Red Brick Blonde was a Gold Medal winner at the 2007 Great American Beer Festival in the Golden or Blonde Ale category. We love a quality, craft-brewed blonde ale—this is a style that is easy to drink, but full of flavor. Expect clean, light grains on the nose, with hints of toasted crackers, and faintly floral flourishes (say that three times fast!). Lightly lemony hops are detectible, blending with the clean barley notes. The beer has just a bit more oomph in the flavor department, with all of the elements described in the bouquet landing somewhere on the palate, but punched up a bit by a subtle pepperiness from the hops and heaps of tasty toastiness. In the early years of our club, in the mid-to-late 90s, we’d have called this “hoppy”, but in the wake of today’s super-hopped double-IPAs, applying that term here would get us some scoffs. But really, for an easy-drinking golden ale, this is quite nicely hopped. And this is no dumb blonde; it’s smart, well built, and very tasty. Simple, tasty beer is difficult to make. The world needs more microbrewed beers like this, for if there were more of this stuff, there’d be less Bud/Miller/Coors and more people acquainted with simple, GOOD beer. Flavorful enough to keep the connoisseurs happy, but easy enough to drink to make it sessionable, this is a great beer for warm weather, and for warming your friends up to drinking better beer. Should come as no surprise that this beer from Hotlanta is refreshing in the sun. Share it with some cheddar and onion-capped Angus burgers from the grill.