Carolina Blonde Cream Ale

Review by Eric Tansey, CSW, Sommelier                                                                                                  Carolina Blonde Cream Ale is hazy yellow in color, opaque, with a white, one-finger head. On the nose I get ripe pineapple and subtle green melon. The Carolina Blonde is not a very aromatic beer and the taste of the brew replicates the smell.

On the palate the Carolina Blonde is bone dry with very little fruit to mention. Traces of white pepper, with lots of that white bread yeast going on. Full blown Wonder Bread in a glass. Tight bubbles that make the beer refreshing and very much like sparkling water with the addition of yeast. It is crazy how little fruit is in this beer. This would be a great food pairing beer. Try chicken and rice or maybe even a classic grilled cheese. Come up with a pairing and send us a picture and we will throw you some goodies. Cheers!

Tansey’s Blind Rating – 85 points

Beer Advocate – 76 Points

The Breal Down


Beer Selection – Carolina Blonde Cream Ale  

Producer – Foot Hills Brewing 

Style – Golden Ale 

Region – Winston Salem, North Carolina, USA

Yeast – Belgian 

Malts – Two row barley and wheat

Hops – German Noble Hops

IBUs – 15

Alcohol – 4.3%

Food Pairing – Grilled cheese, chicken and rice, fish and chips. Try this recipe

What is a Blonde Ale? 

Blonde ales are super approachable beers. They do not often offer worlds of fruity flavors but they do offer loads of refreshment with a tad more body than, say, a lager or a pilsner. These beers are really an American creation spawned by the craft beer movement. They deliver a satisfying, thirst-quenching, dry session-like quality that is different than what we are used to. Lightly hopped, using noble hop varieties that are more neutral and dry than bitter and acidic. These beers are malt heavy and yeast is always conducting this train of refreshment. Enjoy these neutral style beers with a variety of foods and if you have a friend that is just getting on the craft beer train, this style of beer is a great beginner’s brew!

What is a Cream Ale?

Cream ale is an American original. Generally speaking, cream ales are brewed as ale but then lagered after the primary fermentation. This method of cold conditioning ales gives the beer a very clean and neutral flavor. Done right, these beers exemplify the concept of yin and yang–like chocolate covered pretzels.

Despite the name, cream ales are not made with any dairy and there is not really anything creamy about them. Cream ale is just a nickname that stuck in the early 20’s. Cream ales are typically brewed using malts and adjuncts such as corn or flaked barley. This makes the beer less fruity and lighter, in turn making the lager yeast the main taste constituent. So to some it all up, these beers are essentially part lager, part ale.