Cream Ale

Recipes:
6,699
BJCP 2021:
01C
Era:
Traditional
Origin:
🇺🇸 United States
Fermentation:
Any
Color:
Pale
Strength:
Normal
Taste:
Balanced

Profile

The Cream Ale is a style of beer that presents a smooth and clean profile, it's a hybrid that shares characteristics with both ale and lager fermentations. Originally an American creation, this style developed during the mid-1800s as ale brewers in the United States sought to compete with the surge of popular lagers. It was designed to be a light and refreshing drink that could appeal to a wide audience, combining the best features of both types of brewing methods. To achieve these characteristics, cream ales are typically fermented with ale yeast at warmer temperatures then conditioned at colder lagering temperatures.

Cream Ales are smooth and balanced. The palate typically showcases moderate maltiness with a sweet impression from malt and adjuncts like corn or rice. Hop bitterness is low to medium-low, just enough to balance but not overpower the malt sweetness. The finish tends to be dry which helps in lending crispness to the overall drinking experience, yet without much biting aftertaste common in many lagers. This style should not exhibit strong fruitiness or estery qualities typically associated with ales; instead, it maintains cleanliness on par with well-crafted lagers. Due to its crisp character and easy drinkability, Cream Ale sometimes resembles an American Lager though generally offering more complexity due to ale fermentation nuances.

Specifications

Alcohol

Specification
4.2 – 5.6 %

In Database
4.0 < 5.0 < 6.0 %

Bitterness

Specification
8 – 20 IBU

In Database
8 < 17 < 25 IBU

Color

Specification
4 – 10 EBC
2 – 5 SRM

In Database
4 < 7 < 11 EBC
2 < 4 < 6 SRM

Original Extract

Specification
10.4 – 13.5 °P
1.042 – 1.055 OG

In Database
9.7 < 12.0 < 14.7 °P
1.039 < 1.049 < 1.060 OG

Final Gravity

Specification
1.5 – 3.1 °P
1.006 – 1.012 FG

In Database
1.5 < 2.8 < 4.3 °P
1.006 < 1.011 < 1.017 FG

Popularity Over Time

Most Used Yeasts

Most Used Hops

Dosage of Hops

Hop Pairings

Brewing Recipes