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Brooklyn Summer Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

Brooklyn Summer AleBrooklyn Summer Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,107 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1107
Reviews: 449
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 13.69%

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed in as "British Summer Ale"; lightly dry-hopped pale ale, all barley malt, 11 Plato.

(Beer added by: Sammy on 09-04-2006)
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Ratings: 1,107 | Reviews: 449 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Premo88


4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into pub glass
(best by Oct. 2013)

L: gold, crystal clear; 1/4-inch head of white foam that disipates quickly and doesn't stick; as clear a brew as any I've seen, looks like gold water with bubbles

S: malty malty and maltier as it warms up; sweet yeasty bread notes

T: follows the nose to a degree and a solid copy of the style; just a slight bitterness up front followed by that English pale ale sweet finish; a slight hint of grain (barley, milo); tastes just a hint watered down, but it's not as bad a thing as it sounds ...

F: light but solid, very drinkable, plenty of carbonation ... it is watery but not so much that it ever stops tasting/feeling like a beer

O: thank the beer gods above that I ran into this at Onion Creek in Houston; SO good ... exactly what I've been looking for, an American-made true pale ale in the English style. I don't over-rate beers, so this one's modest numbers from me should not be decieving: If you like beer, you will like this brew.

It is EXACTLY what you want in a "summer seasonal," and it's at least as good as any of I've tried so far, if not the outright best.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2013 05:57:27 | More by Premo88
Photo of sleazo

New York

4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I don't think I have tried this befor-e so I picked one up at the Greenpoint Deli on Manhattan.
Best before 12/07
A-Pours a bright copper with a steady stream of tiny bubbles to replenish the head. The head is slightly small but there is good lacing. The small soaplike head prevents this from scoring higher.

S-The malt is the predominant smell here with a very bready quality. The hops do make their presence noted with a soapy/grassy aroma. This is a very clean smelling brew.

T-A very mild pleasing sweetness hits up front followed by that light grassy hop flavour. The hops are not too strong but I do not think that is what they were going for. The malt is the main player here and it is very crisp. The taste is very Englishand better than alot of the originals.

M-creamy yet efferevescent. Perfect for a hot summer day.

D-This is a great session summer beer and different than traditional summer offerings. Refreshing would definitely be my word for it. If you are expecting an American Pale you will be dissapointed but if you aren't expecting that you will be pleased. I will be picking up a sixer of this.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2007 02:23:43 | More by sleazo
Photo of dstc


4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with nice foamy white head. Head falls slowly leaving nice lace behind.

Aroma is of hops with a bit of spiciness and mild citrus.

Yeasty malt and citrus, maybe lemon, coming through in the taste.

Decent mouthfeel. Fairly full and nice carbonation.

Easy drinking summer brew.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2008 17:57:17 | More by dstc
Photo of tlazaroff


4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drank out of a goblet.

A: Medium-Yellow color with a thin soapy head, bubbles don't really stick to the side of the glass. Almost no visible carbonation bubbles.

S: I do get a little fruit on the nose, and something else to it as well. Maybe slight butterscotch and bread?

T: This is biscuity on the palate, with a nice slight herbal spice on the backend.

M: Medium carbonation is visible but you can feel the bubbles and foam everywhere in your mouth, it coats the entire palate as easily as water does.

D: Very easy drinking, I could throw back a few of these in a sitting. I would defiantly buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2010 20:03:33 | More by tlazaroff
Photo of sullied


4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light, golden color. Clear. Just as expected for a summer ale.
Taste: Has a light hop bitterness, but not overpowering by any means. Slightly sweet.
Overall: A wonderful pale ale and definitely something that would be refreshing on a hot summer day. Definitely recommended.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2011 00:27:00 | More by sullied
Photo of david131


4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours an ever so slightly hazy yellow with a number of streams of rising carbonation. The white head is thin but has good retention.

S- Biscuity malt, apples, pears, strawberries, and cut grass. Smells fresh and refreshing.

T- Semi-sweet biscuity malt and a light fruitiness. Simple but sufficiently tasty.

M- The body is creamy and the carbonation lightens it up and gives it a nice bite.

O- A simple, tasty, and effective beer. Great for a summer day.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2012 02:44:03 | More by david131
Photo of Lexluthor33

New York

4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden color with some haze. Good sized head with a decent lace.
The aroma is of citrus,malts with bread tones/light malts.
The taste is lemon,hops and barley. The feel is smooth,crisp,slightly dry and bitter. The carbonation is moderate.

Notes: I reviewed this under bottle and I must write that this beer tasted better from tap. Perfect summer beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-20-2008 04:37:00 | More by Lexluthor33
Photo of jkrich


4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with "best before" date clearly stamped on the bottle. I really enjoy the color scheme on the bottle - sky blue with deep red and yellow.

I poured this ale in a standard pint glass: the pour revealed a clear, deep gold color with very little head or lacing.

The strength of the aroma surprised me when I opened the bottle: a somewhat wine like odor typical of British style ales.

The initial taste is a buttery, malty taste with a slight wine flavor aftertaste. For a summer ale, this one has a surprisingly complex taste profile. In the mouthfeel and aftertaste, this ale reminds me of Fuller's summer ale I had in a bottle years ago. The hops give this one a crispness and very subtle bitterness to balance everything.

Decent carbonation gives you a slight burn on the back of the throat as well as a slick feeling on the tongue.

This would be a fine session ale for any season. The bottle states 5.0% ABV which is ideal for a long evening. A very nice change from the ubiquitous "kolsh", "wit" and "American wheat" styles offered in the summer.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2008 22:46:29 | More by jkrich
Photo of allengarvin


4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a nice golden color, with a substantial, very frothy head. The nose is simple but nice: a little hoppiness, with a little maltiness. The taste is spot on for a general English bitter. The predominant flavor is a nice grassy hoppiness, though bitterness is not too high, matched well with a good amount of malt, fortunately not too caramelly like many US interpretations. Well-balanced with a light fruitiness.

Not a complex beer, but quite quaffable. A good session beer, and one of the better Brooklyn beers I've had.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2009 02:34:12 | More by allengarvin
Photo of jbphoto88


4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ripened wheat gold, super clear with a few thin bubbles making their way up through the brew. A tan head pillows on top and sits there like a floating rice cake.

Smell is pleasant, yet thin. Mostly sweet malts and thin grassy hops. It's clean and crisp and fits the style very well.

Taste is again clean and crisp leaning towards a dominating cereal malt. It is a little on the watery side of things but I still find it interesting enough to elevate it well above average. A moderate bitterness pinches lightly on the sides of my tongue but doesn't yield any more then a light grassy/ metallic note.

Soft, fizzy carbonation add to the experience of this easy drinking beer. What can I say I dig this brew. It has all the right flavors in the right places. Could it be better... sure but I sure enjoy it the way it is.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2009 23:10:30 | More by jbphoto88
Photo of stewart124


4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

brilliant straw yellow in color with a puffy white head that leave a bit of lacing along the glass.

Lots of bread in the nose with a very obvious straw and a earthy/grassy hop aroma. There is also a hint of yeast character.

The mouthfeel is crisp and clean with esters of pear and just a bit of very ripe banana. The hops are quite mellow but add a nice amount of grass and earth to this summer ale.

This is a nice beer for a warm evening in Cincinnati.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2009 01:47:01 | More by stewart124
Photo of oglmcdgl


4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at ujs glenside.

A- crystal clear sunset yellow with a small cap of white head.

S- crisp and clean pale malts with hints of honey and sugar in the raw. Slightly fruity with citrus and papaya.

T- very clean and refreshing, semi sweet and fruity. Hints of bubble gum and honey.

M- lite to medium in body with a mid level carb.

D- very drinkable and super refreshing. A great summer beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-26-2010 00:36:43 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of plfahey


4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Deep yellow with burnished gold highlights and good clarity. Moderately large white dense head has decent retention.

Aroma-Sweet grainy breadlike malt, with nutty hints that remind me of marzipan. There are also some light fruit esters, perhaps apricots or peaches. Intriguing.

Flavor-Sweet apricots, light and crisp, with a dinner roll bread character. Low floral hops in the finish. Low hop bitterness steps in to dry out the flavor, but light fruit and cereal notes linger on.

Mouthfeel-Medium light body with moderately high carbonation. Very smooth and relatively crisp.

I wasn't initially very impressed with this beer, but the more time I spent with it, the more it intrigued me. Definitely tasty and very quaffable-this would in fact make for a great summer beverage.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2011 05:43:40 | More by plfahey
Photo of MadCat

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like I'm the first to review this in CANs! This will make CANquest part 3 for me.

Appearance: A pale straw yellow color, very clear, pours with great white head that dissipates fast but leaves some lacing

Smell: Muted hops, my guess would be East Kent Goldings, but that is purely a guess. Citrusy and floral.

Taste: Very refreshing light taste, light malts, muted hops, somewhat bitter. Some spice, some floral, and some citrus are the main components of this.

Mouthfeel: Light, refreshing, good carbonation

Overall: This makes a perfect summer beer. I just wish it was a little cheaper, but I still don't feel bad if I drink a couple in a sitting. Drinks super easy, and in cans would make a great tailgating beer.

Serving type: can

05-28-2011 02:59:49 | More by MadCat
Photo of indiapaleale


4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour - pale straw colored with a decent sized stark-white head. Clean and clear in appearance. Looks light bodied.

Aroma - some grassy and light malt aromas. A bit of a sour malt smell is evident. I also get a bit of citrus, mostly lemon as well as a faint aroma of fresh hops.

Taste - this is where this beer shines. Okay, the look and smell may not totally grab you but the flavor profile of this summer beer hopefully will. Crisp on the tongue with some light malty sweetness followed by a nice tanginess and some lemon flavors. There is a nice hop flavor in the background and in the finish.

Overall - Brooklyn Brewery did a great thing when they decided to put this beer in a can. It's a great candidate for bringing along on any outdoor adventure and should be easy enough on the palate for pretty much any type of beer drinker. Personally I really enjoyed this beer and as I've never had it in a bottle I'd have to say it was great out of a can.
Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. I bought a 12-pack as that was the only format available and I'm definitely glad I've got a bunch of these left in the fridge.

Serving type: can

06-06-2011 02:50:11 | More by indiapaleale
Photo of mdr4669


4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

App: Light orange yellow with with about a finger of bubbly carbonated looking head that leaves a patchy lacing around the glass.

Smell: Very balanced smell of sweet sugar, bread malts, and some lemon tartness.

Taste: A bit of a wine like grape taste to start, that is followed by some lemon and some sugar sweetness.

MF: Very light, very easy to drink, a very balanced a laid back summer ale.

OA: If they were ever to make a Brooklyn Light, (I hope that'll never happen)… I hope they just repackage this… It's a fine summer brew.

Serving type: can

07-02-2011 00:33:44 | More by mdr4669
Photo of ktrillionaire


4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm drinking it out of the can. The aroma is mildly herbal-hoppy and has a faint lemon note as well. It tastes quite a bit like a hopped-up Kolsch, with very pale dry grain notes, minerality, herbal-floral flavors, and a hint of lemon zest. It is not fruity or buttery like I think of an EPA as being. The feel is crisp and refreshing. Good summer beer.

Serving type: can

07-12-2011 22:01:02 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a summer ale so don't expect anything too complex but Brooklyn do a good job of combining a few different styles in one thirst quenching beer. There is the citrus notes of a Wit combined with a hop note of a British Golden Ale and a clean finish much like a lager. Tastes good and works wonders on the patio.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 15:08:55 | More by canucklehead
Photo of Hoptometrist


4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from the can into a strange glass at Noodlecat

A- Poured a clear bright golden color with lots of visible carbonation and a soapy head that left some minimal lace

S- Some strong floral and grapefruit notes, some sweet malts

T- Very balanced flavor profile. Orange citrus, floral hops notes, bubblegum, sweet cracker malt, and a little bit of grapefruit

M- Crisp, prickly carbonation, medium body, finished dry

O- A very drinkable and balanced pale ale. A solid canned beer.

Serving type: can

05-26-2012 23:57:02 | More by Hoptometrist
Photo of BEERMILER12


4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BB OCT 2012

A: Pours a golden color with a fingers worth of head

S: Some spicy/floral and citrusy hops along with a light barley graininess dominate. Not much behind those, but they leave a nice inviting aroma

T: Follows the nose, with the barley being the majority of the flavor throughout. Hops lend a nice citrus note, and are slightly bitter. Bready and mealy due to the barley

M: Light-medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Definitely has the feel of a beer that would go great with many different foods and wash them down easily

O: A solid brew for a summer gathering with food. Would go great with BBQ or really any food. It also fits the style well and is a good choice for a summer beer because of the qualities described above

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2012 01:44:53 | More by BEERMILER12
Photo of wingman14


4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium yellow with a frothy white head. Smell is pleasant and more powerful than expected. Hops up front with some malt coming through as well. The taste is a nice mix from start to finish of the hops and malt, with a bready flavor. A nice crisp beer, light mouthfeel, nothing overpowering and great flavors. Overall a great summer beer, great session beer.

Serving type: can

06-24-2012 00:52:28 | More by wingman14
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If you look at Brooklyn's Summer Ale as an English-style summer ale, it's pretty much spot on for the style although most examples from the UK offer a tad bit more hops in at least the flavor. The maltiness is quite distinct, however, hitting you squarely in the nose aroma-wise, and then following in the flavor. It's straw-like, grassy, and a touch earthy - and the hops that follow are very much the same. To guess, I'd imagine there's some Maris Otter mixed with a non-floor malted base, and Fuggles with a bit of Goldings thrown in. There's a mild bit of fruitiness to it, but it's really just about the rounded malt and hop profile. It's not complex, but it's not intended to be. It's lighter than a pale ale, well, at least less bitter, and basically just a nice, easy drinking ale that's got some nice flavor to it.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2007 00:58:36 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of sawbones420


3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I look forward to this uber-sessionable seasonal every spring. While this fine ale deserves to be enjoyed out of a glass, I invariably end up drinking straight out the bottle, since it's usually my default brew during the warmer months - when my drinking habits are at their most casual.

Appearance will be based off the label since that's my chosen glassware. This is one hott lookin beverage. The so ugly it's attractive clash of colors make for a rather sexy choice in packaging. The logo is Brooklyn's standard.

Dry, crisp, REFRESHING flavor with a surprisingly ballsy malt backbone (thanks to the British two-row barley). A huge plus to this beer is the lack of lemon zest, which is an [over]utilized ingredient in many, many brewers' summer offerings. That's not to say citrusy notes aren't present - they certainly are - but this quality by no means dominates the palate. There's a distinctly British flavor going on here, and this is a good thing since the Brits are the kings of session ales.

Nothing stands way out while enjoying this beer, which again, is an asset. The alcohol is low at 4.5%, making it easy to down a sixer on your own with minimal bodily consequences (if you're steady drinkin').

By far my favorite "designated summer beer," I wish this brew had a much larger presence in the Boston market where unfortunately, the sub-par Sam Adam's Summer Ale reigns supreme with its legendary Iron Fist of Mediocrity.

My next goal is to convince Brooklyn Brewery to release this beer in six-pack tallboy cans. Oh man, I'd be in heaven.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2008 03:13:05 | More by sawbones420
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a yellowish color and a mostly thin texture. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Decent lacing.

S: A big malty smell with this one, along with some hops.

T: A sharp taste of barley malt and hops. Not the most complex taste, but definitely likable.

M: This beer has a lively amount of carbonation and a super dry finish. Light-bodied.

D: While I'm not a huge fan of pale ale, but this was a tasty, easy to drink brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2009 13:08:16 | More by avalon07
Photo of twiggamortis420


3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear light golden color with a thick layer of fine foam that has good retention and lacing.

Smell is spicy and lively with kolsch-like yeasty aromas and freshly malted barley. A fair amount of floral and herb hoppiness.

This is a nice, flavorful take on a summer ale. Grassy hop flavors add a nice crispness to the heavy bready maltiness. Plenty of carbonation add to the thirst quenching quality of this beer. I think just about anyone who drinks beer can appreciate this one. Me likey.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2009 17:46:36 | More by twiggamortis420
Brooklyn Summer Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 1,107 ratings.