Style: Blonde Ale
ABV: 4.6
6.5 Stars

I wish I could say I have no idea how I ended up in Panama City Beach one night last week but the truth is …. It was all about the job.  Too bad because some long ago memories of PCB include more than one instance of having no clue how I got there.

What I tried while I was in town was a local brew, Grayton Beer’s 30a Beach Blonde Ale.  My friend Todd suggested I give it a swirl, and then he showed up at the office with a 6-pack and hey, how do you turn down a 6-pack?  That’s easy to answer: you don’t.  So I took it to the hotel and parked one in the fridge and waited for an opportunity to put one of these down.

It really isn’t a bad beer, and considering where it’s brewed and sold it’s perfectly understandable.  It’s sold as a Blonde Ale, but actually lingers on the edge of Lager.  A light lager at that – 4.6% and 13 IBU’s isn’t going to knock your socks off or rock your world but it does satisfy a thirst.  As a thirst quencher it has a nice flavor to it and it’s easily put down.  I can see sitting at a place on the beach and putting these down with chips and salsa or some of those Sesame Tuna Wonton’s you can get at Spinnaker.  This is a good summer ale to wash away the heat of a day at the beach.

As you can see from the pic …. the head starts off strong and is a nice tight, well-formed and froth head that dissipates into something that barely laces the side of the glass.  There is no strong aroma to this beer and that is backed up by no strong, outstanding flavor profile.  It tastes good, just doesn’t really have a flavor that stands out.

As beer’s go it is a lightweight – not even topping the lightweight division, just kind of hanging out in the middle of the crowd with the Corona’s, Blue Moon’s and such and – I almost hate to say it – not really making a name for itself.  In truth it’s just another beer.  I actually kind of raised an eyebrow at calling this a craft brew; it really seems like it’s just one the Grayton Beer folks put to fit into the niche of light ales.

But all in all it’s not a bad beer.  A little flavor, a little lemony, a touch more body than water, and a good one to wash down appetizers.

Not sure I’ll immediately seek out any other Grayton Beer brews but I wouldn’t turn down a chance to try to some more if given the opportunity.

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