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Lakefront Brewery: Cream City Pale Ale
Welcome to week 3 of our exploration of the variety eight-pack from Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee, WI. This week, were tasting Lakefronts Cream City Pale Ale, classified as an American Pale Ale (APA) thats dry-hopped with Cascade hops (a classic American variety often used in Pale Ales) and weighing in at 5.68 percent alcohol by volume. Its name, if youre wondering, is a reference to one of Milwaukees many nicknames.
As far as APAs go, you can generally expect a good balance of malt and hops. Fruity esters and diacetyl can vary from none to moderate, and bitterness can range from lightly floral to pungent. The major difference between American and English Pales Ales is that American versions tend to be cleaner, hoppier and more alcoholic, while their British counterparts tend to be more malty, buttery, aromatic and balanced, with a more moderate alcohol content. So now that we sort of know what to expect, lets give Cream City a try.
The 12-ounce bottle unleashes what appears to be a well-carbonated brew, with thousands of tiny bubbles cascading throughout the beer and forming a very tight white foam head that retains extremely well and leaves rings of sticking lace as we drinkthanks, no doubt, to the abundance of hops. What lies beneath is a peachy amber-colored brew with a touch of haze running through it. Nose is floral, like orange blossoms, with some citric rind and soft apple. Ultra-smooth on the palate, with a silky creaminess up front and an even consistency to the end. Mineral notes. Sharp citric smack, with grapefruit, salt, lemon rinds and a piney edge. Crisp bite. Leafy undertones. Apple and pear notes follow, with a touch of pale malt sweetness and orange-like fruitiness mingling with light hop oils. Bitter, grainy and drying in the finishwith just enough residual sweetness to make the linger enjoyable.
In our opinion, Cream City Pale Ale (which got a score of recommended on BeerAdvocate.com with some 40-odd reviews) is a good brew thats a bit predictable, but impressive nonetheless, full of flavor and highly drinkable. Its actually a great example of a modern APA, with more of a hop presence due to its being dry-hopped. Serve it cool in a nonic glass (or something similar). A mesclun salad with a citrus-infused vinaigrette would pair nicely, as would a nice chunk of aged cheddar or a light poultry dish. On its own, it makes for a good session brewmeaning you can have more than one without losing respect for beer.
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