A blonde, a blonde, I need a blonde. Being a bit particular, not just any blonde, of course, will do.
For some unknown reason, blondes seem to have been lost in the shuffle, even in Britain.
No, I need a delicious blonde with a certain character, a certain aura; a well-balanced blonde who, when held, gives a man a warm feeling inside; a blonde with a lovely appearance and a spectacular body; in short, a knockout, drop-dead natural blonde who would stun me again and again.
What? What about brunettes and redheads? Oh, now I see—no, you misunderstand. No, no. Ahhhh, you’ve got it all wrong there. I’m not talking about those blondes! No, not women! I meant blonde beer! Blonde ale, to be precise.
But I wouldn’t mind having one—just as described, too.
Sometimes the French Get It Right
French speakers use the word “blonde” to describe yellow-colored beer. English speakers use the word “golden.” (To avoid unsavory comparisons, it’s obvious why we don’t call blonde ale “yellow,” except as a derisory term. And “gold” evokes such a teeth-cracking metallic image.)
Unlike the human variety, blonde ales have been ignored or overlooked in favor of the shiny penny and midnight colored beer styles: the various bitters, pale ales, porters and stouts.
Now, if you would please direct your attention to the stage, I shall introduce you to our blonde finalists chosen from the many light-colored ale styles brewed in Britain, Europe, and North America. On the left, ahem, is the British blonde; on the right is the North American blonde; and in the middle is the Belgian blonde.
The British Blonde
For some unknown reason, blondes seem to have been lost in the shuffle, even in Britain. This is a bit perplexing, as an examination of 1,005 British cask ales reveals that 126, or 12.5 percent, are blondes. Several others may be found lurking under the guise of “summer ale.” That is a not insignificant figure, yet blondes are rarely mentioned.
The style was pioneered in 1986 by Somerset Brewery at Wiveliscombe. Since then, the number of craft brewers producing them has exploded. The development of the style may be viewed as a response to the popularity of yellow lager, an effort to regain market share. In blondes, craft brewers have a product that pubs can offer punters as an alternative to lager—same color, more tasty. Too, those seeking to distinguish themselves in the marketplace have an offering that consumers perceive as different from the standard ales most breweries produce: one, two, or three bitters; a porter or stout; and a mild.