Alaskan Summer Ale - Alaskan Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alaskan Summer AleAlaskan Summer Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

710 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 710
Reviews: 288
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 12.26%
Wants: 22
Gots: 74 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-01-2002

Alaskan Summer Ale balances a softly malted palate with the clean freshness of hops. In the tradition of the style, neither overpowers the other. Both hops and malt come together to refresh and renew the palate. The straw-gold color and easy drinkability are an enjoyable way to celebrate summer.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 710 | Reviews: 288
Reviews by zeledonia:
More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
2.79/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance – Light orange in the body with a decent head that went down rather quickly.

Smell – Very light fruity hop aroma with a touch of uncharacteristic grain.

Taste – The traditional fruity taste is there but it’s very cheap. The hops are almost overpowered by this sweetness.

Mouthfeel – Lightly carbonated and very light in the body. This was somewhat smooth and refreshing.

Drinkability – Clearly Alaska Brewing was no match for this difficult style.

Photo of Todd
4.06/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz stubby bottle w/ twist-off cap.

Pours a pale/straw color with a touch of haze and a thin, bubbly, white lacing. Aroma is clean, fresh, lightly malty.

Firm body, slightly chewy, but still on the light side. Crisp carbonation pulls through with some prickliness and a creamy feel. Sweet-ish, malty, toasty, and bready in the finish. Splash of fruitiness. Mild hops offer a leafy herbal flavor, grass, and faint notes lemon rind. Things dry-up in the end with some residual crackery malts and weak tea.

Nothing overly exciting, and I wish the beer was brighter, but overall a tasty take on a Kölsch and a very worthy session brew.

Photo of Jason
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle with some sort of freshness code I can't make out.

Crackling off white head leaves a scattered bubbly lacing on the glass, golden straw color shows off its clarity. Dusty grain, lemony hop and a mild fruitiness from the yeast in the aroma. Snappy crispness settles into a nice smoothness for the light to medium body to roll in. Light maltiness, faint orange lemon citric combo from the hops and perhaps yeast. Grainy and mostly dry with a dusty husk tone in the finish.

Its tough when a brewer slaps "Kolsch" on a label, the style is so narrow and there is only a small handful of true Kolschs that are sent to the US from Germany. A little to ale-like rather than Kolsch, this is not to say that this beer is not a decent quaff. Its sums up to be a simple Golden Ale at best.

Photo of tigg924
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: gold in color, 1/2 inch head, moderate carbonation, clear

Smell: wheat and small citrus

Taste: wheat, bread, honey, and a bit of lemon

Mouthfeel: smooth, high carbonation, slightly sweet, light bodied

Drinkability: An excellent summer beer and a fine representation of the style. I could have a six of these. A very clean beer. Nothing fancy, just good beer.

Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a clear golden color with a white head. The aroma is full of wheat with some grain and a hint of grape vine. The flavor is similar, with some nice wine-like notes mixed in with some yeast, wheat and white pepper. Thin mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A nice kolsch, glad Alaskan is now available in Texas.

Photo of bsp77
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into unique Summit glass, which is the closest I have to a Stange. Bottled on 72nd day of 2011 (March 13).

Appearance: Clear gold with initial white head but quickly subsides.

Smell: Dry citrus, cherry and apple. Very light hay aroma as well. Simply too light overall.

Taste: Very light taste as well. Grainy malts with apple and hay. Not much hops; just a light hop spiciness.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, semi-dry finish.

Overall: Overly simplified (and de-hopped) version of a Kolsch. Refreshing and easy to drink, but not enough there to truly desire buying it again.

Photo of magictrokini
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light golden-amber color. Wheat and spice aroma. Taste was also wheaty, but with noticeable fruity hops. A little Saaz, but not much. Very light and refreshing; great as a summer seasonal. Its like a Vienna along the lines of Karl Strauss Amber Lager, but not as heavy.

Photo of jcdiflorio
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured into a tall pilsner glass from a 12oz. stubby brown bottle with a twist off cap. Says limited edition on label.

Slightly hazy golden color hint of amber. Thin white soapy head dissapated quickly into a very slight coating. Streams of tiny bubbles with some stringing from the sides of the glass. Carbination was steady throughout the beer.

Nectar-like fruity aromas,pears/nectarines/white grapes some doughy/yeasty aromas with some carmell/toffee notes in the background. Moderate to faint no hop presense was detected.

Light sweet maltiness,an assortment of dried fruit tastes,bready,light on hops a very light citrus. Smooth bitterness with some tang. Light with slight cloying, not a crisp hoppyness like a lot of Kolsh beer i've tasted.Easy to drink,not as refeshing as i would like. Just didn't feel like a Kolsh to me. Sort of a letdown. Not bad,not a beer i would seek out again. Ordered this beer from Liquid Soluctions.

Photo of pat61
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%

a little grain and spicy hops on the nose but they are not big.
The beer pours straw color with a touch of gold with a thin white head.
A touch of light grain to light bread on the palate balanced by spicy hops and a light bitter accent, hints of light fruit.
Light, crisp, mild and refreshing and very drinkable.

Photo of MattyG85
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

Appearance: Straw golden yellow with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of white head fades into a patchy layer with a little bit of lacing.

Smell: Sweet aroma of pale malts, citrus, grapes, lemon, and grains with a hint of grassy hops. Everything smells fairly light.

Taste: Tastes like it smells with a sweet mix of pale malts and grains with lemon, grapes, and other citrus. Has a light hint of honey and hop bitterness in the finish. Everything is fairly subdued.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with a moderate carbonation. Very crisp.

Overall: A good version of a Kolsch. Nothing outstanding, but a pretty good summer brew.

Photo of Thrasher
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A fine, malty golden ale from Alaska. Pours gold, somewhat flat. Ho hum aroma of light malts and a sort of animal funk. Odor improves as the beer is drunk, and warms up. Flavor is bursting with maltiness, authentically German in that regard. The malts are not too sweet, nor too grainy. They are just right. Forgive my inability to elaborate further, but they are simply pleasing me immensely. Water quality seems very crisp and refreshing, more like NW glacier water than authentic kolsch water, but it works. Yeast is pretty mild, provides a slight fuzziness that I suppose is unavoidable. Hops are totally out of the spotlight, doing exactly what is required of them and nothing more: little to no bitterness, a light tap dance across the tongue, and providing a definitive finish to the flavor profile. Excellent and addictive aftertaste. I am really enjoying this beer, and am having some difficulty stopping drinking it.

Photo of moundbz
4.44/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

easy to drink, simple and great

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of Alaska's more mundane offerings, which I guess is to style. Clear, faint yellow appearance. Dusty aroma.

Taste, lots of carbonation, minimal hop presence. Interesting aftertaste, slightly metallic and earthy at the same time. Very easy to drink. A good hot weather girlfriend beer.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale golden hazy pour, with bright white head forming fine speckled lacing. Aroma clean mild fruitiness with a biscuit pale malt breadiness, a touch of herbal hops and mineral water. Flavor has a balanced blend of light herbal hops pale biscuit flavored hops, mild fruitiness from the ale yeast. Again the mineral water mild metallic tone in the finish works and really cleanses the palate between sips. Mouthfeel is light bodied, sturdy carbonation. Perfect for summer time refreshment this one held up quite nicely this late into the fall. Drinkability solid drinking well this Indian Summer, a nice version of a Kolsch definitely blends nicely with the rest of Alaskan brewing's lineup.

Photo of Auraan
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear golden yellow with a one finger white head. Scents of German ale yeast, crystal malt and German hops. Flavor is crisp and clear with sweet malt and some bread and slight citrus pith flavors and an excellent moderate level of hop bitterness. Good and flavorful without being overwhelming. Mouthfeel is light bodied with moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink. This is a good Kolsch, well worth trying. It's an easy drinking, light bodied, yet flavorful beer, great for the summer.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A lackluster head on top of a very pretty beer. The spit foam island really allows you to peer into the golden yellow brew and enjoy the clarity.

The nose hints at spring and summer flavors with lightly toasted grains and a lemon rind zing. There is also touches of white fruits reminiscent of grapes and peaches. Solid.

Taste is anything but boring. The grain flavors are rich with a kind sweetness. The lemony peppered nose yields a much more subdued flavor but still present.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean from start to finish which I find delightful. Medium carbonation and a slightly light body round this out to a damn fine beverage. Alaskan Brewing Co. produces some mighty fine suds. This is a great session beer and one I would drink over and over again.

Photo of lnashsig
2.8/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

another Summer beer for today, #BOTG 47!

Poured from bottle into brooklyn tulip. Pours a crystal clear yellow/orange color. Barely any head at all, kind of surprising. Smell- apple sauce, peach. lots of sweet malt character. Taste- apple juice. Hmm. carbonated apple juice. Barely any hop presence, and not much depth at all. This isn't great. Don't see coming back to it, and god dammit- I bought a whole six pack. It also isn't too carbonated. Overall, not pleased.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.46/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow. What a surprise. Remember how the old Bud commercials showed a poured glass of beer that looked so very refreshing and clean?
That's this one...only the taste is not a disappointment.
Poured a light crystal clear golden color with a med head of large bubbles that quickly disappeared. Very large bubbles escaping the glass settling down to a medium carbonation looking very pretty and refreshing.
Aroma is immediate...not overpowering, but you don't have to look for it. Slightly sweet, like fresh baked fruit filled (berry?) pastries....clean, fresh, sweet, hops noticable at all.
Taste is incredibly light an refreshing. Much like the aroma...slightly sweet malt....bread yeastiness...light fruit (very faint fruit).
Clean drying aftertaste. No noticable alcohol.
What a great summer cooler.
I could very easily session this beer or drink it all day long by the pool...on the lake....floating down the river....or simply avoiding mowing the lawn.
You get the's a cold March day and I'm thinking of California sunshine while enjoying this brew.

Photo of biboergosum
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A souvenir of a cross-border jaunt to see the Independence Day fireworks of Oroville, Washington...

This beer pours a clear pale yellow colour, with many fingers of thick, foamy white head which leaves some nice random branched lace around the glass as it recedes. It smells of fruity grain, and mild grassy, herbal hops. The taste is mild dry bready malt, some soft lemon essence, and some floral, soapy hops. The carbonation is on the low side, the body light, airy, and refreshing, and it finishes off-dry, biscuity, and somewhat floral.

A nice kolsch, crisp and malty, good for even a pseudo Canadian summertime...

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

Pours from a 22oz. brown bottle into a pint glass. It has a pale orange color with thick head and good clarity. The head fades quickly but leaves behind some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is semi-sweet and yeasty almost like fresh bread.

Taste is clean and mild with a slight hint of lemon. There's a grassy flavor at the end that is pleasing. It reminds me of a wheat beer with a bit more subtle depth of flavor. The balance is nice as well.

Mouthfeel is good, not too carbonated, and drinkability is there for sure.

I can't get really excited about a beer like this but it's good and seems to be done well. I would really need to try an "authentic" German version to know how this stacks up.

Photo of appenzeller
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours straw/gold with medium clarity and a thin head. Aroma is feint, flowery, light. Taste is clean and simple, good balance with a tip toward hoppy bitterness, hops here are floral and subdued. Taste is thin and clean but not watery, drinkability is off the charts. I'm not sure if summer actually ever arrives in Juneau but the folks at Alaska have made a nice kolsch all the same.

Photo of Magpie14
3.27/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: a raspy thin golden color with variants of orange. Many bubbles throughout and a handful clinging to the bottom of the glass. Bleach white head, very foamy, coarse, and all that remains is fizzy ring

S: soft fruit notes with light floral hops. Paired with a white grape juice sweetness with a drop of honey

T: reminds me of a wheat styled beer: very lightly roasted grains with a helping of caramel. It has fruits of delicate banana, oranges, and a few berries with a fruity white wine flavor. Hops have a accommodating snap in the mouth, very dry and clean overall
This would pair well with grilled and roasted foods of the summer season

M: light, fizzy, close to champagne feel. Has a sharp finish and hops help augment this feel

D: balanced, good flavors, mildly pleasing overall

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a good beer if you like to barbecue outside or drink beer while physically working. Its a refreshing kolsch style with a litte less flavor than something like curveball by pyramid but smoother and easier to drink. Good with bar food like burgers or wings or cheesesteaks or something. I get it when i go to hooters. overall it should have more taste for a kolsch but the grain and hops are present.

Photo of ChopperSmith
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard paint glass.

Appearance: Clear amber in color. One finger of off-white foam that fadedf fast and didn't leave much lacing or cap behind.

Smell: Floral hops and citrus, with a little sweet malt beneath.

Taste: Citrus hops with lemon and grapefruit profile, balanced well with sweet malts. A nice rendition of the traditional Kölsch style.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and light-to-medium bodied. Good carbonation.

Drinkability: Good flavors. Well balanced. A good interpretation of the Kölsch style (which is a style I really enjoy when it's done right). I would definitely drink this again. It's a good spring or summer brew.

Photo of ojclark
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Initial phenolic aroma of clove and a little banana quickly dissipated to a mild grain/malt aroma with slight DMS aroma detectable. Beer poured with a golden color with a very fine head and no lace. Several minutes after pouring, a mixture of medium and a few large bubbles continued to rise up through the glass.
Flavor was heavier than other Kölsch beers I've tried: more like a kristalweizen than a Kölsch. A pleasant flavor, but I'm not sure this conforms to the style. Palate was a little thin and fizzy. Not a bad beer, but falls short of other offerings I've had from Alaskan Brewing.

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Alaskan Summer Ale from Alaskan Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 710 ratings.