Beer Maverick

American-Style Cream Ale

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Category: Hybrid
BJCP Comparable Category: 1C - Cream Ale

Style Description

This is the description of how the American-Style Cream Ale style of beer should taste, feel and look. However, there may be perfectly fine beers in this style that fall outside of these ranges and descriptions. This information is just to show the most commonly accepted ranges for the American-Style Cream Ale beer style.

These crisp and refreshing beers are fermented warm with ale or lager yeast and lagered cold

  • Color: Straw to gold
  • Body: Low
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: The dominant flavor is of pale malt sweetness at medium-low to medium levels. Caramel malt attributes should be absent. Attributes typical of corn or other adjuncts may be present at low levels.
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: Hop aroma and flavor is very low to low or may be absent
  • IBUs/Bitterness: Very low to low
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Low level fruity esters may be present. Sulfur and DMS are usually absent but may be present at extremely low levels. Diacetyl should not be present.
  • Common Ingredients: American ingredients most commonly used. A grain bill of six-row malt, or a combination of six-row and North American two-row, is common. Adjuncts can include up to 20% maize in the mash, and up to 20% glucose or other sugars in the boil. Any variety of hops can be used for bittering and finishing.
  • Commercial Examples: Genesee Cream Ale, Liebotschaner Cream Ale, Little Kings Cream Ale, New Glarus Spotted Cow, Old Style, Sleeman Cream Ale

Brewing Properties of American-Style Cream Ale

These are the functional brewing properties of American-Style Cream Ale beers, as descided by the Brewers Association. These guidelines reflect, as accurately as possible, the historical significance, authenticity or a common profile in the current commercial beer market.

The alcohol by volume is shows the amount of alcohol this style of beer should have.
4.3 - 5.7%
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
10 - 22 IBUs
SRM is a scale for measuring the color intensity of a beer. Low SRM grains impart a pale straw color while higher values mean it will add a darker color to the wort. Learn more »
2 - 5 SRM
(4 - 10 EBC)
Original Gravity
Original Gravity (OG) is a measure of the sugar content in the wort before alcoholic fermentation has started to produce the beer.
1.044 - 1.052
Final Gravity
The Final Gravity (FG) is how much sugar is left over in the beer when fermentation is complete.
1.004 - 1.010

If you see an error in our data, please let us know!

Based on Brewers Association 2020 Beer Style Guidelines with changes. Used with permission of Brewers Association.