Author Topic: Cream Ale vs. Blonde Ale  (Read 5090 times)

Offline 1 atm Brewing

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Cream Ale vs. Blonde Ale
« on: September 11, 2011, 06:06:38 PM »
What's the difference between the two? Reading the BJCP guidelines, it seems like a blonde ale is a slightly sweeter, slightly hoppier version of a cream ale. Are there any other differences?
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Cream Ale vs. Blonde Ale
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2011, 06:20:09 PM »
Cream ale has corn in it.
Blond Ale does not.
Both of then are low IBU beers.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Cream Ale vs. Blonde Ale
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2011, 06:27:03 PM »
A blonde ale is a little more fruiter and maltier. A cream ale is cleaner and more crisp but they can overlap at extremes. The corn factor (no pun intended) is the biggest difference. Also a blonde typically has more body which can be the deciding factor.
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Offline The Professor

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Re: Cream Ale vs. Blonde Ale
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2011, 06:39:52 PM »
Any difference between them is really splitting hairs...I've had blonde ales that were made with corn, so I'm not sure that its presence or absence makes the "style".    I do know that my own expectation is for the "cream ale" to be smoother and lager-like, but again I'm just basing that observation on a benchmark like Genesee Cream Ale.

I would agree with bluesman that there is some overlap between the two.   In cases like this where the beers can be somewhat similar, it can be a tossup in many cases when deciding which category to put a given sample into.
Bottom line is that it is  always open to individual interpretation.
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Offline dzlater

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Re: Cream Ale vs. Blonde Ale
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2011, 04:10:18 AM »
If you are bringing it to a party with craft beer/ home brew drinkers it's a blonde.
If you are bringing it to a party with Light Lager drinkers it's s a cream ale.   ;)

Offline james

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Re: Cream Ale vs. Blonde Ale
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2011, 08:41:51 AM »
If you are bringing it to a party with craft beer/ home brew drinkers it's a blonde.
If you are bringing it to a party with Light Lager drinkers it's s a cream ale.   ;)

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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Cream Ale vs. Blonde Ale
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2011, 10:05:32 AM »
I agree with others that the corniness is the main difference.  If it has corn in the recipe, or tastes like corn, it's cream ale.  If not, it's blonde ale.  To me that also means that even if the recipe does not contain corn, but tastes like DMS, it's a cream ale, and conversely, if it does contain corn but you can't taste corn or DMS, it *could* be considered a blonde ale, but by recipe it's still actually a cream ale!

Splitting hairs indeed.  Now determine definitively the differences between American Stout and Robust Porter, and, if you dare, "Black IPA".  Pretty dang vague differences if you ask me, especially if you bring historical definitions into play.  Try setting a good commercial example of each in front of you, blindfolded, and explain which one is which style definitively and why.  Depending a little on the specific examples chosen, you very likely won't be able to tell which one is considered which style with 100% accuracy.  Why not?  Splitting hairs, indeed.
Dave

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Offline wingnut

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Re: Cream Ale vs. Blonde Ale
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2011, 08:50:24 PM »
I disagree on the need for corn on a cream ale.  I have used rice many times and got 38-43s on the scores. I do not disagree that cream ales are thinner than blonds, and often seem to be hoppier because of this.  

my 2 cents :)
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Cream Ale vs. Blonde Ale
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2011, 06:54:07 AM »
I just tried a friend's kit beer that was an "Imperial Blond", and it had a nice firm bitterness to it that I thought was not to style.  When I checked BJCP I was surprised to see a blonde could be up to 28 IBU.

His Brewers BEst kit still reminded me more of an ESB or English IPA than what I had in my mind as a blond.  It was good beer.
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Offline brewallday

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Re: Cream Ale vs. Blonde Ale
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2011, 08:51:52 AM »
Cream Ales are traditionally fermented at a cooler temperature (low 60s) compared to Blonde Ales

Offline davidw

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Re: Cream Ale vs. Blonde Ale
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2011, 09:33:18 AM »
Dave, when it comes to an American Stout vs. a Robust Porter, I have always contended that a porter, any style of porter for that matter, should not have black patent in the grist bill. If it does, it's a stout. That's just my opinion, but one I feel is accurate.

Offline rjharper

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Re: Cream Ale vs. Blonde Ale
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2011, 11:27:10 AM »
Dave, when it comes to an American Stout vs. a Robust Porter, I have always contended that a porter, any style of porter for that matter, should not have black patent in the grist bill. If it does, it's a stout. That's just my opinion, but one I feel is accurate.

As above, but for me its roasted barley, not black patent, that defines stout / porter boundaries

Offline hokerer

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Re: Cream Ale vs. Blonde Ale
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2011, 01:20:05 PM »
As above, but for me its roasted barley, not black patent, that defines stout / porter boundaries

+1, roast barley has always been the discriminator for me too.  Although, I'm pretty sure there's no real hard and fast definition.
Joe

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Cream Ale vs. Blonde Ale
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2011, 02:43:35 PM »
Here in the 21st century, I would agree with the roasted barley argument.  But historically, keep in mind that stouts were really just strong porters; porters were NOT defined as less coffee-ish stouts!  Hence my sticking point -- we're just making this crap up as we go, aren't we.......
Dave

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Offline weithman5

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Re: Cream Ale vs. Blonde Ale
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2011, 03:15:04 PM »
if any one would like to deliver (and share) a case of great lakes porter (edmond fitzgerald) and stockyard oatmeal stout i will write an essay on the two.... ;D ;D
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