Poor beer. It gets no respect. It’s the Rodney Dangerfield
of alcoholic beverages. It has every bit as much complexity as wine, but
many people don’t seem to realize this. Sure, there are beers out there on
the market that don’t challenge the taste buds with new flavors and
sensations. They don’t come at you from three or four different directions,
and you won’t be picking up pear, apple, banana, or smoke in them. But, and
this is a big but, that’s true of the wine world too. For those who site
Budweiser as the definition of beer, I’ll counter that the same could be
said for Gallo and wine.
I was reminded of this the other night while watching Miss Congeniality.
In the film’s most memorable scene (for me anyway), Sandra Bullock is
sitting at the table dining with Michael Caine. Playing the part of the
uncultured rube, she’s eating a steak and of course drinking a Bud Light
with it. Caine, the cultured and eloquent man of the world who is about to
transform Bullock into a lady, is of course drinking wine. Such stereotyping
makes my blood boil.
What really struck me as peculiar was the fact that Caine didn’t specify a
particular winery or vintage. He just told the waiter, “Bring me another
cabernet sauvignon”. I suppose that’s enough to impress many people who
aren’t familiar with wine but still hold a great deal of respect for it.
Still, though beer styles are much less familiar to most people, they can be
equally sophisticated. Were I directing the film, Caine might just as easily
have asked the waiter for a Trappist tripel, a rauchbier, a biere de garde,
a barleywine, or perhaps even a Lakefront Cream City Pale Ale.
This beer derives its name from the cream-colored bricks used to construct
the brewery. They’re ubiquitous throughout Milwaukee, and are responsible
for the city sometimes being referred to as “Cream City”. A generous dry
hopping of Cascades gives the beer its wonderful citric finish; carapils and
caramel malt provide the rich body to the brew.
Lakefront Cream City Pale Ale pours to a murky amber color with a head
that’s as thick and creamy as the name implies and a soft malty nose that
hints at pear and citrus. The palate is smooth and malty with a rich
mouthfeel and a wonderfully citric hoppy finish. I like the way the hops
build slowly in the finish, first giving you the citric grapefruit with a
touch of toasty malt, and then gradually leaving a growing bitterness on the
tongue that really intensifies in the finish. This is a really great beer
with food. I enjoyed a bottle tonight with grilled lamb chops seasoned with
garlic, salt, and pepper and accompanied by angel hair pasta tossed in
parmesan cheese, cream, and parsley and pinto beans slow cooked with bacon
and served over cornbread.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For
reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.