Bear Wallow Blonde

Bear Wallow Pond is nearby my families cabin in Sullivan County, Pa. We go there a lot to fish, hike and just generally relax when we’re at the cabin. I brewed Bear Wallow Blonde as a nice, mellow beer for the cabin long before I built up the courage to try making a lager.

In the Summer of 2012, I had Summer Swill for weekends at home when I wanted something stronger and Bear Wallow Blonde for longer sessions at the cabin (although at 4.7% ABV, it’s slightly out of session beer range). It was my first time using honey malt, which I already wrote about in my post about Braggart Braggot. While the combination of the honey malt and extracts may have pushed this out of the appropriate color range for a blonde ale, it made it extra delicious.

I used Tettnang hops for bitterness. Although they are very low Alpha Acid, they worked for the minimal bitterness required in this beer. Small additions of Willamette hops at thirty and five minutes from the end of the boil added some subtle spicy, earthy flavors. Tettnang and Willamette are actually very similar and either one could have been used for the full hop load of this beer. It’s hard to decipher what my thoughts were on some of these recipes as I didn’t know a whole lot about some of these ingredients and went solely on descriptions from web sites. Whatever the idea was, it worked out.


IMG_20120617_103820Although fermentation finished drier than I planned on, I remember this beer being slightly sweet from the honey malt. Crisp and dry with some perceived body and sweetness and just enough spicy hop character to balance. Unfortunately, this beer is long gone (not that it would have probably held up well). I have thought about reworking it several times, but its spot in the lineup has been taken over by the Elklan Lager series. Maybe it will make a return someday, and until then, you can try it if you’re looking for a nice Summer thirst quencher with a little bit more depth.


Bear Wallow Blonde
Style: 6B. Blonde Ale
Brew Date: May 2012
Serve Date: June 2012
ABV: 4.7
IBUs: 18

1 lb Honey Malt
7 lb Light LME
1 lb Light DME

1 oz Tettnang @ 60 min
.5 oz Willamette @30 min
.5 oz Willamette @ 5 min

US-05 American Ale Yeast


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