Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Cream Ale | Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
36 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 36 | Ratings: 187
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!

 1,027 characters

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.

 420 characters

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.

 174 characters

Photo of cw577enfield
4.09/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Grabbed a six-pack on 05/15/2013 and poured into a snifter.

A: Orange/Amber color, head disappears pretty quickly and there's only a thin layer. Bit retention of head with some lacing.

S: Not much of an aroma but can detect a citrus note, somewhat grainy. Very simple but nice.

T: Creamy and floral hops coming together, can be resinous. Bit sweetness in the finish.

M: Light bodied to medium bodied, very drinkable, and has a gentle fizz.

O: It's quite a refreshing drink and a marvelous cream ale for summertime. This definitely will be going into my arsenal of "go-to" beer for beach. I'm not crazy about cream ale but Hardywood did a great job with this one!

 669 characters

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.

 891 characters

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 well...it'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!

 1,281 characters

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.

 903 characters

Photo of tectactoe
3.91/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to smokeypeat for this one... Awesome dude, awesome trader. Hardywood Cream Ale pours a nice, golden-orange color. Pretty murky throughout, with a HUGE number of rising carbonation bubble streams. The chunky and cloud-like head is thick and slow to settle; it's a shade just lighter than beige and leaves a little lacing behind.

The aroma is pretty light and relaxed, but pretty on-point for the style. Handfuls of cereal grains, bread notes, and a touch of sweet corn. Very "barley-esque" in nature, and the sweetness of the corns isn't so much that it becomes overwhelming which is oft a problem with cream ales.

Light hoppage is appreciated; slightly floral and earthy, and maybe even a touch dirty. A mild lemon and citrus spritz shows up in the finale with the gentle crispiness and clean finish of lager yeast. Nothing incredibly complex, mind-blowing, or rampant, but something easy to relax with and appreciate while sitting out in the hot sun.

Hardywood Cream Ale is very smooth and drinkable - I can already make this assessment after just one sip. A framework of grains and barley with some hints of corn and crisp yeast that bounce back and forth. Lightly sweet from the start; just enough to ease drinkability without approaching disturbing levels.

The corn sweetness fades quickly into a mild and apparent bitterness from the hops, which are definitely more present on the palate. Earthy, floral, and meshed perfectly with the light and zesty lemon and citrus notes on the very back end. It has a clean, dry finish, thanks to the lagering of this brew with appropriate yeast.

Wow, I don't know if I've ever seen my glass empty this quickly before. This is up there with Schlenkerla Helles as one of the most easily drinkable beers I've had. Again, this beer isn't going to blow your mind. But that's not its intention. I threw this back during a family barbecue and it was the perfect choice. Very nice cream ale.

 1,940 characters

Photo of ChefHopMeister
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: I love the unfiltered haze when poured into my standard pint glass. Nice golden ale shines thru. Pours a nice 1 " high white straw head after a controlled pour into the dry glass. Void of lacing.

Smell: Cereal mash comes out in a nice waft of flavor. Back note of citrus with some clean grassiness.

Palate: The flavors are well balanced with the malt and grains starting out with a light sweetness and ending with a somewhat dry-wet finish. Great finish as those cereal grains hang for a very tasty ending.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth. Almost fat with texture considering the style.

Overall: It's somewhat difficult to find a really good, flavorful craft beer that is light enough in ABV and body to be a session beer. Hardywood Cream Ale is it. Really enjoyable warmer weather drinker, this one packs some nice flavors and doesn't weight you down while working on quenching a thirst with a few "cold ones". I'll be getting more of these. As it says on the can "Brewed in Richmond - Where Beer in a Can All Began".

 1,026 characters

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.

 420 characters

Photo of TechTriumph
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

No canned date; Poured in a pint glass.

A - A finger's worth of white carbonated head at most that disappears pretty quickly; Rustic gold in color with a clear appearance; No lacing to be had here

S - Lots of fresh grains and cereal in the nose; Lightly herbal with a hint of sweet juicy fruit

T - Sweet bready and earthy grains have a big presence in the taste as well; Quite a bit of sweetness here actually - not cloying, but a main component for sure; Get an herbal-like hop presence with, again, a subtle showing of fruits - apple and pear

M - Moderate carbonation or a bit more; Leans more towards a lighter body than medium; Goes down extremely smooth with some dryness setting in after

O - Cream ale is probably not a style I'd see myself visiting often, but Hardywood's example is quite satisfying. It's easy drinking for sure and packs a good bit of flavor for the ABV. However, the coolest thing might be the can design, which gives a nod to the cream ale from Krueger Brewing Company, the first canned beer ever to be sold - with the dominating green theme, simplistic appearance, and even can opening instructions... so cool!

 1,143 characters

Photo of stephenjmoore
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- Pale, transparent golden body with a fluffy white head. Lots of carbonation bubbles rise from the bottom.

S- Bready and toasted malts, toasty grains.

T- Really similar to the aroma, toasty malts provide nearly all of the flavor. Slight hint of sweetness, but mainly a lighter pale malt flavor.

M- Medium-high carbonation, light bodied. Really easy to drink and easy to put a few away.

O- For the style, this one is rather enjoyable. You know what to expect going in and this one delivers.

 496 characters

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.

 213 characters

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.

 1,991 characters

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.

 173 characters

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.

 583 characters

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.

 584 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.59/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slight brownish gold. Sweet nose. Quite a sweet profile on the flavor. Heavy malts it seems like. Much heavier than I would hope for, but frankly for this style, it seems about what people are putting out. A nice and easy drinker. Nothing earth shattering, but nothing to complain about either really.

 309 characters

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.

 294 characters

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.

 242 characters

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.

 494 characters

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.

 434 characters

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.

 210 characters

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.

 607 characters

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

 566 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Cream Ale from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
3.65 out of 5 based on 187 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!