Iowa Beer Review #106: Great River Dirty Blonde

dirty blondeKeeping the theme of Iowa beers this week, we move on down the Mississippi to Davenport, IA to review a brew from Great River Brewing Company ( One of their beers is already a mainstay in my fridge and that is the Redband Coffee Stout which packs a huge coffee punch and is also remarkably smooth, but we are going to focus on one of their newer releases, their Dirty Blonde Chocolate Ale.

When one thinks of chocolatey beers, you go right into stouts and porters, but with this brew, you are getting a lighter beer with subtle hints of chocolate. The six-pack design is poised to sell just from looks alone but if you are a beer drinker who is in to pilsners, blondes, or even mass-produced BMC, this might be a perfect companion to your summer days/nights.

You got a faint hint of bittersweet chocolate on the nose once the can is cracked. The first sip is where you get the chocolate, and if you forgot their would be chocolate in this blonde ale, this first sip might take you aback a bit. After the first chocolate flavor, the subtleness and refreshing qualities of a blonde ale took over. It was easy to put down a six-pack of this and I’m looking forward to grabbing another one of these off the shelves.

Like the Peace Tree Sidekick Kolsch, this isn’t going to be a beer that knocks your socks off like some Imperial IPAs or barrel aged stouts, or anything like that. It’s just an easy drinking, perfect for the summer months, unique blonde ale that anyone can enjoy.


Style: Blonde ale

ABV: ?

Purchased at: Hy-Vee; Marion, IA

Pour: Light yellow pour, drank from the can or pour.

Aroma: Nice smell of chocolate initially.

Flavor: Chocolate flavor right away and then mellows into a nice blonde. rating: 32 rating: 85

Overall: C+

My recommendation: Very enjoyable and unique. If you want something easy drinking this is a great choice.

One thought on “Iowa Beer Review #106: Great River Dirty Blonde

  1. tbrecht says:

    Some of my beer snob friends think this one is too “gimmicky” with it’s fairly chocolatey taste, and the folks at Beer Advocate were less-than-impressed. But in a world awash with IPA after IPA, I concur with your assessment that it’s nice to get an easy drinker that’s a bit different once in awhile, and this one really fits the bill.

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