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Summer Solstice - Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Summer SolsticeSummer Solstice

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,006 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1006
Reviews: 435
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 16.08%

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

Style | ABV
Cream Ale |  5.00% ABV

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.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 05-09-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,006 | Reviews: 435 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BastionShaw


5/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my own personal "Nectar of the Gods"...this beer is so delicious.

Appearance: Beautiful Dark Golden...like LIQUID GOLD
Smell: Sweet Freshness
Mouthfeel: Creamy Smoothness
Taste: Sweet Liquid Caramel & Delicious Honey-Baked Bread!
Drinkability: All Day, Every Day

The ONLY things wrong with this beer is that it's a "Summer Seasonal" only...which it makes it very hard to find in Florida when it's coming all the way from California & only being distributed for maybe 3 months...& it's a little pricey at $11-12 a 6-pk for an everyday drinker (which it most certainly is).

After buying all that was left at the end of the season in my area i only had 3 bottles left to hold me over until next summer...I went out of town on business & came back and my wife had drank them all! *Thank god I found (3) 6-pks that weekend in Orlando @Whole Foods & ON SALE! Bought them all of course!

Cream Ales are my favorite style because of THIS beer alone! Why is it so hard for other brewers to make a decent Cream Ale???

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 16:57:02 | More by BastionShaw
Photo of astralspirit1


5/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I cannot say enough about this brew!

This is my favorite beer of all time. This beer has an amazing mouth feel, and is extremely drinkable (beware ;) ). Anderson Valley did an excellent job getting the vanilla flavor and aroma to really come across. Even your non-craft beer friends are going to like this one. I wait for this beer every summer and do my best to find as many cases as possible (which usually isn't much unfortunately). For my other friends who love this beer, if you do buy cases, I have found that the taste was not affected even 10 months after purchase. I don't know why there aren't more cream ales as tasty as this one, then again, is that possible?!

Serving type: on-tap

04-08-2011 02:32:13 | More by astralspirit1
Photo of Drk93TT


5/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased in Michigan at my local beer store.. 6 Pack bundled by a unique blue plastic holder.

A: Golden Color... Dark copper orange tinge.

S: Smells pretty creamy.. detect a hint of malt and vanilla

T: At first tastes like a flat cola... works into a creamy ale like taste that is awesome after the first couple sips.. really works its way into your tastebuds!

M: Not too full bodied creamy, but creamy and subtle.. very nice feel to it. veruy drinkable and relaxing brew they got here.

O: I was surprised by this beer, very unique. Cream Ales are not my style usually... this is a must try! Will def. be getting this again.

I Love malty and summer brews, this is excellent. A must purchase every year. Makes me want to move to Cali. This stuff is awesome, it is so good.. crazy... my go-to summer brew for sure.

Serving type: can

06-14-2012 03:05:30 | More by Drk93TT
Photo of VicSlick


4.9/5  rDev +33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love this BEER! Is is exceptionally tasty. Let me tell you why.

Served into my Lagunitas mason jar glass. Poured a very smooth amber color with not much head(intentionally poured smooth because I like a bubbly mouthfeel).

First sip is great. Let me tell you why. Its the SMELL. The smell is fucking awesome. Its an aroma of sweet cream, maybe vanilla ice cream? Wow. SO good.

It is a rather full bodied beer but nothing compared to an instense double IPA or barleywine. For what it is, it is just right. Not much alcohol taste at all, but I like that in a beer. Try one before its too late.

COSTCO NEAR ME SELLS A 24 pack for $23. THAT, is a steal.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2011 00:41:14 | More by VicSlick
Photo of isualum12


4.9/5  rDev +33.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from tap into a pint down at Bittercreek in Boise Idaho.

App: Reddish brwon on the pour. It was very inviting just from the first look. Decen amount of carbonation. There is a nice thick brown head.

Smell: Sweet and malt rolled in.

Taste: It tastes very sweet with lots of caramel and is also very creamy swirl running around on your toung. After the first taste I was in love. The taste is refreshing. The cream flavor is what hooks you. I would be interested in trying to pair this with various foods. I am convinced that it would change in flavors with foods.

Mouth: Carboniated medium beer that holds its own.

One of the best beers of the year I have tried. I am in love. I plan on buy several more to store and drink....

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2011 04:02:53 | More by isualum12
Photo of RootedFool


4.88/5  rDev +33%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a sturdy beer mug, the head couldn't be more perfect: rises at a mid-level pace, light tan (white, with light brown highlights), fair retention. A thin collar of lace clings to the glass. The body is dark, translucent amber. Smell: Subtle drop of vanilla extract, slight grassy hop presence and caramel maltiness on the finish. Taste: Ah, nice kick of creamy vanilla upfront, encompassing my entire palate, the middle brings out the vanilla even more by being balanced out against a black peppery hop profile, and some soft malt sweetness. The finish is a powder sugar sweetness, as the vanilla is all played out, and very thin hop bitterness. Slick mouthfeel, plenty carbonated. Great summer beer, better than the usual summer (read: boring) offerings from otherwise awesome breweries.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2005 05:19:02 | More by RootedFool
Photo of AdamB84


4.88/5  rDev +33%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was amazing. One of my favorites. For a summer beer and how AVB makes there seasonals usually a little darker and with a lot of spices. This beer when poured into a glass was an darker amber color with little head. Had the taste of vanilla and roasted malts. Keep making this beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2005 15:36:03 | More by AdamB84
Photo of ZenAgnostic


4.88/5  rDev +33%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a Duvel snifter.

Appearance - Very cloudy brown body. One finger white sea foam head.

Smell - Sweet nutty malt.

Taste - Delicious. Light and well balanced.

Mouthfeel - Light, crisp, and very refreshing.

Overall Drinkability - Possibly the most refreshing beer I've ever had. Very thirst quenching without being watery or boring. This may be my first cream ale, so perhaps I should really dive into that style because I'll love it if this foray is any indication.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2011 19:42:28 | More by ZenAgnostic
Photo of BMac17


4.85/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It’s golden copper in color, with a rich foamy head that lingers on and on.
Mouth feel is creamy, malty and silky smooth with a touch of cardamom spice on the back. It’s not your average seasonal almost dangerously delicious.

Great for a hot summer day when you don't have anything to do as you will get happily hammered quickly.

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2011 22:09:52 | More by BMac17
Photo of donchata


4.72/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a subtle resemblance to it's cousin, winter solstice. The copper coloring and tint give a smell of wheaty caramel and toasted honey. The taste is that of creamy, sweet, spicy velvet. It's bit heavier than the usual summer brew but oh so drinkable. I can't think of anything better on a hot, lazy summer day.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2005 14:19:41 | More by donchata
Photo of twiggamortis420


4.68/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle courtesy of CaptainRedBeard in a recent BIF, gracias! Pours a slightly hazed, light amber color with a large cap of creamy off-white foam. Retention is decent and lacing just ok.

Nose is malty and similar to the wonderful Winter Solstice. Some signature yeast bread and mild fruit aromas. Creamy and sweet. This beer, along with its winter offering, just smell damn near perfect to me...I love it!

Damn this beer is tasty, so creamy and rich. Smooth and silky sweet. Malt lovers dream, biscuity and caramel malt with no toastiness. Just a mild touch of bittering hops give it a short, clean finish. If I could get this in Tx, I would buy this by the case...are you listening AV?

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2010 00:09:17 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of blakesell


4.65/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a weizen style glass.

Appearance- Beer pours amber and lightly hazy with a finger of head that quickly dies down to nothing across the top of the glass. Lacing is minimal and not really worth mentioning. A light ring of carbonation clings to the sides.

Smell- Toffee, sweet corn, and British malts come forward first then a light noble hop aroma. Caramel is deliciously thick in this cream ale and gives the smell a creaminess that is nothing like any other I have had.

Taste- Light and fluffy with just the right balance of malts and hops. This has just a light hint of buttered popcorn but it seems right in place and continues to improve on every sip as it warms. There's a light hop bitterness on the finish that rounds out the beer excellently.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, not astringent, smooth, lightly carbonated and medium light in body.

Drinkability- I could drink this one all summer, and if I had one summer beer that I could pick, this would be the one. Excellent job from Anderson Valley and I am eager to search out the winter solstice as well.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2008 23:19:46 | More by blakesell
Photo of JuicesFlowing


4.58/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

Look: Dark caramel color. A cream colored head recedes to a film, with light webby lacing.

Aroma: Sweet caramel and toffee. All malts.

Taste: Just like the aroma, the beer opens with a great sweet caramel, and quickly moves into toffee. It's deliciously much like a candy bar. Maybe only the slightest tang of a hop presence in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Refreshingly light and smooth.

Overall: One of the tastiest beers I've ever had. Reminds me of a Score candy bar.

Serving type: can

07-14-2013 17:37:06 | More by JuicesFlowing
Photo of pjwilson


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

This is a damn good beer, and very unique too. I really tastes creamy and figured it would be listed under cream beers. But it is very amber looking. got a sixer on a trip to the brewery.

smell: perhaps a weak point in the beer. faint sweet malts and vanilla. not much

Taste: ah yes. no other beer is quite like this. Tastes, well very creamy. vanilla seems to dominate the flavors here. there is little to no hop bitternense. this is not a overtly sweet beer though, nothing aproaching anything beligum. The people at the brewery told be that this is just their winter ale with less malt...but it tastes very different from that beer.

mouthfeel: creamy. like drinking milk.

drinkablitly: great for warm weather. very good ice cold but good lighly chilled as well. uh...two thumbs up...

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2005 07:52:27 | More by pjwilson
Photo of sergio1va


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

Pours to a copper brown color with a 3 inch foam head. A pronounced creamy aroma and flavor is definitely present in this beer.
Front profile is of sweet maltiness and even hints of taffy and chocolate. Very drinkable and very thirst quenching.
Great lacing for this beer.
The finshing profile is of sweet malt and caramel.

Serving type: can

04-26-2012 02:47:48 | More by sergio1va
Photo of DeGrog


4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours like a 20 year old scotch! It's color seems to give it more gravity then is possible. The appearance is like a cousin's BBQ, clear with a hint of fog on the way. The smell of this brew is ... well let me just say that it reminds me of the honeymoon that I have yet to have. The taste, mouth feel and drinkability kind of speak for themselves, leaving my taste buds screaming for more. Buy this beer, Drink this beer as often as you can. It is worth it !!!.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2006 07:08:01 | More by DeGrog
Photo of alk3kenny


4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow not what I would expect from a summer beer poured this expecting light hazy citrus instead I got a beer poured copper amber a nice white head and a slightly sweet nose with a banana walnut quality. Upon tasting it wow different then anything I've had before definite caramel notes and backing great sweet fun different I love it.

Serving type: can

06-28-2012 02:05:05 | More by alk3kenny
Photo of Zorro


4.47/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a red copper colored ale with a light tan head.

Smell is full fragrant and grainy. Sweet malt and a bit of biscuit and floral and citric scents from the hops. Faint yeasty scent.

Taste is sweet and VERY malty. Lots of English toffee and vanilla in here along with a biscuit malt backbone. Hop flavor stays in the background as a bittering finish with just a touch of grapefruit flavor.

Mouthfeel is very good.

Drinkability is off the scale. This is one damn tasty beer! Assertive in all respects without being tiring, Best beer I has tasted all year. This one cost me $10 for the six pack and it is worth every penny!

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2005 03:29:39 | More by Zorro
Photo of merryjoulton


4.43/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a pint glass, the color is a nice deep amber that is crystal clear with a thing foamy head. Smell is caramel, malts, cream, vanilla and lemon juice. Taste is a wonderful creamy, smooth malty vanilla and sugar. Mouthfeel is good, really thick and smooth. Drinkability is fantastic.

Serving type: on-tap

06-20-2009 18:16:33 | More by merryjoulton
Photo of mastodonj


4.43/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

it's taken me a while to figure out this beer, not sure I have yet.
it's a lot like the Winter Solstice which I haven't had in months
but still, I believe this is a warmer weather, more drinkable version of that beer.

deep tea color, not red but a dark amber
smallish head but lacing sticks around
smell is complex: malty, hoppy and caramel(?)

taste has a great hoppy but malty combination. the hops are
low key enough that the bitterness is very subtle.

feel has the "creamy" that lives up to the name

overall, this is a great beer. it is complex enough but mellow enough to keep you coming back for more.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2011 01:19:45 | More by mastodonj
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.4/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This unique, creamy, and lightly sweet copper colored ale has a beautiful, long-lasting head that leaves wide splashes and streaks of lace about the glass. Its charming, enticing, wonderful aroma is reminiscent of strawberry shortcake; and it's perfectly suited for a summer beer. In the mouth it's medium-full bodied, and creamy smooth across the palate with a moderate carbonation the just lightly tingles the tongue. The flavor delivers a sweet bed of vanilla-cookie-like malt that has just a hint of caramel to it, and a delicate yeasty fruitiness that's reminiscent of strawberries. It's low-level bitterness barely appears, and it's just sweet enough to satisfy without becoming candyish It finishes drying, with some residual fruitiness and a lingering note of vanilla. Simply put... wonderful!

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2005 03:29:03 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of Blueribbon666


4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes.
Pours into dimpled mug golden almost a reddish orange color with a bubbly quickly dissipating head. Smells of peaches, apples maybe a bit of honey and light biscuit as well.
Taste/Mouthfeel, tastes of clean fresh muffins with the aforementioned fruits having a great influence in the mix without being syrupy sweet and finishing clean. Velvety smooth and creamy, good mouthfeel and drinkability. One of the better summer beers I've had that add different fruits and flavors to the mix. Didn't even realize that it's a cream ale until inputing the review to BA. #2 in my Anderson Valley mixer and another solid entry from the brewery.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2012 13:12:15 | More by Blueribbon666
Photo of Zraly


4.36/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Lagunitas mason jar glass. Rich, creamy foam sits atop of a clear amber elixir. Wonderful notes of vanilla, bread, and spice -- knocks the "smell" department out of the park.

Reminiscent of its big sibling Winter Solstice, this a fantastic seasonal for the malt heads among us. Creamy, slightly chewy, and a touch of spice...but oh-so easy to drink. Vanilla note is the dominant one. Bread and caramel round out the malt profile. Very little hop presence to speak of here. A bit more body than your standard summer seasonal. If you are familiar with cream soda and are a fan, then you've met your match in the beer world.

This is one summer seasonal I seek out every year. Drinking this like there is no tomorrow. An awesome summer session ale and a really unique seasonal. Aside from its limited release time, this is one of my favorites.

Serving type: can

05-19-2012 22:29:04 | More by Zraly
Photo of caels1991


4.36/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz can into Red Hare Brewery Pint Glass.

App- It's a very simple, true to form beer. Fairly clear through with a great dark gold, copper, and amber color. Slight bit of chill on the glass, but very welcoming. Poured about 1.5 finger creamy off white soap-y head.

Smell- Very soft smell, some hop, malt, and confectionery sweetness. Not too much going on, but nothing to really turn off the drinker.

Taste- Sweetness. This is definitely a great beer, it is a bit on the sweeter end of the scale. Lots of vanilla, honey, sugars, almost reminds me of malty Nougat in drink form. Cannot get enough of this, especially as someone who is a huge fan of sweet, dark, and heavier beers. A great summer beer I would recommend to people who are looking for less hop and more "flavor" out of their lighter and easier Ales.

Mouth- Very crisp, but coating mouthfeel. Feels much the way you would expect based around the taste.

Overall- I have heard people say this is like Cream Soda for adults and I get that. It definitely has a Cream Soda like quality and it comes out strongest in the mouth & taste. The nose is definitely a more "beer-like" aroma, it's not unappealing though if you were to introduce this to someone. All in all, an easy quality drink. If you are looking for something sweeter, something that's a bit more than your typical summer-y Ales, this would be a great starting point.

Serving type: can

05-10-2013 12:50:18 | More by caels1991
Photo of ROMER79


4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer on tap at the Grey Lodge in Philly. I thought that this beer was definitely worth getting my growler filled with. It poured a nice chestnut brown with a thin white head. The smell was consisted of candy sugar, spices, hops, and malts. The taste was a very well balanced mix of the candied sugars, spices, malts, and hops. The mouthfeel was sweet and delicious and the drinkability was very easy. A great summer beer to enjoy anywhere!

Serving type: on-tap

06-04-2008 14:24:32 | More by ROMER79
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Summer Solstice from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 1,006 ratings.