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Pick Axe Blonde Ale | Keweenaw Brewing Company

57 Reviews
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Pick Axe Blonde AlePick Axe Blonde Ale

Brewed by:
Keweenaw Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The lightest in our family of ales, a true single malt. Refreshing to taste, gorgeous to look at and a great introduction to the extraordinary world of craft-brewed Michigan beers. This light golden ale comes with a distinctive malt flavor and just a kiss of hops.

Added by TastyTaste on 02-16-2005

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Reviews: 57 | Ratings: 142
Photo of TinyRicks
5/5  rDev +51.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is easily in my top 5 favorite beers. This shit is a great blonde ale that hits all the right marks. It's like a little ninja of ass kicking taste bud refreshment. Crack open one of the these babies after a long day and life just feels so right.

 250 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.13/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewery. Smooth, light and mildly sweet. Slick mouth feel, tastes strongly of honey. Light golden with sweet finish. Right on target for a golden ale.

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Photo of thebeerman25
3.29/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 1 | overall: 3.5

appearance-no idea drank from the can

smell-smells like beer. no hops. smells sweet

taste-to me it tastes very similar to budweiser but it doesnt have that bitter aftertaste. quite smooth

feel-smooth and watery

overall-overall i think its good but id rather drink budweiser. its cheaper and it tastes relatively the same. but its a good beer for the people who just cant touch budweiser because they hate ab-inbev or other BMC beers

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Undated can at 42 degrees into a shaker
$ 1.69/12 oz can at the Lager Mill
Aroma so weak as to be unnoticeable
Head average (three cm, aggressive pour), white, frothy, rapidly diminishing to two mm ring and layer
Body light yellow, clear
Flavor starts slightly sweet with a hint of malt; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl – in fact, barely any flavor past slightly sweet water
Palate light, watery, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.75, Aroma 3, Flavor 3, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.25

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Photo of 98green
2.29/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Not a fan. All I get is adjunct.

I don't tend to rate a basic blonde very high in any event, but this one was not good at all in my opinion. I will not be seeking a 2nd one

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Photo of superspak
3.58/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce can into pint glass, canned on 6/16/2014. Pours hazy bright golden straw color with a 1-2 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, biscuit, light honey, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of pale malt, fruity yeast, and light earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, biscuit, light honey, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness. Minimal earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, biscuit, light honey, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Good balance and robustness of pale malt, fruity yeast, and light earthy hop flavors; with slight dryness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and slightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present on the finish as expected of 4.7%. Overall this is a good blonde ale style. All around good robustness and balance of pale malt, fruity yeast, and light earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden color with good clarity and head retention alike. A small amount of yeast sediment is noticed.

Clean malty aroma with a fresh yeasty smell and sweet grains on the back end. Almost like a Belgian but distinctly grainier with a less noticeable hop note.

Taste is clean, with some muted fruit esters from the yeast, coarse grains and small bitterness. Has a Belgian type flavor actually which I wasn't quite expecting. Hops chime in with a noble, herbal element.

Light feel, but well carbonated and clean. Overall, this is a pretty solid little beer for those who like easy drinking camping beers.

 616 characters

Photo of IDPharmProf
2.43/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had on tap at a local bar that specializes in Michigan beers. Taste and smell both fairly musty, very earthy hop flavor, almost like corn. I'd rather have a miller lite.

 171 characters

Photo of Redrover
3.25/5  rDev -1.8%

I was in Iron Mountain and went out to eat at Spud’s Bistro. I was glad to see about a half dozen decent beer choices. The Pick Axe Blonde was from a local craft brewery, so I thought I would give it a try.

Poured from a can to a sham glass, the beer is a light gold with an off white head.

It has light malts and hops on the nose.

This is a mild mannered brew. No off or odd tastes, just slightly sweet malts and crackers with a wisp of pear.

Mouth is about what you would expect for such a light beer. This would be the mildest of crossover beers.

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Photo of Acadia09
3.19/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

One of KBC's better standard beers, but there seems to be something missing in the overall flavor of the beer. Maybe it is the hop content or the malt, but if you would like a decent Blonde Ale this would be a good place to start with a small brewery from Michigan's UP.

 270 characters

Photo of tjsdomer2
4.34/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Golden with decent white lacing and foam. Very little carbonation.

Smell: Strong pineapple, apple, and caramel. Very fresh end an extremely unexpected tropical surprise.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Sour apple and tropical pineapple. Again, very unexpected and excellent. Light crisp body with a slight vinegar aftertaste.

Overall: One of my new favorite light beers.

 370 characters

Photo of SerialTicker
3.32/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

$3.50 can bought at Three Blind Mice in Mt. Clemens, Michigan.

Appearance: Pale/golden sort of yellow color. A two finger head fluffs on top, but doesn't last too long. Not much lacing. Not too bad.

Smell: Grassy hay sorts of smells. I have no shame in admitting I don't know the difference between a pilsner and a blonde ale, other than that they're only slightly different to me. Slight hoppiness. A bit of breadiness as well. A pretty average-at-best smelling blonde ale, but I wasn't expecting any more.

Taste/feel: Like the smell, with a slight hop character with hay, and then a bread characteristic on the finish. The carbonation is medium-high.

A pretty decent beer. A good option to session, and the price is right.

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Photo of Drk93TT
1.42/5  rDev -57.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

Had on draft with high hopes of a blonde brew. Got this. It was bland bland bland. Looks transparent yellow like a bud light. Tastes sort of malty but then meh not so much. Not like me to bash a beer but im dissapointed In this one. Its ok at best wont have it again. I might tap the rockies before drinking another "pick axe" blonde. Meh.

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Photo of jsisko01
3.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Unfortunately, my beer was shaken up so I don't have an accurate reading on the head. But it pours a very cloudy, pale yellow color and the foam looks very soapy. After dissipating it leaves a frothy layer on top of the beer and soapy looking lacing (possibly from the beer exploding lol).

Smell - Very strong citrus and lemon zest aromas. There is a strong funky smell as well, maybe it's the hops?

Taste - The funky bitterness is strong in the flavor as well, up front. Citrus, lemon zest, maybe a little coriander, honey, and floral hops. I honestly can't taste the wheat in here though..

Mouthfeel - Light bodied with high carbonation.

Overall - This beer tastes really great.. but it's VERY acidic. It literally seems like you're drinking citrus straight. I suggest not drinking this if you have acid reflux!

 830 characters

Photo of WastingFreetime
2.5/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes.

A. Semi hazy pale yellow straw colored with a single finger head that doesn't have much retention nor lacing.

S. Light wheat and lemon peel. That's about it. Not very strong in the aroma category.

T. Very mild honeyed wheat flavor....slight citric peel finish. At least it doesn't have any off flavors in my particular can.

M. Light bodied with a smooth texture, but not particularly well carbonated for my tastes.

Kind of a boring beer.

 463 characters

Photo of buschbeer
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can
Served in a pint glass

A - It pours a hazy yellow and is topped with two and half to three inches of white head.

S - I get some honey and floral hops. I also get some grain and biscuit. There's some fruit in there, too.

T - There is a pronounced sweetness (honey). I get a little biscuit and a "kiss" of hops.

M - Thin but not as watery as an adjunct lager.

O - It was better than I thought it would be. I bought it after a Michigan game and had a couple left to review. I was pleasantly surprised.

 514 characters

Photo of weizenbob
3.95/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 ounce can purchased at Tom's in Acme, MI ($6.99/6 pack). Canned July 7, 2011. Poured into a nonic pint glass. The pour yields a finger of white head that quickly disappears. Lacing is nowhere to be found. A little bit of carbonation is seen through the glass. The brew is colored...wait for it...blonde. Duh. It is a pretty clear glass of beer with no apparent sediment and only the faintest haze. Though blonde ale is not most people's idea of an impressive beer style, this is easily the most impressive looking beer in the Keweenaw canned lineup.

Pick Axe Blonde is surprisingly aromatic. Fruity aromas are the scents-du-jour. Apples are noted. There is also a funky smell that I normally associate with dry red wine. Take from that what you will.

The flavor shines. This is surprising given a couple of things; the style's relative meh-factor, and Keweenaw's relative meh-lineup. It is pretty much an all malt-affair with "just a kiss of the hops" as the can's label lifts from my beloved Schlitz. Fruity flavors rule the roost with a lot of apple-like flavor up front. Some melon rind manifests in the middle. If you're paying attention some (very) mild hop bitterness is detectable. It finishes a little grainy with some lingering aftertaste. Easy drinking seems to be the name of the game, but for such a tame beer the taste is surprisingly exceptional.

The mouthfeel is incredible. The can claims that this is the lightest bodied brew in the Keweenaw lineup but I would have to disagree. It is indeed light bodied, but it is also incredibly creamy. Paired with the malty flavor, this blonde is a great experience in the mouth.

Overall, this is a great example of a light, easy drinking yet flavorful brew. The price point on Keweenaw beers has recently dropped dramatically, making this a pretty good value to boot. I dig it, and I really think my light lager drinking buddies would dig it too. At this point it's the only one of Keweenaw's canned efforts that I could wholeheartedly recommend.


The Two-Schlitz Scale: (reference my profile for an explanation)
Even Keweenaw acknowledges the mighty Schlitz, lifting their "Kiss of the Hops" trademark for Pick Axe Blonde. It is indeed a fine comparison and I could easily interchange Pick Axe as an ale substitute for Schlitz. As such, I do give a Schlitz for Pick Axe Blonde.

 2,348 characters

Photo of brdc
2.5/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a can into a pint glass.
It is clear, light yellow, with small fast disappearing whitish head, no lacing.
The can suggests it is light, and indeed it is - aroma is hard to detect, some honey, fruity notes, grass. Very thin, it lacks flavors just as it lacks aroma.
It is not bad, but it is not good either.

 321 characters

Photo of ribby
3.08/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a decent beer for what it is. The color is clear yellow. The head is good sized but fades quickly. The aroma is quite mild. Although the flavor is very mild, it tastes like beer, without the off flavors that characterize many non-craft beers. Within the mild flavor, the malt is more prominent than the hops. This is a competently brewed example of the style.

 367 characters

Photo of rings
2.14/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

It's an American Blonde with a "kiss of the hops" and intended as an introduction brew to the marvelous world of Michigan beer and a nod to the copper mining pioneers of the area. Most likely, the lighter offering was seen as a necessity for their far northern and rural market where macro beer in cans is the traditional beverage of choice.

This is a very basic light ale and, unfortunately, my pour was plagued by DMS, with a thick creamed corn nose that put me off from the initial sniff. A cloudy orange pour, there was a touch of body as it lingered in the glass, but washed down with relative tastelessness.

While it's most likely intended to be rather "blah" and clean, off flavors proved to me again why craft brewers should not try to beat the big boys at their own game--you can't out-Bud Light a Bud Light drinker--but stick to producing flavorful brews that are intentionally NOT Bud Light.

 905 characters

Photo of Lillenk
3.56/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Grill One Eleven.

Appearance was a nice golden color with a nice white head.

Smell was pretty average. Not a whole lot going on. Typical hops smells with maybe a little bit of wheat.

Taste was pretty alright. Typical light blonde style. If you like this type then it is everything that you would ask for.

Mouthfeel was very light and it was extremely easy to drink.

 383 characters

Photo of SickGnar
2.31/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: ridiculously big bone-white head that turns out to leave good lacing. Straw golden - sort of pale and cloudy. Very active rising bubbles. Foam jumps out of the can a bit as soon as it is opened. Huge foam, cloudiness, and fizzy bubbles make me think something could be off. It actually does look nice though.
S: Grainy, faintly malty with a good hint of wheat. Odd yeasty scent - sharp, a tough metallic, and vaguely sour. A smell I am going to call "off," as I can not imagine that this was intended.

T: Same "off" taste through. Possibley slightly soured? Grassy, decently bitter, hops come through in finish and aftertaste. Some light grainy, slightly bread pale malts with the barest hint of sweetness manage to poke through, but are are mostly hid by the sour twang. I am going to say that this was somehow infected at bottling and soured in the can. It may have been sitting a while too. I bought it as a single at a small soup-to-nuts store in the U.P. that had a "do not break apart six packs" sign on the cooler door near a small selection of singles. Hmmm...??? With an eye toward variety, I thought I would clean-up after the scofflaws. Oops. I guess this is what I get for being a cheapskate and good Samaritan.

M: Still manages a medium body, but with well over medium carbonation that is well on its way to being fizzy. Between the sour twang and CO2 (carbonic...) this has a rather hefty bite.

D: A Blond (Ale) ought to be easy. And this is not as pleasant as it probably once was. It is sort of hard to judge a beer where something appears to clear have gone off the rails. The "off" / sour / funk is completely out of place for style. It all but states, "infected," and surely was not intended by the brewer. Still, it is not totally offensive. Seems sort of like a very pale sour beer - almost refreshing - a sort of accidental kellerweisse.

 1,866 characters

Photo of LanceW
3.4/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The local market had these in a varitiy pack and I thought I would give it a try.

I was expecting somthing a bit lighter but was impressed to find the body of the beer to be much thicker. The overall drinkability was pretty good. I would recommend this beer to another beer advocate but i would be less likely to give this to an average joe.

Overall I enjoyed it and would drink it again.

 392 characters

Photo of OakedCanuck
3.13/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into a standard shaker

This beer pours a nice, golden yellow with minor head development. There wasn't really any lacing to stick around and flattened out quickly. It smelled strongly of lemon with some grainy bite, like corn. The taste was tart, almost sour with strong lemon as in the nose. There is a yeasty presence, some sugars, and a weak wheat. The mouthfeel is light with decent carbonation. This beer has good drinkability that is a good summer beer.

 476 characters

Photo of jampics2
3.16/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz can into a snifter. Thanks to Paul for grabbing this at the brewery on a trip to the UP. 

Pickaxe Blonde is a gold straw color with a slightly hazy, bright white head.  After the head settles, a small film and ring remain.  Lace looks good.  Not a bad start.   

The beer smells of grain and slight wheat. A bit of tart lemon from torrified wheat. Not yeasty.  Very inexpressive.  No hops at all.   

As this goes down the hatch, I'm not really digging the slight wheat with sweet finish. It's pleasant enough, but really not defining itself in any aspect of the taste.  Tartness noted in the nose is minimal in the taste.  Not too grainy, more of an American wheat not hoppy at all. Weird beer without personality - I can't get behind this, it's like the least exciting beer I've had in a while.

Crisp carbonation and slightly creamy from the wheat.  It's a light body with a  clean finish, not too dry, mostly sweet.   I guess this is a decent beer, but it certainly could be more expressive in flavor and taste.   

 1,041 characters

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Pick Axe Blonde Ale from Keweenaw Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.
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