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Radiant Summer Ale - Ninkasi Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Radiant Summer AleRadiant Summer Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

88 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 88
Hads: 232
Avg: 3.48
pDev: 20.4%
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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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
Reviews: 88 | Hads: 232
Photo of timtwoface
3.97/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to a buddy who provided me this beer from Oregon. Quite bitter and heavy on the palate. I have to agree with it's commerical description: Radiant Summer Ale is, "Crisp and flavorful, Radiant Summer Ale is a clean finishing summer offering in the Ninkasi tradition. The smooth malt character is balanced by a clean noble hop presence, the perfect compliment to a glorious summer day! 6% alc./vol. 40 ibus." It’s dry-hopped with Liberty hops. It’s more bitter rather than floral and has a crisp, clean finish.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A lot like Spring Reign in that it sacrifices complexity for drinkability. The hops are there but downplayed and the beer is pretty forgettable in retrospect. I like their beers but this is nothing special. I would have liked a little more hops on the mouthfeel and a longer finish kinda like Deschutes Twilight Ale but I still found it a drinkable beer for a hot day.

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Photo of velosuds
3.46/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Paid $1.65 for a single at local natural foods store.

A-Pours a clear, bright, copper-orange hue with about a one and a half finger, off-white head with average retention and some lacing.

S-Biscuit-like malt and subtle floral hops. Not robust enough.

T-Taste follows the smell in that it is not nearly hoppy enough. Pale, bready malts and caramel dominate the taste with hops only contributing to the bitterness but adding little to the flavor. Unfortunate

M-Smooth and crisp. Quite refreshing.

O-A decent beer, but nothing to get excited about. Ninkasi has been hit or miss for me. Glad I was able try without buying a bomber or a 6-pack.

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Photo of mactrail
2.54/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Way bitter and plain amber beer. Color is ice and has a decent head. Seems pleasantly beery at first mouthful with enough carbonation. Some hint of orange flavor and a touch of sweet malt. Hops contribute a plain, non-aromatic harshness. Flat taste that is beery enough but dissipates into an endless bitterness. Light body. I don't taste anything to redeem this stuff, but it may appeal to someone on a serious hop trip. From a 22 oz bottle bought in San Francisco.

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Photo of EspressoGuy
3.04/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- golden-orange. Head disapates quickly. Medium carbonation.

S- very little. No noticeable hops or malt.

T- simple. clean. some lingering bitterness in the finish.

M- medium-light body.

O - nothing special. Wish there was more of something. With such a plain beer unfortunately some heat from the alcohol is noticeable in the finish.

Would not buy this again.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A: Once the chill haze fades, your're left with a fairly clear beer with a golden orange color and a rocky eggshell colored head. There is some definite sediment in the bottom of my glass; not sure what that's from.

S: You're nose is met with a good amount of piney hop bitterness, as well as a significant toasted caramel malt presence. There is some lemon zest in the nose as well, along with some earthy, herbal characters.

T: Again, good amounts of pine and even some astringent hop characters, with a rich toasted malt backbone. Maybe some lemon, hints of ginger, and other spices as well.

MF: Crisp, with a light feel and dry finish that takes some time to show up on the back end.

O: An enjoyable Pale ale with some nice woody, earthy undertones and a decent malt backbone.

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Photo of industrialswill
4/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Radiant Summer ale has a golden-orange colored body and a small cap of off-white foam. Lacing and retention are spotty at best.

The aroma is bready and sweet from the malt, with the promise of bitterness and some earthy hops.

Bits of fruit flavors from the hops mix with earthy hop flavors, both of which are off-set by the malt profile, which brings bread, toasted malts, sweetness and a touch of caramel.

The body is a hair under medium in heft, average carbonation.

This is an APA that will remind you of many other APAs. Good but not great.

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Photo of gpogo
2.49/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Fluffy sticky white head. Golden straw orange body. Slightly hazy, but you can definitely see through the body.

A- Toasty biscuity malt with very light hop aroma. Kindof boring or mute for a APA.

T- Initial bitter flavor with a muted malt flavor taking over. Leaves a slightly sweet nutty malt flavor. Not too impressive, bland. Nice peppery kick though.

M- Smooth medium body. Moderate to high carbonation which lends itself well to the peppery kick.

D- I honestly wasn't very impressed. The flavor and aroma was mute or bland. It had a good appearance and the peppery kick was nice. Perhaps the malt bill could be improved or maybe the malt used was old?

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Photo of Bfarr
3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear orange amber with thin tan foamy head. Floral lager aroma. Floral biscuit malt with light peppery end and very light hop and sweet finish. Very slick easy feel but with a tacky finish.

Really easy beer going down with good flavor, nicely light hops and sweetness making a good outdoor beer.

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Photo of dgilks
3.56/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber colour with a creamy off-white head. Good head retention.

Toasty, nutty malt with a touch of hop character. Not bad.

Smooth and slightly nutty malt with moderately light bitterness. Slightly earthy.

Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Good.

A nice balanced session ale which is very much flavourful and smooth.

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Photo of chugalug06
2.01/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Almost pours pink... interesting. Head is nice white foam with great pourability.

S - Lots of jasmine. Lots of lemon. Smells very nice, kinda wheaty, doesn't fit the style.

T - Very bland and homebrewy... not much flavor of at all. There's very little that sticks out.

M - Bitter. Dry. Bland. Way over-carbonated.

O - Not recommended.

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Photo of PDXHops
4/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

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Photo of bum732
3.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

S: Wheat doughiness, slight orange fruitiness, slightly tart sweet smelling.

L: Slight hazy orange, white creamy head that dissipates to a ring of foam and dusting. Good lacing.

T: Slightly sweet and slightly tart wheatness. Slightly spicy bitterness yielding to some caramel sweetness. Touch toasty. Finishes fairly dry with some residual herbal spiciness.

M: Medium carbonation, medium low body.

Ok overall, a little dryer and a poor man's Oberon.

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Photo of distantmantra
3.57/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber poured into a straight pint glass.

A: Golden amber color with one inch head of foam with nice lacing. Unfiltered particles present in the beer.

S: Citrus and pine notes are up front, but there is a light aroma of honey and wheat present.

T: Bitter pale flavor of lemon and wheat with a kick of pine. Astringent bitter aftertaste.

M: Medium carbonation with some bitterness.

O: Nice pine heavy American Pale Ale. Reminds me of the idea of a Northwest Pale Ale: hoppier than a standard APA, but not as strong as an IPA. However, there is a bit too much of a bitter aftertaste that lingers in the back of your mouth.

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Photo of flexabull
3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.21/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Part of the Ninkasi Summer 4 pack.

A - Pours a darker orange with a one finger cream colored head that slowly fades and leaves good lacing on the glass.

S - Wheat, Rye?, and some slight citrus notes.

T - Lemons, wheat, and again what I would call rye.

D - Good carbonation, slightly bitter in the mouth.

O - Good summer beer.

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Photo of darjoh
4.3/5  rDev +23.6%
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.

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Photo of dvb
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - A nice looking beer. Golden, nice white head, decent lacing.

S - Noting a lack of anything resembling citrus or floral. Doesn't smell like much.

T - Bitterness without sweetness to balance it out. Leaves a bitter aftertaste. Not at all clean.

M - Somewhat astringent. Sticky finish.

O - I can see where some would like this, but make no mistake: this is only for you if you value bitterness above all else. If you want anything else, you won't find it here.

22-ounce bomber.

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Photo of vkv822
2.78/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into tulip pint.

Pours golden in color with a slight orange hue. It is fairly clear, except for some faint yeast particles floating throughout. Has a foamy off white head with scattered clumps of larger bubbles.

The nose is predominately of biscuity malt, with a light hop backing.

The taste is again quite malty and bready, with very little hop note.

Has a nice medium to full body with light carbonation.

While there was nothing unpleasant in this beer I felt the taste and smell were over-powered by the malts.

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Photo of isualum12
3.68/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I saw this beer for the first time yesterday at Boise Coop here in Boise's Northend....I feel in love with Ninkasi at Mnt. Bike OR last year. (Long day of riding with a Ninkasi at the end of the day, life really doesn't get better...)

pours orange in color or copper. with a white head. The smell is slight hoppy with a sugar fruity smell. Pleaseant but not strong.

Taste is good. I really like it. It rolls into a wheat aftertaste which I am just not a big fan of.

Mouthfeel is fine.

Overall I like this beer and I think it will taste even better on a hot summer day if we ever get summer here in Boise. I hope they have it on tap this year at MBO.

Thanks for a nice beer. Worship the GODDESS...

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
4/5  rDev +14.9%
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+.

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Photo of bradleyp
3.68/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up at the Bier Stein, and drank from my Sierra Nevada pint glass.

A: A medium reddish hue with a touch of brown and gold mixed in. Very nice lacing all the way down the glass. There was some sediments at the bottom of the glass, which I don't know what it was, but I'm assuming and hoping this wasn't a bad thing.

S: Not a really a spice bomb, but I could really get a whiff of some hops. At 40 IBU's, I'm surprised this didn't smell more bitter.

T: Very citrusy and clover-like. The hops were blended nicely, and it didn't leave a bad aftertaste.

M: I felt this was an easy drinker. It went down rather well.

O: Refreshing, cool, calm. These are some of the words I describe myself while drinking this beer. i would really like to try this one again, and I'm looking forward to it.

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Photo of Airyk12
4.2/5  rDev +20.7%
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.

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Radiant Summer Ale from Ninkasi Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 88 ratings.