Leave it to Kent Falls to completely change my mind about a beer style. Upon my first visit to the prolific CT brewery, I glanced at the taplist and saw a Blonde Ale. Having amassed a strong library of opinions during my short time on Earth, my distaste for Blonde Ales was among them. I remember uttering to my brother something along the lines of, “If I could, I would eradicate the style off the planet.” Now this was a tad near sighted considering my love of beer, thankfully my brother talked me down off the ledge.
Trapped in Habitual Nostalgia was advertised as a Hoppy Blonde Ale brewed with Citra and Centennial. Its bright golden appearance was pleasing as was the pungent aroma of floral citrus. By the time I reached the middle of the glass it was hard for me to revisit my previous wish for complete exile. This wasn’t similar to most of the Blonde Ales I have had previous. The body was smooth and balanced, it was bursting with flavor, the mouthfeel was soft and textured, and a refreshing finale that nudged you into taking another sip. At session-strength (4.5%) some would call it crushable.
KENT FALLS BREWING
TRAPPED IN HABITUAL NOSTALGIA
But as I worked through a four-pack over the course of a few nights I began to realize that maybe the fact that Trapped in Habitual Nostalgia is so hop forward, it almost tricks my palate into thinking I’m drinking an incredibly well-done Session IPA. Blonde Ales came off as pedestrian to me before, this was something so bold for the style I wasn’t sure what to think of it. But style guidelines are exactly that, guidelines, they do not cement a beer in its place nor do they dictate what brewers interpret when they go and put their creative touch on them. For Kent Falls, their rendition of an otherwise stale style sparked my interest and honestly, saved me from mindlessly passing over future Blondes at bars and breweries. It’s a mailable style that can stretch from the classic lawnmower beer or intro to craft to a well-hopped treat like Trapped in Habitual Nostalgia.
Blonde Ales live to see another day in my book thanks to Kent Falls, you’re up next Rye IPAs.