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Beer Review:
Sleeman Cream Ale
Guelph, ON, CA
By: George Zhen

June 10, 2005

NOTE: There are at least two main beers from the country of Iceland, Viking and Thule. We attempted many avenues to obtain either one of these beers, but we had no luck. Therefore, in keeping with the caveats of our mission statement, we decided to review a beer from a country we had previously visited.

(Reykjavik, Iceland) - While we were in Canada, a friend told us of another national brew we should try. Sleeman Brewing originated in the 1800's in Guelph, Ontario. After closing in the mid 20th century, it was revived by the great-great-grandson of the founder in 1988. It's flagship beer, Sleeman Cream Ale, became the beer of choice for this leg of our journey.

Sleeman Cream Ale comes in a clear, unlabeled bottle. This really shows off the crisp, golden color of the brew. When poured, it doesn't seem to be all that creamy and the head displays little character and is, well, not very foamy. When held to the light, the color is crisp indeed, with little bubble action to speak of.

The lack of character continues as one drinks in this Canadian offering. There is a mild bitterness that crests the palate and skewers the tongue horizontally. It is a stale taste which dulls suddenly, fading into bland acceptance. I closed my eyes and tried to find the "cream" part of this ale, and I was somewhat successful. When I mentally envisioned myself drinking a cream soda, I could almost get the "cream," but not quite.

Sleeman Cream Ale comes in at 5% alcohol by volume, and the beer seems rather light considering that fact. This is a pretty manageable ABV level and you needn't suffer through too many of these beers to reach a buzz of sorts.

So my friend has questionable taste, it seems. I kid. This beer is better than any American commercial beer, but I kind of have to regard it as a Miller of the North. The advantage in drinking the Sleeman, if faced with a cooler decision, is that you won't need to drink as many.

Beer Tasting Scorecard
Sleeman Cream Ale
Attribute Score
Head 2
Color 2
Taste 2
Flavor 2
Effect 3
Overall Score 2.2

For more information on Sleeman Cream Ale, visit their website at

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