I’ll level with you – I was on vacation this past week, and I didn’t want to do anything. The wife and myself have been through a lot of stressful crap in the last two weeks, and we both just decided to crash and veg out and drink beers and get sunburned and swim in the ocean and eat delicious seafood, which we definitely did. Never having been to NC, I wasn’t sure what I would find there, and my esteemed colleague Carney suggested I take some choice brews with me as the pickings down there were, according to him, “A little slim.” However, I underestimated two things: 1) that I would go through 2 pick your own six-packs in three days, and 2) that there are a few local breweries down in NC! On my first trip to the store I began eyeing all the possibilities, and settled on a pick six from there as well. I grabbed a few out-of-town beers that aren’t distributed in OH/KY yet, and a few local breweries. When I settled back down on the beach, I found Foothills Brewing Co.’s Carolina Blonde Cream Ale in my hand.
Now, this is only the third cream ale I’ve ever had in my life, and I would say it falls solidly in the middle of the other two. I’m not really sure on what hallmarks of the style are, so I’ll just tell ya what I tasted. It was a super crisp, light beer. It had a hop flavor that was present at first sip, but definitely not overpowering at all – just a hint, a kiss of it, and then it was gone. It was replaced by a nice dry, corn-flaky flavor that drifted over my palate like the waves crashing on the beach in front of me. The feel of it, however, was very wet. It actually was pretty refreshing, almost thirst quenching. The flavors were more subtle than I’m used to, but it reminded me of the tide coming in with the flavors washing over one another, then receding back into the nether leaving only the memory of the deliciousness on your palate.
This was the perfect beer for the beach – brewed locally, light but still flavorful, easy to drink, and very refreshing on a hot day. My only regret is that I bought just one.