1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Radiant Summer Ale - Ninkasi Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Radiant Summer AleRadiant Summer Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

226 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 226
Reviews: 87
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 12.82%
Wants: 3
Gots: 9 | 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:
6% alc./vol. 40 IBUs
Millenium, Galena, Northern Brewer, Liberty hops. Dry-hopped with Liberty.

(Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 06-04-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 226 | Reviews: 87 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zeff80
2.95/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a one-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left some thin rings of lace.

S - It smelled of citrus (orange and grapefruit) with an odd funkiness that was somewhat unpleasant.

T - Good citrus flavors and sweet caramel malt. The odd (tart) funkiness kinda had a burning sensation.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A light to medium bodied beer.

D - This beer was all over the place for me. Some good aromas with some bad aromas. Some good flavors with some bad flavors.

zeff80, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of RJLarse
4.1/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

RJLarse, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of GRG1313
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

GRG1313, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.43/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a clear, light orangish color in the light with a small white head

S: Smell is green, some grass and flowers, plenty of hops

T: Grains, floral notes and plenty of bittering hops here

M: Lighter to medium bodied, light booze, hop bitterness

D: Ok

barleywinefiend, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.74/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

One of my favorite summer beers. Looks a dark amber, good carbonation. Aroma was sweet.

Taste, like an amber and a pale ale. More caramel than I've ever seen in a summer beer, all for the better. Somehow, it will remain light and not a heavy mouthfeel at any point.

The hopping is ample for style and season. Dig the smoothness of liberty hops, that yet, impart the mildest spice. Points for being a unique summer ale that isn't overly reliant (if at all) on lemon. Great price $3.99 a bomber.

Beerandraiderfan, Jul 03, 2010
Photo of jdense
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottled version, 22 oz. from Whole Foods Hollywood PDX, poured into Barley Brown pint glass

Hard pour resulted in two fingers soapy white head, pretty quick dissipation with above average lacing. Deep gold clear body, second glass looked like quite a bit of yeast suspended in the beer. Sweet malts and grassy hops in the nose, malts predominate. Malts up front in the taste, though hops provide enough finishing bitterness to find a semblance of balance. Medium mouthfeel, some effervescence. Pretty drinkable, but certainly not my favorite summer seasonal. Worth a try for Ninkasi fans, but I'll pass next time..

jdense, Jun 25, 2010
Photo of tempest
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

tempest, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of beertunes
3.13/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 10 oz glass. Poured a clean copper-gold color with about an inch of white head that had good retention and lacing.

The aroma is very hop forward with just a bit of malt in the background. The flavors is also bitter hop forward with just enough malt to be noticed. Not much balance here.

The body was average and drinkability was decent but not special. Overall, a decent beer, but I would have rated it higher as an IPA. I probably won't try this again as I'm surrounded by better IPA's.

beertunes, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of forsport
5/5  rDev +42.5%
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.

forsport, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of katan
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at gernika

a- pours a light brown to amber color. Very clear, very filtered. Head is light, a film of pearly white bubbles.

S- light and airy nose. Light wheat malts and some yeast. Spicy notes are present as well: some cloves.

T- lightly malty at first with some floral notes. Gets more astringent, with some edgy grainy notes. Some fruity hop notes appear. Finishes more bitter, somewhat edgy hop and grassy notes.

M- moderate body. Driven by some strong carbonation. Can be creamy when coating the palette. Finishes with a resin of hops on the tongue.

D- moderate drinkability. As a summer beer I find it too assertive. Not at all filling. Not as light as a summer beer should be.

katan, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of boogyman
2.98/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Found this in the depths of a local grocery store, I am sure there are not many of there lying around anymore.

A- Pours a deep copper color with a thin white head that leaves some bubbles floating on top that stick around.

S- Has a very fresh smell but it is hard to get much from it other then the light citrus scents since it is just out of the fridge. I will add more once I let it warm up. The smell gets a bit floral as it gets warmer.

T- Has a fresh fruityness to it that brings out the citrus from the hops. The malt is smooth. There is some slight alcohol I can taste that may be masked a bit more if I let it warm but I am not sure. So far this is a pretty standard pale. Nothing too special.

M- The mouthfeel is so-so. The carbonation is a bit high but it does go down without too much bite.

D- With only 6% ABV I could drink this fairly easily but there is certainly more enjoyable beers in this style and ABV.

boogyman, Dec 16, 2009
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 picked up at Brewforia today... Cool to see this one... Poured into my Delirium goblet.

1" eggshell head... splotchy lace atop a hazy orange brew.

Nose is malty with some yeasty fruitiness... not a whole lot in the way of hops.. mild citrus.

Flavor begins with a descent hoppy bitterness.. then a thicker than expected maltiness... a little toasted malt.. the citrus hops are better than the aroma.. the esters remind me of lite apricot.. pithy grapefruit shows a bit as it warms, but overall, this is a just average brew.

Glad I got a chance to try it.. but I would expect better... I will revisit this one next time I get a chance at a really fresh bottle.


JohnGalt1, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Wasatch, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of msubulldog25
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally picked up a bottle (22 oz), the Summer Ale snagged as the 'Dog Days' near an end. Hot Lips in the Pearl, poured to an imperial pint glass, slice of 'White' pizza on the side.

A: Gorgeous glowing amber, the name 'radiant' is deserved. Bountiful head, an off-white cream that builds to 2-fingers, settles gently, leaves coating foam-lace. Only drawback: a noteworthy haze with a few suspended flecks of uncertain origin and a general dullness/carbonation lack.

S: Modest maltiness plays with mild orange and spice. Really no much more than that...nothing bad, nothing special either.

T: More oranges and a hopping that starts strong with spice and blatant bitterness, then mellows to a thinner grass/herb greenness. Bits of candied caramel and a balancing sweetness, still this is a hop-skewing APA, flavorful enough. Biscuity-dry finish.

M: Very smooth, with a well-guarded prickliness. Medium body for the style, a little on the 'chewy' side.

D: Easy enough to drink and tasty enough, too. I do believe there was one in my hand (or my wife's, at least) when we were chatting up brewer Jamie Floyd a couple weeks back at Green Dragon's MTB Night...other than that, I neglected this all summer long. Not my favorite from Ninkasi, not a bad beer either. Worth a recommendation.

msubulldog25, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Aug 22, 2009
Photo of morimech
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, slightly hazy, amber color with a small head. The head that does form has good retention before settling to a thin cap. Nice amount of lacing is left on the glass. Rather timid aroma of grapefruit and lemon. Some malt aroma is also detected. Smells refreshing at least. Starts with a citrus hop flavor before some sweet malt makes an appearance. Finishes fairly bitter. Bitterness is moderate to high for an APA. Has a nice body and texture with a carbonation that keeps it lively without making things harsh. A good APA with some bitter bite.

morimech, Aug 19, 2009
Photo of froghop
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a semi-hazy amber-orange with a small off-white head, and good lacing.

smell is of sweet toffee, a little pepper, some floral, and dry leaves.

taste is of sweet grain, a little corn, some wheat, and hops in the back, ends dry and slightly bitter.

froghop, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of RedDiamond
3.6/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Somewhat on the dark and heavy side for a summer ale, especially one called Radiant. Perhaps autumn would be more suited to this alt-like pale bronze ale with its nutty, yeasted tang that drops lace like contrails across the pint. Drinkable, but a bit quirky for Ninkasi and a notch less compelling than their regular lineup.

RedDiamond, Jul 30, 2009
Photo of RedBrewer83
3.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bomber into Walking Man Brewing pint glass. No best by date.

A: Hazy orange amber, definitely not clear but not overly opaque either. Pours a nice fluffy white head that leaves pretty good lacing throughout glass, and head retention is pretty good, better than most pale ales.

S: Not too much going on here, would have liked a little more from this, Ninkasi is usually known for its big floral hop aromas....but this is pretty simple, grapefruit and lemon backed up by a biscuit malt and yeast.

T: Mmmm...pretty good, a little bigger flavor than I expected. Grapefruit and lemon hit the palate first and then a faint malty bread mid palate and the finish comes back hard with pine/grapefruit again. Lots of grapefruit, maybe a little too much for my taste, it really lingers on the finish. Good, but this beer suffers from being a little to one-note in my opinion. Could use a little more malt to balance it...

M: Medium body, heavier than most pales. Right amount of carbonation, just needs a little more sweet malt to balance it out. The finish is drier than I would like for a summer ale/pale ale. A little too much bitterness (grapefruit) to be truly satisfying.

D: Being as dry as it is and so one note it becomes a little monotonous and the bitterness makes it just a little overwhelming for the palate. I love hops and the bitterness that comes with them, but you have to balance it with the malt to make a drinkable ale. This one needs more balance.

RedBrewer83, Jul 24, 2009
Photo of golden1
3.23/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz Bottle from John's Marketplace.

Pours a hazy amber with a golden base. Maybe a half-finger of head that quickly dissipated.

Light amounts of hop in the smell. Primarily grapefruit-dominated citrus. Tiny bit of yeasty malt waving hi from the back, but all-in-all, it's not a heavily scented beer.

Oddly enough, the taste is a complete reverse of the smell. You get the malt first before the dominant grapefruit-hop bitterness storms in and demands notice. I kind of like the reversal. Solidly bitter finish - 40 IBUs says the website, this feels a bit more than that.

Regarding the mouthfeel, this is what I would call semi-aggressive. It's not smooth and silky - the bitter finish sticks around for a bit. If lingering, hoppy-finishes are your thing, this may be one you want to try.

I don't think this is a several-pint beer unless you're eating something to go along with it. Worth a try, but I wouldn't weep if you chose something else on the menu.

golden1, Jul 18, 2009
Photo of Reidrover
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber. Im not sure If I got a strange bottle but my one pours a hazy dark orange with a very slight white head,. Aroma pleasing scent of hops..grassy, some maltiness in the back. Taste? hops first mid-bitter lemomy, then some sweet baked apple pie flavour , brown sugar and again the hops appear at the end to lend a long lasting finish. Ok on the palate..loved the after taste of hops. Overall an unusual beer ,I liked it but couldnt see me drinking more than one in a sitting.

Reidrover, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of mjl21
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce botte from Bear Creek Beers in Medford, OR. Cost $3.70. Poured into the new SA glass. No bottling info is present but this was just released. Comes in at 6%.

A-Pours a cloudy, dark amber with a one finger head that is almost pure white in color. The head reduces to a small layer as the beer is consumed. Bubbles can be seen rising from the bottom and there are a few streaks of lace.

S-Lots of yeast and biscuit malt are present through the course of drinking the beer. I pick up on some grapefruit, maybe from Cascade? There is also earthy and floral hop aromas. As it warms I get a little banana.

T-Lots of yeast flavor hits upfront followed by the biscuit malt. There is a definite grapefruit bitterness in the middle and the back of the mouth. I pick up on a tad bit of booze as it warms. There is also some lemon zest present as it warms.

M-Medium bodied and smooth. The beer from the first pour has a nice, crisp finish and on the second pour the crispness is a lot flatter. The bitterness from the hops definitely lingers.

D-It's a pretty easy drinking beer, but the components just down come together enough for me. It is priced very well for a hoppy beer.

This was my first Ninkasi beer. A buddy of mine brought me back a mixed case of OR beers and he raved about this one. I think there was too much yeast/biscuit malt upfront and while this has some nice hop bitterness, the hop profile is not my favorite. To me it falls in the middle of the pack for West Coast Pale Ales.

mjl21, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of kdoc8
2.17/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Ninkasi Ninkasi...what is happening?! I was so excited about the summer ale release and it was even more disappointing than their Spring Reign. The appearance was a nice golden color with a thick, bubbly white head. It didn't really have a smell. If there was any smell it was slightly of unbaked bread. The taste was so uncomplicated...it started out tasting like yeast and ended off tasting like detergent. I'm not sure there were hops or malt in this recipe. I really could barely finish my pint of it. Their last seasonal releases (Oatis, Sleig'r) were sooo great and then spring and summer have been very disappointing.

kdoc8, Jul 11, 2009
Photo of cswhitehorse
4/5  rDev +14%
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.

cswhitehorse, Jul 10, 2009
Photo of bitterthebetter
4.1/5  rDev +16.8%
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

bitterthebetter, Jul 04, 2009
Radiant Summer Ale from Ninkasi Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 226 ratings.