Hale's Cream Ale | Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub

23 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
Washington, United States

Style: Cream Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-03-2002

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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 58
Photo of Skrumpy
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had on nitro tap. Cascading white head that leaves a creamy, thick layer & lots of sheet lacing. Golden in color. The aroma is light malt, grain, grass, and herbal notes. The flavor is grass, malt, & slightly nutty/sweet. Light body, clean and crisp finish. Very smooth and enjoyable anytime of year.

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Photo of jwc215
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On- tap - nitro - at Bualadh Bos, Bremerton, WA:

Pours bright golden with a creamy white lasting head that leaves lacing down the glass.

The smell is of nutty grain with a touch of citrus (lemon) and mild leafy notes.

The taste of sweet grain is balanced by lemony and leafy hops. Balanced, relatively long finish.

It is airy/fluffy, light-bodied. Smooth.

An easy-drinking, balanced cream ale with a nicely balanced character.

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Photo of stevoj
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Parilla Grill. Looks like nitro without being on nitro. Velvety smooth and creamy, then goes down hill from there. Faint grainy aroma, taste is crackers and white bread. Nice mouth feel and texture to go with the look, but kind of bland overall.

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Photo of Moose90
2.73/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Served On-Nitro Tap

A — Pours a velvety white color out of the tap, it settles to a clear faint yellow colored body. There is a medium height pure white smooth head on-top, leaves behind some nice rings of lacing.

S — Smell is incredibly faint and muted, with a resounding cereal grain presence, light oat, creamy wheat, not much else, just really mild and unassuming.

T — Much like the nose, just not a whole lot going on here, really mild, muted, uneventful, notes of cereal grains, oats, just a bit of a green hop note, but it is really basic.

M — Light in body, creamy smooth, goes down quickly.

O — Very light in all aspects, just a bit of a palate cleanser if nothing else, just a bit uneventful.

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Photo of vkv822
3.37/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nonic pint.

Pale, hazy yellow that clears up as the beer settles, with a thick foamy white head.

Grainy, lightly sweet, biscuity malt with a lightly grassy hop backing in both aroma and taste.

Medium+ creamy body, foamy carbonation.

A well done, easy drinking cream ale, the initially hazy appearance and creamy body makes me think perhaps it was on nitro tap?

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Photo of caveman
3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on draft at TapHouse Seattle. Great nitro pour. Perfect head, crystal clear straw color. Flavor profile is a nice sweet and smooth ale. Nice slight hop character on backed to clean up the finish on the palate. Only bad comment was a predominant husk of the grain flavor, on the front palate.

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Photo of CaptainIPA
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap @ Red Star Tavern & Roast House in downtown Portland. Cheers to Zach and James for a successful video shoot.

Pours a pale blonde color with a frothy white head with good retention and lacing. Mild hop aroma with subtle whiffs of corn, grain and rice.

Opens nutty with flavors of buttered biscuit and pale malted barley. Well carbonated with an uber-smooth and creamy mouthfeel -- almost silky. Suggestions of grain and subtle hop bittering follow. Slight lemon citrus finish.

Easy drinking, smooth and refreshing are qualities that make this Cream Ale particularly rewarding.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Proper British imperial pint in a dimpled mug at "f Stop Fitzgeralds Pub" in Salem Oregon. This was served on nitro so presented quite nicely with large foamy thick white head and a pale golden ale. Not much aromas to talk of..slight dough.bread. Taste was also subdued..but then that is the style creamy, corn, biscuit a wisp of floral hop. Great on the tongue very creamy and smooth, Overall a nice cream ale served in a nice wee pub.

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Photo of Offa
4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally, here is one Hale's beer I really like. I had it on nitro-tap at Henry's 12th St Tavern in Portland and again at Bittercreek in Boise.

Dark gold-amber, it has a creamy white head lasting through to the end.

Aroma is light creamy grain, with light leafiness, light tea and faint earth, very nice and bit similar to, but better than, the similar beer at Rubicon in Sacto.

Taste is nice, full, leafy-nutty cream ale character, nutty toasty grain, light woody leafiness, very balanced, and very tasty, firm but mellow, creamy.

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Photo of grittybrews
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a pale yellow with an inch of very creamy head. Mild aroma with a little bit of toast and lemon.

Moderate carbonation and an ultra-smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Biscuit and malts dominate up front, balanced by a slight lemon bitterness on the finish. Mild flavor overall, but eminently drinkable and refreshing.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a pint of this on nitro at Hooverville in Seattle.

Appearance: a solid nitro pour. Hue is an attractive light gold with a perfect finger of white foam atop -- just what you'd expect in this format.

Smell: a light sweet malt aroma that seems a bit mild to me. There isn't much at all in the way of hops in the aroma.

Taste: light malt flavor, as in the aroma; sweet and smooth. Hops are earthy in character and mild in intensity, though there is a nice balanced bitterness toward the end. Not too bad, overall.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with nitro creaminess. Not too bad but I must say I prefer CO2 when it comes to creaminess: the nitro cream seems to dissipate rather quickly.

Drinkability: a solid, drinkable cream ale. Light and refreshing; just what the doctor ordered.

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Photo of Redrover
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had started my evening at the Swiss in Tacoma with a pint of this. I like the funky milk bottle tap handle.

It was served in a standard pint glass. The beer is a bright gold, slight chill haze and that creamy nitro head. It has lots of lace.

I think the nitro tampers down the aroma. It's slightly grainy with subtle fruit.

The taste is mild grains with light citrus hopping. It is sweet but not overly so. There are more grains in the finish.

Mouth is very creamy but the drinkability is no better than average due to the muted smell and light taste.

I know cream ales are subtle, but the nitro makes this one a bit to subtle. I would love to try from a normal tap.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.31/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a pale golden color with a white head that leaves a thick lace all the way down the glass and never quite dissapears on the beer surface. This beer feels creamy and heavey, but thanks to a good amount of hops tastes light and pleasant, exquisitely balanced. Not one of Hales best..save room for other Hales Ales evenethough Hales Cram Ale is a staple beer for them.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

At the Hale's Brewery Pub the tap handles hover about 15 inches above the grating where the bartender sets the glass to be filled. With a nitrogenated beer spilling from that height you can imagine the resulting pour is a mass of intense nitro turbulence. The beer soon clarifies into a pale yellow golden with a thick cap of compressed nitro head. Closer inspection reveals that once settled, the beer is remarkably devoid of carbonation. And there's no smell.

There's also little flavor to speak of, just a tender wash of doughy malts with somnolent bittering. Bland and indistinct bread water. Serve it to your houseplants.

Interestingly, Hale's shows a cow and cream bottle on this and its two other nitro- beers. As I recall, they outlawed this practice in England lest an unsuspecting consumer expect the nutrient value of real cream. Remember, even though the bartenders often describe this beer as "like a beer milkshake," there's no cream in a cream ale.

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Photo of RJLarse
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Elk Public House, served in a pint glass.

Pours a rich gold color and is clear. A creamy white head with good resiliency caps the beer. The sticky head makes for nice tight lace rings on the glass.

Smell is faint nearly non existent. Some floral notes, maybe a perfume presence.

The taste is lager-like. It is sweet, with a mild bitter hop presence. Generally unremarkable.

Mouth feel is light and clean, perhaps a bit flat.

A very drinkable beer. It's unremarkable in many ways, but not disagreeable at all. I'm not much on the style, but I would have this again.

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Photo of josiahschlender
3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at Concordia Ale house on nitro-tap.

Finally, a pale ale that's actually pale! Maybe I'm just cynical, but I've gotten a little frustrated with many of the "pales" that I've tried recently that look and taste more like an amber.

In addition to the attractive, straw/golden color, it's fairly clear, with a very generous bone white everlasting head. The bubbles are so small and thick, they're like the whipped milk in a cappuccino.

Smell isn't too strong. I get a little lemon, floral notes as well. Not as hoppy as many NW APAs.

Taste is mellow, light, simple. Kind of buttery. Just a little bit of citrus and floral hops. Clean finish. I'm not well-versed with British pale ales, but this seems similar to what I've heard and read they are.

I'm glad Hale's named this a "Cream Ale." If I wasn't expecting that ahead of time, the mouthfeel would have been more of a shocker. Another reviewer aptly compared it to a frothy cappuccino. Very smooth, very creamy, yet doesn't last long after you swallow it. Not the kind of creamy that sticks to your mouth.

I was a bit torn about the mouthfeel. On one hand I liked it because it was so ridiculously smooth. On the other hand, I enjoy the crisp and refreshing mouthfeel that is present on many others from this style. In the end, I felt like I should give it high marks for what it is. A standout different beer from the APAs I've tried.

The mellowness of this beer does lend itself to being sessionable. I think a wide variety of people will find this a good beer.

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Photo of orsulacp
3.32/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on nitro-tap, it poured a nice yellow with a creamy white head. It had a nice cascading foam appearance, very impressive. There wasn't much smell a little citrus, lemony. The taste had a light malt and some lemony citrus hints, but not too much going on here. The mouth was creamy smooth, very nice. The body and the looks were there but the taste was a bit lacking.

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Photo of BillyB
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas of subtle lemony zest, slight citrusy hops, hay and a bit of bread.

As for appearance; what a show this beer puts on as it pours! When it first comes out of the tap it looks like a glass of milk. As the foam curtain rises it unveils a sparkling, golden/copper brew.

Taste is a subtle balance of malt sweetness and hop bitterness. Slight honey character. Lemon, hay, bread.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.21/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've enjoyed this beer twice in the last week, once at Concordia Ale House and once at Rose & Raindrop, both in Portland, OR. Both on nitro-tap in pint glasses.

A: Shimmering golden copper, clear at the bottom and with that amazing cloudy nitro-haze at the top. One-finger thick off-white head of pure creaminess. A lovely curtain of equally creamy lace.

S: Quite subtle, mild malts and hops. Hints at bread with mild citrus.

T: Very well-balanced malt-hop presence.. There are hints of a mild roasted nuttiness in the malt, some earthiness and hay, and a nice citrus/herbal hoppiness.

M: Oh, so smooth and silky...as gentle as inhaling a breath of air. Light body and an exceptionally creamy mouthfeel; the nitro-tap does remarkable things to this beer, making it among the smoothest, most wonderful ones of any style I've had to date.

D: Very, very enjoyable - it's hard to imagine a much nicer session beer. Nice taste and such a wonderful mouthfeel. Great to have this in the local pub (especially at R&R, before it (sadly) closes at end of 2006). Definitely recommended.

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Photo of flexabull
4.36/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is probably my ultimate session beer. If I was to serve a beer on tap at a party, I would probably go for this one.

The taste of this beer is very similar to what you would get at a pub in England. A typical english style pale ale. But it takes on just enough American / West Coast flavors to make it more original. For one, it is served cold. And the other difference is probably because of the local Yakima hops that are added, and there are just enough of them to be present but they add only a subtle, but good flavor.

The main words to describe this beer is CREAMY and SMOOTH. This is a beer that one can knock back a few.

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Photo of Gavage
4.11/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: clear yellow in color sporting a thin and creamy 1" head. The head lasts a while, and a nice lace develops through the drink.

Smell: lemon zest.

Taste: mild biscuit and malt tones with easily detectable lemon citrus. Very mild bitterness rounds it out. Simple and basic flavor profile, but extremely satisfying.

Mouthfeel: creamy, creamy, creamy! Clean finish. Light-medium in body.

Drinkability: super-easy drinking beer. Flavorful, refreshing, and a serious session beer. Must have this if you see it on tap.

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Photo of TheBungyo
4.68/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is absolutely one of my favorites. It's a forgone conclusion that if I'm somewhere that this is on tap, this is my main drink for the night. It looks luscious when held to the light, like thick honey with a cap of snowy head. You even know before you take a sip that it'll lace the glass all the way down. The smell is ever so slightly piney and hoppy. It smells good, but if the aroma were more pronounced it'd be even better. It's tough to look at for too long though because it makes you eager to get down to business. The taste starts off slightly sweet citrus goodness and then morphs into a little hopy kick mixed with a pine taste. The aftertaste is all piney hop It just goes down so smooth that before I know it my glass is empty even though I've savored every drop. It's got balance a gymnast would envy. Nice nitro mouth. The alcohol is well hidden. I could drink this all night every night.

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Photo of beertaster13
4.56/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow. Pours a golden yellow orange with an off white frothy head that is phenomenal to look at, lacing is incredible. The smell is of whipped cream and orange zest. Sweet syrupy malt traces as well. The taste is unlike anything ever, I love stouts and IPA's and this was like a mix of the two. The citrus hop bitterness refreshed while the thick sweetness of orange marmalade malts filled the tummy. Warming yet refreshing, perfect for anytime of year. Very chewy, caramelized malts with hints of espresso, toast and bread and whipped cream, heavy citrus orange flavor, the hops are present and perfectly blended with the sweetness, slightly piny. Very good, full bodied and refreshing all in one, wow this is awesome.

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Hale's Cream Ale from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
3.67 out of 5 based on 58 ratings.
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