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Summer Solstice - Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summer SolsticeSummer Solstice

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,317 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,317
Reviews: 457
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 15.53%
Wants: 45
Gots: 114 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,317 | Reviews: 457 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Tom_Gilman
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%

Photo of Jsteez
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a dimple beer mug.

A-Poured a cloudy copper to medium amber color. A nice creamy off-white 1 finger head hung around for about 3 minutes or so. The head dissipated into a thin creamy surface. Trace lacing left on the glass. This brew would taste good on-tap!

S-Fruity, malty, and some graham cracker crunch.

T-Spicy apricots and caramelized peaches going in. There were also hints of chili mangos as well. The backend had a smooth and creamy feel with a mild pepper and spice. I could taste caramel malt in the front and backend. The aftertaste left a light spicy taste. Tasted quite balanced.

M-My initial thought about this brew is that it would have a heavier mouth-feel. But it was quite light and crisp. Clean feel. Carbonation is on the high side which makes this a great backyard bbq beer. Thirst quenching.

Overall-I'd buy this brew again. It is a solid summer brew that I could easily drink on a hot summer day, it is interesting for its style.

Photo of paulys55
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of OldhouseRecs
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of Rihup
5/5  rDev +36.2%

Photo of KFBR392
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Solid red color. Good amount of lacing on the glass and a solid head on the pour. Good carbonation but overall nothing too crazy.

Smell: A lot of the creamy dairy one would expect. Some aromas of apples, fruit, slight molasses, and taffy. The aroma is certainly not overpowering, you have to dig for it a bite. The bright creamy accents jump out the most.

Taste: One of the better cream ale tastes I've had. So much of the dairy and taffy on the front. The body and finish have many of the same accents which overall are just muted. Yum, the front end keeps you coming back for more.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and buttery.

Overall: An easy drinking summer beer. A good one to give to your non-craft friends. Not as much traditional character as one would hope but overall isn't a bad brew to sip on.

Photo of ohyayitstrey
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

Photo of Circleo12
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

Photo of visionaries
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of InspectorBob
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of plato
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of amishbooze
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of johntfox
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of touchmeimsac
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of AlexChillton
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of NJB145
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

Photo of twax
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of BRYeleJR
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of CelticAleMan
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of soccerfancooch
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Hermthegerm
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of -ronin-
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of eulerthegrape
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

Photo of Bromine
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of magictacosinus
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Thanks, Jon. Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a tulip pint glass. Bottle says "natural flavor" was added, but I for the life of me would not be able to know what it is... And neither does their website for that matter.

Pours a dark brownish amber body complete with 2 fingers worth of head that dwindles down to pretty much nothing. Carbonation is not too present. No lacing to speak of. Average body retention and character, but definitely good to see a summer beer taking on a different appearance.

The aroma is very heavy and toasty, almost like whiffing straight into a box of biscuits coated with citrus and vanilla. This took me by surprise, especially as this barely is a combination of flavors that I get in a summer beer. In fact, I'd go as far to say that it smells like S'mores, believe it or not! Cinnamon, wheat, candied cream, and a bit of caramel and milk chocolate are all present here, but it's not a dessert beer by any means. It contains a spiciness that overlaps these flavors, only to bludgeoned by all the caramel and toffee. There's a syrupy sweetness that I've gotten with every AV beer to date, except for their oatmeal stout, which makes it cloying. There's also a candied fruity flavor (I'm going to go with oranges) that persists, and while not pleasant, it's not necessarily horrible. I'm enjoying the variety of flavors, but not the sweetened caramelized backdrop so much.

Right from the start, I can see where this is a cream ale with added spices and citrus notes. The cream is instantly there, and melds itself with the caramel and candied orange notes, only to finish with a bittered, toasted barley flavor combined with brown sugar. Again, this never gets to the point of excessive sweetness (although the syrupiness is ridiculous), but it isn't something that I could down quickly either. As this warms up, there are notes of butterscotch (which makes me wonder if Irish yeast was used), as well as sweetened elements that make this resemble caramelized orange sorbet of sorts. Definitely similar to orange sodas as well, which the brewery seems ready to agree on. The cracked barley finish is a little distracting, and the hop profile is pretty low, but I believe would not have contributed so much to the beer's flavor. Luckily it's pretty thick, as I would hope all beers of this style to be.

Considering the fact that summers in NorCal in the far north (where AV is located) are usually pretty chilly, rainy, and misty, I could see this as a perfectly enjoyable beer to have during the days where the weather becomes mild during the season in the region. While I enjoyed a lot of the sweetened, creamy flavors this has to offer, the bittered, flaky finish, as well as the enormous syrupy, sludgy body, makes this one something that I patiently sipped on. I'd pair it with food in a heartbeat (think fruit-glazed butter fried lamb with sweet potatoes), but on its own, not so much. More of an ambivalent dessert than a quaffable summer beer.

Summer Solstice from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 1,317 ratings.