He sat back, fixated on that lean, bronze body – a little lighter than bronze, actually. His mind whirled, sucking in every detail of this glamorous sex object, beaded up with sweat and wrapped in a fluffy white swirl of the finest gossamer lace. Women wanted to be her, while men wanted to be with her. Gutsy, flirtatious and quenching. Crisp in the mouth, with a streak of danger that announced her rebellious and satiating nature, reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe, the classic bombshell blonde.This girl is no Big Easy Blonde out of Hyde Park; nor is she a Busty Blonde from Binche, Belgium, passé and retired. She is known simply as Best Blonde Ale. She breathes full and bright with German liveliness, biting with earthiness and a hint of green grape. Crafted by Ryan Richards and Jesse Rotz of Roy Pitz Brewing Company in Chambersburg PA, this lady whispers the elegance of Kölsch from Cologne, standing tall with the essence of cracker-like maltiness, Noble hops, and a cool fermentation that gives her a clean profile.
Bombshell blondes are like that – attractive, yet a bit intimidating. In your mind, you tremble at the thought of drinking them in with reckless abandon. Loosen up with a touch of blonde reality, recalling the Washington Post narrative of Jessica Simpson in D.C. Upon meeting Interior Secretary Gale Norton, she remarked: “You’ve done a nice job decorating the White House,”only to be outdone some time later by Tara Reid gushing, “I make Jessica Simpson look like a rock scientist.”
Airheads or Bubbly Wit?
Maybe they are airheads, or perhaps their Bubbly Wit is revealing a curve or two. Dock Street Brewery in Philadelphia comes loaded with its own Bubbly Wit Belgian style witbier, veiled in golden haze and fermented with champagne yeast that raises the numbers to a firm 8% ABV. As if that isn’t enough, Summer Session continues the spice of a fair-headed wheat princess, drenched in lemongrass and ginger, while satisfying an urban thirst as the night heats up.
Blondes get tired of the constant hits against their intelligence and, on occasion, strike back. One of my honey-haired friends, tanned and foxy, was seated next to a braggadocios attorney on her way to L.A. He insisted she play a game with him – each would ask a question. If she missed his question, she’d pay him five bucks – if he missed hers, he’d pay her a Ben Franklin greenback, a crisp $100 piece of currency. He started out with, “What’s the distance between the earth and the sun?” Without answering, she handed him a five. She fired back, “What goes up a hill with three arms, and comes back down with three legs?” Perplexed, he looked through his law books, consulted with his friends, and checked his laptop.
Finally, he handed her a hundred dollar bill and she quietly stuffed it into her flowered bandeau. After steaming for a full five minutes, he broke the silence with, “What’s the answer to your question?” At that, she handed him five dollars. Sweet revenge.
Fava Revenge, designed by Mike Fava at Nodding Head Brewery & Restaurant in Philadelphia, slips in as a misty-bronze beauty with her creamy coat and broad 6.25% ABV. “Catch her in the rye,” J.D. Salinger urged, although I’m not sure he was writing about blondes, much less this full-flavored India Pale Ale crafted with rye malt. Lingering upon a bed of pine needles with orangey grapefruit and earthy wood, she overpowers
you as her effervescent liveliness tap-dances across your tongue, like summer love.Victory Brewing of Downingtown, PA released Summer Love American Blonde Ale in mid-May. Clear as an island lagoon, grainy, and fresh as lemon zest with a dry, Helles-like character, she registers on the softer side of the blonde color-wheel, shedding Willie Penn’s “With Love Philadelphia” label and updating to retro, 1950’s-style graphics for 2011.
On the bolder side, Headwaters Pale Ale rolled-out for Victory’s 15th Anniversary, one of the well-heeled ladies in the Pursuit of Pale Ale Series – and made such an impression that she ascended to the throne as a Flagship Beer. With “major Citra, major Cascade, and major Centennial” layers, this buxom bombshell “has taken the world by storm,” says Tracy Mulligan, brewery host at Victory Brewing. Using water sourced from the East Branch headwaters of the Brandywine Creek, Victory’s crystalline mouthfeel is no accident in this malty gem, balanced with flavors of turf, florals and citrus.
May I nominate blonde bombshell Alicia Silverstone as an up-and-coming star in the world of beer reviews? Her comment about the movie Clueless, reported online by News Group Newspapers Ltd., might be interpreted as a bulls-eye review of one of America’s highly-advertised, light macro-lagers: “I think that the film was very deep. I think it was deep in the way that it was very light. I think lightness has to come from a very deep place if it’s true lightness.”
Which awakens one of my favorite Beer Hunter anecdotes: In his last appearance on Conan O’Brien, Michael Jackson was sitting adjacent to a lovely blonde starlet as he showed off a half-dozen beers. She didn’t like beer, she said. He countered with, “Perhaps you just haven’t yet tasted the right beer. What have you tried?” She shot back with, “I tried them all.” He thought it strange that a person who didn’t like beer could have tried thousands of beers.
With so many glamorous selections, you dare not miss any of these flaxen-tressed beauties. Triumph Brewing of New Hope, Philadelphia and Princeton brags the lustrous Honey Blonde, touched with honey as wild as the blossoms of Bowman’s Hill. River Horse Summer Blonde conjures up images of Lady Godiva on her Lambertville steed, while Ramstein Double Platinum Blonde from High Point Brewing in Butler, NJ titillates your senses with the ethereal fruits of banana and tangerine, apples, spice and bubblegum, a bounty of abundant juiciness. Dipping down from Quebec, Ostalgia Blonde from Hopfenstark is Belgian-style in body, her peachy sunlit form capped with a vanilla mousse head. Aromas are resplendent with tropical orange, grapefruit, pineapple, mango and bread, with a touch of mountain freshness but a hop attitude that is clearly American.
Thomas Hooker Blonde of Bloomfield, CT may demand equal pay with her buttery softness, golden-straw trunk, and lacy cream that arises with each passing gulp. She isn’t too sweet and comes backed with firm biscuit maltiness and bright floral overtones. Blondes and brunettes do well together and who better to showcase such talent than brunette “Beer Lass” Suzy Woods, President of the Women’s IPA Club of Philadelphia? In collaboration with Chris LaPierre of Iron Hill Maple Shade, she has designed a zesty Belgian farmhouse ale, infused with green and pink peppercorns. Named Saizanne, this bright golden Saison is unfiltered, with aromas of pear, melon, loam, hay and spice. What better way to celebrate a four-year romance than with this favorite summer style and a bit of peppered heat?
ES2, the Crowning Glory
The crown of gold for the Philly season however, is the statuesque Brotherly Suds 2, a collaboration beer, elegantly sculpted by five regional brewers, resulting in the perfect blonde for Philly Beer Week 2011. Dubbed affectionately as ES2, this lager life-force was created with layer-upon-layer of subtle character. Coordinated by Brett Kintzer of Stoudt’s Brewing of Adamstown PA, ES2 uses Philly’s own yeast from the now defunct Christian Schmidt & Sons Brewery of Philadelphia. Award-winning brewers, Tom Kehoe of Yards Brewing and Gordon Grubb of Nodding Head Brewery & Restaurant, both Philly’s own, developed the hop framework using Hallertauer as a base, meshed with a potpourri of American and German varietals. John Troegner of Tröegs Brewing in Harrisburg and Bill Covaleski of Victory, built upon this hop silhouette with traditional, floor-malted Pils malt, integrated with a complex stratum of Munich malts. Stoudt’s provided the equipment, with Kintzer monitoring every step to produce this pièce-de-résistance. They have created a voluptuous goddess, rich in history, with Noble aroma rather than common bitterness, a firm bready foundation, and a crisp, clean snap that announces her as the most accessible blonde bombshell in Philadelphia.