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Alaskan Summer Ale - Alaskan Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alaskan Summer AleAlaskan Summer Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

294 Reviews

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Reviews: 294
Hads: 740
Avg: 3.6
pDev: 18.89%
Wants: 25
Gots: 93 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 294 | Hads: 740
Photo of NolaHopHead
3.46/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Light golden, bright n clear, fizzy head disappears fast. Aroma is grainy with a hint of fruit. Crisp cracker grain taste with a touch of citrus. Finishes dry with a little grass in there. Overall good summertime brew, refreshing if looking for a clean, mild tasting brew.

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Photo of archyquaffer
3.92/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A moderate pour from a stubby into a shaker produces about an inch of frothy white head. The beer is a pale amber color and quite clear. Carbonation is on the high side.

A subtle floral hop aroma melds with an equally subtle fruitiness. The flavor is also subtly fruity, but with a semi-dry finish accented with caramel and with a touch of earthy bitterness.

This is a nice beer and a good summertime quaff. Purchased as part of a variety 12 pack which sold for about 15 bucks.

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Photo of OKbrew89
3.49/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a beer mug. Hazy gold color with a two finger head that recedes quickly and leaves half an inch of lacing. Aroma of floral hops and grain. Taste is floral hops followed by a bready middle and a dry finish. Light body and medium carbonation with no alcohol aftertaste.
A nice attempt at a kolsch. It was lightly hopped for the style, but very quaffable and refreshing. It isn't something I'm likely to come back to, but it hit the spot in the Texas heat.

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Photo of staubot
3.69/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle and came out with a small head that has ok retention and little lacing. Slight hazy coloured with the right carbonation look for a Kolsch. Sent of floral fruity hops. Tasted was clean with a slight lemon matiness. Maybe not enough hops but some was present. Mouthfeel was a good for a Kolsch with maybe slightly too much carbonation. Overall a good North American go at a Kolsch. One of the better tries I've had so far and like it advertises, a great beer for summer heat.

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Photo of Kuaff
4.07/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Cellar temperature in a tulip.

It's a golden-orange of great clarity with very fine sediment flecks visible if I look close. A centimeter of white froth was there, but it went away quick.

The aroma is... a bit of sweet lemon and vanilla, and just a little bread and grains. Not much, but promising enough.

Ah, there's the bread. It was hiding in the flavor. A smooth, almost minty-cool current of citrusy vanilla takes hold first, and then said bread takes it's rightful place on my palate. It finishes crisp and clean, of course.

Nice feel. Feels full in carbonation, yet light on the tongue.

Nothing much not to like. A kool Alaskan kolsch.

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Photo of OrtheusMaximusRex
3.54/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Might be my least favorite Alaskan Brewing offer...all others are very solid in their type. I am not a big fan of the Kolsch style, especially when there are plenty of German beers in the style or closely related styles at the same price. Sorry Alaskan, my dear friends, but not this one...I'd first drink one of your nice hoppy pale ales, or hold onto your Big Mountain Pale Ale, which is a very nice beer.

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Photo of Furlinator
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed this on a getaway trip to Palm Springs where the temperature was 98 degrees at 10pm. This refreshing kölsch hit the spot. Light grains, slightly sweet with some faint citrus accents. Very good.

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Photo of KLHBB
3.57/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Gold color, a smell I can't identify --- rocks? Rain soaked gravel? A taste of black pepper and grapes, refreshing, a very nice beer. I've only discovered this style this summer, I see it's a popular summer seasonal. Light, clear, refreshing. This has more substance than the other Kosch's I've tried. For the style, I don't know if that's a good thing, but I'm enjoying this beer.

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Photo of fizzy
2.94/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I like Alaskan beers. I have a feeling, however, that the mystique of Alaska is getting in the way. So it is with the Summer Ale, the Kolsch style beer.
A couple of weeks ago I was drinking Kolsch beers in Koln. Must have drank 5-6 different brands, all perfectly chilled and in the small glasses they like to serve it in. They share a common heritage so all sort of taste very similar.
Now the Alaskan. All the Kolsch beers I drank in Koln were yellow, not the pale gold of the Alaskan. All the Koln beers were, for the most part, light in flavor ( ice cold), yes, fruity and easy to drink. The Alaskan? Hummm, to heavy me thinks. On and on I could go, but the Alaskan Kolsch just isn't, in my opinion, a Koln Kolsch.

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Photo of Myotus
3.92/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle (best by date September 2015) into a stange glass. Pours with a half finger's worth of foam that dissipates into a quarter's worth within one minute (nice and slow dissipation rate, I can appreciate that). Bubbles become mild once head settles. Pure gold in color. Has very strong, biscuity malt aromas (I love that smell personally) combining with strong earthy hop aromas that almost overpowers mild black pepper, red grape, and lemon peel aromas along with very subtle yeast ones. Initial taste is a punch of biscuity malts and a jab of earthy hops that are almost instantaneously followed by strong black pepper and mild lemon peel flavors. Mild red grape flavors along with a hint of sour yeast enter act two as the initial taste continues in strength with the exception of the biscuity malts gradually growing stronger until that, along with the earthy hop flavors, are the only flavors remaining in the aftertaste. Full bodied, medium-strong carbonation, too dry of a finish to be crisp (which is a shame given that this is a "summer ale"). Definitely not what I expected from a kölsch, but was still pretty good.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 7/11/2015. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy deep golden yellow color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, biscuit, light honey, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and light yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, biscuit, light honey, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Light herbal/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, biscuit, light honey, and herbal/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice robustness and balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and light yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Very clean flavors, with noticeable but very well restrained yeast ester notes. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and slightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish as expected of 5.3%. Overall this is a damn nice Kolsch style. All around great robustness and balance and pale malt, earthy hops, and light yeast ester notes; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Alaskan Brewing's Summer Ale last week for $1.69 at The Lager Mill. The weather is starting to warm up and a Kolsch sounds pretty good today, so lets see how it goes. 2015 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks nice, it's got a nice design to it and it's a little eye catching. It poured a nice darker golden color that took on more of an orange hue when held to the light and it had almost three fingers worth of fluffy off white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left lots of patchy lacing behind. This is a good looking beer, I have no complaints at all.

S- The aroma starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with some fruity yeast being the first to show up and it imparts a nice apricot and stone fruit like aroma that's pretty nice. Up next comes a slight spice aroma followed by the malts which impart some pale malt, light biscuit malt and sweet malt like aromas. This beer has a good aroma, the fruitiness sets it apart.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly lower amount of medium sweetness with the fruity yeast still being the first to show up, but it's a good amount lighter this time and it still imparts a little bit of an apricot like aspect. Up next comes a light spice flavor that goes into the malts which impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma and this time there's also a cracker malt like flavor. On the finish there's no bitterness with some sweetness taking it's place and it has a biscuit and cracker malt like aftertaste. This is a pretty nice and fairly true to style Kolsch.

M- Smooth, crisp, clean, slightly refreshing, on the thick side of being light bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. This beer has a good mouthfeel that works well with it, I have no complaints.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and I thought it was a good example of a Kolsch, it had everything that I look for in the style and I thought the fruity yeast made it just a little unique. This beer has good drinkability, I could drink more than a few of these, especially when it's hot out. What I like the most about this beer was that it was true to style while still being a little unique. What i like the least about this beer is that more of that fruit yeast didn't come through in the flavor, but it didn't really hurt this beer. I would buy this beer again when looking for a nice Kolsch and I would also recommend it. All in all I was pretty happy with this beer and it tasted pretty good on this warm day in Mid Michigan. It's one of the better beers I've had from this brewery and it's above average for the style. Good job guys, this was a tasty Kolsch, keep it up.

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Photo of JAD1956
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

First off... So dang easy to drink. A lot! Beyond that.... Not quite authentic for the style- more malty breadiness needed, not picking up any true Nobel hops, slight phenols. But I can drink this all day and even into the next day.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.77/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Clear, pale, bright orange with thin off-white head. Smells of orange, banana, and grain. Aromas fall away quickly. Taste is similar, reminds me somewhat of a hefeweizen or witbier. Banana qualities are from the yeast/esters I presume and the orange (or lemon) could be either yeast/ester fruitiness or hops or both. Rindy and lemony in and around the finish, definitely the hops, but a bready aftertaste. Medium-bodied with soft carbonation but plenty of it. Quite smooth.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Summer Ale pours a clear darker golden color with a small but lacing head. There is a very crisp and light malty aroma. The taste is very crisp, creamy, nice pronounced pale malt flavors, some citrus notes. Nice full flavor, good feel. Overall its a stronger and very tasty Kolsch.

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Photo of pat61
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%

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.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

As Summer begins to close, I pour my last one of this six pack into a stange (so glad I only recently learned about this beer vessel). Though many times before I've had it in a pint glass, luckily, as I sit here and ponder this beer, I'm comforted knowing I'll have this next Summer as well.
The appearance was a delicate glossy yellow color with a slim white head that dissipated within seconds. Light lacing stuck and then slid into the body.
The smell had some sweet corn with a delicate crisp grassy presence of hops in the background. Light citrus comes through.
The taste was basically the same.
The mouthfeel was slightly crisp and smooth with a nice refreshing texture.
Overall, I'll see ye again next Summer - matey! Cheers.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.29/5  rDev -8.6%

Kolsch! Kolsch! Kolsch!

Summer and Alaska don't seem to pair together too well, but I like the Orca on the front so let's go!

Serving style : 12 oz stubbie glass bottle/8 oz miller fortune cup for appearance

Appearance (3.5) : Pours a warm orange/yellow haze that looks beautiful when held up to the light. More clear than opaque. Glows. Head recedes rapidly and disappears.

Smell (3) : Whatever is there is very light and floral. I'm getting orange rind, lemon zest, apple juice, raisin, and a hint of booze at the end. It's fairly pleasant but very faint.

Taste (3.5) : Very nice until the finish. Almost identical in the way that the booze hits your palate just like it did in the nose. I don't like that. The overall flavor is nice, it is hoppy and pleasant. No malt. Hops are light and fruity. Peppery. A little spice and cilantro. As it warms it takes on an exclusively peppery orange flavor.

Negative flavors that surface later on are wet paper and booze. The positive flavors tend to outweigh these though so overall it's not tanking the score.

Mouthfeel (3) : Zippy carbonation that follows all the way down. Light bodied. Finish is wet and papery with a very faint husk of dryness.

Overall (3.29) : Best Alaskan product i have tried thus far. If it was sitting in a cooler at a pool party I'd be more inclined to grab this than many others as it is refreshing and easy to drink without sacrificing hops or flavor. Schell's Zommerfest is a far superior Kolsch and so far that's the only other one I have to compare it to. Summer Ale is right, and this is wheaty and zesty just like a Kolsch should be.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.69/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-golden color with a smallish white head and good lacing

S-bread dough, light fruit, hint of yeast, light caramel

T-bready malt, light Kolsch yeast, little caramel, light spice

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-easy drinking but lacks any really good Kolsch flavors

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Photo of AtrumAnimus
3.14/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This one pours a pure and filtered gold with a thin short lived white head that has no lacing of note.

The nose is is sweet with peppery spicy, some citrus and moderate hops. There are mild notes of floral and fruit as well

The flavor is dry malt with some biter-sweet hops that has a sweet finish. a light refreshing beer that is good but not great and has an acceptable bitter finish.

The mouthfeel is a bit watery but acceptable.

Overall a drinkable beer but nothing special.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Yellow with tinges of orange and clear with streams of small bubbles rising. Head and lace aren't that impressive.

Aroma and taste are pretty good, with a bit more taste than aroma coming through. The description is pretty spot on, malt and hops are balanced nicely and there's a touch of kolschy yeast.

Body is light and highly drinkable, fairly dry, an overall pretty good brew. Can't find much to complain about on this one, it's pretty good.

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Photo of vkv822
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz : pilsner glass

Clear golden with a thin, short lived foamy white head.

Clean grassy, crackery, biscuity notes in both the aroma and nose. Quite nice, especially on a warm summer day.

Medium+ body, foamy carbonation.

A solid, well done Kolsch. Easy drinking but still flavorful.

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Photo of boddhitree
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Looks like a Pils/Kölsch.

Aroma: Pils malt aroma, some lemon with a citric smell

Up front: A very little bit of bitterness, but more noticeable is a tartness and slight bite, but overall here smoother than a pils.

Mid: Here’s also just a little bitterness, and more tartness/astrincency noticeable. On the sides, a tangy, lemon-like but not really lemon mild sourness. There’s also a slight sweetness, but not Pils malts, just a bit of pure sweetness

Back: All the same flavors as above, stronger here, a tangy lemon-like tartness is quite sting, too.

Aftertaste: I’m left with a slight tang and a lemon-ish flavor lingering.

Mouthfeel: A little dry but quite thick. Feels more like a Pils swishing around the mouth. Thicker that what I remember a Kölsch being.

Overall: It’s been a few years since I’ve had a real Kölsch from Köln, so I’m not sure really sure if my memory of what they tasted like is at all accurate. I remember the tartness, but I also remember a really crisp dryness and almost a sourness. So, I get the feeling I’m almost drinking a Pils, and that’s something one never gets from drinking a Kölsch from Köln, so I have to question this beer’s authenticy. The mouth feel is definitely too Pils-oriented and not dry and crisp enough.

But, regardless of hitting this style or not, it’s a pretty good beer. It’s almost dry, but not really. It’s got lemony, citrus-like flavor up and down the tongue, so yes, this is as advertised, a pretty good summer beer. I can imagine drinking it on the beach or poolside, but I hate to say it but I don’t think it’d drink more than a bottle or 2 at any sitting, for there’s just something missing, but I’m not sure what. I like that it’s got some Pils malt sweetness but it’s not a major component, just a minor note that comes and goes, depending on what part of the tongue you’re focusing on.

I think a 3.6 of 5 is in order.

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Photo of Foyle
3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a healthy 3" white sudsy head that recedes rapidly. Very faint lacing, modest amount of carbonation bubbles streaming. Color is a light golden and clear.
Aroma: mild toffee aroma, some grassy smell, just a hint of hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel: light and frothy like a soft drink with a mostly dry finish.
Flavor: toffee, lightly roasted barley malt, grass, a bit of lemon, and some bittering hops in the finish.
Overall: pleasant, drinkable. Not outstanding, but not bad either.

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Photo of Redneckwine
3.92/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

cold 12oz bottle into pint glass

Appearance - Crystal clear and light gold color, not much head development or retention at all, not much lacing to speak of

Smell - Crisp and clean scent...flowery and a bit herbal. Slight biscuit and grain goodness

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tingly carbonation, medium/light body, smooth and refreshing! Taste is more of the flowery/herbal hops action, mixed with nice, clean biscuity malts. Slight hit of fruity sweetness, but finish is decidedly dry with low bitterness.

Overall - Though not attractive in the glass by any means, this is a tasty and refreshing brew, and is aptly named as it would be perfect on a hot summer day. I'll definitely come back to this.

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Alaskan Summer Ale from Alaskan Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 294 ratings.