Sometimes area codes are more than just a number. Occasionally, they also symbolize a connection to a place and its culture. To pay tribute to the central coast’s laidback lifestyle, Firestone Walker created 805, an American-style blonde ale. Coming in at a sessionable 4.7% ABV, it’s a subtly malty beer with a touch of hops that finishes clean.
Keeping it no frills, Firestone communicates the 805 experience through its black-and-white can design. Even the pull tab is black. 805 pours a bright golden hue with brilliant clarity, and its pillowy off-white foam persists even after a few sips.
While it’s an ale, it drinks more like a lager and reminds me a lot of some of the great pilsners I’ve had in the past.”
Much like the branding, the nose on this beer is straightforward yet pleasant. Sweet notes of bready malt blend together nicely with the balm of herbal hops. As I lingered longer, I could also pick up the slightest whiff of fruit.
This beer tastes like it smells, with a soft malt sweetness coming through on the first sip. A moderate earthy hop bitterness follows with hints of corn flakes, bread and biscuit flavors. Medium-to-light in body, 805 finishes clean with just a hint of hops lingering on the tongue.
805 is easy-drinking, flavorful and crisp. With it’s low ABV, this beer has what I like to call “high poundability.” It’s one of those beers you drink when you’re hanging out with friends or just relaxing at home after a long day at work. While it’s an ale, it drinks more like a lager and reminds me a lot of some of the great pilsners I’ve had in the past. I like its uncomplicated, well-balanced nature and can definitely see myself enjoying it again soon.