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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

(Read More)
Reviews: 294
Hads: 746
Avg: 3.6
pDev: 18.89%
Wants: 25
Gots: 95 | 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: 746
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.47/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear light yellow color with a 1 inch white head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Random spots of lacing dot the glass on the drink down. Smell is of sweet grains, citrus, and some fruity notes. Taste is exactly the same with the sweet grain taste being the most prominent and the fruit flavors coming through on the finish. This beer has a lower carbonation level but is still bubbly and smooth. Overall, this is a pretty good beer and I can see why this would be a Summer selection. Very easy to drink with a lower ABV but nothing all that special.

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Photo of brentk56
4.17/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a modest head and little lacing

Smell: Grainy aroma with a bit of biscuit

Taste: Starts out with a bready flavor that becomes very fruity, mid-palate; after the swallow the fruitiness lingers and provides a slightly sweet flavor on top of the grainy bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Nice fruity tones make this a terrific example of the style

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light, thin straw color with he tiniest bit of an orange hue. Thin head and negligible lacig as it goes down. Nose is pretty light with wheat but brigs forward some fruity elements. I get a bit of lemon and maybe some tangerine. Flavor draws back a bit with some wheat and a bit of hops. Some fruity elements remain. Mouthfeel is light and crisp. Not too much flavor, but a nice feel and good drinkability.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured an orangey color beer with an average size head with some medium retention. Aroma of grainy and somewhat unrefined grain is slightly bland. Taste is also dominated by some unrefined and grainy malt and some semi-sweetness. Body is slightly oily with a full body and some medium carbonation. Interesting take on the style but not something I would go for on a regular basis.

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Photo of largadeer
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber with ample white head. A touch of citrus comes through in the subdued nose. Malty and toasty with subtle hops in the background. Clean but not particularly complex. Fairly light-bodied stuff, but creamier than I was expecting. Nothing too special here, but definitely a solid, sessionable beer.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, a souvenir of a cross-border jaunt to see the Independence Day fireworks of Oroville, Washington, a few weeks ago.

This beer pours a clear, medium golden yellow colour, with three fingers of puffy, thickly foamy, and somewhat bubbly off-white head, which leaves some nice random chunky tree branch lace around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells of bready, grainy malt, some muddled pome fruit, a bit of yeasty banana, ethereal peppery spice, and mild grassy, leafy, and herbal hops. The taste is slightly doughy pale and caramel malt, some soft lemon, orange, and indistinct stone fruit, fading estery yeast, and more floral, grassy, and kind of soapy hop bitters.

The carbonation is a bit fizzy, a bit frothy, but overall on the low side, strength-wise, the body medium-light in weight, airy, and generally smooth. It finishes off-dry - grainy, and somewhat grassy and floral in its lingering bitterness.

A nice and refreshing Kölsch, crisp enough and certainly malty - good for even the Canadian pseudo-summertime, which I'm sure is a concept that the folks up in Alaska where this is made have a good grip on. Worthy of giving a go, especially with this one's ease of availability, at least north and south of our borders.

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Photo of emerge077
3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Orange gold color, already a little odd for a Kölsch. Thin cap of white foam, about a fingers width, that settles quickly. Still glassy surface with minimal lace and a thin strand of foam at its edges.

Sweet aroma, slight bubblegum and shortbread.

Flavors are similarly sweet, some orange and sugar cookie notes, pale malt and light banana ester from the yeast. A bit watery and thin bodied, and lightly astringent. Not really something i'd revisit with better local options available (Krankshaft, Summertime).

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Photo of zeff80
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly, golden-yellow color with a small, white, fluffy head. It left no lace.

S - It smelled of grains and caramel malt. There were some floral notes, too.

T - It tasted of sweet caramel, slightly bready. There was a mild grassy bitterness.

M - A crisp, sharp and smooth Kolsch-style ale. It was light bodied and easy drinking.

D - This is a nice summer brew. It is tasty and makes a good session brew.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright gold with the merest suggestion of orange. The smallish cap is yellowed ivory in color and is a little too frothysoft to persist or to leave much lace. This kolsch smells like a wheat beer to me; soft and understated. There's no toasted maltiness to speak of and barely any hoppiness.

On the palate, it's untoasted blonde malty as well as lightly spicy-herbal hoppy (Hallertauer). I also detect a slight metallic flavor that is fairly easily ignored and fades anyway. The beer is bolder on the palate than it was in the nose, but isn't anywhere close to bold in a general sense. Each mouthful starts out moderately sweet and finishes mildly sweet with a lingering, light stickiness.

Alaskan Summer Ale is an unassuming, unchallenging, balanced, drinkable summer ale. It isn't overly impressive, but then I don't need to be blown away by every beer that I crack open. It does what it was undoubtedly designed to do.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another in a series I am working my way through this weekend. I went for the lighter fare right after dinner. Served cold and poured into a pint glass.

The pour was yellow straw colored with a good amount of carbonation rippling throughout into a big fizzy white head that settled dwon to leave a bare top after a few moments. Light wet hay in the aroma, hints of banana and maybe clove? Clean crisp flavor here with a very light body and a clean and very quick finish, leaving almost no flavor behind as it moves past the tongue.

Overall this is not bad at all, but put in the category of a Kolsch and I have had much, much better. Still I would go for it in a pinch.

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Photo of mactrail
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Plain and simple. Light golden amber color in the Stella glass. Pleasant foam and well-carbonated in the mouth. Thin body.

More smooth than crisp. Just a hint of malt and biscuits in the nose. Not as fragrant or perfumey as many in the Kölsch style. More of a regular lager taste, but definitely maltier than most. Aftertaste is more malt than hops. Very little bitterness.

Quite drinkable but it might get tiresome with the rather flaccid character. The 12 oz bottle, from Trader Joe's.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average.

Served refrigerator cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with a fruit tart.

A: Pours a four finger beige colour head of fair cream and thickness, and good retention. Colour is a clear pale copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Fresh floral hops, orange rind, clean malts, and lemon peel. An average strength aroma.

T: Orange rind, clean malts, floral hops, some lemon, and wheat-esque grain. A pleasant crisp taste, but it lacks complexity and subtlety. Nicely balanced. I like it.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Too light and thin, weakening the impact of the bright flavours. Adequate carbonation.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but far from Alaskan's best beer. I like it more out of the bottle than on-draught. There are better Kolschen available.


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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from plaztikjezuz, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a very thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is bready with light malts, a little spice and some hops.

T: The taste starts out spicy and bready, then a decent hops presence comes in to provide a good balance. The malt character is light as it should be in this style. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not filling at all, mild kick, good representation of style, I could drink several of these and it has that refreshingness factor which makes it a nice summer seasonal worth drinking for a long time.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.29/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured cold into a standard ale glass
A - Golden amber with a minimal head that becomes a white ring on the sides of the glass. Lace forms and descends rapidly.

S - Mild + malty, slightly cheesy yeast not with a beet of spice.

M - Smooth, crisp carbonation w/ malty somewhat dry texture mixed with a tidbit of spice. Medium light with a full feel.

T - Gentle biscuit + honey flavors blend with lightly toasted and sweet notes. A nutty texture melds with effervescence that leaves a clean yet full flavor of ale yeast character. I enjoyed the flavor which is not a common summer ale taste.

D - A refreshing summer ale. A honey-like Kolsch with subtle peppery spiced yeast. A pleasantly malty ale with a dry aspect and clean finish.

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Photo of Jason
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
4.02/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bomber pours an effervescent gold into my Muhlen Kosch glass with 3 fingers of pearl white head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Slight citric & grainy notes

T: Some honey malt, citric lemon hops with slight dryness up front. Bready notes, some chalky dryness, & some honey notes once warm. Finishes with floral hops, honey & touch of fruittyness

MF: Vigorously carbonated & light bodied with good balance

Drinks extremely easy, this will be a nice summer time staple, thanks for joining the party here Alaskan!

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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 WVbeergeek
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
3.07/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours yellow with a thin head that soon disappears.

The smell is very thin - some berry-like fruitiness under a barnyard mustiness.

The taste is of light malt with some wheat-like crispness. Honey sweetness with light fruit.

The feel is also light. Considering the style, that would be fine, but a quick effervescent carbonation turns to a watery thinness. Still, it is good for a refreshing thirst quencher.

Easy enough to drink. A "beat the heat" beer that is not so exciting, but not bad.
I've been wanting to try this one, and thank bitterbill for including in our trade!

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Photo of mothman
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a finger of white head. Color is a clear gold.

Aroma: Clean and grassy. Bready malts. Some light citrus. Maybe a hint of biscuit flavors.

Taste: Mimics the nose, but more bready and a little more hoppy/zesty.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean. Light bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends a little dry.

Overall, a very easy drinking beer. Not to much here, but that's what makes this style awesome. Great for a summer day. It would be easy to kick a few of these back.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.05/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

06/25/05- Purchased at Osco Drugs in Billings, MT.

Presentation- 12oz undated bottle poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Small large bubbled head that immeadiately evaporates. No lacing with a light colored amber pour.

Smell- Mainly some malt and light hops. Maybe a tad stinky.

Taste- Very sweet malts with a very small touch of hops. Light spicing added in for taste.

Mouthfeel- Moderate to a high carbonation level. Sweet on the back tongue.

Drinkability- Didn't really do it for me. A bit too sweet and not many hops involved. Was a bit disappointed with this one.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.86/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Try though I might, I simply could not get any head to develop on this beer. The color, however, was a wonderfully clear golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity. The nose had a light malty sweetness to it. The mouthfeel was thin-to-medium with a dry, light flavor on the tongue. The finish was likewise nicely dry. It was a perfect summertime ale.

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Photo of Gavage
3.86/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: clear yellowish orange in color with a 2" head. Mild lacing developed.

Smell: light citrus is all that is picked up by the nose.

Taste: very light malt level here, with soft citrus, grass, and very mild bitterness. Simple but extremely refreshing. A nice example of a flavorful summertime beer.

Moutfeel: crisp throughout. Clean aftertaste. Light-medium in body.

Drinkability: refreshing and enjoyable. Got to enjoy this on a cruise in Seattle, and this was a perfect beer to enjoy the sunshine and skyline.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a brilliantly clear, dark gold color and is topped by a frothy, initially four finger thick palest of the pale tan colored head. The aroma is a mix of fruit and herbs at first; sort of a berry note predominantly with a touch of leafy herb-like notes. Actually the berry note is the most pronounced note in the nose of this beer.

The berry note continues through to the flavor of this beer, it is again the most pronounced note as well. A sweet malty note accentuates the fruit character as well. A sharp, clean, yet in no way dominating, bitterness is found throughout the flavor profile of this beer, and helps to temper the slightly heavier body that is contributed by the sweetness. It seems to disappear in the long finish, where a malty, caramelized grain note seems to linger. Perhaps a touch fruitier than I was expecting from a Kölsch, but it adds a touch more character to this beer. Certainly a tasty tipple, especially for a hot summer's day; I certainly am enjoying it.

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