Beer Review: Track 7 Bee Line Blonde Ale
We live in an era where breweries are only as good as their India Pale Ales (IPAs) and Imperial Stouts. It’s hard not to get caught up in the craze surrounding these two styles. I, too, feel like I have to force myself to try beers in varying styles, making deals with myself like, “You can have an IPA after you have a beer of a different style.” The funny thing is that even though it feels like a chore just to order a non-IPA, I usually drink it with no major issues. Recently, I got my hands on Track 7’s Bee Line Blonde Ale and I didn’t just think it was a fine beer, but an excellent beer.
There were no surprises in the appearance as it could have been mistaken for honey in the glass. Seeing a golden beer with a pillowy white head is always a welcomed sight. The head dissipated rather quickly, but left rings of lacing down the glass. For a blonde ale brewed with honey, it’s appearance was spot on. 5/5
On the nose it is very reminiscent of some classic German pilsners and some adjunct lagers. You get a head of grain and wheat, but then on the back end you notice some sweet honey that rounds the profile out. 4/5
As expected, this is definitely a thinner beer, but it doesn’t diminish the beer at all. The honey definitely gives the body a little weight, but it was still light and crisp with decent carbonation making it seem spritzy at times, dancing around the mouth. This made me think of bees buzzing around! Maybe I wouldn’t have thought that way if the beer were named something else, but it definitely impacted my perception. 4/5
The honey is definitely more noticeable on the palate than the nose, which I’ve found to be the case with many beers brewed with honey. There is a subtle hop bite on the back end — very reminiscent of German pilsners — that contrasts the sweet honey in the best way possible. There is a grainy aspect to the taste as well and reminds me of some adjunct lagers, but thankfully the honey and hop bill combat it and leave you with a lighter low ABV beer with plenty of flavor and character. 4.25/5
Honestly, this is my favorite blond ale to date. There is a depth to this Sacramento brewed beer that is often missing in the style. It’s the perfect summer beer as it is light and refreshing, while delivering loads of flavor. It won’t wear you down and sit heavy on you like some other varieties do. Overall, I’d have to give this beer a final ranking of 4.33/5. Highly recommended.
I’m glad I got to drink a beer out of my wheelhouse, because this beer makes me want to explore the options outside of stouts and IPAs that rule the beer world and see what else more seemingly simple types can offer. If you are able to pick this beer up, I would. This is certainly a beer that people in the craft game can appreciate, but it could also be an excellent gateway beer for your macro-drinking friends. If they can’t appreciate it, who cares? That just leaves more good beer for you.
ABV: 5.25%; IBUs: 31; Original Gravity: 1.050; Hops: Fuggle, Magnum, Tettnang
Ryan Moyer is a graduate of Indiana University.