Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Why aren't cream ales more prevalent?

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

  1. Ilovelampandbeer

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Posts:
    1,334
    Likes Received:
    5,091
    Location:
    New York
    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

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Posts:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    3,993
    Location:
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Posts:
    1,036
    Likes Received:
    3,496
    Location:
    Maryland
    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

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Posts:
    373
    Likes Received:
    2,093
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Summer Solstice by Anderson Valley is okay and readily available.
     
    haknort, superspak and TongoRad like this.
  5. offthelevel_bytheplumb

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Posts:
    1,948
    Likes Received:
    4,346
    Location:
    Illinois
    Spotted Cow is pretty popular, but not readily available. It's a pretty boring style.
     
    Sludgeman and aasher like this.
  6. abkayak

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Posts:
    906
    Likes Received:
    787
    Location:
    New York
    im pretty sure Genny killed the style....did for me.
     
    FarmerTed likes this.
  7. Jnorton00

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Posts:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    3,993
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    The first and only time I had spotted cow I thought it tasted just like a better made version of bud.
     
  8. tjensen3618

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Posts:
    1,986
    Likes Received:
    3,109
    Location:
    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
    Staff Member Subscriber Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Posts:
    1,845
    Likes Received:
    1,261
    Location:
    North Carolina
    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
    Staff Member Subscriber Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Posts:
    1,845
    Likes Received:
    1,261
    Location:
    North Carolina
    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.
  11. TEKNISHE

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Posts:
    482
    Likes Received:
    331
    Location:
    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
    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Posts:
    4,129
    Likes Received:
    14,681
    Location:
    New York
    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

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Posts:
    742
    Likes Received:
    978
    Location:
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2002
    Posts:
    2,718
    Likes Received:
    6,098
    Location:
    Minnesota
    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

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Posts:
    1,948
    Likes Received:
    4,346
    Location:
    Illinois
    I think that about most cream ales, but I have had Sweet Action and thought it was decent.
     
  16. utopiajane

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013
    Posts:
    6,992
    Likes Received:
    71,106
    Location:
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Posts:
    906
    Likes Received:
    787
    Location:
    New York
    i dont know...think i'd rather drink Simple Green...but thats just me, cheers
     
    FarmerTed likes this.
  18. leedorham

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Posts:
    2,542
    Likes Received:
    4,335
    Location:
    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

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2013
    Posts:
    1,387
    Likes Received:
    1,186
    Location:
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Posts:
    522
    Likes Received:
    1,052
    Location:
    Ohio
    I love cream ales for summertime. Spotted cow and Anderson valley were the best for me this year
     
  21. mrk829

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Posts:
    100
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Posts:
    3,003
    Likes Received:
    3,005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Posts:
    1,334
    Likes Received:
    5,091
    Location:
    New York
    Ill def look for those especially barrier's...good beer by that brewery
     
    marshmeli likes this.
  24. infuturity83

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Posts:
    449
    Likes Received:
    952
    Location:
    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

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Posts:
    1,503
    Likes Received:
    909
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Yeah, or just a BMC lager done as an ale. People in and around Wisconsin LOVE it though.
     
  26. BeerWizard

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    527
    Location:
    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

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Posts:
    5,029
    Likes Received:
    9,771
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Yes. Forced by income in the day. They go down easy come back hard.
     
  28. GennyCreamAle

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Posts:
    810
    Likes Received:
    2,751
    Location:
    New York
    That was uncalled for
     
  29. dcs1548

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Posts:
    253
    Likes Received:
    695
    Location:
    Virginia
    Lucky for us in Jacksonville we get to enjoy Bold City's Killer Whale Cream Ale year round!
     
  30. victory4me

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Posts:
    598
    Likes Received:
    950
    Location:
    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

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Posts:
    2,799
    Likes Received:
    26,424
    Location:
    Kansas
    Anderson Valley Summer Solstice is the best cream ale I've had. That beer is bursting with flavor.
     
  32. AColossalJerk

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2013
    Posts:
    43
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    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

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Posts:
    1,253
    Likes Received:
    1,376
    Location:
    New York
    Only cream ale I had was Anderson Valley Summer Solstice. Meh, it was ok, not something I'd drink often.
     
  34. Brewtull

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Posts:
    37
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    California
    The Sun King Cream Ale is the best Cream Ale I've had. A good solid example of the style
     
  35. abkayak

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Posts:
    906
    Likes Received:
    787
    Location:
    New York
    Granted...sorry
     
  36. bulletrain76

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Posts:
    742
    Likes Received:
    978
    Location:
    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

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Posts:
    441
    Likes Received:
    267
    Location:
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Posts:
    249
    Likes Received:
    308
    Location:
    California
    Alesmith started making one recently that's fantastic. Just not a very popular style as of yet.
     
  39. kingofhop

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Posts:
    3,021
    Likes Received:
    6,782
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I like cream ales. Genny and Little Kings come to mind.
     
    KentT, Blueribbon666 and surfcaster like this.
  40. surfcaster

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2013
    Posts:
    1,669
    Likes Received:
    3,417
    Location:
    North Carolina
    A case of Little Kings 7oz ers. Memories.
     
    mactrail and kingofhop like this.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe