Ipswich Summer Ale | Ipswich Ale Brewery

very good
63 Reviews
Ipswich Summer AleIpswich Summer Ale

Brewed by:
Ipswich Ale Brewery
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by UncleJimbo on 06-06-2003

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Reviews: 63 | Ratings: 131
Photo of dbrauneis
3.59/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a hazy medium yellow in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising quickly from the bottom of the glass and some faint straw yellow highlights. The beer has a three finger tall sudsy foamy beige head that very slowly reduces to a medium to large sized patch finger thick cap surrounded by a thick film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of pale and grainy malts with a hint of herbal hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of pale malts with a lighter amount of grainy malts and a touch of honey sweetness. Light to moderate flavors of herbal hops in the finish with just a hint of citrus/lemon rind which imparts a light amount of bitterness to the beer but fades pretty quickly.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation Smooth with hints of dryness in the finish.

O: Easy to drink and would be great on one of those really hot summer days here in the South. Refreshing and enjoyable but nothing special.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.61/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Mildly hazed golden colors the head settles into a thin creamy cap. Plenty of webby lacing.

S: Pungent hop aromas: herbal, dried grass, rosemary, floral, rose hips, light lemony zest. Clean. Husky grain undertones.

T: Pungent hop tastes front and center. Pine resin, herbal, floral, dried grass. It's just as the nose indicated. Pithy lemon. Husky grain. Maybe a touch sulfury. Lingering earthy and herbal hop finish.

M: Light bodied. Somewhat creamy. Hop astringencies are stiff, and really grip the enamel. Ample but gentle carbonation.

O: There's a lot of flavor crammed into this little blonde ale. The hops run away with the show, really. Not the most balanced or drinkable blonde, but if you want a good hop fix in a lighter package, this isn't a bad beer to visit.

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Photo of brunop
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

reviewed for style. straightup, i am a latecomer to session beers, but with the advent of jabbybrau and notch, etc., i have been drinking more of this low(er) ABV brews. and liking them.

this iteration of the style is one of my favorites.

i would expect nothing less from this brewery.

summer drinking indeed!

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Photo of Andrew041180
3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a hazy golden - just like summer. Frothy white head that recedes rather quickly and leaves just a touch of lace. Little bit of visible carbonation.

S - Wow, this smells REALLY good. The hops are subtle and I can also pick up a nice clean breadiness.

T - This is the fourth of my four pack, and regrettably it seems to be the worst of the group. I'm also coming off an illness, because I seem to remember the other three tasting better. Have the hops faded so much in the 1-2 weeks since I've had my last one that all I'm getting is a bitter breadiness? That's what this one tastes like to me.

M - The feel that I like so much in the pale ale and IPA doesn't work so well here. I want it to be a little lighter. It also leaves a sticky bitterness in my mouth. Not what I would want for the summer.

O - Maybe I'll try this again next summer. The first three in the 12-pack were really good! Not sure what happened here.

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Photo of Act25
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just upgraded this beer for:
a) coming in cans
b) being the best summer ale available.

Poured into a .5l cylinder named Spaten.

A: Pours a hazy apricot orange, unfiltered. A 2 finger white head with fair retention and lacing. Light carbonation, yeast, good looking, more than expected for summer ale. A real ale.

S: Good aroma for summer ale. Fresh citrus, hoppy, w hint of lemons. Underneath summer grass, biscuits and boardwalk. Smells seaside in a good way.

T: Flavor starts with welcome, dry bitterness: a mix of lemon, dry wheat/hay and orange peels. The bitterness increases into o a grassy tart hop that finishes well. Dry and bitter, grassy and hoppy making for an real ale, with a hop finish.

M: medium consistency with a light tingle of carbonation. A real beer. Refreshing.

Overall: Sessionable. Dry, grassy and bitter all at once. The best summer ale, right next to Harpoon.
NE does summer ale right!

Great with food (Cajun shrimp over pasta with fresh garden peppers, tomatoes, basil, romaine and garlic.) This is an IPA drinkers summer ale!

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Photo of scotorum
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

NB: The label on mine has a blue background behind "Summer Ale" rather than the yellow one pictured here. More important, the color is significantly darker than blonde, more of a medium orange. Otherwise, on review it seems to have characteristics similar to what others have described here.

Bought on sale in a twelve pack sampler.

Filled a tulip glass from the 12 oz. bottle.

a. Nearly clear medium amber. Finger thick white foam receded to a nice foamy film with significant and persistent lacing which suggested good quality.

s: Nothing notable at first, light hop sting in the nose as it was drunk.

t: Nice malt-hop balance! An impressive blend with the hops somewhat bold, but subdued enough to make this a wonderful summer session ale or meal accompaniment.

m: Smooth, light to medium heft, nice!

o: One of my new favorite summer beers! Easy drinking, yet sips with enough character to make you want to drink it slowly and savor it. So glad I have three more from the twelver. Definitely won't disappoint.

UPDATE: Had another 7/5/13 and it only reinforced the impressions above with the exception that although I believe I poured both about the same way, the head was over an inch thick and rounded out above the top of the glass. Ipswich Summer is WAY better than the version by nearby and much more famous Sam Adams of Boston. That one is a fruitocious nightmare. This is relatively sublime. However, I am aware that those who like their summer beer fruit-flavor-dominated rather than merely pleasantly alelike may not share my opinion.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a one finger head. It is a golden straw yellow orange color with great clarity and bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Very bready and sweet. Hops produce a lemony aroma that is just great for the summer time too.

Taste: Tart and lemony characteristics followed by sweet and bready notes. Lingering bitterness at the end of the sip, but not in a bad way.

Mouthfeel: smooth, light to medium bodied, low to medium carbonation, and easy to drink.

Overall: A nice beer for the summer time. Hot and steamy here in Boston and happy to have enjoyed this cold one.

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Photo of BostonHops
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a standard shaker pint.

pours a cloudy, dull golden-yellow while yielding a nice frothy/creamy, 1 and 3/4" beige-colored head. very nice retention; a bit of patchy lacing. nose is a pleasant surprise. after working my way around a few middling renditions on the 'summer ale', this one offers an aroma i can get on board with. good amount of citrus (primarily lemon and orange) with a bit of of a malty presence.

flavor doesn't disappoint, even if it doesn't necessarily blow you away. the citric flavor pulls through, along with a slight hoppy bitterness to accompany the malt character. again though, for a summer beer this more than fits the bill. medium-light bodied mouthfeel, crisp and easy to drink.

overall this one is a keeper. a tasty, refreshing summer beer with a little more to it than you typically see in summer seasonals.

(originally reviewed: 07-07-2011)

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Photo of Brad007
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mild gold with a one-finger head into my glass. I notice that many IPAs tend to be a golden color but never the kind that inspires confidence.

Light and crisp with only a touch of hops in the nose Blonde ales typically attempt to balance both the hops and malt.

Easygoing flavors on the tongue with an emphasis on biscuity malt.

Lingering sweet, buttery malt at the back makes for a tasty mouthfeel.

Very nice summer ale. Drinkable and highly enjoyable

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Photo of stakem
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pub glass. Thanks to Eric for gifting me with this. This brew appears a light golden color, fairly clear with nearly 2 fingers of white fluffy head. Some fine particulate makes it's way into the glass keeping the solution from being completely clear. As the cap recedes it leaves some finger-like patterns on the glass.

The smell of this brew is a combination of orange rinds and caramel malt initially. As it warms up, it picks up more of a floral to fruity hop characteristic that smells quite pleasant. This is quite a sweet smelling brew with almost a tropical note at times.

The taste is much more bitter than I was expecting for an american blonde. No complaints here though. Rindy hop flavoring almost herbal at times mixes with a flavor of orange that is a mixture of pulp and rindy bitterness. There is a faint toasty malt inclusion across the back which provides a decent base for the other flavors to play off of. The aftertaste is a bit grassy.

This is a light bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. There is seemingly no alcohol impact for almost 5% abv. Overall it is easy drinking and fairly crisp in the finish. Not something I would go out of my way for but certainly a summertime refreshment that is worth checking out at least once.

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Photo of ToasterChef
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A slightly chilled bottle is poured into a pint glass. The beer looks very good, with a large white foam head resting atop of golden straw liquid. There are some orange highlights to the beer and plenty of rising carbonation streams. The aroma is of pale malts, grassy hops and a slight scent of white sugar sweetness. The flavor is simple and refreshing. Grassy hops dominate and linger on after swallowing. There are some pale malts that can be tasted, but this beer is more about the hops, which isn't exactly what I was expecting. The beer is a little sticky and leaves a noticeable coat. For a beer to be enjoyed on a hot summer day, I prefer a lighter coat, but perhaps that would be the case if this bottle were colder. Overall, I find this to be an above average summer beer. I certainly wouldn't pass one up if it were offered to me.

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yellow and hazy with a lot of carbonation. Big head that drops down to a ring around the glass.Nose is grainy biscuit and lemon rind. Some subtle earthy hop notes as well. Taste is similar to the nose. A lot of the cereal and pale malts. Lemon peel is strong over the grains and finishes with some earthy hops and more lemon peel. Light and crisp body and with all those lemon flavors it's great on a hot day.

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Photo of Wamesit
4.83/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours an very hazy orange amber. Think white head that gives way to light lacing.

S - A nutty/yeasty nose with deep fruit aromas.

T - Bready and biscuity malts balance well with a strong and dry hoppiness. Lemon peel and a near grass/hay taste give this summer a refreshing (but not too crisp) flavor and smoothness. A more herbal hops finishes the beer alongside a touch of an yeast astringency.

M - Medium. Good and refreshing carbonation.

O - Great summer ale. Maybe the best I've had.

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Photo of SunDevilBeer
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a sixer since I'm on a lager/hefe/summer-style mission this season.

Pours cloudy with a half inch head. Aroma is a bit of lemon and grass/weeds.

Drinks a bit tart and bitter - not really what I'm looking for in a summer quencher, but not bad either.

As it warms up it becomes husky and bitter..even more not what I'm looking for.

I love Ipswich beers and will drink a few of these, but definitely not my fave from the brewery or what I'm looking for during the summer.

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Photo of perrymarcus
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a standard shaker pint.

pours a cloudy, dull golden-yellow while yielding a nice frothy/creamy, 1 and 3/4" beige-colored head. very nice retention; a bit of patchy lacing.

nose is a pleasant surprise. after working my way around a few middling renditions on the 'summer ale', this one offers an aroma i can get on board with. good amount of citrus (primarily lemon and orange) with a bit of of a malty presence.

flavor doesn't disappoint, even if it doesn't necessarily blow you away. the citric flavor pulls through, along with a slight hoppy bitterness to accompany the malt character. again though, for a summer beer this more than fits the bill. medium-light bodied mouthfeel, crisp and easy to drink.

overall this one is a keeper. a tasty, refreshing summer beer with a little more to it than you typically see from breweries' summer seasonals.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours hazy with a deep honey color. Cream colored head is frothy and sturdy. Leaves some lacing as well. Looks attractive, and the color is not as light as expected. Could easily pass of an IPA.

S-Smell is light and also quite pleasant. Slight fruity hops. Looks the color of honey, and smells a bit like it as well. Smells fresh and lively. Nothing bold, but it definitely smells like an bright, aromatic summer session brew.

T-First comes the zesty lemony flavor that was present in the nose, but is much clearer in the taste. A very mellow almost yeasty spice is detectable too. Mild but semi-unexpected hop bite ends the flavor. A nice bittersweet combination.

M-Closer to medium than light in the body. Ample amounts of carbonation. A bit of a lingering stick to it.

O/D-Decided to attempt Ipswich's summer offering because I have been impressed by their IPA and more recently, their Original Ale. This is yet another sturdy, dependable brew. An awesome summer treat. Also, one of the cheapest craft 12-packs in my area. Could easily see myself bringing a 12-pack to a barbeque in the near future. One of my more preferable summer seasonals. Easy drinker; will treat you well on a hot day.

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Photo of ummswimmin
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up this beer for a BBQ I was holding. It seemed like a good match for a warm afternoon.

This is a pretty example of a summer ale. It is slightly darker than most blondes, but this dirty blonde has a nice taste and look.

The color is hazy, deep yellow. There is a white, one-finger head off the pour that stays for a couple minutes.

I was picking up apricot and some floral from the nose. These flavors continue in the tasting. It is refreshing.

There is some bitterness coming through in the after-taste. That was keeping it from being perfect, but I really like this beer. If you find this, pick it up for the next warm day.

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Photo of tkelley
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tall glass.

A - Hazy gold with a small white head and good lacing. Fairly opaque.

S - Mostly spices in the nose with a bit of biscuity malt behind it. Lemon peel too.

T - Good spice notes. Hops are present but its not bitter at all. Light on the tongue, but without giving up good flavors. The lemon peel from the nose is here too.

M - Good carbonation that tingles the mouth after a swallow and combines with the light hops for a really pleasant aftertaste.

D - Drinkable like a good summer ale should be. Thirst quenching and very tasty. Doesnt bowl me over with great flavors, but it really is very drinkable and very good. A really good one for the summer. I look forward to having one out on the boat.

This beer was good. From appearance to smell to taste it was reminiscent of a witbier, but it's not. It was hoppier and a slightly darker. A new summer staple for me.

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Photo of FickleBeast
2.62/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Pour is a cloudy yellow thanks to a generous clump of yeast that was sitting on the bottom of the bottle. Carbonation is vigorous, but dissipates quickly.

Aroma is mild, just some grainy malts and a hint of hops. The first sip doesn't impress. Mouthfeel is very fizzy, and there is a sharp bitter kick that doesn't seem to be from the hops. More of an astringent flavor. Second and third sips confirm the bitter flavor.

Perhaps this is a bad bottle? This is not enjoyable at all. I'm all about bitter, hoppy, beers - but this just tastes grainy and harsh. Not to mention it is listed as a Blond Ale.

Big disappointment here - I will be avoiding this one in the future.

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Photo of mlazzaro
4.14/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle

slight haze w/ sediment from the bottle.

light golden color with a white head.
interesting note: I noticed lacing of each sip on the glass, but very little head was present while consuming.

smells of lemon, spice, yeasty esters. good smell

this beer is surprisingly bitter towards the end of the sip, especially for a summer beer.

beer is light in body with a lingering bitterness. the bitterness really stands out with the lack of alcohol. I think I could use a little more body as well, I find it a bit watery feeling.

definitely nice for one of those way too hot days. smooth and refreshing though. a good session beer. easy to drink and contain good flavor.

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Photo of phantomwyse
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy , golden dandelion color with a moderate head and easy lacing.

S: Very mild hop presence, mostly citric with some oily pine. Somewhat sweet malts, a bit like butter cookies.

T: Soft hops, pine and a beat of grapefruit. Mild fruitiness in the middle, mango, orange - this may be residual hop flavors, but it seems separate to me. Malt backbone has a croissant like taste, bready but with a hint of sweetness.

M: Medium bodied, crispy, tantalizingly refreshing.

D: This is a near perfect summer beer. It's refreshing and flavorful. Maybe a bit too hop heavy, but it is moderate enough to be exceedingly pleasant.

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Photo of Pittsburgh
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Overall, a good summer beer, nice hop presence, citrus taste, but not overdone, slightly bitter, again not overdone. I think this has alot of subtle tastes, but nothing is overwhelming me, and it is good, light, and what you want to drink in the summer. It tastes like a quality beer, pours a nice golden color with a glow to it. I could drink a few of these after a day on the golf course, or working outside, or whatever. Its light and easy. I think Ipswich did a good job here and I will probably put this in the rotation for summer beer enjoyment....gets my stamp of approval.

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Photo of JMD
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy, light auburn color with frothy white head that leave a nice lacing down the glass.

S: Grains and straw. Yeasty bread and some citrus hops.

T: Clean, earthy flavor. Lemon grass, cereal, and bisquits. Finishes with a nice citrus bite.

M: Ample carbonation, crisp and refreshing.

D: This is an easly drinking summer. Very smooth and flavorful. It seems everything Ipswich puts out is quality stuff.

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Photo of wedge
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color with a small foamy head. Nice webby lace and decent retention. Soft fruity aroma...lemon, yeast, and biscuity grain. Some bready malt sweetness, peppery fruit, and a bit of tartness in the middle, finishing with a crisp hoppy bitterness. Body is leaning towards light but is smooth and snappy. Good on a warm summer evening in Boston...

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Photo of PaleAleHater
2.3/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Sampled while fishing out on the local lake at dusk. I was again conned by the enticing nautical label of an Ipswich. Argh Matey a poor decision once more! Strong notes of methane and aftertastes of soil and spoiled hop. Overdone to a tee; I gladly parted ways with the the last four sailors in my sixpack schooner. The smell was of soured plum and tepid bog mist. Mouthfeel unimpressive like a rainy June. It poured the color of Italian blood oranges as I emptied my bottles into the lake. A soft Crème fraîche lace gurgled and popped on the surface of the water as it reacted with the pending algae bloom.

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Ipswich Summer Ale from Ipswich Ale Brewery
3.76 out of 5 based on 131 ratings.
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