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Cream City Pale Ale | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

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131 Reviews
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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 131 | Ratings: 264
Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is relatively clear light amber-copper in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a very thin off white head that died down rather quickly, leaving some lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of caramel malts in the nose along with some notes of citrusy hops.
T: The taste is mostly dominated by flavors of caramel and pale malts and has some hints of grapefruit. There are some hints of initial sweetness but these quickly fade away and are replaced by a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied, quite smooth and a bit creamy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer seems to be more flavorful compared to other American Pale Ales but is still very easy to drink.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
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 brentk56
3.06/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a clear honey color with a golden tint to it; the head is pillowy and retains nicely, leaving discernable quantities of lace

Smell: Grainy with a lemon pith tone

Taste: Bready, up front, but the grain and lemon pith from the aroma soon take over; after the swallow, the bready malt element returns but the pith lingers throughout

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I just don't care much for the flavor profile of this pale ale; the pith, to me, is just not very enjoyable

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Photo of zeff80
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, rich copper colro with a small, foamy, one-finger head. It left some lace.

S - It smelled of malt and grass. There were also some floral and citrus notes.

T - It tasted slightly bitter with a burnt toast maltiness. Nice balance of hops and sweet malt.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a good APA. Nothing fabulous but highly drinkable.

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Photo of nickfl
2.73/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - One finger of off-white head settles quickly and leaves moderate lace. The body is dark copper colored and slightly hazy.

S - Grainy and a little sweet, with some mild herbal hop aromas.

T - Grainy and cidery. Distinctly herbal hop flavor with a dry, moderately bitter finish.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish with some astringency.

D - Not particularly drinkable, the overall impression is kind of bland and medicinal. I am not sure why this is billed as a pale ale, it is more along the lines of a bad pilsner.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
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 ChainGangGuy
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle served up at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia. Bottled during the fourth week of August. That's nice to know.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear, deep copper body with a small, very short-lived, white head.

Smell: Grainy-scented pale malt aroma with a light touch of caramel and faint kiss of lemony citrus.

Taste: Pale malts with some husky, grainy astringency and a light caramel sweetness. Very minor fruitiness. Earthy, lightly citrusy hops with a medium amount of bitterness. Dry, bitter, and more graininess in the crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Just barely hitting medium-bodied. Medium, fine carbonation.

Drinkability: Pass. The excessive grainy astringency made for an altogether lackluster (but not lacking in graininess) pale ale.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +6%
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 russpowell
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Popured amber with a bubbly white head that held up well. Lacing was also pretty good

Smell: Piney hop notes up front then a nice malt taste washes over followed by a grainy/dry finish

MF: Well balanced and good carbonation, fairly smooth

Drinkable enough, would try again, but nothing out of the ordinary for a the style

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Photo of Jason
4.1/5  rDev +12%
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 smcolw
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very light haze to the light amber color. A good head that dissipates quickly. Spotty lace on the glass side.

Mostly malt in the aroma...some yeast in the smell as well.

Very close to a strong pale ale homebrew, meaning that I can taste a lot of the yeast. The hop is powerful and fresh--particularly in the aftertaste. Appropriate body and carbonation.

Overall, a very nice entry into the APA world. No extensive flaws, but no real interesting moments either.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

Never would've guessed a beer called "Cream City" would actually be a pale ale... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear brass topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises flowers, grass, light toffee, and mild mandarin orange. The taste holds notes of orange zest, light grass, and a small dusting of powdered sugar near the finish. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda dry finish. Overall, a mild but solid pale ale, nothing all that special, but something easily drinkable.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
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 jwc215
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for this!

Pours deep golden with a thin white head that fizzles down to a wide patch. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of soft/mild citrus and grain. A touch of bready yeast mixes in.

The taste is of sweet grain balanced by herbal/floral, slightly citric, bitterness in the finish.

It is light-bodied, slightly thin at times.

This is a standard-ish, easy-drinking pale. Refreshing and thirst-quenching with a nice balance in the finish.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: clear, amber hue, fluffy, but quick, white head.
Aroma: unexpectedly complex! Sweet and honeyish at first, following by a medley of tropical and citric fruits (peach, apricot, banana, pineapple, orange) plus a sudden touch of sour. Interesting.
Soft and mellow in the mouth, with nothing to fear from bitter hops. Very tame, though also quite tasty. Good showing from malt, though not too prominent.
Mellow fruit is the order of the day, though also this brew's failing. Too mellow!
I was eager for some hoppiness to grab attention on my tongue, and create a challenge in the tastebuds, something, anything, a chase, a dance, a tiny touch of razzmatazz, but nothing like that seemed likely to happen. In fact, the flavor gets a bit cloying and syrupy.
Not terrible, but could have been a lot better.

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Photo of Gavage
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: hazy copper in color with a 1" head that lasts a bit. Mild lacing develops.

Smell: ripe fruit and floral nose.

Taste: caramel, ripe red grapes, mild bitterness, and a mild bitterness makes up a decent but not overwhelming pale ale. The floral bitterness is mild.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp throughout. Brief sweet aftertaste. Medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: this is a session ale but is a little mellow on the flavor front. But several of these can be quaffed.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
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 plaid75
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light grain and a sweet, grassy hop.

The taste was rather well balanced and consisted of a grainy doughy malt cut with a subtlly sweet, orangey and slightly grassy hop.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness.

Overall a decent APA. Easily drinkable.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.14/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a light amber, murky, with a pillowy white head, excellent retention, light lacing.

S: Very light, though I get some hop and caramel notes.

T: Mix of grass and earth in the hop bite, a bit of cedar. Sweet malt, sugary finish with a hint of alcohol. Too much phenol.

M: Nice medium body, good carbonation character, creamy.

D: A nice pale, started out bland, but warming it up coaxed some character out of it. Worth a shot.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.76/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a two finger white head that takes a while to fade leaving a good lace. Clear amber color. Hoppy nose. Light-medium carbonation and light-medium bodied. Flavor is hoppy, piney and grapefruit with a lingering bitter aftertaste. $1.80 for a 12oz bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.4/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured light amber with a nice frothy white head. Aroma is floral and includes slight grapefruit highlights. Pretty fruity taste. Citrus highlights mostly. Not very bitter. There's really not a lot to talk about with this beer which does not surprise me because most of the brews I've had from Lakefront have been poor. Below average Pale Ale.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.41/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sierra Nevada pint glass. Says bottled during the 4th week of July.

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 1/2 inch head that drops to an 1/8 inch along with very little lacing and a spiral of foam on the surface.

S- Smells spicy and sweet which is not common for an APA but I like it.

T- That's great! Once again, spicy and creamy in the front, sturdy malt character in the middle and a lingering, slightly bitter hop finish. All of these flavors are centered around a delicate mouthfeel.

M- Even if the "Cream" on the label is to describe bricks, the mouthfeel is such and very smooth on the tongue. It contributes to its overall sessionability which is high.

O- I'd only had these guys' Riverwest Stein Beer before which was randomly given to me at a Festival. It was about what I was expecting: a pretty by-the-numbers lager. Knowing that they were a Wisconsin brewery since the guy who gave it to me was from Wisconsin, I thought I'd never see Lakefront again being that the festival was in Florida and, at the time, I was hailing from Delaware! But, lo and behold, once I started living in Florida, I found a sampler 8-pack at Total Wine & More and I'm so glad I gave these guys another try. Cream City is now one of my favorite Pale Ales.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.15/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Solid 1" of creamy head on top of a mild orange color. Aroma was neutral.

Minor hops and bitterness, tastes like it wants to be Spotted Cow. Bready, biscuity malt flavors. Not a whole lot going on, like most cream ales.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Bottled week 3, March 2010. Thanks to BeerFMAndy for the bottle.

(A)- Pours a clear orange amber color that produced a good white head that dissipated quickly.

(S)- Juicy citrus of lemon, pineapple, and mango. Some good pine with a light sweetness.

(T)- A respectable piney dry bitterness with subtle citrus.

(M)- A good carbonation level. Not as much flavorful citrus as the smell dictated, but it is still there. Rather bitter for a pale ale.

(D)- A good pale ale with some solid characteristics fitting the style. Not as crisp as I was hoping for, but not bad.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.06/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours light amber with a nice frothy white head. Aroma is floral and includes slight grapefruit highlights. Pretty fruity taste. Citrus highlights mostly. Not very bitter. There's really not a lot to talk about with this beer which surprises me because most of the brews I've had from Lakefront have been pretty tasty. Very average Pale Ale.

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Cream City Pale Ale from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
3.66 out of 5 based on 264 ratings.
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