BJ’s Brewhouse Blonde

Before we get to the review this week I would like to get your help with a project.  I want to make a list of Ventura County Venues (concerts, theaters, shopping) and the nearby watering holes. Go ahead and leave a post on  and let everyone know where you went and what kind of beer selection was available.

Also, be sure to check out the official location of Hop Head Said… for other nuggets of beer info updated weekly.

BJ’s Brewhouse Blonde®

Let me start straight off this review by saying that Kolsch is not even close to my beer favorite style.  I will almost always skip over these beers (generally at the top of a beer list) for the bolder tasting ones further down the list and so it was challenging for me to even pick this beer for a review.

I tried to clear my head of my previous prejudices towards this style and sat down with the beer and began my review routine:

  1. my notebook and pen to my right
  2. a clean glass, bottle of beer and opener to the left
  3. pop the top, enjoy the CO2 cloud escaping the bottle and start the pour down the side of the glass  until about half full then straight down the middle to raise the head.

It had a wonderful pour and a thick white head that did not die down releasing subtle hop aromas throughout the beer.  There is a slight hop bite making it a crisp drinkable beer and pushed the bitterness scale to the right.  Even though the IBU’s are quite low in beer the hop bitterness stands out more because there isn’t a lot of malt in this beer to balance them.

This beer is just outside of the IBU guidelines of a Kolsch.  It is much closer to its name (Brewhouse Blonde) which is 15-28.  In addition to the base grain, the grain bill included wheat malt and Vienna. Wheat malt can be added to increase head retention and add a light straw color.  Vienna malt is used to add a little extra body and add a little extra malt flavor.

If you are familiar with Kolsch or if it is one of your favorite styles this beer may be a bit disappointing.  It is much closer to the blonde ale style guidelines as its name implies rather than a Kolsch which is how BJ’s categorizes this beer.  If you are a bumiloors (Bud/Miller/Coors) drinker then this is a great “gateway beer” (a beer that seduces you to try other craft beers) for you.  Before you know it you will be skipping the top of the list just like me!

  1. Did you go to the Beer Festival? Have you been to Anacapa Brewery? We should go out and blog together one night–I write Date Night; it wouldn’t be a date, but a pretty awesome experience for me to learn about beer *wink *wink!

      • Curtis
      • October 6th, 2010

      Mari, I have been to Anacapa Brewing Co. and I am looking forward to getting there again to update my tasting notes. I especially want to try their rye pale ale and Oktoberfest. I seem to be a day late with the festivals recently. I will read about them in the paper and think to myself “Now that would have been fun”. So I hope that since I am writing here I will get a little more notice for any upcoming events. If you hear of any events let me know.

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