I was a bit late to the party when it comes to drinking alcohol. When my peers in high school were drinking on strip jobs rocking out to Lynyrd Skynyrd, I was home reading and listening to movie soundtracks. Yes, I still am much that nerd. I finally got a taste for alcohol in college when I met the man who became my husband (20+ years married, thank you very much). He was recently out of the military and could drink a *lot*. I made the mistake thinking I could match him in those early days.
He introduced me to various cheap beers. Mickey’s Big Mouth, ack. One I did like though, and still do, is Genesee Cream Ale. Less than $20/case, and it’s good basic “beer” (well, it’s an ale technically but it’s very much like a lager). Lots of people reviewing it say that it’s “sweet”. No idea where they get that from, I find it pretty much neutral in the dry/sweet category. It’s also well-balanced in malt and hop. Which means I can drink a lot of them and they go with pretty much anything. As many craft beers as I have drunk and as many as I have made, I always come back to my Genny.
The other two cream ales that I’m reviewing here are rather different than my working girl above. They have flavorings and I find them too distinctive to be good session beers.
Anderson Valley Brewing Company Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema
This really has the “cream” in cream ale. From what I can taste, it has a goodly portion of vanilla in it. On a hot summer day, it’s like having a vanilla milkshake, sans the thickness. It does have a sweetness but not too cloying.
Buffalo Bill’s Brewery Orange Blossom Cream Ale
This is another cream ale that is often described as sweet. I don’t get that at all, but boy is there a lot of orange, particularly the blossom, going on. I think some “read” this as sweet, but if you hold your nose and drink, you get a nice dry ale. (BTW, if you read this blog often, you’ll notice that I don’t often agree with the “experts” about my drinks.)