Bravus Blonde Ale
Bravus Blonde Ale
Blonde Ale / Bravus NA / <0.5%
With a hint of banana on the nose and a subtle malt sweetness our new Blonde Ale is one delicious beer! Super light and refreshing.
When it comes to the world of non-alcoholic beer, things have come a long way from the light domestic offerings of decades past. Still, the available styles of NA brews are often limited. An IPA here. An Amber there. Bravus is one brand that has been making a name for themselves as being willing to branch out and try new things. They offer a wide variety of beers sans alcohol, from a Coconut Porter to a Raspberry Gose. But I have concluded that I should start out a little simpler before diving into those delicious-sounding extremes. Today I will be sampling their Blonde Ale and letting you know if it stands out in this expanding world of NA beer.
Bravus is based out of Anaheim, California and has been around since 2015, giving them plenty of time to nail down the basics and move on to bigger things. They claim to be the first brewery in the country dedicated entirely to the creation of non-alcoholic craft beer, but I have seen a handful of beer makers that make that same claim, so I don’t put too much value in it. Their motto is “Any time, is a good time, for a Bravus,” which reflects not only their array of different offerings but also the inherent fact that NA beer can be enjoyed without worry in any possible setting. If you’re looking for something to try in a setting where alcohol is inappropriate for whatever reason, read this Bravus Blonde Ale review and find out if it suits your needs.
Bravus Blonde Ale Review
I feel like I should start by saying that I do have a little bit of experience with Bravus beer, having tried their Amber a while back. I found that offering to be quite tasty and a reasonable facsimile of a traditional brew, so my standards for this review will probably be heightened a little bit.
Bravus distinguishes between their varieties by making the cans distinctly different colors. The can for the Blonde Ale is a powder blue. They are also participating in the current trend with craft beer to not print the label directly on the can but instead use a glossy label that is then wrapped on the can. This is a bit of a pet peeve of mine, as I feel that it affects the temperature regulation of the beer, but that’s another conversation for another day.
There isn’t much else to the packaging. Bravus is one of the rare NA beer companies that I don’t really see leaning into health consciousness in any other way. There are no other benefits listed on the can and really nothing else present at all, besides a little marketing blurb. Their website tells us that a can contains 92 calories, which is somewhat low but not compared to some other non-alcoholic beers.
Blonde is a rightful classification, as this beer poured into a pint glass is exactly that color, lighter than golden. There is a generous head on the pour that takes a while to completely dissipate. The liquid is rather opaque for something so light in color. But when trying to answer the question, “Is Bravus Blonde Ale good?” none of these factors matter as much as the aromas and flavors within.
Is Bravus Blonde Ale Good?
The first thing that I notice on the nose of this beer is a bit surprising. There is a strong malty sweetness coming through that isn’t exactly expected when it comes to a Blonde Ale, or anything that you are anticipating to be on the lighter side.
The predominant flavor that I can pick out on the aromas is banana, and while it isn’t all that strong it’s quite pleasant and rich in character. There aren’t many other explicit notes that are hitting me very hard, so it might be time to dive in for the first sip.
That banana quality that was hitting me hard in the nose is subdued to near nonexistence on the tongue. This is a bit disappointing because nothing else really steps up to take over the profile either. That malty sweetness is present, but it is also toned down compared to how it hit the nose. I’m happy that it isn’t overly sweet. I just wish that another flavor element showed up to impress me.
Instead there is a bit of a watery character. The body of this beer is extremely light, but it still tastes enough like a traditional alcoholic beer so as not to be entirely useless. Blonde Ales aren’t typically the most complex when it comes to flavor profile. In my opinion, the best ones are both drinkable and refreshing. This version hits both of those marks despite the lack of distinct flavor elements. The mouth feel is nice and soft, with just a pleasant bit of malt lingering on the finish.
There are plenty of good characteristics to this NA beer offering and also some areas where it could stand to improve. You’ll have to finish reading to find out exactly what that means for my final Bravus Blonde Ale rating.
Bravus Blonde Ale Rating
If the point of an NA craft beer is to closely mimic the quality of an alcoholic brew of the same variety, then I don’t think this one falls too short. To me, Blondes aren’t the most exciting variety of beer to begin with, and this one is definitely solid enough to sip casually on a summer day and not even notice that you’re drinking something without alcohol in it. That said, there isn’t much that sticks out, and there’s nothing to put it over the top into truly delicious territory. They have a strong base here that they might be able to build upon by experimenting with some additional ingredients or flavors.
I am going to wrap up this Bravus Blonde Ale review by awarding it 3 out of 5 stars. I was neither terribly impressed or disappointed by this tasting experience. If you decide to give it a try, I can’t imagine it will offend your senses. But I’m more excited to see what else Bravus has to offer.