Location, Location, Location
A Review of Blonde Bock by Gordon Biersch Brewing Co.
Posted on 2/18/2014 by Chops
Every successful company needs a niche, a hook, something unique that distinguishes them from the pack. In the craft beer world, this can take many forms. Some breweries focus on image. Others focus on quality or innovation. Gordon Biersch has managed to capitalize on something that few breweries even consider: location. Think about it, how many times have you ever enjoyed a Gordon Biersch brew that was NOT inside an airport or shopping mall? They know that these are the times when you need a cold comforting beer the most. Gordon Biersch bar stools have become safety zones for those needing a reprieve from TSA agents and mallrats. I commandeered one of these stools on a recent layover at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport. On tap was their Blonde Bock, a strong 7% ABV lager, perfect for drowning out the dull roar of annoyed travelers.

In the glass, this beer had a clear golden coloration that was a few shades deeper than standard straw. It came with a frothy white head that had decent retention. On the nose, I was greeted by a buttery aroma with hints of honey and grass. That was pretty much it, just a straight forward bock lager that was simple for the style and a tad musky, but still within a recognizable range. Of course, the last thing anyone needs from an airport beer is brain-bending complexity. I sighed in relief and dove right in.

The flavor profile was equally accessible and mirrored the aroma quite well. I found notes of honey and grass resting on top of a buttery bready foundation. Also swirling around were pale grains and a touch of caramel. The hop profile was a very mild floral note which took some hunting to notice. The beer drank decently smooth with a medium body and a well hidden strength. My only big gripe with this beer was on the finish, which had that unpleasant metallic aftertaste that you usually associate with mass-produced beer. Unfortunately, this killed the overall impression for what was otherwise a generally pleasing brew.

Overall, I found the Gordon Biersch Blonde Bock to be a decent beer with good flavor. Nothing to write home about, but certainly a good nerve calmer. That being said, my recommendation of this brew is location-specific. Better versions are easily found in beer stores, but this brew does nicely in the confines of a busy airport where the usual options are grim at best. This is of course where Gordon Biersch shines and I am always happy to see their logo. If you need to unwind after a long day at work, this isn't the beer for you. But if you need to unwind after a long security check point, then the Gordon Biersch Blonde Bock is the light at the end of a very irritating tunnel.

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Blonde Bock by Gordon Biersch Brewing Co.
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