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Summer Solstice - Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summer SolsticeSummer Solstice

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,223 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,223
Reviews: 446
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 15.8%
Wants: 42
Gots: 89 | FT: 0
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: 1,223 | Reviews: 446 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of neorunner


3.38/5  rDev -7.9%

12 oz. can poured into a New Holand pint glass. Dark ruby orange color with a quarter inch of thick creamy head that disperses rapidly. Not much in the aroma department, light malt almost cardboard esque and no hop presence. Cream and amber malt flavors make this beer taste identical to a cream soda. There are also trace notes of nuts and vanilla in the background.

07-27-2010 01:04:15 | More by neorunner
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.4/5  rDev -7.4%

What was a relatively new beer from an old brewery that rarely makes new beer.

A very light appearance for Anderson Valley, gold color with good clarity, small head and virtually no lace after just seconds. Aroma was definitely in the background, waaay back.

Taste was surprisingly complex. It really does have a creamy texture while remaining light. It is a little bit silky, but you just can't put your finger on what is going on here beyond saying someone dropped a creamsicle in the vat. Missing the trademark hopping and bitterness of most of their beers. This is just a smooth summer ale, a little bit of honey I guess.

07-26-2010 15:27:51 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of Infamous7100


3.63/5  rDev -1.1%

A: Poured a nice, clear copper from the bottle into my pint glass. Looks just as described on the label. Not really a head to speak of.
S: All kinds of malts here. I am picking up caramel the most though. Very sweet and hint of spice, maybe cinnamon.
T: Again, really malty. I get the caramel here along with an odd, yet pleasant taste of something I cannot quite place. It's tasty though.
M: Very creamy and smooth. Nice dry finish which I really enjoyed.
D: As I said, it's tasty and light with a low ABV, so this could be a session beer if you fancy the taste.

07-26-2010 15:17:56 | More by Infamous7100
Photo of Goliath


3.58/5  rDev -2.5%

Pours clear and amber colored with a one inch light tan head. There is decent head retention and no lacing.

the aroma is ok. It's definitely sweet, notes of caramel, cereal, and raw grain dominate the nose.

The taste is nice. It's an easy drinker. It's sweet, light caramel, and then fades into cereal grain. Simple.

The mouthfeel is decent. It's medium to full bodied with a light carbonation tingle. It's kind of creamy and quite smooth.

Drinkability is moderately high. The flavor profile is interesting enough yet simple which makes for easy consumption. The ABV is on the low end still which also makes it more sessionable. Overall a decent little beer.

07-25-2010 23:44:28 | More by Goliath
Photo of srandycarter


3.53/5  rDev -3.8%

A - Deep copper, near white head stays awhile. Some soapy lace.

S - Ok, this is going to be a theme here. I get tons of butterscotch. No matter how I try to get around it that is what my mind keeps coming back to. Sweet, deep butterscotch.

T - Some bready malt in there, most again, butterscotch dominates.

M - Creamy, candy like, sweetish finish. Good carb.

D - Only one at a time. Fun beer on occasion, though!

07-24-2010 21:40:35 | More by srandycarter
Photo of zimm421


4.13/5  rDev +12.5%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Appears a clear copper with a nice, thick white head that dissipates fairly quickly, but stays as a nice ring around the edge of the glass.

Smells very sweet. Good malts, with some brown sugar, vanilla and some orange/citrus really standing out. Taste is full of malts, and follows the aroma very well. The brown sugar and vanilla is what stands out, and hangs around for a good while.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied, not too thick, with an average amount of carbonation. This is very drinkable and very refreshing on a hot summer day. Something I bought on a whim, but I'm glad I picked it up.

07-23-2010 22:53:58 | More by zimm421
Photo of Walken


3.95/5  rDev +7.6%

Anderson Valley: Cerveza Crema (No date) (Tasted 07/18/10)
12 oz. can, poured into a dimple mug.

Appearance: Amber beer, short-lived head of white foam, ok retention, no lacing.
Odor: Non-descript spice, bread and caramel, kind of pudding-like, if you ask me.
Consistency: Medium end of light body, spicy tug on the tongue, lush, creamy high carbonation.
Taste: Not bad! Overall, a dry beer that feels much heftier than it is. Brown bread malt flavors, faintly chocolate-y, alcohol flashes, adding to the perception of rum spiked bread pudding. Still non-descript spice, I want to say cinnamon, but I am likely wrong. Finish is dry with a quick, semi-sweet multi-grain bread and caramel linger.

This is an oddball of a beer that almost seems out of season, but I can definitely see knocking a few of these back in the hot sun. There is a lot going on here, this beer is almost like a low gravity dubbel with some spice and a lager-ish character.

07-19-2010 02:00:15 | More by Walken
Photo of BradLikesBrew


3.9/5  rDev +6.3%

Deep golden caramel body, white head.

Malty aroma with a creamy, milk chocolate like aroma.

More caramel malt, with vanilla notes and a soft hoppy note, but again the cream flavor is the most prominent abd enjoyable flavor. Its like the cream flavor you find in milk and white chocolate bars. This is the first time I really tasted cream in a cream ale and it is areally nice flavor. Why don't all cream ales taste like this?

Creamy. Medium to full body. Slightly sweet finish.

Like a cream soda with booze, reccomended.

07-18-2010 00:17:06 | More by BradLikesBrew
Photo of robwestcott


2.9/5  rDev -21%

thanks to G311 for sending this one along as an extra. cream ale is right up my alley.

poured a fairly hazy darkish amber from the can to a dogfish head signature glass with a full finger foamy head with medium retention.

faint aroma sourdough bread, yeasty with a bit of citrus in the wayback.

not altogether enjoyable taste of burnt honey and earthy hops, similar in nature, though not as strong as the terrapin gamma ray. once the bitter has bit the tongue, each sip mellows a bit, though the bitter aftertaste returns after the swallow.

smooth to the tongue, but the bitter follows.

drinkable - yes, probably, though i won't return to it.

07-15-2010 00:36:38 | More by robwestcott
Photo of indiapaleale


4/5  rDev +9%

Pour - dark amber in color with a nice thick head. This is darker than you might expect for the style. Great looking pour.

Aroma - toasty malt, bready, slight hints of orange along with some graininess. This is a style that tends not to have a huge amount of aroma. This almost reminds me of an amber ale though.

Taste - vanilla, caramel and honey notes combined with some toasted bread flavors. There is also some slightly peppery or spicy notes in the background. This actually sort of reminds me of cream soda, which a friend of mine said as well but I had never really put together until now. Silky smooth going down with a bit of crispness in the finish. I am left with a tinge of vanilla on the lips before it is washed away by another sip.

Overall - solid brew. Very different than most other beers I've had as the vanilla or cream soda flavor is rather pronounced despite the "cream" in "cream ale" have nothing to do with that. Coincidence? Perhaps. Great beer nonetheless and well worthy of place in your cooler.

Would I buy more of it? - sure! It's available out here on the East Coast and a great canned summer brew.

07-07-2010 02:40:24 | More by indiapaleale
Photo of emerge077


3.55/5  rDev -3.3%

Thanks to Sebastian for the bonus can!

Into a pint, it has a pretty charged head of foam on it, eventually it rises above the rim momentarily in uneven peaks. High clarity amber with a touch of reddishness. Retention is pretty good, though the head fades quickly to a skim.

Multigrain bread, sweet apples, and a hint of cotton candy in the aroma.

Toffee and cream soda come to mind in the first sips, later backed by a lightly nutty, husky grain. Light toasted malt sweetness and a mild apple astringency. Sort of watery with a sweet slickness, bigger on flavor than body. Still, a couple of these poolside wouldn't be a bad option. A good crossover craft beer.

07-06-2010 22:29:31 | More by emerge077
Photo of david18

New York

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

I had this on draft at the Sunset Grill on a recent visit to Boston. The bartender was not able to tell me the style and called it a light ale with some interesting character. I think that it probably wasn't a bad description for this beer. Kind of a copper/gold color and very clear, especailly for a summer ale. Good flavor, interesting character. Overall I'd say it was pretty good.

07-05-2010 21:46:32 | More by david18
Photo of maddogruss

New Jersey

3.35/5  rDev -8.7%

Got a bottle of this from Cloverleaf Tavern.

A: Pours an amber body with a small, white head but not very good retention and minimal lacing tunil the finish.

S: A nice, sweet malt smell with some honey and toffee notes.

T: A nice, sweet toffee malt tasting beer that seemed nice on the palette and was quite refreshing. not much in the aftertaste; just some additional sweet, toffee and some slight vanilla notes.

M: A fairly smooth, medium bodied mouthfeel that was nice on the palette and equally refreshing to the taste.

D: A nice mouthfeel and taste combination makes the beer pretty nice and easy to drink. A nice beer to have during the summer months as it does a good job of cooling you down.

07-02-2010 18:08:13 | More by maddogruss
Photo of ocelot2500


3.65/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours a clear orange coppery color with a creamy white head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of caramel malts and sweet sugar.

Tastes of a big caramel malt dose up front. Plenty of caramel with some brown sugar notes coming through as well. Spices are pretty restrained, but there is a touch of some hop spiciness. Vanilla notes are also present.

Mouthfeel is light and has a smooth amount of carbonation.

06-26-2010 02:16:47 | More by ocelot2500
Photo of OtherShoe2


3.73/5  rDev +1.6%

Pours dark orange with a white head that is now just a ring around the rim of the pint. Chill haze, no bubbles, no lacing.

Light maltiness in the scent, maybe some wood.

Smoothy creamy beer. Zero bite of any kind. Lightly bitter in the finish, but this is zero hops. Sweet and toasted malt, a bunch of vanilla, some sweet nuttiness, some fruit, maybe some spice. This is not light summer beer. Good intensity of the flavor.

A bit mushy -- medium bodied but needs some carbonation zip. But still ok.

Overall, this is a pretty decent beer, and a good cream ale. Some flaws, but we have to open our minds and shake our hop addictions sometime (I find no hops here). This is a real easy drinker, but I wonder about refreshment -- so smooth and un-abrupt, I'm not sure this could quench me in succession on a hot day. 1 or 2, and I'd be done. No knocks here. Once again, another good brew from these guys.

06-25-2010 22:02:33 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of Mcculler


3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Pretty, transparent amber under a white head that quickly dissipates to a slim ring that leaves no lacing.

Smells of vanilla, cream, nutty woodiness.

Taste echoes smell - light sweetness that becomes apparent as vanilla and finishes with a woody twang. Nuts in there somewhere.

Creamy, not quite syrupy but almost - carbonation a bit light.

Yes a cream soda in beer form but nicely done if a little underwhelming. Could use more carbonation if this is trying to be a summer session beer. As is, neither interesting enough nor light enough to drink more than one and a half at a sitting.

06-25-2010 01:36:16 | More by Mcculler


3.73/5  rDev +1.6%

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Thin white head which releases quickly. A hazy amber, orange body. Thin ring holds all the way through the duration of the glass.

S: A toasted aroma, one of almonds and fruit.

T: Bright burnt taste upfront with a smooth finish. A tangy, pear like taste. The cream is very pleasant, but not over powering.

M: Thick and creamy. Not much of a lingering taste, but the cream does add a smoothness.

D: The taste has you calling back for more. But the cream side of things this is not a beer to drink a session of. Good for summer tastings, but not my type of summer slammer.

06-22-2010 13:08:38 | More by GDBEERMAN
Photo of DoubleJ


3.68/5  rDev +0.3%

Why don't threads for "What beer should I drink for the Summer Solstice" ever come up? Well, maybe everyone has figured out to drink AV's Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema for this once a year event. From a 12 ounce can (my first AV can), on to the beer:

Rusty copper color as it sits in the glass, with solid head retention and little lacing. Wow, it smells kind of like cream...with the small touch of solvent alcohol and sweet corn.

I don't fancy to be a drinker of cream soda, but this is exactly what this beer tastes like. A tasty cream soda. Now, add alcohol and smoothen out the carbonation and you have Anderson Valley Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema (AVSSCC). But like the soda, I wouldn't want a whole lot of it though.

Cream Ale is a strange and unorthadox style for the summertime. Even more strange is that I enjoy the flavor quite a bit when I didn't think I would.

06-22-2010 03:36:58 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of DeanMoriarty


4.2/5  rDev +14.4%

Six-pack from Olive Tree Market - poured from the bottle into an "Old Speckled Hen" pint glass.

A: Clean golden/copper - almost reddish hue. Pours a 1" head that sticks around for a few sips then dissipates with small amounts of lacing.

S: Sweet, malty and a little grassy with some citrus in there too.

T: Tastes like an adult version of a 50/50 bar from the ice cream truck. Hints of Grand Marnier. Sweet and malty, grassy and fruity - big time caramel flavor present too.

M: Light bodied, well carbonated and real creamy on the palate.

D: Ridiculously easy to drink. Six-packs go down like nothing. Great all day summertime beer.

My only gripe - A bit pricey for a Summer Ale if you ask me. Their IPA is cheaper and with a much higher ABV (???). Should be in the $8.00 range not $10.00.

06-14-2010 03:14:05 | More by DeanMoriarty
Photo of beerdrifter


3.93/5  rDev +7.1%

Picked this up at a great beer store, Tops Liquor, while at a conference in Phoenix. Nice clear, copper-ruby pour with a quickly fading head and minimal lacing. Kind of a metalic smell, almost like pennies with a hint of maple syrup and roses. The taste lives up to the name. Very reminiscent of shasta cream soda. Lots of creamy caramel with a hint of peach and tea. Very light, smooth, creamy mothfeel. Good drinkable summer beer that truly surprised me.

06-13-2010 18:51:43 | More by beerdrifter
Photo of parris


3.68/5  rDev +0.3%

Copper brown in color, heavy carbonation, loose head rises about 1/2 inch from the beer.

First think I notice about the smell is it's sweet, but not overwhelmingly malty. Really getting my nose in the gets an aroma similar to roses. Overall it's a great smell, and a little bit unexpected.

What a weird flavor, it's very creamy, like whipped cream. Cake batter and fresh cookies, wtf, definitely wasn't expecting this. Gave it to my wife, she confirmed the beer does in fact taste like desert. I'm giving this a 5 for taste, I'm not exactly sure what a Cerveza Cerma is supposed to taste like, but I can't imagine this one being off the mark at all.

Very thin mouthfeel, carbonation on the lips, but not really noticeable in the mouth.

I love this beer and I'm going to drink it all the time from now on.

[EDIT]: I had another one of these tonight, I had to take a few points off. It was an exciting drink, but the second time around, after the novelty wears of, it tastes a bit more "tin-ey"

06-02-2010 22:58:43 | More by parris
Photo of BlackBearForge


3.53/5  rDev -3.8%

Summer Solstice is a deep bright amber with a nice creamy off white head that leaves a ring around the surface after it falls with slippery curtains of lacing.

The aroma is faint, with a lightly sweet maltiness and light orange scents.

The flavor has a creamy, lightly sweet toasted malt, with caramel and orange notes. Hop bitterness is present in the middle and in the finsh which is fairly dry.

Mouthfeel is on the light side of medium, very smooth, creamy and well carbonated.

This has got to be the most unique Summer Seasonal I've tried and I was expecting a sweeter beer. I was pleasantly surprised that the sweetness is on the light side and nicely balanced by hops. An easy drinking beer!

05-29-2010 20:28:38 | More by BlackBearForge
Photo of SpdKilz


3.33/5  rDev -9.3%

Appearance - Pours a dark amber color with about half finger of head that quickly dissipates leaving lackluster lacing.

Smell - Slight biscuit malt, caramel, and floral notes. Not much there.

Taste - This is my first "cream" ale, and there really is an odd creamy sensation. Slight orange, malt, spices such as nutmeg and vanilla. Interesting but not really digging it.

Mouthfeel - Creamy, light carbonation.

Drinkability - Not very. Glad I only got a single. Interesting to try but would not try it again.

05-26-2010 21:07:58 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of jlindros


3.45/5  rDev -6%

A super hot and humid sticky summer's day, hopefully this beer helps quench my thirsts.

A: A fizzy creamy head rises up quickly to 2 fingers and fades semi quickly back. It's mostly clear toasty brownish orange color.

N: Sweet syrupy aromas, somewhat extract like syrup flavors. With that is some creamy malt effervescence but not much. A touch of toasty malts, but mostly that sweet fake smelling syrup extract like aroma.

T: Not as bad as I expected at first. Starts pretty creamy with some toasty malts, almost oatmeal flavors, smooth and a little velvety. Some lager flavors actually, with a little more sweet creamy malts. A little bit of that extract malt flavor comes through but not that much. A touch of bready toasty malts.

M: Smooth and creamy, medium to heavier body with lower carbonation.

F: Still somewhat sweet, a little syrupy and sticky, more toasty malts lingering with creamy malts, lots of creamy flavors lingering, perhaps more oats. I think I get a touch of biscuit as well on the finish. Some lingering sticky sweet slight syrupy malts that gives me that reminiscence of lager again. A little strange fruit comes through as well.

05-26-2010 01:17:09 | More by jlindros
Photo of OneDropSoup


3.63/5  rDev -1.1%

Poured into a tulip pint: Dark amber/copper, 2 fingers of fluffy white head.

Smell is pretty clean, biscuity, but subtly on the sweet side with minor notes of caramel, marshmellow, even baked apple. Restrained but very nice.

Taste is very reminiscent of its winter sister beer, with a very recognizable character that exists only with these two: cool caramel, tiny bit of cocoa, toffee, marshmellow, & fruit (strawberry, peach). All moderate, but fnishing a little dry & crisp to round it off -- not as complex as Winter Solstice, but fittingly more mellow for summer. Dry, corny flintiness in aftertaste that snowballs with each sip.

Light-bodied, a little sugary feeling.

Flavorful & light, good for summer, but the flinty taste is not so pleasant after a while. Still, I'd have it again, give it another shot.

05-25-2010 20:09:34 | More by OneDropSoup
Summer Solstice from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 1,223 ratings.