Cream City Pale Ale | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

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Cream City Pale AleCream City Pale Ale
264 Ratings
Cream City Pale AleCream City Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.68%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brakspear on 03-01-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 264 |  Reviews: 131
Reviews by Slynger:
Photo of Slynger
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cream City Pale Ale pours a deep, clear, tangerine with a fluffy lid of cream.

Smells of sweet lightly caramely/bready malts with some fresh citrusy and grassy hops.

Crisp light-medium body with nice fuzzy texture to good carbonation, and lightly oily smooth feel to it. The flavor brings in a bit of bready, caramel sweetness lightly toasted, with some orangey citrus and fresh grassy/piney hops finishing pleasantly bitter.

Nice, tasty, refreshing. A good APA.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dusky orange, almost burnt, topped by a fantastic looking lid. The bubbly foam stays humped in the center of the glass it falls, laying down a considerable amount of lace as it does so. This is a serious looking APA.

The nose is a mixture of toasted breadiness and musky, citric hops. The brewery say that liberal amounts of Cascade have been used. I don't know about liberal amounts, but I can definitely appreciate that particular hop. It smells like something English is present as well (probably just my imagination).

If you like caramel malty APAs with a moderate-high dose of hops, then Cream City Pale Ale will be right up your alley. I like it just fine because there's a generous amount of flavor to be had from what appears to be a generous amount of ingredients. This is no light, summertime pounder... although it could probably be used for that purpose.

Caramel ice cream topping and toasted whole grain bread lay down a solid bass line, while grapefruit zest and bitter orange peel play the melody. This bottle is slightly more than four months old. I would love to have seen what the hops tasted like fresh from the brewery. I hadn't previously heard of this Lakefront offering (and didn't run across it on two trips to Madison), but it's definitely quality beer.

The mouthfeel is midway between an APA and an IPA. Again, probably thanks to a generous malt load. The name Cream City refers to the cream colored bricks that were used to build the brewery, but it could just as easily be referring to the mouthfeel.

When I think of good Midwestern breweries, Lakefront doesn't immediately come to mind. In fact, I probably wouldn't include it in my top-20. What a surprise, then, that Cream City Pale Ale is so damn tasty. I wish Iowans had access to even a fraction of the beer brewed in Wisconsin.

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Photo of MadScientist
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A hazy deep gold with orange highlights. The persistent, off-white head of creamy bubbles falls to a thin cap quickly but never goes away.

S: Moderate citrus and moderately-light piney hop aromas with some malt aroma. There is a light fruity ester, almost peach like. A faint herby/grassy note gives me the impression it was dry hoped.

T: A muted citrus and pine hops flavor with a firm hops bitterness and a supportive, clean malt sweetness. The hops are showing signs of age and would be better when fresh, but still come across nicely. The balance is fairly bitter but the malt keeps it from being dominating. The finish dry with a linger hops bitterness and some citrus hops flavor.

M: Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. There is a slight creaminess but a slight astringency.

O: I will be looking for a fresh example, this is a pretty good Pale Ale but the hops are showing their age. A fresh bottle should be great, as this is still very enjoyable.

Bottle in March 2012

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Photo of blackearth
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright orange body with a good amount of white head. Leaves great lacing behind in the glass. Aroma is of piney hops and a hint of grapefruit too, with an underlying sweet caramel malt aroma. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and medium carbonation. The spicy hop character shows up front but the malts tend to get lost in the background. There's a pleasant hop flavor in the aftertaste that also dries your toungue throughly which persuades you to take another sip. Balance is about 60/40 towards the hops, which I'd say is good for a pale ale. The malts just aren't discerning at all. However, this beer has very good drinkability.

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Photo of grynder33
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice hop aroma, dark gold orange color, not much carbonation, grainey hop tinged taste, feels more carbonated then it looks, a little more perky than my favorite, Sierra Nevada, but not as smooth or complex. This is however, a great pale ale, and my favorite from this brewery.

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Photo of Jason
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle with a freshness date on the label.

A- Orange amber hued brew, two fingers of head stay steady with great retention.

S- Apple and pear fruitiness, whiff of orange blossom like hop smell and a fresh malted grain aroma.

T- Fresh hop flavor with a medium bitterness stack up well to the caramel like maltiness. Mandarin oranges and pears come to mind, more hay like hopiness and grain in the semi-sweet finish.

M- Light crispness rolls out to be a creamy smoothness, medium bodied.

D- Solid enough to drink all night, a good medium to pair many foods.

I am very impressed, if you love hops this has a well rounded hop character.

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Photo of zook74
3.94/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mmmm... The name says it all CREAM City Pale Ale. Numm-mers.

Had my first of these after stuffing myself at Thanksgiving today and it was the perfect after dinner beer.

Pours a darker orangish-gold. Sweet and mild smelling with some hops and good malt.

The taste and mouthfeel really shine. Lightly sweet and malty. Creamy on the tongue. A bit of that nice bitter afterwards. All in all a really fine beer.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma is full of grain and grass, with some orange citrus thrown in for good measure. The flavor is hoppier than the aroma. I get some orange, pine and resin notes from the hops, as well as some biscuit malt notes. The bitterness level is low. Thin mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Happy_Camper
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.26/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light orange pour, indeed, a creamy inviting head to it. Aroma lacked hops, not surprising so much, lakefront has never been a 'hoppy' brewery or anything.

Hops come out a bit more on the palate, nice, not oppressive, minimal bitterness, mild caramel sweetness, biscuity. Somewhat dry finish to it, maybe from the slight lemon feel going on. Nothing special about the beer, just a straight forward light pale ale. Good camping/fishing beer.

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Photo of ADR
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bright medium amber appearance, pale head of 1/4 of an inch but pretty average duration. Laces simply in sparse rings with some drips. Fruity aroma, almost like pineapple with sugary qualities. Thickish body, lower carbonation. Sweet and a little havy overall, almost like a liquid Life Saver candy. Hops are too subdued, noticeable but not bright enough to balance the mouthfeel. OK brew, a lot different than I expected, the texture and drinkability suffers some.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a golwing orange copper hue with a light cream head, forms thick...these Lakefront brews have great head retention going on. Lacing forms thick and even with bands of lace across my glass. Aroma has caramel malts with floral hops and earthiness and a minimal sweetness riding throughout each sniff. Flavor has low malt sweetness with grassy, floral and earthy hops goin on. A definite balanced malt to hop ratio going on here, surprisingly hoppy yet balanced these folks know how to brew. Mouthfeel is medium to lighter bodied with a solid sturdy level of carbonation one of those beers to be enjoyed in number. Drinkability is solid all around, this one makes me enjoy and respect their lineup that much more.

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Photo of TimMack
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of richkrull
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of LXIXME
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of DerekQXQX
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of biboergosum
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, part of a mixer pack recently made available in Alberta.

This beer pours a slightly hazy dark golden hue, with two fingers of foamy, frothy off-white head, which shows some admirable retention, before giving up a decent padded curtain of lace around the glass. It smells straight off the bat of citrus and pine hops, a bit of herbal grassiness, and subdued bready malt. The taste is more oriented to the herbal and grassy side of things, hop-wise, with a bready, crackery malt taking back some of the day. The carbonation is on the low side of average, the body medium weight for the style, and adequately smooth. It finishes off-dry, the stoic malt having to contend with a mildly resurgent citrus character, to go along with the latent herbal notes.

A decent APA, the hop character morphing at will throughout the experience. I could see enjoying a few pints of this, were it my local choice.

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Photo of GilGarp
2.31/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bottled 3rd week of February. Served cold in a pint glass.

Pours with huge towering head that is difficult to control. It slowly settles leaving a nice lacing on the glass. The beer is a hazy golden orange color with some suspended sediment.

Aroma is mildly hoppy but, more worryingly, smells a bit oxidized.

Flavor confirms it - this beer is by far the most oxidized commercial example I've ever had. The slight bit of hoppiness is completely overwhelmed by that characteristic wet cardboard flavor. This is really bad, unfortunately.

Mouthfeel is fine for the style. Medium body and carbonation.

This is most likely an isolated case but it just happens to be the only one I have (received in trade) and it's really bad.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Lakefront Brewery is located in Milwaukee, long known as the "Cream City"; and while many people naturally associate the name with Wisconsin's ties to the dairy industry, it's actually derived from the cream-colored bricks that much of the city's early architecture was constructed from (1830's-?).

Cream City Pale Ale pours a much darker orange-amber than those clay bricks, although the creamy, lightly yellowed-tan head might be close. It's clear and the head retention and lacing are both good. Bright, citrusy, orange-ish hops combine with sweet malt (very lightly caramelish with a touch of vanilla) in the nose to welcome you to a softly sweet palate of delicately caramel-tinged malt and citrusy, grassy, and very, very lightly piney hops. It's supple in the mouth with a medium body and fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation that only helps to accentuate its sweetness. It starts sweetish, reveals its orange-like character, and then some grassy/piney hops as it warms across the middle. The bitterness surfaces at this point, and it's solid, but not brisk... kind of sublime. The sweetness and citrus character fade readily at the swallow, leaving behind a wash of dry, dusty, leafy bitterness that makes you want to raise your glass once again. It's quite unique, actually, and very drinkable - certainly worth trying!

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Photo of ElGordo
3.16/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orange-golden color, crowned by an ephemeral wisp of creamy white head that immediately recedes to a very thin ring. Aroma of light, skunky astringency up front, which quickly fades to yield a sweet pale malt with notes of lactose and vanilla.
Palate is mostly sweet pale malt up front, with a little bit of vanilla sweetness on the finish. A hint of mild fruity hops provides balance, but the main focus is a creamy, assertively sweet malt body. Mouthfeel is quite pleasant, quite creamy for a pale ale. If not for the slightly skunky aroma, this would be a pretty exceptional pale ale. As is, it's not bad.

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Photo of mcthfg
3.24/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of cliff1066
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Jon
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pale ale pours a clear copper color with a bubbly, dissolving off-white head which leaves hardly any lace down the pint glass. The smell is a nice combination of mildly citric hops and a well-done, sweet caramel malt profile. The flavor is heavy on the malt, which provides a sweet, filling caramel quality. It's complemented by a mildly assertive hops presence which provides a bit of fruitiness in addition to a crisp finish. Mouthfeel is quite full and coats the palate quite well. This ale isn't overly refreshing, but it would work in a pinch. Pretty decent overall.

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Photo of bdub32689
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of eliz108
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

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Cream City Pale Ale from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.63 out of 5 with 264 ratings