Strike Brewing Company - Blonde
- ABV: 4.5%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 30
- Serving Temperature: 40-45º F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: 2-Row Pale, Wheat, Crystal 15
- Hops: Magnum, Cascade
Pouring a golden-straw color with crisp white foam, Strike’s Blonde ale presents a refreshingly hoppy aroma profile filled with zesty citric and floral notes. On the palate, the beer’s core of pale malt is generous and bolstered by a little wheat to contribute a bit of characteristic tartness, but those citric/floral and somewhat leafy hop notes predominate with a satisfying and very Cascade-like personality. At 30 IBUs this blonde is not one of the insipid and timid versions of the style we encounter so often; instead, it offers a welcome acidic bite that lingers through the finish with a clean Magnum hop bitterness. Blonde/golden ales are designed for simple satisfaction without a lot of bells and whistles, yet, as with a good pilsner, the best versions are greater than the sum of their (few and simple) ingredients. We really enjoyed Strike’s offering, which is such a great beer for summer as it’s refreshing on its own, and will also excel paired with hot dogs, burgers, or pizza, as the beer can complement spicy condiments while cutting easily through fat. Here’s to summer – cheers!
San Jose, and California’s Bay Area in general, isn’t yet known as a brewing haven. Through the efforts of breweries such as Strike Brewing Company, that perception seems destined to change. The idea behind Strike took root back in 2008 when founders Jennifer Lewis and Drew Ehrlich began contemplating the creation of a brewery that would have an emphasis on so-called “session beers” – beer styles which are tasty but not high in alcohol. Their idea was remarkably prescient; though session beers are experiencing a major resurgence now, in 2008 brewers were crafting more and more extreme beers with stratospheric ABVs.
By 2011 the duo’s dream had become reality, as their Blonde, Brown, Porter, and Wit were released to the public under the “Session Series” line. But Strike was not a one-trick pony; they soon followed their Session Series beers with the introduction of bigger beers such as an imperial red ale and an IPA. Initially Jennifer and Drew chose to contract with San Jose’s Hermitage Brewery for the brewing of their recipes, but after raising over $1 million from a variety of investors, Strike built their own brewing facility and taproom in 2014. Though sporting only a 15-barrel system and a likely yearly capacity around 2300 barrels, the facility is large enough to support considerable expansion as the company grows. Their goal is to become the brewery for San Jose, and earlier this year they took a step forward by opening a Strike concession stand within the Oakland Coliseum to satisfy thirsty A’s fans. Strike currently offers a multitude of lower alcohol styles, along with bigger beers including an imperial stout and a double IPA. For more info about the brewery, tours, and their taproom, call 877-855-8620 or visit them at www.strikebrewingco.com.
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