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Summer Honey Ale - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summer Honey AleSummer Honey Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

160 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 160
Hads: 309
Avg: 3.38
pDev: 21.89%
Wants: 6
Gots: 25 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company visit their website
Montana, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-16-2002

When the days get longer and the air gets warmer, we get outside quite a bit. And we build a big thirst. Summer Honey helps us shake off the winter and slakes our thirst for a refreshing brew. Summer Honey is a full-flavored summer seasonal ale. Brewed with a unique, balanced blend of spices, Northwest Hops, and Montana honey. Summer Honey is brewed during the early days of spring and released around the first of May each year. Light colored, light bodied, and very drinkable, Summer Honey sacrifices nothing to create a flavorful beer that can be enjoyed during the height of the Summer.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 160 | Hads: 309
Photo of thekevlarkid
3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Out of the bottle this Montana brew was a wet-straw gold color with a white head one finger thick. Faded after a few minutes to a thin skim and then a tiny ring. Moderate lacing. Aromas are mostly wheat and some hops with pale malt behind it. Flavors are almost all wheat, crisp but the honey is very hard to find. Slightly sour. 'Wet' finish of grains sticks to the tongue. Decent mouthfeel and fizzy carbonation. OK, but not much more than that.

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Photo of tronester
3.22/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear golden with a big white head. Smell is faintly of grain, not much here. Taste is light and grainy, super clean grain bill, and a good bitterness from the hops rounds it out. Not much hop flavor. Mouthfeel is somewhat watery and thin, high carbonation. Quite drinkable though, a simple, 'no-frills' beer that would be nice to drink every once in awhile. Though this really doesn't seem like an American Pale Ale (I would say its an American Blonde Ale) its worth a shot.

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Photo of Jayli
3.22/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had 8/13/09
This beer pours a clear honey color with a one finger of white head that disappears immediately. Minimal to no lacing on this beer. Nose is of pale malts, honey, and faint wheat tones. Taste is of grainy and pale malts up front then a bit of citrus with a honey sweetness in the finish. Lighter bodied, medium carbonation, really thin feel but finishes with a crispness.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
3.23/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light honey Color with alot of visible carbonation Short white head  

Pale malt. Not much going on at all. Very disappointing. Smells like a euro pale lager. 

Tastes like a euro pale lager but thankfully a little better with the extra touch of honey and spice notes. 

Mouth. Very lite and refreshing Good carbonation.

Overall this beer was pretty boring. There are many summer honey style beers I prefer over this one. I wouldn't get this again.

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Photo of PirateUlf73
3.23/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Nice light to medium-gold color with a nice white head.

S: Sweet malt and honey character. Honey is quite strong on second evaluation.

T: Somewhat spicy, but the honey dominates the taste. A bread-like sweetness with little in the way of hop bitterness. Quite sweet and savory.

M: Fairly light-bodied (as it had damned well better be!) with a somewhat even mouthfeel. Finishes pretty clean, with a honey-sweet aftertaste.

D: Light and sweet, but perhaps a bit too sweet for a hot summer day (for my taste anyway).

A good effort from Big Sky, but I found it to be a tad too sweet for my taste. The honey is quite dominant and thus not very well-balanced. May do well to lure some away from mead.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Perfectly clear straw golden color with quickly dissipating, small bubbled, fluffy white head. Mostly grain and bread on the nose, honey detectable. Taste and aftertaste both incredibly bready. Cornbread, to be exact, probably due to the honey, which is otherwise not very distinct on the palate (even in a Dos Equis or a Rolling Rock it is stronger). Mildly bitter from hops throughout, though strongest relative to other flavors on the finish, which is still fairly clean. About like a Pale Lager in that regard. Light-bodied with medium carbonation, and low ABV, making for a very sessionable brew. Will probably buy a few singles again next time it is brewed.

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Photo of emerge077
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was chilled to around 55º and poured in a Lake Louie pint glass.

Golden yellow, a feeble head of foam that collapses quickly. Nucleation trails from the bottom of the glass. It doesn't really leave any lace, but a few random spots decorate the glass.

Plain pale malt aroma, graham cracker.

Papery pale malt flavor, mild graham sweetness. Not really getting any floral or honey flavor. Average is about all I can say. Moderate fizz, drinks fine. A no-brainer for a dog day.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle received as an extra in trade with cjsell. Thanks! This beer (and brewery) is new to me. Into my Stone pint glass

A: Straw yellow with a dense, 1-finger white head. This is almost perfectly clear to boot.

S: Mild citrus note with an orange peel astringency. Spicy with some coriander and black pepper. Some floral sweetness is present

T/M: Starts off mildly sweet yet hoppy with some citrus, spice and honey-like sweetness present. Exceedingly light in body, slightly strange on finish with a spicy character that just doesn't work for me. The carbonation is at an adequate level but the flavor leaves a lot to be desired.

D:At 4.7%, I have no complaints drinking it - apart from the very disappointing flavor profile

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Photo of zeff80
3.27/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a small, white head of bubbly foam. There were thin traces of lace.

S - It smelled of honey and biscuity malt. There was a slight floral aroma, too.

T - It had a strong honey flavor with a good deal of spices. There was a good deal a sweet biscuity malt.

M - It was crisp and fairly sharp. A very light bodied and easy drinking brew.

D - This is an okay beer. It really seems more like a blonde ale than an APA.

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

Pours golden/honey with efferevesence & a 3 fingers white head. Good lacing & head retention

S: Slight lemon zest & peppery notes

T: Lemon, honey & slight floral hop notes. Grainy notes follow Finishes lemony & sweet, off style to me, would work better as a wheat ale

MF:Light & spritzy. Okay balance, skews too sweet

Drinks okay. I prefer the crystal ale as a summer time libation. One of the better honey beers I've had, still a bit too sweet

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Photo of garymuchow
3.29/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Interesting light, somewhat spicey aroma with a honey sweetness and slight fruitiness to it. Very clear, yellowish gold color, fizzy head with a relatively short life. Fairly bland flavor. The qualities that make the aroma pleasing don't transfer that well into the flavor. Fairly dry over all. Has a somewhat refreshing quality to it to make it an appropriate seasonal beer for summer. Somewhat full mouthfeel and a good amount of carbonation.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hump day...timed to wet the whistle with alil' Summer Honey from Big Sky. The appearance is good, crisp clear and golden with good carbonation that forms a thin white head. The nose is strong with honey, grain, and some spice. The taste is decent, good honey start polished off by a little spice/pepper taste. The mouthfeel is good and it is a fine beer to have on a summer day!

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Photo of Ragingbull
3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very pale in color and very clear appearance. The color of light honey perhaps. Traditional beer smells of grain and malt in the mainstream/macrobrew sort of way. Frothy head with a smooth and thick attack and mouthfeel. The flavor is rich in that "macro" sort of way. The finish is clean. This beer I think would have very wide mainstream appeal and would be handy to have in the cooler for a party. It makes me think of honey brown only a superior version of it. Perhaps the name clouds my judgment though.

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Photo of jwc215
3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear yellow with a thin white head that becomes a wide patch. Trailing lace slides down glass with minimal stickage.

The smell is of honey, grain, light pepper/floral spicing.

The taste is of sweet grain and some honey. A mild general spiciness gives some balance to the rather abrupt finish.

It is appropriately light bodied, not too fizzy.

A bit too sweet (and leaning towards bland) on the taste, though stops before becoming too honey-ish. Not one I would seek out, but refreshing enough on a hot day. Easy enough to drink, as there's not much to it, and carbonation is controlled, making it pretty smooth. More of an American Blonde than an APA, to me.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours a clear yellow with a smallish white head that quickly goes to a thin film.

The aroma is sweet clove honey and some spices.

The flavor is sweet bready malts and a bit of honey with some subdued spicing. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation.

Overall, a decent slightly plain summer beer.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Golden color with decent clarity. Thin white head fades to a small collar pretty quickly.

Smells of faint malt, honey and honeydew melon. Very light nose. Smells fresh, but a bit unexciting.

Tastes of light fruits, such as cantaloupe, strawberries and (again) honeydew melon....maybe some clover. Lightly lager-esque sulfur flavor and tartness. I don't really taste an abundance of honey flavor or sweetness.

It's an ok quencher, but not overly exciting or flavorful. I'll stick to the Moose Drool.

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Photo of bnes09
3.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is light with slight haze and reminds me of white grape juice. Smell is quite sweet with not much else to speak of. Taste is sweet and full of honey up-front with emerging hints of lemon and orange to provide a sour balance. Body is light and carbonation is high. I could take down a six pack fairly easily but I would prefer to drink other styles. Overall, its not bad for a honey ale style but I like a more flavorful brew.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16oz Yankee pint at the Iron Horse restaurant in Missoula, with me dear ma.

This beer appears a clear, medium golden yellow hue, with one finger of puffy, loosely foamy, and soapy dirty white head, which leaves a bunch of chunky bleeding stormcloud lace around the glass as it gradually melts away.

It smells of semi-sweet field honey, grainy pale malt, a hint of spicy black pepper, and earthy, leafy, and mildly floral hops. The taste is crisply grainy pale malt, a touch of caramel sweetness, some lessened generic honey notes, mild muddled dessert spices, and pretty much little to no persisting and/or discernible hops.

The carbonation is moderate in its plainly frothy manner, the body a decent and typical medium weight for the broad style, and generally smooth, nothing else really carrying a torch here. It finishes off-dry, as some reborn earthy hops round out the lingering and purposeful honeyed graininess.

Nothing overly special, sure, but enjoyable enough when the season and occasion call for it. A good beer to go with intensely spicy hot wings, as was the pairing in my case - y'know, when in Rome, and all that.

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Photo of hopdog
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

Poured a lighter golden color with a larger sized white head. Aromas of grain, lighter honey, and some spices. Tastes of honey (stronger than the aromas) and spices. I found the body to be on the thinner body.

Notes from and tasted on 9/11/06

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Photo of loren01
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into pint glass a light transparent yellow color with 2 finger head and lots of carbonation. Smell is slightly sweet with grass/hay and hops scents coming through as well. Taste is pretty sweet like honey with a very light hoppy aftertaste. Nothing too special though. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth, a little bit on the flat side. Overall this is a pretty decent summer ale that goes down easily.

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Photo of Lemke10
3.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a semi-clear amber color with a slight but fast diminishing head. Scent is sweet with wheat and hints of honey. Taste is light, refreshing, and smooth. The texture is decent for a summer beer, but could perhaps still be a bit thicker. The taste is sweet with malts and honey. For a summer beer, it’s not to bad but Big Sky does have better made beers on the market.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance- The beer pours a clear golden amber color with a light white head. The head fades rather quickly leaving just a thin layer of foamy white lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell-The aroma of the beer is grainy with a little bit of a honey smell mixed within. Along with these smells comes some light aromas of a cracker and slightly herbal and floral smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a rather crackery and slightly doughy taste mixed with a little bit of a honey. The honey gets stronger and stronger as the taste advances, with it becoming of moderate strength by the end, but never too overpowering. Along with honey increasing more graininess comes to the tongue and with little bit of a floral and herbal flavor coming to the tongue, one is left with a rather crisp and slightly grainy taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel-The body of the beer is rather light in terms of its thickness and chewiness with a carbonation level that is on the average side. For the crisp flavors and the mix of honey and grain it creates a rather refreshing feel overall.

Overall- Not a fantastic beer, but by no means offensive. Worth a try and a moderately decent warm summer day beer.

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Photo of bump8628
3.37/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

One of the many "easy-drinking" summer seasonals that shows up every year. Like most, this doesn't offer much in flavor, but what it has is pleasant. Subtle spicing sets it apart some. Light caramel honey sweetness, interesting herbal spicy twang from the hop/spice combo. Clean and light on the palate. Nice enough, I can't put my finger on any single spice which helps keep it mildly interesting.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of a mix-pack from Cost Plus World Market, on to the beer:

Pale filtered straw colored in the body, head is white and fuzzy with modest retention. The aroma is mild, hop and tea leaf notes with touches of sweetness (could that be the honey?). As it enters the mouth, I immediately become refreshed off its easy and light flavor. Almost citrusy tasting. Bready notes break up the monotone flavor. I can't seem to find the honey character; okay it's there, but it's very light. This is a simple and refreshing beer.

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Photo of minterro
3.39/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Montana mixer

A & S: clear yellow orange colored beer. Off white thick foamy head when poured and doesn’t disappear much for the rest of the consumption. Lacing has a decent amount of cling. There are bits of unfiltered specks floating about in the many rising bubbles. Dominantly fruity aroma, with hints of honey as advertised along with a metallic scent.

T & M: A bit of a dry, very light hoppy penetrating the whole taste (but the hops are not very pronounced, there are there but not robust). Traces of fruitiness throughout, and you can taste the spices in the mid to last part of the taste. Med. bodied with a relatively high amount of carbonation. Really easy to drink.

O: Overall I liked it, and im happy about the montana mixer purchase.

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Summer Honey Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 160 ratings.