The liquor store can be a frustrating place for me. Given that I brew almost all of my own beer now the few times a year when I find myself pacing the beer cooler is an exercise in frustrated decision making. I want to try something new—a new style of beer or a different brewer—but it seems like the cooler is just filled with derivative beers from a few larger craft brewers.
I went to the section populated by New Belgium Brewery’s offerings hoping to find the newly released Snapshot, an unfiltered wheat beer, or Accumulation, a white IPA. Instead, the only new beer was Spring Blonde:
It’s described as a Belgian-style ale with “drinks malty, sweet and wonderful. And the easy Nugget hopping pedals towards a dry, lightly bitter finish.” Forgetting for a moment the constant use of cycling metaphors in New Belgium descriptions, I found that the beer was really lacking in delivering any of those defining characteristics in a way that might have been considered intentional. Sure, there were elements of maltiness and hoppiness but nothing that anyone would write home about.
According to New Belgium, Spring Blonde is a “seasonal” beer so if you want to try your hand at a six-pack you might want to jump soon because it may disappear from shelves quickly as more summertime seasonals round the bend.
In all honesty, the beer came off like a well-executed version of a pale American lager. Overall, I thought this was a very weak outing from New Belgium.