Carton Brewing Company

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American Cream Ale
Ranked #4
Ranked #4,617
4.1 | pDev: 7.32%
Carton Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States
Notes: Brewing with Barrier is almost as cool as drinking with Barrier. Every time we get together Boat and Money are passed back and forth. We drink merrily while lamenting not having a tank to play in together. For this ensemble effort we took the things that make us happy together and put them together. Barrier and Carton took a classic cream ale version of the Need A Bigger Boat recipe to Smutt Labs. We swapped American 6 row in for the base malt, fermented cold with both beer’s common Kolsch yeast, held it cold for a while, then dry-hopped it within an inch of its life with Money’s hops. Drink C.R.E.A.M. because colabs rule everything around me.
Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 159 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Jason
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can, sample of the brewery.

Nice clarity showing a deep golden hue, lacing is tight and thin but stays around. Fresh young pine, orange zest, and grain in the nose. Orangey flavor, ample hop bitterness, a little vegtal, peppery and herbal on the palate. Smooth and slightly creamy. Warming in the end with a long linger of hops and grain. An exceptional brew.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.32/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Crystalline clear amber with a moderate beige head that really clings on in thick walls.

They are not kidding about the "hoppy" on this one, it pretty much shouldn't even be called a cream based on the nose alone. Big grapefruit, pine, and toasted cracker are all over this. Then some Spree, yellow mustard, and a bouquet of pungent flowers follows up.

Tastes confirms this is nothing like a cream ale, but more like a straight up West Coast DIPA. Pine and grapefruit dominate, with cracker, and I guess the "cream" element softens it to a drinkable degree with a hint of vanilla.

Feel is really fluffy and thick.

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Photo of Act25
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Admit it we drink beer because we can have a different one every night.
Outstanding collaboration, and as original, novel as they come. Here's to collaborative beer.

A: Pours a hazy golden honey orange w moderate amounts of active carbonation, sporting a two finger foamy beige head that reduces to a slab of dense foam and a thick ring at the edges, as it laces spiders.

S: Abundant, strong aromas of peach, mango, and citrus hops over equal aromas of dank, herbal hops, followed by a light aroma of biscuit and pale malts. Powerful! The nose is happy, fresh, abundant.

T: Upfront follows that tropical nose, with a hint of sweetness and vanilla. Strong flavors of peach, mango, and citrus hops, very juicy, followed by deft and left of center, dank and herbal hops. Lingering bitterness tempers the sweet, juicy hop flavor.

M: CREAMY, medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Woody, crispy cream.

O: A flavor and ABV bomb - be careful out there. Try 24. Carton / Barrier original arrangement.

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Photo of njcraftguy
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Decent beer but nothing special. I enjoyed Regular Coffee much better. Carton is putting out some great brews and this one was OK but not up to many of their other offerings.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Traded for this a while back while on line at Other Half. This was dated 4/26 but still tasted fresh and quite potent, which was odd for a Cream Ale. The hops made a big difference here but the Kolsch yeast could still be felt in the grape-like dryness of this and the crisp finish. This took a while to figure out but it looked wonderful when I poured it out into my Carton glass!

Truly lovely look to this as the beer had a radiant deep apricot hue with a wonderful translucent quality to it. Big head and a good amount of lacing here but surprisingly, not a lot of carbonation. Good amount of tropical fruit in the nose with just as much in the taste, with lots of cream, dank and resinous hops, and sweet malt in the mix as well. Slick, heavy, and pretty thick, this beer was a slow sipper that quietly grew on me, as the Kolsch yeast came through in the back. Wonderfully clean finish for something so heavy with some hop oils staying around for the long haul.

Not a Cream Ale to take lightly, the alcohol couldn't be tasted but it was easy to feel long before I polished this off. Awesome collaboration that completely redefined what a Cream Ale could be - something like this made the case for a new style of "Imperial Cream Ales" that straddle the line of ale and lager. No doubt that this was some slickly addictive stuff!

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Photo of SFC21
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cloudy and golden with a fluffy white head and lacing all the way down the glass. A soft, floral, tropical nose. Taste is floral, honey, peach. grassy, herbal. Finish is super smooth and rather dry.

This goes down way too easy for 8.4%. An excellent beer, wish it wasn't a one off. Highly recommend.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16 oz can. Pours medium golden orange with slight haze, two finger white fluffy head had great retention coating lace. Sweet malt candy aroma, floral hops. Malt forward taste, sweet n bready, piney floral hops provide a solid resiny bitterness. Drinks like a resiny DIPA, some alcohol presence. Mouthfeel on the thin side, semi-slick.

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Photo of cbutova
3.91/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- Tallboy to a goblet with a slightly hazy medium golden body. A thick and frothy white head makes rises fast retaining very well. Thick blankets of lacing.

S- Resinous piney hops and bitter citrus oils off the top with a decent malt presence hinting at sweetness and cereal grains. A touch of apricot.

T- Follows the nose with a hop edge but plentiful malts backing those cones up. Grapefruit leads off here to apricot, orange, oily clementine peel, floral, herbal and bitter resinous pine tones. Sweet finish with hints of cracker, biscuit and pale cereal grain.

MF- Moderately thick overall body with a texture falling between creamy and chewy. Plain old silky smooth touch with crisp high end carbonation and a gripping bitter finish.

Malt backing is fairly strong but it is totally devoid of any caramelized stickiness or strong sweetness allowing the hops to blend in smoothly.

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Can poured into a snifter

Clear amber, thin layer of whitfoam settles quickly to some layers

Aroma of orange citrus, pine

Hop forward, citrus, pine

Interesting mouthfeel, starts off creamy and then hops kick in with a bite , lingers

Interesting beer

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dirty orange. Darker, hazier than cream ale. Beautiful head formation.

S: Floral, tropical. Citrusy grapefruit pithiness.

M: Soft and creamy. Very fine carbonation. Medium body.

T: Hops really amp up sweetness of kolsch yeast, and I get lots of cherry and pear. Plays well with lemon citrus, orange, guava, and piney hop flavors. A bit of doughiness. Overall, tends toward sweet end of spectrum...creamsicle or pineapple slush. Clean sulfuric minerality.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Hazy orange body with tons of white floaters and the Horton and a fluffy cream-colored head on top. Aroma is primarily bready, doughy grains with some citrus and piney hops. Flavor balances out the sweet bready malt more with some piney hops, hints of grass and dashes of citrusy hops. Feel is creamy, medium-full bodied, medium carbonation. A hybrid style that I have not tried before; pretty nicely put together overall.

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Photo of Dope
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

4/26/16 canning date

A: Pours a nice clear amber color. Very tall, very frothy light tan head. Great head retention. Spotty bits of lacing.

S: Sweet crisp maltiness initially. Then comes the grapefruit and a hit of spicy, herbal and maybe even piney hops?

T: Hmph. Grapefruit up front. Lots of spicy, herbal hops, especially in the middle. Strong sweet maltiness, grains and with tons and tons of vanilla. Hit of bitterness in the finish with a fresh wave of hops, more grapefruit and spicy, piney hops. Get some uncooked bread dough and more vanilla to help balance it out in the finish/aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, smooth and dry.

O: Huh, a dry-hopped imperial cream ale, that might be a first for me. It's not super hop forward but it is heavy on the hops in general. Base cream ale is super interesting, doughy and vanilla-y. It makes for a unique brew that I can't quite describe right. I swear I even get chocolate at points. It's good though, that's for sure.

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Photo of orangebison
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16 oz can into Spiegelau IPA glass. Hazy orange-gold in color, with a half-inch of sturdy, white head. Massive, grapefruit-y citrus in the aroma, slightly piney and even basil-like herbal notes, plus faint sweetness. Substantial, almost creamy, in body, with lots of juicy hops, plus more of that herbal-ness and some creamsicle-y sweetness. Long, lingering finish of mild bitterness and sticky resin. A big beer that drinks light and goes down easily - almost as sluggable as Boat at twice the ABV.

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Photo of dgmirelli
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

would probably not do it for hop heads but for the rest a great possibility, looks like a pilsner, smells like a dank hop forward IPA, alcohol shows through smell and taste, finishes like an imperial pilsner, pretty confusing. Imperial nature shows through in high alcohol and very present, length is hops to start and it disappears, pretty amazing in that regard. Pretty well thought out and adventurous....nice try.

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Photo of huntley101888
3.67/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

L - hazy golden yellow with white head. two finger foam settled to skim coat. Tons of lacing throughout the session.

S - almost smells like a barleywine or old IIPA.

T - hoppy and sweet on the back of your tongue. I don't know if this is an official style, but it doesn't work for me. It tastes like an aging IIPA. I like cream ales and I like DIPAs, but this combination isn't for me.

F - cream ales and DIPAs are both slick in the mouth, and this hits that. carbonation is good.

O - This beer didn't really work for me. What I said in the taste could be repeated here.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From 05/26/16 notes. 16 oz. can into a tulip.

Pours a hazy deep auburn cold T with two inches of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Citrus hops, fruity malts, floral hips, light pine and resin, wheat. Medium body and low or moderate carbonation, super smooth and no bitterness.

Overall a really good hoppy beer with that great cream ale mouthfeel.

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Photo of HopBomb515
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Hazy orange with a big white head and chunky lacing. Notes of orange, light pine, tangerine and vanilla. Smooth, some carbonation is there but it's creamy, velvety and coating then finishes clean. Cream ale with a twist or DIPA with a twist, it's different but it works. Very drinkable with a smooth feel and big hop profile, this ones under the radar for sure.

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Photo of llerrafnad
4.59/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm really surprised there wasn't a lot of hype around this beer.

And also surprised by a lot of confusion around it. It's all in the description on the can.


Mouthfeel of a cream ale but with an explosion of hops, drinks like a DIPA. Very easy to drink as well.

Fantastic beer. Hope they collab again in the near future either to do this again or something new.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a very hazy medium golden honey orange in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising along the edges of the glass and faint copper + moderate orange highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a finger thick dense foamy layer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of stone fruit/peach, tropical/mango, and citrus/grapefruit hops over lighter aromas of dank + herbal hops and light aroma of biscuit + pale malts.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of biscuit + pale malts with a hint of sweetness and just a touch of vanilla. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors stone fruit/peach, tropical/mango, and citrus/grapefruit hop as well as light to moderate flavors of dank + herbal hops. Moderate amounts of lingering bitterness but overall I would describe it as a juicy hop flavor.

M: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Initially crisp with a moderate amount of creaminess.

O: Probably one of the only collaborations that I can really pick out aspects of the beer that I associate with each brewer. I'm a big fan of the IPA/DIPA and Cream Ale hybrid style and this one is really enjoyable. Easy to drink with very well hidden alcohol making this one a little dangerous. Definitely one to grab and I could easily have another of these right now.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned 4/25/16 and poured into Carton Dubvariant glass.

L: 3F head with very good retention and lots of sticky lacing and a ring and cap. Beer is a hazy amber.

S: Getting a lot of citrus up front - orange, lemon, grapefruit - along with pineapple and the 6-row in the background.

T: Reverse of nose; decidedly malt-forward, then the fruits kick in along with some pine, resin, and general dankness (a Carton thing).

F: Medium body, light to medium carbonation, a definite creaminess to it all (I get it!). Pretty well-balanced (a bit of bitterness/heat leaks through on the finish) and nicely constructed.

O: Honestly had no idea what to expect because the only cream ale I'd had prior to this was...Genesee in college. LOL. This definitely is an improvement. My own preference still runs more to a straight APA or IPA, but this is pretty good.

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Photo of Sandalwood
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2016, pours a cloudy orange color with a thin off-white head. There is some soapy lacing. The odor for me is pine, grapefruit, lemon, pineapple, orange, resin, herbal. The taste for me is resin, pine, herbal, mandarin, grapefruit, dank. The mouthfeel is soft and creamy. Slight herbal bitter dry aftertaste.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Can shared by Chad, thanks man.

This one pours a nice hazy-ish orange, with a small head, and a bit of lacing.

Smells nice, I get the grainy and slightly sweet cream ale base, with a big citrusy hop blast on top.

This is one of the better collabs that I've had- the base is great, very creamy, a little vanilla, grainy sweetness, with orange, and grapefruit, and a bit of washed out pine. It's all very smooth and super drinkable.

This has a creamy mouthfeel, with a slight bite on the finish, and a good level of carbonation.

This went down way too easy- awesome job by both breweries.

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Photo of NoYouDidnt
3.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Darkish orange appearance with a 2 finger soapy head. And wow on the aroma my mouth starts watering. A very fruity candy smell to this with the hops. I guess call this what you want to, but it's an IPA in the aroma. Huge hops. Grapefruit, flowery. The taste is quite a shock with what the hops in the nose are setting up. It is a creamy buttery taste with a grassy hop. The mouthfeel is very slippery. Almost nitro-esque. Overall, they definitely take this style places. It is not a quick drinking beer, feels pretty substantial. Give it a shot hopheads.

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Photo of Prager62
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A pint can dated 4/25/16 poured in my 13oz. tulip for the occasion.

Look- Pours like hazy liquid gold leaving two fingers of white foam.

Smell- Grapefruit, orange zest and mild passionfruit. Some floral notes emerge in the back.

Taste- Orange zest, grapefruit, a hint of passionfruit and mango. Once again some floral qualities pry their way through.

Feel- Creamy, smooth and slick.

Overall- A rather tasty and creamy smooth style bender of a beer. It tastes like a DIPA on nitro.

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

pours hazy burnt orange with a thick head, looks pretty damn good.

smell is clean and creamy. juicy hops in this.

taste is amazing, clean and creamy yet hoppy and full bodied. really great stuff. would easily get more of this.

this is pretty damn good, now i wanna try Barrier's Money because I love Boat and wanna try the other half to this equation. a hoppy cream ale. i can definitely taste the cream ale elements at the end but it leads with hops.

i greatly enjoy this beer. would keep cans of this in my fridge year round.

damn i love Carton

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SS-C.R.E.A.M from Carton Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 159 ratings