1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Summer Solstice - Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summer SolsticeSummer Solstice

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,161 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,161
Reviews: 444
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 15.8%
Wants: 36
Gots: 69 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Summer Solstice Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,161 | Reviews: 444 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of maddogruss
maddogruss

New Jersey

3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Arizona

3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Ohio

3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Colorado

3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

California

3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Serving type: can

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

California

4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Germany

3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: can

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

Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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"

Serving type: can

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

Florida

3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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!

Serving type: bottle

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

Illinois

3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Massachusetts

3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: can

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

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2010 20:09:34 | More by OneDropSoup
Photo of Asgeirr
Asgeirr

Svalbard & Jan Mayen Islands

3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema pours a golden chrome yellow colour along with a medium high peach-to-white crown that decrepit in a hasty pace leaving occasional lacing, while no carbonation is visible.

Smell: Hay and popcorn, diacetyl, sweet notes of crème brûlée in the malt section finished of with a whiff of metallic notes.

Taste: Buttered corn and toast is what -- primarily -- comes to mind, some caramel malts do make the odd appearance as a mildly bitterness is there to greet the end of flavours. Of noteworthy notice: the buttery sensation is all but diacetyl-like, in some way it's way more pleasant and, yeah, creamy.

Mouthfeel: Rather watery, somewhat coarse and medium high carbonation.

Drinkability: Personally, I wouldn't be all too excited to down this one more than on the odd occasion. However, considering what these beers are suppose to be like, I'd say this cream ale fills the A1 formula out pretty nicely.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2010 19:44:35 | More by Asgeirr
Photo of Evil_Pidde
Evil_Pidde

Sweden

3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

35,5 cl brown long-necked bottle with a label with a montainlake wiev. Looks nice.

A: Pours deep golden with hints of brown. Large, light but still thick white head that takes a while to set. Leaves rich lacings.

S: Sweet light roasted caramell malt, bready. Buttery. Light bitter hops.

T: Lots of butter up front, then there's the bready light roasted malt from the smell. Kind of fruity.

M: Body is medium as well as the carbonation. Very smooth. Aftertaste is semi-long and holds mostly sweetness.

D: This is my first Cream Ale - very smooth. Goes down so nicely.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2010 19:28:50 | More by Evil_Pidde
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, grain and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of grain and a hearty malt character that are followed by a mild creamy sweetness from flavors of caramel and a little bit of fruit. The hops presence is mild but complementary and provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body and a bit heavier than most in the style, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this one has some more substance than most Cream Ales and is a decent beer to pound down for a while.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2010 00:42:22 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a light creamy-tan with a nice white head.

S: Nice bready malt. Nothing too much beyond that, but well done.

T: Pretty good. Bready malt and a bit of creamy fruit sweetness.

M: Nice and creamy. Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D: Very drinkable and refreshing. Not nearly as good as Winter Solstice, but not a bad lawnmower beer either.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2010 21:00:14 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of ohoh
ohoh

Sweden

3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Being my second beer from Anderson Valley (my first was Hop Ottin), expectations were high for this Summer Solstice Summer Wheat, yes that's right. I'm a bit confused. Is this the same beer? A look around the webs find that it is. So we begin.

My initial thoughts were affected by the nice label, and the lovely cap. So we pour it into a pint glass and find... a yellowish beer with next to no foam or lacing. It's a tiny bit hazy.

It doesn't smell much. In fact, it doesn't smell anything. What I expect from a wheat beer is heavy tones of fruit and Germany, but this being american an me being tired I move on and taste it... well, the best way to describe it is - nothing.

The nothingness lasts a bit and then goes away. It's so well-balanced, this beer, that it just evens out. I guess it's very drinkable, though. But so are a lot of summer beers.

I guess it is intriguing to mix a British cream beer with a German wheat, but it doesn't really work for me. I know this beer has lots of fans, but to me, any light lager would do better at a BBQ.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2010 19:28:28 | More by ohoh
Photo of seedsofchaos
seedsofchaos

Illinois

3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is the first canned beer I've had in some time and I'm not going to the trouble of pouring this into glassware as I think a cream beer will fare just fine in a can.

This beer is surprisingly light and crisp and when I first took a sip I immediately thought of cream soda. It's a very mellow summer beer that would go great after mowing the grass or while BBQing some steaks. Alcohol taste is almost nonexistent but the taste of cream and vanilla are light but pleasing. I'll have to give good points to taste and drinkability on this one but will say it's lacking in the nose significantly... Could be the can though. :P

Serving type: can

02-06-2010 22:11:29 | More by seedsofchaos
Photo of VWBuggirl
VWBuggirl

South Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am not typically into cream ales, but I really enjoyed this. It doesn't have much of a smell, which is a bit of a downside. It has a great coppery/amber color.

As for the drinkability, it goes down VERY smoothly. It is probably the easiest drinking beer I have ever had, and I enjoy every minute of it and stock up before summer ends. There is nothing like a bbq in the summer with a bottle of this.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2010 05:55:16 | More by VWBuggirl
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a clear amber color with a thin and quickly vanishing off-white head.

S: Nice (lightly) roasted malt aromas combined with a hint of caramel. There's also a fair amount of diacetyl in there, lending a buttery, almost creamy aroma.

T: Again, a lot of caramel and toasted, biscuit malts. Not much in the way of hop flavor or bitterness, but I like the sweetness this beer has, which manages to be quite balanced.

M: The body is a bit on the light side, but still good, and the carbonation is moderate.

D: I can't say I've had too many cream ales, but I found this one to be very enjoyable. A nice low alcohol beer with good flavors and a light-medium body.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2010 02:30:47 | More by womencantsail
Photo of KarlHungus
KarlHungus

Minnesota

3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a cloudy reddish pink color. The head is a half an inch in height, and recedes very quickly into almost no lacing. The aroma is of cherries and strawberries with no real beer characteristics. The taste is much the same, but with a hint of malt. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth texture, and moderate carbonation. Overall, this is a decent beer, but probably not something I would drink again.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2009 19:54:11 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of JISurfer
JISurfer

South Carolina

3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Compared to other Cream Ales I've had, this was pretty good. I was disappointed with the head on the beer, which was nonexistant. Anybody that reads my reviews, knows that I like a beer with a big frothing head. Anyway, I did like the nice creamy taste with the light malt finish. Definitely would classify this as a warm weather brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2009 02:55:39 | More by JISurfer
Photo of snaotheus
snaotheus

Washington

3.13/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can poured into a pint glass.

Pours a rich golden color with decent head, but little lacing. Smells weak.

Taste is definitely unimpressive -- it tastes a little like they tried and failed to duplicate a creamsicle flavor -- that sweetness mixed with a lagery-ness isn't very good. Heavy on the malt, light on the hops.

Mouthfeel is fine -- thick and bready. Not terribly drinkable, since I'm not really enjoying it, but not so bad that it goes down the drain.

---
Update, about 15 minutes later:

It warms up nicely, the malt and sweetness round out to something much richer and more pleasant -- perhaps my palate was slow in recovering from the preceding IPA. The creaminess is much more noticeable about halfway through.

Serving type: can

09-24-2009 02:45:52 | More by snaotheus
Photo of seanbhudson
seanbhudson

California

3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

APPEARANCE:
12 ounce can with date notation of 90615A1BD. Pours a clear reddish amber color with a small white head. No lacing.
AROMA:
Moderate aroma of doughy malt and spice. As it warms, I pick up a scent that reminds me of pepperoni pizza.
FLAVOR:
Doughy malt, caramel, orange zest and a light spiciness. Hints of vanilla. As it warms flavors get more "strange" also pick up butterscotch.
MOUTHFEEL:
Medium body. Balanced mouthfeel of cream and syrup. Moderate carbonation. Finishes a bit dry. Not as "crisp" as other cream ales.
DRINKABILITY:
More flavorful than a typical cream ale. It is a tad sweet but dry finish keeps it from being cloying.
NOTES: BBCSD-0909-DanM

Serving type: can

09-21-2009 22:46:14 | More by seanbhudson
Summer Solstice from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 1,161 ratings.