This week’s Canada’s Craft Beer post comes from our Atlantic Canada craft beer guy, Todd Beal. This week Todd explores the age-old question of whether blondes have more fun, checking out two summery blondes (beer, that is) from Garrison Brewing and Nine Locks Brewing.
It's been often said blondes have more fun. I can't settle that assertion in this article, but I can tell you about a couple of summery beers here on the east coast. This month I'm highlighting two blonde ales, one from a brewery that turned 19 this year and the other from a brand new brewery.
The blonde ale, or golden ale, is an approachable and very drinkable beer that has neither a dominating hop nor malt profile. Some have additions of honey, spices or fruit and are generally visually appealing and well carbonated.
Garrison Brewing — Seaport Blonde
Garrison has been crafting beers in Nova Scotia since 1997, with its current home sitting in the Halifax Seaport. This area is also home to the oldest continuously operating farmer's market in North America and to many artists. It's also where 135 cruise ships will tie up this year. Because they love this area, its name adorns this beer.
This ale is a nice bright yellow and is crystal clear. It appears to be lightly carbonated, which produces a thin white head. This blonde's bouquet is very simple and straightforward, giving lots of bread from the malt. The taste is very simple: just the pale malts with no detectable fruitiness or hops. Seaport finishes short, dry and malty.
Seaport Blonde is crisp, clean and approachable and a perfect beer for our somewhat short summer here in Nova Scotia.
The brewer suggests it be paired with fruit, mild cheeses and lighter pub fare.
4.0% ABV | 8 IBUs | Available NS, NL in bottles and NB, MB in growler programs
Nine Locks Brewing — Dirty Blonde
Nine Locks Brewing opened earlier this year and has quickly carved out a loyal following. The name is an homage to the nine original locks that were on the historic Shubenacadie Canal that ran from Halifax Harbour to the Bay of Fundy.
Dirty Blonde is slightly hazy and dull gold in colour with a white head. On the nose there's a bready sweetness and the flavour is much what's expected with a bready maltiness. There's a good amount of carbonation and a dry finish. Another great crushable beer that the brewer recommends to pair with another favorite summer activity, barbequing.
5.0% ABV | 12 IBUs | Available NS
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Todd Beal follows the craft beer scene closely in the Canadian Maritimes and reports on it weekly on his blog, Maritime Beer Report. He’s frequently asked to comment on television, newspapers and magazines as a craft beer expert. He can be heard Friday afternoons on News 95.7 commenting on beer. Visit his blog and follow him on Twitter @MaritimeBeerRpt.