Mt. Carmel Brewing Company - Hibiscus Blueberry Blonde Ale
- ABV: 5.5%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 21
- Serving Temperature: 42-47° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: Pilsner
- Hops: Cascade
Presenting a lightly hazy golden blonde color, Hibiscus Blue (as it's known for short) offers quite the intriguing aroma profile as it rests in the glass. Blueberry notes are prominent, augmented by supporting floral notes, while a good dose of crackery pils malt underpins it all. On the palate we all found this unusual blonde ale both delicious and refreshing. Like in the aroma, blueberry notes are prominent but not overpowering, and we really enjoyed the interplay between the floral contributions of the Cascade hops and the hibiscus. Look for a sturdy underpinning of bready, crackery pils malt to easily hold everything together and supply a satisfying core. Hibiscus Blue was a pleasant surprise for us; its use of special ingredients is restrained, intriguing, and natural in character, creating a quenching and very tasty blonde ale that rises above both the many other insipid blonde ales on the market, as well as the bloated, overwrought, and gimmicky fruit beers we often encounter. This ale needs little more than a clean glass as an accompaniment, but there are plenty of good food pairings one can try too. We'd definitely steer towards lighter fare, including fresh seafood and salads – including Asian chicken salad with mandarin slices, or a spring mix salad with blueberries and feta cheese. Cheers!
Situated at the western edge of Appalachian Ohio is Mt. Carmel, a Cincinnati neighborhood home to Mt. Carmel Brewing Company. The business was founded by Cincinnati natives Mike & Kathleen Dewey, originally using a tiny two-vessel brewing system down in the storm cellar of their farmhouse home which was built in 1924. The planning for the business began in 2004. Mike was a successful homebrewer, and he and Kathleen recognized that Cincinnati was a bit behind the curve of the craft brewing renaissance. Despite the fact that up until that time no local microbrewery had been very successful, Kathleen ultimately believed in her husband's brewing skill and passion, and convinced him to go pro.
Just one year later, in 2005, the business was underway and the first drops of Mt. Carmel beer were flowing into the local Cincinnati market. Then, in the midst of trying to build the business, their children came, providing the pair with the dual challenge of managing a fledgling business and a growing family. Fast forward to the present day, and their hard work has paid off handsomely. They've long since grown out of their cellar brewery to an 80 barrel brewhouse, and their beers see distribution throughout Ohio and Kentucky. Currently, Mt. Carmel offers five year-round beers, four seasonals, and about a half-dozen limited release beers, including the two tasty brews they've brewed for us this month. For more info about the brewery and their Public House Tap Room, call 513-240-2739 or visit them at mtcarmelbrewingcompany.com.
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