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The Weekly Beer Geek

Weekly Beer Review: Wexford Irish Crème Ale

Wexford Irish Style Crème Ale
Greene King/Morland
$3.29/Can (14.9oz)
Grade: D+

The Beginning:
When you think of Irish beer your average person’s mind will leap at Guinness and its kindred stouts, while others will think of Irish Reds like Killian’s (normal) or Conway’s (Advanced). But there’s more to Irish beers, including the Cream Ale. A style that dates back to before “drinkability” or “session” were beverage buzzwords, cream ales are smooth and mellow and easy to tip back. Sounds like just the thing as I take a break from cleaning to drink… er, to write.

The Brewer’s Pitch:
Here we find a mystery. Wexford is produced in the UK by Morland brewery, a subsidiary of the Greene King brewing conglomerate. Morland also brings us the more commonly known Tanner’s Jack and Old Speckled Hen. Wexford is brought to the US via the distributer BevMo. And there the trail runs cold. None of the web sites for those companies contain a pitch (only BevMo even has a page for Wexford) and my usual backup review sites have barely any descriptions. It appears Wexford is indeed smooth, if a bit too weak in punch and flavor to truly be great.

The Beer:
Boddington’s Pub Ale refers to itself now and then as the “white Guinness” but it’s Wexford that matches the style. The Nitro-pressurized can pops open with a gurgling rush, and the glass fills with a dense opaque yellow liquid that begins to settle with the downward-swirling bubbles that are seen in a draft Guinness. Once the yellow foam comes to the top the beer itself is dark burnished copper with a dense layer of foam holding to the top. The beer is extremely smooth and creamy but very light- it’s there and gone from the tongue in a flash. It’s lightly hop-forward but a light crusty biscuit flavor that does a slow fade through a lightly metallic taste and into a barely-there stale hop flavor.

The Breakdown:
If there wasn’t much written about this beer, it’s because there’s not much to write. It’s… beer? It’s smooth and creamy, alright, but it’s gone from the palate so quickly that none of the velvet smoothness has a chance to be really luxurious. The flavors are weak, and the metallic bite on the back would be offensive if it weren’t just so darn temporary. You’d probably be fine drinking this, and it would be a relatively inoffensive offering- if it weren’t for the price. At over $3 for under a pint, there are a whole raft of beers that provide way more bang for your buck than this one.

The Bottom Line:
I’m about THIS close to driving over to Europe and slapping every brewmaster who uses senseless volumes for their cans. 14.9 oz? 440 mL? Who’s deciding those are good, sensible amounts of beer for a can? (And don’t tell me it’s because the Nitro gizmo takes up beer space. Bah.)

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