Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company’s Croydon Cream Ale is a self-proclaimed “Lawnmower Beer.” That is, it’s a no-frills, no fuss, drink-from-the-can type beer. This isn’t a beer for fawning over—it’s meant to be a refreshing beer that still has flavor. One that’s there when you need it most, on a hot afternoon or after a long day’s work. And, at 4.2% ABV, you can reach for it more than once. With that being said, I still of course did my part in over-analyzing a beer that was never intended to be closely inspected.
This is a beer that should be enjoyed outside, straight from the can. As such, the can design is important. Neshaminy Creek’s label designs never disappoint, Croydon Cream Ale included. It features a smiling sun that compliments the murky yellow color that adorns the top half of the can. More details emerge as the can turns—a tired man in his lounge chair, beer by his side. There’s a riding mower that seems to have a mind of its own, because the man too encompassed by the afternoon heat to care.
There are few, if any, better examples of a simple yet tasty beer that pairs perfectly with summertime.”
As the beer is poured, it looks like a pretty classic “beer” color—a straw golden yellow, a thick white head, and a translucence that shows off the dancing carbonation. The smell is a sweet, malty aroma that flirts with the idea of a “lite” beer that the college versions of us all knew so well. However, the scent then rounds out at the end into a well-rounded, lightly floral and hoppy nose that reminds me that it’s still a craft beer. The smell fades as quickly as it begins, but I suppose that’s so we can all spend more time drinking it.
Here’s where Croydon Cream Ale shines. There’s an almost indescribably refreshing taste that this beer has when it’s enjoyed in the warm weather—a balance of malty sweetness and an abundance of creamy texture, which falls out into a very subtle hint of hop character. There are few, if any, better examples of a simple yet tasty beer that pairs perfectly with summertime. The beer rarely hangs around the can long enough to warm up, but obviously most of the magic is lost when a cream ale such as this warms. So, be sure to enjoy straight out of the fridge or cooler, early and often.
I introduced a good friend of mine to this beer, and he told me it’d be tough to review. It’s just so straightforward, yet with a special “something” that allows craft beer enthusiasts and more mainstream beer-drinkers alike to enjoy it. As my friend put it, “Drink when hot. Cool down. Thank me.”