Cream Ale | Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

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Cream AleCream Ale

Brewed by:
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Virginia, United States

Style: Cream Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.40%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
In 1935, Richmond, Virginia made beer history as the first place ever to sell canned beer, a cream ale from Krueger Brewing Company. A tribute to the original canned beer, Hardywood Cream Ale is an unfiltered example of the style that embraces its east coast roots with an unbelievably smooth body and a refreshingly clean finish from extended cold conditioning in our lagering tanks. Raise a can to RVA, where the canned beer revolution began!

Added by cw577enfield on 05-16-2013

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Reviews: 36 | Ratings: 191
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery "Cream Ale"
12 fl. oz. can, packaged on 06/23/16 and sampled on 09/08/16
$2 @ Acme, Media, PA

Appearance: Slightly hazy golden body with visible particulate in suspension (it's unfiltered). Creamy bright white head. Surprisingly good head retention and very nice lacing.

Aroma: Clean, sweetish grainy malt with a bit of fruitiness (apple, red berries).

Flavor: As the aroma suggests. Nicely balanced with a little bit of sweetness up front but a rising bitterness across the middle that takes it to a dry and slightly bitter finish. There are some hop flavors present but they remain kind of generic (grassy, leafy, subtly herbal).

Mouthfeel: Medium-light in body with a crisp carbonation that gently bristles the palate.

Overall: A pleasantly surprising version of a style that's often overdone. Sometimes simple is best. Really well-balanced and remarkably drinkable.

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Photo of chuckakhan
4.26/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Overall, I enjoyed this beer. It pours golden with slight head. I used a mug. The smell reminds me somewhat of a Gaffel kolsch, though not as distinct of a hoppy aroma that usually comes with Gaffel. The carbonation is noticeable in the mouth before moving to a smooth near-finish. The palate is left with a tingly finish as the carbonation kicks back. I'd be interested in trying other cream ales with less carbonation.

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Photo of Guppy314
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

From a can bought at Trader Joe's, pours a haze dark straw with very modest head. Aroma of like corn flakes cerial. Flavor was very cream-forward with a malty finish. Less carbonation than I expected for a Cream Ale. Very drinkable.

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Photo of tempest
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Crisp with mild esters and a toasty, honey malt character. Maybe a little corn/DMS in the nose. It's a fun session beer, ideal for summer. I'd invest in a 12-pack for a BBQ.

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Photo of vabeerguy
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a nonic pint glass. The initial smell seemed skunky but that was short lived. The taste was more of a thirst quencher than a "wow" beer but given the low ABV I think that was the point.

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Photo of stucat
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My daughter brought some of these back from a trip to Richmond last week. A cream ale has never been one of my preferred styles as I tend to like a more hop forward ale but given the heat wave here in Illinois this is a very nice "lawn mower" brew. Pours a pretty straw color into a pint glass without much head or lacing. Not much fragrance either but a nice malty flavor with a hint of biscuit and corn, slightly sweet, very refreshing. More tasty than the Genesee Cream Ale of my New Jersey youth many years ago and very similar to the famous New Glarus Spotted Cow from my neighbors to the North. A very nice summertime brew.

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Photo of OldSwampy
3.96/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good example of the need to rate a beer with its style in mind. This is a cream ale, a.k.a. lawnmower beer to some. But it is a great example of that style. Even if there are many beers out there with bigger flavor, this one is a nicely balanced example of this type. Thinking about it that way, it's hard for me to give it less than a 4 in most categories. Only the nose seemed a bit weak. Color was a murky gold with a white moderately sudsy and slightly durable head. Smell was minimal, but balanced. Taste was balanced: modest light to medium grains, mild hops. The taste evolved as the beer warmed and stood out well after I had a bite of food (after drinking more than half of it). Food brought out more maltiness in particular. Mouthfeel clean and aftertaste modest. It would be very easy to drink several of these.

12 ounce can, poured into a clear glass, bottom stamped 03/08/16.

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Photo of oldn00b
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This is a nice session beer - I'm not a huge fan of cream ales and haven't had that many but it has a nice malt base and a really smooth mouthfeel. Not overly sweet or hop forward, but a nice brew I'd have again.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tall pint glass: color is darker straw, a little opaque, head is white, fine bubbles presents about 1/4 inch thick.

Smell is sweeter grains, touch biscuit and bread, then some subtle hops, earthy.

Taste is also a bit sweet with prominent cereal grains, lighter toast and bread/biscuit flavors. It is flavorful but maybe a touch sweet.

Mouthfeel is a bit sharper and bitter than the aroma and flavor would reveal. Drying hops and bitterness that linger.

Overall, a this brew looks like a cream ale, but leans to the sweeter side instead of the smoother creamy side.

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Photo of MyThoughtsExactly
3.29/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a can into a pint glass
L: Light yellow, translucent color and a thin puck of head.
S: Sweet cream smell with notes of candy and wheat malt
T: Pilsner like flavor with some notes of creamed candy
F: Light and crisp
Although I'm not that familiar with the style, I found this beer enjoyable for being such a low ABV. Has a good amount of malt flavor mixed with creamy candy sweetness.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2015-08-18 in Columbia, PA from a 12oz can.

A - Mildly-hazy golden-yellow with a 1-finger white head that fades quickly with almost no lace.

S - Honey, bread and sweet floral. Pleasant but not very strong.

T - Cereal, citrus flesh, honey grass and some noble hop spice and bitterness. Much more flavor than I expected from the smell. Decent lingering flavors of sour dough bread with honey and mild hop bitterness.

M - Light-medium body and carbonation.

O - Definitely better and more satisfying than a Genesee Cream Ale and at only 4.4%, it's got good flavor.

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Photo of DerekP
3.87/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A lot of carbonation bubbling up in this golden brew. Head retention all the way. Smell is appealing with floral hops and some malty sweetness. Taste is again, some malty sweetness under a peppery/hoppy blanket. Feel is crisp, very carbonated. I could drink this all day. At 4.4%, I wish this had as much availability as Yuengling Traditional Lager. Bought a can of this at Murphy Beverage Co in Old Town Winchester, VA.

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Photo of chinchill
3.39/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can.
Lively carbonation with a near medium body.
So so aroma but a significantly better than average (for style) flavor.
Bready malts with considerably more spicy hops than expected.
Perhaps a bit off style, but better off for it.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.59/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz can, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, semi-clear, golden a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Hmmm. Not much in the way of aroma. Faint, really, faint, notes of toasted malt, and maybe some honey, but not much else.

Taste: Wow! What this beer lacks in aroma, it much more than makes up for in flavor! Strong flavors of toasted malt up front, biscuit-like and bready, followed by some caramel and honey-like sweetness, a hint of black pepper, and maybe vanilla. No hops what-so-ever. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and extremely smooth and creamy, as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 4.4%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is an exceptional cream ale! One of the best I’ve had in fact! Strong flavors of malt and caramel-like sweetness, wrapped up in an extremely smooth and creamy quaff. Delicious and highly recommended for fans of cream ales!

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Photo of Slack
3.56/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Flaxen colored with quite a bit of head. Smells sweet and bready. Taste is a mild sweetness with a good amount of carbonation from start to finish. Mouthful is light with a very slight hoppy finish. A very smooth beer and easily drinkable.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.12/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice light easy to drink ale, with a crisp hoppy taste and finish. Seems close to a nice Kolsch but this is classified as a cream ale. I think this is a nice summer beer.

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Photo of brentk56
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Despite a hard pour, the beer doesn't raise much of a head out of the can and it pours a slightly hazy honey color; not much lacing

Smell: A little grainy, with some sugary corn tone; not much in the aromatics, however

Taste: A touch grainy, up front, with just a touch of balancing hops; tastes a bit of sweet corn but mostly non-descript

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with low to moderate carbonation; a touch watery

Overall: This beer serves a certain market segment and I imagine it is popular with those who don't want much flavor or bite

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Photo of teromous
3.96/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From the can: 16:30 09-22-1 (not sure if the year date stamp got rubbed off or if it never made it on)

Appearance: Good transparency, only slightly hazy, light golden body with a thick fluffy white head, great lacing. Visible carbonation.

Aroma: There is a light floral hop aroma; very pleasant! There is a bit of a sugary smell to it as's a bit hard to describe...but, well it just smells like sugar. I get some of the grain in there too, very similar to Cheerios.

Taste: The grain flavor comes through very nicely. Again it has a cereal flavor that is accompanied by a spicy but light hop flavor. The hop flavor gives it just enough juxtaposition to keep it interesting against the sweet cereal backdrop without being rough or imposing. The aftertaste is a light honey-like flavor.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is nice and smooth. It feels about average...perhaps a bit low on carbonation but it feels alright. It's light on the palate.

Overall: I really would recommend this beer if you like lighter beers that have a good amount of flavor without being overwhelming on bitterness or sweetness. This is a nice light beer that sacrifices neither hop nor grain flavor in its overall construction. I am very pleased that I bought this and I will be picking some more up!

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Photo of IronLover
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep yellow in color with a hint of orange and a touch of haze. Poured with a thick, fizzy foam that reduced to a wispy cap. Bready malt and corn aromas. Aggressive, yet soft, carbonation uo front that quickly thinned to thin watery feel. Bready and caramel malt flavors up front followed by a tangy, herbal hop bite. Flavors turn bready and quickly fade to the end.  Finishes thin and watery with a bready and herbal hop aftertaste.

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Photo of JayQue
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice session beer from the home of the original first beer sold in a can!!!! The 12 oz can comes complete with instructions on how to open a pop top.....shades of comedian Brian Regan and his classic "Pop Tart" routine.

Pours a dark gold hazy color with a very small and not long lasting head. Very little in the way of lacing. Aroma is malty and slightly sweet. Taste is more of the same, but there is some evidence of corn, like a macro lager, and maybe a little vanilla. A small amount of grassy hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel is crisp and light. Nothing special, but a good enough session beer.

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Photo of tone77
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A big thanks to the legendary woodychandler for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of toasty malts. Taste is malts, vanilla, some cream, very easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a smooth and highly sessionable beer.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I was down in DC this past weekend to partake of DC Beer Week, which is where I scored this and several other CANs in furtherance of The CANQuest ™.

From the CAN: “Brewed in Richmond – Where Beer in a CAN All Began!”; “In 1935, Richmond, Virginia made beer history as the first place ever to sell CANned beer, a Cream Ale from Krueger Brewing Company. A tribute to the original CANned beer, which came complete with illustrated opening instructions. Hardywood Cream Ale is an unfiltered example of the style. It embraces its east coast roots with an unbelievably smooth body and a refreshingly clean finish from extended cold conditioning in our lagering tanks. Raise a CAN to RVA, where the CANned beer revolution began!”; “To Open CAN [:] 1. Pull Tab Upward Until Tab Punctures Seal [,] 2. Push Tab Back Down [,] 3. Enjoy!”

You have got to appreciate a CAN with a sense of history! I feel like I have come full circle in The CANQuest ™ and I have seen a few of the original Kreuger’s CANs, two at Jeff Lebo’s and one at Earth, Bread & Brewery in Philly.

I followed the illustrated directions to the letter and the Crack! echoed back almost one hundred years, rewarding me with a brimful CAN. My enjoyment begins with an inverted Glug, which in turn created two fizzy fingers of bone-white head with limited retention following a brief pseudo-cascade. Color was an oh-so-slightly hazy Yellow-Gold (SRM = 4 – 5). Nose was VERY evocative of its predecessors in that it had a metallic odor to accompany a sweet corn smell. Ha! Mouthfeel was medium-to-full. It tasted MUCH better than it smelled, with notes of biscuit malt, corn and unfermented sugars. I was immediately put in mind of corn bread! I was transported to Boas Creek, where we used to go fishing and take CANs of Genny Cream Ale to cool in the water. It was one of my favorite underage beers and this was very evocative of it. Finish was semi-sweet, easy drinking and a definite Summer cooler stuffer.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.42/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Canned 6/11/14, poured into a pint

A- pours a clear golden-yellow color with a small creamy white head that retains nicely due to the carbonation bubbles continuously shooting to the top

S- faint traces of whipped cream, slightly grassy with some earthy malt, overall pretty muted

T- sweet cream soda flavor up front leads to clean barley and lager yeast, trace of floral and earthy hop on a slightly sweet finish

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel leading to a cream and smooth finish

O- very simple and easy drinking with a nice subtle creamy sweetness

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Photo of delta490
3.54/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium golden color with short-lived fizzy white head. The gives up pretty quickly except around the circumference of the Perfect Pint glass. The aroma is mild, with initial notes of cut grass, grain, and a light hint of vanilla. The taste is equally mild, with mostly light bread and slight earthy quality. It lives up to its name and has a nice creamy feel to the body with a mild bite on the finish. All in all, a good, lighter flavored beer that you can have more than a couple of.

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Photo of argock
3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz can into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Canned on 06/11/14 on bottom of can. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Slightly orange pale golden with minimal head despite a reasonably aggressive pour into a clean glass. Head is nearly white, about 1/2-finger with poor retention and no lacing.

S: A little bit of pale malt sweetness with light corn and even lighter herbal, floral hops.

T: The flavor is kind of bland with some straightforward pale malt sweetness and light herbal and floral hopping, light amount of citrus character. I didn't actually sense any of the usual corn/grain sweetness until the end.

M: LIght and refreshing although it seems the carbonation is a little low for the style.

O: Not really much to write home about -- first HP product and not too confidence inducing but will move ahead and try a couple more this week.

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Cream Ale from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
3.65 out of 5 based on 191 ratings.
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