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Monteith's Summer Ale - Monteith's Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Monteith's Summer AleMonteith's Summer Ale

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27 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 27
Hads: 42
Avg: 2.64
pDev: 31.06%
Wants: 1
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Monteith's Brewing Co. visit their website
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style | ABV
Euro Pale Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 04-01-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 27 | Hads: 42
Photo of Jsteez
2.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A bit thin, watery and cheaply sweet. Good for a mellow choice, but there are much better summer ales. On the flip side, it's still summer here at the beach in Busan, South Korea.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
3.08/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From bottle, Monteith's Summer Ale is a bright gold beer. I get Rata honey, ginger ,citrus and some spice.A splendid thirst quencher. Well worth a try.

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Photo of SmashPants
2.29/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Format: standard 330mL brown bottle with a simple but stylish label.

Appearance: pours out a clear dark golden in body with a white half-centimetre head with limited lacing. Looks okay.

Aroma: ginger, honey and spices, but smells a bit cheap, like essence was used instead of proper ingredients.

Taste: plenty of ginger and citrus up front, but once again it tastes more like a syrup rather than a proper natural flavour. Pretty ordinary.
Update: had this again today (01/02/2015) and it was completely undrinkable. Poured it.

Aftertaste: the flavours are bitter and yet also a bit saccharin on the finish. Some dryness. A bit awkward.

Mouth feel: quite light in feel and with a moderate carbonation that makes it feel a bit flat.

Overall: don't bother. A reasonably cheap tasting summer ale - there are better beers for less - this is $55 a case.

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Photo of chogm54
2.5/5  rDev -5.3%

330ml bottle poured into pint glass

A - golden, pours a white creamy head than slowly fades into a lacing of decent thickness.

A - very strong ginger - like ginger beer. Some honey and spice notes in there too.

T - some malts and honey with a huge ginger and acidic taste, reminds me somewhat of Berrocca. some faint bitterness in the finish.

M - moderate to high carbonation, light bodied, slightly watery texture.

O - this is basically alcoholic ginger beer, not ale. Maybe refreshing in summer, but this is not at all what i expected when i grabbed it off the shelf.

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Photo of soju6
2.95/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: Pours a golden color with a sudsy head that fades to some lacing.

S: Aroma of citrus, bit of malt sweetness and hint of spice.

T: Taste of mild citrus , a light malt sweetness with some fruit and bit of spice. Mild bitterness and a dry finish.

F: Light body, crisp, smooth and refreshing.

O: Nice beer to grab on a summer day.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
2.7/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours amber with a large, quickly fading head.
Nose shows hefty ginger and what might be nutmeg? Pretty overpowering. Also a faint vegetal/herb-like character.
Some ginger notes as flavours, followed by weak sweet malt and vegetal notes. No bitterness results in a cloying finish.
Could use more carbonation to dry things out.

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Photo of aBeeraWeek
3.38/5  rDev +28%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Monteiths Summer Ale pours a radiant golden amber lets through plenty of light. Head is light and thin and disappears quickly. There is very little in the way of lacing as the glass quickly empties. Not a classic looking ale, but what would you expect with a beer designed for hot summer days?

The smell is a clear indication of the taste journey you will be taken on when drinking a summer ale. It’s all about the ginger initially – not quite as punch as a ginger ale where I actually recoil when the zing of the ginger hits my nasal cavity – but a definite dominance. There is also some sweet honey (Monteiths actually add Rata Honey) to the brew, as well as light citrus and spicy herbs.

The ginger is strongly evident again on the taste. It is dangerously close to overriding the other flavours, but there is just enough maltiness to let you know you are actually drinking beer. The honey is there again and the citrus becomes more clearly defined as orange zest. The herbal spices are still there on the taste as well – a very similar taste to cloves which is a good match for the orange and ginger. My major criticism is that although the rata honey flavour is great the whole taste is just too sweet to have more than a couple of these. When drinking Summer Ale I have often felt the urge to move to something bitterer and more refreshing

It’s a medium carbonated beer with a light body giving it a good balance for drinking over a session

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Photo of doktorhops
2.98/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Jumping across the pond to NZ to try a beer from an alright (just alright) brewery: Monteith's. These guys are like the Burleigh Brewing Co. (or vice versa) of NZ; they produce semi-interesting craft brews on an almost macro level. Anyhow Summer Ales have always seemed like a bad idea to me. They mix the "heavy" ale brewing techniques with things like honey, orange and lemon, when really ales go better with flavours like chocolate or caramel... nonetheless I will proceed to drink them, rant aside.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A: This is a fairly average looking brew. Clear golden body with a white 0.5cm head that leaves a small amount of lacing in the glass.

S: Smells exactly like Bundaberg Ginger Beer! So yeah, gingery... No typical "ale" aromas (malt, hops, yeast) could be discerned because of the strong ginger note.

T: Tastes like Bundaberg Ginger Beer! (and no they aren't paying me to plug their product). The spicy ginger flavour is right up front, followed by the honey notes and then there is a mild hop bitterness at the end, but it's a ginger dominated show. I hope you like ginger (I was more of a Mary Ann man myself).

M: Nice and smooth, not heavy enough to be considered "creamy" like a Wheat Beer, but it's also not far off.

D: A drinkable brew? Quite, but with the prerequisite of liking ginger... a lot. Otherwise it's one of the more passable beers I've had of a style that is to me the uncle Fester of brewing styles; creepy and lonely. Yep that sums up Summer Ales for me; I want to love them, but they're just too weird to be lovable. Back to Pale Ales it is then.

Food match: Thai or Szechuan cuisine would be a good pairing with this beer.

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Photo of hutch312
4.2/5  rDev +59.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Touring through New Zealand by Motorcycle, this was the go to beer after a long hot day. The taste of ginger, honey and other unrecognizable spices, it is definitely a unique tasting beer, but is no where close to the same taste as other "summer shandys" or lemon soda beers. It is a mix between a ginger ale and a pale ale. Over all it is a great beer for hot summer days with unique taste.

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Photo of heygeebee
2.51/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Here's a bolter.

Reminds me of a drink I had when I was a kid in England - Limeade and Lager - in cans, around 0.1% ABV it was. Sweet sweet sweet.

This is very similar - highly carbonated, golden yellow with a white head. Looks alright.

Aromas of honey, lemon or lime cordial and a sweet soft drink style taste to follow. No hops. None!

Grab from an ice bucket, thump it down quick and it would be mighty refreshing, but don't call it beer. No, really.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
2.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Single bottle served with dinner at a Gold Coast restaurant.

Poured into a small, slightly chilled schooner glass. Pale amber, big bubbly head, decent retention on that.

Nose is spicy, with strong notes of ginger, lemon, orange and honey. Smells like an herbal tea one might have for a sore throat.

Sweet, spicy and with bold ginger and citrus flavors, with a mild herbal bitterness to the finish. Pleasant for a sip or two, but this brew because cloying and undrinkable after just a few moments. Just too much - pushing in to ginger beer territory. Mild carbonation, slightly greasy/oily feel.

A brew that could have been quite pleasant if the defining notes had been turned down from eleven. Instead, it just tasted like a gingerbeer mixed with a pale lager. Cloying and tiresome. I only marked it above a 'D' because at least there was an attempt to do something different here.

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Photo of eric5bellies
2.89/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Pours a dull Golden colour with a white head that dies

S - Aromas are sweet spice and Honey.

T - Very sweet tangy honey and spice and not a lot else

M - Light body and full carbonation.

D - Not a great beer but Ok if you want to slam one down on a hot day

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Photo of Finite
2.98/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Deep saturated orange Gold. Very nice appearance. A soapy head which dissipates down quite quickly leaving no trace of any head. No lacing either. Light carbonation visible.

S - Strong ginger and spiced meet honey-like flavors. Orange peel spiciness and some mild maltiness. Little to no hop aroma.

T - Ginger and orange flavours dominate an underlying maltiness and very very low hop bitterness.

M - Light and fine carbonation, thin but quite smooth. Overly so.

D - Alot of people are slamming this beer and it is very unconventional, granted but I have tried a few of these fusion, lime/ginger/lemon beers and they have been truly woefull, this is the best by far. Still If your expecting a Euro Pale Larger you will be very upset.

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Photo of femALEist
1.96/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I didn't even want to try this beer after the Radler Bier, but the bar tender in the brew pub insisted I try it, as it's apparently their best seller. The only difference between this and the Radler beer is that instead of Spite lemon/lime soda, this tasted like carbonated apple juice soda. Not sure which one was worse, but they were both the worst beers I tried on my trip to New Zealand.

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Photo of laituegonflable
2.97/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Enjoying a Summer ale on a very cold Winter evening. Ooh yeah.

Pours a burnished gold colour with large effervescent bubbling, but a disappointingly thin head for all its efforts. White in colour, thin crown, retains well but I'd like it thicker. Lacing is enjoyable, but fairly thin. Pretty average-looking, has a soft drink appearance.

Smells tangy, sweet and spicy. Hints of clove, banana and red apple on that. But actually smells a lot like mead, which I guess is the "honey-spiced" aspect. Nice smell, very pleasant. But not very beer-y at all.

Taste is also sweet and tangy with a slight carbonated flavour and a fermented honey kind of flavour on the mid. Hints of clove and cinnamon without any real bite, just the flavour of spice without the sensation. Feel is a little thin, with a little bit of a tingle at first that pretty much dies to leave none of that effervescence that I can see in the glass.

Overall this is a beer with pleasant flavours, but it's very sweet and too hearty to call itself a Summer brew. I'd say this would drink better heated up on a chilly Winter evening (which is kind of what I'm doing with it) A bit sickly when it comes right down to it, unable to be drunk all the time. Not too bad though.

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Photo of goillini93
4.13/5  rDev +56.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, I've always thought of myself as a beer snob but apparently I am way off base on this one. Monteith's Summer Ale is delicious. Perhaps it's a new summer and a new beer from the reviews that look like they might be from the last southern hemisphere summer? Anyway - sampled on tap, many times, at the Loading Ramp in Havelock North (that's Havelock Nth to the Kiwis, and Havelock Ninth?! for a little while to this dumb cowboy), Craft in the lovely city of Dunedin, and Monty's in Queenstown throughout February and March of 2009.

A: golden, crystal clear, in the pinty-like glasses on the North Island and the fluty-like glasses in the South. Great carbonation.

S: coriander? ginger? delicious? inviting? all of them

T: this is delicious, spicy and refreshing, the ginger comes through for me but backed up with enough malt and a smattering of hops that makes the ginger a strong bit player

M: it felt good in my mouth the second before I drank it. seriously, it was good.

D: are you kidding? coming from the land of double IPAs I could drink this all day, and I did - well, I probably drank more Original (that's another review). Absolutely delicious and unlike other summer beers, not at all cloying.

I thought the Summer was delicious. In fact, we brought 9 bottles home with us. Maybe it was just being in NZ - but I would defend this against many spring and summer beers I've had in the US. Thoroughly enjoyable.

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Photo of Kulrak
3.18/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orangy-gold color with very little head, which disappears almost immediately. Smells of citrus and ginger, very faint cloves & cinnamon there as well, very nice. The taste is very clean. There's some slight spicy flavor on the back end, but mostly it's just clean. Mouthfeel is pretty watery, some fizz as it goes down. Overall, it's actually pretty drinkable. It's not a bad summer ale, good for a hot day.

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Photo of brendan13
2.06/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Pours a still dark golden colour with a couple of centimetres of head that falls away quite quickly.
S - HUGE dominating ginger aroma. Hard to get anything else after that blast.
T - Like a shit macro lager mixed with ginger beer (non-alcohol bundaberg) Some earthy, spice presence as well. Quite sweet.
M - Light to medium bodied with pretty high carbonation.
D - I'm not adverse to ginger beer but I'd rather mix bundaberg non alcoholic ginger beer with gin or vodka than drink this ever again. The VB like beer flavour just does not mix well with ginger.

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Photo of rjimlad
2.51/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Years ago I had a Monteiths Black Ale and loved it so I was expecting good things from their other offerings. Alas...
The colour is an clear copper and there was a short-lived head but the aroma promised a very interesting drop. Ginger/cinnamon smell with a dash of lemon. In fact it smells like a good ol' shandy you'd give the kids or the missus once upon a time. The flavour is much the same but the ginger overwhelms the mix and is badly out of balance. The label says honey-spiced but the honey is lost in the mass of spicy ginger. The mouthfeel is near flat and lifeless so by the time you get half-way into the drink its like spicy stale piss. This could be a lot better with better balance and some spark. It seems Monteiths are mastering the anti-climax.

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Photo of VitBAficionado
2.55/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours a pale golden color. Crystal clear with little head and no lace. Heavy carbonation.
S: Ginger in spades. Little bit of honey hiding in there too.
T: Very sweet. Little bit of honey but way more ginger than anything else. The ginger dominates the aftertaste as well with the presence of some other spice(s) I cannot quit distinguish (nutmeg maybe?).
M: Syrupy in the same way fountain soda is.
D: This tastes as much like ginger soda as it does beer. There might be a decent brew in there but they would need to cut back on the ginger in a big way to have any chance of finding it.

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Photo of alexgash
1.29/5  rDev -51.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Golden yellow body. Clear. Puffy, foamy white head. Lemon and honey sweetness over barely discernible “beer” malt. Lemon and honey sweetness is overpowering and too artificial. The lemon is borderline citrus cleaner (Pledge) and I can’t taste much more. Maybe if you don’t like beer…drink this. The tour guide actually said that this and the Radler were aimed at people that don’t really like that beer flavor! Well done! Soda fizz carbonation, lively feel.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.25/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Dark amber colour with almost no head. Quite a lot of carbonation. Low viscosity. Looks like a soft drink.

The nose is ginger. And more ginger. In actuality it's more like asian pickled ginger. It's got a bit of sweetness, but there's very little else outside the overpowering ginger. Very one-dimensional.

The taste is pretty bad. Initial taste of ginger again, backed up by a strong hit of wet yeast. It's unbalanced and quite unpleasant. Eh. Mouthfeel very lifeless and dull.

Quite a disappointing beer. You could make a much better spiced ale for summer, and this just doesn't deliver.

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Photo of revdrjbob
2.23/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Jeez! do you reckon it needed a tad more ginger? I was a little bit excited about this beer, a nice summer ale? could be good. I was let down.
Poured golden into the glass, with almost no head that disappeared very quickly. Smelt of ginger. More like a ginger beer soft drink, than an alcoholic ginger beer. Was too overpowering. There was nothing in the taste either, but ginger, and a huge horrible sweetness. The label says to "try it ice-cold witha a wedge of orange or lime", that would probably be the only way to detract from th flavour of the ginger. No honey flavours at all, no after taste, possibly a bit too over carbonated aswell.

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Photo of ALEBOY
2.65/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

An interesting attempt at a summer beer.
Very heavily spiced with ...Ginger. Almost like a ginger ale.
The label proclaims that it contains honey, but it really takes a back seat to the ginger. I would have liked a bit more hop character and perhaps a slight touch of malty notes, but the ginger was just so bloody aggresive. One of the very few beers that I would suggest to drink very cold, and on a hot day a cold one of these would be a an interesting change as your first beer. But then I would probably move on to something else.

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Photo of diablo14
3.1/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

did someone say ginger? this beers got it in spades! i swear someone at monteiths accidentally dropped a case of stones in the vat. interesting, but not necessarily a world beater, and for a summer beer quite hard to drink.

looked like an inviting summer brew, full golden color with a beady head that remained present. smell was of three main things, honey, cloves and, you guessed it, ginger! the aroma was great, but then it all went too far. taste contained the same three underlying elements, just alot more potent. has a faint hint of malt, and some nice floral hops that unfortunately werent qute dry enuff in the bitterness stakes compared to the rest of the brew. had reasonable zing from the carbonation. still its too full on for what is supposed to be a refreshing easy to drink summer beer. becomes real hard work once it gets past ice cold. its trying to cover too many bases and doesnt stay within itself. lacks overall balance, and as others have stated, if you dont like ginger, give this a wide berth.

ive said it about monteiths before, its good to see a brewer have a crack at some interesting styles and ill give this beer some credit for that. but the two i had were enuff to tell me i dont need to go back to it, and that wont be any great loss to me.

as a further review after drinking a big session on these with a kiwi mate who really likes this brew, i have to admit the further you get into it, the better it gets. after a few of these i was actually enjoying it. you lose the power of the ginger after a couple, and it actually turns out to be quite refreshing. im going to upgrade my marks slightly based on this. as of 21/12/03.

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Monteith's Summer Ale from Monteith's Brewing Co.
68 out of 100 based on 27 ratings.