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Sunny Ridge | Jack's Abby Brewing

very good
54 Reviews
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Sunny RidgeSunny Ridge

Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This aromatic lager features a sunshine hue, herbal noble hop nose, and a dry finish. We balance pilsner malt with a blend of European hops and polish it with extended periods of cold conditioning. You're royalty, now drink like it.

Added by tolar111 on 02-13-2014

User Reviews
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Reviews: 54 | Ratings: 274
Photo of drtth
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a clear bright yellow with a 3/4" snow white head that slowly recedes to leave foam and lacing on the sides of the glass. Sipping creates widely spread small patches and legs of lacing. By mid way through the beer there's still plenty of foam and lacing on the sides and a thin layer of foam on the surface.

The aromas are herbal and grassy from the hops and there's touch of the pilsener malt in the background.

The flavors are much as anticipated from the nose with grassy herbal notes mingling with touch that touch of sweetness and pilsener malt. In addition there's some light bitterness that goes well with the rest.

The mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied and slightly crisp from moderate carbonation. The finish is medium longth and begins about mid-way through as the malt and sweetness begin to fade leaving the grassy herbal bitterness behind to fade on its own. It all ends in a nice dry finish that invites the next sip.

Overall this is a very drinkable beer and a well made example of the style that has much to offer the Pils drinker. I'd be happy to have a second one and expect to be looking to have this again. That said, this beer won't displace the Troeg's Sunshine Pils as part of my regular rotation.

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Photo of logicalparadox
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A very nice take on a pilsner from an American brewery that specializes in craft lagers. The 2-3 finger head I got from a modest pour was pure white, as expected, but the brew itself was surprisingly cloudy. I typically expect a pils to be crystal clear, evoking a kind of purity both in form and conception. That this pils breaks the mold is neither a bad thing, nor out of character given the name of the brew. The nose is dominated by subtle, but ever-present herbal notes, just as promised by the label. On the pallet the beer is smooth, buttery, and carries notes of cracker, clean straw, fresh mowed lawn. German pilsners are a bit hoppy (not compared to American IPAs, but relatively speaking) and lower on the malts and this is clearly a German exemplar. A great beer.

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Photo of JamesStreet
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

pours very slight hazy golden color. 3/4" white head with moderate retention and moderate lace.
Smells of pilsner malt and European hops
Taste is classic german pilsner taste of malt and lager yeast.
Feel is medium with moderate carbonation and crisp finish
Overall a nice, drinkable Euro lager.

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Photo of biegaman
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

We think of pilsners as golden and filtered but in my experience the more pallid and turbid the better. Sunny Ridge has a yellow colour so ghastly pale it looks neon at some angles and, being unpasteurized and unfiltered, its complexion is so thick as to be barely translucent. Its head is like soap scuz.

Pilsners don't get the full credit they deserve, probably because most mass-produced beers paraded as pilsners are so poorly and improperly made. People don't realize that a correctly hopped pilsner is among the most pleasant and aromatic style there is. It's the beer drinkers potpourri. This one has the right stuff: it's like smelling the inside of a lemon that's been stuffed with flowers and dried grass.

Those same citrus and grassy flavours replay on the palate with every sip, remnants of them sometimes lasting through the aftertaste. They are splendid. The malt is tasty good, though it's not quite as apparent; those fluffy bread and fresh dough notes can't stand up to such a coarsely herbal bitterness.

American brewers do their own thing extremely well - hence why entire styles have been redefined to their tastes and standards. But these more aggressive and audacious offerings fly in the face of traditionally milder, more moderate English ales. And, with a few notable exceptions, they can't seem to capture the mystical essence of Belgian ales (even when using the same magical strains of yeast).

When it comes to lagers, the likes of Germany and the Czech Republic are still the tops. But American craft brewers are narrowing the gap quickly; there's a number of fantastic lager producers and Jack's Abby, to name just one, have a product lineup as good as any European brewery. Some of them, Sunny Ridge included, are more than mere homage to these iconic beers they are their contemporaries.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Libbey style pilsner glass.

Pale lemon yellow, almost lime green when to the light, and very opaque, unfiltered and cloudy looking. Good big and controlled forming head, bleach white, three fingers tall and very soapy retention but very long staying power. Very nice fine somewhat small amount of rising carbonation, even some cola bubbles hanging at the bottom of the glass.

Mild bready malts, and a touch of somewhat sour peach like yeast ester character. Different? Some very clean herbality manages to peak out, keeping classic and true to style.

Real interesting palate for a pilsner. Hop angle sort of comes between clean herbality and there's that mixing peach popping out, a fruit is coming from somewhere. Swallow provides though more classic German qualities. Bready malt sweetness, extremely clean but almost wet, and then a nice popping herbal green small hop finish. Lingering slight doughy malt.

A solid pils which seems to have a slight American slant to it in a good way. Very solid brew.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pale lemon skin coloring, strong clarity with a raging uprising of macro-effervesce. A huge snow cone, 3+ finger snow cone head is strong and steady on the hold. Large soapy pockets line the glass walls.

A: Aroma of dry straw and grains, pale lemon peel with a nice level and lasting effect. Grainy, with warming herbal noble flowers.

T: Flavor showed a bit of spicy saaz hops, with some lemon and grapefruit citrus zing. Fresh bread, with a warming noble flowery hopping. Grainy, lightly dry.

M: Crisp mouthful, bubbly, light dry graininess with a lightly dry grain leave.

O: In a hop eccentric craft world, its hard to brew a traditional style with a sense of tradition and be appreciated for its subtleness. Flavorful, crisp, with a spicy hopping and dry pilsner grain finish. Warming noble flowers. From someone who prefers a huge hop bomb DIIPA, BA stouts, and barleywines, I can appreciate a good pilsner. This would kill on a hot summer day after mowing the lawn, very good to style, and needs to be appreciated as such.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this on 2015-07-17 in Columbia, PA from a 12oz bottle

A - Somewhat-hazy straw-yellow with a 1.5-finger pillowy white head and moderate lace.

S - Rising bread, lemon, very floral

T - Lots of Pilsner malt flavor, some bread, lemon, flowery spice. Slightly tart and mildly sweet. Well-rounded bitterness. Quite nice.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Soft yet effervescent.

O - A really good Pils. Balanced and flavorful.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Really really hoppy for a pils, darker in color too, almost copper with a short white head. Smells like euro hops in aggressive quantity, grassy and bitter both with mild citrus notes but more bitter than any other element. Not sure if I live the bigger grain base, I feel like that toasted malt thing is needed to balance the hops out a little, but that it pushes it even further away from what pils usually is as a style. The hops are abrasive for traditionally more mild varietals, dosed to high heaven. At this low abv it seems like a lot, almost like an IPL, but I'm not complaining one bit. I also had it with an excellent fresh seafood lunch, and found it to be a little overpowering of things like oysters and crab because it's almost spicy from the hops, heavily herbal, but it's really great beer and in another context id like it more. Always amazing to see lagers evolve like they if at jacks abby, these guys really are the kings of this kind of fermentation, always a treat to get to try their stuff!

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Photo of WormLeader
5/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

God damn this beer rules. Beautiful clear straw color, stinky pilsner smell, great balance between noble hops and pilsner malt, and a crisp, light mouth feel. Probably my favorite American Pilsner, hopefully the score will gradually increase to 90+ where it belongs!

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Photo of Slatetank
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this bottle in a pilsner glass chilled.

The color is pale golden wtih light haze and thin white head with fine bead and lace sticks very well with good retention carbonation is visible. The smell is slightly mineral with floral/herbal hop aroma and slight malt with pilsner-type toasted gently sweet quality. The feel is very good -crisp with dry body and moderately bitter with a light sweetness and refreshing level of carbonation.

The flavor starts with a noble-type herbal hop flavor with slight yeast in the entry which has a familiar German yeast spiciness and slight creamy quality with light malt flavor with toasted grain but mosty dry and light in flavor with a lingering lemony hop quality. Overall this is a solid Pils with high drinkability in my opinion -up there with some of the best

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Photo of Duhast500
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. Bottle into a Sam Adams Summer ale glass.

The color of this beer is a cloudy yellow with some slight orange highlights. There is two fingers of foamy white head and some nice lacing left on the glass.

The smell is bready in the nose and seems to block out much of anything else at first. The is a wheat aroma that pops at the last possible moment to break things up. There is a slight citrus aroma that pushes things aside long enough to have a short presence and then is gone once again.

The taste is juicy with some nice pear that teases a bit with a slight apple skin flavor. There is a citrus kick here that pushes off the tongue and has a touch of lemon and tangerine here. There is a layer of biscuit flavor that seems to be filtering everything and putting it's mark on everything. There is a sweetness here that lets out a candy flavor that's hard to place.

The feel of this beer is pretty nice, there is a juicy fruit character that is great for a Summer seasonal and thirst quenching as well. There is a really smooth feel to this beer that lets it go down easy and makes for a really great drinker of a beer.

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Photo of mynie
4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Probably the most German-tasting German Pils brewed in America. Easily the most German-tasting I've ever come across. But what, exactly, does that mean?

It means a total lack of esters, for one, along with a crispness that lends to supreme drinkability. It should pour bright, clear, and filtered (which it does) but nonetheless sport a nifty white head (which it does). The hops should be clearly present ("tangy," in the words of Michael Jackson) but not nearly as dry or assertive as they are in Czech pils. But the key, my friends, is crispness. There should be no wavering flavors whatsoever, and the beer should finish as clean as summer's morn.

Summer Ridge is does all that. It does all that quite well. I just had the fantastic Tannen Zäpfle a week ago, and this is easily its peer.

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Photo of atr2605
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-pours a nice hazy straw yellow hue with a fluffy white head thats good lacing
S-biscuit, bit of sweetness, earthy green hops
T-sweet malt, nice hop balance, finishes a bit dry on the palate
M-light-medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation, very crisp and refreshing
O-very easy drinking beer

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Photo of twosheds
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pale gold with a thin white head.

Fruity smell with a hint of herbal earthiness.

Fairly fruity and sweet upfront but balanced with a nice dry finish.

I usually avoid summer beers because a lot of them go too far to be light and fruity, but this one is well balanced and refreshing.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: crystal clear; pale gold in color; 1 finger moussy white head that receded slowly to a patchy cap; very nice lacing;

S: a little bready, a little DMS, a hint of spice;

T: light malt sweetness, a little DMS, a bit of spiciness toward the end; mild bitterness on the finish;

M: light to medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: refreshing; easy drinking;

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Photo of kculrich
4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Hard side pour into a frosty pilsner - a bright sunshiny yellow beer with a dense foamy white head that lasts. A beautiful pour; I should take a picture. Leaves nice sticky lacing along the sides as it drinks down. Smells clean, fresh and fruity. Taste: much drier than expected from the smell - malts, hops and carbonation in near perfect harmony. I get grass and pears and bread roll and an astringent hops finish. Feel: typical JA mouthful-of-beer, a sufficiency of malt backbone and adequately carbonated. O: there's nothing about this beer that screams gold medal contender but it's a solid, well-crafted beer, understated and unassuming, And I absolutely wouldn't be ashamed to serve it to guests. If I had nothing else in my cooler all summer long I'd be perfectly content (and probably more than just slightly buzzed).

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Photo of HankSingle
4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Vivid, lilting dandelion and lilac flavors riding before a sharp, crisp finish - much more than I was hoping for when I grabbed it. Exceptionally clean and clear.

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Photo of Beric
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Bottle into pint
Served: 30 April 2015

Appearance: Pours a nice golden color- lacking some of the rich depth of color as some of the Old World pilseners, but still a great look and color. Crystal clear. Nice carbonation coming up from the bottom, screaming towards a soapy, white 1/2 finger head.

Aroma: Fine noble hop notes- spicy and zesty with a pinch of lemongrass, cajeput, and fresh mown lawn. Soft assertion of sweet malts.

Taste: First the malts- I was impressed by the relatively full body in this beer compared to other US takes on German pilsener. The beer had a depth of malt character rarely seen elsewhere, which helped carry the hops (rather than letting them dominate) on a nice bready-sweet body. The hops where within reasonable levels, and added many of the same notes as the aroma. The beer finished quite bitter, and had that characteristic lager crispness to go along with it.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and high carbonation.

Overall: One of the best US attempts at an authentic German pils I have had. Remains within the style and makes for one damn good beer. Comparable in many ways to Rothaus Pils. Highly recommended for lager heads.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sunny seems an appropriate adjective for this beer. Bright flavor, i that makes sense. Kind of a citrus thing, in a pilsner kind of way. Grassy tones are there. Nice beer. Wish I had access to more from JA.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 4/25/2015 at Doherty’s Ale House in Warwick, RI served in a tapered pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a large foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains lager yeast, some hops and light caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of lager yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character followed by some malt sweetness. The hops presence is strong for the style but not over-powering and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip pint.

Light straw with 1 finger of creamy white head. Excellent clarity with lively carbonation.

Cracker dough, golden apple, and lemongrass.

Cracker dough with hints of golden apple, lemongrass, and florals.

Light bodied, crisp, clean, well carbonated, and refreshing.

Simple and easy drinking.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I see this beer is retired, well thats not good.
A good pilsner. It was dry and yet sweet and soft. Mildly hoppy with floral notes.
Finishes a tad spicy and crisp.
A good beer

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Photo of horshack7
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Lightly hazy with about two fingers worth of a bright white head.

Aroma: Heavy citrus in the front grapefruit, piney notes, grassy bready with hints of grain in the back.

Taste: Very crisp with a biscuity bite. Lemon zest, faint grapefruit, grassy, wisps of grain and a dry finish.

Notes: My fellow Lager lovers this is one tasty beer very crisp yet still dry a great example of the style. Which can be enjoyed anytime of year. Cheers.

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Photo of predikit
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Pours a slightly clouded yellow-amber, leaving behind a beautiful white head that has high retention. Included with the lacing, it seems to leave a thick ring of foam behind at the previous level as I drink.

The nose is subtle here, yeasty, hints of pome fruit and very small hint of citrus in the hops.

First taste was interesting. Hops forward, getting apple and a hint of orange, floral notes, the malts show up midway through and on towards the back end, the transition almost creating a smokey flavor, before the light bitterness of roasted malts takes over, leaving behind a lasting bite that makes you want to reach for another sip.

Light to medium bodied, the carbonation is mellow and it goes down smooth. Very drinkable.

I am pleased with this purchase and am starting to look at session beers with a lot more respect.

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Photo of puboflyons
4/5  rDev +3.4%

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on August 15, 2014.

The color of the pour is an unfiltered pale yellow sitting under a big white fizzy head that eventually settles back.

The aroma smells muchy like one would expect from a pilsener with its toasted biscuit malt and sweet character along with a grassy hop note. However I do pick up the added herbal bite.

The body is medium

Pilseners are one of those refreshing beers that have some expectations with which we are all familiar and with the added herbal, spice twist mixed in with those toasty malts and clean hops, I'm am enjoying this variation.

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Sunny Ridge from Jack's Abby Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.