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 kylehay2004
3.35/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: straw, clear with golden hues.. One finger frothy head.

S: Breads, light malts. No real citrus.

T: Lighter on the citrus than many summer ales, otherwise pretty standard.

M: Crisp, smooth, standard for a summer ale.

Overall: Shipyard has many choices but most of these are mediocre however I think the grading of this one has taken a hit by their reputation as it is actually a standard summer ale.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3/5  rDev -2.6%

an extremely plain and almost flavorless summer beer, which is odd because it has more body than it needs to with this little flavor. brassy color, a little dull looking from the bottle but holding a decent white head and leaving some patchy froth lacing as I drink it down (very quickly). the best feature is the feel, great carbonation and a clean finish, but that's expected because there isnt much flavor to clean up. a really mild two row malt base is basically irrelevant, and the hops are for balance only, no real flavor to them. the thing I taste the most is the yeast, which is a clean and very basic ale yeast. I think more grain profile (not body) on this beer would make it a little better, but its good for mindless summer drinking. I much prefer it with spicy food, can cleanse the palate pretty will without getting too filling. nothing special though overall from shipyard. they save their magic for the signature series.

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Photo of Knapp85
2/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Summer beers have a weird way of being just too light on all levels. This Pale ale could have probably used just a little bit more in the mash or just less water. I say this because I that most people who are willing to try this beer want something better than average. This brew falls under par for me because it's too much like a generic run of the mill Ale from a major brewery. Yellow, Clear, and light bodied.

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Photo of metter98
3.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear golden yellow in color and has a moderate to high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that slowly died down, consistently leaving a thin head covering the surface and lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of lemons and wheat in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of lemon citrus and wheat, but the flavors aren’t that strong. No bitterness is present.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and has some refreshing properties. It would make for a good selection on a hot summer day.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Given as a gift from the father as part of a mixed pack. Feels a little out of season to be drinking on a summer ale on a chilly night, but ah what the hell. Pours a nice bubbly, gold... kind of BMC looking but the big head saves it. Light bodied, very thin on the palette, get some lemon zest type of flavors, a bit of Euro hop taste to it. Finishes nice and clean, super drinkable. Yeah, it could be a little tastier but it is what is is, a super drinkable beer that goes down easy. Not bad at all.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.48/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Although I'm reviewing this beer, I'm not sure it's the right one. Mine has a very different label and the beer does not fit the style of an APA. However the beer would be a very good Blonde or a bold Kolsch. But for an APA, the brew is under-malted, under-hopped, and has no amber colors or caramel notes. The beer does have a very firm bready pilsner flavor and texture, with ligth citrus spiciness, and a hint of lemons, pears, earthy, yeasty flavors and a solid texture that lends smoothness and an airy feel. Nice beer, but not a Pale Ale.

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Photo of brentk56
3.2/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a modest head that declines quickly and fails to leave much lacing

Smell: Modest graham cracker and butterscotch aroma

Taste: Starts out with a graham cracker flavor that is joined, after the swallow, by a diacetyl laden butterscotch bomb; a slightly prickly hop presence complements the sweet malt flavors

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with prickly carbonation

Drinkability: You will have to enjoy the Ringwood-induced butterscotch complement to the wheat and hops notes that otherwise characterize this beer; unfortunately, I don't

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.25/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a golden color ale with a small bubbly white head with limited retention. Aroma of weak malt with some yeast. Taste of weak wheat malt is overall quite boring with again a weird and off taste of yeast coming through. Light hops at the end provide a dry aftertaste. Definitely boring for a style that doesn’t produce much in term of great beers.

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Photo of zeff80
3.17/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a small, white head of bubbly foam. It left little to no lacing.

S - It smelled floral with some citrus notes. Mild caramel aroma, too.

T - It tasted a little spicy with an odd mustiness. There was some caramel sweetness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and fairly smooth. A light bodied ale with a clean finish.

O - This wasn't really a great pale ale. There was an odd mustiness that didn't work for me.

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Photo of nickfl
2.72/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - One finger of white head on a clear, light golden body. The head recedes quickly and leaves no lace.

S - Slightly spicy aroma with a slightly toned down version of the standard shipyard yeast in the background.

T - Spicy yeast and sweet malt up front. The initial impression quickly fades to a strange, harsh, perfume-like spice character and clinging, soapy bitterness. The spice fades, but the harsh bitterness remains through the finish along with a stale, cardboard quality.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Wow, this is likely the worst summer beer I have ever had. It is stale, harsh and totally lacking in character.

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Photo of oberon
3.48/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

American Pale Ale huh?Anyways pours a clear golden with a thin wispy head but with good carbonation,aroams a really muted some light citrius but not much there.Taste is buttery from the yeast strain with a light hoppy note taking over as i drink more with a toasty taste lingering in the finish.An easy drinker not a bad beer but I wouldnt seek out again.

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Photo of superspak
3.48/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 1/10/2016. Pours lightly hazy deep golden yellow color with a 2 finger dense and rocky white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of lemon, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, biscuit, light honey, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and moderate fruity yeast notes; with solid strength. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, biscuit, light honey, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Light-moderate herbal/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, biscuit, light honey, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Good robustness and balance of bready malt, earthy hops, and moderate fruity yeast flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and a slight bitter astringency lingering after the finish. Medium carbonation and light-medium body; with a very smooth, moderately crisp, and lightly sticky/bready/chalky mouthfeel that is okay. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 5.1%. Overall this is a solid English pale wheat ale. All around good robustness and balance of pale male, earthy hops, and moderate yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A fairly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.93/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of honey, light malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is sweet up front, with flavors of honey and caramel. There's a mild hops presence that brings some balance. The malt character is thin. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp with a little smoothness, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, the finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down easy, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, this is a less than ordinary beer and wouldn't be the first one that I'd pick.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.58/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

$1.99 single 12 oz. bottle at Total Wine in Kennesaw, GA.

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden body with a wispy, white head.

Smell: This is one of those beers that the combination of malt, hops, and whatnot come together to remind me of sniffing chicken-flavored bouillon cubes.

Taste: Pale malt, a touch of wheat, and with just a very slight sweetness. One tiny drop of soap. Faintly floral, a hint of lemon, and a dash of spice. A few ladles of broth. That's about it.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: Sorry, Shipyard, I didn't care for this one. Not exactly the best use of $1.99.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mid-December might seem like a strange time to drink a summer beer, but you can't drink what you don't have. I just picked this up in Columbus on my semi-annual trip back to see my family. By the way, the Shipyard website says Summer Ale is a wheat beer, not an APA.

Perfectly clear medium amber topped by a bone white head that contains the barest hint of lemon yellow. The foam is fairly insubstantial, but manages to hang around a while and afix wispy chunks of itself to the inner curve of the glass. The nose is softly lemony, slightly sweet and grain-like. It doesn't seem all that wheaty to me. Pleasant enough for a summer beer.

If your standards aren't that high for a light, drinkable, quenching, hot weather beer, this stuff is actually pretty good. It doesn't have any huge positives, but then it doesn't have any insurmountable negatives either. It's lightly malted (again, more barley than wheat) with untoasted grain as the dominant flavor. There's also a mild lemony buzz and very little in the way of hops. Although the body is unquestionably light, its fragile structure maintains itself throughout the entirety of each mouthful.

Shipyard Summer Ale is simple fare and would be a good accompaniment to a warm weather picnic. For my bottom line, see the first sentence of the previous paragraph. Summer Ale will undoubtedly be my last summer beer until next summer rolls around.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.4/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A – Poured a slightly hazy pale golden amber with a nice, albeit quickly receding two inch head of foam on the top. This quickly faed leaving behind only the slightest touch of a layer across the top. Some side glass lace was present, but nothing that was too spectacular. Lots of visible carbonation coming to the surface. This looked like your typical summer pilsner to be honest, nothing bad, pretty average.

S – Aroma was very malty. A touch of yeast lightened it up a little, but overall it was a decent pilsner like aroma. There was some light fruit aromas in there and a touch of something, but overall it was just a decent pilsner type of smell.

T – The taste was actually quite flavorful. Lots of pilsner hops in the front and the back was actually quite sour and had a nice bitter fruit like bite to it. This kinda caught me off guard as the rest of it was pretty much straight forward and this one was quite the unique little pairing so to speak. It had a sour grape like flavor to it mixed in with some really bitter hops. Quite sharp and refreshing and lingered for a long long time.

M – Very light, crisp and clean with a good amount of carbonation. No slickness really detected and it kept the carbonation around for a good long while once it was finished.

D – Pretty good actually. The only limiting factor would be how bitter that after bite was, but other then that I found it to be an extremely drinkable ale and some that I could picture having on the warmest of days.

Overall I have to admit I have never really been a huge fan of anything from shipyard. They just always seem to come off a bit bland to me. This one however was quite nice. It had a great feel to it and really the punch at the end of it really seemed to make the difference. I really enjoyed some of the fruit tones that were present throughout and thought it had a nice sessionable characteristic to it. Overall I would not say this was a favorite of mine, however it was not too bad at all. Will probably get me to try another one or two from them down the road.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.03/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked this bottle up at Quick six in West York, PA. Poured chilled from the 12 oz notched with best before sept 09 on the label into a dogfish pint

A - Pale Golden w/ very good clarity and slowly rising bubbles. Fluffy quick descending white cap rests atop the ale and drops to a film.

S - Malty, fruity scent w/ hints of pine and slightly cereal mail-like odor

M - Basically light bodied, restrained feel w/ mild fruitiness from yeast w/ gentle toasted dry finish w/ moderate carbonation

T - A kind of flat & cardboard like flavor begins badly but a gentle English yeast and mild spice from hips w/ light nutty malt accents progresses from the first sip into the finish

D - A bland beer to me which I woul buy if there were nothing else interesting available, but I was not impress and would probably pass to be honest

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Photo of Jason
2.93/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

Pours a crystal clear orangey yellow with quick to foam head and thin layer of lace.

Tad fruity in the aroma with buttery diacetyl and some doughy grain.

Solid crispness in a light body, thin maltiness with an add fermented grain twang. Hint of dry fruit and buttery diacetyl. Mild on the hops with a dry finish.

Not as much character compared to previous years ... seems weak when put up against many of the other summer seasonals.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.43/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I plucked this from the cooler at the Knickerbocker Hotel in Altoona a couple of weeks ago (a real no-no, BTW) and set it aside for the right time. Yesterday, I drank both a Winter and a Spring seasonal so it simply makes sense to continue today with a Summer seasonal. Sorry about the use of all of the sibilants for my lisping readers out there.

From the bottle: "Handcrafted" and "C-H-E-E-R-S" spelled out in nautical alphabet flags.

I spent the best Summer of my life in Portland, ME in 1990 and I ate my share of lobster, drank my share of beer and had a rollicking good time. The label seems to invoke all of that, including wearing a sailor's crackerjack uniform and sporting an anchor tattoo.

My pour garnered a finger of dense, rocky eggnog-colored head with good retention. Color was a deep amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a distinct wheat tang and a lemon-citrus bite. No, I did not squeeze a slice of lemon. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium and the taste was very tangy from the wheat. I can understand why the uninitiated might want to cut the flavor, but it also speaks to the refreshing nature of the beer. Finish was quite dry, not gasping like some AIPAs, but more like applying alum to the tongue. Literally drying. Not bad at all.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.15/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm sure this American Pale Wheat goes way better with a lobster roll eating in Portland, ME but here it goes. Crystal clear golden straw color with a slightly off white head formed thick with fine bubbles carbonation levels seem kicked up a bit by the amount of head I'm getting in this glass but the fine speckled lacing is patterned around my wheat beer glass evenly. Aromatics I'm getting a light sharp wheat character a hint of lemon citrus peel, and some grain maybe even a light biscuit malt expression pretty muted so far. Flavor has a whirl wind of yeast characteristics I'm guessing this is their house yeast fermentation set up with one of the Alan Pugsley systems, I'm getting earthiness a bit of oak with a mild light bodied summer ale as the backbone base beer. A touch of citrus, and bitterness that comes of as grassy but overall a really lackluster beer experience on flavor, and if you don't care for their house yeast watch out it has a bite. Mouthfeel is light bodied even lively carbonation flow with a lingering bitterness mainly from the yeast pitch here. Overall not my cup of tea but it's quite refreshing, and like I stated before I'm sure I would be guzzling a couple of these on tap when in Rome, aka chowing one some fresh seafood in Maine.

 1,269 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On Cask at Cask and Vine dry hopped with Citra. Slightly hazy deep yellow color with a decent off white head. Earthy spicy light tropical fruity with bits of citrus. Still quite buttery and that ruins it for me.

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Photo of smakawhat
2.64/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a small plastic cup at Lobster Pound and Pit in Trenton Maine.

A nice foamy good off white head of about a single finger size, sits on a cloudy pale amber almost orange body. Lots of fizzy carbonation coming up from the bottom.

Bouquet is a watery weak orange, but more so a very adjunct lager like smelling. Not impressed by this at all, it feels like spiked lager or something.

Taste is once again, like a weak adjunct. Tang like orange juice, wet bodied, with perhaps a slight mild hop bitterness.

I have to call not really good on this, if it's summer in Maine I think I am going for VacationLand beer from Gritty's instead.

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Photo of jwc215
2.48/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured yellow. Ever so slightly hazed.
It didn't really smell of anything. If water had an odor...
The taste, was again - nothing...
Some bubblegum in the finish.
I guess this was supposed to be a clean, refreshing summer beer. But, there was nothing to it. Nothing that makes it any better than any typical light macro. Quite disappointing.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
1.92/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pale amber color, brief head, virtually no aroma.
"Special Ale", they say, but I'm scratching my head to find out what's so special about it...not a damn thing, I'm sorry to say. Summer ales are normally weizens or kolschs, but this bears earmarks of neither.
There's a touch of texture, a tiny hint of body...but this ale is practically nothing incarnate. Maybe I'm supposed to be playing poker with the buds, smoking cigars, and saying "Damn, this is great" because it's not Bud Light, but I'm not, so that doesn't matter.
Am I supposed to be mowing the lawn? Would that help?
At any rate, there's absolutely nothing to be enjoyed here.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
2.65/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is a pale golden-yellow coloring with a decent one and a half inch fluffy, off-white colored head at first. The head quickly settles to a thin layer of off-white head that is filmy. Tons of bubbles throughout this brew. Looks very watery. Aromas are smokey and roasted, with a banana fruit sweetness and buttery character to it. Reminds me of banana bread a bit, but lighter. Flavors are slightly sour and bitter on the edges, but overly sweet and cloying throughout. The roasted cereal flavor is underlying on the midtongue, but the fruity and sweet backbone is muddled, making the beer poorly balanced throughout. Aftertaste is mostly roast and semisweet caramel, with a lingering, slightly bitter and tangy finish. There are worse things you could drink out there this summer, but not many.

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