From the Bar – Cream Ales

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.)

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