1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.

4,701 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,701
Reviews: 1,543
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 32
Gots: 516 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Summer Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,701 | Reviews: 1,543 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NCSUdo
3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle

A: Pours a pale golden yellow under a small white head. Decent lace and retention.

S: Smells of wheat, sweet and some citrus fruit. Some tropical fruit as well.

T: Wheat and some tropical fruit. Bit of bitterness in the end is slightly off.

M/D: Carbonation is a bit prickly. Nothing spectacular on the tongue. Above average drinkability. Easy to go down but nothing great.

NCSUdo, May 28, 2008
Photo of Tbn2
2.28/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Had on tap, served in pint glass.

A-Golden yellow with a slight haze to it. No head present at all.

S-A blast of lemon smacks you in the face. Maybe too overwhelming. A hint of pale malts and no hops present.

T-A blast of lemon again that just overpowers everything. I could taste the malts and a slight hop presence, but lemon overpowered everything. The label says the put grains of paradise in it, but I can't taste it.

M-Light for the most part, but feels over-carbonated to me.

Overall I was disappointed in this one. I love Sam Adams and everyone of their beers hasn't let me down. This is the first Sam I have had that I just flat out didn't like it. The lemon was too much. I'm sure others out there will enjoy this beer.


Tbn2, May 27, 2008
Photo of mikesgroove
3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just finished polishing this one off at the inlaws tonight. I actually was suprised I had never tried this one in all of my tastings so when I saw it in the fridge I went for it. The pour was nice with a rich golden yellow coming forward right away. A nice tswo inch high head of white foam then rose over the top and settled down to a thin crown that covered the sides and the top. A nice side glass presentation and copious carbonation rising up from the bottom of the glass.

The aroma was rather bland. Just the slightest hint of lemon on top of bready malts. Some light grain as well. The flavor was more of the same, with nothing really standing out to me. A nice light body with ample carbonation and a low abv amde it totally sessionable, but the light grain, and a kiss of citrus in the flavor just really did not do it for me.

Overall it was not terrible and i have had much worse, I just thought it was far too libght and really just a touch too bland for my tastes. A nice beer for tailgating through and in the more popular establishments, if this was all that was on tap, you could do far worse.

mikesgroove, May 27, 2008
Photo of KeefD
3.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden color with a nice and good lacing.

Smells and tastes like sweet citrus flavors, plenty of malted wheat, light no background, but hardly noticeable.

Has ok carbonation, but it's slightly thick. I personally prefer a more bubbly brew in the summer time.

Yes, a good summer beer. I wouldn't purchase this individually, but it was a nice variety in the Sam Adam's Summer Pack, which has a little bit for everyone. These are good beers for people just starting to get into craft beers.

KeefD, May 26, 2008
Photo of chileman13
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Cloudy straw yellow pour with off white head that laces out.
A-I smelled citrus hops,wheat with a lttle yeast.
T- Light citrus hops with subtle sweetness. Good mouthfeel.
D- Lawn mowing, gardening, boat sailing hot weather, thirst quenching brew. Not my favorite Sam Adams but I wouldn't turn it down.

chileman13, May 26, 2008
Photo of johnnyirishman
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Pint glass.

Apperance- Semi cloudy golden yellow color with a good fluffy head and good retention.

Smell- Grainy yeast, lemon and wheat.

Taste,Mouthfeel- Slight Lemoney, wheaty, grainy taste here, medium carb and body.

Drinkablilty- An ok summer session beer. Not overpowering but not underclassed.

johnnyirishman, May 26, 2008
Photo of Seanibus
3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A good looking pour, hazy golden with a decent head. The aroma is slightly malty with a good whiff of lemon. The flavor is lemony, a bit of malt. When cold, there is no hops complexity at all, though some gentle hopiness comes out as it warms. There isn't a hint of bitterness, however. I realize this is no place for a hop bomb, but a little bitterness, however slight, would have improved this beer considerably. The mouthfeel is a little thin, but not unacceptably given that this is intended to be a summer beer. This is an inoffensive, forgettable entry into the summer seasonal genre.

Seanibus, May 24, 2008
Photo of mhewes
3.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A : Pours a real light hazy gold with good head.

S : Lemon, wheat, and some yeasty aromas

T : A strong wheat flavor with a little bit of lemon. Not much else going on.

M : Light bodied with good carbonation

D : On a hot summer day, it's a great beer to drink.

mhewes, May 22, 2008
Photo of morebeergood
3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had one on tap last night. Had my first pint of the season when it first hit the market in 2008, and thought it tasted a bit off. But the few times I've had it since, I've enjoyed it. Pours with a cloudy hazy yellow, mostly opaque, and with a fluffy head. Smells a bit spicy. The taste is what you'd want from a summer beer, with citrus and spice intertwined. Very light in the body, which makes it easy to drink. No one wants a heavy summer beer, right? Overall, a good choice to have on a warm night, or before a softball game, in my case.

morebeergood, May 22, 2008
Photo of rye726
1.55/5  rDev -53.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This certainly is a PALE wheat ale. As if most wheat beers are note pale enough already. Pours a hazy straw and has an ample white head. The nose has some sweet wheat malts and light citrus fruits. The flavor profile is more of the same. Light body is over carbonated. As said, pretty light, even for the style.

rye726, May 20, 2008
Photo of Hoagie1973
3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours cloudy and gold with noticable sediment floaters throughout the glass. Nice fluffy head with stringy lacing.
Smells like spicy wheat malt with a citrus twang.
Flavor starts semi-sweet and wheaty that moves into a mild lemony citric bitterness with a touch of hops for balance. There's a peppery thing going on in the aftertaste; I guess from the "grains of paradise." The lemon zest is prominant, but not obnoxiuos. It's tastes pretty natural as opposed to a candy-like artificial sweetness that is common in a lot of fruit beers.
Feel is somewhat creamy, but with crisp carbonation. Body is fuller than expected.
Not bad. I wouldn't seek it out, but I wouldn't turn up my nose at it.

Hoagie1973, May 20, 2008
Photo of SurlyDuff
3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this in Boston...so i dunno, maybe it's fresher or something.

hazy gold, and when holding up to the light, a neon yellow. Bright generous head. Reminds me of a hefe.

pale Malt and yeasty aroma. Lemony wheat and lemongrass. Grassy spring/summer lawnmower kinda vibe from this one.

Big grainy base, with a good sweetness, a hop bite, and belgian yeast. Good light to medium mouthfeel makes this one a great drinker and at 5.2, i do believe a 6pack of this would be great for a camping trip or other hot summer activity.

No noticable flaws, an overall good drinker.

SurlyDuff, May 19, 2008
Photo of armock
3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a hazy golden color with a white head that leaves some lacing

S - Is of lemon scents wheat and a touch of spice

T - Lemon flavor from the start wheaty malt overall good

M - This one has a lighter body with medium carbonation to it

D - This is a perfect summer beer in fact I'm drinking this after coming back home from the driving range and its hitting the spot right now

armock, May 18, 2008
Photo of gpogo
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Slightly hazy pale golden yellow. Small white head that dissiapates

A- Lemon with a slightly spicy wheat aroma. Smells like exactly what I need on this awfully hot day.

T- A nice balance between wheat and lemony flavors. The lemon is wonderfully refreshing and does not have a gross chemical taste that some other beers get from using fruit extracts. Finishes dry and leaves a lemony wheat aftertaste.

M- Light bodied high carbonation.

D- Just washed the car, it has to be 97F outside. This is just what I needed. A great summer beer, in fact I'd probably drink this even if it wasn't summer.

gpogo, May 18, 2008
Photo of scoobybrew
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured from the bottle into a weizen glass.

A - slightly hazy straw color with a decent head that settles into a thin lacing

S - lemon spiced wheat malt

T - balanced wheat malt and lemon flavors, slightly dry on the finish - nice balance between the hops and malt

M - smooth medium-light body with moderate carbonation

D - This is a decent summer beer. It seems to fit its marketed description. While I can't say that I'd go out of my way for this beer, it's a nice widely distributed option from BMC. This would be a great gateway beer.

scoobybrew, May 17, 2008
Photo of comingbackdown
4.4/5  rDev +32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The Pour:
Dead perfect pour on my hand. My best yet. :)
Very foamy, with a slight hiss as the head builds up.

The Head:
One finger head right out of the bottle, warm and aromatic, long lasting. Perfection. Lacing to the horizon and back.

Consistency and viscosity:
Slightly watery, somewhat oily to me. Pleasant to look at though.

The Nose:
Strong aromas of wheat, lemon, fresh bread or biscuits, smells warm and peppery. The aromas don't blend perfectly, but it's hard to get them all.

The Taste:
Sweet Wheat and Lemon, strong, bold Wheat taste all over, no sour taste anywhere.

Warm, wheaty, bittersweet with a strong lemon bite at the finish. A rather dry finish, but nice.

The Mouthfeel:
Creamy, warm, lightly carbonated, smooth all across the palette.

The Aftertaste:
Wheat and lemon. A perfect aftertaste. I'll be looking forward to this all year until next summer hits. :)

Aside from the dry finish, I could drink a damn keg of this brew. Very appreciable. Now, to work off the carbs from it.

As the brothers say, respect beer.

Happy drinking to all.

comingbackdown, May 17, 2008
Photo of Proteus93
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A straw yellow pour, topped with a puffy little cloud of head. So far, so good... it's looking summery and friendly enough.

S: A little dash of citrus zest, along with what almost smells like a bar of scented soap. Overall, a very mild scent... not necessarily a bad thing for the style, but nothing extraordinary going on here.

T: Malty, wheat, a tiny zing of citrus. The wheat flavour stands out a fair bit, but doesn't seem to have much of anything else holding it together aside from a little bit of a spice flavour that I can't quite put a finger on. It ends up a little on the bland side in terms of flavour.

M + D: A crisp carbonation, more likely better fresh straight out of the fridge without leaving it a lot of time to 'open up.' Fairly refreshing, though maybe a little bit on the heavy side when all is said and done. I probably wouldn't avoid it if drinking another assortment of Sam Adams, but I'd lean more towards some of their other offerings over this one.

Proteus93, May 16, 2008
Photo of Greggy
2.7/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- slightly cloudy with light sedimentation. Pours a nice 2 finger, fluffy, head with great retention.

S- graininess comes through with a light touch of citrus. Not your typical wheat nose.

T- The is the definition of austere. Some light grains comes through, but recede quickly to a slightly dry finish. I was really disappointed here.

M- Medium carb'd that doesn't bring much to the table.

D- I was really let down by this S.A. offering and don't see it being that drinkable. I could hardly finish the one bottle I opened.

Greggy, May 15, 2008
Photo of IronCitySteve
3.45/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap.

A: A little cloudy but golden color. Cloudiness (is that a word?) disappears to present a golden color.

S: Very big wheat smell with some hints of lemon and other citrus.

T: Lots of wheat flavor, lemon and orange citrus flavoring. A bit of spice, but nothing to powerful.

M: Very thin body beer. I didn't think it was crisp, seemed more creamy for a wheat beer.

D: I like wheat beers and this is worth a drink, but I prefer more hefeweizen's then this, but not real bad by any stretch.

IronCitySteve, May 13, 2008
Photo of HalfFull
3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden color with some cloudiness. Decent head and retention albeit poured into a chilled pint glass.

Smells of wheat, yet clean and crisp, and tastes again of wheat and light hops. Decent feel yet a bit too sweet for me.

Certainly the best brew from a mixed(4 styles) case from Sam Adams. Very pleasant and quite drinkable though not quite what I expected. But then, sometimes that's a good thing.

Edit: April 2010..

Pours a light saison straw color. Nose is very light of wheat and lemon, somewhat false initially but expanding with hints of white pepper. No hops noted at first, with some noble hops arriving with warming. Delicate and spicy in flavor, the nuances of this beer are lost if consumed from the bottle. Not as sweet as it once was, the Recipe Roulette that is Boston Beer's mantra gets a thumbs up for this. But perhaps we should just call it a different beer??? Boosted from a C- to a B...

HalfFull, May 13, 2008
Photo of jdubjacket
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at a local restaurant. Server who claimed to "know his beer" tabbed this as a "Summer lager," which upon taking the first sip, it was clearly not. Was a very hazy, yellow color with a small head and minimal lacing on the glass. Not much of a smell - a little bit of lemon and grain. Taste is actually pretty refreshing. A zesty, citrusy taste that would be great on a hot Summer day. A very drinkable brew. Overall, not an outstanding brew, but a solid Summer beer nonetheless.

jdubjacket, May 13, 2008
Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Weizen glass. Freshness notched Sept. 08.

A: Poured a dirty, straw-colored yellow with a slightly apricot colored frothy head that settles jaggedly to a light layer of frothy lace. There was decent lacing on this one in relation to the style.

S: Slight lemony aromas, some spices, and wheat malt. Some malty sweetness enters, as well. It's interesting, but the smells don't blend particularly well, making for a somewhat perplexing aroma.

T: Taste is zesty and crisp, with a pleasant lemony taste that lingers into the finish. The flavor begins with a tart, grainy wheat flavor that progresses into a semi-bitter (hops & lemon) phase before finishing with a balanced, dry lemony flavor. This beer tastes decent, but the flavors don't fit together that well, in my opinion.

M&D: Crisp, yet grainy mouthfeel with a high amount of carbonation, light body, and a lingering dry finish. It fits well with the beer. This beer's "forced" flavor keeps it from being highly drinkable, but it is very crisp and decently refreshing. I can think of many other lighter beers I'd much rather drink in the summer, though.

BamaBeerBuff, May 12, 2008
Photo of KBomb
4.05/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a bright yellow wheat beer, a quickly dissapaiting head. The aroma has a nice note of lemony citrus, just a whiff of bread and spice. Taste is good clean wheat flavor with a strong citrus finish. Subtle notes of additional fruit compliment the flavor. Very light and crisp very drinkable.

I'm one of these funny people who can't find much to like about Sam Adams, but this is a surprisingly good offering; one of my favorite wheat beers. Refreshing and easy to drink.

KBomb, May 12, 2008
Photo of SIRIUS2
3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a straw yellow in color, clear, with about an inch of soapy white head. The head fades to a nice uneven layer of bubbles with a thick heavy ring. Moderate lacing.

S: An interesting mix of very light malt and a hint of lemon. I'm not sure if the lemon is masking any hops or not but the aromas are pleasant overall.

T&M: Taste and body are very light. This brew is a bit on the dry side but still rather refreshing. There is a lemony twang to this but it works well with the hop bittering and blends right in nicely. This is not another typical "beer with fruit", but rather the lemon seems to act more like an herb or other adjunct. Textures are relatively creamy with light carbonation. Finishes a bit dry with, at first a lemony taste going to a light bitter linger.

D: I found this brew to be light, refreshing, and easy to drink. Overall it's pretty good.

SIRIUS2, May 12, 2008
Photo of avalon07
3.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: When this one was poured from a tap to a pint glass, it had a slightly brownish-gold color and a somewhat thin consistency. Long-lasting head and some OK lacing.

S: The aroma wasn't particularly overstated. Detected some wheat and mild spices, but little else.

T: The flavor really wasn't that interesting. There was a muted wheat taste and some evidence of hops, but mainly it was pretty watery.

M: This one had a nice amount of carbonation a decently smooth finish. This is a medium-bodied beer.

D: Overall, this one didn't really impress me. There are so many better wheat beers out there than this one.

avalon07, May 11, 2008
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
77 out of 100 based on 4,701 ratings.