Golden Brigade Blonde Ale | Fire Station 5 Brewing Company

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Golden Brigade Blonde AleGolden Brigade Blonde Ale
26 Ratings
Golden Brigade Blonde AleGolden Brigade Blonde Ale

Brewed by:
Fire Station 5 Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Reidrover on 05-22-2004

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 26 |  Reviews: 20
Reviews by sennoma:
Photo of sennoma
3.7/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straightforward and drinkable. Snobs will hate it. Nice balance of malt/bitter, much more hops flavour than hops bitterness; more smooth than crisp, slighty yeasty.

This paragraph is here to make up the ridiculous character limit. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. By the way, admin asshole reading this, I changed as much of my personal details as I could when you *demanded* my location, so as to poison your data. Any more of this fascist bullshit and I'm out.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Thrasher
3.57/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had an interesting conversation today about FireStation5 beers; seems it was started by an ex-employee of Columbia Distributing who then offered his wares to Fred Meyer. They accepted, on the terms that they could then be exclusive sellers of the beer. A somewhat different background than I had imagined; I'd guessed that Fred Meyer had envisioned the brand and contracted Portland/MacTarnahan's to make the brews. Instead, it was an independent beermaker starting his own brand as a labor of love (still contract brewed at Portland/Mac's), who then became locked into an exclusive contract with Freddie's. This also explains why FireStation5 is only found regionally and not at Fred Meyer stores everywhere.

This is to say nothing of the quality of the beer, merely to propose that the label's origins are a bit more legitimate than I'd imagined. The blonde ale is certainly solid, with nothing particularly interesting or grabbing about the beer except that there is nothing bad about it whatsoever. Pours a crystal clear gold with smallish head and lace. Somewhat lemony aroma. Pilsner-esque malts are the main contributor to flavor, and only a light hop crispness (with an echo of lemon) is present. Any ale yeast fruitiness is thankfully absent, which often mars the delicate blonde ale style for me. Only the faintest trace of bubble gum. Indeed this is close to a golden lager, only it's vibrant and ripe, rather than the dull shimmer of a lager. A surprising success, tempered only by the lack of character in the beer-style itself.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.18/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a Fred Meyer store brand that a friend brought over for a party last week. Pours a bright, clear golden color, topped by a flourish of a creamy white head that dissipates to a thin film in less than a minute. Slightly sweet, buttery aroma of light caramel malt and just a hint of hops, along with just a bit of orange. Palate is more light sweet malt, with a hint of honey and lemon zest. Body is actually fairly substantial for a blonde ale, although the carbonation fades after a few minutes. Not bad on a summer evening, but nothing at all special.

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Photo of poisoneddwarf
3.49/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Backlog. 22 oz bottle. Aroma is hoppier than most blondes, also some malt. Pours a nice golden color with a thick head which whittles itself down pretty quickly, leaving a thin but constant head. Flavor is more bitter than expected, and there’s definitely some maltiness here. There’s also a metallic taste I’m not too crazy about. All in all, I’m pleasantly surprised by this beer. I’ve always equated blonde ales with bland ales. This one isn’t too bad.

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Photo of 1whiskey
2.61/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass.
Bright, clear golden color. Head dissapated in seconds.

Smells mildly sweet (banana?, this isn't a hefe), fruit and grain notes.

Taste is about the same as the smell...mild, sweet, and slightly fruity (again with the banana). Undetectable in the nose but noticable (well, barely) on the palate is a little peppery spice. Strange. Beyond that, though, it's just thin sweet grain. In fact, this has a certain cheap lager character to it.

Slick mouthfeel. Drikability? Ehhh.... I wouldn't want more that one.
I wouldn't bother with this one. There are far better options.

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Photo of Reidrover
2.5/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ok another in the line of Fred Meyer beers..might as well give it a go.
in appearance its a nice deep bright golden ..small pure white head, some carbonation visible.
smell is pretty weak and sugary..some hops but barelly there.
though the mouthfeel is not thin the taste is....just a squirt of hoppiness, some sugar..and a dry finish.
Its drinkable enough..just boring, cant even say is badly made..yawn

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Photo of OleKingCole
2.92/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of spiveym
3.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Kind of surprised it wasn't unfiltered. Crystal clear golden color, had a one-finger head that dissipated in about 30 seconds.

Light, sweet smell. Taste is mild and smooth, and rolls over the tongue without any noticeable bite. Very soft. Finishes so clean to can't remember what you just drank.

This is almost like a Fire Station 5 Budweiser (actually not fair, Bud at this serving temperature tastes like cigarettes.) It does seem, however, like they're trying to appeal to a mass audience by producing a beer so neutral it's going to sell. Bad direction to go, but then again I don't run a brewery. That said - they succeed. It's very drinkable. Light and pleasing. It's not the best Blonde I've ever had, but it's tasty nonetheless.

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Photo of Phi_Psi_OR_Beta
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of aussiebeer
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BEERchitect
3.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's pretty easy to get a 'Blonde' ale and make negative assumptions about the brew. This beer may be one of them, but since my previous samplings of Fire Station 5 brews have gone quite well, I feel it deserves a decent shake. The beer tuns out quite well. Opens with a very clean aromas that rises to maltiness rather than graininess. Light esters and hops balance out the delicate aromas very well without dominating. The look is a sparkling straw color with a trace of head retention that remained stable til' the bottom of the glass. Tastes of maltiness rise first, then complemented by light fruits (peaches and pears) before being tempered by light (German?) hops. A sweetness persists well into the finish and only then shows raw grain sweetness and a mild detergent flavor. The feel is light, yet sides on a mild creaminess, right before the hops clean the beer up and push it into the finish. Moderately clean in the end, except for the raw grain sweetness. Certainly a good beer for the hot summer cook out-type foods.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of fosterific
2.55/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured a semi clear golden, with a rapidly fading head. The smell was fairly yeasty with a note of esters. Not sure if that was intended, or not.
The taste was fairly blan followed by a pale bitter ending, starting out soft then ending sharp.
Drinks a lot like a Blatz, a surprising comparison I know! I was expecting more.

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Photo of BeerManDan
2.88/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a pale yellow, with very little foam that dissapated immediatley. The smell of yeasty esters and not much more filled the nose with an not immpressing aroma. This Blonde Ale was just boring with not a lot of flavor. May be good for a summer guzzeler while working in hot weather!

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3/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of clvand0
3.95/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a pale yellow color with a small head that falls fast and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma has a caramel malt with a large dose of honey. Interesting. The flavor is really sweet, with the honey-like flavor taking the forefront. Slightly bitter finish. Body is a little thin, but good. Drinkability is good.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.64/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I found this in the bargain rack at Liquor barn, so I gave it a shot for a buck. Poured chilled into a nonic from a brown 12oz bottle.

A - A crystal clear straw golden w/ 1/2 an inch of suds atop the liquid. The lace looks like seafoam washed up on the inside of the glass. Nice clarity - Beautiful for the mood I am in which is thirsty after running a few miles. This has a quick settling head w/ a very tight bead.

S - Fruity and malty mix gets the saliva flowing w/ sweet aromas- tart apple w/ a touch of honey. Golden delicious comes to mind w/ a bit of hop citrus thrown as a dash of spice. Very attractive, like no other blond I have had the pleasure of sniffing.

M - The feel is creamy, malty and light bodied as expected w/ a gentle wheaty texture. This is not as sweet as you might guess or as dry as most in this style which is why I gave it a 4. The blonde has moderate carbonation which is also better for me since it allows the malt textures to be appreciated. The mouthfeel is fruity in places, but doesn't overdo it and still has gentle spice notes wether from the wheat or hops I'm not completely certain. The ale finishes w/ a moderate malt texture and makes me anticipate the next sip.

T - A fruity hint of wheat and yeast flavor w/ subtle spice. The esters and sweetness are gentle like an unripened pear or mango. Nice woody flavor in the hop dept. A creamy + light toast blend of malt flavors makes the taste follow in the good path as the aroma and texture laid down.

D - I certainly wouldn't drink this repeatedly but for hot weather and quenching qualities this is above average. It is sessionable so I don't see why this couldn't be a regular to serve to guests as an alternative to Big National Lagers. This is definately an ale so the flavor is what makes it above average. No tongue dulling fizziness or seltzer qualities. I think this would be a good gateway beer. It doesn't all have to be uber dark or ultra hoppy to have nice subtle flavor you want to return to and this is proof of that.

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Photo of SickBrew
2.26/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured this from a standard twist-off 12oz BB into a pils glass. The brew poured a hazy gold with almost one finger of white head composed of large bubbles. The head dissipated quickly and left no mentionable lacing. Nose is grainy and rice-like with no discernible malts or hops but some slightly sweet notes did come through.

Taste is rather bland and grainy, slightly sweet and then oh, that metallic aftertaste, blah.

Mouthfeel is light and the carbonation is quite astringent on the palate. Drinkability or lack there of, is absent when presented wit that metallic taste and I actually didn't finish it. That says is all. I've got one more and if that taste isn't there, I'll edit my review accordingly.

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Photo of shelby415
3/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of kmpitz2
4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this beer when I crossed the border into Idaho from Utah. What a nice surprise. The beer pours a light golden yellow, blonde if you will, color wtih a finger of head that falls to cover the beer. the nose is laced with sweet honey-like tones, but without any real hop character as well. The taste on this beer is really good. There is a really clean honey-like sweeness that stays with me through the finish of this drink, and also a very faint, but nice bit of crisp hop on the finish of the beer. The feel is moderate wtih a really good bubble in it to balance things out. Drinkability is also just great. This is just a good beer. I would definately seek it out again if I am back west.

Looking back at the other reviews of this beer, I only hope that what I got was a new batch or a new recipe because I really did enjoy the beer.

Edit. Having another bottle I brought back with me. Its not as good as I remember it, but still not a bad beer at all. 4 across the board.

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Photo of grittybrews
3.65/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a pale gold into a pint glass with minimal white head. Not much aroma beyond a bit of malts and vaguely yeasty sweetness. Moderate carbonation and a smooth mouthfeel with a mild honey and bready malts. Nothing stood out, but it was light and drinkable...nice session brew for summer.

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Photo of katybee
3.76/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Haven't seen this much froth in a little while, and I gave this higher marks for appearance because of it. Full two inches, with some retention and lacing minutes later. Beautiful clear golden yellow and persistent carbonation.

Very light smell if any, even upon warming up.

Good taste; mild hops and slight yeastiness, very little maltiness, yet it seemed well rounded and soft and lightly sweet on the tongue. Very mild; none of the astringence of some hoppier varieties; not citrusy like hefweisen, not bitter like brown ales, not sour like porter....a good all-round beer.

Slightly creamy due to the persistent head, and light-medium bodied, like a chewier PBR with more flavor character.

Nice all around drinkability.

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.1/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance looks a clear golden straw with minimal to no head and no lace. Smell is light of grain and honey. Taste is the same as the nose with just enough hops to balance. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. Overall nothing really stands out on this blonde, it's not bad, just needs a little refining.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Honey gold with multiple bubble streams ascending to a moderately thick slice of eggshell colored foam that has just enough character to get by. It holds up decently well during descent, but doesn't grace the glass with much lace.

The nose features golden grains with a background of musky-grassy hops that probably have German origins. Not exciting in the least, but definitely doable for the style.

Golden Brigade Blonde Ale tastes better than a similar offering from BMC, I'll give it that. Trouble is, that's a shockingly low bar. The bottom line is that this is simple beer that makes no major missteps. Not many minor ones either.

A mixture of pale and very lightly toasted cereal grains holds down the bottom end, while non-citric hops provide countering bitterness and a fair amount of flavor. This is the sort of beer that is best with food, where it doesn't have to carry the load all by its lonesome.

Thankfully, it isn't too light in the body/mouthfeel department. Some creaminess appears as it warms, and the carbonation is more than acceptable, with a light tongue-stinging quality that keeps sensory interest/input on the high side.

In the end, Golden Brigade is slightly better than this... uh... beer marketing company's Fire Hydrant Hefeweisen. Neither one will make you forget the best of style, but then you didn't expect that anyway, did you?

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Photo of nickfl
3.08/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of white foam that settles to a thin film. The body is a light copper color and has good clarity.

S - Clean, malty aroma with just a bit of hops.

T - More clean, bready malt. Some grassy hop flavor and very low bitterness.

M - Moderate body, quite sweet. High carbonation.

D - Easily drinkable, not overly flavorfull. A bit too sweet IMO. Blonde ale, in the American sense at least, is usually pretty mediocre and this is a perfect example of the style.

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Golden Brigade Blonde Ale from Fire Station 5 Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.3 out of 5 with 26 ratings