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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.

4,750 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,750
Reviews: 1,547
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 33
Gots: 533 | 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)
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Ratings: 4,750 | Reviews: 1,547 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JustinMann
2.17/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

The golden-colored liquid had very little head and looked to be a refreshing beer. Scents of zesty lemon wafted up from the glass of this 5.3% ABV wheat ale. Upon first sip, Summer Ale was a real taste-pleaser. The citrus combined well with the spicy Grains of Paradise to produce a flavorful sensation. After savoring its essence in my mouth, I swallowed - and that's when it hit. The spice-and-citrus mixture left a grapefruit aftertaste. There are those who like grapefruit, and then there is me. The sour suggestion didn't leave until I washed it down with some water.

While I choose not to partake of this particular draught again, I would recommend it to anyone that has a predilection for grapefruit. I was disappointed by Summer Ale, but Sam Adams has a good selection of some other, fairly palatable pilseners and beers.

Photo of tjacobs610
4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden yellow color, with a very thick foamy white head. Also has some traces of lacing

Smell: Has a sweet malty aroma, with hints of wheat and spices as well as the obvious lemony zest

Taste: Very wheat based, taste is very full and thick. Has a hint of citrusy flavor part way through. Mild hops compliment the taste well

Mouthfeel: Very creamy feel, not to dry and not to wet. The flavors are all well paired and complimented, doesn’t seem to have many flaws

Overall: Very good beer. All four categories are well accounted for. The only thing keeping it from being perfect is the under use of grain

Photo of Vashtar
4.83/5  rDev +45%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What an excellent beer! It tastes crazy! It reminds me of an exotic fruit. It makes a figure 8 on your tongue.
The appearance is nothing special.
The smell was great.
It had a slight grain, like a Warsteiner but it didn't float to the roof of my mouth and go down the back of my throat like Warsteiner does.

It tasted like peach and tires but without the bitterness.

Photo of Lauthaha
4.47/5  rDev +34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer mug.

Appearance: Beer is a cloudy golden/straw color, with lots of bubbles. Head is nice and foamy with good consistency.

Smell: Nice and crisp; fresh. Moderate lemon vibe layered within a rich, semi-sweet malty base. A good dose of wheat without being too bready, maybe a touch of biscuit to the nose.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Rich and flavorful, the carbonation makes this one moderately- to pretty-heavy on the tongue. Grassy hops only sparsely populate the beverage, the real focus here is on the malt (very rich) and citrus additions (mild to moderate). Beautiful finish, chewy, nicely yeasty.

Overall: I have found that for my personal taste, ales are tastier than lagers. I'm not a huge fan of the Witbier, but if SASA is a good representation of the American Pale Wheat Ale style, I'm going to strongly consider looking for them as opposed to straight Witbiers. VERY, very tasty.

Photo of morimech
3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale golden color with a slight haze. A solid two fingers of head forms and has good retention before settling to a thick cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left down the glass.

Mild aroma of wheat malt, lemon, and yeast.

Good wheaty flavor. Slight lemon twist and the added spice does not add a whole lot. Typical Sam Adams seasonal beer. Done right but nothing terribly exciting.

Nice body and carbonation. Lacks depth of body to garner a higher score.

About what I expected from this beer. Not that interesting but perfectly drinkable.

Photo of Jadjunk
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

#117. This was kind of a surprising find when I opened my mini-fridge, along with two other remnants of this Summer's Samuel Adams Variety Pack (Reviews forthcoming). Date on the bottle is (by) September (oops). I'll consider a re-review of this next year for a more accurate take. This must be a popular beer by Boston Brewing (or perhaps not, depending on how you see it), as it is available in the Variety Pack, 12 Packs and 6 Packs and I've seen it pretty much everywhere this summer. As summer is coming to a close, I think this is a better time than ever to crack one open.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a tumbler pint glass (Sorry, Sam Adams but I don't have your glass yet! I do want one, though.)

Served at the recommended 45 degrees fahrenheit.

(Appearance) I really forced the pour, but it yielded at least 3 finger-depth head of a very foamy-fizzy consistency that slowly trickles away. Retention is actually quite nice and the head stays around awhile for this beer. Lacing, however did not form. Color is one notch darker than a solid yellow and quite hazy, although not impossible to see through, this isn't a thoroughly filtered beer. It looks to have some substance to it. There's a modest level of carbonation in the glass, but it's difficult to see it on a grand scale. Appearance is not bad for most beers. 3.5

(Smell) A good bit of wheat malt is immediately present and there are hints of faint citrus, zesty lemon, touch of honey and perhaps grassy-based hops laying in the background. The lemon is probably the easiest aroma in the beer to detect and pairs quite nicely with the wheat tones. Ultimately the smell is very light, although balanced and fitting of a calm summer evening. Potency is, as usual, not to my expectations. There could really be some more intensity to it, but I enjoy the separate and equal sweetness of wheat malt with zesty bitterness and flavor of lemon. Can't really tell about "Grains of Paradise", as I'm not very familiar with them but this is a malt-heavier brew based on aroma. Not bad. 3.5

(Taste) Lemon peeks in up front and comes back at the finish. Some sweet, but not overly-so wheat malt rounds the entire concoction out. The midsection isn't as complex as I had hoped. There's simply separate entities with lemon zest and wheat malt, but nothing else, and I could anticipate it being more complex here. I can't seem to find the spice (via the holy "Grains of Paradise" referred to on the neck label. At the current age, It's substance is perhaps too faded in content, even for a wheat ale. I can determine that this beer has exceeded it's prime and isn't the type to age, but it isn't all that bad. Most likely the blank areas have something to do with the freshness (or lack thereof). No doubt I'm going to have it again early next summer to see how it is at a young age. As of now, it's a pretty well-done take at a summer wheat ale, but leaves a bit to be desired. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Quite smoother than I thought it would be, there is some tartness on the tongue that I think comes from the lemon peel but it's hardly striking. I think the smoothness works for the beer. Alcohol is pretty well hidden and the body is quite light, as expected for it's style. Not bad. 3.5

(Overall) A pretty solid summer beer and there's some certainly some good things to be found with this. Goes without saying that the freshness and the enjoyment experience are directly correlated: get it (and drink it) as soon as it's released, otherwise miss out on the fine details, as they fade with time. I'll certainly return to it next summer and review it at an appropriate point next time, but even at a less fresh date, there's plenty of enjoyment to be found in this brew. It's a cheery and mildly adventurous beer, something to marvel at for all the years it's been around. 3.5

Boston Brewing Company's
Samuel Adams Summer Ale
B- (3.5)

Photo of heebes
3.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a semi cloudy yellow gold with a thin white head.
Nose is grassy, pale wheat, lemon zest.
Taste is much the same; caramel maltiness with some grain and lemon - faintly phenol.
Mouthfeel is sort of thin, freshness lacking. Light bodied.
Overall, very much what I expected it to be: middle of the road, "summer" lager typical of Samuel Adams.

Photo of JoLight
2.2/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A yellow/gold appearance. An off-white head.

The aroma smells like skunked wheat malt. No lemon. No spices.

It tastes just like Blue Moon Belgian White, except there is much less spice and citrus notes to this. But with that said, this is somehow much less bland...?

It was pretty watery.

This was supposed to be good until December 22nd. But it tasted awful. I think I just don't have a taste for wheat beers, because I've only had one that I've enjoyed. I couldn't finish this one....

I don't know. I figured with this being Samuel Adams, it would be good. But wow, I was very disappointed.

Photo of brdc
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Small capped bottle, part of a nice, cheap 24 pack with six different Samuel Adams beers.

Quite similar to the on tap version I had years ago. Slightly hazy, light golden with an average white head.
Aroma is mostly citric, lemony with wheat notes, some bread, and perhaps a very faint hoppy note.
Light on the palate, refreshing, easy to drink on a hot summer day. Wheat notes again, citric fruitiness, mostly on lemon but also orange, no hops to be noted.
Not exactly complex but a good session beer.
Or adequate to quote a friend.

Photo of mummbearsfan
4.5/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The aroma of this brew smelled spicy and citrusy at the same times which is Samuel Adams trademark with some of their brews in my opinion. This was something right away that would be refreshing for the summer months.

Taste again was very refreshing I get more citrus taste then the spiciness that they mention, while the mouthfeel is crisp and very light on the pallet.

Overall just by its pale almost straw appearance this beer will help cool you off as well provide something light on the pallet. I recommend this brew as one of those beers that you should have wioth light food or just to sit outside on your patio and drink.

Photo of
3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - hazy straw-orange with a thin but persistent white head.

Smell - Sweet wheat malt, orange, and spice.

Taste - Echo of the wheat, orange, and spice of the aroma, but with a complex bitterness and malt fruitiness.

Not the simple quencher that I expexted from this. Drinkable and interesting.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
77 out of 100 based on 4,750 ratings.