Cisco Brewers - Bailey’s Blonde Ale

Cisco Brewers - Bailey’s Blonde Ale

Beer Club featured in U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club U.S. & International Variety Beer Club

Country:

United States

Alcohol by Volume:

6.58%

Cisco Brewers - Bailey’s Blonde Ale

  • Alcohol by Volume: 6.58%
  • Bottle Size: No
  • Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 31
  • Serving Temperature: 40-45° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
  • Malts: 2-Row, Wheat, Carapils
  • Hops: Centennial, Cascade
Bailey’s Blonde Ale pours a bright golden color with a slightly off-white 2-finger head from an aggressive pour. Look for a haziness due to a fair amount of yeast in the bottle. The nose on this brew is quite aromatic, with pleasant citrusy notes atop a substrate of lightly sweet malts. We found it quite fruity with some pineapple notes and a hint of earthy yeast. On the palate, there’s a lightly sweet, somewhat bready malt character with a very firm hop bitterness hitting upfront and carrying through to the very long finish. Married to the bitterness on the midpalate is a prominent fruity quality with hints of spice. This light- to medium-bodied brew is a hop head’s Blonde Ale, and we like that. The big dose of American hops lends itself well to spicy fare. Try with curried lamb kabobs or a plate of blue and peppery cheeses.
Cisco Brewers was founded when homebrewers Randy & Wendy Hudson crossed paths with Dean & Melissa Long, the founders and owners of Nantucket Vineyard. Wendy had gained experience homebrewing with friends in California, and in 1992 she met Randy after moving back to the island. Intuitively she knew Randy would be a great brewer (as well as her eventual husband) so she bought him a brew kit. As he started brewing, he found that his experience working at a local bakery gave him a certain instinct for working with yeast and grain, so after one batch using malt extract, Randy left the guidebook behind and converted a rarely used pasta roller into a grain mill. He developed new recipes that not only he enjoyed, but impressed Wendy too. It was a match made in beer heaven. Around this time Randy and Wendy met the Longs, who had established Nantucket Vineyard on the western half of the island back in 1981. It was a fortuitous encounter; because the Longs needed help at the winery, and the Hudsons needed a home, Randy and Wendy moved in to a loft above the winery. Eventually, the Hudsons made the decision to start selling beer, and Cisco Brewers was born. Initially, their entire “nano-brewery” as Wendy refers to it, with the exception of the air-conditioned cold storage room, existed almost entirely outside in the Longs’ backyard. In 1996 they met Jay Harman, another aspiring brewer who had wanted to establish a brewery on the island until he discovered the Hudsons had beaten him to it. So Jay joined Cisco to help run the operation, and as evidence of his dedication, he personally capped sixty thousand bottles by hand in his first year alone (the “nano-brewery” was a very labor intensive operation at that time!). Knowing that the brewery needed more room to expand, Dean had a new building constructed to house both the growing brewery and winery operation in 1996. It was also around this time that Dean began sensing the synergy between their current products and high-proof spirits. A few other craft breweries have established successful distilleries in recent years (Dogfish Head and Rogue come to mind), but Dean’s foresight at that time was impressive. After jumping through Massachusetts’ legal hoops for three years, Triple Eight Distillery began producing spirits in 2000. They now produce an excellent line of Vodka, Whiskey, Rum, and Gin.
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