1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,804 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,804
Reviews: 1,563
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 43
Gots: 675 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-09-2001

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.
View: Beers (114) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 4,804 | Reviews: 1,563
Photo of Dave412
2.57/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

From notes

Pale orange color small head quickly gone. Cloudy slightly.

Smell of wheat or wet straw but with zesty scents. Smell of something damp.

Lemon citrus orange tastes but nothing strong, mild tastes nothing really stands out, some grain and fruit on finish.

Medium body, seems to linger some in the mouth.

I find myself not craving a second one after drinking one. Dont know what it is, not really overly filling but just doesnt settle well with me. The taste just doesnt leave me wanting more.

Certainly not my favorite wheat ale, probably worse one I've tried although I honestly havent had tons of this type.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Healthy cap of foam, nearly two fingers thick, bubbles and crackles its way to a thinner layer, but it does so slowly. Creamy and a bit rocky, it threatens to leave lace on the glass, and then doesn't do much in that department. Color is a hazy golden yellow.

Nose is herbal in nature, and everything appears as advertised: zing of lemon; that gentle niceness of wheat malt; grains of paradise appearing as an exotic spicing that would've been tough to nail down if we weren't already told what it is. All this is quite mild, and there isn't a ton else going on, but it's enjoyable enough.

Flavor is a well-balanced blend of citrus (yep, lemon), spices, earthy/clean wheat, and a light dash of hops. A bit soapy on the finish, and also more sour and less tart at that point. A sweeter non-citrus fruit element appears with warming.

Feels slick enough, body somewhere between light and medium, and not quite as soft as many other wheat ale. It's not harsh either, but ample carbonation nearly edges it into soda territory.

Decent stuff, and perhaps I should have tried it when it was fresher (and when it wasn't a cold and drizzly early autumn day). Recommended, but only if you can't get your hands on Oberon, Dreamweaver or a great Belgian wit, which perform that same function with greater results.

Photo of Anthony1
3.65/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat hazy medium gold color with an ample amount of white head. Retention is poor for a wheat beer and there is some lacing left after the initial pour fades to a nice sheen.

Nose is filled with lemon zest, those pesky, peppery grains of paradise, snappy wheat and mangoes. Taste is light and spicy, with the grains o' paradise and wheat flavors leading the way. The flavor feels a bit 'softer' out of the bottle than it does on tap.

Photo of CHickman
2.24/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy yellow orange with a 1 inch thick creamy white head; smelled of wheat, lemon, malt and a burnt grain of some sort that's a bit skunky.

Tastes like malt, lemon, yeast, spices and a grassy tang that didn't mix well. Very light and crisp carbonation which flows like water, but unfortunately leaves the before mentioned skunky burnt grain taste/smell as the finish.

Not a good beer, and very disappointing. The spices didn't mix well with the lemon and/or wheat or grains and I did not find this beer refreshing at all. Not a summer ale I would seek out or have again.

Photo of mdwalsh
2.96/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a pale golden color with a big mostly white head, though it too has hints of golden in it. A pretty creamy, foamy head, the wheat protein really shows through. The beer is clear, but has little to no active carbonation.

S: Fruity, wheaty and grainy, all in a bad way. I don't know if it's too much or what, but I just don't like that smell. Perhaps it's the grains of paradise. I get no hops and no citrus either.

T: Taste is similar to the smell, but the poor execution of the wheat ale part is what's really killing me I think. Tastes almost skunky, but that's not it. It's just off...perhaps the mix of wheat w/o a hefe yeast and the grains of paradise kill it.

M: Pretty light, though the bite from the carbonation and the overall creaminess are fighting it out. Hmm, not bad, but pretty average. Sub-par for SA IMO

D: Flavor and smell kill it for me. patently average.

Photo of tone77
3.72/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smeel is slightly sweet, some lemon and wheat. Taste is light and sweet, some hints of lemon, a touch of hops is present.Feels medium bodiedin the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this makes a pretty good selection.

Photo of shamus
2.95/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice and hazy. Thin head. Subtle to the nose. Crisp sharp and quenching but there is a muddy aftertaste. I can't say that i am really a fan of this. Too bad it might of been better. just not what I'm looking for in a wheat beer. What I want is something like the Mill street Wit beer. lot's of bready goodness with those citrus notes from good yeast.

Photo of mikeal1917
3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this after my first paycheck at the new job for a cookout I was going to. 78 degrees was the perfect weather to try it.

Appearance: moderately low head formation dissipates into a small wisp of foam around the glass

Smell: the hints of Lemon zest are apparent, somewhat pungent from the grains of paradise pepper spice.

Taste: lemony taste is immediately noticeable, but not overbearing. somewhat bitter aftertaste isn't a great taste, possibly because of the grains of paradise.

mouthfeel: light, refreshing, as a beer to be drunk in the sun should be

drinkability: not heavy at all, lemon is refreshing, though makes you thirsty because of the citrus

Photo of farrago
3.12/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Moderate head of clean white that drops off into islands across the surface, close to zero lacing. Very mild haze to the yellow-orange color, lightens appreciably at the outer limits. Taut nose of hay, straw, wheat, lemon peel, more muted clove, allspice notes, becomes more bready as it warms, no fruit to speak of. Medium-bodied, in spite of the active and focused carbonation comes across as bottom heavy, moves slowly after mouth entry. The lemon and orange citrus more pronounced, the same for the grassiness, hence has more bitterness and bite. The spice is more diffused and has less impact. The grain and cereal keep coming at you, if without clear purpose. There's little here that others in the category don't do better, pretty sure the units move due to brand clout.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - nice finger of white foam covering a 23-ounce glass of golden brew. Good lacing as the beer level falls.

Aroma - light sniff of fruity, lemony tinged grain. Not so intense but prevalent throughout the evening.

Taste - lightly sweet grain, accentuated by sweet lemon. That's it. The swallow has the slightest bit of hop balance. Quite the thirst quencher after opening night of vball.

Mouthfeel - crisp, fairly average on the body, maybe a touch to the lighter side. A bit of smoothness, though, makes this slide right down.

Drinkability - a stable sessioner for summer/fall. Tasty without being too heavy.

Photo of mothman
3.72/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass

Pours two fingers of slight off white head. Fades down very quickly, but some of sticks to the glass as it goes down to a thin layer. Color is a a pale golden bronze. Very hazed over.

Aroma: Wheat, lemons, oranges, coriander, and I am guessing what I smell is the grains of paradise.

Taste:Very sweet and interesting blend of flavors. The grains of paradise are represented highly here then comes the wheat, lemons, oranges, and spice mix. It seems to be too sweet.

Mouthfeel: very crisp with a decent amount of carbonation and a light body. Ends with a sticky over spiced aftertaste.

Overall, this isn't a bad beer. It is just spicy sweet if that makes sense. It is drinkable, especially on a warm day, but that is about it. Nothing to exciting, but nothing bad either.

Photo of baos
3.05/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle into Falstaff Goblet.

A: Nice looking orangey-straw color. With a one finger head on pour that dwindles down to a wee bit of film. Not much lacing to speak of.

S: Grains and a bit of lemony maltiness.

T: Bitter orange-lemon flavor. Kinda like seltzer water. Needs more wheatiness to balance out the bitterness. Still a crisp and refreshing beer though.

M: Pretty nice.

D: I have mixed feelings about this beer. The 1st bottle I had I didn't care for. The 2nd I had hours later was really good and the 3rd that I am now having it not so good again. I think the lemon and the malts clash and make this beer just so-so.

Photo of righthereisay
1.87/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Very dissappointed. Not sure what Sam Adams was doing with this one.

I thought the "grains of paradise" were way too overwhelming on this one. Couldn't really taste the "wheat malt and lemon zest" as advertised.

Definitely will never buy this again. Couldn't wait to finish the case (my dog said no)

Photo of BarrelO
3.65/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a mug. For brewery-fresh taste, enjoy before September. Oops.

A: Medium orange. Two-finger head fades and leaves no lacing.

S: Citrus and sugary sweetness.

T: Quite tart, but also rather sweet. An interesting balance.

M: Medium-bodied and creamy.

D: I didn't much care for this the first time I had it, but it's grown on me. A good summer beer.

Photo of redzone3120
3.59/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep and dark golden color with a hint of amber mixed in. The cloudiness adds to the color giving it an even deeper hue when held up to the light. The head is relatively thick and has a nice brownness. As it disappears, there is a thin lace on the glass.

S - There is not much smell to the beer. Hints of hops and little lemon zest are about all I can smell.

T - Has a nice wheaty taste and the hops are evident. The lemon zest blends well with the wheat to enhance the flavor.

M - The feel is very smooth and the carbonation is is very fine. Has a light refreshing body with medium flavor.

D - A good summer brew and a good wheat beer. Definitely drinkable.

Photo of oldpinecone
3.26/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A very nice pale copper color with an overcarbonation of bubbles rushing to the 2 finger semi dense head. It was nice to look at.

Smell was very grainy with an undertone of heavy citrus.

Taste was a bit strange. It tasted like a lemon starting to go bad mixed with the grains you feed goats at the zoo. The least bit bitter from the hops. Not bad but different. Not what I expected from the style and definetely not the best taste for a pale wheat.

Mouthfeel was a little bit watery but very crisp. Its what makes the beer refreshing,

On a hot day by the pool this beer would be a good contender. If nothing else is around that is.

Photo of techtatu
3.71/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice rustic color with about 2 fingers width of cream colored head. At first sip you get hit with a very strong citrus note and as you continue to drink it starts to hint at spicy note. Dare I say the same spicy note that is in their Octoberfest. It is a very light drink and quite refreshing one too.

Definitely a beer I would take out fishing with me and or to a BBQ out at the lake. It is a good substitute to a Hefeweizen, and it is a beer I would recommend to those who are exploring beers with a citrus hint.

Photo of treehugger02010
3.38/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at Kelly's Taproom in Bryn Mawr, PA. It came in a glass.
Appearance: The body is a deep gold or light orange color. The head is 2 fingers tall, white, small sized bubbles, good retention retention and good lacing.
Smell: The aromas are pale malt, black pepper and not much else.
Taste: The flavors are spices, some citrus and yeasty esters.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is crisp.
Drinkability: This beer is very drinkable.
Don't drink and review.

Photo of Lldeegan
3.76/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a pint glass, 3/4 inch pure white head. Hazy deep orange, very reminiscent of the color of Grand Marnier, but cloudy. Definitely appears as a wheat beer.

S- Mild, citrus smell with hint of hops.

T- Carbonation is the first to touch the tongue, a bit overpowering, but once it calms a nice citrus flavor that is short of being overly acidic. Upon retro-olfaction, the wheat shows it's distinctive face followed by a light hoppiness as it moves over the back of the tongue before swallowing. Almost a sweet breadlike finish.

M- Carbonated, lightly syruppy, almost chewy.

D- Ranks very high in my book on a summer night. I think it is a perfect summer beer, tasty, refreshing, goes well with or without food, and can easily be drank all night if need be. I haven't tried yet but I think it could also balance out a heavy winter dinner very well. This isn't a wheat beer with overpowering clove taste, which I find to be an unfavorable quality in wheat beers. Sam Adams hit the spot with this summer ale.

Photo of NekotoNikku
2.92/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pale yellow, very reminiscent of lemons, so it fit the general concept of the beer.

Smell - Smelled of citrus and hops, not a strong alcohol scent.

Taste - And this is where it flopped, for a beer that's supposed to be the embodiment of summer, it's not very interesting. Tasted strongly of alcohol with a slight lemon taste with a bitter aftertaste. I think I expected it to be more complex or more...something, but it tasted of alcohol and citrus, so perhaps I just expected too much.

Mouthfeel - Despite the disappointment with the taste, it did have a rather nice mouthfeel that was smooth and refreshing.

Drinkability - I could see myself drinking this with pizza, burgers, something like that, but on it's own just as a drink to be enjoyed it really doesn't stand up.

Photo of gfreed
2.28/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Served at (another) restaurant that filled the glass to the brim and left no room for a head. Grrr... A nice foggy yellow color in the glass and a pleasant aroma of lemons and oranges raised my hopes for a better-than-average beer from Sam Adams, but those hopes were quickly dashed by the taste: watery, thin and revealing no characteristics other a wee bit of lemon. Ah, well... Went well with the pizza because the pizza hid the taste of the beer.

Am I the only person who thinks that Sam Adams is, in general, over-rated?

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

Slightly hazy deep straw color with an abundance of whispy head.

Not much to the smell, wheat and malt.

The taste is yeast and lemon with a light peppery spice in the finish.

Body is thin with decent carbonation. This beer is very light.

Definitely a summer brew. It's light and has a zesty citrus taste which makes it somewhat refreshing.

Nothing special about this one but the price.

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

A - Golden brown with allot of carbonation and about a half inch of pale tan to white colored head.

S - Malt with a hint of citrus.

T - Malty with a citrus bite to it.

M - The texture is somewhat coarse, which is what I had expected based on the amount of carbonation it shows in the pour.

~ This is certainly a summer brew. I'm not a big fan a beers such as this, however, I do believe that for a light summer brew, this is well done.

Photo of FickleBeast
3.57/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Ithaca Beer Co glass

A - pours cloudy yellow with one finger of thin white head that dissipates quickly. Lacing nonesistent

S - wheat malt and spices - I think the bottle said grains of paradise and coriander

T - traditional what malt flavor, yeast doesn't overpower, which I prefer. You can certainly taste the spices; gives it an interesting flavor in lieu of hops

M - thin bodied, highly carbonated

D - refreshing, overall not bad. I could certainly drink a few of these

Good example of a wheat beer that doesn't overpower with banana and clove flavors. Wouldn't mind drinking again, but wouldn't go out of my way to buy more either.

Photo of twiggamortis420
2.58/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a somewhat hazy medium gold color with an ample amount of white head. Retention is poor for a wheat beer and there is some lacing left after the initial pour fades to a nice sheen.

Nose is filled with lemon zest, those pesky, peppery grains of paradise, snappy wheat and mangoes. The smell is ok, but leans too heavily on the spices for me.

Taste is light and spicy, with the grains o' paradise and wheat flavors leading the way. The flavor feels a bit 'softer' out of the bottle than it does on tap. I do not like the aftertaste on this beer, it is a bit sour, citrusly pithy and lingers for far too long. This falls somewhere between a witbier and an American wheat ale, but does nothing to impress. This is extremely far from my favorite summer beers.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,804 ratings.