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Brooklyn Summer Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Summer AleBrooklyn Summer Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

495 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 495
Hads: 1,680
Avg: 3.58
pDev: 24.86%
Wants: 37
Gots: 372 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Sammy on 09-04-2006

Brewed in as "British Summer Ale"; lightly dry-hopped pale ale, all barley malt, 11 Plato.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brooklyn Summer Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 495 | Hads: 1,680
Photo of zimm421
3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Has a below average white head that has a thick consistency, not great staying power and a very minimal amount of lacing.

The nose is bready and yeasty and not much else. Maybe a slight hint of spices. The taste is very uncomplex. Just lots of bready malts and some yeast. A slight hint of lemon and pepper. Not real impressed here. Something that would be good on a hot day but pretty boring other than that.

Mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied, with an average amount of carbonation; very drinkable. Overall, a good summer beer, but other than that, I wouldn't touch it. I understand that's the point of this brew, but I'm looking for a bit more refreshment and taste out of a summer beer. This is also something you need to drink quickly because as it warms it becomes far too sticky and less refreshing and the good qualities really start to disappear.

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Photo of rarbring
3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is clear dark straw/bronze colored, the off-white head settles quite fast but leaves good lacing.

The smell is very sweet fruity, like canned peaches in syrup. Some lemon zest.

The taste starts sweet, again that fruit syrup, peaches, pears and apricots. Then some orange peel bitterness.

Medium low carbonation, very small bubbles, a rather small body, a smooth long dry finish.

Well, as a summer drink it has some merits, could replace rose wine as an aperetif on a summer evening.

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Photo of WSB
3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a healthy golden color. Head is thin, white, grabs the glass.

Smell is surprisingly muted- very mildly bready and yeasty, with the faintest hint of citrus. A few swirls to release the aromatics doesn't really bring much else out.

Mouthfeel is light, somewhat bubbly. Appropriate for summer.

Taste is very good and matches the smell profile to a T- Very mild, modestly malty, with bread notes and the faintest ever suggestion of some kind of remote citrus bitterness, but its barely perceptible. The blend of two row British malts and German Perle and American Cascade, Fuggle, and Amarillo Hops really creates an awesomely understated yet balanced malt/hop taste.

Finish is clean and crisp and refreshing. A great summer brew.

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Photo of Gmann
3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly toasted straw color with a wispy white head that settles into a light cap.

The aroma is light and fruity. A bready pale malt, some light brown sugar sweetness and a touch of mineral water. The malt is not as toffee sweet in the aroma as a traditional EPA.

The taste is of a fairly neutral bready pale malt. Some malty sweetness and a lemony note that drys the finish. The hops add some grassy notes. Again, a pretty neutral flavor, doesn't really lean any sort of way. The malt profile seems light for a EPA.

The feel is light and dry; perfect for a summer ale. Sweet malt up front with an offsetting earthy bitterness in the finish. Good balance. Finishes suprisingly dry.

A refreshing "summer" brew. No bold flavors to weigh this one down. Some easy drinking.

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Photo of saintwarrick
3.21/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice gold with a lacy white head. Aroma is some grainy malt but not much, and there's a faint twinge of citrus mixed with wet cardboard. Taste is citrusy and light, more resembling a pilsner than a pale ale, very sharp and acidic. Not much from the hops, and its pale ale-ness doesn't really show through for me.

Refreshing at the end, typical for a summer brew, but I'd have trouble picking this out of any run-of-the-mill summer brew.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.21/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: straw yellow, 2 finger head, good lacing

S: faint coriander, orange peel, malt/grain

T: grain/hint of lemon + coriander, earthly pine, light bitter crisp finish

M: light/med body, slight tongue prick, semi-dry

O: Solid session brew, not world class. Good gateway brew.
The muted hops and light dry body is perfect for summer and
timid palates.


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Photo of Metalmonk
3.22/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found a 6-pack way cheap, I guess because it's no longer officially summer, although the hot, muggy day here is trying to keep it going. Perfect time to pop a couple into a big ol' pint glass.

A two-fingers head is produced with an effortless pour, and it stays fluffy for a good while. The color is a sunny golden yellow exhibiting plenty of clarity, but not what I'd call "clear."

The aroma brings in a nice fruit elements, like pear and sour/young peach, and a mild white bread/biscuit-like cleanness. A little musty with a faint hint of mineral/metal, but the fruit cleanly swipes most of that away.

Maybe this has been sitting in the store since late spring? Because it tastes a bit lifeless. I'm getting this in before the "Best Before Oct 2010" recommendation, so who knows. Maybe it's supposed to be this way. Pear remains in the forefront, with a crisp hoppiness coming in from behind, and a bright white bread character. Still, it's all just a bit subdued and muted to get all that excited about.

Feel is appropriately crisp, tingly, snappy...with a decent slickness rounding off the sharper points.

I'd rate the drinkability way higher if it actually tasted better...doesn't taste bad, it's just not very interesting.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance: Nice amber. Decent head retention.
smell: Balanced hops and malt. Pleasant though humdrum.
taste: Nothing special but tasty nonetheless.
drinkability: not a bad brew. Not something i'll be running out to buy.
So many good beers out there. If I hadn't had some world class examples, this may have stood out. Easy to get spoiled.

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Photo of BostonHops
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

pours a clear golden tone while yielding a 1" foamy, off-white head. so-so retention; not much lacing to speak of. nose is middling. subtle notes of bready malts and some hoppiness, but overall pretty meh.

flavor delivers more characteristics along the same lines. bready/toasty malt... muted hops - a touch of citrus in the background... OK tasting, not blowing me away. medium bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation.

overall, a fine, inoffensive summer ale. fits the bill for a refreshing, "good to enjoy during a summer BBQ" type of beer, but won't bowl you over with flavor. for my money there are better summery brews out there.

(originally reviewed: 07-05-2011)

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was served from the tap at St. James Gate in New York, New York. It arrived in a generic nonic glass, glowing a toasted amber coloring. It held a one finger head of uniformly tight white bubbles, showing okay retention into a crowning ring hugging the sides of the glass. Lacing was punctate and minimal. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared to be moderate. The aroma boasted crisp pale malts, stale adjuncty metallics, dried straw, apricot and browned apple sweetness, grassy and lightly citric hops, black pepper, buttered wheat toast, phenolic plastics, and soft boozy fumes. Our first impression was that the flavoring was just as even as the nose, but with that same dank adjuncty quality permeating the grain bill thoroughly. As we sipped, the taste began with biscuity toast, pale and softer amber malts, dried baker’s yeast, grassy and earthy hops, raw barley, and light honeysuckle florals to balance. The middle came to a peak with brash metallics, corny adjuncts, white flour, pear fruitiness, toasty pales, gravel, and muddy, yeasty bite. Washing through the finish was a blend of light banana esters, continued pale and partially red graininess, crisp toast, aluminum metallics, lipstick waxiness, and floral and grassy hops. The aftertaste breathed of gritty graininess, muddy pales, table salt, tree bark, floral hop wash, apricot sweetness, and fruity apple tart zing rumbling up from the stomach along with booze and black pepper spice. The body was medium, and the carbonation was medium. Each sip gave nice slurp and smack, but little cream, froth, or crisp finishing pop. The mouth was briefly coated with foam, but this quickly dripped clean into malted dryness and light hoppy puck. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank back easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was its evenness through the aroma and the flavoring. This helped to maintain smoothness and ease of drinkability through to the end of the glass, with no one flavor or component really outshining or overpowering any of the others. The core ingredients, however, felt a bit cheap, with adjuncty inclusions to the malt bill, and a rather skimpy hop thrust. While the hops were there, you had to look for them, meaning that you were left looking for the refreshment and cleanliness in your beer. This is really not the drinker’s job for a commercially available summer beverage that you would hope would want to do the job for you. That said, the beer went down smoothly enough, and is definitely something you could swill a few of while taking in playoff hockey at a bar with some friends.

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Photo of TerjUGA
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a golden straw color, slightly cloudy with a fourth inch head that slowly fades.

S- smells of honey with mixtures of biscuites, some citrus.

T-initial taste of honey sweetness, hints of hops here and there, finishes dry with a light aftertaste.

M-medium carbonated, pretty smooth, well balanced.

D- good beer but not the best, wouldnt be my first choice but its not bad.

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Photo of DaveBlack
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A gift from a friend, I've found very few summer ales that are really good, but I'll give it a shot.

A: Light amber with almost no head to speak of, and what there is disappears quickly. Very little lacing.

S: Light malts, cereal grains and a hint of hops. Not a bad smell, just not all that exciting.

T: Tastes a lot like it smells. Light bit of malts, some cereal grains. A gentle taste of hops finishes it. Good for a summer day, but there are little other times when I would seek one of these out.

M: Light, with moderately high carbonation.

O: Meh. It's OK. Light and refreshing, but kind of tastes like a slightly classed up light American Lager. Worth drinking for sure, but only in the right circumstances.

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Photo of perrymarcus
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

pours a clear golden tone while yielding a 1" foamy, off-white head. so-so retention; not much lacing to speak of.

nose is middling. subtle notes of bready malts and some hoppiness, but overall pretty average.

flavor delivers more characteristics along the same lines. bready/toasty malt... muted hops - a touch of citrus in the background... OK tasting, not blowing me away. medium bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation.

overall, a fine, inoffensive summer ale. fits the bill for a refreshing, "good to enjoy during a summer BBQ" type of beer, but won't bowl you over with flavor. for my money there are better summery brews out there.

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Photo of VictorWisc
3.24/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Got this at an event. Not something I normally buy.

Pours weak fluorescent yellow, like urine after taking a high-dose vitamin-B-complex pill (generally associated with Riboflavin). Head plentiful, large-grained, white--and fleeting. No lacing to speak off, some visible carbonation that quickly dissipates.

The nose is the best part of this beer. Initial hit of resin and peach out of the can, more of the same from the glass. This is followed by a hint of malt and generic spiciness.

The flavor is close to something I would expect from Belgian Witbier sans floral yeast note. Mostly orange--almost like a blend of mild natural orange soda and AAL.. A bit of pepper and straw, followed by somewhat unpleasant bitter aftertaste. Fortunately, no lingering notes.

The beer is nicely carbonated, with not-quite-medium body--the only characteristic that distinguishes this "ale" from a lager. No consequential alcohol feel.

Unfortunately, this only reinforces my distaste for beers labeled "Summer" anything. It clearly suffers from an identity crisis and falls short in almost every category. Not something I would buy or recommend buying.

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Photo of SteveB24
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Taste is grainy, and slightly yeasty, with the faintest hint of citrusy hops which i guess what makes it any more "summery" the a typical ale, it's called Ale but tastes like a macro lager with just a touch more depth of flavor and a thicker body. still, nit a bad choice if the other option is a macro. i'd be satisfied drinking this ice cold on a very hot day.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a light golden color with a foamy white head on top. The smell of the beer has a touch of lemon zest and malts in there. The taste had a hint of lemon as well and is fairly malty. The mouthfeel is pretty lighter and is decently refreshing. Overall this is a lot like the Sam Adams Summer Wheat but not as good.

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Photo of tempest
3.26/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad beer, but there's a watery feel that turns me off. Still, it's a nice amber color with a caramel malt profile and light cascade-like hops. So for a summer ale, it has malt and hops, the problem is just that there isn't quite enough of each. I feel like this might be better enjoyed outside in the heat, but inside it comes off like craft beer-light.

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Photo of dar482
3.26/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

The beer comes in a sunset golden orange with a bit of fluffy head.

The aroma has stone fruits of apricot, peaches, lemon, grains, though also a bit of a metallic or adjunct character as well

The beer follows with that pop of fruitiness in the front, a bit of flower, and then onto this wonderful crackery malt. The flavor falls off very quickly onto a grainy adjunct flavor. Lots of carbonation.

A reasonable brew, but a bit too adjunct side for me.

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Photo of ParnellJoseph1138
3.27/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A-Golden ale color, clear without a hint of haziness, lightly carbonated.
S-Not much, very little hop or malt aroma
T-Must admit a rather bland taste experience. A very minute hop flavor but the malt has a decent body. The yeast provides a breadiness and it delivers a clean finish.
O-This beer offers some pleasing malt and yeast character, but I expected a fruity and lush taste profile.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330ml bottle bought from GapWines, Belfast...

Poured a light golden colour. White head poured thick and foamy with a pock marked topping then faded to light covering... some light carbonation bubbles drift slowly to the surface... light lacing...

Aroma - Some juicy tart fruits (lemons and limes, pears,), quite earthy and grassy, floral honey, light sweet grainy malts, doughy, some rubberiness, talcum powder traces, herbal, peppery hops...

Taste... light peppery hop bitterness, quite floral, metallic hints, light sweet biscuit malts, some juicy fruits (lemons, apples, limes), some saltiness, faint floral honey sweetness...

M&D - Fairly sharp and dry... light bodied... very quaffable at 5%

Overall - A decent enough brew for a summer day... nothing groundbreaking just a decent quaffable brew..

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Photo of Stimack
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured to a dark golden yellow color with a fair sized white head that had good retention and did leave a little lacing along the sides of the glass. The aroma while possessing some wheat like characteristics seem to have a pretty good amount of hop scent. The flavors have a number of noticeable things, wheat flavor, toasted flavors, some citrus and a lasting, but mellow, hop flavor at the back of the mouth. I really wonder if they are trying this one to be similar to Hop Sun from Southern Tier? It is a ok beer, a good one for the summer months but really does not seem overly interesting. I would get it again but do feel that it is one of Brooklyn’s more basic choices.

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Photo of Kendo
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a weizen-style glass. The result -- a 2+ finger bubbly off-white head that settled over a clear golden body. OK head retention that left foamy lacing clinging to the side of the glass.

S: Faint all around -- mostly grains and cereal but with a hint of fruity or florally hops. Most notable part of the nose is simply how mild it is.

T: Tastes of grain husks early on, but with a florally hop sweetness following quickly and then a slightly dry and citrusy bitterness at the finish that lingers into the aftertaste.

M: Light in heft, pretty well-carbonated.

D: Light all around, so this one goes down pretty easily.

Notes: I had it with grilled teriyaki shrimp skewers with pineapple over a mesclun greens salad, and it was a decent match for such a light meal. Not a terribly interesting brew as far as taste or nose goes, but as a light, easy drinking summer ale it fits the bill.

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Photo of garuda
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz brown bottle, best by date printed on neck

A - Pale golden color, white head that has decent retention and some lacing.

S/T - Light on the nose, but both are similar with pale, grainy malts and just enough grassy, floral hops to give it some bitterness in the finish. I couldn't find too much going on here.

M - Light/medium body, medium carbonation, finishes mostly clean, crisp.

O - Not really what I think of for a summer ale. It wasn't very refreshing, and it drank a little tough towards the end, with the malts being a bit too strong for the hops.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.29/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a golden amber color with a finger of off-white colored head that quickly disappeared into a thin lacing of foam that barely covered the entire top of the beer.

Aroma: Very floral with lots of hops and a hint of citrus, like grapefruit.

Taste: Like the aroma, there is a lot of hops and citrus, with a small amount of a malty backbone.

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp and smooth with some really good carbonation to tickle the taste buds and cleanse the palate.

Overall: It’s a good offering from Brooklyn, but not one of my favorites. Actually, as summer beers go, it’s one of my least favorites. If I’m going to drink a Brooklyn Beer for the summer season, I’d rather have a Pennant Ale 55.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.29/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

355ml Bottle from Good Spirits Co, Glasgow:
Clear golden straw with plenty tiny bubbles rising to the surface & a foamy white head, sitting about 1cm tall & holding well.

A definite EPA smell, some sweetness with a bread like aroma & some dough, quickly followed by a grassy aroma & some earthy malts. Some grain & citrus with lemon seeming strongest.

Earthy malts & grassy hops, followed by citrus & a few nondescript fruits. Some light malts and barely with some bread rounding this off.

Smooth bodied & about light-medium with a slight tang from the citrus & medium carbonation throughout the beer. The finish was crisp & dry with about moderate bitterness levels.

Fairly disappointing given the reputation of Brooklyn Brewery. The taste was pretty much straight down the middle and completely average with nothing to distinguish it from your run-of-the-mill, big brewery English pale ales that are much easier and cheaper to get a hold of in the UK. Not one I can recommend, especially if you live in the UK as there is much better out there.

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Brooklyn Summer Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 495 ratings.