Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Radiant Summer Ale - Ninkasi Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Radiant Summer AleRadiant Summer Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

87 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 87
Hads: 230
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 8.29%
Wants: 3
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ninkasi Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 06-04-2009

6% alc./vol. 40 IBUs
Millenium, Galena, Northern Brewer, Liberty hops. Dry-hopped with Liberty.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 87 | Hads: 230
Photo of forsport
5/5  rDev +42.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The boys at Ninkasi tweeked the recipe for this year. They backed off the hops to make it more warm weather friendly. A nice smooth malty character with hops present but not over the top. It is 6 percent making it somewhere between a session beer and a one and done. (266 characters)

Photo of darjoh
4.3/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into pint glass.

I have been really liking the Ninkasi brews, and this Radiant fits. I think it has a nice balanced color, and very balanced taste. Slow and few carbonation bubbles, light sticky lace.

Overall for me, a nice summer brew. Goes down nice after a hard day of summer yard work. (307 characters)

Photo of Airyk12
4.2/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish amber with a small, off white head that leaves a few rings down the glass.

Pine, some citrus, and floral notes are strong, with a little malt and hint of breadiness.

Lots of citrus and some pine with a hint of floral notes. Bitterness is mild, balanced by some good malts.

Well carbonated, light body. Crisp and smooth.

Clean and fresh. Just what a good summer brew should be. Not the most complex or flavorful beer, but definitely great for a warm day. (474 characters)

Photo of RJLarse
4.12/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a bomber of Radiant Summer Ale at a beer store. $4.29. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a tarnished copper color and is slightly hazy. Frothy white head, is very resilient. The beer appears well carbonated with many bubbles rising in the glass.

Smell is sweet and fruit or candy-like. Apricots, pears and brown sugar. There are also some spice notes along side, coriander or cinnamon perhaps.

The taste is also fairly sweet, pears and lemons up front, with a bit of a biscuit presence, and then a slightly acerbic finish, like red wine vinegar.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, and clean, with a dry bitter aftertaste.

A drinkable pale ale, and reasonably priced in the large format bottle. I would have this again, but I probably wouldn't hunt it down. (772 characters)

Photo of bitterthebetter
4.1/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a light golden orange with white head

citrus, pine, biscuity malt, slight resiny notes

grapefruit upfront with solid pine and resiny hops leading to a slight bready malt body. somewhat dry hop finish

light bodied, solid hops without being too strong but with a strong, hoppy, slightly spicy finish

smooth, crisp, refreshing delicious. a great summer pale, not as light as the spring reign (398 characters)

Photo of bagpiper2005
4.05/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour: Hazy golden-amber color with what appears to be tiny traces of sediment. Two and a half fingers of white head that retained well and laced the glass nicely.

Smell: Citrus hop aroma up front. Fruity and pale malty aroma underneath.

Taste: Bordering on IPA territory. Beautiful understated malty flavor with plenty of bitter piney and grapefruit hops, and a touch of tart fruitiness. Pretty straightforward.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp with active carbonation.

Drinkability: Very refreshing with plenty of flavor to go along with it. Top marks.

Final Notes: Yet another great brew from Ninkasi. A summer beer with some serious flavor (they seem hard to find). Check it out. (686 characters)

Photo of MaltsOfGlory
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty solid one and a half finger head into my standard pint glass. The head is completely white and has a good amount of big bubbles, but also a lot of small ones, about 50/50. The bubbles look ok, not a fan of the big ones, but the small ones look nice, somewhat fluffy. The beer is leaving good lacing throughout the glass. The body is a classic pale ale appearance, reddish orange, very good body for a pale ale, this is what a pale ale should look like. The body is pretty see through for the most part, not very cloudy, but it is dark enough that I can't see strait through it. The carbonation looks like it's on the low end, but we will see when we taste the beer. Overall the appearance is very nice, the head has died down but a solid layer of foam is on top of the body. The smell is very good, excellent balance between malts and hops. I hate pale ales that skimp out on the hops, and this one for sure doesn't, it's got a nice hop character, and a solid malt body as well. There also might be some light fruit in the smell, but really overall it just smells like a solid pale ale. This should be a very good beer from Ninkasi, bottoms up! Well that taste is a whole that more complex than I thought it would be on the smell, WOW. It has a lot of levels. First is a very legit hop bitterness, followed by some sweet malt flavors and perhaps some fruit. The bitterness lingers for quite some time and unfortunately turns into a little bit of a gross aftertaste. I don't know if I just have a bad batch or something, or if my palate is off (I had crackers recently, but I did rinse my mouth with water thoroughly), or what the deal is, but the aftertaste is very unpleasant. The best way I can describe it is black licorice, that's what it taste like. Some people might like that, but I HATE black licorice. Whether this taste is intentional or not I don't know, it's very odd to have in a pale ale....either way I'm not a fan of it. I'm reaching the conclusion though that this taste probably isn't the beer, there is a chance that it is, but I'm going to cut it a break this time and say that it's my palate, because it doesn't really seem like it's the beers doing. Overall on the taste (ignoring my stupid palate) it's got a very nice hops character, mild fruit, good malt body, not as crisp and light as some pale ales, but I don't care, it's a real champion, not a wussy beer! Good taste. Frankly if this licorice taste that I get is the beers fault, it's really not a deal breaker, it's only noticeable when I try really hard to taste it. As for the mouthfeel, it's solid, not too much carbonation, perfect carbonation in fact. The body is big enough for the style, not huge or extremlely thick, but thick enough, finishes somewhat dry. Drinkability isn't bad at all for 6% ABV, and considering the amount of hops, it goes down pretty easily. Overall a really good pale ale from Ninkasi, one of there better beers for sure. Also let it be noted that this after taste is almost for sure not caused by the beer, and on the slight off chance that it is, who cares? It's still a great tasting beer.

This beer is really complex and I notice more and more things as I drink it, I get a wheat flavor as the beer warms, who knows to because there is a crap load of sediment in this beer. I'm also getting a darker fruit flavor here, I dunno this beer is just super complex and I wish I hadn't gone all nuts over the aftertaste because this is really a good beer, very deserving of a B+. (3,504 characters)

Photo of PDXHops
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a shaker pint. Handsome orange body with a nice creamy cap of off-white foam. Plentiful sticky lacing up top, tapering down to scattered patches below.

A change-of-pace American pale, with little in the way of citrus or pine. Hop aromas are chiefly grassy and herbal with a hint of earth. Plenty of lightly sweet and toasted malt backing that up. Perhaps a touch hoppier tasting than it smells, but it's very well balanced, a crisp drinker that invites repeated sips and, truth be told, pours. An earthy undercurrent provides nice contrast to the brighter grass and hay flavors. A splash of grapefruit shows up at the swallow. A very nice pale ale, and a modest price point to boot. (703 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours an almost clear amber-orange color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of citrus, floral, and grassy hops with caramel and biscuit malts.

T - Starts out with a mix of citrus and grapefruit hops with some mild bitterness and some sweet caramel malts. Through the middle, some grassy and floral hops come through with some more bitterness and some biscuit malt. The finish is a mix of sweet caramel and bready malts with some grassy and citrus hops and some bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry and lightly bitter finish.

D - Very drinkable. Good hop profile with a good overall malt and hop balance. (740 characters)

Photo of cswhitehorse
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The radiant summer ale poured a dark amber orange with a small foam head. Some tiny bubble lacing around the sides of the glass.

The aroma was citrus and pine notes. You also got a biscuit note to it. To me was a little similar smell as in the last season they had out. The taste was like a pale ale taste with the biscuity malt to it. It had a nice bite to it. Overall a great summer seasonal. (395 characters)

Photo of industrialswill
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 4 pack of bombers for about $14 at Fred Meyer.
This is one easy drinkin' beer. For those who are "hop curious", this one has an underlying touch of bitterness....but it's definitely a malty ale.
For the IPA drinkers, I'm sure many would down grade not just this beer but the whole style in general for not having the extra oomph that they've become accustomed to.
I totally enjoyed it. I must admit to liking IPAs more..but this is still an excellent beer. (469 characters)

Photo of Docer
3.98/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally getting to try this... love Ninkasi stuff... especially their Tricerahops! No freshness date...

- Such light cloudiness.. dark copper color with bright white head... quickly down to some serious lacing...

- Sweet earthy smell.. very unique.. some fruit, banana.. zesty hop... pine.. hard to pinpoint

- Very light for a 6% brew... caramel malt.. sweet.. little bit of lemon zest sitting on top of it all.. some bitter hop, but not too much... well balanced and light...

- Bit tart n' dry, but overall a great feel...

- Very drinkable.. and to guess that this is 6% ... it's just not there! Overall a fantastic light seasonal! (637 characters)

Photo of OregonLightning
3.98/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Since most reviews are of the same format I prefer narrative. I purchased this beer from a bottle and poured in pint glass. Pours medium dark amber. Small head. smell is citrus, and hoppy, smell of fresh hops. Very drinkable considering a 6% ABV, A great summer ale and just added another drink to my summer beach list. Tasty and refreshing. Not overbearing. I look forward to drinking this ale again. (401 characters)

Photo of timtwoface
3.97/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ninkasi has another wonderful selection here. I first had this one on tap at Henry's on 12th in Portland, OR, and have just recently purchased a bomber at a little liquor store in Pt. Roberts, WA, to bring back north across the border. The fact it's a "summer ale" and I'm having it on December 14...is that concerning?

Of course not. It's delicious. The description on the bottle describes it bluntly and perfectly - it's bitter, it's got some bite, it's got a decent amount of hops, it's got a sweet finish, and it's a beautiful (albeit cloudy) orangey-brown hue.

I could drink this year round, I don't know why it's only given a summer release (apparently). It's one delicious pale/amber ale with some definite oomph that I love and appreciate.

It's not my favourite of the Ninkasi line-up, but it's definitely a solid amber and I would definitely recommend this to anyone searching one out, no matter what time of the year it is. (936 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I would think that this would be a universally liked drinkable beer. Very appealing and drinkable while offering complexity and real flavor and character. Most Ninkasa brews are good, this one very good. I believe that this is an unappreciated and under rated brewery.

Pours crystal clear bright orange amber with a thick, firm, pillowy long lasting head.

Nose is candi sugar, cooked bright stone fruit, hints of fresh pear-nice.

Mouthfeel is thin/medium bodied but great balance with light carbonation, a hint too light.

Flavors are appealing, layered and complex. Front palate of slightly fruity/sweet cooked fruit that goes right to big burnt toast bitter, toasted grains and fresh bitter coffee - very appealing and inviting.

Finish is burnt toast, bitter roasted grain, and toasty coffee bean. Long end finish of hints of bitter pine. Quite nice and likely good to go with lots of different food flavor profiles. (926 characters)

Photo of cbarrett4
3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bottle into Nonic. Tasted several times from taps with consistent results.

A - Nice, clear, copper hue with a good head and average lace.

S - good, fresh pale ale nose with lots of summer fruit, some malts and hops to round things out.

T - more of the same summery goodness, fresh tree fruits, some spice and hops.

M - mild and smooth, more of an American Pale Ale style than either a British Pale Ale or a traditional American summer ale.

D - pretty serious despite being labeled as a 'summer' ale. Nonetheless it is tasty and smooth with nice balance. (576 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright (one might even say radiant) apricot with honey gold borders. Slow-moving bubbles ascend within, eventually plink-plink-plinking into the underside of a lovely looking head of pale sandstone colored foam. Thick sheets and small chunks of lace can be seen all over the upper portion of the glass.

The aroma could be brighter and bolder. The hops go easy on citrus fruity, sticking to earthy and herbal for the most part. It's hard to get a bead on the malt, although the beer's color suggests mostly pale with something slightly more toasted.

Radiant Summer Ale is tasty stuff if you like hop-focused APAs. 40 IBUs seems about right. Ninkasi must have figured that there are enough pale-malted, C-hopped pales out there, so they went in a slightly different direction. Any direction is fine as long as the beer is good... and this one is.

As suspected, the maltiness is on the toasted-light caramel side. The beer is more earthy, herbal and tea-like than nutty. Although nothing stands out on the hop side of the ledger, the melange of flavors from the somewhat unconventional hop bill works out well in the end. A little grapefruit peel and lemon zest keeps this American hop loving BA happy.

Given the ABV and the summer seasonal designation, the mouthfeel is right where it ought to be. It's much closer to medium than to light, and the carbonation is pretty close to ideal (left side of the Bell curve).

I'm not sure why I'm surprised that Radiant Summer Ale is good beer. Every other Ninkasi Brewing Company brew, with the possible exception of Tricerahops DIPA, has been both delicious and drinkable. If you enjoy well-crafted APAs, this one is definitely worth your hard-earned money. (1,702 characters)

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I got this in a variety pack of Ninkasi beers from Costco.

Appearance- copper color, nice size head, nice lacing

Smell- floral hops, some malt

Taste- floral, citrus hops, very nice

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- I thought it was very good. Definitely would drink this one again! (291 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Saw this on tap and went for it immediately. Good choice.

This poured a toasted straw/amber color with big bubbly white foam. There isn’t much of a discernible aroma to this, at least not something that comes out and makes itself apparent beyond a light, piney grassy aroma. What I do find is all flavor—the first thing I noticed was the thick piney bittering, followed by a resiny, almost tacky finish. It’s borderline hoppy red ale, which is to say its hoppy but has a definite malt profile shared with Ninkasi’s lineup. Effervescence keeps this zippy. Some caramel maltiness comes through as it warms. If I was poetic I’d say something like: ‘it reminds me of caramelized sugar on a slice of French toast.’ As it is, there’s a lot going on here. Some grassy notes, a touch of toasted biscuit and hints of sodium bicarbonate lingering around on the finish all round it out.

Enjoyable. I’d like to try this one on cask. (941 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split a bottle of this reddish pale ale with a couple friends. It reminded me a bit of a Ringwood pale ale for the subtle candy fruit flavor rolling under the dry, bitter citrus hops. The body was thinner than most pale ales, making for an easy-drinking summer beer with a good kick of hops. (291 characters)

Photo of flexabull
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of their summer 4 pack.

Pours a gold, light amber color, slight haze, and a faint white head.

Aromas are spicy, floral, with some graininess.

Taste is dry, mineral like, and spicy up front. There are hints of grain, light creamy sweetness, and some crystal and caramel malty flavors. Finish is floral and a bit doughy.

Mouthfeel and body is on the light side, but it feels right for this type of beer.

All in all, a pretty mild pale ale. But it's tasty and interesting, not really a run of the mill pale, and I like it. Very crisp and refreshing. (557 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: very hazy medium-orange body with a finger of ivory head with a bit of an orange cast. Lots of floating solids in the body, which is OK but not my favorite trait in an APA.

Smell: light, slightly biscuity malt aroma with a touch of earthy hops. Not bad, but it's not impressive, either; a little more volume would help a lot here.

Taste: nice malt backbone and a huge hop bitterness. Flavors are earthy and slightly citrusy and even a touch floral. You might call this a West Coast APA -- but for the aroma, this could be a big, solid IPA. Frankly, I like it. The overall effect is earthy and fulfilling.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent level of carbonation. Pretty smooth and a little creamy, although at this level of intense bitterness creamy isn't exactly what I'm seeking.

Drinkability: bold and fulfilling. I'm thinking a session of this stuff would leave me with a boulder in my belly; still, its straightforwardness is pleasing and I'd gladly have a few of these. (1,036 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice hazy golden orange/yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is a nice balance of hops/malts, slight citrus. The taste is slightly sweet/bitter, hoppy/malty, with some citrus. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice thirst quencher on a hot day. (333 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.78/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Uncaps with an extremely effervescent hiss. I was expecting a gush, but almost no bubbling formed in the bottle at all. Pours bubbly, however, with a big sudsy head of off-white foam. Lacing is intricate and interesting. Colour is just about spot on what I expect for an APA, a pale golden colour, with just a slight amber hue to it. Very lovely, all over.

Nose is subdued, but pleasant. Slight lemony citrus character, with a candy sweetness and a deeper grainy cereal note. Missing some potency, but it has some genuinely pleasant characters.

Flavour is again subdued, but very appropriate for the style. Light citrus on the front, before a rather green fresh grain character streaks through the back, leaving the finish pleasant with cereal dryness. Feel is light, but with a very pleasant spritz of carbonation to liven the palate.

Insanely drinkable and extremely sessionable, even for something with 6% ABV. Very smooth and easy to go down, and with lots of pleasant characteristics. This is just what you want from the style.

Ninkasi continue to impress me. I can't believe I hadn't tried any of their beers prior to this trip. (1,138 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

not totally sure how this one qualifies as a summer ale, its huge for a summer pale ale at 6% abv and packs a lot f grain body into this intensely hopped beer. love it, but it doesn't match the season well. well, maybe in oregon it does, i don't know. some serious radiant orange to the color, as the name suggests. well carbonated with lots of tiny bubbles and a bright white head. it smells more bitter than anything else, but i gather some light pine notes from the hops, more dry, like pine cone rather than what we are used to when we think of pine family hops. bigger malt base gives plenty of body and just a touch of caramel sugar to the front end of the flavor and the middle before very very bitter hops take over. this seems to be a theme with ninkasi hop forward beers. the trice
rahops and the total domination were both pungently bitter, and while this one is less so, it follows in that vein. excellent carbonation lightens it up just a bit, but its still a rather filling beer, especially for a warm weather offering. very well made, sturdy as they come, intensely hopped. similar to nothing, i liked this a lot. (1,128 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Radiant Summer Ale from Ninkasi Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.