The subject of blonde beers once again cropped up in conversation recently. On this occasion is was about there being too many. And that it was restricting choice of more traditional brews.
The point that was being made, was that they were finding blonde beers all too common, and that you struggle to find certain beers, such as a brown ale, dark ale, porters,stouts etc. They were experiencing many cases of three or four blonde/golden beers and may be just one or two other beers.
I agreed that choice is restricted nowadays for the darker beers, in favour of the blonde/golden ales. However, I argued that I am quite happy with this situation, as blonde beers have more than played their part in the recent increase in popularity of real ale.
In my opinion, you are now seeing more and more young people drinking real ale. The main reason I feel, is that they see a blonde beer being drunk, and want to try it. They are probably in the main, lager drinkers and see that it is similar in colour.
I have spoken to people in the 20-30 age group, and that is the main reason why they have tried it, liked it and started to drink it!
Also, the properties of a blonde beer are proving extremely popular. More drinkers are favouring lighter, more refreshing,varying flavoured beers, and the brewers are responding to that demand. They are producing a wide range of superb ales. And more and more people are drinking it.
So, in conclusion, it is fair to say that the choice of dark ales has been restricted, at the expense of the blondes. However, I feel the present situation in choice, that I find, is only increasing the popularity of real ale.