The return of the Robin Hood Cream Ale

The collaboration beer from Pittsburgh Brewing Company and Dancing Gnome is a modern-day rebirth of a 1970s classic. It arrives just in time for Fourth of July weekend.

by Aadam Soorma
June 30, 2020

ABV is our weekly series that highlights a different beer from a local Pittsburgh brewery every week. Check out our past picks here.


Pittsburghers can throw back some throwback beers this Fourth of July weekend.

Robin Hood Cream Ale is the result of a gap-spanning collaboration between a pair of Pittsburgh breweries who opened their doors 155 years after one another.

Local legacy brewery Pittsburgh Brewing Company (the folks who brew Iron City) have been at it since 1861. They partnered up with Sharpsburg craft brewery Dancing Gnome – who launched in 2016 – to resurrect a beer that I’m too young to even be familiar with.

The modernization of Robin Hood Cream Ale will be ready for cohabitation among the other beers in your fridge starting Wednesday, July 1.

Where to Purchase Robin Hood Cream Ale:

  • Robin Hood Cream Ale is available starting July 1.
  • This limited-edition beer is only available from Dancing Gnome in Sharpsburg (you won’t find Robin Hood at your neighborhood beer distributor).
  • Orders can be placed through the Dancing Gnome website.
  • Pickup is available at Dancing Gnome (Wed thru Fri; 4pm to 8pm // Sat & Sun; noon to 4pm).
  • The beer is expected to sell out by the end of the weekend.

ABV, volume LXXIV

Robin Hood Cream Ale – available Wed, July 1 at Dancing Gnome

Beer Name: Robin Hood Cream Ale

Style / ABV: Cream Ale, 4.5% ABV

I mean, just look at this mid-1970s can art for (the original) Robin Hood Cream Ale. Photo: Brian Kaldorf, Top Hat advertising agency

Why we recommend it: When I’m craving a crisp lager, I love reaching for a good ole conventional Iron City. In working alongside Dancing Gnome, the Robin Hood Cream Ale collab is spot-on, seasonally-relevant and a perfect warm weather crusher for these long, summer days. It couldn’t have come at a better time.

Expect to taste notes of malt characters – giving this beer a slightly less bitter taste – as well as a smooth mouthfeel that results from the added maize. There is no actual cream in it.

Folks who drink Genesee – arguably one of the better known cream ales on the market – know that cream ales are NOT creamy, milky ales. A common misconception, cream ales are actually crispy, refreshing beers – not too far off from a German Kolsch-style ale.

Andrew Witchey, founder of Dancing Gnome says: “While it might not work to collaborate on a hazy double IPA, we thought about how cool it would be to work together and resurrect one of Pittsburgh Brewing Company’s old brands – like Robin Hood Cream Ale.”

Andrew Witchey of Dancing Gnome Beer. Photo: Cory Morton

Witchey continues: “It was super cool meeting with Mike Carota – he’s been brewing at Pittsburgh Brewing for close to 40 years – and we walked through our recipe and showed him around our brewing system.”

When is it available: Robin Hood Cream Ale is available for online pre-sales beginning today (Tuesday, June 30) and for carryout beginning Wednesday, July 1 at Dancing Gnome Beer (925 Main St. Sharpsburg, 15215)

Know Before You Go: Similar to all other Dancing Gnome beer releases during the pandemic, Robin Hood Cream Ale will be sold in 16-oz four packs of cans for carryout consumption only.

“Everyone in this area knows Iron City,” Witchey says. “And for them to be respectful of us – and the craft beer industry as a whole – man, that felt so cool. Pittsburgh Brewing Company trusted us. We got to be collaborative and that’s what is so fun about our industry.”

Final Thoughts from the Brewer: “We all get into beer for different reasons. Craft beer drinkers tend to want something else – maybe something more flavorful – but that doesn’t mean the big breweries don’t care about making the best light lager.”

“Beer is subjective as hell. Drink what you like and like what you drink.”

Enjoying our Beer Content? Have some more.


Header Image // Photo credits: Brian Kaldorf and Top Hat advertising agency

In 2012, Aadam moved to Pittsburgh. He's currently parked (sans chair) in Lawrenceville and plans to stay a while. On the weekends, you'll find him driving a small green bus (Porter Tours) as he leads tours at local breweries. Got a fun story idea? DMs are open: @asoorma.

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