6/18/17: Country Boy Brewing's Cougar Bait

3:15 PM

Whenever Michelle goes on vacation I always ask her to pick up some beer for me--I prefer some cool consumable thing to typical souvenirs that just sit around gathering dust. I never want anything extravagant. I'm not a man that asks for some super rare, one-off release. No, I just want to drink something that I can't find around here. Something new for me that others have probably had many times. Something cool and regional.

Michelle never disappoints. Last year she got me some really cool Florida brews (I gave one a full-fledged blog post here). This year, on her way back from Florida, she remembered my request. Her van stopped at a gas station in Kentucky shortly after crossing its border with Tennessee. In it she found a sixer of Country Boy's Cougar Bait. She bought it and gave it to me as soon as she got home. And now, through her generosity, I can present this post to you.

Country Boy Brewing is Lexington-based brewery that was founded by four guys in 2012. Like any brewery that's worth anything, Country Boy was created through a love of beer. Daniel Harrison and Nathan Coppage were teaching in Japan when they were bit by the brewing bug. The "About" section on the company's website tells that, back stateside, the two met Jeff Beagle at a local brewing club and together these three, with the help of Nathan's brother Evan, started Country Boy. What the company's website doesn't tell is information found in an article from the Lexington Herald: Earlier this year the company opened its second location in Georgetown, KY, Daniel's hometown, which greatly increased Country Boy's production capacity.

Cougar Bait is a blonde ale that the boys have been brewing since the year they founded the company. Its link on the "Brews" portion of Country Boy's website says the 4.9% ABV blonde has a meld of malt and citrus-like hops that make it unique.

I am definitely getting maltiness from the ale's nose. It's sweet, sure, but there's also a lemoniness there that's attributable to the hops the beer employs. It's a clean aroma that Purrl and I both enjoy (she gave it six whiffs).

On the flavor front, Cougar Bait is something else. Sure, it's a crisp American Blonde Ale. It's malt and hop balance pays off here. But, it's also juicy. It's a great summery, dare I say, lawnmower beer. It's sweet, but not overpowering. It packs a small wallop of fruitiness that really plays well into the style. Good on you, Country Boy. This is a damn fine beer.

In terms of mouthfeel, this blonde ale isn't anything special. Which is great--it doesn't need to break the mold here. It's an easy-going, crushable beer with a light amount of carbonation that makes it smooth to tip back and drink.

Cougar Bait reminds me of going to the swimming hole near my great-grandmother's house when I was a kid. A trip to that swimming hole was in order every time we'd visit my great-grandma during the summer months. I'd go with my mom, my dad, my brother, and our dog. The water was clear enough to see minnows nibbling on our toes. We'd run to the end of the dock and jump into the water. Our dog would run along the shore splashing everyone. I once saw a watersnake (the only one I've seen, actually) swimming in and out of the kelp under the dock. This beer would pair perfectly with great times like those.

All in all, Country Boy's Cougar Bait is a very fine American Blonde Ale. It's clean, sweet, and juicy. I'm giving it a 9.0/10. If you live in a place where you can get this regularly, consider me jealous of you.

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