Shipyard Summer Ale | Shipyard Brewing Co.

210 Reviews
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Shipyard Summer AleShipyard Summer Ale

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co.
Maine, United States

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-31-2001

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Reviews: 210 | Ratings: 580
Photo of beernut7
4.47/5  rDev +45.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a light gold color and an almost estery fruity aroma that also comes through nicely in the flavor of the brew. Cold and light bodied, this is a very easy drinking and richly flavored libation.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.18/5  rDev +35.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 22oz bomber featuring a map on the label, marked 2003.
The beer pours a light golden amber, topped with a thick, frothy white head. Great head retention, lasting through the pint, with some blobby lace.
The aroma features a pleasant pale maltiness, light, with noticable wheat presence. Rather crisp, with a floral estery quality. Light hops, balancing the malt well, with an herbal noble hops feel.
The flavor starts with some crisp, sweet pale malt, along with a bit of dryish wheat. Light esters come through the middle, mainly pear and a vague floral flavor. A bit buttery, although it seems to jive with the rest of the flavors, and offers a nice transition into the hops. A pleasant herbal hoppy finish, with moderate bitterness. Great balance. Some wheat malt comes through in the end, finishing the beer dry and snappy. A dryish wheaty aftertaste, with a suggestion of dried apricot. Lightish body, with moderate, fluffy carbonation.
This is a really great summer ale, probably one of the best out there, and certainly one of the best from New England. It tasted like a kolsch to me. Easily one of Shipyard's best brews.

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Photo of illpass78
4.05/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a wheat glass.

Appearance: Pours a surprisingly clear gold with a two-finger white head and heavy carbonation. I expected this to be hazier because it's a wheat beer. Lacing was about moderate for the style.

Aroma: Smells of lemons and wheat. Some citrus notes, some faint toast and some hops round out the nose. I like the aromas of this beer.

Taste: The taste follows the nose, and I dig it. It's what I want out of a summer beer - easy, refreshing, citrusy, wheaty and mild. Sessionable. Not complex but doesn't need to be and isn't trying to be. It's a nice, wheaty, bready, lemony summer ale.

Mouthfeel: Easy on the palate, as it should be.

Overall: It's not a sipper. If you didn't know that when you bought it, you're a bit of a stooge. It's a really good summer session ale for pool parties, cookouts, watching ballgames, beaching, etc. There's a reason the label has a picture of a lounging lobster on it.

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Photo of pbrian
4/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one tasty summer brew. Shipyard bills it as a wheat beer, but it's not tart, citrusy and bland like most others. It has more of a sweet, fruity start and drying, butterscothy finish. Overall a delicately balanced lighter beer.

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Photo of dukekrueger
4/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sorry guys, Being a Brewer who is not a hop head, my opinion is tainted towards malty brews. I liked it, it was clean , crisp , lightly hopped, Bought only one in a sample pack, I will be heading back to the ABC store to buy more, before it vanishes along with summer.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
4/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light fruity aroma of bananas, apricots, pineapples, all kinds of summery fruits. Moderately thick, foamy, bright white colored head. Completely transparent apricot-copper colored beer with dozens of stream of fine bubbles rising briskly to the surface. Interesing mix of butterscotch and apricot in the flavor. The finish is just barely bitter and alcoholic. Mouthfeel is light and fairly soft. This beer wasn't that cold when I pulled it from the fridge, and barely cool by the time I drank. I think the temperature brought out a lot of flavor and aroma that I hadn't noticed in previous colder bottles. Light and fruity when cold, but becomes more interesting as it warms.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.97/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright light gold with a low ivory head, light carbonation, and no lace. Light tart citric wheat aroma. Crisp grainy flavor and a bit citrusy (lemon ?). Light-medium bodied and smooth.

A decent American Wheat.

Per 6-pack carrier: Malted Wheat, Pale Ale malt, Hallertau hops, Ringwood Yeast.

Per S. website: O.G. 1050

Best Before: 10/2003
Tasted: 08/08/03

($6.99 / 6-pack)

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Photo of Durge
3.95/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found on tap at the Fox Ridge Golf Course while in Maine, this brew shows a light orange yellow color, clear with a thin white whispy head and fair lacing. The aroma is tart citrus wheat and apple, not too strong but decent. The taste a nice citrus dry hop bite with a blend of wheat and ginger spice. Light feel but for the style it's very reasonable with a solid fine carbonation for a very refreshing and relatively tasty summer brew. Well done if you like some bitter hop while sipping a lighter beer, and very drinkable, of course.

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Photo of HoorayBeer
3.94/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This looked like a Pale Ale, with a nice golden hue, almost an orange color. Served with a lemon, though I took that right out. It had little to no head and had a cloudy presence to it. Could not get the aroma of this beer, although I had the Carrabassett Pale Ale before it. But the only thing that I was even close to was a fruity aroma. This seems to be a wheat based ale with a hint of citrus, maybe lemon or grapefruit, kind of a sour feel when first trying it. Smooth and easy after taste. I have always liked this beer during the summer when it is released.

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Photo of Boppar
3.93/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

They must've changed the label, because the bottle looked nothing like the one in the picture. But after cruising around the site for a little while, I am positive that this is the right beer. Strange...

12 oz into pinto glass

A: Nice light body coloring. Gold, two fingers lasting head.

S: Vague citrus sweetness and some faint spices.

T: Bready and refreshing. I'm tempted to say that there are Grains of Paradise in here somewhere, but I can't be certain. The light hopping works well for this brew. There is also a faint floral taste which works even better for this brew.

M: It feels just a wee on the watery side, even for this style.

D: I could knock these back all day. Cheers!

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Photo of Puddleglum
3.92/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well this one does the trick. It is indeed a nice citrusy summer ale. As Summer Ales go this one has a nice full profile with the aroma of lemony hops and dry wheat along with a similar flavor. The key for a Summer Ale is it's drinkability and I find this one certainly is gone before you know it. It's a nice reward for mowing the lawn.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.88/5  rDev +26%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle pours a clear golden liquid with a white fluffy head. The head was present for a long time, leaving a good amount of lace on the glass. Smells slightly malty, with perhaps a citrus note or two. Not much else jumping out. Taste was a nice light malt, slight tartness, with some modest hop bitterness. Light bodied with a good amount of carbonation, but not too much. Overall, a refreshing summer beer. Pretty light, but with a nice hint of hops in it.

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Photo of Procrastinator
3.88/5  rDev +26%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. brown bottle with best before Dec 08 notched on label. This is the last of a 6-pack I purchased on discount at a local beer store. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: deep golden yellow colored with soft creamy 2" head after vigorous pour. Few streams of carbonation ascend off the bottom and lacing is soapy looking, but lasting throughout.

Smell: scents are of lightly toasted malts and citrus rinds of lemon and grapefruit.

Taste: flavors of light cereal grains and dryness of wheat. Hops are grassy and slightly citrus with tastes of lemon or grapefruit rinds.

Mouthfeel: there's a crispness and dryness in this beer that makes it quite refreshing. Carbonation is beneficial to enhancing flavor. Body is on the light side of medium.

Drinkability: this is definitely an enjoyable summertime refresher. Alcohol is never detectable. I look forward to more summers drinking this beer.

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Photo of BuckSpin
3.8/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz bottle in a classic conical pint glass

BAside: enjoyed outside on a beautiful June day

Poured crisp, straight & clean. Very soft citrus & piny hops up front initially on the nose, bitter with orange pith, flat malts, rocks wet from the ocean's surf, a faint metallic hue as well. As it blooms caramel rises & the malts get some back bone and grow a little more in presence.

A finger's worth of mixed, pearl white foam settled rather quickly to an 1/8" blanket with some isolated lacing over a crystal clear, barely brassy, warm golden honey colored body, a slow & steady parade of bubbles rising thru it.

Crisp, clean, sweet with an apple cideresque bite, a touch of apricot & a semi-dryness, light hops all play nicely together. It grows thicker on the palate, slightly more malted, caramel grows as well. It finishes bittersweet, clean, leaving a coated mouthfeel that is faintly chewy & bitter.

This was nice, an enjoyable Ale. It was very easy to drink, and was one of the more enjoyable Shipyard beers I've tried. This would be a good lawnmower beer as well as pair with any standard grilled fare. Recommended, and I will enjoy more of this while the sun is high.

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Photo of burkett
3.8/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - yellow with a touch of amber, the head was mininmal but lingured.
Smell- slight hint of hops
Taste - light and crisp but with a touch of hops
Mouthfeel - light ligering aftertaste smooth and clean
Drinkability - great beer for a hot summer day, not overpowering but it has more than a little taste to it.

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Photo of GregPearson33
3.78/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light copper color with a loose frothy head of thick bubbles that faded quickly. Not awesome, but looks like a summer brew should - light, but not like water (4.0). Pleasant light of sweet malts and thin citrus (3.5)

Taste isn't particularly well balanced, but I think it's pretty good - there is a bready malt backbone garnished by a surprisingly zesty hop bouquet and some orange (3.5). The mouthfeel is thin and it's drinkability is high, both well-suited attributes of a summer beer (4.5).

Overall, I think this is a tasty and totally refreshing brew. Well-done Shipyard. B

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.77/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. The liquid is amber with good carbonation. The head is 2 fingers, white and left some lace.

The Smell bready with a slight pungent yeasty smell.

The taste follows the wheat bread theme, but includes some citrus notes and some pepper.

The mouthfeel is good. Medium body, good carbonation.

The drinkability is good, a great pick me up on a warm day. Prosit. MK

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Photo of BDIMike
3.74/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color with a ton of carbonation. The carbonation, however, only creates a thin white head with slight retention.
Smells strongly of biscuity malts. Very strong wheat smell as well, with a tiny bit of citrus.
Nice fresh biscuit taste to this beer. The wheat taste is very nice and ends with a slight twinge of citrus.
Nice thickness on this pale ale. It is nice and smooth as well.
Drinkability is high on this beer because of the great wheat taste in this. There is not a great amount of hop taste to this beer, but that makes it more drinkable on a warm day.

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Photo of WesWes
3.7/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a gold color with a thick frothy white head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a light, yet malty scent with a fruity yeast finish; very nice. The taste is decent. It has a light, yet slightly malty flavor with a dry, bitter finish; some hops. It seems a tad grainy. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a decent summer brew, but nothing more. It has a good aroma, but the taste is a disappointment.

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Photo of tone77
3.68/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had this before from a bottle, but it seemed better from a can. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of citrus, malts, some sweetness. Taste is tart, lemons, wheat, malts, light sweetness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.68/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 12-ounce bottle into a Dogfish Head pint glass.

A: Poured a very clear, light golden color with an orange tint and some steady carbonation rising throughout. A two-finger head of sudsy white foam formed a thick ring around the brew which left little lace but retained nearly until the end.

S: Smells fairly lemony and grainy, with a wheat twang and dried yeast aroma to compliment the ale fruitiness.

T: Taste is sweet, fruity and slightly metallic at first. Lightly toasted cereal grains, milled wheat and rolled barley snap together briskly with a zesty lemon twist and drying hops. No real hop bitterness, per say, just a drying, zesty citrus effect.

M: Mouthfeel is crisp, light and very well carbonated.

D: Not the tastiest or most interesting brew to get down, but it's simple and good enough to pound on a hot one. Some of the metallic wheat flavors put a damper on the drinkability and it can be a tad too dry at times.

I probably wouldn't be inclined to get it again or order it on draft unless the malts proved to be a bit smoother or the ale dedicated itself to being more hoppy or citrusy. I'm beginning to have my reservations about Shipyard brews, as they're proving to underwhealm me quite often.

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Photo of albern
3.67/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reading some of the reviews, I think Shipyard has improved their summer ale. For starters, the labelling has changed. It pours a well carbonated golden pale color with a nice white efforvescent head with some retention. The aroma is floral, although it starts out more of a cracked grassy wheat texture and segues into more complex floral aromas and some sweetish malts.

The taste is a bit creamy, but I wouldn't say this beer is loaded with diacetyl, and for that, it is possible the recipe has changed over the years. There is definitely a seltzer water saltiness to the beer, but it is refreshing, somewhat citrusy, with some earthy grass notes and a bit of dryness in the finish. I like this beer, and I think that puts me in the minority. I'm not so sure about the APA classification of this beer. Aside from some of the creaminess, it has hints of a Kolsch style, with it floral mid section. There is a peculiar mouthfeel, very much like drinking a nice carbonated seltzer water drink. Not bad though.

Update July 2009: I still like the beer, it is a little less creamy than I originally pegged it, a bit too carbonated to be a Kolsch style, so scrub that possibility. This is a solid, a touch grassy, a touch lemony, refreshing summer ale. There is a slight tartness in the finish, maybe a touch prickly in the mouth. You can't go wrong here.

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Photo of flexabull
3.65/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright clear gold color with a decent white head.

Aromas are bright crisp, green apple like, and with a slightly floral hoppy note as well.

Tastes like a Pilsner to me. Creamy, crisp, and with a floral hop finish. Doesn't really taste like a Pale Ale, but it is a pretty tasty beer.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Smooth, and supple.

Nice easy drinking sessionable beer. I've never been a big fan of Shipyard, but this is pretty good.

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Photo of jettjon
3.65/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Goes into the pint glass dark orange clear with no carbonation evident. Head is one finger of white tan that fades quickly, leaving a surprising amount of lacing behind. Smells of appealing sweet malt and some apparent alcohol. Tastes as the nose advertises, first up is sweet malt, then a balancing portion of medium hops, and an unfortunate off-flavor I’d describe as soap. On the swallow, the hops reassert themselves, the sweet malt comes back out to play, and then the whole thing finishes on a bitter, malty note. The flavor’s not bad except for that danged off-note. In the mouth, it feels watery and slightly bubbly just this side of flat. Drinkability? I’d say average plus… it’s pretty good tasting but off-flavor and the flat mouthfeel detract.

Overall: I wouldn’t go out of my way to find this one, but if it comes your way, it’s worth a try.

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Photo of ecoboy
3.64/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's funny how something you never order in a local bar strikes you as pretty damn good when you sit down to focus on its elements. I'd probably order on of three other summers before this brew when I'm out, but I did appreciate this tasting.

The only thing really lacking to me is aroma. A very light nose is almost undetectable.

Orange and straw mix in the color, with a long-lasting pillowy white head. There are clean judicious citrus flavors balanced with a belt of hops I rarely find in a summer style. The finish is appealingly dry. Maybe I'll have to order this under the sun more often.

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Shipyard Summer Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
3.08 out of 5 based on 580 ratings.
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