This blonde really does have more fun
A Review of Cass River by Frankenmuth Brewery
Posted on 6/20/2011 by Brew's Your Daddy
Being in the south, and in the middle of June, one can be guaranteed of one thing. Its roasting hot outside. Scratch that. It's blazing hot. Nope, scratch that too. It's so hot outside, that you find yourself constantly sweating in places where sweat shouldn't be allowed. Due to this inevitable fact, and a couple of very nice experiences recently with the lighter side of the beer spectrum, more and more, I am finding myself looking for a great summer brew. And once again, I think I have found a winner. The Frankenmuth Cass River Blonde Ale.

I want to go ahead and state here that for me, there is a difference between a ''summer brew'', as I am referring to in this review, and a ''summer seasonal''. To me, a summer brew is just one that lends itself to summertime/warm weather enjoyment. Summer brews should be light, crisp, refreshing, medium bodied, low to moderate in the alcohol department, but still be packed full of flavors and aromas. This opens the door for all types of beers to fall into this category. Witbiers, blonde ales, PROPERLY done pilsners, saisons, and even IPAs can all be considered. Now on the flip side of what CAN be a good summer brew, there seems to be a trend lately of what SHOULD NOT be considered a good summer brew. A lot of the bigger brewers our there, have decided to simply put a lemon or lime flavor in their pisswater, and all of a sudden, they too are ''summer brew'' creators. Please, if you are one of these breweries, do us all a favor and stop. You have your drones that buy your product blindly time and time again. Be happy with that, and stop attempting to steal away real beer lovers with your rancid bottled garbage juice and ''clever'' marketing.

Now that I have gotten that off my chest, I want to go back to talking about this great blonde ale by Frankenmuth. When poured, it has a nice golden tone that leans slightly on the side of dark. It looks like a glass of rich apple cider, with a nice foamy head that lingers for a few moments before disappearing down to just a fine film on top of the beer. There's a good amount of carbonation in it, and it really does its job by making the bouquet of this beer really pop. There are some nice fruity aromas in there, along with some notes of honey and even a whiff of faint caramel in the background. If you are real careful and look for it, there is even a hint of fresh pepper, and other spice highlights dancing around. For it to be a blonde, it has a nice bit of character in the aroma department, and that is a very pleasant surprise.

The first taste lets you know that you have absolutely picked a summer time winner. The mouthfeel is bordering on perfection, with a surprising body that I was not expecting. There is a bit of weight to it at first, but the carbonation does well in moving it along, and cleaning it up in the process. Some might find it a little to heavy, but if you are more advanced in your beer journey, you will actually appreciate this. There's some sweet fruit flavors at first that would fall somewhere in the neighborhood between apples and pears. Very pleasant and refreshing indeed. Then in the middle and end, you pick up on the malty characteristics that one might associate with a nice brown ale. Light layers of caramel and toffee are easily detected, and even a biscuity presence can be noted. I wasn't expecting this at all, but somehow it works really well. There is little to no aftertaste, and again I attribute that to the good carbonation balance in this beer. It does its job and leaves you wanting more.

I have to say that the Cass River Blonde Ale really surprised me. For the style, it really goes above and beyond what most blonde ales settle for. I think people of all degrees of beer enthusiasm can really enjoy this one. I could see it making for the perfect gateway beer for those who are looking to take the first step into the craft beer realm. It's not overly aggressive anywhere, but full of great flavors and aromas. At the same time, I could also see this one as a great ''by the pool'' or ''on the boat'' beer for the more seasoned drinkers. It has enough character to keep you company, while at the same time it won't need much of your attention to enjoy. All in all this beer has made a spot for itself on my list of winners, and I raise the rest of my glass of the Cass River Blonde Ale and say ''Well done Frankenmuth. Cheers!''

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Cass River by Frankenmuth Brewery
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