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.
BA SCORE
76
okay

4,564 Ratings
THE BROS
78
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,564
Reviews: 1,542
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 33
Gots: 437 | 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: 4,564 | Reviews: 1,542 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Halcyondays
2.8/5  rDev -15.9%

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a cloudy yellow, with a medium white head, good retention.

S: Very light, wheat malt and lemon.

T: Bitter lemon comes to the forefront, cereal grains and peppery spice in there too.

M: Light and crisp, smooth, medium carbonation.

D: An interesting mix of flavours, but just wasn't into it at the end, I'd choose others for a summer refresher.

Halcyondays, Jun 10, 2008
Photo of beernads
2.75/5  rDev -17.4%

beernads, Apr 10, 2013
Photo of kojevergas
2.48/5  rDev -25.5%

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served into a standard hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are moderate.

A: Pours a one finger head of no cream, bad thickness, and terrible retention (maybe 15 seconds at best). Colour is a transparent gold.

Sm: Light wheat, stale lemon, and light hops - maybe cascade? A mild strength scent overall.

T: Lemon grass, light wheat, and bad citrus ester hops. Light spice is present, which doesn't help the already poor balance. It's built strangely and poorly. I don't really care for it. Simple and a bit bland, if not slightly watery. The finish is poor.

Mf: Smooth and wet, and a bit too thick for the relative lack of flavour. Doesn't really suit the flavours.

Dr: Drinkable but low quality. The price is high considering the poor quality.

kojevergas, Oct 26, 2011
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.81/5  rDev +14.4%

Nothing beats a nice Sam Adams Summer Ale on a hot day in June/July. So damn refreshing and crisp it is super drinkable. Has just enough of that lemon/citrusy kick at the end ot make it interesting but not too much. I look forward to every May when this begins to start rolling out.

oriolesfan4, Oct 02, 2008
Photo of InspectorBob
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

InspectorBob, Jun 15, 2014
Photo of woodychandler
4.1/5  rDev +23.1%

It looks like either Jim Koch heard me or I won over their brewer during Philly Beer Week 2013! Jim Koch swore that he was not going to put his beers into CANs until he was totally satisfied with their design. In the meantime, their brewer, whose name I forget, (with his shaved head and bushy beard, he was the face of the company for a while), came to Philly for a luncheon at City Tap House. I knew the answer to so many of his questions for us and he was impressed by Bro. Woody and he picked up my tab, although I offered to pay if he would get his boss to start CANning their beers. Such is a day in the life of The CANQuest (TM)!

From the CAN: "Proudly Brewed By The Boston Beer Company"; "Seasonal Brew"; "Wheat Ale Brewed with Lemon Peel & Grains of Paradise"

They know their business since the loud Crack! revealed a brimful CAN. I raised a toast in return to Mr. Adams, clearly depicted toasting me, then hoisted the sails and the CAN in an inverted Glug. I recommend against inverting your sailboat. I got two fingers of dense, rocky, bone-white head with good retention for my troubles. Color was a slightly hazy Yellow-Gold (SRM = 4-5). Nose had a prevalent lemon peel/citrus smell with an underlying light pepperiness. Mouthfeel was medium. This beer was like a lemon tart or a slice of lemon meringue pie! It was lemony, but kind of sweet at the same time. No ABV was shown, but I could definitely see putting this in the cooler for the people who are not into bitter AIPAs or light, tasteless AALs. Finish had a slight pepperiness that made it semi-sweet overall. I liked the way that the spiciness seemed to linger and tickle my tongue well after the swallow.

My previous, bottle review follows:

CAN't I please get a CAN in somewhere?!? I know that I have strayed, bottle be good in the future.

From the bottle: "Brewed with Lemon Peel and Grains of Paradise, Samuel Adams' Summer Ale is a classic American Wheat Ale. Refreshing and citrusy, with just a hint of spice on the finish. [Undersigned] - Jim Koch".

The pour netted a finger of rocky, off-white head that was burbling and bubbling its way out of existence pretty quickly. Color was an oh-so-slightly hazy golden yellow, suggesting that they did not filter the life out of it like that extra clear Blue Moon Summer wack nonsense. Nose was initially lemon citrusy, but then I got a real whiff of those Grains of Paradise and I felt like I had inhaled black pepper. Zounds! Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but close. This tasted really good, especially after those last two Summer losers, with an initial lemon citrusiness that quickly got out of the way for those Grains of Paradise, which filled my sinuses like there was room or I wanted them there. I kid you not, I was so close to a sneezing fit that it was not funny! Finish was pleasantly dry and I would highly recommend it were it not for the fact that it is not in a CAN and bottles are frowned upon at many summer destinations.

woodychandler, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev +20.1%

I'll admit that I moaned at my wife for making me get this at such a price for guests.
Appears a hazy light gold with a thick, 2 finger creamy white head that never fully goes away. Excellent lacing for the style and a steady 1/8" creamy head floating with excellent carbonation pumping to the top.
Smell is of light orange peel, zesty wheat, bubble gum and white pepper.
Taste is actually pretty good. Good taste of sweet orange peel balanced by the wheat, spice, and a mild hop note.
Mouthfeel is creamy, medium bodied and dry with a light gummy spiciness flowing through the palate.
This is actually a good beer and I was ready to be let down. Prepare to drink at a fast pace b/c they go down nice and smooth.

Finger licking good.

weeare138, Jun 11, 2005
Photo of yourefragile
3.05/5  rDev -8.4%

2007 bottle drank a few months after best buy notch on label and poured into a weizen glass

A: A nice murky, straw-golden color with a lot of tiny bubbles and a large white head that slowly dissipates down to a steady thin layer. Leaves moderate lacing in glass. Also some particles of sediment floating in the glass, not sure if I remember them from when I had this fresh.
S: Nothing remarkable, nothing bad. Some citrus, yeast and a little soapiness
T: Maltier than expected, strong citrus flavors, lemony. An adequate wheat ale, not overpowering.
M: Only part of beer that something seems off with. Somehow seems thick and watery at the same time.
D: While nothing about this beer was incredibly good or bad, I do enjoy drinking this (well, in the summer) and is a reliable beer at a chain restaurant in the summer and worth picking up a 6 pack for an outdoor afternoon

yourefragile, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of orangesol
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

orangesol, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of tempest
3.65/5  rDev +9.6%

On-tap at Faegan's in Syracuse.

Maybe the best American wheat beer I've had. There's a tinge of vanilla, and hefeweizen spice to it along with mellow wheat and malt. Hops are present, though only an afterthought. All in all there is a gentle complexity that makes this a good beer. Not too dumbed down like most light wheat beers. Worth a try.

tempest, May 10, 2007
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.98/5  rDev +19.5%

Poured a cloudy hazy yellow with a medium white head. Nose is floral hops, lemon,orange peel and a wheaty grain. Taste is smooth, hoppy a bit of malt but not much and a slight yeast aftertaste. Easily drinkable especially and I would think a great session beer. I really liked it.

barleywinefiend, Aug 08, 2009
Photo of stakem
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

Poured from a bottle with a brewery freshness month of August into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Summer Ale appears a light golden yellow color with a slight touch of haze and a thin white cap of head supported by constantly rising bubbles of carbonation. A spotty amount of lace clings to the glassware. The aroma is filled with a lemony scent on top of wheat and spices. Taste is pretty much dominated by wheat with an upfront flavor of lemon and a bit of spice and pepper on the backend. Light feel with a very lively amount of carbonation. Overall a pretty decent warm weather wheat beer. As it warms, there is a change in the flavor and the lemon flavor starts to get to me. The lemon character seems out of wack and doesn't really mesh well with the rest of the flavor of the beer. It's a good lawnmower beer to drink on a hot day but to sit down and enjoy it I am having a hard time getting through just one.

When I had this before, I distinctly remember the character of the grains of paradise being totally dominating in both the flavor and aroma. The lemon character was slim to none but it was there. I don't know if that was from a previous recipe or maybe that has to do with the freshness. Regardless it was an interesting example of the style.

stakem, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of Billolick
3.38/5  rDev +1.5%

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

Billolick, Jun 05, 2004
Photo of dbrauneis
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow in color. The beer has a half finger tall white head that reduces to a patch of extremely thin film covering a portion of the surface and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. No lacing is observed.

S: Moderate aromas of wheat + lemon/citrus along with much lighter aromas of banana, clove, and some very light grassy hops.

T: There is a slight hint of "paste" flavor to this beer - the beer has a pretty good amount of wheat flavor to the body of the beer. There are lighter notes of spice/pepper and citrus in the finish.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Refreshing and easy to drink - this is easily a beer that you could have many times in a session. The lightness of the aroma and smell make this a great seasonal beer for the summer.

dbrauneis, May 29, 2012
Photo of akorsak
3.73/5  rDev +12%

This is a pint of Summer Ale served at a beachfront restaurant in Long Branch, NJ in a standard glass. The ale is cold.

A: The ale is a straw color with little, if any, head.

S: The lemon zest provides a pleasant citrus kick.

T: The spices (lemon zest and grains of paradise) provide a pleasant tangy flavors that melds well with the light wheat body.

M: The carbonation seems a little over the top, giving the beer a hot, harsh feel.

D: Very drinkable, a perfect beer for a lazy hazy beach day.

akorsak, Aug 25, 2006
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.43/5  rDev +3%

(Served in a Sam Adams perfect pint glass)

A- This beer pours a straw yellow with strands of microbubbles gliding up to a thick eggshell of foam that last for a good bit.

S- The aroma of natural lemon dish soap finishes with a soft green hop snap.

T- The dry lemon cleaner taste has a hint of soap to it with a peppery spice to the dry finish. As the beer warms the green hops and pepper finish really grow.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a bit of a flat texture and a crisp finish.

O- The dry crisp taste is refreshing but the soapy notes and lemon pepper flavor are to strong and don't have any support making this a bit rough to finish a glass. The flavors described on the bottle are all there but that is all that is there.

rhoadsrage, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%

duceswild, Apr 28, 2013
Photo of DoubleJ
3.33/5  rDev 0%

On-tap at Roscoe's Deli last night, on to the beer:

It hazy orange in color with a pretty good head. It glows in the rather dark surroundings of Roscoe's. Not much to smell but yeast, perhaps being too cold. The first half of the beer was boring because it was too cold. But as it warmed up, it got better. Some mango, apricot, yeast, pepper, and spice become noticable. Smooth and creamy from draft. It must be more refeshing when it's warm, because I consumed this after midnight, when it's, you know, cool.

DoubleJ, May 27, 2007
Photo of Zorro
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%

Pours a mildly hazy golden brew.

Smell is a little sweet and a bit of wheat smell.

Taste is mostly a clean wheat taste. A cracker flavor is also present. A bit of lemon is present as well as a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel is good.

Light drinkable brew, good but pass the German Weizen please.

Zorro, Mar 26, 2004
Photo of jdhilt
3/5  rDev -9.9%

From my notes 5/25/07 - Pours a two-finger white head that fades quickly to a ring leaving some lace. Clear amber color. Faint wheat nose. Light-medium carbonation and light-medium bodied. Flavor is light citrusy wheat. Clean finish. $5.50 on-tap 14oz at Houlihan's Logan airport Boston, Ma.

jdhilt, Jun 22, 2007
Photo of mothman
3.7/5  rDev +11.1%

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.

mothman, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -9.9%

ejimhof, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of Wasatch
3.9/5  rDev +17.1%

Age date was Aug 05. Poured a cloudly yellow with a very small head, with not much lacing. Bottle sez wheat ale brewed with lemon and grains of paradise. Has a grassy scent with a very nice taste. This is a very socialable brew, many can be had. Will I buy it again, probably not.

Wasatch, Jul 14, 2005
Photo of wrightst
4.5/5  rDev +35.1%

wrightst, Apr 29, 2014
Photo of Huhzubendah
2.73/5  rDev -18%

On draft at The Upper Crust in D.C.

The beer is mostly clear and appears golden yellow in color. The head is minimal, thanks to a most generous pour from a gracious bartender. The aroma is weak, with some hints of lemon. The flavor is akin to Lemon Pledge...not digging it. The beer tastes of artificial additives. The back half is just too odd and artificial for me to enjoy. Not a repeat for me.

Huhzubendah, Jul 04, 2011
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,564 ratings.