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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.

4,474 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,474
Reviews: 1,538
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 32
Gots: 394 | 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: 4,474 | Reviews: 1,538 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Shaw


3.78/5  rDev +13.5%

Pours a clear, light gold in color with a very white and foamy head that reduces to about a quarter-inch in my glass.

Light aroma of wheat malt, lemon and spice.

The taste is light, but with a nice wheat malt flavor that's mixed with lemon and pepper for contrast. Nothing outrageous, but then who said all beers should be outrageous?

Solid mouthfeel. It's bubbly and not watery.

Overall a pretty good beer that's especially easy to drink and perfect for summer. Who woulda thought?

07-13-2010 04:24:08 | More by Shaw
Photo of Cubsfan1087


3.65/5  rDev +9.6%

Samuel Adams Summer Ale is a very decent beer for the summer season. This beer has a nice yellowish tint to it, good head. The smell definitely can make you think of summer. It is easy to smell the citrusy flavors. The taste is good in this beer, good flavor with the citrus and wheat. There is a slight bitterness to the taste that may turn some off. Not my favorite Sam Adams beer, but a good one.

07-11-2010 19:54:22 | More by Cubsfan1087
Photo of Bitterbill


4.05/5  rDev +21.6%

US$2.86 for the 1 Pint .6oz bottle.

It pours a straw gold colour, a good 1 finger head of foam and the usual good lacing I expect from Samuel Adams.

A good note of lemon zest and some light spice that must be the grains of paradise. A good smeller overall and quite inviting.

The taste is the same as the smell and that works for me. Good thirst quenching lemon zest, light spice, and the wheat backbone bring good tasty flavours and I'm digging it.

Nice close to medium body and a lightish amount of carbonation. Excellent mouthfeel.

Drinkability? A summer thirst quencher if there ever was one. I'll be picking up more of this beauty, no worries.

07-11-2010 18:20:16 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of jwhancher


3.98/5  rDev +19.5%

The perfect cure for a summer heat wave. Bought a case the other week. Pours a hazy copper yellow. Nice white head that lingers slightly. Smells of wheat and a lemon citrus character. Hops are evident but tucked away in the background. Tastes of the same vein in that lemon & wheat dominate. Does have a slight puckering but the carbonation gently displays the flavors. This one is an extremely drinkable ale in the prime of summer. Not sure how it would hold up in other months but it's a really good BBQ brew.

07-11-2010 02:04:06 | More by jwhancher
Photo of jkrich


3.53/5  rDev +6%

The ale arrived a cloudy golden-yellow color with a small white-head. Spicy aroma with some sweet malt - not much more. The flavor was refreshing and slightly sharp on the tongue due to the additional spices and orange added. The taste ended with a husky wheat flavor. The carbonation was adequate and the body was light but flavorful. It would be easy to have a few of these during the hot and humid summer months.

07-10-2010 19:43:03 | More by jkrich
Photo of garuda


3.88/5  rDev +16.5%

A - Pours a deep gold with a one finger white head that has good retention and a bit of lacing down the glass.

S - Pleasant, simple aroma with lemongrass and pale malts.

T - Follows the nose, with the addition of some light spiciness in the front.

M - Light side of a medium body with medium carbonation and clean dry finish.

D - Simple, refreshing beer good for summertime drinking. This beer paired well with the blue crabs I was feasting on, and I would probably get it again.

07-10-2010 14:31:11 | More by garuda
Photo of deadliest


2.35/5  rDev -29.4%

What happened here? SA rarely disappoints.

A: Hazy, muted gold. Minimal lacing wirh little head retention.

S: Lemony goodness aggravated by a chemical spiciness.

T: Starts with an aftertaste. The same synthetic tasting spiciness ruins the potentially tasty citrus and wheat.

F: Nice carbonation. Light on the tongue and plenty crisp, but still enough of the wheaty body you'd expect. This beer's one redeeming feature for me.

Drink: The "off" spiciness just gets worse as I work down the glass.

07-10-2010 04:58:30 | More by deadliest
Photo of haddon


3.7/5  rDev +11.1%

pours a cloudy straw color with frothy white head that doesn't stick around long. little to no lacing down glass

smells like a traditional wheat ale: lemon, grass, wheat and a hint of sweet malts

taste likes it smells... notes of lemon, grass and malty backbone. there is a twinge of hoppy bitterness on the end. has a slight crisp character that you would expect from a wheat ale but it seems to quickly dull on the palate

light body that's on the low end of carbonation

although this beer lacks that clean, crisp bite one might expect... I did find it fairly drinkable. this is a good little wheat ale to throw back on a summer night while enjoying a pizza

07-10-2010 02:40:42 | More by haddon
Photo of Pittsburgh


2.55/5  rDev -23.4%

I used to really like this beer, now it just takes like bubbly lemon juice from a bottle to me. Sometimes it also has a bitter taste to it, other times it tastes refreshing, for example, tonight I had one, and it was kind of gross, almost a burnt flavor. But last week I had one and I loved it. I think it could be a consistency/brewing issue??

Way too much lemon flavoring, I don't think this could be real lemon unless they put 1 lemon per 12 ounces in. The lemon hides any flavor of the beer, you can catch a little hop bitterness in the after taste, but I think they need to dial the lemon back, a lot. Maybe I am being too harsh, but that is what I am tasting at this moment. I will come back for a re-review if I feel differently at another time, but right now I am not feeling this beer. Good beer for parties and cookouts though because alot of people like it. Along the lines of bud light.

07-09-2010 01:17:27 | More by Pittsburgh
Photo of cdizinno

South Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +24%

Fresher IS Better.... or this year's batch is much better than previous.

A: Cloudy, golden yellow color. White head. No lacing.

S: Malt sweetness, hops, spice and lemon.

T&M: Light bodied. Nice citrus, spicy flavor. Mild hopping is balanced with the maltiness.

It's good. Definitely way better than the bottled version or they've improved from previous years.

07-07-2010 23:49:30 | More by cdizinno
Photo of ef88


3.15/5  rDev -5.4%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy yellow with a 2 1/2 finger head. A few bubbles quickly move towards the head.

S: Pretty gross, almost skunky. I would expect this from a High Life but not a Sam Adams! I get a bit of the citrus expected with a summer ale as well as some unexpected alcohol, but that skunkiness really sticks out to me.

T: At first, I taste a lot of orange, which quickly gives way to some lemon and eventually (and most overwhelmingly) the bitterness of a grapefruit.

M: Pretty light with an astringent start and metallic finish. Not bad, but the taste is still there.

D: It's a summer beer. 'Nuff said.

I typically like Sam Adams' product (and I've enjoyed this one in the past), but--and maybe this is just the particular bottle I had this time around--I wasn't a big fan of the Summer Ale. I shouldn't say avoid (and you probably shouldn't listen to me anyway), but if I were you, reach for a different SA than their Summer Ale.

07-05-2010 20:35:11 | More by ef88
Photo of zoso1967


3.4/5  rDev +2.1%

Sam Summer arrives at my table a slightly hazy pale yellow with a bright white, lacy head. Very attractive and refreshing looking. The aroma is crisp and clean with some sweet wheat malt and a bit of graininess as well as some sour citrus bite. The flavor is very similar with a very grainy malt base that also carries some wheat notes. Citrus zest and some spicy pepperyness are also present, but everything is pretty subdued. The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium and has a nice smoothness to it and a clean finish. Not overly carbonated and very refreshing, this beer goes down easily. A decent summer beer to be sure, but I find it lacking a bit in the flavor department. There are definitely better American wheat beers to be had, but none are as widely available as this one.

07-04-2010 13:26:45 | More by zoso1967
Photo of dvb


2/5  rDev -39.9%

Drinking this one out of the bottle. Yeah, it's a wheat beer. Definitely not a good example of the style, though. Lemon zest? I could do without it. Too bad it's the standout characteristic of this beer, other than the obvious (but weak) wheat flavor.

For those who want a light beer on a hot summer day, I guess this one would be OK, but I would not buy this beer again unless it was my best or only choice.

Sam Adams is not winning me over with its seasonals.

Thumbs down.

07-04-2010 00:17:31 | More by dvb
Photo of BrewMaven

New York

3.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Fairly pale yellow with a decent white foam cap that dropped to a semi cover.

Smells of lemon with hints of yeast and honey in there.

Taste includes prominent lemon zing with a spicy then smooth mellow finish with the spice hanging around the back of my palate.

Medium bodied with a fairly mild case of the bubbles. A good summer brew that is easy drinking, mild on the brain and pretty refreshing.

07-03-2010 19:23:24 | More by BrewMaven
Photo of wspscott


3.73/5  rDev +12%

12oz bottle in Sam Adams glass
(best by Sept)

A: Pours a not quite crystal clear, light yellow/orange color. Nice 2-finger fluffy white head that leaves lots of lace.
S: Lemon and black pepper (grains of paradise?), no yeast, hops or malt character.
T: Definite lemon combined with some hop bitterness, the pepper is much more hidden than the nose would suggest. No real malt character, this could be all 2 row malts for all I know.
M: Lots of carbonation, some wheat "roundness", medium attenuation.
D: This is a good summer beer, as well as a good "beginner" beer. True to style, but not great. I would like a little more hop or yeast character. I would have no problem pulling one of these out of the cooler at a picnic, but I would not search one out.

07-03-2010 19:18:08 | More by wspscott
Photo of jt31914


3.93/5  rDev +18%

A: Piss pale yellow with two fingers of head.

S: Spicy and citrusy with some coriander/herbal aroma.

T: Wheat, citrus. Spiced taste with refreshing and good taste. Crisp taste with some lemon.

M/D: Pretty easy to drink, good beer; drinkable of course.

07-03-2010 05:51:12 | More by jt31914
Photo of smithza9


2.48/5  rDev -25.5%

I have never been a fan of summer beers. I bought a six pack for the weekend, but ended up just drinking Bud Light because i couldn't stand the overpowering lemon zest that is such a huge part of the beer. Of all the seasonal beers that Sam Adams makes that I have tried, this is by far the worst. I'll be sticking to the winter beers.


07-01-2010 02:49:08 | More by smithza9
Photo of andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev +9.6%

A - Pours a hazy golden colour, very thin layer of head which dissipates almost immediately leaving no real lacing.

S - Scents are rather light, but identifiable scents include wheat grass, sour lemon, pepper, cloves and nutmeg.

T - The bready malt comes through at first with the sour lemon following it. The grains of paradise add a very unique peppery and cloves finish.

M - Very light and bubbly. Very refreshing and goes down smooth... Almost too smooth!

D - Perfect summer drink! Nothing that will completely blown your mind with respect to flavour, but it does offer the unique flavours from the grains of paradise, and the lemon makes it incredibly refreshing. Easily sessionable and perfect for chillin' on your patio in the sun.

06-30-2010 04:50:04 | More by andrenaline
Photo of LittleDon


3.28/5  rDev -1.5%

Golden, slightly hazy with the typical ester-esque aroma found in wheat beers. No head. Hard to descrbe. Slightly grainy front, middle, and finish. Medium mouthfeel. Very light hopping with a crisp/citrusy middle. A passable version of a light summer beer. A good lawn mower beer, but not much more.

06-29-2010 23:11:03 | More by LittleDon
Photo of Arithmeticus


3.3/5  rDev -0.9%

Yellow hue, clear close up but cloudy at a distance. Light lemony aroma with a decent head and strong carbonation. There is a clear second flavor above and beyond the classic wheat beer taste. If you can get through the idiosyncratic taste, you'll enjoy another.

06-27-2010 19:57:46 | More by Arithmeticus
Photo of aristeros


3.55/5  rDev +6.6%

Light straw color, very clear, heavily carbonated. Two fingers of fizzy white head; little retention and no lacing. Nose is acidic, some citrus in there, but a little wheat, too. A bit of hops.

Lighter wheat presence in a very light-bodied beer. Mild lemon alongside the malt, light hop bitterness and finishes on a citrus note. Very light in body, higher carbonation than I expected, but it works. Decent balance overall in this brew.

Good as a summer quencher, but not really interesting enough to be sessionable.

06-27-2010 02:01:37 | More by aristeros
Photo of Ghenna


3.43/5  rDev +3%

Purchased as part of a Sam Adams seasonal assortment, 24 12oz bottles

Hazy golden yellow pour with a nice 1.5 fingers of foam atop the beer. Smells slightly chalky, with hints of lemony citrus and a vague sweetness.

Tastes creamy/slightly chalky with an odd bit of spicing- thats really the best that I can describe it. MF is pretty average- the beer doesn't really stick around in your mouth- which I guess adds to the drinkability.

All told, this definitely isn't my favorite in the variety pack. It definitely sits above the light lager, though it just about ties their regular lager. It is ok for a summer beer, although I think that the chalky/creamy aspect to its taste really detracts from its draw as a refreshing beer of the summer.

06-27-2010 02:00:35 | More by Ghenna
Photo of goldbot

District of Columbia

3.28/5  rDev -1.5%

Hazy, straw yellow appearance with thin, fizzy white head. Plenty of carbonation and little to no lacing.

Grainy bread and wheat aromas with a hint of spicy and herbal hoppiness. A touch of lemon in there, but a very light aroma overall.

Bready, wheaty grain flavors like the aroma. A bit of caramel malt. Lemony citrus notes come through a bit more than the smell, along with a more general crisp fruitiness. Nice spice notes with a hint of herbal hops.

Light body and a crisp mouthfeel. Pretty nicely balanced beer -- just a bit sweet and just a bit bitter. I found this beer a bit disappointing, I remember past years being a little better than this one. Overall I would rate it less drinkable than many other summer seasonals I've tried this year.

06-26-2010 00:23:09 | More by goldbot
Photo of Kylito87


3.38/5  rDev +1.5%

Finally got around to getting another sampler pack. It was on sale so I couldn't go wrong. Heres we goes!

Appearance- Straw yellow with a puffy white head that falls into a slick on top. Nice lacing throughout.

Smell- Wheaty malt with a slight citrus and pepper note in the back. No real hop presence here which is fine for this style.

Taste- Very wheaty with a lemon zest note in the finish. You do pick up some pepper and spice notes which come out more as it warms.

Mouthfeel- Quite effervesent. Light bodied amd smooth. Very easy drinking which unfortunately is one of it's only strong points. Good on a hot summer day but not a whole lot that would draw me to this brew again.

Drinkability- It shines here. I could drink a few of these but only if I had no better options. This beer just doesn't do it for me. I know wheat ales aren't my favorite but I kind of thought this one would do something more.

Bottom line- Good not great. Nothing here that will draw me to drink this one anytime soon unless it is screaming hot and there is no other good choices. It is what it is but it is kind of disappointing for a seasonal. Good baby step or training wheel beer but nothing more. So all in all don't turn it down but if you have other options lean that way

06-25-2010 23:25:04 | More by Kylito87
Photo of Bfarr


3.45/5  rDev +3.6%

A hazy golden color with a big white foamy head. Herbal tea aroma and wheat. Crisp wheat and floral hop bittering with lemon and a spicy finish. Good even carbonation and refreshing finish.

I don't know if my tastes have changed or the beer has but I seem to remember the last time I tried this being more pleasantly surprised by the grains of paradise and other spices. This time around it seems very subdued and more lemony. Too bad.

06-23-2010 19:35:36 | More by Bfarr
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,474 ratings.