Situated in the Texas panhandle and marking the midway point of the historic Route 66 drive from Chicago to LA, is the city of Amarillo, Texas. With a population of nearly 200,000 people, Amarillo is the 14th largest city in Texas and is home to five craft breweries.
Pondaseta Brewing Co. is one of those five breweries and has been around since 2018. Owners Trever and Kaleb initially met while playing in a country music band in college and, even though the band fell apart, the two never lost touch. After a decade of homebrewing, the duo met back up to create Pondaseta - which was named after a dirt road in their hometown.
Most of their stuff stays in Amarillo, rarely ever leaving the Lone Star State. However, I was able to find a few cans of their Razz-Becky, a blonde ale that’s perfect for the upcoming warmer months.
For Razz-Becky, Pondaseta took their house blonde ale, which is made with malts straight from the Texas Panhandle, and then added a massive amount of raspberry purée to it (16 pounds of raspberry purée per barrel!!). The beer has a modist 5% ABV and the 16-ounce can cost me $6 but, if you’re near Amarillo, you can pick up a four-pack at the brewery for $15. It was canned on February 9th and this review was written on March 16th.
This Blonde Ale is a cloudy pink color, similar to that of grapefruit juice, that goes from very opaque at the top to somewhat translucent at the bottom of the glass. A razor thin, yet quite dense, layer of pinkish head sat at the top of the beer.
Razz-Becky’s aroma was surprisingly balanced and subtle. The massive amount of raspberry purée gave off a slightly tart, slightly sweet scent and was obviously the most noticeable characteristic. However, it wasn’t overwhelming, allowing those local malts the chance to peek through and be seen as well.
My first sip started off with a little hum of carbonation and it wasn’t long before the flavors began to start creeping forward. However, like with the beer’s scent, the flavors were also balanced and quite subtle.
The raspberry is by far the most detectable flavor, spiking hard after a second or two with an acidic tartness that then transitions into a more enjoyable sweetness that flows through the remainder of the sip as the fruit flavor slowly fades away.
On either side of the raspberry pop, the beer is very balanced. The grist offers up some light bready flavors and a bit of malt sweetness. Becky, on its own, is clearly a well-made, insanely sessionable beer.
And, like every aspect of Razz-Becky, the finish is rather clean and understated - there is absolutely no lingering aftertaste. All that remains after the flavors vanish is a small sticky dry feeling from the purée used...but even the dryness is very manageable and easily washed away with a swig of water.
This was such a crushable beer. It was a little on the heavier/thicker side as I got towards the end of the pint but, other than that, this might be one of the best blonde ales I’ve ever had.
I can’t wait to try more from these guys in the future! In the meantime, if you like blonde ales or raspberries, go find this brew.