Rise to the Top by Third Street Brewhouse is a Cream Ale, although Third Street refers to it as a “manly”, “don’t hold back”, “bar-none” “full-flavored” brew, with 4.1% Alcohol By Volume (ABV). Rise to the Top is the signature beer of Third Street Brewhouse and I have even heard non-craft beer drinkers say that they have had it and liked it.
Cream Ale isn’t a style that you see very often. In fact, Rise to the Top is one of very few that are currently produced that I recall having had (Wisconsin has Spotted Cow by New Glarus and Rogue Ales used to make one that I tried, but it has been retired). It is a top fermented ale which is subjected to a period of lagering after the primary fermentation has been completed. I don’t know to what extent Third Street has played around with the style, since I honestly don’t know that much about what a “typical” Cream Ale would be like.
Rise to the Top is a pale straw colored beer, mildly hazy, topped by a small white head, and trailed by a minimal amount of lacing. If you examine the beer very closely, you will notice that an extremely fine particulate matter is suspended throughout the body.
The nose is pretty light, with sweet pale malts, a bit of a floral influence.
Pale malts open the taste, but the dominant flavors are light fruits and floral hops. A bit of adjunct malt is present, but it is light enough that it doesn’t wreck the beer like most beers that are brewed with adjuncts. The mouth is light to medium and fairly active on the tongue.
The first few times that I had Rise to the Top, I really had to get used to the taste. I am finding it a bit more appealing with every bottle, and I understand why it is popular with non-craft beer heads (I’m not implying that craft beer people won’t like it, but it has more of an broader appeal than the bigger craft styles would). It is a pretty light beer, the flavors aren’t overwhelming, and it’s not a drastic departure from Pale Lagers, so it isn’t as intimidating as other beer styles might be to a beer noob.
So if you are looking for a nice, light and easy drinking beer, or if you are looking to expand someone’s horizons a bit, then Third Street’s Rise to the Top should fit the bill. I personally like all three beers they have to offer, but this one does “rise to the top”.
Available at Hussong’s in Winsted, MN
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