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Samuel Adams Summer Ale - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,565 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,565
Reviews: 1,542
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 33
Gots: 438 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Wheat Ale |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
An American Wheat, brewed with malted wheat, lemon zest and grains of paradise - a rare pepper from Africa first used as a brewing spice in the 13th Century to create a crisp and spicy flavor and body.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-09-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,565 | Reviews: 1,542 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheRealBigC
3.9/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has been a favorite summer beer of mine since I started drinking. It's got that nice, refreshing, summery vibe to it with a unique lemony zest built right in. Over the years I've found myself drinking it a bit less than I used to (to be fair I started really high and I have diversified my tastes greatly since). Nevertheless, I will still grab one of these from time to time and enjoy it thoroughly. Sam Adams does some really solid seasonal beers.

TheRealBigC, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of bobhits
1.75/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I once saw someone reference 312 as one of the best American wheat beers. That is a barely drinkable (only can be done because it is mostly water) beer on a good day. Clearly the bar is low enough for sam adams to at least be interesting by style even if the style is shooting for a C+ when done to perfection. Mind you I don't understand the need for all these different styles.

Pours an impressive amount of head, tall and white, with no lacing and lasts about 45 seconds. There is something amazingly disappointing about a well filtered wheat beer. Really, isn't half the fun of a wheat to see some yeast cloudiness? If the beer has some color I'm fine with clarity, and it is even impressive in say a barely wine, but a wheat?

The aroma is of lemon zest, grains, and a hint of alcohol/spice (yes the two are mingled together).

Oddly the problem here for me are the spices. This beer is almost attempting to get into the Belgian world of spices and it isn't called for. The lemon flavors work well enough, but that is in large part because they are backed by paper thin malt flavors. The malt is rather dry and has grain flavors, but it is mostly over powered by the spices and the lemon flavors. A touch more malt a hair less spices and you'd have a pretty respectable American wheat ale. The mix we have here though fails and again we're talking about a style that lends itself to being just darn bad. Why is it the Germans create wonderful wheats and Americans brew this?

The beer has too much carbonation and the spice bite isnt' really refreshing which I assume was the goal here. It is dry enough to be nice on a really hot day, but there are countless beers that do this better.

I bought the summer mix pack because it was hot and I felt like a summer beer. Sadly I'm reminded why I avoid Sam Adams's attempts at summer beers. They really don't have enough character, depth, and being flawless in execution of a bad beer isn't really something to hang your hat on.

bobhits, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of Badbobx
3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.
A pale, a hazy golden yellow with about a half inch of foam was evident in the glass. There was almost no lacing.
The aroma has pleasant notes of malt, wheat, and spice.
The taste started out with a sparse malt flavor followed with mild hops.
This is a pleasant example of an American wheat beer.

Badbobx, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of output01x
3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. capped bottle (Enjoy Before OCT 2011) into a pint glass.

A moderate pour yields a 1 1/2-finger off-white head that dies quickly fades after a couple minutes to a thin but even dusting and thin foam ring. The body is a hazy slightly orange golden yellow with a good amount of rising carbonation bubbles. Some decent lacing attempts to cling to the glass but quickly falls back down to the head.

A pretty standard wheat aroma is tainted with some light citrus, banana, and clove.

A light but crisp grainy wheat flavor is the primary flavor. A little lemon zest and some nearly undetectable spices show up in the background. The flavors are there but not as strong as some other beers in this category. The taste isn't bad but it isn't very strong.

Light to medium bodied with decent carbonation, this beer is crisp and refreshing. The body may be a little thick for the style but is certainly light enough to make it very drinkable. The carbonation is not overly apparent and seems to operate more in the background.

output01x, Aug 29, 2011
Photo of FanofHefe
3.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a fluted glass by the bartender. A little darker yellow body than many wheats I've had. Still, it has the typical cloudy body and about one finger of white head. Just a little lacing around the top of the glass.

Not much in the aroma. Mostly grainy wheat and a very light note of lemon.

No big improvement in the flavor over the aroma. The wheat and the citrus flavors blend fairly well but both are underwhelming. The spices are also present but very muted.

Light mouthfeel that goes down very easy. Not the best effort from SA, but I could.see this being a decent hot weather beer when the choices are limited.

FanofHefe, Aug 29, 2011
Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.43/5  rDev +33%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 12 ounce bottle freshness dated November 2011

A hazy lemon yellow in color,no head to speak of with light lacing of the glass. Soft lemon citrus taste with a hint of spice. Very refreshing with a pleasant aftertaste, as you would expect for a summer seasonal!

CaptJackHarkness, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of Samp01
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ Outback Steakhouse, Springfield NJ. Pours a nice golden pale yellow hue with a nice lasting white head. A nice citrus and lemon aroma, with some wheat and light grassy notes. Taste is sweet citrus and lemon peel, wheat and grassiness with some light malt. Palate is light bodied, with a nice crisp mouthful and light carbonation. Finish light sweet malt, wheat, some citrus notes ending in a slight lingering nutty flavor. Overall a nice easy drinking and refreshing summer ale.

Samp01, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of FosterJM
2.75/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

748th Review on BA
Bottle to Clear 16oz dixie cup

App- A very dark cloudy yellow with zero head. Poured and nothing happened just a flat yellow wheat beer.

Smell- All macro grain on this one. I do get the wheat notes and a ton of lemon. A few whisps of the spices.

Taste- I don't know if Sam Adams meant to make a wheat sour but I think they accomplished. The grain and lemon are certainly spicy, tart and unique. A seemingly light little beer, it tried to induce some big flavors and feel short. A bit of a head scratcher to me as well. Maybe 100 degree heat or high humidity makes this better.

Mouth- A light bodied beer with a high carbonation level. A bit of that lemon zest and wheat is all that remains.

Drink- Just a very unique summer beer, way to lemony and tart and not in a good way.

FosterJM, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy gold color with a nice head. A bit dark for a wheat beer. Nice peppery nose of grapefruit and pine trees.

Slight wheaty flavor hits your mouth first, then is overtaken by nicely-balanced hops and some lemon zest. I think the lemon zest is a tad overdone. If I wanted lemon in a wheat beer, I'd put it in there myself. Still, the beer is quite refreshing, nicely priced, and generally easy to find when the weather gets hot.

deadonhisfeet, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of Rijtjeshuis
3.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served in weizen glass.

Look (3.5/5) - pours a light gold in colour, about 5-6* SRM. Clarity is very good, which I found a touch surprising for a wheat beer like this. Head is good. It rises to about 3 fingers and falls slowly to a 1 finger cap that lasts a while. Not a lot of lacing. Very good swirling carbonation.

Smell (3/5) - I really get ginger (like a ginger-ale pop) on this one. No other flavours really come out too strong. I get a hint of malts (Vienna/Munich?) which seem a bit out of place. Not a lot of yeast or hops in there.

Flavour (2.5) - The flavour was pretty weak and watery. The malt flavor isn't that light graininess I'd expect from a wheat brew; instead you get a slight hint of melanoidin in there. As with the smell, there's a good hit of ginger in here. Medium bitterness which goes a bit metallic and little or no hop flavor (some lemony hops would have gone well I think). No real yeast flavor.

Feel (3/5) - Lighter body and medium carbonation. A bit lighter than most wheat brews (like hefe, wit, etc).

Drink (3/5) - Pretty drinkable owing to the light body and somewhat watery flavours. But it was far from delicious or tasty. Not a real great example of what a wheat brew can be; I really like the flavours that would ideally be at play (ginger, wheat, etc), but the execution seems a bit poor to me.

it gets a meh.

Rijtjeshuis, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of sommersb
3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted On: 08-21-2011
Freshness: Unknown
Packaging: Draft
Glassware: Shaker pint
Purchased: On tap at O'Charley's, Springfield, TN

Color was a yellow-orange on this cloudy beer. The head was white but almost non-existent - I think that may have been due to the bartender's pour, however. I rarely see much head on a beer in a shaker pint served in a restaurant.

Aromas are of wheat and some citrus, but are fairly tame. Taste is similar, with a light, wheat malt sweetness coupled with the lemony zing. Some spiciness rounds out the flavors, for an overall smooth and balanced experience. Body is fairly light with an average amount of carbonation. Finish is somewhat dry.

Overall, this is a simple but refreshing and satisfying beer for the summer time.

sommersb, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of cetherid
2.68/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured into a pint glass


beer is a pale straw color with about a fingers worth of bubbly white head with a tiny amount of effervescence. Head dissipates rather quickly to a thin scatter.


The nose is very faint. subtle malt (wheat is barely detectable) with some light citrus notes and spice. You can tell this will probably be very quenching from the smell but a little underwhelming.


A little better than aroma but not by much. A light grainy/wheaty taste with subtle hints of spice. Bitterness is also extremely light. Flavor is definitely lacking. Seems like a watered down beer that has promise.


light bodied with moderate carbonation. A slight tingle in the finish that is enjoyable, but nothing else really to describe.


Just average. I could definitely pound these at a family cookout and would drink them if available, but don't see myself picking up a six-pack again anytime soon. Flavors and aromas too subtle, but this beer would probably be enjoyable to the BMC crowd.

cetherid, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of stewart124
3.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden orange color with a decent white head.

Nose has some spice, namely corriander comes to mind but I know the commercial makes light of grains of paradise.

Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation and a nice bready character. Good mouthfeel and some spicey hops but really the grainy sweetness shines through. Light caramel really pushes the overall character and it's very easy to drink.

This is a great American Pale Wheat and it's quite the crowd-pleaser. Nice silky feel from the wheat and it even speaks of a flaked grain with the oily bits and how it coats the tongue. In short, this beer speaks to alot of folks and I see nothing wrong with that or this beer. Tasty.

stewart124, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of cagocubs
3.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from cold bottle into Sam Adam's Perfect Pour glass.

A: I was amazed at how well this beer poured. Maybe it was the glass in combination with the beer, but this poured a perfect lighter gold with 1.5 finger fluffy white head that lingers. Impressive, and unexpected.

S: Citrus (lemon), wheat, sweeter grain, and spice.

T: Most of what came through the nose was present on the palate. The citrus and wheat dominated the taste.

M: Simple yet refreshing. Carbonated, wet, with decent wheat finish.

cagocubs, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of Burt
3.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a chilled pint glass.

Straw colored that was not clear. Thick white foamy head, stuff looked like whipped cream with large bubbles in it. Slowly dispersed and left some lace.

Light breadiness with some lemon. Kept swirling it around to try and pick up more lemon as it warmed up but couldn't get it to.

Same as smell with a light spiciness at the end.

Another good beer after a round of golf or that cutting the lawn thing. Really enjoyed this with a hibachi dinner tonight.

Burt, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of Jerone
3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy pale golden color with a lot of bubbles and a two finger white head.

Smell is of wheat and some citrus(lemon) and some spice.

Taste is of dry wheat and slight citrus with a bit of tang, not a lot of flavor though. The ending has a slight bit of spice from the grains of paradise. Mouthfeel is light body with lots of carbonation.

It is a good introduction beer to get your friends out of the typical macros. Unfortunately it is lacking too much in flavor for most beer lovers.

Jerone, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of antlerwrestler19
3.38/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured golden hay-like color with a bit of haze - pillowy head rests on top but dissipates quickly leaving only a small amount of thin strands of lace. Smells of lemon, citrusy, a bit bready but the lemon pretty much takes over. Taste is definitely of lemon, faint bitter hops, light wheat malt - not really any "bubble gum" characteristics like other wheats I've had but I suppose its because of the pale summer wheat they're going for? Its medium carbonation and smooth crisp attributes make it a refreshing beer on a hot day. Not a bad beer, not going to be my go-to summer beer but if its a quick stop into a gas station on the way to the lake I would snag some.


antlerwrestler19, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of SickGnar
3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Yellowy golden straw, clear with maybe just a hint of chill hazy. A small bright white cap of foam with plenty of active bubbles rising to join. Some fair lace.

S: A fairly clean, somewhat doughy wheat beer. Rounded zesty lemon – quite firm, but not too powerful. A spicey hint. No obvious hops detected, but there is a definite herbal note.

T: Lemon is done alright. It is a big part of the flavor, but not really cloying or overdone. It is zesty, yet rounded and it blends pretty well with other aspects. The spicey note takes on a soft earthy edge. Middle to end some strong herbal presence comes in. Could be hops as it is balanced by a reasonable bitterness, but it seems to be something else. Grains of paradise? Coriander?? Doughy wheat beer with just a touch of sweetness stays in the background and would be bland on its own. It does provide a good base for the lemon aspect as well as the spicey and herbal notes. Okay balance with some sweetness rather than tartness you might expect in a beer this lemon focused. Herbal note continues strong into the finish, especially as it warms.

M: About medium body, perhaps a hair under. Carbonation a touch over average. Good quenching feel, nice for summer. Clean neutral finish that gradually grows drying.

D: Sort of reminds you of a really clean and anodyne Wit. Muted wheat, minimal haze, no yeasty notes, mild spice, plentiful lemon. Approachable BBQ beer. Should be good for getting folks to think of something other than macro swill. Better with food than on its own.

SickGnar, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of BucannonXC5
3.9/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Color was golden and looked refreshing. Virtually no head with very slight lacing and a small amount of film on the sides of the glass.

Smells were lemon, wheat, grains and lemon peels. There was also some kind of a citrus smell, maybe some pine?

Initial taste was a combination of citrus pine and wheat, with each coming in at a pretty good balance. The second and aftertaste was lemon peels more than lemon.

Refreshing mouthfeel that was smooth throughout the beer. The taste of citrus pine/wheat to lemon peels/lemon basically was the same all the way through. Carbonation was moderate to high.

Not a bad beer. I had thought I didn’t like this that much, but it must have been their winter lager. Clean, crisp and refreshing, perfect for the summer.

BucannonXC5, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of brobeerbot
2.95/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle best by Sept. Poured into duvel tulip.

First and foremost the best thing going for this beer is appearance. It pours a pretty golden pale color with a white fluffy two finger head. After that it goes to middle of the road. Now o love and respect Boston beer company and all they brew but I know that most offerings aren't going to be mind blowing but more often than not the deliver a beer that sets the bar for what styles should be better than and not worst than.

Anyways it smells of wheat and lemon and pretty much follows that on the Taste. Mouth is substantial with just enough body. Overall this is am easy drinker for hot days and nights and someone new to craft beer might be able to enjoy this simple summer ale.

brobeerbot, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of scratch69
3.9/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a bottle into a Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass.

Appearance- Golden color, good head but it didn't stay long with almost no lace

Smell- Faint citrusy aroma

Taste- Wheat beer with a moderate amount of spice and a hint of lemon

Mouthfeel- Smooth, good carbonation, and refreshing. Slightly dry finish

A nice drinkable beer. Very satisfying and a hot summer day.

scratch69, Aug 12, 2011
Photo of DoctorStrangiato
3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 355-ml bottle into a draught glass.

Appearance - bright, lively straw-coloured brew with plenty of carbonation and large white head.

Smell - fresh wheat malt and a decent helping of citrusy hop aromas.

Taste - nicely rounded flavour with a spicy hit of malt. Finish is a little flat with good bitters.

Mouthfeel - not really as active carbronation as it looked in the glass. Fairly even.

Drinkability - boy, these are thirst-quenching. Not too sweet so perfect to complement a summer afternoon or evening.

DoctorStrangiato, Aug 12, 2011
Photo of SebD
3.38/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a nice cloudy golden/yellow colour to it. It has a nice white head that dies down moderatly and has some lacing.

Smell: The aromas give out hints of wheat, spices and lemon.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a sweet wheat/malt taste to it with lemony and spicy notes.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a pretty light feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with slightly bland flavours and aromas. A bit too lemony for my liking.

SebD, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of kylehay2004
3.65/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy and golden with straw hues. Single finger head.

S: Lemony and sweet. Some bread/wheat.

T: More of the same from the smell except less lemon and citrus and more bread. Spice notes

M: Refreshing and smooth. Mild to moderate carbonation. Light bodied.

Overall: One of the better summer ales. If you rate this for overall appeal, it falls in line with many of the others out there but for a summer ale, it is one of the better ones.

kylehay2004, Aug 09, 2011
Photo of Hopfenpeter
2.9/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Yellow in color with little white head building, but dissipating very fast to nothing.
Hardly any smell, maybe lime.
The taste is very lemony and citrusy, with little faint hop and malt notes. Some grain, but mostly lemon throughout.
Interesting refreshing session beer, but nothing special.

Hopfenpeter, Aug 08, 2011
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,565 ratings.