AleSmith Mount Crushmore

I gave this beer a try while we were at Memphis Taproom, waiting for our takeout order. They have a Korean fried chicken sandwich that is absolutely amazing. If you’re ever in the area, definitely give it a shot.

ABV: 4.8%

Style: Cream Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Founded in 1995, AleSmith Brewing Company is a San Diego based artisanal craft brewery that specializes in handcrafted ales inspired by the European classics. Deeply rooted in the amateur and craft brewing communities, AleSmith ales have continued to garner both national and international awards. In 2015, AleSmith celebrated its 20th year in production by opening a new state-of-the-art brewery in Miramar at 9990 AleSmith Court (formerly Empire Street). ‘AleSmith 2.0’ features an entirely new tasting room and brew system with the capability to pump out more than 100,000 barrels/year only two blocks west of the original location. Please come visit us and taste the legendary craftsmanship for yourself.”

Random: The coconut club at Memphis Taproom is also amazing and one of my favorite sandwiches.

The beer poured with a huge three finger, pure white head. The head dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was slightly cloudy and bright yellow. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose was overly mild. It had some grass and citrus with white bread. The taste started with some grainy sweetness. It transitioned into grapefruit and hops. There was some caramel as well. The body was very light with lots of carbonation. It had a quick finish with grainy sweetness. This beer was alright, but nothing earth shattering.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

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Union Anthem Golden Ale

I finally got a new laptop. I waited a whole ten years to get a new Mac, but this one is ridiculously fast. It was taking me so long to post that I pretty much gave up until the new laptop came.

ABV: 5%

Style: Cream Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “In honor of the 200th anniversary of Francis Scott Key’s penning of The Star Spangled Banner just outside of Fort McHenry right here in Baltimore, we’ve brewed up this easy drinking, all-American beer. Our take on a classic American style, the Cream Ale, this light golden ale is brewed with American grown barley, wheat, corn, & oats and lightly hopped with Columbus for bittering and a kiss of floral Mosaic. This all-American classic is just the thing to make you sing!”

Random: This beer uses Columbus and Mosaic hops.

The beer poured with a one finger, cream-colored head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was clear and straw yellow. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose was muted. There was some grain along with wheat and corn and a touch of cream. The taste was equally unoffensive. I got the same oats and corn along with a touch of grass and cream. The body was super light with lots of carbonation. It had a quick, unremarkable finish. A can was $1.83, which came to $.15 per ounce. This beer wasn’t expensive, but was just very bland. I wouldn’t refuse it if my other choice was a macro, but this didn’t wow me.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

The Bruery Guava Libre

Two cream ales in a row! This was a collaboration beer with Funky Buddha out of Florida, so let’s see how it was.

ABV: 7.5%

Style: Cream Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This sensory getaway transports you to a corner bodega with our friends at Funky Buddha in South Florida to recreate the flavors you’d find in a Cuban guava pastry. Championing the big, bold flavors that both of our breweries are known for, we brewed an imperial cream ale, adding lactose and vanilla to impart sweet, custard-like ribbons, and guava for filling its conceptual authenticity. It’s a collaboration that’s equal parts inspiration and admiration.”

Random: They recommend pairing this beer with shrimp empanadas.

The beer poured with a one finger, white head. It dissipated quickly with some lacing left on the glass and a small crown. The body was super cloudy and bright yellow in color with lots of carbonation visible. The nose was filled with guava and lactose. I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t have any extract taste. It also had a light malt characteristic. The taste was sweet with guava, but quickly taken over by lactose and vanilla. It also had a bready characteristic to it. It wasn’t nearly as bright as the nose, but still was solid. The body was medium thickness with moderate carbonation. It had a quick finish with vanilla. A bottle of this was $14.99, which came to $.68 per ounce. I enjoyed this beer, but it needed more guava in the taste and it was definitely a little too expensive, but what Bruery beer isn’t.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Genesee Cream Ale

We leave for Hawaii next Saturday and I can’t wait. We got a boatload of snow last week and we’re supposed to get more, so getting on a plane to a tropical paradise sounds amazing right now. I can’t wait to be sitting on the beach with my wife and just de-stress. In the meantime, let’s review some beers.

ABV: 5.1%

Style: Cream Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Introduced 1960. The goal was simple: a beer with the flavor of an ale and the smoothness of a lager. That’s how Genesee Cream Ale (the brainchild of this brewery) became an American original. Today, every batch of Cream Ale is skillfully brewed to achieve its smooth character and a remarkably creamy white head worthy of its name.”

Random: The brewery has been open since 1878.

The beer poured with a thick, one finger, pure white head. It took awhile to dissipate and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had some grain and twang of metal as well, but nothing else. The taste was mild and relatively unoffensive. It had some creaminess to it along with straw and grains. The flavors were simple, but it wasn’t bad. The body was on the thicker side with high carbonation. The finish was quick with milled grain. A 24 ounce can of this was $1.19, which comes to $.05 per ounce. This isn’t a complex beer at all, but it’s a good option instead of a macro.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Demented Astarte

Tonight’s beer is from another New Jersey brewery I haven’t visited yet. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 5.5%

Style: Cream Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “In documented mythology the creation of strawberries is attributed to the ancient Goddess Astarte, more commonly known by her Greek name Aphrodite. Legend says that upon the death of the mortal Adonis that the Goddess wept with such passion that her tears fell to the ground as small red hearts. We started with a traditional Cream Ale, light and crisp with a great mouthfeel… Then we added fresh strawberries to give it an incredible nose, and slight tart finish. With just the right amount of fruit to make it noticeable but not overpowering, this spring/summer seasonal is a perfect offering to the celestial mother of love.”

Random: I find the first few hours before sunrise very peaceful.

The brew poured with a half a finger of thin white head. It dissipated almost instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was straw-yellow and completely clear. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose of the beer was grain with some floral notes. I couldn’t pick it out as specifically strawberry. It also had a slightly tart note, which was a bit off-putting. The taste started with grain and then had a mineral water note. The strawberry manifested more as flowers and there was also a tart note, which was just as weird as it was in the nose. It also didn’t have a vanilla or cream note. The body was on the thicker side with moderate carbonation. The finish was quick and tart. A pounder can was $3.25, which came to $.20 per ounce. I had high hopes for this beer, it just didn’t deliver.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Dark City Circuit

Today is my wedding day! I’m sure I’ll be posting a lot more about the planning since I post about 4-5 months in advance. But, When we decided on the venue, we picked some place historic with a lot of charm out in Pennsylvania. They also said that we could choose the beers that we wanted and specifically asked them not to serve Yuengling because of their stance on gay rights. Apparently it’s not uncommon to ask venues to pull that beer. I was on the search for a beer that was low in ABV but super-flavorful that we could serve. Spoiler alert: this wasn’t the beer.

ABV: 4.2%

Style: Cream Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our smooth, well-balanced, session American cream ale hopped untraditionally with Jarrylo & Pekko to provide refreshing notes of apple/pear.”

Random: This beer came in at 11 IBUs.

This beer poured with half a finger of pure white head. It was loose and dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had grain, cream and vanilla. I didn’t pick up much else. The taste was clear and very light. It had notes of cream, grain and some pear skins. The body was almost too heavy for the style with not enough carbonation. The finish was instant with pear skins and grain. A pounder can of this was $2.83, which came to $.18 per ounce. This beer just missed the mark for me. It was too heavy and it needed a bit more flavor. I wouldn’t have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Small Town Not Your Father’s Vanilla Cream Ale

Val seems to like the Not Your Father’s selections. I tend to not be a big fan. Their beers/hard sodas are on the gimmicky side and the success of their root beer lead to many other competitors and things like “hard orange soda.” But, since Val likes them, we usually have a few in the house. This was one that she was excited about, so let’s see how this one was.

ABV: 4.1%

Style: Cream Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A creamy botanical craft beer brewed with Madagascar Vanilla, combining a lightly sweet savor with a smooth finish to create a refreshing botanical craft beer.”

Random: I only like diet sodas. I never got a taste for full sugar sodas.

The beer poured with a two and a half finger, off white head. It dissipated rather quickly, but left no lacing on the glass. The body was cloudy and amber, bordering on light brown. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose was not complex. It had vanilla, nutty malt and caramel. The taste was overwhelmingly filled with vanilla. Caramel and nutty malt came next with a lot of sugary sweetness. Balance was not this beer’s strong suit. The body was thicker than I would have liked and made the sweetness more cloying, even the carbonation couldn’t help fix that. It had a lengthy and sticky finish. A bottle of this set me back $1.83, which came to $.15 an ounce. This beer needed balance, otherwise it was just a vanilla sugar bomb.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0