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!

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.

4,137 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,137
Reviews: 1,531
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 23
Gots: 235 | 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)
View: Beers (127) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Summer Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,137 | Reviews: 1,531 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of elniko


3.95/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass

A: Light golden, two fingers of head that left light lacing. Good looking brew.

S: Definitely a hint of lemon, grassy tones as well.

T & M: Best word I can describe this beer with is zesty. The lemon is there but does not overwhelm either. Mouthfeel is nice with the carbonation, leaves a bite on the aftertaste as well.

D: Definitely drinkable, great beer for the summer. I could definitely put back a few of these on a hot summer day!

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2008 18:05:04 | More by elniko
Photo of cdrogers


4.72/5  rDev +41.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased in the standard Samuel Adams bottle. Poured to a goblet. Medium-golden color and minimal head. Extreme aroma of lemon. The lemon smell really came through with this beer and it was exceptional. It felt wonderful around the mouth and went down extremely smooth. It was extremely light-bodied and reminded me of a good pinot grigio. Definitely something I could drink regularly and something I would recommend to anyone wanting something easy to find, cheap, and very good.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2008 06:29:28 | More by cdrogers
Photo of trackstar1043


3.28/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a lighty clouded pale wheat with a slight golden orange hint, has a white creamy head, left small amounts of lacing down the glass.

S - Light a sweet wheats, citrus a mix of orange and lemon, light bitter hops.

T - Mild flavors of wheat and lemon peel, has a slight earthy taste of oats and a sweet creamy vanilla hint.

M - Light and refreshing on the palate, with a crisp clean finish.

D - Nice on a hot day and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2008 16:53:03 | More by trackstar1043
Photo of scottg


3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear golden color with a one finer white head that dissipates quickly leaving spidery lacing. Aromas of lemon, wheat, and some tropical fruit. Up front flavor of tropical fruit and wheat with some lemon rind bitterness and a slightly skunky aftertaste. Light body, medium carbonation with a dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2008 15:00:40 | More by scottg
Photo of JohnGalt1


3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz as part of the summer mix pack.. poured into my shaped Sam Adams glass.

1" head dies leaving no lacing atop a milky golden straw brew.

Aroma is husky pale malts and wheat with a slight but present lemon zest note.

Flavor is better than the aroma.. but not a whole lot. Pale malts and wheat.. with above lemon and a background spice that reminds me of earthy hops... but not really hops if that make sense. Body is creamy lite medium and carbonation is fairly soft. Drinkablity is fairly high.. but I probably won't ever buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2008 08:49:18 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of fitzy84


3.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Judie's restaurant in Amherst. Good appearance: murky yellow with some lacing and a decent sized head. Its aromas were strong with lemon and citrus. Also a noticeable grainy aspect to the smells. Taste included those hinted flavors but lacked the sort of breadyness I thought it would have. Still pretty sour and sweet. Mouthfeel was average, giving it a medium crispness that is not too harsh for summer days. Overall, it was pretty good.

Serving type: on-tap

06-29-2008 04:08:18 | More by fitzy84
Photo of ckeegan04


3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Cloudy yellowish-orange color. Thick frothy white head. Minimal lacing.

S - Sweet grains and a hint of lemon. Some odd spice aroma in it as well.

T - Zesty lemon and grain taste. The spice taste is there also, very similar to the aroma. Not bad tasting, just not great.

M/D - Chewy and a touch astringetnt. A decent summer wheat, but not my first choice.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2008 21:45:03 | More by ckeegan04
Photo of Spikester


3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours hazy gold with a good size head and plenty of lacings. Aroma is mild earthy hops.
Taste is sweet malts with a fair balance of citrus and mild hops. A mild breadiness on the palate.
Mouthfeel is better than average for the style.
Overall a nice, light, refreshing summer beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2008 07:22:50 | More by Spikester
Photo of Stoneman78


4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft in Milwaukee

Appearance is a slightly murky orange/yellow hue, thin white foam sustains, watery lacing quickly falls

Smell is a range of spices (nutmeg, vanilla, paradise seeds), light malts, yeast, wheat, and grassy hops

Taste is spicey throughout, the wheat yeast dominates, bread and pale malts enter midway, slight chalk, finishes very dry

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, creamy smooth texture, ample carbonation

Drinkability is moderate, great spice and flavor profile, unique, can be a bit biting for drinking in larger quantities, refreshing ale that surprised me as i am not a huge fan of the style

Serving type: on-tap

06-25-2008 06:10:32 | More by Stoneman78
Photo of ShrLSU


2.53/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into an imperial pint lass

A: Yellowish orange color with a slight fizzy white head..

S: Some slight citrus malt. Very faint hop smell.

T: Malty and lemon flavor. Not to strong on either end. A slight bitter hop aftertaste.

M: Very carbonated. Kind of oily finish. Somewhat refreshing. I expected more of a refreshing feel from a "summer" beer.

D: Good for a one time try, but I doubt I'd purchase again.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2008 19:19:40 | More by ShrLSU
Photo of shroompod


3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a rocky head, some lacing. Cloudy orange color.

Smell is slightly bready , not getting any of the spices on the nose.

Some tartness on tasting , a little grainy sweetness.

Mouthfeel is light , carbonation in high.

Overall an easy drinking wheat without alot of character is a great thirst quencher.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2008 01:00:01 | More by shroompod
Photo of SpecialK088


3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a sam adams pint glass

A-Cloudy yellow/orange color with a 2 finger head that goes away very fast pretty good lacing.

S-Lemon hints of some sweeter malts not alot to comment on here its pretty subtle

T&M-Not alot of quatlities of a wheat here more of just a general ale, subtle like the nose lemon as well as a note of hops. It a little overly carbonated for the style goes down smooth i could see where this might taste alot better if you were out in the yard working all day.

D-Easy to drink but lacks a little flavor.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2008 00:44:26 | More by SpecialK088
Photo of KI9A


2.48/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: On tap, came out yellow/orange, fizzy head.

S: Not much going on there. Citrus, malt ( ? )

T: about the same as smell. Dull, lemon pledge flavor. Some sweet malt. I guess I'm not a big fan of the grain of paradise.

M: Very high carbonation. Too much for this style. Left an oily taste in my mouth. Not refreshing at all.

D: I'll pass on this again.

Serving type: on-tap

06-23-2008 02:53:55 | More by KI9A
Photo of ryrust5301


2.85/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass

Latest of the Sam Adams seasonals, so lets see how this does on a hot summer night. Color is a hazy gold with a ever so slight orange tint to it. Head did foam up to a nice puffy white two finger length. Smells kind of grainy with a lemon tang to it. Can smell some hops and malt floating around as well. Taste is of a bitter lemon hop with a fading malt in the back to attempt to even it out. It doesn't work so well. Some sort of funk in the smell and taste that just turns me off on this brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2008 06:59:02 | More by ryrust5301
Photo of Schmidts


4.22/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a hazy bright yellow with 3/4 Inch head. Smell is good of sweet Citrus and Lemon & Spice. Very Refreshing flavor that says have more! Mouth Feel is great. This is a mild Flavorful summer Ale that you can drink one after another and enjoy it, would be great with bugers at a cookout! This is a very Good Ale for the summer I recomend you give this one a try!
"Beer Its not Just A Beverage Its Food"

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2008 00:19:23 | More by Schmidts
Photo of GoodKnight1220


3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle to a glass.

Light foggy golden color, with an avg head.

Great outdoor spicy citrus smell.

Smooth and crisp, grassy, and citrusy flavor with a complex spicy, but easy finish.

Great beer to drink with spicy food or at your backyard BBQ.

Very drinkable. But the carbonation may get to you.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2008 18:51:03 | More by GoodKnight1220
Photo of Pauly2X


3.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Full two finger head, bright hazy yellow.

S- Crisp citrus with spicy yeast notes.

T- Very clean and balanced. The lemon comes through but is not overpowering.

M- Pretty decent for the style.

D- Quite refreshing.

This is a great summer beer ( duh, it says so right on the label ) and it would also serve as a good crossover as well.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2008 00:41:59 | More by Pauly2X
Photo of bcgoldtoe


2.78/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Apple juice-like with little head.

S: Best part, with subtle lemongrass scent

T: Grains of paradise are overrated.

M: Excessively carbonated for this type of brew; but this is good because it would otherwise be too watery.

D: Not sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2008 20:03:18 | More by bcgoldtoe
Photo of ElGrecoVerde


3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very pleasant and unoffensive summer brew. It's not going to knock your socks off, whatever that means, but it will chill your feet on a warm summer day.

Has a grainy, orange peel aroma. Smooth orange flavors throughout, with a slightly spicy wheat and grain.

Feels smooth, crisp, and full, without feeling like a burden. Perfect feel for a summer brew, and combined with it's good, crisp flavor, it will make plenty of visits to my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2008 19:02:19 | More by ElGrecoVerde
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

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

'Summer Ale' is a befitting name for this beaming golden brew; although plenty of light is allowed to pass through, fine dusty particles blur clarity enough that only shadows are visible on the other side. Its linty white head is very responsive to swirling but always tapers off to just the one thick outside ring of foam. Hardly any lacing is left.

Like most American wheat ales, this is rather agreeable but has an additional, uncustomary savoriness that is definitely notable even while not being overpowering. The beer's 'aww chucks' appeal, however, quickly grows old as the lemon zest and grains of paradise notes go stale at the expense of tiresome malts and an overly complaisant spiciness.

The mouthfeel has both gritty bitterness and fruity tang, albeit each in compromised roles. The spices are again quite agreeable, and fitting for a beer meant to be light and refreshing, although a peppery texture definitely coats the palate long before anything earthy or sweet sets in. The finish is dry and croaky like steamed pak choy or other Asian greens.

Flavours of dry grass and grapes, raw wheat, and floral hops compliment the grains of paradise, which are actually quite mild in taste. The Asian greens flavour continues as a steamed bok choy plays right into a lemon zested chickpeas, with added mandarin slices and pomegranate molasses. It tastes like a healthy dinner, with as much bitterness as sweetness.

I got no qualms with this one. Sure, there are better summertime patio beers, but in a crunch this will do just fine. In fact, I can see this being enjoyed by the more casual crowd of beer drinkers as well as the more demanding aficionados. Indeed, come summer, this is exactly the kind of refreshing, endlessly quaffable ale one wishes were more widely available.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2008 03:42:56 | More by biegaman
Photo of ThreeWiseMen


3.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy gold in color with fizzy white head. Looks like a light wheat beer.

Smell: Crisp, bitter, but no good. Maybe this just isn't our thing. This smell reminds me me of Anchor Summer Beer (we were not fans). This smells very corny and stale to me. Other wise man says it smells sweet and crisp, but can't really pick out what the sweetness is coming from...

Taste: Well, each of us saw this beer a little differently. One wise man thought it tasted stale and corny, almost like a thicker upgrade of Budweiser. The other says it tastes like an above average wheat beer. The taste isn't anything notable, however there's no reason to have any beef with it.

Mouthfeel: Thin body + medium carbonation = meh

Drinkability: Yes, i could drink a lot of these. No, I do not want to drink a lot of these. Sam Adams Summer Ale, you get a 3. Nevermind, the other wise man present likes it more. Sam Adams Summer Ale, you get a 4.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2008 01:27:47 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of Rayek


3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Hazy gold color with very active carbonation. White head is rocky and has nice retention. Leaves a fair amount of lace.

S: Toasted biscuit with a lot of lemon and peppery spice. An interesting mix of aromas.

T: Dry and tart with pronounced toasted bread, lemon and pepper qualities. Bitterness is spicy. Finishes with a lingering tartness.

M: Medium light body is grainy and coarse on the tongue. Carbonation level feels about right.

D: Nice summer offering. I'd have to be in the right mood to visit this again, however. This is not your typical wheat beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2008 16:47:46 | More by Rayek
Photo of TerryW

Ontario (Canada)

3.05/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found this one to be a bit of a letdown, especially after the interesting promise of lemon zest and grains of paradise. At the end of the day the beer just failed to distinguish itself.

Good looking brew, appetizing appearance, hazy golden colour, good head and some lace.

Failed to follow through in the aroma and taste side though. Not quite as exotic as I figured it might be.

A good lookin' average beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2008 01:33:22 | More by TerryW
Photo of nem2006


3.98/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I drank this on tap at a Red Robin as a 22 ouncer. It was barely hazy, yellow and gold. With a nice head that lingered for about 1/3 of the drink. Nice lacing.

Smelled semi-sweet with some citrus tones.

Light-bodied, started sweet and sharp with a slight bitterness at the end. Very smooth and goes well with summer. This is a very refreshing beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-16-2008 23:22:37 | More by nem2006
Photo of woemad


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

12oz bottle purchased about three weeks ago at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $1.19, 20 cents off it's regular price. According to the label, it's best-by August of '08.

Poured a slightly hazy, golden color with a big, sudsy white head that hung around longer than I expected. Lots of drippy lace left on the sides of my SA glass.

Earthy and lemon-y in the nose, along with a mild sweet maltiness. If that's the vaunted "Grains of Paradise", they definitely take a backseat to the lemon zest.

The taste is dominated upfront by the lemon zest (though it remains pretty mellow - this is no fruit bomb), with an earthy graininess huddling in the background. A mild maltiness becomes evident just before the swallow, which is crisp and somewhat dry.

Light-bodied, with a carbonation level that is high but nowhere near over the top. The mothfeel is mildly efervescent.

While not a flavor bomb, this is a refreshing take on a much-maligned style. It would make an excellent lawnmower beer and hit the spot on what is the warmest day thus far this year.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2008 00:18:39 | More by woemad
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,137 ratings.