Sunlight Cream Ale | Sun King Brewing Company

85 Reviews
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Sunlight Cream AleSunlight Cream Ale

Brewed by:
Sun King Brewing Company
Indiana, United States

Style: Cream Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by howardf on 08-29-2009

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Reviews: 85 | Ratings: 426
Photo of woodychandler
4.92/5  rDev +40.6%
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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4.9/5  rDev +40%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

exceptionaly easy drinking beer. Low hops make it a great everyday beer. Crisp light flavor with out a strong after taste. Good beer to keep on hand for guests ,watching a baseball game or just to quench your thirst on those hot days around a barbecue.

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Photo of Jips
4.77/5  rDev +36.3%
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 mynie
4.65/5  rDev +32.9%
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 AmitC
4.38/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from one pint can.

Pale straw in color. Very clear. About three finger thick white colored fluffy head, that disappears slowly into a thin layer. Some side lacing left by the head. Medium to slightly high on bubbles and carbonation.

Aroma: Some malts and some corn like adjuncts. Low on hops. A few esters. Not a very strong aroma.

Taste: A lot of adjunct corn. Very little hops with only slight bitterness. Some malts. Somewhat sweet and dry finish. Otherwise a bland taste, typical of American adjunct lagers.

Mouth feel: Very light and crisp. High on carbonation. Smooth but not easy drinking if you do not like such water like stuff.

Overall: Tried it just for trying this style. Fits the style really well. Based on personal preference, this is no better than a lot of American adjunct out there. One of the worst beers i have had in recent times.

Style Rate: 4.5
Personal Rate: 2.75

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.37/5  rDev +24.9%
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 MrMcGibblets
4.18/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: clear yellow gold with a diminishing white head and decent lacing.
S: not a lot going on here, some nice grainy sweetness, almost corn-like despite corn not being listed on the can (barley, wheat, and oats mentioned). Appropriate nose for style.
T: nice lightly sweet corny malt base manages to finish almost dry and crisp despite the lack of hop presence. this description doesn't do justice to how well this is done, especially in regards to style. Easy. Tasty. Likey.
M: smooth, a bit creamy, and just over light-bodied.
O: super drinkable. I was hesitant to crack this thinking I wouldn't like it, but if it was available it'd be a go to summer beer. Best cream ale I've ever had.

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Photo of Brettster
4.18/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm a fan of Porters, Stouts, and IPA's, but sometimes you just want a clean crisp beer. This fit the bill pretty well. I got a can at an Indianapolis Indians game. It pours a nice golden color with a thick white foamy head. Just the right amount of carbonation and a good clean hop finish makes this a great summer session beer. I usually attend two or three Indians games a month so hopefully they continue to sell this, the Osiris Pale Ale, and the Victory Amber.

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Photo of Angrygerman
4.18/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours with a white head that hangs around 1.5 fingers thick. It's light golden color. The smell is of light malt balanced almost perfectly with hop aroma. The first sip reflects the smell exactly; light malty goodness balanced with hops. Have to say that this is hoppy than other cream ales I have's definetly a good thing. This beer is super easy to drink and perfect for the a sunny day out on the deck.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a strange)
A- This beer pours a clear bright yellow body with a strong sea of carbonation and a snow white head that slowly boils away to a thin film.

S- The nice green sweet hint has a more faint sulfur note that dries it out just a bit. There is a field corn note in the finish that stays soft but has a nice compliment to the hops flavor.

T- The dry carbonic acid hint leads to a slightly sweet finish with a green sulfur note that takes on a faint candy quality before the woody hop hint in the finish. There is a gentle hop and field corn hint that lingers after the finish.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel is light and crisp but it has a creamy texture with the carbonation and thick head.

O- This beer is a great cream ale. It has some nice flavors that all blend and compliment each other. There is a touch of sweetness here and there to add freshness to the flavor but it says dry making it very sessionable. As the summer heats up this becomes more and more sessionable.

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Photo of robwestcott
4.08/5  rDev +16.6%
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 salvo
4.07/5  rDev +16.3%
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 jkrich
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz. undated can: bright and clear yellow-gold hue with a quickly receding white head.

I was surprised by the sharp, fruity and tangy hop aroma as I opened the can.

The noticeable hop aroma carries over to the flavor which has a restrained yet refreshing tropical fruit flavor with some grainy and yeasty aspects. A soft, bready malt taste can be detected in the aftertaste.

The body is thin and the ale has perhaps a little too much carbonation, but it does contribute to the clean, refreshing mouthfeel.

Highly drinkable, this sprightly ale is ideal for the heat of mid July. It has enough flavor and character to keep it interesting from beginning to end.

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Photo of BrewerB
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

MarkFy unexpectedly sent this beer my way in a recent trade. Delighted to try more beers from Sun King as I'd been impressed with Osiris and their GABF samples. Cheers and thanks again, Mark!

Poured into a 3 floyds pint glass this is a slightly hazy, medium gold color. Fizzy white foam piled up about 2 fingers high but slowly settled down. Retention is fair to poor.

Mostly clean, grain-focused aroma. Subtle buttered popcorn as well as a sweeter corn on the cob. Touch of floral hops but certainly not hop-forward.

Flavor again focuses on the grain. Mostly clean with a nod toward vegetal/corn. Bitterness is moderately-low. Finishes clean and dry.

Medium-light in body with a moderate-high to high sparkly carbonation. Crisp.

The BJCP defines a Cream Ale as clean, well-attenuated, American lawnmower beer and I'd say Sun King hit the nail on the head. Smooth, crisp, easy-drinking with enough subtle malt/hop flavor to keep the session interesting. Missing out on brilliant clarity but otherwise not much these guys can do to improve.

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Photo of GPHarris
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

received from robwestcott in beer and football fantasy football league.

a - poured a two-fingers thick fluffy white head into an english pub glass that left a thin ring and sheet throughout. the body was bubbly, a bright and clear golden color.
s - sweet floral hops with a hint of graininess.
t - bready, slightly floral.
m - slick feel yet crisp as well.
o - terrific session beer for warmer days. hope to get this one again.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Can pour at the 2014 Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest held at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, CA.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and grass aromas. Taste is much the same with grain and grass flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of capra12
3.92/5  rDev +12%
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 RunForYourBeer
3.9/5  rDev +11.4%
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 biggred1
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an unmarked, plain aluminum 16 oz. can procured from an early test run from the brewery before production canning gets under way.

Clear, dark yellow with a fluffy white head that leaves big scraps of lace on the glass. The nose is untoasted grain and mild floral hops. This is by no means a hoppy beer but is still the hoppiest example of the style I've encountered. Light grainy flavors with a splash of hop bitterness to balance. Finishes squeaky clean. Medium bodied with fine carbonation. An easy drinker.

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Photo of Bubba83
3.86/5  rDev +10.3%
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 ne0m00re
3.85/5  rDev +10%
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 wchesak
3.85/5  rDev +10%
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 indiapaleale
3.85/5  rDev +10%
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 brew3crew
3.84/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Indy tasting room.

A-straw yellow with white head that sticks around for awhile

S-hard to really get anything off of the nose.

T-light, smooth crispy and very refreshing

M-light and smooth. Crisp...

O-very good example of the style. Would try again

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Photo of kjoe19
3.81/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sun King is definitely a great brewery. Sunlight Cream Ale was the first microbrew product I ever tried, having been subjected to Bud Light and other domestics at hockey games. The first time it was definitely a very good brew, however as I have sampled more and filled my palate with more I would definitely say this is bottom of the rung of craft beers.

The appearance is a consistent bronze/tan pour with a fingertip length head of foam. It is a light smell and taste and is definitely a craft beer to welcome someone to the world of microbrews and high flavor.

Overall a 4/5 because of its consistency in taste and appearance, but not a favorite beer for most people I am sure.

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Sunlight Cream Ale from Sun King Brewing Company
3.5 out of 5 based on 426 ratings.
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