So let’s talk about what a Cream Ale is first because maybe you, like me, don’t know what one is and as such, may have been expecting a beer with a creamier mouthfeel to it. That’s not what it is: cream ales came into vogue (if my casual internet research is true) in America as a way to compete with lagers. During the Prohibition era, Canadian breweries helped refine the style and today we have what is essentially an attempt to get lighter beer using an ale yeast to taste like a lager.
That is: cream ales are meant to be light, refreshing and mimic the characteristics of lagers as much as possible.
So, now that we know what this is, the question is; should you get it?
It’s hard for me to appreciate cream ales. There’s just the obvious question: why not just get a lager? Without a side by side comparison, I’m hard pressed to make a distinction between the two styles. Still, that’s my problem not yours.
Here’s what I think: Pelican’s cream ale does what it sets out to do. It’s a drinkable, thirst quenching ale that doesn’t have a lot of corn-like sweetness to it that I have found in many lagers. It finishes pleasantly dry and the overall crispness of the beer makes it a good one for pretty much any pub food I can think of.
It also might be an excellent beer to start someone into the craft beer scene. If all they’ve had is macro lagers, this is a low-risk, medium-reward ale. That is: while the style may seem odd and the brewery unfamiliar, the beer tastes familiar and shouldn’t turn someone off from the style. It may even encourage people to keep trying different things and it’s priced reasonably.
I’d have another.