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!

Alaskan Summer Ale - Alaskan Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alaskan Summer AleAlaskan Summer Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

642 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 642
Reviews: 279
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 18
Gots: 36 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-01-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alaskan Summer Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 642 | Reviews: 279 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of henrysunset
3.15/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

tried this bottle on a unseasonably warm winter day as I mashed a batch of brown ale.

clear and orange, smells liek a slightly pimped miller high life. it's a bit sweet to the nose and a bot sour or perhaps turned.

taste is inoffensive but exceptionally bland. smooth and watery like an american macro, just not doing a lot for me. the fiishand aftertasste is pleasent but not very exciting.

henrysunset, Jan 27, 2007
Photo of rabsten
3.13/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from an undated bottle into a straight-sided tumbler. Orange tinted yellow with thin, foamy white head. Some lacing, but not much.

Malt dominated smell, some fruitiness. Not bad.

Mild maltiness on palate but not much else. Kind of watery mouthfeel. Fair drinkability only.

This bottle showed up out of nowhere at a friend's bar and he gave it to me. I have no idea how fresh this was or how the bottle was handled, so it's probably not fair to be overly critical. However, what I got out of this was merely an OK beer at best.

rabsten, Nov 11, 2006
Photo of johnbonham1980
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up as part of a mixed pack of Alaskan's Winter Warmer and their Amber/Alt-style. Rank this one behind the Winter, but overall a good one and will probably buy again when they re-release it.

Scant frothy head, about 1 finger, poured from bottle into tall pilsner glass. Usually this glass enhances head formation so I was surprised. Diminished quickly leaving minimal lacing.

Dark golden in color, nicely carbonated, good body and mouthfeel. Leaves a pleasant malty aftertaste. Can see this going really well with some mild cheddar.

Light hop accents, this is mostly a malt-focused brew. Good interplay between malt and yeast leaving an overall impression of a yeasty bread with some nice fresh apple notes. Apple comes out more as the beer warms. Nice butter and honey notes as well

Great drinking beer, could session these easily. Doesn't strike you as even meeting the 5% advertised abv...

This style has really grown on me the more I get into it; I like the Alaskan version for its increased depth vs., say, Hale's, which to my way of thinking is a little on the bland side.

Definitely worth checking this one out.

johnbonham1980, Oct 25, 2006
Photo of arizcards
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at Magnum's in early August for $1.69.

Beer poured a golden color with a decent sustained head. Nose is pretty non-descript, nothing special noted. Taste is especially crisp and clean, a fine combination of malts and hops. Mouthfeel is nicely crisp and it cleanses the palate well. Drinkability is good, a nice refreshing beer for an 80 degree Phoenix day.

arizcards, Oct 16, 2006
Photo of Wasatch
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a golden yellow color, nice carbonation, head quickly disappears, not much lacing.

S - Scents of malts, hops, spices, and yeast.

T - The taste is kinda sweet/bitter, nice clean finish.

M - Light-Medium body.

D - Drinkable. Not a bad brew, but not really my cup of tea.

Wasatch, Sep 13, 2006
Photo of bobarito
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a rinsed glass... Poured somewhat vigorously, it formed a nice inch of head on top that faded over the next few minutes, leaving a small (1/16") layer of foam with lace going up the glass to the original height of the foam. The beer is a nice golden color with sporadic bubbles rising. Nice looking beer.

The beer has a sweet, caramel nose. The fruity, estery profile mingles nicely with the faint hop smell.

When I took a few sips it was hard to identify a whole lot. It seems to be a clean, well balanced brew, and very drinkable. The caramel sweetness is definitely there and mingles into the finish. The hop bitterness pops out just after the swallow and a light bitterness lingers for a short while. The mouthfeel is a little thin, and I think the beer could benefit from a slight increase in carbonation.

As far as this beer's style accuracy, I can't say I would rate it very high, but styles are just that - styles. I'm not too picky as far as styles as long as the beer is good...and I think this beer is a great summer-time midnight-sun brew...

bobarito, Sep 01, 2006
Photo of Tang07
3.03/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks good, it pours a nice orangish gold with a light head that disappears pretty quickly.

It has a mild malt smell, with a hint of yeast.

The flavor is mild malt with not much hop.

The carbonation is just about right, maybe on the high side.
It is quite drinkable. I'd prefer a bit of hop to balance it out, but all and all pretty good.

Tang07, Aug 26, 2006
Photo of Citadel82
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh joy requited a Kolsch beer on a summer cruise through the most beautiful waters in North America. We are on a cruise to Alaska and to my amazement there are craft beers available on the ship! Even better ... they are excellent quality,craft beers.

This is a wonderful facsimile of a Kolsch with a healthy dose of American Hops. Typical Kolsch hazy yellow color, abundant white head with sticky lace, aroma of bread and viney hops. Taste is crisp, bracing hops with bready malt notes. A very refreshing tasty brew.

Citadel82, Aug 07, 2006
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Gueuzedude, Aug 05, 2006
Photo of Fugazme
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A decent-sized head forms and dissipates quickly... very light in color... blonde/slightly copper.

Aroma is malty with a touch of citrus/hop character... not a huge nose.

Taste is quite nice. A good grainy front with tones of fruit through the middle. I like it. It easy easy to drink and highly sessionable. Wouldn't mind having it around on a hot summer evening.

Fugazme, Jul 30, 2006
Photo of Gavage
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

Gavage, Jul 21, 2006
Photo of Phatz
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This beer pours a bright yellow with just a hint of orange. Small fizzy heady fades fast.

Smell: Toasty caramel malt aroma and hints of citrus hops. Very clean nose.

Taste: I am new to this style but I really it enjoy the brilliant simplicity here. Malt & hops - beer. Simple straightforward; quaffable. There is a hint of toastedness to the sweet (almost fruity) malts. There is a hint of citrus to the solid (almost spicy) hops. This is a beer made for drinking.

Mouthfeel: It has a nice light body, smooth, and very refreshing.

Drinkability: Sensational. This is a perfect choice for a Summer Ale.

Hope this is helpful.

Phatz, Jul 12, 2006
Photo of dirtylou
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz draft at "The Landing" in Port Angelos on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington

appearance: served a cloudy (yet clearing) golden-amber

smell: smooth refreshing citrus aromas, light grassyness, nice lemon zest...nice aromas for a summer kolsch

taste: An easy drinking and refreshing summer seaonal...grassy lemon, orange citrus, pac nw berry

mouthfeel: light-medium, crisp and refreshing

drinkability: strong

dirtylou, Jul 08, 2006
Photo of scottoale
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh from the tap, served in a pint glass , this is a bright yellow-gold with a small white cap.

Smells quite sweet and malty with a floral spicyness. Nothing outstanding hop wise.

A very malty flavor with a spicyness much like corriander. Overall sweet malty brew with a velvety smooth mouthfeel.

Mild ABV with a medium body, quite easy to drink and worth a try for something different...cheers.

scottoale, Jun 30, 2006
Photo of bennetj17
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale straw color, lots of bubbles but it doesn't add up to any head. Light bready malt aroma present in the nose, with a hint of fruit, perhaps lemon, hard to discern. The flavor carries more of the bready malt flavor and has a slight sourness and touch of bitterness in the finish to keep it interesting. Mouthfeel is light but not watery, plenty of carbonation. This beer was very easy to drink and refreshing. I think this is my first Kolsch so I was pleased that although it looked like a macro lager it didn't taste like one. Not bad and definitely a nice summertime choice.

bennetj17, Jun 25, 2006
Photo of goschool
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a cool label featuring an Orca in mid flight at sunset. The pour is golden, but somewhat darker than I had expected. The white head rescinds to a thin ring of lace fairly quickly. The nose is very soft with grain and slight floral and citrus hop aromas. The taste starts off doughy, then spices come in and caramel malt makes a brief appearance. Fruity, citrus and pear, and floral hops hang around in the background before helping to give this beer a nice crisp finish. This beer is refreshing, but it doesn't do a whole lot for me. Maybe these summer beers work better for those who live where there truly are all four seasons.

goschool, Jun 07, 2006
Photo of kgotcher
4.45/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 Bottle pours a straw to copper color with nice foamy white head.

Aroma is grainy malt, hint of hops, but generally not heavy handed.

Taste is clean malt flavor that leans more to grainy than sweet. Nicely balanced hops don't stand out but just do the job. Mouthfeel is light to medium and is very refreshing without any noticable bitterness or strong aftertastes.

Frankly speaking it is hard to believe this is an ale and not a lager. Very smooth and refreshing for an ale. Quafable is a word that comes to mind. . . Great malty flavor that shows off the raw grain without adding too much body or sweetness. Love it.

I think I have a new session brew for the summer.

kgotcher, Jun 06, 2006
Photo of joedon
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted on tap at Humpy's in Anchorage.

Crystal clear pale gold color with a thin white head. As clear as a lager but presumably made with an ale yeast.

Subtle aroma, mainly of grain and hay.

Nicely complex flavor for such a delicate beer. First taste of a mild residual sweetness, malt and very subtle bitterness. Next comes a slightly tangy wheat taste. Finally, more citrusy notes and a bit of estery ale flavor.

Nicely fizzy carbonation and just the right amount of body.

Very drinkable. Favorable comparison to summer wheat beers.

joedon, May 21, 2006
Photo of RJLarse
3.15/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I picked up a six-pack of Alaskan Summer Ale at the grocery store to taste, review and enjoy. I poured this beer in to a pint tumbler.

Pours a gold color and is clear. A bubbly one-finger white head forms and is gone quickly, leaving virtually no lacing on the sides of the glass.

The smell is quite strong and sweet with fruity aromas, melons, and herbal notes.

The taste is also sweet and herbal. There is a fruity melon flavor, a mild hop presence, and an herbal flavor like grass or spinach. The flavors are reasonably well balanced.

Mouth feel is light, crisp and refreshing. The beer is fairly heavily carbonated.

This is a very drinkable beer, especially for the summer season. I’m not a big fan of the style, but I would probably have it again.

RJLarse, May 20, 2006
Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a crystal clear straw color with white head that subsided to a thin layer of foam. The aroma is a very light bready scent with a touch of floral hops. The flavor is very clean and has a bit of a grainy huskiness to it. The bitterness is so slight that from years of drinking IPAs and barleywines I can't really even taste it. So to me this ale needs a bit more hops at least in the flavor category or maybe a touch more bitterness. Tastes like an all malt beer though and that keeps me coming back for more though for the price I would probably go for a Warsteiner as a great summer quencher. Great drinkability but I am a hop lover so I would grab a Pils next time.

RenoZymurgist, May 12, 2006
Photo of Dukeofearl
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle purchased in a 6 pack at LaBodega in Riverside, CA for $7.99 in May, 2006.

Pours a pretty golden color, with lots of carbonation, but a surprisingly short head life. By the time the pour was completed, the head was nothing but a partial veneer over the top of the beer.

Aroma is of beery goodness. Sweet, vanilla, I swear it's a faint cherry soda-like aroma.

Flavor is crisp, clean beer with a solid malt profile but a sharp grassy hop at the end. Slight sweetness buried in there, but a nice bitter counterpoint. It's a pleasant spring day, warm but not hot, and all I can do is think how good this would be on a hot day. Quite nice.

Mouthfeel is pleasant, but I expect the carbonation to make it a bit creamier. Ends up being gassy instead. My only quibble so far.

Easily drinkable. A solid, tasty beer.

Dukeofearl, May 09, 2006
Photo of Gusler
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer renounces the 12-ounce brown bottle a slightly hazy bright gold, the head is a brilliant white with a semi-creamy texture and the size average, lace forms a solid blanket to conceal the glass. Nose has a citrus like crispness, mainly sweet malt, with a nice hint of hop floral spiciness, start is somewhat sweet, the grain profile perfect and the top light to moderate in feel. Finish is prickly in its acidity, the hops strong and pleasing to the palate, very dry and a real treat to this old beer swiller, can’t tell you how happy I am to have Alaskan brewery beers readily available here in Arizona.

Gusler, May 07, 2006
Photo of ReebShorts
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an appealing clear golden hue, 1 finger fizzy white head fades, to a thin layer covering the enitre surface. Looks refreshing.

There's somthiing slighly odd in the aroma, i'm picking up on malts, grain, and something slightly sour, like bitter flowers, aor sour fruit. I'm not picking up on any hops in the aroma.

This isn't too bad really. Good carbonation, and fairly crisp finish. There is a slight lingering of sweet malts which I could have done without.

ReebShorts, Apr 28, 2006
Photo of Tupperwolf
4.28/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ah... how the packaging reminds me of my year stationed on Coast Guard Cutter Storis, Queen of the fleet - the oldest commissioned cutter. We patrolled the Gulf of Alaska and Bering sea, and never went a day or two without being joined by humpbacks, porpoises, Minke whales, or, most memorably, orcas. (I'll never forget BM1 Lochlan making the pipe - "Now for the information of all hands, there are orcas breeding off the port bow.... Belay my last... Orcas BREECHING off the port bow...")

The appearance is somewhat standard for this style; A medium-colored golden glass of beer, with plently of easily visible rising bubbles that don't do anything to feed the tiny head. A very small head appears on pouring, but pops by the time I sit down in my chair.

The aroma is clean, lightly spicy, with orange peelings and a slight doughy character. Saaz style hops make a tiny appearance. It smells crisp and inviting.

The mouthfeel has a lot of flavor! There are a few characteristics that seem to be simultaneous, yet distinct - yet simultaneous. It's fruity, spicy, and bready all at once. It never gets too fruity, because the crisp pear and orange flavors are kicked back by a coriander spice - which is subsequently taken over by a creamy breadiness. The flavors transition quickly, and it even tastes good right out of the bottle. Matter of fact, I drank the first four of my sixer without pouring.

Mouthfeel begins smooth and deep, and transitions to a crispness as the spiciness kicks in; It finishes doughy and creamy, with a little lingering malt.

Exceptionally drinkable beer, this will likely become a staple of this summer's festivities at my house and other places of gathering where good beer is needed!

Tupperwolf, Apr 23, 2006
Photo of SethB2
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appeareance is light brown, transparent with a fluffy head that disipates fairly quickly. Nothing spectacular in that department. Smells sort of like a Belgian, but with a more complete hop profile. Sweet fruits but also a real bitterness. Taste is good and much like the smell. Ripe fruits dominate with a small amount of hops. The malt profile is the real star in this beer. No doubt about that.

I could drink these all night. Literally.

SethB2, Apr 15, 2006
Alaskan Summer Ale from Alaskan Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 642 ratings.