The American craft beer that makes it across the pond to Ireland is on the whole excellent stuff. Sadly we have have to pay a premium for the pleasure, particularly on the fare from smaller brewers. The larger brewers such as Brooklyn or Sam Adams are reasonably priced thanks to the economies of scale enjoyed by these guys, but the beer from the slightly smaller breweries seems to cost a lot more. Even Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is an expensive treat over here and thanks to the comparatively high alcohol content of Goose Island's IPA this too can also prove a little pricey.
The recent efforts of Jonathan Spielberg and his business partner mean that we can enjoy fine West coast American beers at far more reasonable prices thanks to the elimination of meddlesome middle men. It was with these prices in mind that I bought this evening's beers. At only 2.50 each I had a vague hope that these might be more tasty American beers bucking the trend of high retail price. In truth I knew that anything labelled a 'Cream Ale' had to be suspect and my suspicions were confirmed on the first mouthful. Genesse Cream Ale taste of very little indeed, but boasts of offering the smoothness of a lager with the flavour of an ale. My initial thoughts were of cream soda on the tongue, but dismissed this as the insidious action of their marketing on my feeble mind. It had a distinct American light lager flavour and feel about. I can't think of anything else to say.
JW Dundee's Honey Brown is a honey lager which doesn't taste of honey. It is sweet though. Unpleasantly so, and also harshly bitter at the same time. There is reasonable malt substance but it tastes a little immature, a little like some of the flavours from early fermentation. It wasn't for me at all, but my wife liked it, which avid readers of this blog will know is the touch of death for any beer. Bud Light is her benchmark and any other beer she favours is likely to be equally unchallenging.
I don't mean to sound ungrateful - great things are coming from The States, but you can keep these two beers for yourself America, if that's OK with you.