of mobrado
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Criminally underrated and immensely drinkable. Pretty much the first Kölsch I've had this side of the pond that nails the style. And of course they don't call it a Kölsch on the label... Go figure.

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Photo of goldenbear
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.75

Clean, true and what is expected of a Kolsch. Balanced and session able. I don't typically drink this style and have been handed many different things across the "blonde" lable. It is nice to order a Blonde and get this. "goes down easy, just how I like my Blondes"

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Photo of BeerTv
4.09/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

St. Archer Blonde
(ABV: 4.8%) (IBU: 22)

This is an American interpretation of the Germanic ale from Köln, known as a Kölsch ale. Traditional German influences of Noble Hops and an authentic Kӧlsch yeast strain are used to brew this American adaptation. Kölsch ales are top-fermenting lagered beers, so these types of ales have certain lager-like characteristics.

AROMA – Bready malt, honey, fresh cut hay, straw, slight floral hoppiness, spicy yeast

APPEARANCE – Hazy golden straw hue, rocky white foamy head, minor lacing, decent head retention, heavy amounts of carbonation bubbles

FLAVOR – Spicy peppered yeast, malt sweetness, honey, lemon, grassy, cracker/biscuit, floral hop, straw

MOUTHFEEL - Clean, crisp powerful carbonation, medium-light bodied, refreshing, dry finish

OVERALL – Easy drinking lawnmower beer for a hot afternoon; delightfully simple allowing oneself to be refreshed after a long day’s work; a nice example of an American inspired Kölsch

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Photo of breadwinner
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Similar to Ballast Point's Pale Ale with the misleading naming convention, this is, apparently, a riff on a kolsch-style beer. A couple sips of the beer quickly made that clear, as both pils malt and noble hops are readily apparent, and they're really done quite well. Brews like this and BP's version are, to me, the epitome of easy-drinking, summer-ish ales that don't get near the credit they should.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A single 12 ounce bottle purchased at Total Wine. It's labeled as a Blonde Ale, however in its description it admits to being styled after the kolsch. Why not "Kolsch-style Ale" instead? They're missing a good opportunity I think. On to the beer:

The beer is light golden colored and topped with a small white head with okay retention and a few strings of lacing. The aroma smells like a fresh kolsch, with hay, fruitiness, and a mineral note. A good start, which only continues into the taste. The taste is a little stronger per style with a brush of fruitness, pleasing hay, whispers of malt, complemented with a light body and gentle carbonation. For a beer lover who has had fresh kolsch in Cologne itself, Saint Archer has hit the target very well. Well worth the purchase, and a better option than Yellowtail Pale Ale among San Diego made kolsch-styled beers.

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Photo of FlyingBull
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer at an Oceanside sports bar and grill. Happy hour price was $4/pint.

This beer came in a standard pint glass; it was filled to the top. Appearance was a crystal clear light yellow. Despite the full pour (...and I'm not complaining!), there was a very light white foam head on top that lasted throughout the drink.

The aroma was a combination of nice light malt coupled with a light fruity hop aroma.

The mouth feel was medium light, with good carbonation.

The taste was very clean, with light malt balanced by a nice light hop bitterness.

Overall, this is one of the best Kolsch beers I've had. It was very drinkable and refreshing. Would definitely have again and recommend. If you have someone that doesn't like craft beer, or is stuck on BMC, this is a great beer to have them try.

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Photo of MarvinSnyder
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 fl. Oz. bottle poured into an Eggenberg glass that sort of doubles as a pilsner/stange glass.

Appearance: Pours a straw yellow with a generous, foamy white head. Nice lacing that quickly dissipates during the tasting.

Smell: Smells of malt, grain, yeast, and freshly mown grass.

Taste: You can taste the malts and grains. Also, grassy hops in the taste with a touch of white wine spritzer. A crisp taste with no true alcoholic character.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation. Boldly refreshing as it rolls over the palate.

Overall: A beer of the month club selection. A very drinkable and refreshing Kolsch beer.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Gold in color with excellent clarity. There's a fingernail of eggshell white on top. I smell light malt,, sourdough bread, and notes of lemon. I taste a gentle dose of bittering hops and a touch of lemon. The mouth is light, crisp, and smooth.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz can, poured into pint glass

A- pours a clear bright yellow-straw color with a massive foamy and rocky white head that retains long after the pour, leaving some nice lacing behind, lots of carbonation bubbles floating to the top

S- lots of grain up front with some grape skin, spicy yeast, straw, biscuit, and a hint of floral hop

T- honey sweetness up front with some spicy German yeast, floral hop mid-palate, big grainy/crackery malty backbone finishes it out with some vinous grape skin flavors on the close

M- medium body with medium prickly carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a dry, crisp finish

O- one of the more flavorful kolsch's that I've had and seems to follow the style, very good session option

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Type: 22-oz. bottle
Glass: Modern Times pint glass
From: My cousin, who got it from BevMo! in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Price: N/A
Purchased: April 20, 2014
Consumed: April 25, 2014
Misc.: N/A

Poured a yellow, golden, mostly clear color with 1-to-2 fingers of white head. Slowly moving bubbles coming up from the bottom. Just a few spots of lacing along the sides of the glass. Below average-to-minimal retention.

Thought pilsner with the initial smell, not a Kölsch like Beer Advocate had it at. Smelled biscuit, bread, corn, hay, honey, cereal, Corn Pops, crackers and some spices.

Tasted pretty close to what I thought it would have after taking a whiff, but not quite as good. Very dry on the tongue. Got corn, bread, biscuit, hay, cereal, German spices, honey, grass and slight apple.

Light body. Thin texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt finish.

A very tasty brew. I would have another once for sure.

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Photo of SensorySupernova
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Slightly hazy gold with a white head, leaving just a little lace.

Smell: Light wheat and yeast.

Taste: Sweet malts up front, with some bitterness to balance kicking in quickly.

Vaguely fruity, like grapes or apples. Ended on a slightly bitter hop note.

Mouthfeel: Medium thickness with plenty of carbonation.

Overall: It may not be big, but it has plenty of subtler flavors mixed in that go very well together.

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Photo of mactrail
3.89/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The brewer calls this a Blonde, with Kölsch in parentheses, but it's actually a well-hopped and nicely balanced Kölsch in the German style. Fizzy and perfumey with a crisp mouthfeel. Some warm malt along with the resiny flavors and plenty of hops.

A little sharp, quite light bodied, with that distinctive perfumey flavor. Quite drinkable with a hoppiness that seems to grow as you sip. Perhaps more hoppy than some examples of the style, but so much better than many American examples. Pleasingly bitter and it's mellowed by something like graham crackers, though not sweet at all. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Bottleworks in San Diego at a price I'd like to see more of: $4.15.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy yellow with a foamy off-white head that fades to nothing. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and grassy aromas. Taste is much the same with grain and grassy flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty, refreshing, and very easy to drink.

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Photo of neurobot01
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Completely inoffensive, and actually slightly interesting. This rating isn't really to style, I guess, because I don't know if I can imagine anything this beer could do to be better.

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Photo of largadeer
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clean crisp and dry kolsch, nicely done for an American brewery. Finishes a touch more astringent than some of the finer German kolsch, but quite drinkable.

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Photo of hopsputin
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a: hazy amber color with some lighter yellow notes along the side of the glass. real nice looking 2-3 finger frothy white head

s: strong grains, pears, sweet citrus. faint pepper and coriander. ends with some sweet malt

t: this follows the nose pretty well. its got a crisp graininess followed by a slight earthy/noble bitterness that is VERY slight. that helps to cut the sweetness that comes from the malts, grains, and some sweet lemon zest. just a hint of coriander on the end.

m: its a medium mouthfeel with enough carbonation to help the sweet grains pop

o: for the style, its solid. its a simpler style, but as i'm drinking it the sun is out and i'm enjoying sipping on it. if you're looking for some mind blowing beer, this isn't it. this is an easy drinking beer that has enough flavor to leave you enjoying each sip

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Photo of SeanPFarley
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was given to me as a gift. Perfect, considering I'd finished a six pack of Firestone's 805 blonde ale.

I lean toward amber lagers, but this was not at all a disappointment. Crisp to the point of biting, fragrant to the point of perfume. Rich for a blonde ale. Sweet but hoppy, edgy but smooth.

Overall I enjoyed this beer. Not sure I'd drink it on a regular basis, but if it were on tap at my favorite pub, I'd give it a go again.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Very light, clear straw. Not much head. Very little lace.

S - Fresh nice straw comes out first. Some bitter present.

T - Like smell, but flavors more complex within the boundaries. Pretty tasty.

M - Light body, good bold malt up front, bittered nicely, balance good.

D - Light beer, good flavors and very sessionable.

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Photo of bdonbdonbdon
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

If you are a fan of traditional Kolsch style beers, this is an amazing representation of the style. An amazing beer for these beautiful San Diego Summer Days!! Smell, taste and overall apperance of the beer was spot on!! Way to go Saint Archer!! Can't wait to try your other styles!!!

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Photo of Jree261
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance-Golden to straw with a light cream foam out of the bottle.

Smell-Straw and yeast.

Taste-Follows the nose.

Mouthfeel-Light body with a medium finish.

Overall-Finish could be longer. I always wanted more than what I got out of both the nose and flavors. Overall just not a very complex beer.

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Photo of TheMarkE
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pale cloudy gold with good head and moderate lacing. A good bit of carbonation.

Smell: Biscuity malts, citrus, corn, grain, spice.

Taste: Biscuit, grain, grass, corn, citrus.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, crisp.

The Verdict: Pretty good. Good taste, goes down smooth… a great session beer.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to aViewFromTheHOP for this one! 12 oz can into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a murky straw color. The lack of clarity is slightly disappointing for the style. The head is a finger high and white in shade. Quick to fade, it doesn't leave significant lacing on the glass. (2.75)

Smell: At first, I only get a light touch of noble hops. As it warms up, though, the fruit esters (lemon and peach) and malt sweetness appear vigorously. This has a nice bread vibe, while cereal grain notes are surprisingly subdued. I really enjoy a good kolsch, and - judging by the nose - this is just that. (3.75)

Taste: The initial flavors are heavy with lemon. After I taste this, it grows bready, and then slightly grassy. Vague suggestions of fruit punch lie in the background. I like it: this is a bit deeper than you would expect, without being ridiculously scattershot. (3.5)

Mouthfeel: This seems a touch bulky for the style. Just a touch. By no means does it traverse the palate sluggishly, though - this is as crisp and dry as the style needs be. Of course, the powerful carbonation also has a say in it. It drinks easily, enough said. (3.5)

Overall: Second can from Saint Archer, and I have to say: I like this better than their IPA. While it's a tad heavy for the style, it's also a bit more interesting than many others. I certainly wouldn't mind downing a few pints of this if I ever visit San Diego. (3.5)

3.52/5: Nothing groundbreaking, just a nice kolsch

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Photo of Davepoolesque
3.51/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pale yellow in color. Clear in appearance. Light, crisp and easy drinking blonde. Nothing offensive about it, but nothing that screams out this is amazing either.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy, straw color with white head. Aroma has bready malt and a bit of honey sweetness. Taste follows with the same notes, clean, slightly malty and just some hops to balance it out. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Body is on the light side, crisp and refreshing. Overall it's a nice, easy drinking session ale.

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Blonde Ale from Saint Archer Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 149 ratings.
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