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Summer Solstice | Anderson Valley Brewing Company

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486 Reviews
Summer SolsticeSummer Solstice

Brewed by:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Cream Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Summer Solstice Seasonal Ale is a slightly sweet, malty session beer with a creamy mouth feel and clean finish. With hints of caramel in the nose and a touch of spice, it’s become affectionately known as “cream soda for adults”. The unique flavors and superior drinkability make for the ultimate refreshment on a hot summer day.

Added by xlperro on 05-09-2005

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 486 | Ratings: 1,536
Photo of vette2006c5r
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Summer Solstice pours a hazy dark copper color with a big lacing head. Sweet and earthy aroma. The flavor is strong, hints of earth with a sweet candy finish. Good body and feel. Overall, solid.: Sweeter.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Amber color with beige head. Aroma is quite malty with a slight hint of fruit acidity reminding a bit of cider. Taste is mainly malty with some fresh baked bread crust and some grains. It's just slightly sweet at first and finishes with a hint of earthy hops. Medium to light body with medium carbonation. Overall it's quite interesting style of beer. Malty but not really sweet, easy drinking and light on the palate.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.86/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burnt orange color with more purple tints toward the middle of the tulip, a billowy cream colored head with 2 fingers of height. 70% opaque.

Sweet, bready notes on the nose, with hints of pale malt and graham cracker. Faint, but what's there is solid.

A tea-like bitterness matches a rich, sweet creamy flaky dough maltiness with dashes of herbs and spices in between. Some warm sweet potato, complete with brown sugar and butter, maybe dashed with rosemary is sampled. I could actually use a touch more sweetness, that would really bring it full swing for me.

Feel is very creamy, and very tightly carbonated at the same time. A wet finish wraps things up.

Overall - I'm torn on whether I would have preferred to buy a six pack; if I did I wouldn't have regretted it, but I'm not unhappy with my choice of two cans. It's a very solid cream ale. Not the best, but not shabby by any stretch. I'd have it again, it's a good time for sure.

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Photo of Guppy314
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

From a can, pours a clear reddish gold with creamy thin white head. Malt-forward with caramel and some butterscotch flavors. Decent carbonation with a smooth medium mouth feel. Kind of like a cream soda without the sweetness. Very drinkable.

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Photo of stevoj
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Despite it’s darker body, this is a light and easy drinker for the summer months. Very lightly hopped, with some caramel/toffee sweetness. A mixture of an amber, a brown ale and some German dunkel. Interesting combo.

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Photo of Ruger_44-Redhawk
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Drinking this at the St. Paul Rodeo in Oregon on this nation's birthday. I like the all natural spice and this isn't like other flavored beers that are so syrupy that you can't have more than one. I really enjoy this beer. I've always considered this to be the cream soda of beers. I get Madagascar vanilla, caramel, cream, a little roasted malt, spice and a little almond. Even though I'm an Imperial anything guy, this is one of the best summer beers out there. And their Winter Ale is just as good.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours - deep copper color thin off white head not much lacing.

Smell - Wheat and hay, sweet malt little bit of spice and some caramel.

Taste - Sort of sweet flavor, sweet malts, caramel, raisin.

Feel - medium body, the sweetness makes it have an odd after taste.

Overall - An ok beer little too sweet for me.

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Photo of Act25
2.96/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

What beer drinker wants a root beer or a cream soda?!?!?

I dislike flavored, sweetened coffees as much as most flavored beers. If I want cola, root soda, or lemonade or any other kind of fruit essence or juice in my beer - why would I not add it myself?!?!?!

A) A cloudy red-orange amber with nearly no head or lacing.
S) Aroma is cream soda and ballantine with red grape.
T) Tastes treacly, toasty, toffee and sickly sweet caramel with few hints of fruit
F) Feels woody and clumsy/cloying with no hop bitterness. I dont get this for summer, it's sweet, thin, light winter brew.... Pass.

I enjoyed Vode's characterization though I don't dislike this as vehemently. Still, not a go-to brew.

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Photo of Phigg1102
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deep, clear, golden color with a large frothy beige head. Very malt forward in aroma. Bread crust is prominent along with some graham cracker and light moderate caramel notes. All these nice things are in the flavor as well, but the body is surprisingly light for these sweet-focused flavors, and the beer actually finishes quite dry. Hop presance is minimal, and anything I'm picking up is way in the background.

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Photo of OldSwampy
3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reddish brown with a cream head. Nose very bready, like opening a loaf of bread, though also some small spritzy or spicy notes. Taste starts modestly, lean, then opens with a big hit of caramel candy, also some licorice, and ends with a more standard malt. Flavor development is interesting but also odd. Mouthfeel is a bit sudsy but in some ways also lean, ending slick. Finish is surprisingly dry given the bready and sweet aspects. An oddly joined mixture of flavors, and tastes perhaps too "flavored" for some. Despite the name this reminds me more of fall flavors... almost a pumpkin ale sort of thing... than a refreshing summer brew.

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Photo of TheStoutLord
4.21/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Great orange-amber color, very appealing. Thin head and some bubbles, seems very light at first glance. There is debris floating in the bottom, assuming thats the added natural flavor and not something else...

S: Rather weak smell with hints of spice and raisin. Some caramel scents, but overall not strong aroma.

T: Extremely creamy with a malty back half. Nearly total lack of hops, which is refreshing after a stint of IPAs. Its a great taste for summer I think, very sweet. This would be the perfect beer for a hot day outside.

Feel: Light and nearly bubbly feeling. Again, quite creamy, accurately described as cream soda for adults..

O: Great beer. Sweet and refreshing but not in a way that implies added juices and sweeteners. Unlike a lot of similarly sweet beers, I could absolutely drink more than just one of these. Especially if I was relaxing outside.

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Photo of LateToThisParty
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Slightly cloudy red-orange amber with virtually no head or lacing. Aroma is red grape: fearing another juice brew. Tastes toasty, toffee or caramel with hints of fruit, and a raisiny finish. Feels smooth and clean with no hop bitterness. Yes, it is a juice/wine brew. It might be okay on a warm relaxing late summer/early fall afternoon. Maybe around the BBQ with hot dogs and other junk food.

I enjoyed Vode's characterization though I don't dislike this as vehemently. Still, not a go-to brew.

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Photo of Vode
2.25/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Should have read the label more closely before picking up a single bottle of this brew from my local beer and cheese place in Brooklyn. Pours into a beautiful amber / copper creamy frothy pint. Really gorgeous. Unfortunately this stuff smells and tastes like a caramel candy pop, and has the consistency of Aunt Jemima. What an utter disaster this thing is. So aggravated I slammed into my sink drain. Alas I had no children around who I'd feed a beer because they'd love this crap.

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Photo of Lilbeck23
4.97/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It has a nice toasty brown Amber to it. The smell is superb and with hints of vanilla and caramel. The feel and taste resemble creamy caramel with vanilla present and carbonation. It definitely is overall a MUST HAVE!!

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Photo of the_awesometeer
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A nice medium amber hazy color. Fast rising bubbles of carbonation and a okay foamy head that lasted a while down the glass. The smell of vanilla is strong with maybe a hint of clove. It is a very smooth drink. Tastes of vanilla, caramel, and bread. Overall this is a great drinking beer, nice sweet flavor with the smoothness makes it very easy to drink. I will be getting this again

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Photo of timontheroad
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a semi-clear dark Amber color , nice two finger fluffy head with good retention and lacing. Lots of carbonation bubbles floating upward, keeping the head intact. The aroma was sweet, with hints of vanilla, caramel and toffee, and some light bready notes. The flavor had some nutty tastes, along with vanilla, and some biscuity malt flavors. Reminded me a lot of a good old cream soda. The mouthfeel was pretty full bodied, with a nice creamy feel. Overall, it was pretty good, will probably be buying a few more of these, as it was pretty refreshing.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a deep and hazy brownish amber with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid finger of off white head that settles into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A toasty and fairly sweet malt forward aroma with hints of biscuit, caramel, and cream. Pale malt with hints of biscuit, cracker, caramel, toffee, and yeast. Sweet hints of cream and vanilla. Subtle fruit hints of orange and apple. A pretty nice light aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a toasty and sweet malt forward taste with notes of cream, biscuit, and caramel. Pale malt with notes of biscuit, cracker, toffee, caramel, and yeast. Sweet notes of cream and vanilla. Subtle background notes of orange and apple fruit. A solid taste.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very creamy and smooth.

Overall: A pretty solid take on a Cream Ale. Nice notes of cream and biscuit malt.

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Photo of alexanderplatz
2/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

On tap at Ethereal Brewing in Lexington KY. 5 oz. glass as part of a beer flight.

I didn't like this one at all. Taste: watered down overall. The finish had an odd taste that hinted at watered down Hersey's chocolate syrup. If I had made this as a homebrew I would have considered it a failure. Apparently somebody makes it on purpose.

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Photo of delta490
3.14/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy orange-amber with a thin cover of creamier white head. What little head there is has nice retention and leaves a little soapy lacing. Both the aroma and the taste and bland and barely there beyond some vague maltiness. The body is nicely weighted, not too heavy or thin and just a hint of carbonation.

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Photo of brettski66
4.53/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Delicious. Favorite Summer beer this season. If you like cream soda and toasty, malty goodness without it being heavy and bogged down - this beer's for you.

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Photo of Catracho5
3.84/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce can poured into Anderson Valley shaker pint

A: Vanilla head that disappeared fast, amber dark orange color, hazy, slight carbonation, some lacing.

A: Caramel, toffee, vanilla, sweet, smells like cream soda, toasted bread, has a lot going on in the aroma.

T: Vanilla, toffee, toasted bread, biscuits, slightly sweet, finishes with a mild bitterness that gives way to more toast bread and biscuit notes.

M: Creamy mouthfeel, light body.

O: Pretty tasty, easy drinking, nice creamy mouthfeel, this was great beer to have while smoking some meat the other day, an alternative to lighter summer ales during summer.

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Photo of StretchZep
2.8/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

First sip was ....wow this is different. Half way through I started really not liking it. It is smooth, it is malty, but it has this annoying hint of bitterness that a first seems lemony but soon becomes vinegary! Almost no carbonation it is like a flat hard cider gone bad and I hate hard cider.

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Photo of sjones5045
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Home 6/12/15

Pours brown and little haze with a head burst but dissolves quick.

The smell is pleasant. Pick up some sweet like toffee and some nuttiness.

The taste is enjoyable. A little like a soda. Definitely a nutty caramel flavor. It's kind of like soda beer.

The one thing that really ruins this beer is the feel. It's pretty flat. Kind of low carbonation which I find to be kind of annoying.

Overall good beer but not one I'll probably see out after the six runs out.

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Photo of barczar
3.59/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pretty dark as caramelly for a cream ale. Aroma is caramelly, sweet, and nutty.

Flavor reveals specialty malt fruitiness and underlying caramel tones that translate as toffee late. The fruity notes are fairly offputting.

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Photo of MUTINY
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Guinness pint.

A: Beautiful deep copper with a 1 1/2" white sea foamy head that dissipates on the double. Retention is meh, lacing is actually not bad.

S: Not massively aromatic, the most predominant note that I can detect is sort of a Christmas-cookie thing. There's a smattering of fruitiness along the lines of mango & the like as well.

T: Christmas-cookie, graham cracker, some tropical fruit & a bit of a yogurt note. There's some detectable spice here but I'm having a hard time pinning it down. It's just a hair yeasty as well. It's an interesting collection of flavors as per usual from AV - here it works out nicely & really shows some balance.

M: Fitting for the style, rich without immense heaviness. Carb is as it should be.

O: One of the better brews from AV in my opinion. I love how they committed to creating an intriguing, flavorful approach to the style with getting over-ambitious.

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Summer Solstice from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
3.68 out of 5 based on 1,536 ratings.
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