Summer Solstice | Anderson Valley Brewing Company

1,548 Ratings
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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 490 | Ratings: 1,548
Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pretty good overall. Although the aroma was subdued the flavor was pretty tasty. This would be a good beer to have on hand during camping trips. I'll definitely look for it again.

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Photo of Everydayoff
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On-tap served in a pint glass at O’glee, Bangkok.

Mildly hazed copper amber hue with thick creamy off-white head that stays with good retention before slowly collapsing to a long-lasting bubble sheet on the surface and leaving lots of lacing patch and spot.

Cream soda, vanilla, sweet caramel, biscuit, slight toasted, earthy hop, and some mild fruit, all of these scents are presented in quite balance way.

The taste is still cream soda together with sweet, caramel, vanilla, biscuit, some earthiness and subtle sour fruitiness. Rich malty as a base that is nicely decorated by all the other flavors.

Medium body with good crispness and nicely smooth mouthfeel, moderate lively carbonation that carries all the things well, finish is dry.

Malt is a backbone here while the addition of natural flavor makes it sweet and creamy like a dessert drink.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.39/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This was kind of the wave of new beers from Anderson Valley after a decade or more of nothing new entering the lineup it seemed. Golden beer, ample clarity, 1/3" white head, it struggled with retention. Aroma was mild grain and not much else.

Taste, a smooth affair, low bitterness and hopping, appropriate for style. Pretty cool stuff as it isn't lacking in malt, but is easy to drink and not heavy or offputting on a warm day.

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Photo of Marius
3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

33cl botle. Clear amber pour with a thin tan head. Green hops and wet copper in the nose. The taste is bitter, with notes of red berries and citrus, as well as some cantaloupe melon.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
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 -1.9%
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 +5.2%
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 -3.8%
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 -16.1%
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 +21.3%
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 -4.1%
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 -19.3%
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 +10.4%
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 -0.8%
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 +14.7%
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 -16.6%
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 -38.7%
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 +35.4%
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 +13.4%
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 +3.3%
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 +10.4%
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 -45.5%
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 -14.4%
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 +23.4%
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 Brolo75
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
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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Summer Solstice from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
3.67 out of 5 based on 1,548 ratings.
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