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Sunlight Cream Ale - Sun King Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sunlight Cream AleSunlight Cream Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

80 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 80
Hads: 380
Avg: 3.51
pDev: 39.03%
Wants: 27
Gots: 70 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Sun King Brewing Company visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Cream Ale |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: howardf on 08-29-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sunlight Cream Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 80 | Hads: 380
Photo of jmarsh123
4.37/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden straw color. White head with good retention

S- Not a whole lot going on here. Very mild.

T - Very crisp and clean. Slightly sweet.

M - Highly carbonated leaves a dry finish, but has a little body to it.

D - This is probably my favorite lawnmower beer. Very light and crisp, but still actually contains flavor.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.24/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Pours a clear,golden straw color with a nice white head. Head has pretty solid retention, forms a cap of bubbles for a while before disappearing and leaves some nice spotty lacing.

S- A very light smell overall. A bit of honey, grainy, corn, and ceral.

T- Taste is very light malts, with corn and ceral. A very very light sweetness and the slightest bit of citrus.

M- Light in body and high carbonation.

O- This beer is very light and easy to drink. I just like a bit more flavour in by brew.

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Photo of oline73
3.31/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this over Memorial Day weekend and took notes. Poured from a can into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a slightly cloudy golden color with two fingers of fluffy white head that goes away very quickly.

Smell: Very mild with a slight sweetness and a hint of hops.

Taste: Mildly sweet and quite crisp. Just a bit creamy with a mild hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: On the thin side with mild carbonation. The finish is super dry.

Overall: A decent beer, good for summer. Easy drinking, but it was a bit more bitter than I expected.

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Photo of kjc51478
1.68/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Appearance is clear, pale yellowish with very little head.

S: Aroma is weak consisting mainly of what and some malty sugar.

T: Taste is very uninspiring and weak - wheat and barley malts with some faint grassy notes.

M: Palate is very watery, flat, and thin.

O: Couldn’t quite tell the difference between this beer and a BMC. Very disappointing.

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Photo of Duff27
3.09/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Booming three inch white head out of the can. Beer itself is an extremely pale golden color. A few streams of effervescence float upward. Above average lacing and head retention.

S- Grainy/grassy/cereal grains.

T- Bready. Hint of lemon. "Adjuncty" aftertaste.

M- Crisp...nice carbonation bit to it.

D/O- Very easy drinking, refreshing. Good lawnmower beer. Thanks again dannyfrost for the Sun King!

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Photo of SirSketch
3.51/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - A tall, consistent head forms quickly. Brilliantly clear, very pale yellow color.

S - The nose is mainly cereal grains, with a bit of vegetal hop and some fruitiness.

T - Dry, clean malt flavor, slight lemon, apple and still some vegetable character.

M - Honestly, a little thin, even for a cream ale. It does make it that much more drinkable, though.

O - Not terribly interesting, but not much wrong with it either.

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Photo of ne0m00re
3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes about a week ago of a 16 oz can.
A: Golden with constant bubbles and a thin white collar.
S: Cream witha slight corn and wheat. Very mild aroma overall.
T: Extremely crisp and clean, creamy wheat... quite pleasant.
M: Thinner, but with a creaminess from the frothy carbonation.
O: Good cream ale. Not my favorite style but it is refreshing.

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Photo of output01x
3.43/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Auslander for including this extra in our recent trade.

Poured from a 16 oz. can (no date) into a pint glass.

A strong pour yields a 1/2-finger off-white head that quickly diminishes to a thin dusting and thin ring. The body is a clear pastel gold with a decent number or rising carbonation bubbles. Thick lacing attempts to stick to the glass, but is overcome by gravity.

Grains and light malt in the nose. Slight hints of lemon zest.

Sweet and bready malt flavors wash over the tongue easily. Then a lemony citrus stings the tip of the tongue. The flavors are light and subtle just as expected from this style. However, I personally believe that the flavors here are a little too mild as this beer seems rather watery.

Light bodied with decent carbonation, this beer definitely has good drinkability. It slides down the throat easily and is definitely a thirst-quencher.

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Photo of jsh420
2.21/5  rDev -37%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

pours clearbright golden yellow with a 2 finger fizzy white head that faded fast and left no lacing

smell faint some lemon? and grains

taste is very watery - a watered down beer creamsicle with a toch of hop bitterness and sweet grains

mouthfeel is thin carbonated water

drinkability is not good - not a drain pour - just a flavorless beer - i will try to enjoy the other 3 while watching some basketball/baseball game

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Photo of capra12
3.92/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed solo out of a short pilsner glass.

Appearance: Clear and golden yellow, with a quick dissipating white head.

Smell: Light malt and mildly grainy.

Taste: Opens with light malts, with a slight twinge. Hints of Belgian yeast surface mid palate as subsides as the light and crisp malt profile finishes this brew. Throughout the transition there are hints of hop that emerge ever so briefly as if muted by the malt profile.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with moderate carbonation and slightly drying.

Drinkabililty: I would definitely have this again. I recommend this to those seeking a solid cream ale, light and a better alternative than macro lagers.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #45 (Oct 2010):

Shiny, golden-yellow color, lively bubbles racing to the top which keeps the head intact. Smells of wholegrain cereal with the additions of wheat and oats, fermentation twang and hops in the nose as well. Crispness lays into the lighter but slick body; clean and grainy with a dry, doughy wholegrain bready flavor. Hops rest a modest bitterness on the palate, yet are big enough to balance. Drying finish has a clean linger of grain. A tasty canned treat, a lunch-time pounder. Craft tallboys, FTW!

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Photo of RunForYourBeer
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from can into a pint glass.

A: Pale yellow color with a thin head and lots of bubbles.

S: Lots of lemon zest and orange with some light malt.

T: Light bread malt with some lemon zest. Also has some grassy hops in the finish with a bit of fruityness.

M: Light with some good carbonation.

D: High.

This is a lighter beer that would be great to drink on a hot day.

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Photo of robwestcott
4.08/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

poured cold and aggressively from the can to a sun king shaped pint a crisp, clean, translucent sunlight gold with a short lasting fizzy white head.

very subtle aroma of bread and grains.

grains and malts, faint toffee and toasted bread.

highly carbonated, light bodied, fizzy, sweet, no bitters.

drinkable - uhm, seriously ? yes !

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Photo of Bubba83
3.86/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Traded to me by Kegatron. We'll have to see how this one impresses me after the 4.35 rating I gave to Osiris.

Poured from a tallboy can into an imperial pint glass at 45 degrees. The body appears a chill-hazed, pale golden, yellow color. Maybe the most yellow through and through of any beer I've seen. Lots of small bubbles are coarsing through the body too. Only about one finger width of bright white head after a vigorous pour. Good small ring of head is retained, and leaves good lacing for the style.

Pretty subtle nose. Straw and hay, a little bit of citrus, and some grass. Maybe detecting a few stone fruit notes here too, but I'm digging deep to get there because it's a little more low key than I'd prefer.

I'm glad the flavor is more abundant than the aroma. A nice splash of sweet bread, then some light peaches and apricots bring a nice soft fruity flavor that is really enjoyable. Hops are present, but not overbearing, the hop flavor is mainly a little bit of orangey kick, with a quick hit of lemon, finishes a little bit earthy.

Feels about right, somewhere in between thin and medium thickness, with a good bit of carbonation. Head texture is somewhat abrasive, and the beer finishes quite dry. Quite a crisp feeling, much like a lager.

Quite a refreshing beer, yet still has enough going on flavor-wise to be able to enjoy reviewing it. This little brewery seems to do all the little things right, and is making some tasty non-extreme styles quite well from what I can tell so far. Seek this one out if you can get it.

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Photo of Jips
4.77/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a little into a glass, drank most out of the can.

What little I poured was Light straw color with thick bubbly head

Smell: Light lemon and faint sweet malts, wouldn't mind it as a car freshener. Akin to many hefeweizens I've had

Feel: smooth, light, moderately carbonated, crisp as all get out

Taste: tons of light malts (maybe ~4 kinds? I dunno, picking them out would make me enjoy this less) just the right amount of lemon, plus a bit of bubbly, all crisp almost sharp

Aftertaste: "Ahh.... refreshing!" Like a non-astringent lemon mouthwash

You get more bang for your buck alcohol and flavors-enjoyed-by-beer-dork wise with most any other craft beer offering, but it's hard to match Sunlight's intense taste and easy drinking. Would gladly pay the premium to drink this over any other light tasting beer in the warmer months. Please distribute this more widely!

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Photo of womencantsail
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dan for sharing this one on Friday.

A: The pour is a pale straw like color with a touch of haze and a short lived white head.

S: A bit of an off-putting nose which seems to be composed of corn for the most part. A slight skunkiness, but at least it's not as bad as Osiris.

T: The flavor is pretty standard for a cream ale, nicely sweet with a touch of yeast and bread. Very clean flavors and actually pretty refreshing.

M: Light in body as you would tend to expect with a crisp carbonation.

D: Not my favorite style, but this was a nice refreshing beer which is one thing I like about these kinds of beers. Worked well on a hot day at the Bruery.

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Photo of salvo
4.07/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is straw to blonde, almost white like a witt, perfectly clear with a small head with small bubbles rising. Head falls to a light ring with no lacing or trace it ever existed.

Smell is malty sweet with a light yeasty back. Grain-chute graininess.

Taste is light and crisp; grain and lightly peppery, yeast and fresh baked bread, but very light and subdued.

Very light body and dangerously drinkable.

Oh, and I adore the hard plastic rings that kept the four pack of cans together. Nice.

Sunlight Cream Ale is the micro-brewing equivalent of insisting that Picasso paint something "recognizable" just to prove he had the technical skills to make representational art. Artisinal brewing is just that: subjective, aesthetic, and about gathering an appreciative audience. If you (or anyone you know) doubts that micro brewers can handle the demands of brewing a light, tasty, satisfying beer, give them one of these. And then pop open an Osiris. After an Osiris, I had to try the "other" Sun King canned offering, and while it is a technical achievement and stand out for its precision, smoothness, and execution, it is, at the end of the day, a cream ale. It brings back memories of school in Binghamton, New York, eating hot wings at the Sportsman's Club and Rathskeller and washing down the Frank's Red-Hot with Genny (Gennesee Cream Ale). Not a bad memory, but also not the height of brewing's Olympus either.

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Photo of indiapaleale
3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour - soft, golden straw-colored with a very thin head. Very light bodied with nice carbonation.

Aroma - a little sweet malt, honey, a little grainy with perhaps some citrus smells. Not a huge nose but that wasn't really expected. This style isn't going to be too aromatic.

Taste - first sip is light, crisp and refreshing. I kid you not, that is how I'd describe this beer from the first gulp. It's got some malt flavor with that hint of lemon and a super crisp bite that leaves the tongue a bit dry and hanging out of your mouth a little bit. Super smooth going down and before I can take much of a breath of air I find myself drinking more of it.

Overall - This is the type of beer that deserves a nice day outside in the sun. Its got all the elements to make for a beer that won't slow you down but will keep you happy. A cooler full of these would keep any party going!

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. The tall boy cans will keep give me a little more time before going back to the cooler which means more time for a multitude of backyard games.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz. can poured into an imperial pint. No date. Thanks to kstrickler for giving me this one!

(A)- Pours a clear yet pale yellow color that produced a good white head that dissipated quickly.

(S)- Lightly dry with a corn husk/meal sweetness.

(T)- A lightly dry honey and lemon sweetness with a corn husk finish.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. A light bodied crisp feel with a light dryness and sweetness. Has a light acidity from that twist of lemon at the end which is nice.

(D)- A good light beer to mix it up with during the summer months. Crisp and dry and just an all-around easy to drink beer.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.92/5  rDev +40.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

CANtinuing the ongoing saga that is The CANQuest (TM), no CAN is safe from review! CAN you dig it?

From the CAN: "A Pint In Every CAN"; "Sunlight Cream Ale is a crisp, easy drinking, East Coast Style-Cream Ale. Cream Ale is one of the earliest styles of AmeriCAN beer, but was virtually wiped out by AmeriCAN lager brewers. Sunlight Cream Ale is our most approachable beer and is a great introduction to the world of Craft Beer. Only the finest quality barley, wheat and oats are used to give this beer its smooth malt profile which is delicately balanced with AmeriCAN hops and a cool fermentation to give this beer a crisp, clean finish."

My initial pour netted me two fingers' worth of fluffy bone-white head fizzled and popped its way out of existence. Color was sunshine-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Nose was very malty sweet and adjunct-free. It is nice to smell an all-malt beer every once in a while. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full with a very clean malty sweetness on the tongue. I would be curious to know what hops were used since its bitterness is almost non-existent. Finish was crisp and refreshing, definitely approachable for novice craft beer drinkers. A solid CANdidate for the cooler on the way to the beach. Definitely seek this out!

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Photo of wchesak
3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

received from robwestcott in BIF, thanks again
poured into a Shipyard pint glass

A - pale gold color, some white head that dissipates quite quickly leaving no lace and a very thin white ring around the top of the beer which is being bed by a stream of bubbles - much more subdued than say an american adjutant beer

S - lemony cornbread - the hops and "malt" flavor coming together

T - like a citrusy cream soda with alcohol in it, slightly dry aftertaste

M - good carbonation but not over the top, creamy but not like a RIS much more bubbly, finishes pretty clean

D - my first reviewed cream ale, from the look at the rest of the scores, it is not an appreciated or well liked style, however in my opinion this one has to be one of the better ones, worried it was gonna be like genese cream ale however i think its much more complex

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Photo of Kegatron
3.6/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear gold, topped with a couple billowy fingers of bright-white head. This sticks around with a thin foamy layer that leaves a cascade of light spotty froth behind, which quickly slides down the sides of the glass. The aroma is sweet and grainy in the nose, with some soft fruit accents poking out, as well as a green floral character that rounds out the edges.

Malt sweetness splashes the tongue in the taste, with some green earthy citrus mixed in and just a light touch of balancing bitterness which prickles the tongue. Finishes with some lingering residual sweetness and a bit of grit. Fairly clean overall though. The mouthfeel is lighter bodied, with a nice easy crispness to that gets maybe a little bit watery towards the back of the swallow.

This was definitley decent for a Cream Ale, with a little more a hop profile to it which helped add a bit more flavor and crispness. Not sure if this is worth the same $10 per 4-pack price as the Osirus but it's still a good one to keep chilled in the fridge and then go to town on during those hot summmer months.

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Photo of 908carson
3.15/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I've always been leery of the Cream Ale genre... Take an ale, then lager it. In other words - take a perfectly good, tasty beer then make it more palatable to the adjunct-swilling American public. Cynical much? I've always felt that "Cream Ale" is a bit of a misnomer. To me, it taste neither creamy nor like an ale. I can accept the historical significance of this particular style in the United States, but after tasting Sun King's interpretation my viewpoint has remained unchanged.
Is Sunlight better than Little Kings or Genesee? Yes! By a long shot... is it worth the nearly 2-fold price increase?? My untrained palate says "NO."
If you are an Indiana microbrew fan and you really need a good "gateway beer" for your adjunct-loving friends - get this beer and get lots of it. It's good, honest American beer made right here in the fair city of Indianapolis.
I am reviewing from memory so don't hold me to this...

First impression upon cracking open the 16oz can:
Smells sweet, but not in the corn-laden kind of sweet you get from most macros.

Solid, yet unremarkable. Stronger hop presence that any other Cream Ale i've had. Thoroughly thirst quenching at first, but gets a little acrid after a while. I personally need more bitterness for proper sessionability. The can seemed to preserve the freshness in a way that i haven't experienced in a while though... Good call Sun King!

For all of my distaste for the cream ale genre, I am absolutely, 100%, all my heart, rooting for the fellas at Sun King... So if you're at all curious about their canned cream ale, go out and buy some! they're definitely on to something...

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Photo of mynie
4.65/5  rDev +32.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ahh Cream Ales, so unfairly maligned, so badly maintained. I understand why: it wasn't until 05 or 06 that I was willing to give pilseners a fair shake, seeing as how the only "pilsners" I had drank were, well, the ones everyone else had drank. Cream ales are even worse. You got Little Kings, which are charming but taste like metal, and then you got, what, Sleemans? Genesee? That's grody.

I've always been intrigued by the concept; a lagered ale that--through some convolutions of gypsy magic--takes on a creamy body. That could be fantastic. My abortive foray into brewing was bookended by two awful attempts at fashioning together a good cream, the first a variation of an adjunctless adjunct in which I diverged blindly from the fermentation instructions, and the second in which I figured that Pac Man yeast would solve all the world's problems. For shame, me.

So what I'm getting at is that this is kinda the beer I've always hoped existed but never really found until now: it's a light, super accessible, mildly hopped, macro-ish all malt that has an insanely creamy body. It's the best part of drinking a thoughtless lawnmower beer mixed with the best part of drinking milk. It's fab.

Trouble is that it is, at heart, a thoughtless lawnmower beer. As well made as it is, there's just not all the much going on aside from it's body and drinkability. So it's not a great beer, merely a very good one, and really that's always what I've hoped I would find.


I'm upping my scores after trying it on tap, with a fresher pallet. It was fabulous. Easily the best cream I've ever had.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.29/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pale golden color with a finger of head and lots of effervescent carbonation.

The aroma is creamed corn, lemon peel, biscuits, and a very light tropical hop profile.

The flavor profile is musty and made up of creamed corn, light bready maltiness, and the slightest hint of lemon peel. Not really any hops at all.

The body is light and appropriate for the style.

Overall this would be a very nice light ale if it wasn't for the mustiness dragging it down. There really isn't anything offensive, nor is there anything of merit. I'm not even sure if I would be able to pick this out in a blind taste test vs. a group of American Adjunct Lagers.

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Sunlight Cream Ale from Sun King Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 80 ratings.