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Why aren't cream ales more prevalent?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Ilovelampandbeer, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. Ilovelampandbeer

    Ilovelampandbeer Champion (790) New York Aug 25, 2013 Beer Trader

    I feel like i never see them at distributors and it blows my mind, anyone whose had sweet action by sixpoint will agree im sure...anyone have any good ones i can keep an eye out for?
  2. The few I've had just taste like better versions of bud light. I'm not sure if that's how the style is across the board but if so my guess is it's just not an appealing style for many craft beer drinkers.
  3. ThisWangsChung

    ThisWangsChung Champion (845) Maryland Oct 15, 2011 Beer Trader

    Hardywood Cream Ale is a rock-solid example of the style.

    It shouldn't be much trouble asking someone in Richmond to trade it to you in exchange for some of your NY locals unavailable in VA, if you want to trade that is.
  4. Summer Solstice by Anderson Valley is okay and readily available.
    haknort, superspak and TongoRad like this.
  5. Spotted Cow is pretty popular, but not readily available. It's a pretty boring style.
    Sludgeman and aasher like this.
  6. abkayak

    abkayak Advocate (520) New York Jan 8, 2013 Beer Trader

    im pretty sure Genny killed the style....did for me.
    FarmerTed likes this.
  7. The first and only time I had spotted cow I thought it tasted just like a better made version of bud.
  8. By design they are low flavor beers. It's what you can offer a macro drinker at a brewpub when they ask for a Coors.
    Soonami likes this.
  9. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Site Editor (1,100) North Carolina Dec 8, 2007 Staff Member Subscriber Beer Trader

    I also can enjoy a nice cream ale, especially in the heat of summer in the South... I personally find it to be a great style for bringing to a cook out or other activity where I am going to be outside and trying lots of different foods because it goes with just about anything.
    allisonastra and Bear1964 like this.
  10. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Site Editor (1,100) North Carolina Dec 8, 2007 Staff Member Subscriber Beer Trader

    I agree with you that they are less intense in flavor but I think they have more to offer than just being a substitute for BMC drinkers at a brewpub.
    Bear1964 likes this.

    TEKNISHE Savant (415) Pennsylvania Jan 12, 2011

    haha, i like it for low end beer actually. and i really like the simple green and white can. i've never tried a quality cream ale. It might ruin the genny version for me.
    prdrums77, victory4me and riemster like this.
  12. zid

    zid Advocate (715) New York Feb 15, 2010 Beer Trader

    Sweet Action is rated so highly on the cream ale list here because it's very bold for a cream ale - and most people here like that sort of thing. That's also why you don't see much in that style - as stated above, many find it a boring style (I don't). It doesn't help that the style has an identity issue with its odd name and confusion with different beers in the UK.

    I don't know where in NY you live, but definitely be on the lookout for Barrier Copernicus on tap.
    Newburgh's Cream Ale would be another to try on tap in NY (but Aces Wild is a weird one).
    Narragansett's Cream Ale would be a different canned option, but I wouldn't pay too much for it.
  13. Blonde ale and Kolsch are now more popular manes for what is essentially the same style of beer: light, low-hopped blonde beers with a cleaner fermentation profile from ale yeast.
    ONovoMexicano and Soonami like this.
  14. Chaz

    Chaz Poobah (1,090) Minnesota Feb 3, 2002 Beer Trader

    Here's a pretty good thread on Craft-brewed Cream Ales from a couple of weeks back.

    Where I'm from, there are indeed a few renditions that hit the right sweet spot for the style, but finding some of those out your way will be a challenge. Does the Third Street line make it that far yet?
  15. I think that about most cream ales, but I have had Sweet Action and thought it was decent.
  16. utopiajane

    utopiajane Poobah (1,040) New York Jun 11, 2013

    OP you are in new york so please try chemung canal towpath ale by horseheads. I don't get to tout these guys often enough and so today I will. Their cream ale is delicious. However, I have said many times that these guys do not date their bottles so if you don't know how long it's been sitting then, I would not buy it.
    Ilovelampandbeer and Chaz like this.
  17. abkayak

    abkayak Advocate (520) New York Jan 8, 2013 Beer Trader

    i dont know...think i'd rather drink Simple Green...but thats just me, cheers
    FarmerTed likes this.
  18. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (855) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    Because most of the brewers that do brew cream ales do so as a way of offending the least number of drinkers possible. This leads to forgettable beer.
  19. Bocks arent that prevalent either and I think Id rather have more bocks than cream ales.
    Redrover, JKIRBY and ZEB89 like this.
  20. Mshull

    Mshull Savant (450) Ohio Mar 26, 2013 Beer Trader

    I love cream ales for summertime. Spotted cow and Anderson valley were the best for me this year
  21. mrk829

    mrk829 Savant (305) Georgia Aug 1, 2008

    I am one of the few who likes cream ales on a hot summer day. Genny should be easy to find pretty much anywhere, someone already mentioned the Rise to the Top earlier in the thread. Terrapin Golden Ale is another one that I would recommend although I think it is only available in GA.

    Spotted Cow from New Glarus shows up as a Cream Ale on here but on their own website they list it as a farmhouse ale. I would say it is somewhere in between those styles.
  22. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Advocate (745) Massachusetts Mar 17, 2009 Beer Trader

    Ive had many cream ales but after each one Ive never gone nuts and said 'why aren't more people making this!?'

    Its a style that doesn't particularly stand out among others.
    westcoastbeerlvr likes this.
  23. Ilovelampandbeer

    Ilovelampandbeer Champion (790) New York Aug 25, 2013 Beer Trader

    Ill def look for those especially barrier's...good beer by that brewery
    marshmeli likes this.
  24. I freaking adore Sweet Action, and when found fresh, I grab a cube of them every time.

    I also really like Narragansett's Cream Ale; solid brew.

    As for why it's not a more prevalent style among the BA community, the answer is simple. The majority of BA's seems to focus on ABV, insane hop infusion, and barrel aging. In other words....extreme flavors.

    Cream Ales are delicious, but certainly not even remotely extreme.
    peetoteeto likes this.
  25. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio Advocate (635) Minnesota Feb 15, 2005

    Yeah, or just a BMC lager done as an ale. People in and around Wisconsin LOVE it though.
  26. BeerWizard

    BeerWizard Savant (380) Colorado Dec 22, 2012

    Homestly I read about the style and it doesn't sound that good! I've never had one though so I'll have to try one and re-comment. Cream on.
  27. Yes. Forced by income in the day. They go down easy come back hard.
  28. That was uncalled for
  29. dcs1548

    dcs1548 Savant (375) Virginia Nov 6, 2011

    Lucky for us in Jacksonville we get to enjoy Bold City's Killer Whale Cream Ale year round!
  30. Interesting, I think it's the best product Genny makes and far better than anything made by other macro brewers.
    shawnohall likes this.
  31. Anderson Valley Summer Solstice is the best cream ale I've had. That beer is bursting with flavor.
  32. One man's opinion...that may be shared by many.

    They suck.

    Edit: to elaborate... As said by others before, relative to so many other styles we're exposed to, they just don't pack a lot of flavor. I don't care that they're low ABV. Even though I'm as big a BA barlewine and stout whore as anyone, there's good flavor to be had in lower ABV brews. I just don't think cream ales are very compelling or flavorful relative to what else is available. It's style that as a whole, just doesn't stack up very well against other readily available styles that I lean on when I want something on the lighter side.

    Ok ok. They suck.
    the_trystero likes this.
  33. Derranged

    Derranged Advocate (555) New York Mar 7, 2010

    Only cream ale I had was Anderson Valley Summer Solstice. Meh, it was ok, not something I'd drink often.
  34. The Sun King Cream Ale is the best Cream Ale I've had. A good solid example of the style
  35. abkayak

    abkayak Advocate (520) New York Jan 8, 2013 Beer Trader

  36. Anderson Valley's Summer Solstice isn't a cream ale, it's a spiced ale made to mimic cream soda. Completely different concept and style.

    Cream ale is just the ale version of an American pilsner/light lager.
    jesskidden likes this.
  37. shawnohall

    shawnohall Savant (355) Texas Nov 8, 2009

    I've never understood all the hate for Genesee Cream Ale. OK, it's not a BBA, high ABV concoction, but I'll take it over any BMC...every time.
    GennyCreamAle and Blueribbon666 like this.
  38. notchucknorris

    notchucknorris Advocate (645) California May 28, 2010 Beer Trader

    Alesmith started making one recently that's fantastic. Just not a very popular style as of yet.
  39. kingofhop

    kingofhop Advocate (565) Oklahoma May 9, 2010

    I like cream ales. Genny and Little Kings come to mind.
    KentT, Blueribbon666 and surfcaster like this.
  40. surfcaster

    surfcaster Advocate (605) North Carolina Apr 20, 2013 Beer Trader

    A case of Little Kings 7oz ers. Memories.
    mactrail and kingofhop like this.