Cream ale

Cream ale
Cream ale
Country of origin United States
Yeast type Top-fermenting


Alcohol by volume 4.2% - 5.6%
Color (SRM) 2.5 - 5
Bitterness (IBU) 15 - 20
Original Gravity 1.042 - 1.055
Final Gravity 1.006 - 1.012

Cream ale is a style of top-fermented American beer resembling a German Kölsch.

Unrelated to cream ales, the term cream is also sometimes used to describe a texture of beers pressurized with nitrogen, allowing cans (using a widget) and take-home mini-kegs to resemble true draft beer. Boddingtons pale ale is an example of a beer that uses this sort of packaging.


A cream ale is related to pale lager. They are generally brewed to be light and refreshing with a straw to pale golden color. Hop and malt flavor is usually subdued but like all beer styles it is open to individual interpretation, so some breweries give them a more assertive character. The most notable example being Genesee Cream Ale (made by Genesee Brewing Company of Rochester, NY), & Schoenling Little Kings, brewed by The Little Kings Brewing Company, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, & coming in seven ounce 'pony' bottles. Sun King Brewery in Indianapolis, IN offers one of the most recent cream ales to market called "Sunlight."

While cream ales are top-fermented ales, they typically undergo an extended period of cold-conditioning or lagering after primary fermentation is complete. This reduces fruity esters and gives the beer a cleaner flavor. Some examples also have a lager yeast added for the cold-conditioning stage or are mixes of ales and lagers. Adjuncts such as corn and rice are used to lighten the body and flavor, although all-malt examples are available.

Smooth flow

Smooth flow (also known as "cream flow" or just "smooth") are descriptive names some brewers sometimes give to beers pressurized with nitrogen widgets, whether in can, bottle, or mini-keg, as part of creating interest in the market for their beers.

See also

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