River Horse Summer Blonde is an “American Blonde” summer beer from the folks at New Jersey’s own River Horse Brewing Company. It weighs in at a relatively low 4% ABV, which is not a bad thing at all when it comes to Summer beers if you’re goal is refreshment and not inebriation!
Quite honestly, I’m not all that well versed in the Blonde ale style. This might be my first actually, and if it isn’t its pretty darn close. I hate when that happens because its tough to review a new beer style!
I don’t have a baseline of other beers to bounce this one off of, so I guess River Horse Summer Blonde becomes my baseline beer!
Doing a little research, I found a nice little blurb describing this beer style over on Beer Advocate. If you’re not inclined to leave this page to read it, I’ll just bring the text to you!
Regarding the “American Blonde Ale”, its…“More or less a creation from the craft-brewery movement, and also reminiscent of the German style Kölsch. Pale straw to deep gold for color. Usually an all malt brew, well attenuated with a lightly malty palate. Most have a subdued fruitiness. Hop character is of the noble variety, or similar, leaving a light to medium bitterness. A balanced beer, light bodied and sometimes lager like.”
Also, this is the first Summer since starting The Brew Club that I’m not doing a ton of Summer seasonal beers! A few, but I’m not going crazy about it this year like in years past. (I’m sure you’ll get over it! LOL!)
With all that out of the way, on to the beer!
It poured a hazy straw color, (dare I say, blonde? Naaaah!) with a bit of a pure white bubbly head. Looks the part for a Summer beer, but looks aren’t enough for this intrepid beer freak!
The smell wasn’t anything special. Slightly sweet, mild hop and malt. Not much to note here unfortunately.
The taste to me was also in the nondescript realm, and aside from the beer being light and crisp with good mouthfeel and decent carbonation to liven it up (I guess we’re talking mouthfeel here, not taste!) I was completely blown away by its plainness and lack of interesting flavors.
In its defense, I’d say that with its low ABV and lack of nads, this neutered ale would be a decent ‘lawnmower beer’ that could hit the spot after toiling outdoors in the heat of Summer. That said, I could easily think of a dozen other beers that would do the same thing while tasting a whole lot better.
So, I think you could do worse than River Horse Summer Blonde, but you could do a whole lot better too.