Beer of the Weekend #597: South Side Citra Blonde

The beer tonight was supposed to be the beer of the weekend this last weekend: South Side Citra Blonde, brewed by the Confluence Brewing Company of Des Moines, Iowa.

However, I did not return from our reunion until late on both Friday and Saturday nights, so the bottle languished in my fridge. Until tonight.

Serving type: 32-ounce mini-growler. There is no freshness date, but there is a cryptic code printed on the cap.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, deep straw into a pint glass. A finger of buttery, eggshell-colored head develops and settles slowly, leaving a thin, bubbly cap and a thick ring around the edge. A lot of carbonation rises from the bottom.

Smell: The Citra influence is noticeable with a light note of citrus rind, mostly reminiscent of lemon. There is also a little bit of orange, too. Yeast, pale malts, and a little wheat are also noticeable, and floral hops provide a solid does of aromatic astringency that makes the nose hairs tingle. (To be honest, it kind of smells like sweaty armpits.)

Taste: The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, just as if it were served from a tap. (The bottle was filled from the tap, so I suppose it was originally.) The floral hops stand out most, providing a nice dose of floral flavoring and bitterness. The citrus is light and mostly lemony; the flavor lingers on the taste buds after each sip. After a few sips, pale malts, wheat, and a hint of yeast become prominent.

Drinkability: According to the beer’s webpage, it is Confluence’s response to “summer blonde ales that were light and ‘drinkable’ but boring.” Though it is not as boring as many other summer ales, it is still a summer ale. Frankly, I am just not a big fan of the style. This is, though, a much tastier version. And relatively local for me, too.

Fun facts about SSCB:

-Style: Summer blonde ale.

-Price: $9.99/bottle at the New Pioneer Food Co-op in Iowa City.

-Alcohol content: 6.3 percent ABV.

-IBUs: 22.

-According to the beer’s webpage, South Side Citra Blonde is named in honor of the south side of Des Moines. Gotta love the local pride. “When the weather warms up the party is always on the south side,” the page says. I have heard that before. A fellow student in one of my college writing classes was from the south side of Des Moines and he told me the south side is where all the best parties are. I vaguely remember him saying people had bigger backyards, or there was a lot more open space, on the south side of Des Moines. Party on, Wayne!

The Quiet Man’s grade: B-.

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