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Shipyard Summer Ale | Shipyard Brewing Co.

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209 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: 209 | Ratings: 576
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.

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

Shipyard Summer Ale is a very sparkling, clear, golden ale topped with a thin, dense, off white head that has super retention and lacing. Light wheat and lemon are in the nose with a hint of banana. It smells grainy and perhaps corny. It has a smooth, light body with a dry, crunchy finish. It makes my teeth feel dirty. Along with the lemony twang of wheat, there is a rumbling, green bitterness. It gets herbal and a little minty toward the finish. It leaves a phenolic taste in the mouth. It's a little ragged, but not that hard to drink.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz brown screw top, nice label, best by 11/12.

Appearance: Into my Schlafly APA pint, this pours a dark golden hue with just a slight haze and a nice, pillowy white crown that soon fades to a 1/3 finger's worth.

Smell: This is mischaracterized here I think. Shipyard calls it a take on an American wheat ale, but that doesn't seem quite fitting either. It's brewed with 2-row English pale, Munich, and wheat malts and Hallertau hops, with an English ale strain. Almost like an English summer bitter, but the hop profile doesn't seem quite right. Cold, it smells like an American cream ale, but as it warms, you get a nice (albeit light) malt character from the pale and Munich, with just a ghost of estery character from the English yeast. Not much in the way of hops.

Taste: Nice blend of Noble hops, estery English ale yeast, and a hint of dry, ever-so-slightly-toasted English malt and light toast on the finish. Actually somewhat bitter; it's got a nice firm crisp bitterness on the finish. Maybe 'summer bitter' isn't so far off here.

Mouthfeel: Bigger than the 4.8% abv would suggest.

Overall: Pleasantly surprised with this one. If anything, it's almost a touch bitter for the other flavors (no idea what the IBU count is here) but this is a nice, flavorful take on the summer refresher.


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Photo of KTCamm
3.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours light golden with fluffy white foam. Some remains malty smell. Minor citrus. Lighter taste, some lemon peel bitter. Little sour tang emerges with chewy mouthfeel. As beer warms, an odd bitter emerges.

Just ok.

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Photo of Mister_Falcon
2.86/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice little shade of gold-amber into my pint glass with just a slight 1/6 inch head that looks like it could be the head on a glass of tonic water.

Smells cheap and malty.

A little crisp, malty, certainly watery, almost to a light beer macrobrew extent. No hoppiness, just a teensy bit bitter.

Feels watery and unsatisfying as it sloshes then goes down.

Just below average overall.

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Photo of Celtics76
2.58/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle poured into a Heavy Seas pint glass.

Yellow-gold in appearance with some fast rising carbonation. As other reviewers have noted, this smells like buttered popcorn. Not exactly a promising start..

What we have here is a run of the mill summer ale. This is not a pale ale, closer to a domestic lager in taste. I'm getting a light grainy flavor with a smooth finish but an undesirable Budweiser-like aftertaste.

I'm not a big summer ale guy, but when in the mood there are much better offerings out there (Sam Adams, Sierra, Victory, Troegs to name a few). Mediocre at best.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass, best by November. Pours a hazy dark yellow with a half inch of white head that leaves some lacing. Smell is ring wood yeast, biscuit, lemon, and wheat. Taste what you would expect from the smell, pretty strait forward. Body is medium for the style, plenty of carbonation, not dry, and easy going down. Not my favorite style, but a easy drinking summer beer.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
2.93/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up last week down at Total Wine in West Orange. I'm not much of a fan of Summer seasonals but I had the sleeve for this and after all of the wheat and hop offerings that I've had lately, I wanted something a bit lighter. Unfortunately, this proved why I tend to stay away from the warm-weather specials and like so many others on here, I got the impression that this was incorrectly categorized on here.

Nothing special to the pour with this as the head was fluffy and short-lived. Not a bad amount of lacing and the hue to this was clear and gold. As for the aroma, there wasn't much there but sourness and when I first tasted this, I thought it was a Kolsch. There was a lot of grape and straw to the mouthfeel and any hint of a burn or bitterness was nowhere to be found. There was a faint trace of floral and grapefruit in the aftertaste but certainly not enough to save the weak body of this beer. The mouthfeel was good and somewhat full but not enough to make up for the lack of color and flavor in this.

Sure, this could be a session beer on taste alone but in this case, I wish I could feel the alcohol in this. Lawnmower beers are a dime a dozen and this easily fell into the category of that. While it's not worth passing up, don't buy this and expect an APA. This is "beer" in the most generic sense of the word.

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
2.89/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Into a pint glass:

A: clear golden colored body with a solid white two finger head that leaves some spotty lacing. Some carbonation was seen rising slowly. The head dissipates to a small bubble after about three minutes. No rings were left.

S: based around the grain, some corn adjuncts come out with a tad of citrus ever so lightly in the background.

T: bland but there were some slight hints of citrus and hops. The finish was slightly bitter.

M: light, watery with some carbonation felt, sessionable

O: well, I thought I liked this beer before, but realized this wasn't as good as I thought. It could have just been a bad brew. However, I looked at the bottle and it said it doesn't expire until November 2012. I may have to re-review this or try it on tap somewhere.

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Photo of barczar
2.63/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden color with a solid ivory one inch head that leaves moderate lacing.

Aroma is grain and perhaps corn adjuncts with a hint of citrus and herbal hop.

Flavor is fairly laden with dms, lots of canned corn, which fades to grainy malt, a hint of buttery toffee, and significant citrus, lemon tang. There's a metallic aftertaste that is offputting, along with a somewhat bitter finish.

Body is fairly light, with moderately high carbonation and a zesty finish.

Overall, some off flavors detract from what should be a fairly drinkable beer.

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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 avalon07
2.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a bright yellow color a and a clear texture. There was an inch of foamy head that lasted a fair amount of time. No lacing to speak of.

S: A sharp, slightly unpleasant and musty aroma here. Some malt and hops, but not very enticing.

T: Tasted of malt, light hops, a grainy aspect, and the aforementioned mustiness. In addition to all that, it's a very bland and watery flavor. Not very well-constructed.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a somewhat gritty finish. Light-bodied.

O: I've learned not to expect too much from APAs, but Shipyard's Summer Ale just doesn't have the basic elements needed to make a good APA.

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Photo of kjyost
2.29/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Undated bottle purchased as part of a mixed 12 pack at Happy Harry's, Grand Forks South. Served at 4C into a sleeve.

A: Straw yellow and clear with two fingers of white head that top quickly and leave a touch of lacing.
S: Mustiness, apple juice. Not much else.
T: Corny sweetness, apple juice, hint of diacetyl. Bleah.
M: Sweetness lingers, decently well carbonated.
O: Meh. I'd rather drink BMC lagers than this. I assume its old being a summer ale and all, but they were still selling them.

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

Poured a 2" white head. Clear straw yellow color body. Smells mildly of malt. Taste is a mix of mild malt, weak spice, and a faint acidity. Better than an average BMC but still only slightly. Acceptable for a summer ale on a hot summer day. Bonus points for the label with the lobster drinking beer on the beach.

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Photo of dali27
2.5/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 12. oz bottle into pint glass.

A: Clear yellow-gold in color. Thin white head. Has the look of a pilsner.

S: Bread and butter. Diacetyl is clearly evident in aroma.

T: Combination of malts and hops, leaning heavily towards the malts. Rough edge of slight alcohol taste makes this not that appealing to me.
Tasted good out of the bottle on hot summer night. In a glass on a slightly cooler night, not so much.

M: Thin, water-like. Active carbonation.

O: Overall, I'm not sure exactly what this beer is. Off the shelf and out of the bottle, I thought a summer wheat beer. From the pour, and in taste, I thought a pilsner. From the description here, I find out it's an APA.

My opinion, it's a beer that's been placed in bottle with a kitschy label that represents everything that Maine is to a tourist. Lobster, ships, ocean, nautical flags, etc... So, I think it's a beer to be enjoyed from the bottle while on vacation in Maine and not much else.

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Photo of Bendurgin
2.16/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a clear golden straw color with a fizzy white head that disappears almost as soon as it shows up.

Ugh, nothing here except that damn ringwood yeast Shipyard seems to love. It's just sweet. It's like syrupy berries. Nothing in the aroma give any indications that this would be a tasty pale ale. Again on the pallet the yeast is to much of a big player. It adds a sweetness that doesn't seem to fit in. Finishes a little bitter but this seriously just seems like a mess.

Well, the worst thing about the mouthfeel is that the taste is on your tongue. Otherwise it's a relatively light body with ample carbonation. Overall this isn't good. Grab a Narragansette or at least a Sam over this guy. Lots of better summer offerings out there.

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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 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 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 shand
3.38/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Was building a mixed sixer at a grocery store near me, wound up with five brews I wanted. This is the sixth beer. This beer pours a fairly clear, highly carbonated pale yellow color with a finger of head that quickly goes away. The aroma is highly sweet and buttery, probably partially owing to the Ringwood yeast. The taste is pretty good, it's sweet and grainy, with that little hint of butter in the background, which actually works quite well with a slight hop bitterness that comes in for the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is nice, it's very crisp and thirst-quenching, and the drinkability is quite good. Overall, an enjoyable brew, if unexceptional. I found it fairly interesting to drink a beer where the buttery taste was actually intentional and worked well with the flavor profile, but YMMV.

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Photo of matty
2.49/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pale yellow beer with a rapidly fading head.Aroma and taste are similar to a German Pilsner with the skunky odor and taste.There is not much to say about it except that if you like German pilsners you will like this if not you won't.For me personally I woudln't recommend or purchase again.

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Photo of SunDevilBeer
2.11/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Was served this beer at a recent cookout.

I had low expectations for this beer and I got it.

1st smell was the signature Shityard diacetyl. Yuck. Anyway, i drank it so I didn't have to smell it any more.

More of the same butter and caramel in the taste. Seeing that this is a summer beer, it's tough to drink given the uneven hops and awkward lemon taste.

I shrugged this down to be a polite guest, but this is a terrible summer beer. Yuck.

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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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Photo of Nerudamann
3.52/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a stein glass.

Look - light golden color, clear, with about half a finger's worth of off-white, almost grayish-colored foam that dissipates quickly.

Smell - smells a lot more like pilsener. I could tell that just pouring it into the bottle. Upon further examination, there seems to be something sweeter about it, probably from the malts.

Taste and Mouthfeel - It has a little bit of the bite of a Pilsener, but that gets subdued during an aggressive fight with the sweeter malts. A little bit of a musky flavor at the end. Texture is pretty well-balanced. Oddly enough, it tastes a little bit like a bavarian lager.

Overall - not a bad brew, and interesting to taste.

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Shipyard Summer Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
3.08 out of 5 based on 576 ratings.
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