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.

4,802 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,802
Reviews: 1,562
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 42
Gots: 670 | 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: 4,802 | Reviews: 1,562
Photo of andrewm190
2.88/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have never really been a big Sam Adams fan. And I will never forgive them for the bullet aimed at all humanity known as "cherry wheat." This beer isn't nearly that bad, but it does remind me a bit of ACC football--hovering somewhere around mediocrity, never really breaking out of it, but not quite sinking below it either. The beer pours a fairly light golden color with a heat about the size of Ally McBeal, and retains nothing while the bubbles lethargically fondle themselves in the corner. The beer tastes to me like a lager with some wheat and lemon thrown in, and I'm pretty sure that's about all there is. You can quaff it on a summer day, sure, but any wheat beer in hot temperatures probably isn't the best idea in the first place, and I would rather spend less money on Coronas and lime. Still, its not a disaster if you've already grabbed a sixer, just surreptitiously pawn it off to your peripheral friends and hope to get something better from them at a later time.

Photo of flipshevanel
4.32/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer! Started with an average sized, frothy, white, and mostly diminishing head. The body hue was medium yellow/light orange with tiny particles averagely dispersed. The aroma was a nice heavy dough with moderate malts and light hops. The flavor was definately sweet that calms down until a nice average bready finish. The body was medium to full, dry, and softly carbonated. I really love this beer and is in my top 5 of favorite beers right now.

Photo of philbe311
3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Golden straw color... Slight thin fizzy head... Carbonation clings to the glass... Mild lacing

S - Malt, lemon zest, wheat... Perhaps some melon and some all spice...

T - Citrus fruit, biscuit, and all spice... Mild malt and smooth hops on the finish... Well balanced...

M - Light bodied w/ biting carbonation... Smooth, light, creamy, and oily...

D - Solid but forgettable summer ale...

Photo of dpkpr
3.84/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I really liked this beer. I should also mention that it hit something like 106 degrees today in Dallas, so if there ever was a perfect day for a beer like this, today is it. It came as part of a mixed case from Sam's Club, so you never know how fresh it is. Didn't think to check for a born on date before tossing the bottle. It poured a light golden. Nice head that stood up for a few minutes before dissipating. Took a big sniff. Very pleasant fruitiness. Lemon. Big expectations for a beer that will fight off this oppressive heat. No bitterness at all, but wasn't expecting any and true to style. Very refreshing. Despite the very light quality to it, there is a discernable maltiness. Well balanced for its type. I had mine with a lightly seasoned grilled chicken and it was a very nice companion. I recommend this beer for hot days or for a session beer (although my case only came with four). Cheers!

Photo of BeerBelcher
2.18/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer is hardly a home run. It is not making me like summer any more than I already do. On a hot day, I'd really rather have something else.

Appearance is a clear dark yellow with decent macro-lager-like head formation. I get some candy-sugar sweetness, some citrus, some diacetyl in the aroma. Flavor is sweet and citrus-y, but not overly sweet and not unbearable. Mouthfeel is a bit sticky and cloying. I don't find this beer to be especially drinkable; in fact drinking it kind of makes me want something else.

I would not recommend this beer.

Photo of kinger
2.88/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at a questionable establishment I'm tempted to pick up a sixer to compare yet I'm also cautious to not waste more money on this beer. The aroma was mild and pleasant. The beer poured a strange orange-peach color with minimal head. It just looked fake in the glass, not offensive just odd to put it best. As I sipped on this beer I was able to detect the wheat influence. There is a spicy taste that compliments the wheat, but I'm not sure if I like it. Other than those two aspects the overall flavor was borderline bland. Mouthfeel is somewhat pleasant and the finish is relatively smooth. Overall I'm hoping this beer is better than what was poured from the tap. Revisit (as promised) Well it's July and my friend brought over a 12 pack of this for dinner the other night. Having this fresh from the bottle and drunk from a nice clean glass my opinion has slightly changed for the better. Looks better, feels better, and tastes much better. Still a tad weak in my opinion but it is more crisp and inviting this time around. The flavor needs a boost to really let this one soar. Decent summer time beer.

Photo of HardcoreKeith
2.36/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

For some reason I guess I expected this beer to really have some zing to it. Other reviews have hit accurately on its qualities. Wheaty and a little grassy smelling, slightly cloudy gold, light wheat ale flavor. Anyway, it's very underwhelming for me. Maybe it's because this tastes exactly like the cherry wheat (which I had to endure six of) except with lemon replacing the cherry. Another bland pale wheat ale offering from Sam Adams.

Photo of Nipitato
4.05/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a six pack at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Moderate gold hue. Slightly opaque but pretty good clarity. Creamy white head dissipates quickly.

S: Coriander, lemon zest, and a grainy wheaty malt aroma are all evident.

T: Malt leads with no hoppy character. Balance is provided by lemon zest and coriander. Slight lactic sourness finishes off this beer helping to make it quite thirst quenching.

MF Full mouthfeel - very creamy and tart. Moderate carbonation.

D, notes: This is a fine beer to relax with on a nice summer day. I imagine a good beer for cooking with as well.

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

Poured into a pint glass. A nice golden color, not a lot of head, fair lacing.

Smell, sweet, and lemony. Tasted very crisp, slightly spicing and slight hop taste. Very smooth, and a very drinalble summer beer. A nice one to have in the fridge on those 110+ degree Arizona summer afternoons!

Photo of Kadonny
3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From tap at TGI Fridays poured into a standard pint glass.

A: A cloudy straw yellow color with a minimal white tight laced head, minimal glass lacing.

S: Sweet malt with hints of spice, grains and some citrus.

T: Wheat, grainy yeast, lemon and a hint of spice (description says pepper) with a hefty malty sweetness. Minimal if any hops flavors.

M: Light mouthfeel that disipates quickly. No bitterness and no hint of alcohol.

D: Medium. If you like this style, then you can easily drink a few of these.

Overall an ok beer, but nothing special. I prefer the Southern Tier AWA or Bells AWA over this one for sure, they both carry more hops. Still, an easy drinking beer that is refreshing in the summer.

Photo of drxandy
2.79/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz to flare pint, pours a slight hazy golden, good carbonation, light white head fades

smells of lemon, strange adjuncty, spices

tastes of crisp maltiness, bitter, very interesting flavor most likely due to the grains of paradise, sweet, not much easy to pick out right now, but a unique summer ale for sure, lots of flavor and drinkable for even the macro drinker

mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, good amount of flavor.. not much else to say - there are way better offerings from boston brewing, a refreshing and interesting summer take for sure

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

Pale yellow with a small head and a little lacing.

Aromas of lemon and wheat, not much else.

Tastes pretty much like it smells, I didn't really get the spices the bottle talks about.

I guess it's a fair summer ale, nothing special and a little too light with very little flavor.

Photo of birchstick
3.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours pretty clear with a nice head. Smells of lemon, a tad bit of malts and hops as well; not too much going on. Tastes kind of bland. A little citrus, followed by some hop bitterness, and finally a huge hit of wheat. Overall, this was a decent summer beer. I prefer something with a tad bit more taste and balance, but this was very drinkable and extremely refreshing. Great summer beer.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.87/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy, yellow-orange body with a full, though collapsing, off-white head.

Smell: Caramel-coated malted wheat aroma with a redolent peppery scent from the Grains of Paradise and an apparent note of lemons.

Taste: Slightly bready wheat malt with a with caramel sweetness present. Tastes of oily lemon peels and a coarse black pepper. A whirl of sweetened tropical fruit juices accompany a slight bitterness which, along with the peppery character, help to temper the sweetness. Drying, spiced finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: A fine, refreshing summertime offering, Samuel Adams Summer Ale walks the fine line between delivering the goods on flavor and being super easy to gulp down.

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

It pours a relatively hazy straw yellow with ample carbonation. Two fingers of white head sustain for a bit then drop to surface swirls of froth. Grins of lacing smile along the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, pale, lightly sweet malt is joined by a waft of mildly tangy wheat. Lemon is fruity and aromatic and is sprinkled by spicy pepper.

Upon tasting, the grains swirl together into a distantly sweet blend of tart earthiness and mellow berry. Citrus is more vague here, and more zesty, with an edge that's buttressed by the spice of pepper. A rounded, yeasty dough note is in front of a brisk crispness that dries and lingers for a time in the finish. It's not great, not bad, and not memorable.

Light bodied, not even the carbonation can seem to slow down the rapid, watery flow, lending a thin presence on the palate.

I see it, the yellow label grabs me and says, drink me, it's summer, but I just can't be very excited once I've tried it. It's mainstream, which isn't in itself a bad thing, but it could be more. Still it drinks quite easily. The issue is, with so many things out there, will I grab another one? So I've tried it, and I'll finish the six, but that's likely the end of this little tryst.

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

My brother in law stopped by with a sixer last night. After having a Brooklyn Summer as a English Pale Ale, i was intrigued to see what Sam's American Wheat Ale would be like as well. I have tried this in previous years and wanted to find out if the receipe has remained the same.

Bottle pour into pint glass gave off a 1 finger white head with a clear apple juice color. Fair amount of lacing and retention. Quite clear and keeping ip with it's namesake.

A: The nose was difficult to find. Minor tints of citrus, spices in the distant background. I guess this is what they were looking for out of a summer ale, subtle and relexed.

T: A Mellow yellow were my first thoughts after downing the first of 3 of these. I tasted lots of grass, hops, pepper, and very weak wheat. Lemon zest provides tang and some refreshing aspect but not much.

M: Very light and weakening as you move through the glass. Citrus provides some bitterness along with the spices to mix with the somewhat smooth finish.

D: Nothing special at all. If your looking to put down a fair amount and not know it, much less taste, this is your backyard hot beer. A great session beer because I could down a sixer and go back to work and not even know I drank that much. One of the mildest Sam creations I have quaffed.

Photo of jeremyd365
4.07/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hey what a delight! I finally tried this summer brew not knowing anything about it and was pleasantly surprised indeed. I was happy to find that Sam Adams strayed from the common banana or orange-infused summer wheats. The lemon zest and grains of paradise do a great job relaying that summer feel in an original way. Smelled good, tasted good, and was very drinkable, not to mention affordable.

Photo of Dodo2step
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

P- on tap at Red Lobster...from notes.

A-arrives with a massive head and overflows my pint. slightly hazy straw hay color. a nice lacing is left behind.

S- lemon citrus and i think i get some sort of spice...pepper maybe.

T- lemon zest and sourness. Not bad but a lil too tart. Some breaded yeast as well.

M-cool and crisp and kind of wheaty. reminds me of munching on hay.

D- easy to put these down and a nice beer from sam adams. I had a troegs hop back right after it. Not a good idea. the flavors really collided.

Photo of tdawgydog
3.56/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've been working my way through various summer beers. Most of them being some variation of an American lager (which is not my favorite) I usually end up disappointed. Not the case with Sam's Summer. It pours a hazy yellow, not as cloudy as the Spring White (if your familiar with Sam's Spring offering) There was a two finger head that quickly dissipated into a thin lace. The taste is refreshing especially on a hot summer day. This is one beer that I would definitely drink again. There is a taste (possibly the lemon zest) that I can quite place but makes the beer very appealing.

Photo of ewright
3.82/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear golden straw color with a thin layer of head that quickly vanishes leaving little lacing.

S: Hints of lemon and peppery spice are obvious up front. Some sour raw wheat shows up in the background.

T: Sourness from the wheat shows up quickly. This is joined by hints of lemon zest, mild pepper and lightly toasted bread.

M: Just a bit too much "tongue twanging" late in the swallow. Medium-light body with decent carbonation.

D: Better on a hot summer afternoon than a night slaving in front of the computer, but it was here and it was cold!

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

On tap poured into tall narrow glass - tappered at top and bottom. Hazy body creamy head. Smells of lemony zest citrus and spice. Tastes as it smells but was expecting a little more substantial flavor - finishes quickly and dry. Nicely carbed with a creamy/grainy sensation. Drinkable enough - not very strong - but the spice seemed to tickle my noise (I might be allergic to their grains of paradise or it could have been something I ate) and I was left wanting more - just not necessarily another one of these.

Photo of julian
4.24/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Love this beer, finally getting around to reviewing it!

A: pours a somewhat hazy golden straw color with slight citrus hues with a creamy 1+ finger white head from a vigorous pour! Nice lacing all around as well! Beautiful!

S: funky sour lemon aroma with sweet malt and yeast to the nose on the finish.

T&M: clean, crisp, very refreshing, nicely carbonated...very light bodied. goes down very easily. taste is of sweet wheat malt, lemon zest, and grains of paradise (read it from the bottle) also detecting some orange/tangerine lingering on the palate near the end. Very interesting use of lemon and ancient spices. Nice job BBC!

D: sessionable for sure, this is a light bodied, refreshing and uniquely flavorful brew that deviates from the norm in their use of ingredients. Nice job, and excellent execution!

Photo of Baileyuk
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was listed and advertised as a Pale Wheat Summer Beer. I was expecting more wheat and unconventional flavors (pepper was advertised). In reality it was more lagerish in quality with a little kick.

Now dont get me wrong it was a great taste, just not what I was expecting. Actually the smell of banana in the taste was more Wheatish than the taste for me.

Again a great beer that I like to drink but I consider this way out of style.

Photo of Goliath
3.16/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden color with a one inch bright white head. Decent retention and nice lacing.

Aroma is weak, but citrus, spice, and pale malt can all be found.

Taste is ok, a good burst of orange/citrus and a pale pils like malt finish.

Mouthis medium bodied with ample carbonation.

Drinkability is moderate. Decent flavor and low alcohol make the beer sessionable. However, it is a bit boring.

Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: hazy gold body. thin white head with wisps of lace. sediment floats down throughout the body.

s: lemon, spice and wheat

t: very grainy upfront, then lemon, honey, and spice.

m: light, refreshing, crisp with a dry finish.

d: great beer for the summer. nice balance, not too sweet. what a summer seasonal should be.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,802 ratings.