Why aren't cream ales more prevalent?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Ilovelampandbeer, Sep 13, 2013.

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  1. Ilovelampandbeer

    Ilovelampandbeer Zealot (551) Aug 25, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    I feel like i never see them at distributors and it blows my mind, anyone whose had sweet action by sixpoint will agree im sure...anyone have any good ones i can keep an eye out for?
  2. Jnorton00

    Jnorton00 Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2007 Massachusetts

    The few I've had just taste like better versions of bud light. I'm not sure if that's how the style is across the board but if so my guess is it's just not an appealing style for many craft beer drinkers.
  3. ThisWangsChung

    ThisWangsChung Poo-Bah (2,723) Oct 15, 2011 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    Hardywood Cream Ale is a rock-solid example of the style.

    It shouldn't be much trouble asking someone in Richmond to trade it to you in exchange for some of your NY locals unavailable in VA, if you want to trade that is.
  4. ChipMurray

    ChipMurray Defender (630) May 21, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Supporter Subscriber

    Summer Solstice by Anderson Valley is okay and readily available.
    haknort, superspak and TongoRad like this.
  5. offthelevel_bytheplumb

    offthelevel_bytheplumb Devotee (454) Aug 19, 2013 Illinois

    Spotted Cow is pretty popular, but not readily available. It's a pretty boring style.
    Sludgeman and aasher like this.
  6. abkayak

    abkayak Disciple (391) Jan 8, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    im pretty sure Genny killed the style....did for me.
    FarmerTed likes this.
  7. Jnorton00

    Jnorton00 Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2007 Massachusetts

    The first and only time I had spotted cow I thought it tasted just like a better made version of bud.
  8. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    By design they are low flavor beers. It's what you can offer a macro drinker at a brewpub when they ask for a Coors.
    Soonami likes this.
  9. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Site Editor (6,368) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I also can enjoy a nice cream ale, especially in the heat of summer in the South... I personally find it to be a great style for bringing to a cook out or other activity where I am going to be outside and trying lots of different foods because it goes with just about anything.
    allisonastra and Bear1964 like this.
  10. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Site Editor (6,368) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I agree with you that they are less intense in flavor but I think they have more to offer than just being a substitute for BMC drinkers at a brewpub.
    Bear1964 likes this.

    TEKNISHE Disciple (333) Jan 12, 2011 Pennsylvania

    haha, i like it for low end beer actually. and i really like the simple green and white can. i've never tried a quality cream ale. It might ruin the genny version for me.
    prdrums77, victory4me and riemster like this.
  12. zid

    zid Champion (864) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Sweet Action is rated so highly on the cream ale list here because it's very bold for a cream ale - and most people here like that sort of thing. That's also why you don't see much in that style - as stated above, many find it a boring style (I don't). It doesn't help that the style has an identity issue with its odd name and confusion with different beers in the UK.

    I don't know where in NY you live, but definitely be on the lookout for Barrier Copernicus on tap.
    Newburgh's Cream Ale would be another to try on tap in NY (but Aces Wild is a weird one).
    Narragansett's Cream Ale would be a different canned option, but I wouldn't pay too much for it.
  13. bulletrain76

    bulletrain76 Zealot (579) Nov 6, 2007 California

    Blonde ale and Kolsch are now more popular manes for what is essentially the same style of beer: light, low-hopped blonde beers with a cleaner fermentation profile from ale yeast.
    ONovoMexicano and Soonami like this.
  14. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,724) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Here's a pretty good thread on Craft-brewed Cream Ales from a couple of weeks back.

    Where I'm from, there are indeed a few renditions that hit the right sweet spot for the style, but finding some of those out your way will be a challenge. Does the Third Street line make it that far yet?
  15. offthelevel_bytheplumb

    offthelevel_bytheplumb Devotee (454) Aug 19, 2013 Illinois

    I think that about most cream ales, but I have had Sweet Action and thought it was decent.
  16. utopiajane

    utopiajane Poo-Bah (2,407) Jun 11, 2013 New York

    OP you are in new york so please try chemung canal towpath ale by horseheads. I don't get to tout these guys often enough and so today I will. Their cream ale is delicious. However, I have said many times that these guys do not date their bottles so if you don't know how long it's been sitting then, I would not buy it.
    Ilovelampandbeer and Chaz like this.
  17. abkayak

    abkayak Disciple (391) Jan 8, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    i dont know...think i'd rather drink Simple Green...but thats just me, cheers
    FarmerTed likes this.
  18. leedorham

    leedorham Crusader (701) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    Because most of the brewers that do brew cream ales do so as a way of offending the least number of drinkers possible. This leads to forgettable beer.
  19. DarkDragon999

    DarkDragon999 Aspirant (271) Feb 13, 2013 Rhode Island

    Bocks arent that prevalent either and I think Id rather have more bocks than cream ales.
    Redrover, JKIRBY and ZEB89 like this.
  20. Mshull

    Mshull Devotee (426) Mar 26, 2013 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I love cream ales for summertime. Spotted cow and Anderson valley were the best for me this year
  21. mrk829

    mrk829 Aspirant (221) Aug 1, 2008 Georgia

    I am one of the few who likes cream ales on a hot summer day. Genny should be easy to find pretty much anywhere, someone already mentioned the Rise to the Top earlier in the thread. Terrapin Golden Ale is another one that I would recommend although I think it is only available in GA.

    Spotted Cow from New Glarus shows up as a Cream Ale on here but on their own website they list it as a farmhouse ale. I would say it is somewhere in between those styles.
  22. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (958) Mar 17, 2009 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Ive had many cream ales but after each one Ive never gone nuts and said 'why aren't more people making this!?'

    Its a style that doesn't particularly stand out among others.
    westcoastbeerlvr likes this.
  23. Ilovelampandbeer

    Ilovelampandbeer Zealot (551) Aug 25, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    Ill def look for those especially barrier's...good beer by that brewery
    marshmeli likes this.
  24. infuturity83

    infuturity83 Initiate (0) Sep 22, 2009 Massachusetts

    I freaking adore Sweet Action, and when found fresh, I grab a cube of them every time.

    I also really like Narragansett's Cream Ale; solid brew.

    As for why it's not a more prevalent style among the BA community, the answer is simple. The majority of BA's seems to focus on ABV, insane hop infusion, and barrel aging. In other words....extreme flavors.

    Cream Ales are delicious, but certainly not even remotely extreme.
    peetoteeto likes this.
  25. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio Initiate (0) Feb 15, 2005 Minnesota

    Yeah, or just a BMC lager done as an ale. People in and around Wisconsin LOVE it though.
  26. BeerWizard

    BeerWizard Aspirant (287) Dec 22, 2012 Colorado

    Homestly I read about the style and it doesn't sound that good! I've never had one though so I'll have to try one and re-comment. Cream on.
  27. rgordon

    rgordon Crusader (744) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Yes. Forced by income in the day. They go down easy come back hard.
  28. GennyCreamAle

    GennyCreamAle Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2009 New York

    That was uncalled for
  29. dcs1548

    dcs1548 Initiate (0) Nov 6, 2011 Virginia

    Lucky for us in Jacksonville we get to enjoy Bold City's Killer Whale Cream Ale year round!
  30. victory4me

    victory4me Zealot (547) Oct 16, 2004 Pennsylvania

    Interesting, I think it's the best product Genny makes and far better than anything made by other macro brewers.
    shawnohall likes this.
  31. JuicesFlowing

    JuicesFlowing Poo-Bah (2,078) Jul 5, 2009 Kansas

    Anderson Valley Summer Solstice is the best cream ale I've had. That beer is bursting with flavor.
  32. AColossalJerk

    AColossalJerk Initiate (0) Sep 6, 2013 Pennsylvania

    One man's opinion...that may be shared by many.

    They suck.

    Edit: to elaborate... As said by others before, relative to so many other styles we're exposed to, they just don't pack a lot of flavor. I don't care that they're low ABV. Even though I'm as big a BA barlewine and stout whore as anyone, there's good flavor to be had in lower ABV brews. I just don't think cream ales are very compelling or flavorful relative to what else is available. It's style that as a whole, just doesn't stack up very well against other readily available styles that I lean on when I want something on the lighter side.

    Ok ok. They suck.
    the_trystero likes this.
  33. Derranged

    Derranged Devotee (479) Mar 7, 2010 New York

    Only cream ale I had was Anderson Valley Summer Solstice. Meh, it was ok, not something I'd drink often.
  34. Brewtull

    Brewtull Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2008 California

    The Sun King Cream Ale is the best Cream Ale I've had. A good solid example of the style
  35. abkayak

    abkayak Disciple (391) Jan 8, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

  36. bulletrain76

    bulletrain76 Zealot (579) Nov 6, 2007 California

    Anderson Valley's Summer Solstice isn't a cream ale, it's a spiced ale made to mimic cream soda. Completely different concept and style.

    Cream ale is just the ale version of an American pilsner/light lager.
    jesskidden likes this.
  37. shawnohall

    shawnohall Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2009 Texas

    I've never understood all the hate for Genesee Cream Ale. OK, it's not a BBA, high ABV concoction, but I'll take it over any BMC...every time.
    GennyCreamAle and Blueribbon666 like this.
  38. notchucknorris

    notchucknorris Poo-Bah (1,910) May 28, 2010 California
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Alesmith started making one recently that's fantastic. Just not a very popular style as of yet.
  39. kingofhop

    kingofhop Initiate (0) May 9, 2010 Oklahoma

    I like cream ales. Genny and Little Kings come to mind.
    KentT, Blueribbon666 and surfcaster like this.
  40. surfcaster

    surfcaster Defender (643) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Supporter Beer Trader

    A case of Little Kings 7oz ers. Memories.
    mactrail and kingofhop like this.
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