Surly / First Avenue +1

I got this in a four pack, and I gave one to a close friend of mine. He tried some other beers that I had given him with it, and he had not been all that impressed. But, he sent me a text with a picture of this beer in it and said he was a fan. Now, he tends to be pretty scrupulous with his beer drinking, so I have high expectations for this joint venture between Surly and First Avenue.

Didn't really give me a whole lot of head to work with, but the bubbles cling to the sides pretty well. I'm expecting at least some lacing. The aroma is just about what you'd expect for a blonde, as it has a lemony front-end with grains and a cracker-biscuit malt. The presentation on this beer is pretty darn good. It's exactly what I expect to find in a blonde.

First sip is simple but very good. It's a little watery, but the lemons and grains are mixing together very well with the biscuits, and I could totally see sipping on this beer for quite some time. I'm reminded of the few people that I know who are reticent to try new beers, and I think something as mild as this might be a way to introduce them to more craft beers.

Tip-in is lemons and wheat while carbonation doesn't seem to be doing a whole lot more than just a gentle sizzle. Carbonation turns up for the middle, as it sizzles down the throat, followed by grains, lemons, biscuits, and even a few flowers. The finish is a heightening of citrus - this time led by oranges and a sweetness that pervades the mouth. Then, the grainy bitterness enters for the trail off.

Bottom Line: It's exactly what you might expect for a blonde.

3.75/5

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