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Cream Ale

Contrary to what the name may imply, Cream Ale is not overly creamy or thick, but rather crisp, refreshing and light- to medium-bodied.

Brewers generally ferment this beer at a warm temperature and follow with cold conditioning (lagering), using either ale or lager yeast (thus its hybrid classification). Large commercial brewers generally use corn or rice adjuncts for a light body, while craft brewers typically use 100 percent malt for more body and flavor. The colors of Cream Ale brands range from pale straw to light amber. Hop aroma, flavor and bitterness are relatively low, with pale malt aroma and flavor shining through. Fruity yeast esters, typical of ales, are generally tempered by the cold conditioning, and the best Cream Ales have a smooth, creamy texture on the finish, befitting the style name. Very approachable and easy to drink, many Cream Ale offerings from craft breweries are seasonal, not available year-round.

Characteristics: Crisp, malty, grainy, sweet, medium-bodied
ABV range: 4.5-7% IBU: 10-25
Popular Cream Ale-style beers: Anderson Valley Summer Solstice, Terrapin Golden Ale, Little Kings Cream Ale, Genesee Cream Ale
Serving Temperature: Cold, 39-45°
Cheese Pairing Ideas: Brick, Brie, Havarti, Monterey Jack
Food Pairing Ideas: Salads, salmon, seafood, chicken

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