Genesee Cream Ale was a staple …
There’s probably no brew in the nation that’s as close to 180-degrees from craft beer as Genesee Cream Ale. When I envisioned this column I figured it would be about the long list of interesting craft beers from local breweries visited after epic rides. And then Peter handed me a Genny Cream.
I’m no beer snob, but even I know that this light-ish beer from the folks in Rochester, NY can’t hold a candle to most craft beers and probably is in a different food category altogether. On the other hand how many beers named Monkey’s Ass or whatever will be around in 55 years? Because that’s how long Genny Cream has been here.
Wow. That was a bit harsh. Perhaps it deserves a bit of back story. Genny Cream was my first true beer love. I’m originally from central New York and for us there were only two kinds of beer. Genny Cream, or regular Genny. My choice was the Cream Ale.
“The goal was simple: a beer with the flavor of an ale and the smoothness of a lager.” — Company website
You can’t buy Genesee Cream Ale in here in Virginia, except in specialty stores, so unless I’m home visiting my parents I don’t get to re-live the taste I first became accustomed to in the late ’70’s.
So when we finished the Tour de Valley parched and hungry, and fellow rider Peter pulled out a cold Cream Ale and asked me if I wanted one, I was pretty amazed. Like, where did you get that and do you have any idea about my history with that beer amazed.
The ride came with tickets for two rounds of local craft beer. But the first sip of Cream Ale brought that sense of familiar comfort that comes from deep in our memory. Even a great modern brew can’t compete with that.
Peter had been in northern Pennsylvania on business and he had thrown a few in the cooler — having no idea that any of us had any history with this beer. He was certainly surprised by the size of my eyes when he told me what he had. Just one of those fortuitous times when luck and hard riding intersect.