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.

4,260 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,260
Reviews: 1,532
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 29
Gots: 284 | 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 (128) |  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: 4,260 | Reviews: 1,532 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mattcrill


3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served at the restraunt on tap with no head and a slice of orange that I quickly discarded. Didn't need any fruit messing up the beer. Looks like a muddy carmel in the glass. Smells of hops and grain but very subtle. Nice mix of spice, carbonation, hops, and a hint of citrus. A pretty straight forward, almost simple beer. This is great on a humid summer evening. This refreshing beer really hits the spot. I wouldn't drink it all year round but enjoy this one at a cookout over some good conversation and you won't be disappointed.

Serving type: on-tap

06-13-2004 03:36:30 | More by mattcrill
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.73/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a cloudy pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a wonderful wheat scent accented with lemon zest; very nice. The taste is decent. It has a dry wheat flavor which is drenched with lemons; quite tart. It goes down slow and finishes bitter. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a unique seasonal. It has good wit qualities, but the lemon contribution is a bit much. Other than that, it's not a bad drinking brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2004 01:51:57 | More by WesWes
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.38/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, with new graphics and purchase before dating notched onto label. Pours a nice cloudy honey color, white head, tiny bubble film, some lacing left behind. Flowery nose. herbal notes, yeast present. Some resiny hops in finish. Sort of non descript wheat/wit brew. Crowd pleaser for sure, on a hot summer day, but not really too interesting for a BA palate

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2004 01:01:50 | More by Billolick
Photo of shapudding


3.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy, golden tanish in color. Alot of carbination with a light head. Fruit cup scent. Heavy lacing. Nice flavor, first sip gives a slight bite. Light citrus but not too much as to be overpowering. Sam's Seasonal was my session beer for my Thursday night drinkin', and this one held me thru a good amount of months. Not too heavy as too keep from a long night of drinking, great with food too.

Serving type: on-tap

06-03-2004 03:13:53 | More by shapudding
Photo of beertaster13


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

Had this for the Memorial Day BBQ and it hit the spot, although wouldn't drink unless in the heat of summer. Poured a gold copper with a fog haze, head was decent, nothing spectacular, white lacing slopped around the glass with each gulp. The smell is of strong citrus with a robust malt, light and refreshing to the nose, very spring like, the taste is a average balance of malt and hop bitterness, the lemon notes are light, a strong wheat taste brings up the end, light and crisp in the mouth. A drinkable beer on a hot day but otherwise just lacks that smooth refreshing summer ale quality.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2004 03:45:21 | More by beertaster13
Photo of Mark


3.25/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a hazy gold and has decent head retention. Lacing is scattered. Has a strong wheat taste accentuated with some lemon and grains of paradise. I don't know that I can identify the latter, but the lemon is some what noticible. Something about the overall taste profile I just don't care for. O.K. once in a while but I would opt for a lager or Sierra Summerfest any time over this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2004 03:43:30 | More by Mark
Photo of Reidrover


3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Decided to give this beer the best possible chance by pouring it into my "chalice" glass.
Well it worked, in the chalice its a pretty good looking beer dark hazy golden with a fair sized white head.
Smell is fresh and zesty..lemon rind and some other spices..possibly coriander..quite nice.
After being good on looks and aroma..the taste is very average..not much to it except a very dry and slightly acidic taste..tastes somewhat like lemon seeds.
mouthful is very dry and abrupt, no pleasure here.
I was dissapointed..though it could be drinkable after a hike in the hot summer sun or something.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2004 04:30:59 | More by Reidrover
Photo of BadBadger

New York

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

Absolutely nothing special about this "witbier". It arrived in a pint glass with golden color and slightly cloudy appearance. There was a minimal head. The smell is very mild and of a citrus nature. Taste is rather bland-a slightly citrus taste. Really couldn't taste malts or hops, or anything else. This beer is really not worth purchasing.

Serving type: on-tap

05-28-2004 23:07:54 | More by BadBadger
Photo of GreenWBush


3.9/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours out a deep copper with little to no translucence. Strangely hazed with no noticible yeast chunks. 1/4" head with slight lace.

Wheaty aroma, yeast character of slight pseudo-banana and orange rind: slightly sour generically BBC characteristic wet-paper thing going on.

Interesting cacophony of flavors. Some bubblegum down in there, orange rind, husky grains, wee bit of clove. Slight spiciness.

Great mouthfeel: still refreshing in hot weather, but rich enough for cold temperatures. More than 95% of the glass is lace-ridden.

Not a bad brew. Sort of bridges the gap in between straight ahead weiss beers and the usually knock-off American descendents. Complexity of flavor, and strange fake-banana qualities knock down drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2004 17:20:15 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of TastyTaste


3.8/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark gold color, big fluffy white head, that leaves sticky lace on the side of the glass. Smells light and grassy, lots of malt, and a hint of lemon. Reminds me a lot of the scent of a euro lager. Taste is very light on the palate, yet somehow sharp. It's a humid, rainy spring day, and this beer goes down nicely.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2004 19:13:35 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of brewQ


3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tap had a thin white head. A bit of haze on this yellow to orange colored brew. Definite citrus to the nose but little in the flavor.

I did not pick up the peppery flavors others may have noted.
The body just walked away rather quietly. I guess this means it qualifies as quite drinkable- for a summer thirst quencher.

Serving type: on-tap

05-11-2004 20:37:12 | More by brewQ
Photo of MattFrenzy


3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had a few of these tonight for the first time. Very light beer with a citrusy/pepper taste. After a few I started getting sick of the lemon. Needless to say I wasn't blown away, but it's an average to decent beer that will probably be a lot better when it gets hot out.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2004 09:38:41 | More by MattFrenzy
Photo of Jacobob10

New Jersey

3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a cloudy orange color. Decent sized head but little lacing. Lots of lemon scent with spicy pepper overtones. The guy at the Samuel Adams brewery said the "Grains of Paradise" are an actual spice that is has a slight pepper flavor (and yes, that is the real name of the spice). The taste is average, dominated by lemon and pepper again. Could do with a little less carbonation. Not a bad brew, but I have to say, it's perfect for a hot summer day. Man, I can't wait to break out the grill on the back porch.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2004 23:02:02 | More by Jacobob10
Photo of xgrigorix


2.78/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap, presented in a mug.

Hazy golden amber colour & topped by a thin white head.

Lemony aromas leap out of the glass, along with some wheat & a spicy note to boot.

Sweet, wheat, lemony, somewhat fruity, & pepper. Light to medium body with moderate carbonation.

Definitely someone's interpretation of a witbier. Strange stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2004 17:16:53 | More by xgrigorix
Photo of necoadam


3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Witbier? This is more of a Pale wheat beer if anything. Poured out a light gold color with a decent amount of carbonation. Smell was spicy. Some malts and wheat also detected. There was some citrus but very, very light. Wheat and malt set up the backbone of this brew. Some lemon mixes in the middle. Grains of paradise comes in the middle as well that lasts the entire way through. Some of that wheat stays through the aftertaste. Not a bad brew whatsoever. I don't know if I would call this a witbier, but not bad for the summer months.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2004 00:13:35 | More by necoadam
Photo of theo871


3.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, best by August '04

Pours a slightly cloudy yellow/orange. Smells of lemon zest and grain. Taste is similar, but more watered down than one would expect from its initial appearance. Mouthfeel is smooth, although lacking of flavor, which knocks it down a point. Drinkability is high due to its flavorless, watery consistency. Could be a great lawnmower beer, but I much prefer the White Ale as a seasonal. Even though it was only 9.99 for a case, I feel cheated.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2004 22:23:19 | More by theo871
Photo of AllThingsNinja


2.88/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This dark orange ale has a modest head but an attractive hue. The aroma is citrusy and hints at coriander.

The flavors are dominated by sour lemon notes and a slight grain taste. It's not impressive.

The mouthfeel is pleasant, but seems more like a generic sam adams than a good wit.

As for drinkability: Eh. I wouldn't refuse it - but I won't seek it out.

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2004 11:49:08 | More by AllThingsNinja
Photo of jvajda


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

Appearance: A dull orange-yellow beer, with just a small head.
Smell: Fruity and inviting, just like a good white beer should smell like.
Taste: Very big difference between this and Sam Adams White. It's almost sour with lemon flavor that may be a little too much. The White is more subtle and balanced. Not too much of a wheat taste. Overall this beer is not well balanced.
Mouthfeel: Feels fine in the mouth, but nothing too special.
Drinkability: I could drink this pretty often, but why drink this if Sam Adams White is still available?

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2004 17:58:43 | More by jvajda
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

2.9/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sam Adam's Summer Ale.

Went to the Liquor lookinf for Harpoon Summer Ale but they were sold out. Needad a nice summer ale to help me mow the lawn!

Appearance- Yellow with a frothy white head. Nothing spectacular.
Smell- A light wheat with a slight zesty citrus aroma.
Taste- nice and light. Crisp with a hint os wheat and lemon rind.

Overall- a mediorce summer ale that goes nice on a nice warm day. Wish I had the Harpoon though.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2004 22:43:25 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of cptnjck101


2.5/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

What the Hell did they do to this beer? It used to be one of my favorites, not anymore. The taste of lemon was overwhelming and I couldn't even finish the twelve pack. They need to get back to the old recipe (and label) because this new one really sucks.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2004 03:35:07 | More by cptnjck101
Photo of BeefyMee


3.38/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

This seems to have changed a bit from last year. It tastes more lemony, especially in the aftertaste. Not such a bad thing, but I think I liked it better last year. It smells pretty wretched though, not sure what's going on there. It kinda smells like some cheap malt liquor, maybe Steel Reserve. I still enjoy the taste, and it's a solid summer beer. Drinkable all day long or until your throat hurts from the lemon.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2004 03:18:12 | More by BeefyMee
Photo of MuddyFeet

North Carolina

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

This has been one of my favorites for many years. It pours a slight gold in color with a thin head that dissipitates fairly quickly. The aroms is best described as bitter sweet. The taste is stroing in hops and the lemon flavor is more than just a hint. There is something else that adds to the sweetness. I want to say there is a little bit of honey, but I do not think that is correct. The beer goes down smooth with a quite pleasant aftertaste. This is a great beer for the summer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-25-2004 11:22:57 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of crackerpooch


3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The presentation is in a brown 12oz bottle with the freshness date marked. It poured a foggy orange-ish pale honey color with a nice three finger foamy white head. The head has great retention and clings to the side of the glass nicely. It’s cloudy, but not as cloudy as many of the wheat beers that I’ve had.

The aroma is sweat and spicy. The label states that it is brewed with lemon zest and I guess I can find a hint of it in there. The first taste doesn’t really have much to it. Spicy and smooth. Finishes very clean. Very refreshing and great after my long day of playing pick-up basketball. The mouthfeel is thin, but suits the style well. Who wants a full bodied beer on a hot summer day? Very drinkable, but it leaves me wanting more.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2004 04:33:31 | More by crackerpooch
Photo of niknar


3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Typical appearance for a wheat ale... amber with a cloudy hue. Smells slightly citrus, but also yeasty. The taste is light and a little fruity, with some yeast typical wheat beer flavors lingering. Overall I think it is a solid offering from a great brewery. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but then again it should be! This is a thinner, lighter beer for spring / summer enjoyment...not a beer that feels like eating as sandwhich... like you'd want in November or February. It is very drinkable, but not something I plan on stocking in the fridge as a regular drink. Good thing, since its only available for a few months of the year. I'd recommend it to anyone who loves Samuel Adams (me) and likes to change what they drink to fit the seasons.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2004 23:09:04 | More by niknar
Photo of ppoitras


3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at TGI Friday's, Millbury, MA, presented in a 23oz hefe-type glass.

Big fluffy slightly off-white head on a slightly cloudy orangy-gold hued brew. Bready, but citrus-y aroma, which the taste resembled. A bit thin body-wise, but certainly an acceptable offering from Boston Beer. Perfect sidekick for my late lunch with the family on a nice spring day.

Serving type: on-tap

04-10-2004 21:39:56 | More by ppoitras
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,260 ratings.