I came about this beer in probably the most ridiculous way possible. I tend to meander quite a bit in my life, my thought process, and also the way I use the internet. Frequently I will hop on Google intending to look up directions to a destination and find myself two hours later reading in-depth articles discussing the political instability in Nepal. This is the rough path I followed to find a Blast Furnace Blonde Ale in my hand:
- Read a “The Daily What” article about video games being crowd-funded on Kickstarter
- Surf over to Kickstarter
- Discover a band I used to listen to funding their most recent album on Kickstarter
- Search Kickstarter for breweries that might be using Kickstarter for fundraising
- Find Rust Belt Brewing trying to fund a new bottling plant so they can distribute to a bigger market
- Think “I should donate,” but being unable to because of my current financial state…
- Think “I should buy some of their beer and try it!”
- Research types of beer at their website
- Decide I want Old Man Hopper’s IPA
- Research retail locations
- Discover retail location close to my in-laws house in Akron, OH
- Wait four weeks until our next visit to said in-laws
- Head to the store to find my beer!
- Discover they do not carry Old Man Hopper’s…
- Buy the only beer they did carry
- Drive it all the way home with me to drink.
I got around to opening this one up on a sunny, cool April day while watching my Cincinnati Reds lose to whichever team they were playing that day. This beer was a good choice, because let me tell you, the Reds weren’t giving me no satisfaction.
Let me be clear: I would normally never intentionally choose to pick up a blonde ale, or anything else along the lines of a pilsner or weizen – they just remind me too much of the crappy beers I used to drink in college. I chose this one only out of excitement and anticipation of trying a new brewery. This one clocks in at 5.5% ABV and at only $3.25 for a 22 oz bottle, definitely one that is within anyone’s reach to try. As I poured it out into my trusty pint glass, I lost a bit of hope that I would enjoy it – the clear golden color reminded me of the beers I’ve come to loathe. I let the substantial head dissipate and took my first tentative sip, ready for disappointment.
But it never came. I don’t know how to describe this to you, but I’ll try. This beer tastes like opening your mouth and drinking in springtime. The floral flavors in this beer go on a rampage, hitting you with delicious tastes that somehow reminded me of the scent of honeysuckle, hibiscus, and lilac. I was so surprised and taken aback that it took me a good four mouthfuls to believe that I actually really love this beer! And the best thing was, after it began to warm a bit in the spring air, the flowery deliciousness gave way to an incredible buttery flavor, with a subtle sweetness left over from the floral onslaught this beer brings to the table.
At this price and with the wall of flavor it provides, Blast Furnace destroys your senses with deliciousness without hurting your wallet at all. I only wish it was offered at stores closer to where I live, because if I were ever going to a cookout or campfire this summer I would bring three bottles of this and drink myself into an oblivion of springtime. Seriously, if you have a friend traveling through Youngstown, Ohio or eastern Pennsylvania, make sure they get you one or five of these. You won’t be disappointed.