This past April welcomed another year of Curveball Blonde Ale as a way to ring in the new season of Mariner's baseball. True, its no longer the iconic Kolsch than many of us remember, but that shouldn't stop you from lifting a glass to salute your favorite player. Recently the folks of Pyramid sent us a little care package, featuring a couple of these golden beauties.
To the uninitiated Curveball is an American-style Blonde Ale. Brewed much in the same traditions that many home brewers are familiar with, Curveball first had it roots as a German-style Kolsch. But for whatever reason, the brewery elected to transition from a lager to a ale and thus Curveball Blonde Ale was born. History lesson over with it's time to revisit a beer that we commonly consume at the beer garden across the street from Safeco Field.
Suggested Guidelines from the Brewers Association
Golden or Blonde ales are straw to golden blonde in color. They have a crisp, dry palate, light to medium body, and light malt sweetness. Low to medium hop aroma may be present but does not dominate. Bitterness is low to medium. Fruity esters may be perceived but do not predominate. Diacetyl should not be perceived. Chill haze should be absent
The deceptively drinkable golden summer seasonal is a crisp, clean-tasting, cold lagered ale. Exemplifying the blonde ale style, Curve Ball pours a beautiful bright golden hue and offers the balanced, refreshing taste perfect for accompanying summer adventures. Curve Ball delivers a clean, refined malt body, ideal for pairing with timeless summertime treats and BBQ traditions. Accentuated with subtle herbal and spicy characteristics, thanks to Vanguard and Perle hops, this seasonal offering finishes dry and crisp.
“Curve Ball is a classic representation of a quality craft beer embodying the season in which it’s poured,” said Mike Brown, Commissioner of Inspiration and Aspiration for Pyramid Breweries. “From the first sip of the season, all the way into summer’s prime - this deceptively delicious beer delivers on full-flavor while providing the perfect companion to all warm weather festivities.”
Pouring out of the 12 ounce bottle Curveball Blond Ale pours golden and clear with a strong cap of eggshell-colored frothy head. Quickly the head recedes though, leaving only a bog of lace on the surface before we take our first sniff.
As we take in the aroma we notice the very dominant aromas of apricot and honey. Still analyzing we take our first sip.
Greeted by citrus bitterness along with lightly toasted malt, and a bit of wheat; Curveball finishes slightly dry with elements of honey and mild fruit. Overall this beer provides a more energetic almost livelier version of a Blonde Ale that we grew up.
You Should Consider It. Beers like this are often the staple equivalent of a light lager when one is looking for something other than a domestic. However in the case of this beer we can say that it seemed a bit hoppier than were anticipating. If you do find yourself at the grocery store or at a seafood house we would suggest you try this with some shrimp, oysters, or maybe some white fish. If on the other hand your feeling a bit more 'german' then grab a brat and some 'kraut and enjoy.
Curveball Blonde Ale is available between April and July so you best get a move on.
Thoughts by your Colleagues
About the photos’ author
Paul “Fruit Trees” Orchard, is an amateur craft beer enthusiast and amateur photographer. Throughout the many years in craft beer he is always carrying a camera (smartphone, digital, traditional) and is invites you to see that beer can also be exciting even if you can’t drink the photo.
In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the aforementioned company has provided me a free sample that was used for research prior to writing this review.