Summer Solstice - Anderson Valley Brewing Company

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Summer SolsticeSummer Solstice

Educational use only; do not reuse.

468 Reviews
very good

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Reviews: 468
Hads: 1,433
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 14.09%
Wants: 62
Gots: 171 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Cream Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 05-09-2005

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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 468 | Hads: 1,433
Reviews by Swedes21:
Photo of Swedes21
4.23/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours a gorgeous coper color, very clear and a lot of carbonation. the head is a nice slight off-white, very thick and foamy. there is some real nice lacing as well.

Smell - very fresh smelling beer, i can pick up some light malts, minimal caramel. there is a nice earth tone as well with some base fruits.

Taste - can really pick up the deep caramel along with the malts, there is min aftertaste, very easy drinking beer. there is also some fruit taste, possible pear/pineapple very nice twist. as it warmed, i was able to pick up some vanilla flavour as well.

Mouthfeel - everything in the taste just a little glorified. there wasnt a tremendous amount added, some good volume/fullness in my mouth.

Overall - this would be a fantastic session beer, has a lot to offer the avg joe with some good tasting and easy drinking attributes. (851 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep copper with a one finger fizzy-like head that is gone pretty quickly leaving no lace behind,lighter aromas on the malty side a touch of roastiness and some nuts in there as well.Malt dominated flavors lightly sweet even more so in the finish pretty grainy and lighter in the mouthfeel department.There is a spice in this brew that I cant put my finger on,Iam thinking vanilla the more I drink but not quite sure.A pretty good offering and highly drinkable good for the summer months for sure. (505 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
3.51/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the Park Bar in Detroit. Pours a burnt amber-traffic-light kind of color with a small, wispy white head that remains as a thin film on the top of the beer. Virtually no lacing was left on the way down. Upon the first sniff and taste, you immediately get a sense of some wild, fruity flavors, maybe like wild berry and white grape. However, I knew there was a stronger taste that I couldn't quite put my finger on until the beer warmed up -- figs. Halfway through, the figs were prominent and easily noticeable. By the end it was like a liquid Fig Newton. Very unique and very tasty. Little bit of hops in the background, but overall more malt. Body was medium-thin, clean, left your mouth a little wet afterwards. Sharp carbonation on the back of the tongue, maybe just a bit too much.

Overall, a nice and refreshing beer that tastes of berries and figs. Very commendable for being so unique, I'd most likely have this one again. (940 characters)

Photo of t2grogan
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of Zakk
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of Shakerman
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of BigMarty1980
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of csmartin6
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of Doomcifer
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Guden
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Reddish amber with copper highlights. Pours with a nice creamy 1 inch thick head with great retention and pretty lacing.

S- Lots of deep caramel and vanilla sweetness with a little bit of sweet corn, malt and blackberry.

T- Awesome. Lots of nice fresh vanilla and melted caramel with still just a hint of the berry found in the nose and just the faintest bitterness on the back to really round it out. Light enough in flavor to drink a bunch on a hot day but strong enough to keep you coming back.

M- Very creamy with a moderate carbonation to round out the flavors. Perfect for the style and exceptional regardless.

D- Tasty and easy drinking, had it on tap at the brewery and decided to pick up a six pack (in cans) and it was just as good. A very satisfying drink. (774 characters)

Photo of iemailjack
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Beerswag
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of Jason
3.79/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Sunset Grill & Tap.

Dark brownish copper with a thin but steady head, clarity is fine.

Aromas of toasted grain and mild hop mirror the flavor, crisp wheat and bready ... very smooth. Suggestions of pears and vanilla come to mind. Quite malty but to big of a body for a summer brew. Very mild hopping though the palate does dry out in the end.

A tasty switch from the usual pale summer brews. (414 characters)

Photo of henryclay_
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of tigg924
4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: amber, small carbonation, clear, 1/4 inch head

Smell: malt, pepper, spice, bread

Taste: malt, caramel, cream, and bread

Mouthfeel: creamy, smooth, sweet, light body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I like the creamy caramal malt taste that I associate more with a RIS. This one hits the style guidelines to a T. I could have several of this mini-malt bomb (378 characters)

Photo of aquazr1
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of reitzbrewing
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of asuburbanman
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of jakester
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this as a single at Union Jack's on the Manatawny. No friggin' date, (this is going to be my personal quest), but this was fresh.

Pours a beautiful clear deep copper with a beige, one finger head that drops fairly quickly. Carbonation evident. No lacing.

Aromas of caramel/toffee, herbal hops, spices. Very pleasant and inviting. Smells very clean.

Creamy caramel malt is the main flavor, but spices and just enough hop bittering balance this very well. Slight breadiness, herbal/grassy hops, and, I don't know, cinnamon/nutmeg? Definite spices in this baby.

Mouthfeel is like velvet. Incredibly smooth, slightly sweet, yet sort of crisp. Very pleasant tingle across the tongue from carbonation.

As a summer type thirst quencher, this would be a good one. You wouldn't think so after pouring it, but it's so damn smooth and silky. (853 characters)

Photo of Mattco
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of standardcherry
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of NOLTERN
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of jondeelee
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Summer Solstice opens with a mildly yeasty, malty nose, full of the aromas of baking wheat bread, light brown sugars, and wheat fields, along with touches of apricot and orange at the edges, the latter almost too delicate to notice. The effect is that of an enticing bowl of hot cereal with fruit slices. Noticeably absent in any marked quantities in the nose are spices, which, given that the label notes "natural flavors" and "special spicing" have been added, is quite peculiar, but refreshingly so, since in many beers the spices seem more intent on bashing you with a hammer than caressing you with a feather.

On the tongue, the first flavors are of brown sugars and wheat, though the grain flavors quickly pick up steam and equal themselves to the sugars. Soon afterward a good, subtle spice blend emerges, the spices so delicately balanced and finely nuanced that no single spice emerges as overpowering. The mix is somewhat peppery, with touches of, perhaps, coriander and kola nut (at least that's what I attribute the slight Dr. Pepper taste coming from). Fruit esters are light and hardly noticeable, but some apricot comes through at the fringes. Hops are hardly distinguishable, mostly adding just enough bitterness to counter the sugars, but since the beer only has 4 IBUs (according to Anderson Valley's website), this is hardly surprising. The aftertaste is an evanescent continuation of the main flavors. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is good beer, keeping in mind that it's brewed for hot summer months, and therefore the flavors are purposefully kept light. Despite this light quality, the flavors are quite distinguished and delicious, and the beer is thankfully not over-spiced. It is slightly too reminiscent of a soft drink for me, reminding me in this sense of a weak cross between a Dr. Pepper and a Coke, but is most certainly better fare than the average summer seasonal. (1,938 characters)

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Summer Solstice from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 468 ratings.