What’s an American Blonde Ale?
For fans of the lager or Kölsch, this easy-drinking ale is perfect for relaxing.
Written by Caroline Southern
Image by Kinsley Stocum
You know what was born in the 1980s? The Goonies. You know what else? The American blonde ale. Coincidence? Probably. Similar to the pale ale and the Kölsch in lightness and crispness, the American blonde is smooth, clean, and easy to drink. Because it’s on the lighter side in both body and flavor, American blonde has become one of America’s favorite go-to easy-drinking beer styles.
Ranging anywhere from 3.8 to 7 percent ABV, this brew is usually a pale straw to deep golden color. With medium to high carbonation and a sturdy lasting head, it looks thirst-quenching on a hot summer day. An American blonde ale will sometimes have added fruit or spices, but for the most part, a balance between hops and malt lends the beer a simple light-bodied taste that often has a pale malt sweetness and a bready, biscuity flavor.
American blonde ale is also often referred to as summer ale (for its refreshing drinkability) and golden ale (for its distinctive golden hue). A few well known versions of American blonde ale include Deschutes River Ale, Shipyard Export Ale, and Victory Summer Love.