Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Summer Solstice | Anderson Valley Brewing Company

477 Reviews
For Trade:
Summer SolsticeSummer Solstice

Brewed by:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: Cream Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Summer Solstice Seasonal Ale is a slightly sweet, malty session beer with a creamy mouth feel and clean finish. With hints of caramel in the nose and a touch of spice, it’s become affectionately known as “cream soda for adults”. The unique flavors and superior drinkability make for the ultimate refreshment on a hot summer day.

Added by xlperro on 05-09-2005

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 477 | Ratings: 1,489
Photo of OldSwampy
3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reddish brown with a cream head. Nose very bready, like opening a loaf of bread, though also some small spritzy or spicy notes. Taste starts modestly, lean, then opens with a big hit of caramel candy, also some licorice, and ends with a more standard malt. Flavor development is interesting but also odd. Mouthfeel is a bit sudsy but in some ways also lean, ending slick. Finish is surprisingly dry given the bready and sweet aspects. An oddly joined mixture of flavors, and tastes perhaps too "flavored" for some. Despite the name this reminds me more of fall flavors... almost a pumpkin ale sort of thing... than a refreshing summer brew.

 642 characters

Photo of TheStoutLord
4.21/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Great orange-amber color, very appealing. Thin head and some bubbles, seems very light at first glance. There is debris floating in the bottom, assuming thats the added natural flavor and not something else...

S: Rather weak smell with hints of spice and raisin. Some caramel scents, but overall not strong aroma.

T: Extremely creamy with a malty back half. Nearly total lack of hops, which is refreshing after a stint of IPAs. Its a great taste for summer I think, very sweet. This would be the perfect beer for a hot day outside.

Feel: Light and nearly bubbly feeling. Again, quite creamy, accurately described as cream soda for adults..

O: Great beer. Sweet and refreshing but not in a way that implies added juices and sweeteners. Unlike a lot of similarly sweet beers, I could absolutely drink more than just one of these. Especially if I was relaxing outside.

 874 characters

Photo of LateToThisParty
3.06/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Slightly cloudy red-orange amber with virtually no head or lacing. Aroma is red grape: fearing another juice brew. Tastes toasty, toffee or caramel with hints of fruit, and a raisiny finish. Feels smooth and clean with no hop bitterness. Yes, it is a juice/wine brew. It might be okay on a warm relaxing late summer/early fall afternoon. Maybe around the BBQ with hot dogs and other junk food.

I enjoyed Vode's characterization though I don't dislike this as vehemently. Still, not a go-to brew.

 496 characters

Photo of Vode
2.25/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Should have read the label more closely before picking up a single bottle of this brew from my local beer and cheese place in Brooklyn. Pours into a beautiful amber / copper creamy frothy pint. Really gorgeous. Unfortunately this stuff smells and tastes like a caramel candy pop, and has the consistency of Aunt Jemima. What an utter disaster this thing is. So aggravated I slammed into my sink drain. Alas I had no children around who I'd feed a beer because they'd love this crap.

 482 characters

Photo of Lilbeck23
4.97/5  rDev +35.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It has a nice toasty brown Amber to it. The smell is superb and with hints of vanilla and caramel. The feel and taste resemble creamy caramel with vanilla present and carbonation. It definitely is overall a MUST HAVE!!

 218 characters

Photo of the_awesometeer
4.16/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A nice medium amber hazy color. Fast rising bubbles of carbonation and a okay foamy head that lasted a while down the glass. The smell of vanilla is strong with maybe a hint of clove. It is a very smooth drink. Tastes of vanilla, caramel, and bread. Overall this is a great drinking beer, nice sweet flavor with the smoothness makes it very easy to drink. I will be getting this again

 390 characters

Photo of timontheroad
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a semi-clear dark Amber color , nice two finger fluffy head with good retention and lacing. Lots of carbonation bubbles floating upward, keeping the head intact. The aroma was sweet, with hints of vanilla, caramel and toffee, and some light bready notes. The flavor had some nutty tastes, along with vanilla, and some biscuity malt flavors. Reminded me a lot of a good old cream soda. The mouthfeel was pretty full bodied, with a nice creamy feel. Overall, it was pretty good, will probably be buying a few more of these, as it was pretty refreshing.

 557 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a deep and hazy brownish amber with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid finger of off white head that settles into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A toasty and fairly sweet malt forward aroma with hints of biscuit, caramel, and cream. Pale malt with hints of biscuit, cracker, caramel, toffee, and yeast. Sweet hints of cream and vanilla. Subtle fruit hints of orange and apple. A pretty nice light aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a toasty and sweet malt forward taste with notes of cream, biscuit, and caramel. Pale malt with notes of biscuit, cracker, toffee, caramel, and yeast. Sweet notes of cream and vanilla. Subtle background notes of orange and apple fruit. A solid taste.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very creamy and smooth.

Overall: A pretty solid take on a Cream Ale. Nice notes of cream and biscuit malt.

 924 characters

Photo of alexanderplatz
2/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

On tap at Ethereal Brewing in Lexington KY. 5 oz. glass as part of a beer flight.

I didn't like this one at all. Taste: watered down overall. The finish had an odd taste that hinted at watered down Hersey's chocolate syrup. If I had made this as a homebrew I would have considered it a failure. Apparently somebody makes it on purpose.

 337 characters

Photo of delta490
3.14/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy orange-amber with a thin cover of creamier white head. What little head there is has nice retention and leaves a little soapy lacing. Both the aroma and the taste and bland and barely there beyond some vague maltiness. The body is nicely weighted, not too heavy or thin and just a hint of carbonation.

 316 characters

Photo of brettski66
4.53/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Delicious. Favorite Summer beer this season. If you like cream soda and toasty, malty goodness without it being heavy and bogged down - this beer's for you.

 158 characters

Photo of Catracho5
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce can poured into Anderson Valley shaker pint

A: Vanilla head that disappeared fast, amber dark orange color, hazy, slight carbonation, some lacing.

A: Caramel, toffee, vanilla, sweet, smells like cream soda, toasted bread, has a lot going on in the aroma.

T: Vanilla, toffee, toasted bread, biscuits, slightly sweet, finishes with a mild bitterness that gives way to more toast bread and biscuit notes.

M: Creamy mouthfeel, light body.

O: Pretty tasty, easy drinking, nice creamy mouthfeel, this was great beer to have while smoking some meat the other day, an alternative to lighter summer ales during summer.

 624 characters

Photo of StretchZep
2.8/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

First sip was ....wow this is different. Half way through I started really not liking it. It is smooth, it is malty, but it has this annoying hint of bitterness that a first seems lemony but soon becomes vinegary! Almost no carbonation it is like a flat hard cider gone bad and I hate hard cider.

 297 characters

Photo of sjones5045
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Home 6/12/15

Pours brown and little haze with a head burst but dissolves quick.

The smell is pleasant. Pick up some sweet like toffee and some nuttiness.

The taste is enjoyable. A little like a soda. Definitely a nutty caramel flavor. It's kind of like soda beer.

The one thing that really ruins this beer is the feel. It's pretty flat. Kind of low carbonation which I find to be kind of annoying.

Overall good beer but not one I'll probably see out after the six runs out.

 482 characters

Photo of barczar
3.59/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pretty dark as caramelly for a cream ale. Aroma is caramelly, sweet, and nutty.

Flavor reveals specialty malt fruitiness and underlying caramel tones that translate as toffee late. The fruity notes are fairly offputting.

 221 characters

Photo of MUTINY
3.96/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Guinness pint.

A: Beautiful deep copper with a 1 1/2" white sea foamy head that dissipates on the double. Retention is meh, lacing is actually not bad.

S: Not massively aromatic, the most predominant note that I can detect is sort of a Christmas-cookie thing. There's a smattering of fruitiness along the lines of mango & the like as well.

T: Christmas-cookie, graham cracker, some tropical fruit & a bit of a yogurt note. There's some detectable spice here but I'm having a hard time pinning it down. It's just a hair yeasty as well. It's an interesting collection of flavors as per usual from AV - here it works out nicely & really shows some balance.

M: Fitting for the style, rich without immense heaviness. Carb is as it should be.

O: One of the better brews from AV in my opinion. I love how they committed to creating an intriguing, flavorful approach to the style with getting over-ambitious.

 936 characters

Photo of Jojosaute
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- a dark copper color, small head less then a finger, no lacing
S- definite malty tones. Nice and roasty
T- definitely adult cream soda taste. Little citrus. I really think this is super different. Not sure what reviewer mentioned when they said it tasted like domestic summer beer. I think it's could turn off some people with sweetness. But not me this is a great tasting beer. I think It could be a bit more carbinated.
M- a creamy mouth feel. Really smooth. Almost to smooth.
O- I really thought this beer was different. It's not going to be for everyone but it's definitely for me.

 594 characters

Photo of utopiajane
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Hazy light orange upon amber. A great head of orange tinted almost tan foam that fell rocky and mousse like. Clung and left lace too. Nose is mild malt with a light citrus so faintly on the background. Like a lemon sugar cookie malt only the faintest. Malty but tart. Fruity with the earth of fruit peel and spicy from pepper and hops. Finishes clean and crisp, a touch thinner than medium mouthfeel and plenty of smooth lightly sweet malt. I feel whatever spices they added make it earthier.

 500 characters

Photo of tlema1
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: yellow/gold with a thin head
S: malts, not much nose
T:Easy drinking, true to style, very drinkable on a hot day...has a cream soda feel to it
F: Light body, smooth
O: one of my favorites from AV

 198 characters

Photo of MtnSoup
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great example of a cream ale - my only gripe here (and it normally works very well for AV) is the use of spices seems a bit overkill. Don't get me wrong, I could crush many of these consecutively on a hot day.

 209 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can served in a lager glass.

Surprising dark body for style with a very good head and decent lacing.

As claimed, the flavor is "malty, and lightly sweet, with a delicate hint of spice". Plenty of caramel malts and very faint spicing that becomes a bit more obvious in the aftertaste.

 292 characters

Photo of SmashPants
3.44/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Format: a dark brown 355mL bottle with a decent craft label.

Appearance: a clear amber-gold with fine carbonation across the profile. A reasonably thin white head lasts for quite a time.

Aroma: some heavy bread malts with an unusual fug. Okay.

Taste: better here - some bread and a touch of caramel, with some peach and a cream flavour. Pretty nice.

Aftertaste: the flavours linger well, particularly the fruit and caramel.

Mouth feel: This beer is medium in body with a medium carbonation. Quite smooth and creamy.

Overall: this is the first American Cream Ale I have had, and it is pretty darn tasty. A good mix of flavours with a great feel. I'm not sure it would do well specifically as a summer beer here as it is just far too hot, but I'll definitely take one every now and then any time of year.

 808 characters

Photo of RyanK252
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Can poured into a BarrelHouse Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours deep deep amber with a creamy light tan head that fades and laces nicely.

S: Toffee malt sweetness, a bit grainy, maybe a hint of vanilla.

T: Sweet roasted malt, a little caramel/toffee, a hint of vanilla, nice hop bitterness to counter, maybe some faint citrus and floral notes.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation, creamy smooth.

O: Nothing super special, but not a bad brew,

 448 characters

Photo of bmeehan
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

Very good summer ale. I see now that it's categorized as a cream ale, and that's probably what made it so good--that creamy hint that makes it stand out.

 153 characters

Photo of WAbeerfiend
4.75/5  rDev +29.4%

Poured from a can into a tumbler on 05.14.14.

A: See through red/orange. 2 finger head with an aggressive pour.

S: Strong toffee. Also has peanut brittle, coconut.

T: Peanut brittle, toffee are dominant. Coconut is subtle.

M: Creamy. Perfect carbonation.

O: This was my first cream ale and I have yet to find one that rivals it. It was complex with great flavors from front to back. It was a great dessert.

Rating: A

 424 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Summer Solstice from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 477 ratings.