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Shipyard Summer Ale - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Shipyard Summer AleShipyard Summer Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

370 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 370
Reviews: 192
rAvg: 3.05
pDev: 18.03%

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co. visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Wheat Ale |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-31-2001)
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Ratings: 370 | Reviews: 192 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.6/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mid-December might seem like a strange time to drink a summer beer, but you can't drink what you don't have. I just picked this up in Columbus on my semi-annual trip back to see my family. By the way, the Shipyard website says Summer Ale is a wheat beer, not an APA.

Perfectly clear medium amber topped by a bone white head that contains the barest hint of lemon yellow. The foam is fairly insubstantial, but manages to hang around a while and afix wispy chunks of itself to the inner curve of the glass. The nose is softly lemony, slightly sweet and grain-like. It doesn't seem all that wheaty to me. Pleasant enough for a summer beer.

If your standards aren't that high for a light, drinkable, quenching, hot weather beer, this stuff is actually pretty good. It doesn't have any huge positives, but then it doesn't have any insurmountable negatives either. It's lightly malted (again, more barley than wheat) with untoasted grain as the dominant flavor. There's also a mild lemony buzz and very little in the way of hops. Although the body is unquestionably light, its fragile structure maintains itself throughout the entirety of each mouthful.

Shipyard Summer Ale is simple fare and would be a good accompaniment to a warm weather picnic. For my bottom line, see the first sentence of the previous paragraph. Summer Ale will undoubtedly be my last summer beer until next summer rolls around.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2004 21:19:12 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.43/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A – Poured a slightly hazy pale golden amber with a nice, albeit quickly receding two inch head of foam on the top. This quickly faed leaving behind only the slightest touch of a layer across the top. Some side glass lace was present, but nothing that was too spectacular. Lots of visible carbonation coming to the surface. This looked like your typical summer pilsner to be honest, nothing bad, pretty average.

S – Aroma was very malty. A touch of yeast lightened it up a little, but overall it was a decent pilsner like aroma. There was some light fruit aromas in there and a touch of something, but overall it was just a decent pilsner type of smell.

T – The taste was actually quite flavorful. Lots of pilsner hops in the front and the back was actually quite sour and had a nice bitter fruit like bite to it. This kinda caught me off guard as the rest of it was pretty much straight forward and this one was quite the unique little pairing so to speak. It had a sour grape like flavor to it mixed in with some really bitter hops. Quite sharp and refreshing and lingered for a long long time.

M – Very light, crisp and clean with a good amount of carbonation. No slickness really detected and it kept the carbonation around for a good long while once it was finished.

D – Pretty good actually. The only limiting factor would be how bitter that after bite was, but other then that I found it to be an extremely drinkable ale and some that I could picture having on the warmest of days.

Overall I have to admit I have never really been a huge fan of anything from shipyard. They just always seem to come off a bit bland to me. This one however was quite nice. It had a great feel to it and really the punch at the end of it really seemed to make the difference. I really enjoyed some of the fruit tones that were present throughout and thought it had a nice sessionable characteristic to it. Overall I would not say this was a favorite of mine, however it was not too bad at all. Will probably get me to try another one or two from them down the road.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2007 21:57:15 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.18/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a modest head that declines quickly and fails to leave much lacing

Smell: Modest graham cracker and butterscotch aroma

Taste: Starts out with a graham cracker flavor that is joined, after the swallow, by a diacetyl laden butterscotch bomb; a slightly prickly hop presence complements the sweet malt flavors

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with prickly carbonation

Drinkability: You will have to enjoy the Ringwood-induced butterscotch complement to the wheat and hops notes that otherwise characterize this beer; unfortunately, I don't

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2006 20:46:32 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

2.23/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a golden color ale with a small bubbly white head with limited retention. Aroma of weak malt with some yeast. Taste of weak wheat malt is overall quite boring with again a weird and off taste of yeast coming through. Light hops at the end provide a dry aftertaste. Definitely boring for a style that doesn’t produce much in term of great beers.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2007 17:11:05 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect


3.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Although I'm reviewing this beer, I'm not sure it's the right one. Mine has a very different label and the beer does not fit the style of an APA. However the beer would be a very good Blonde or a bold Kolsch. But for an APA, the brew is under-malted, under-hopped, and has no amber colors or caramel notes. The beer does have a very firm bready pilsner flavor and texture, with ligth citrus spiciness, and a hint of lemons, pears, earthy, yeasty flavors and a solid texture that lends smoothness and an airy feel. Nice beer, but not a Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2007 17:47:01 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of metter98

New York

3.18/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear golden yellow in color and has a moderate to high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that slowly died down, consistently leaving a thin head covering the surface and lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of lemons and wheat in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of lemon citrus and wheat, but the flavors aren’t that strong. No bitterness is present.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and has some refreshing properties. It would make for a good selection on a hot summer day.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2012 19:22:44 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy


2.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

$1.99 single 12 oz. bottle at Total Wine in Kennesaw, GA.

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden body with a wispy, white head.

Smell: This is one of those beers that the combination of malt, hops, and whatnot come together to remind me of sniffing chicken-flavored bouillon cubes.

Taste: Pale malt, a touch of wheat, and with just a very slight sweetness. One tiny drop of soap. Faintly floral, a hint of lemon, and a dash of spice. A few ladles of broth. That's about it.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: Sorry, Shipyard, I didn't care for this one. Not exactly the best use of $1.99.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2010 22:52:38 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

American Pale Ale huh?Anyways pours a clear golden with a thin wispy head but with good carbonation,aroams a really muted some light citrius but not much there.Taste is buttery from the yeast strain with a light hoppy note taking over as i drink more with a toasty taste lingering in the finish.An easy drinker not a bad beer but I wouldnt seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2004 23:51:30 | More by oberon
Photo of feloniousmonk


1.93/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pale amber color, brief head, virtually no aroma.
"Special Ale", they say, but I'm scratching my head to find out what's so special about it...not a damn thing, I'm sorry to say. Summer ales are normally weizens or kolschs, but this bears earmarks of neither.
There's a touch of texture, a tiny hint of body...but this ale is practically nothing incarnate. Maybe I'm supposed to be playing poker with the buds, smoking cigars, and saying "Damn, this is great" because it's not Bud Light, but I'm not, so that doesn't matter.
Am I supposed to be mowing the lawn? Would that help?
At any rate, there's absolutely nothing to be enjoyed here.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2003 00:37:48 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

2.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of honey, light malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is sweet up front, with flavors of honey and caramel. There's a mild hops presence that brings some balance. The malt character is thin. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp with a little smoothness, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, the finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down easy, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, this is a less than ordinary beer and wouldn't be the first one that I'd pick.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2008 03:48:19 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.68/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a gold color with a thick frothy white head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a light, yet malty scent with a fruity yeast finish; very nice. The taste is decent. It has a light, yet slightly malty flavor with a dry, bitter finish; some hops. It seems a tad grainy. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a decent summer brew, but nothing more. It has a good aroma, but the taste is a disappointment.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2004 01:22:57 | More by WesWes
Photo of Mora2000


2.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to djrn2 for sending me this bottle. Best by Oct. 2009 (probably should have drank it a little sooner).

The beer pours a light yellow color with a white head. The aroma is a mix of wheat and grain, along with some flowers, perfume and hairspray. The flavor is more of the same with grain, corn and some floral hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2010 03:41:12 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80


3.15/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a small, white head of bubbly foam. It left little to no lacing.

S - It smelled floral with some citrus notes. Mild caramel aroma, too.

T - It tasted a little spicy with an odd mustiness. There was some caramel sweetness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and fairly smooth. A light bodied ale with a clean finish.

O - This wasn't really a great pale ale. There was an odd mustiness that didn't work for me.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2011 01:48:34 | More by zeff80
Photo of Knapp85


2/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Summer beers have a weird way of being just too light on all levels. This Pale ale could have probably used just a little bit more in the mash or just less water. I say this because I that most people who are willing to try this beer want something better than average. This brew falls under par for me because it's too much like a generic run of the mill Ale from a major brewery. Yellow, Clear, and light bodied.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2011 04:15:39 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215


2.5/5  rDev -18%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured yellow. Ever so slightly hazed.
It didn't really smell of anything. If water had an odor...
The taste, was again - nothing...
Some bubblegum in the finish.
I guess this was supposed to be a clean, refreshing summer beer. But, there was nothing to it. Nothing that makes it any better than any typical light macro. Quite disappointing.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2006 05:31:18 | More by jwc215
Photo of WVbeergeek


3.13/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm sure this American Pale Wheat goes way better with a lobster roll eating in Portland, ME but here it goes. Crystal clear golden straw color with a slightly off white head formed thick with fine bubbles carbonation levels seem kicked up a bit by the amount of head I'm getting in this glass but the fine speckled lacing is patterned around my wheat beer glass evenly. Aromatics I'm getting a light sharp wheat character a hint of lemon citrus peel, and some grain maybe even a light biscuit malt expression pretty muted so far. Flavor has a whirl wind of yeast characteristics I'm guessing this is their house yeast fermentation set up with one of the Alan Pugsley systems, I'm getting earthiness a bit of oak with a mild light bodied summer ale as the backbone base beer. A touch of citrus, and bitterness that comes of as grassy but overall a really lackluster beer experience on flavor, and if you don't care for their house yeast watch out it has a bite. Mouthfeel is light bodied even lively carbonation flow with a lingering bitterness mainly from the yeast pitch here. Overall not my cup of tea but it's quite refreshing, and like I stated before I'm sure I would be guzzling a couple of these on tap when in Rome, aka chowing one some fresh seafood in Maine.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2013 23:38:48 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.4/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from mixed Shipyard 12 pack. Pale yellow in color. Short 1" head that quickly falls to a surface foam. A few lace spots develop on the glass through the drink. Carbonation bubbles are bigger than normal and streaming quickly to the top of the glass. Aroma is a pleasant combination of lemon zest, grass, and mild malt. The flavor disappoints a bit as a grainy malt, lemon citrus, grass, and heavy butter tones make up a convoluted brew.

Mildly refreshing. Light in body. Crisp start and a clean crisp finish. This brew smells and feels good on the tongue, but the flavor is average at best. This knocks drinkability down a notch.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2005 00:40:26 | More by Gavage
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a three finger white head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving traces of lace. Clear amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Slight citrus nose. Flavor is citrusy sweet but slight hoppy finish. Best by Oct 2007. $1.50 for a 12oz bottle from Capitol Convenience Concord, NH.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2007 23:33:03 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Jason


2.95/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

Pours a crystal clear orangey yellow with quick to foam head and thin layer of lace.

Tad fruity in the aroma with buttery diacetyl and some doughy grain.

Solid crispness in a light body, thin maltiness with an add fermented grain twang. Hint of dry fruit and buttery diacetyl. Mild on the hops with a dry finish.

Not as much character compared to previous years ... seems weak when put up against many of the other summer seasonals.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2005 00:58:06 | More by Jason
Photo of ppoitras


3.43/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12ozer bottle from a Captain's Collection 12-pack from Austin Liquors, Shrewsbury, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a thick 1" white head above the clear straw-with-a-tinge-of-orange brew. Laces nicely. Aroma is lightly of pale malts. Taste is if pale malts with a slight hops bite at the end. Kind of non-descript, but nothing bad going on. Mouthfeel good and I'm torn on drinkability, because one could drink it all day, but not sure what would be the impetus to do so, except for a lawn-mowing type application. An acceptable brew as summers go.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2004 16:24:25 | More by ppoitras
Photo of woodychandler


3.43/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I plucked this from the cooler at the Knickerbocker Hotel in Altoona a couple of weeks ago (a real no-no, BTW) and set it aside for the right time. Yesterday, I drank both a Winter and a Spring seasonal so it simply makes sense to continue today with a Summer seasonal. Sorry about the use of all of the sibilants for my lisping readers out there.

From the bottle: "Handcrafted" and "C-H-E-E-R-S" spelled out in nautical alphabet flags.

I spent the best Summer of my life in Portland, ME in 1990 and I ate my share of lobster, drank my share of beer and had a rollicking good time. The label seems to invoke all of that, including wearing a sailor's crackerjack uniform and sporting an anchor tattoo.

My pour garnered a finger of dense, rocky eggnog-colored head with good retention. Color was a deep amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a distinct wheat tang and a lemon-citrus bite. No, I did not squeeze a slice of lemon. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium and the taste was very tangy from the wheat. I can understand why the uninitiated might want to cut the flavor, but it also speaks to the refreshing nature of the beer. Finish was quite dry, not gasping like some AIPAs, but more like applying alum to the tongue. Literally drying. Not bad at all.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2013 00:20:18 | More by woodychandler
Photo of plaid75

New York

3.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger foamy head. There was decent retention and good lacing.

The smell featured a sweet grainy aroma. Nothing much else to speak of.

The taste also consisted of a husky grain sweetness. Not what I would expect in a summer beer. A bit of a bisuity finish. The taste was light and refreshing nonetheless.

The mouthfeel was light with a suprisingly dry aftertaste.

Overall an enjoyable beer, just not typical of a summer. There are better summers out there.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2006 01:44:06 | More by plaid75
Photo of Bighuge


3.2/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pale light amber. Good sized off white head. Retention is better than adequate and lacing is sufficient. This beer has a buttery/ butterscotch like aroma reminiscent of an English style pub ale. Does this beer use a Ringwood yeast strain? Hmmm. A little apple skin and pale malt on the nose as well. The taste is buttery and slightly fruity. Solid enough malt backbone with caramel qualities coming through slightly. Slight bitterness is present. Mouthfeel is slick, but definitely carbonated. Body is better than medium. Average beer...little better than average I guess.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2003 02:58:07 | More by Bighuge
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

2.55/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured a clear, bright coppery-orange with a slight fizzy off-white capping that quickly diminished. Visible carbonation was light.

S: fresh tangerines, but was very faint in nature and hard to pick up.

T: sour tangerines with a sharp citric bite and touch of acidity. A light caramel and sugary sweetness is found in the middle of the palate before giving way to a sour finish of dry tangerines and a dry flowery hopping. There was a slight hint of metallic nature but found the flavor sour and bad enough to mask and make it really a non factor. There appeared to be a touch of alcohol and dry sour nature making this a bit much to be considered a summer drink.

M: light, a bit watery with a soft carbonation and dry sour tangerine lacing.

D: Definitely not session material or one I would bother to drink on a hot summer day. A bit dry, tart and not really smooth on the swallow. Couldn't recommend this in good judgement.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2008 14:19:26 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of glid02


3.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle purchased from Hop City in Atlanta.

Pours a gold-copper color with a half-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of light citrus fruit - oranges and lemon - with hints of herbal hops and good amounts of wheat.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Tangy wheat flavors up front are followed by nondescript fruit flavors and a hint of butter. The ending is a bit muddled and leaves a multitude of unpleasant aftertastes lingering.

Mouthfeel is alright. It's a bit too syrupy for a summer beer with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is not so good. I didn't have an easy time finishing the bottle and won't seek this one out again.

Overall I was a bit suspect buying a summer beer in late September, however the bottle had a date saying it was best before Oct. I would not enjoy running across this beer after the best-by date.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2009 05:23:31 | More by glid02
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Shipyard Summer Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
71 out of 100 based on 370 ratings.