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

Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,697 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3697
Reviews: 1509
rAvg: 3.34
pDev: 16.47%

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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 3,697 | Reviews: 1,509 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ranger7


3.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 22 oz. glass at Dave & Buster's.

A - Pale golden hue. Some white head, which quickly disappears.

S - Smells like a wheat beer. Some lemon and wheat.

T - Average taste. Nothing really stands out - fairly balanced. Some lemon comes through.

M - A little too carbonated for my tastes, otherwise is okay. Drinkable, and a good Summertime choice.

Summary - I am a disappointed in this Sam Adams. Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with it, but nothing really impressed me. It is a balanced brew and a little heavy on the carbonation. Not much else to say.

Serving type: on-tap

06-19-2011 20:28:02 | More by ranger7
Photo of DCon


2.75/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Tapped from Spiral Tap Handle @ Racquets Bar & Grill in Chesterfield, MO for $5. Received in a 16oz plastic cup and gulped down by the pool.

Aroma- Has a strong grain and malt aroma with a hint of lemon. Very mediocre...

Appearance- Pours a light amber, dark golden semi-hazy body with 1 finger of head that stays for a minute or two. Has very minimal lace on the cup.

Flavor- I can taste a strong grain and heavy wheat/malt but what else? Theres almost no hop flavor here and was a huge turn off for me. Weak taste when it comes down to it.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, High Carbonation, and leaves grain on the palate.

Overall Impression- I was hoping Samuel Adam's Summer Ale was going to be superb! Not the case. The hype was about this beer inside the bar, and when I went to go swim and drink this beer, I wasn't satisfied at all! Would say that you could drink many in a day (for those who are expecting a totally different beer) but I actually struggled to finish this one. Once again, nothing against Samuel Adams, but this didn't hit the style well.

Serving type: on-tap

06-04-2011 18:07:40 | More by DCon
Photo of johnmichaelsen


3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Nashville airport. All things considered, I was pleasantly surprised to see a beer of "this quality" at the airport.

SASA poours a somewhat cloudy golden amber color with with fairly good head retention and lacing. Don't get a whole lot on the nose, just some light sandlewood and nutmeg... maybe a hint of clove and lemon. The flavor profile is pretty "wheaty," with some underlying light bitternes, light honey and spice. There's sort of a lemony, fruit cocktail flavor as well to this beer that is attractive. Mouthfeel is light and fairly refreshing, with some noticeable light spice in the finish.

Mehhh... suitable for quenching one's thirst at an airport while waiting for one's flight during a storm delay, but not really much else. Can't imagine ordering this one again any time soon.

Serving type: on-tap

06-03-2011 13:07:57 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of BarryMFBurton


2.28/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This one sort of comes under strange circumstances. I had it on Memorial Day on tap at Cheeseburger in Paradise in Southport, IN. The thing is, I ordered a Boston Lager. What’s worse is that I’ve never had, let alone seen a Boston Lager before. I definitely wasn’t expecting the taste I got, so, after drinking about a quarter of the glass, the server finally came back. That’s when I found out it was actually their Summer Ale. Weird, but communication errors are bound to happen in a setting that involves a lot of interaction. Once I learned it was a wheat beer, I was a lot less surprised. Here’s what I thought of Sam Adams Summer Ale (not Boston Lager):

A: The glass comes to me with a foamy head that recedes to nothing very quickly. The body is a hazy pale red, like apple juice. No retention; overall, just a pretty uninteresting look.

S: Not good. Musty wheat and dim hops are the only things I can make out. The biggest nuance about the nose: faded.

T: Bready, at first, with some gingery aspects on the back end. There is a vast shortage of hops, but it isn’t a huge loss in a wheat beer. It might have been good in this instance, because the accompanying notes are so dull. Fruit tastes are completely dumbed-down –orange that is mostly rind, grapefruit that reminds me of a watered-down, second-rate juice. I don’t like this at all.

M: Bubbles are a regular in the glass, demonstrating a light feel. Sparkling and, unlike the rest of the brew, lively.

O: Alright, at the very best. My impressions of Sam Adams have always been that it’s a brewery with a good heart, but a salesman’s brain. It’s capitalism at its finest: show commercials that insinuate your product is made with tons of the best ingredients and care, then watch your cheaply-made product fly off the shelves. Hopefully I find something in the Sam Adams lineup (that doesn't cost $150+ per bottle, mind you) which will change my mind. For now, though, my opinion remains unchanged.

Serving type: on-tap

06-03-2011 04:10:43 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of notchucknorris


3.45/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a golden, honey color with a very thin off-white head.

S: I'm not picking up a ton, but I'm getting some faint wheat and a bit of citrus zest. It's kind of a mix of lemon and lime.

T: This was pretty refreshing, with some light grain and pale malt flavor along with a light bit of lemon. It wasn't mindblowing and the mouthfeel was a bit light, but there could be a place for this in the summertime.

Serving type: on-tap

05-29-2011 19:37:40 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of ummswimmin

New Jersey

2.53/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had this in the signature Sam Adams glass. I really like this glass even though I have never been over impressed with any Sam Adams beers. This is kind of like a cross between a tulip and pint glass.

When it was poured there was a two finger head, which stayed for quite a while. The beer was a golden color with no inclusions.

I couldn't get any aroma off of the beer. I tried a few different times to pick up any bouquet, and I couldn't get one.

There was a very strong taste of grapefruit in the first drink. I kept getting the grapefruit in each drink, eventually I picked up a little wheat flavoring on the end.

There is a bitterness to the after-taste, but that is expected with the over-hopping.

The only redeeming aspect is with how pretty the beer is. The coloring was nice, and the lacing looks really good at the end.

Serving type: on-tap

05-26-2011 23:52:26 | More by ummswimmin
Photo of Knapp85


3.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A lot of people I know really don't like this beer at all, they claim it's "too perfumey". I don't really feel that this beer is a bad summer brew at all. The beer pours out as a hazy yellow color with decent sized white head that leaves a pretty nice lacing. The smell of the beer is bright and fresh, it's got some lemon in there and perhaps a few spices on the nose. The taste is a citrusy and grainy blast of freshness. It's a little sweet and it's got a good balance of fruit and beer. The mouthfeel is very easy going. lightly carbonated and soft. This beer is a great for a hot day in the summer to kill off the heat. I wouldn't drink a lot of these in a sitting but one here and there is usually enough.

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2011 16:19:00 | More by Knapp85
Photo of Matt1516

Quebec (Canada)

3.08/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Let's just say that this was the best thing the "Olive Garden" had on tap...

Pours pale golden, slightly cloudy with a small head, light lacing.

Smells of wheat, cloves and yeasts. Thin mouthfeel.

Tastes mostly of lemon, wheat, a touch of hops, and some peppery notes. Mostly bland with a clean finish.

Inoffensive but forgettable.

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2011 02:50:28 | More by Matt1516
Photo of ShanePB


3.2/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this many times in the past, reviewed from a draft version last night, poured into a tall Weizen glass (odd?).

A: Pale yellow, fairly clear, could be a bit of chill haze with a nice and creamy white head. Retention was actually pretty damn good, as was the lacing. I'd like to think this is above average for a APWA.

S: Musky grassy notes, lemon zest, orange peel and a bit of wheat spice. The nose in and of itself is a bit muted, it doesn't have that bouquet of aromas like some other wheat beers do, but alas it's SA - so, for what it is, not too bad.

T: Grainy malt base, very earthy in nature, with a bit of peppery spice at first. Clean lemon comes through next followed by a distinct grassy finish. It's not bad at all, just very average for the style. The complexity of flavors really is non-existent, very one dimensional but still quite drinkable.

M: A bit over carbonated for me, but clean, crisp and pretty refreshing.

It's not one of their best beers by any means, nor is it one of their better seasonal releases but it's still a refreshing beer to have on occasion. Nothing worth buying a 6-pack of, but still enjoyable when it needs to be.

Serving type: on-tap

05-19-2011 13:25:51 | More by ShanePB
Photo of engagechad


1.93/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Purchased on draft at Starlite in Richmond, VA - pint glass

Pours a very watery yellow with almost no head initially or upon agitation. Smells herbal. Tastes very medicinal and very difficult to drink. I haven't had many beers that I didn't want to finish but this was one of them. Mouthfeel was menacing and burning.

Overall I would never purchase this beer again and would almost prefer a bmc.

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2011 01:31:40 | More by engagechad
Photo of SkunkWorks

New York

3.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap, served in a mug.

Look: clear, pale, golden yellow with visible carbonation bubbles and a thin white head that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves no lacing.

Smell: not a lot here at all, with a bit of lemon and pale malt.

Taste: follows the nose with, well, not very much. Pale malt, a little wheat, and a bit of lemon zest. I can't detect the grains of paradise this is supposedly brewed with. Honestly, tastes like a macro-lager.

Feel: about what you want in a summer beer, light, crisp, and refreshing and could conceivably be sessioned.

Overall: not impressed. I don't know why but I expected this to be a little bit better than it was. The Sam Adams seasonals tend to be decent and well, this was pretty much a macro-lager on a craft tap. I wouldn't bother. Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2011 15:38:17 | More by SkunkWorks
Photo of drabmuh


3.33/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beer served in a Sam Adam Noble Pils glass and I spent the evening wishing this was Noble Pils. Beer is yellow with a mild haze to it, some lacing on the glass. Moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is grainy and unpleasant, sorry Sam Adams, this does not make me want to drink this.

Beer is medium to light in body, nothing up front with a mild sweetness on the finish. There is a grainy aftertaste that really takes me out of the beer. I had 500 ml of this (why was this served in 500 ml glasses?) and that was more than enough. I'd have it again if it were the only beer at the party and my alcoholism needed to be fed, otherwise I'd pass.

Serving type: on-tap

05-05-2011 03:38:37 | More by drabmuh
Photo of dcook11


4/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours just under a two finger head made up of whispy white suds. Unlike other beers where the head is somewhat off-white, summer ale is a soild white. The beer itself is a light straw color with v Some lacingery high levels of carbonation. Champagne levels. The smell is malt dominate with vanilla, lemon, citrus, and a touch of coriander and spice at the finish. The taste is light and refreshing but with a nice citrus and spice note at the end. Overall, I love this beer for summer.

Serving type: on-tap

05-02-2011 05:26:21 | More by dcook11
Photo of chiccabeer


4.47/5  rDev +33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the quintessential summer beer. The ale has a very smooth ale feeling to it, and does not leave your mouth dry. The flavor has a nice fruit taste without over powering you with too much sweetness. Some places garnish this one with fruit, but I like it as it is. Cheers.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2011 23:46:40 | More by chiccabeer
Photo of BrianBoruma


2.15/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had this on tap. Honestly I think there most have been something wrong with the tap line...

A: Looked good. Faint head that was white over blonde body.

S: buttery. No spices in the nose

T: Butter. It wasn't very drinkable.

M: Oily.

D: I didn't order another. So take what you will from that.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2010 07:12:49 | More by BrianBoruma
Photo of Derranged

New York

2.55/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this twice on tap, poured into a glass.

First time:

A- Light, cloudy golden color.

B- A hint of lemon, some wheat

T- Some lemon, wheat, water, really not much going on at all, the flavor was very lacking.

M- Thin and watery, decent carbonation.

D- It was easy to drink because of how watery it was.

The Second time:

A- same

S- same, only soapy

T- same, but tasted a little soapy. (Bartender 4got to clean glass properly?)

M- Same

D- Took two sips. Bah.. No more. Luckily I didnt stay at the bar long and had some craft beer.

Overall, this is a weak showing by Sam Adams, not sure how others rated it a B- or above. Not impressed by the beer at all. In fact, I only had it a second time because my friend got me the drink, I asked for Sam Adams lager, he came back with the Summer crap. I'll wait for the Winter Bock.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2010 12:42:16 | More by Derranged
Photo of taigor

New York

3.23/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured on tap into regular pint glass.

A - Poured slightly hazy amber color with medium head that dissipated very quickly leaving almost no lacing.

S - Mostly wheat and citrus with a hint of hops and spices.

T - Wheat with slight citrus flavor upfront with a hoppy finish.

M - Light bodied with high carbonation.

D - Not bad overall but would not be having this one again in the future.

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2010 16:56:01 | More by taigor
Photo of TheKingofWichita

North Carolina

2.53/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a pale yellow straw color. Smelled of lemon zest, hops, and orange peels with peppers. Tasted quite spicy (which did not really do anything for me) hoppy, and all around kindy nasty. Mouthfeel was fairly average with some crisp carbonation to it. Fairly drinkable, not a bad summer choice -- far better than some I have had.

Serving type: on-tap

10-07-2010 02:42:36 | More by TheKingofWichita
Photo of Augustiner719

New York

3.08/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes had back in april 2010.

Draft into a pint glass>

Very yellow fizzy looking with a soft white head that recedes quickly with no lacing. The bubbles are streaming from the bottom of the glass and the beer fizzes like lemon lime soda. There are aromas of bitter orange and lemon peel, corriander spice and some grassy aromas. Flavors are similar to the aroma but its got a real astrigent flavor that puckers the palate. The lemon is much more predominant this year and the flavor profile has been watered down from what i can remember. Mouthfeel is astrignent and light, but very refreshing. Artificial sweetness cloys and makes this somewhat hard to put down after it warms too much. Drink cold and enjoy!

Serving type: on-tap

09-22-2010 19:49:00 | More by Augustiner719
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 09/11/10 notes.

a - Pours a nice golden color with an inch of white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of lemon, citrus, wheat, and bready malts.

t - Tastes of wheat, bready malts, and lemon/citrus.

m - Light to medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent, easy to drink beer by Sam Adams. Not my favorite seasonal from them, but a decent beer to get when out to eat. Would never seek out but will drink again at some point.

Serving type: on-tap

09-13-2010 22:51:07 | More by mdfb79
Photo of LairdChisholm


3.58/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - A hazy golden color. A two finger off white head has good retention. A good amount of lacing is left. Also, a fair amount of carbonation is seen bubbling to the top.

S - Wheat and yeast are most present. There is also a hint of bread lemon and alcohol.

T - Big and bold wheat upfront. There are notes of lemon and orange. A surprisingly strong bread like after taste which is quite pleasant

M - Very light. Maybe a little too much carbonation.

D - This beer is very easy to drink. Goes down easy and smooth.

Serving type: on-tap

09-02-2010 02:15:34 | More by LairdChisholm
Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor


2.42/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Decided on a whim to have this with lunch today. God what a mistake. Suffice to say there was no lacing, and it tasted like lemon grass and pepper. I admire Sam Adams for what they have done for the craft beer industry, but lament them for their lack of imagination with beers. Their only TRULY good beers are that bullshit marketing "Imperial" series that come in over priced 4 packs. Those are actually good beers. The rest of their line-up is soulless and an embarrassment to craft beer.

Serving type: on-tap

08-31-2010 04:39:09 | More by AWolfAtTheDoor
Photo of jal30


3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy yellow appearance in my pint glass with little head, but good retention. Not much on the nose, but a good lemony wheat taste to this one. Definitely one of the more citrus-heavy wheat beers I've ever had, and yet done so tactfully--still tastes very much like a beer, which is more than I can say for some overly citrused wheats. Sorta boring and not overly impressive in any way, but it sure is refreshing. A situational beer for sure--perfect on the beach or with the right dinner. Loved it with my chicken dish. Not sure its worth the hype that surrounds it in the Boston area, but definitely one of my most ordered dinner accompaniments. Good stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

08-29-2010 03:43:52 | More by jal30
Photo of jsprain1


3.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Appearance was a pale golden with pretty high clarity and thick head that maintained itself nicely.
S- Smell is of lemon zest, and pepper.
T- The taste is quite lemon-centric. Wheat and pepper flavors (probably the grains of paradise?) filled out the finish. Far more flavorful than in the bottle, but the flavors didn't mesh well for me.
M- Light bodied, high carbonation.
D- A pretty drinkable and tasty beer. Not my favorite from Sam Adams, but it is often the best option in summer at less beer-centric establishments.

Serving type: on-tap

08-26-2010 00:41:38 | More by jsprain1
Photo of Sudsy89


3.9/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big 22oz. mug on draft, cold.

This was a very nice, enjoyable beer. It's medium-bodied with an average level of carbonation, has a white head that quickly dissipates. Pretty golden color, a bit cloudy.
Aroma and taste is nice, has a bit of sweet lemon and hops that combine nicely, not too bitter. Highly drinkable, it isn't much more filling than a lager but has more flavor. I definitely recommend this beer if you can find it.

Serving type: on-tap

08-20-2010 00:40:42 | More by Sudsy89
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 3,697 ratings.