Summer Solstice
Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Summer SolsticeSummer Solstice
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Cream Ale
Ranked #116
ABV:
5%
Score:
83
Ranked #37,768
Avg:
3.7 | pDev: 15.14%
Reviews:
507
Ratings:
1,629
From:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  80
Gots
  271
SCORE
83
Good
Summer SolsticeSummer Solstice
Notes: Also known as Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema

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.
Reviews: 507 | Ratings: 1,629 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jjamadorphd
jjamadorphd from Florida

4.29/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Simply surprising...

I’ve been holding out to try this canned until after the summer started. I didn’t know what to really expect from this beer but it truly is something special. Great copper coloration, a spicy lightly caramel smell, a mouthfeel that became creamier has it warmed up, and the taste where the caramel notes to the nose were definitely there on the tongue. All around this was a surprisingly refreshing and tasteful beer.

Jun 28, 2020
Photo of sjrider
sjrider from California

3.47/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle -mostly clear burnished copper color with quickly receding off white head leaving a bit of foamy/bubbly lacing.Nose is mostly sweet grainy malt. Taste follows more or less. Finish is weird -creamy at first but then ending with an almost dry woody character.

Jun 20, 2020
Photo of just1cho
just1cho from California

3.04/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

*Poured into a Teku glass from a 12oz bottle*

This beer poured a clear amber with a nice finger thick beige colored head. It was nice to look at, but I just wish there was a bit more retention.

I felt like the aroma on this particular beer was kind of awful. There was a lot of off smells for some reason as I primarily got some green apples and strong musty characters to it. Still, I could pick up some notes of caramel with a slight phenolic note to it, although it was pretty faint.

The taste was alright. It was fairly malt forward with the mustiness still present. I could taste the sweet malts, caramel, and the biscuit characteristics. Not very complex, and not very interesting, unfortunately.

The feel of this was the best aspect of an otherwise average beer. It was soft, smooth and creamy. It had about a medium body with a medium amount of carbonation. There was no lingering bitterness of the hops, but there was a slight musty aftertaste.

Overall, I didn't like this beer too much, but maybe I just got a bad one? Probably won't drink this again unless offered it.

May 08, 2020
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Bouleboubier from New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

(12 oz can, code 19024 7741; purchased single off shelf... poured into simple mug)

L: fairly-clear, orange-amber liquid; crackly head collapses as it pours... no lace at all; thin crescent collar persists

S: fruity aromas emanate as it pours; once in the glass, peach cobbler?... perfumy notes going along with the fruit; bit of a lip balm essence too... lovely, potent aromas overall; probably fits 'cream ale' better than any other style

T: fruit candle; cream soda for sure, caramel out the patootie, but little residual sweetness; finish stays rather dry, though some flan seems to pop up in burps... thank heavens there's also not much booze presence nor (phenolic) spice... the fruit eventually fades into a sort of highlight to the bold malt (sugars)

F: on the lighter side of medium-bodied, but it certainly has a plump roll to it... the back third of the palate remains remarkably loose and light throughout... interesting balancing act

O: had this once or twice in my time prior to this - probably don't remember its intense caramel foundation due to having swilled cold from the can/bottle?... a variety of interesting food pairing possibilities, I'm sure... this just takes the concept of 'cream ale' to the extreme; very flavorful, with enough dryness and carbonation to lighten it a bit, but I can't imagine having more than one in succession and/or w/o food (1442)

Aug 20, 2019
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IronLover from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark orange in color with a heavy haze. Poured with a moderate, off white foam with medium retention. Honestly, looks like a pumpkin ale. Bready and sweet malt aromas with sweet caramel notes. Bo hop aromas. Medium bodied with medium carbonation and lightly smooth feel. Caramel malty and bready flavors followed by medium low, lightly tart, hop bitterness. Light earthy hop and caramel flavors on the back end. Finished light bready notes followed by lingering caramel malt and mellow hop bitterness. A very unique beer. Can't say I could compare this to anything I've tried. Malty, and on the sweet side, but nicely balanced by moderate hop bitterness.

Jun 14, 2019
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izraelc from New York

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not sure I've ever tasted a beer quite like this. Pours a clear amber. Smells and tastes more like an autumn beer. Malty and creamy. Goes down smooth. Not my first choice for a warm summer day but it'll do.

May 27, 2019
Photo of MaltyMagic
MaltyMagic from California

3.84/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Was one of my favorites when cutting my teeth into the craft beer world, nearly 20 years ago. Great gateway beer.

Clear amber, whipped egg nog head with good retention, sticky lace. Big vanilla, caramel, grain, apricot, cinnamon, nutmeg, almond, earth. Frothy, refreshing feel, finishes dry with some lingering grain. Unique and easy to drink.

More of an autumn flavor profile, but drinks like a summer beer should.

May 10, 2019
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Corkykab from New Jersey

3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I’ve given neutral ratings, 3 across the board, because I can appreciate the quality of a style of brew which I typically avoid. I was given a case of this beer by a friend, and have slowly made my way through it. It’s a rich, aromatic ale, but quite frankly much too sweet for my taste. And of course this doesn’t make it a bad brew, just not my cup of tea. Give me a Pilsner Urquell, Tsingtao, or, as an alternative to this style of beer, although they’re not really similar at all, Guinness Extra Stout... love this site! Recently discovered it, and I’m hooked...

Jan 28, 2019
Photo of I_Make_Pens
I_Make_Pens from California

1/5  rDev -73%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

If you like pumpkin spice lattes, then this is the beer for you. If you like real beer, avoid this label. I should have known better when I saw that the label read, "ale with natural flavor added." I'm not sure if you can return beer, but if you could this would be the one to send back. I had to force myself just to finish one bottle.

Oct 02, 2018
Photo of chitoryu12
chitoryu12 from Florida

3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look: Clear copper with a large, foamy white head.

Smell: Sweet, spicy, slightly yeasty malt. Faint vanilla and citrus.

Taste: Noticeable mild vanilla with a bitter undertone, leading into biscuit-like malt.

Mouthfeel: Slightly too thin, with high carbonation.

Overall: Pretty good for a session beer, but I'd like a bolder ale flavor.

Aug 22, 2018
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12 oz can in a pint glass. This solid cream ale pours
a rich medium dark amber with a very nice head of white foam that
settles to a thick ring and thin layer with excellent soapy lacing. Nose
of light cream elements with a hint of orange and subtle herbal notes.
Flavors hit the right note with faint vanilla and light orange awash in
a mild cream nite with light grains and very light herbal hops on the rear
of the taste. Excellent Mouth feel; medium light body, high crush-ability
factor, medium light carbonation, and a lightly sweet clean finish.

Overall, everything to love and nothing to hate. An excellent
summer ale.

Cheers

Aug 17, 2018
Photo of nicholas2121
nicholas2121 from Ohio

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Summer Solstice brewed by Anderson Valley Brewing Company, with an ABV of 5.00% This Cream Ale pours out a deep golden almost brown color with a nice small white head. This cream ale was poured in a paint beer glass. Really digging the copper color of this brew. There is also some nice spotty lacing to this brew, it sticks to the side of the glass well. The smell is rich with mild sweetness, with grians and malts. You also pick up on some mild hop bitterness in the smell as well. Between the look an smell this is one inviting brew. Now for the taste, it is Bold with flavors. You first pick up on a nice amount of grains falled by malts. Then to some it all up the mild hop bitterness. The body of Summer Solstice is a solid medium. There is nothing overpowering about this brew, it has a super nice balance to. I like how smooth this brew goes down. This brew would go nice with dinner. The mouth feel is Bold, Bright, Clean, Smooth and Refreshing. Overall I am going to give Summer Solstice a soild 4 out of 5. I would definitely look this brew up again giving the opportunity to. Anderson Valley Brewing Company, did a real nice job with this brew.

Jun 27, 2018
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Try-em-all from Missouri

3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

While this is a good one caramel and color little on the darker side than I would have expected pretty good had about a finger and a half some slight lacing you definitely get the caramel on the nose little bit of spice little bit of bread e-notes and reminds me of something I will start to drink in fall great transition beer into the Oktoberfest time.

Sep 07, 2017
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PA-hunter from Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 5.0% abv

Appearance- Dark amber/copper. Lofty white head with moderate lacing. Translucent.

Smell- Loads of caramel, bready malt, cinnamon.

Taste- Sweet, bready malt. Lightly toasted flavor. Caramel malts dominate, mixing with the bread flavors. Finishes clean with ample spicing and hints of vanilla. Cinnamon and ginger round off the finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium in body with medium carbonation.

Overall- A more richer bodied, caramel malt brew. Shares some characteristics with an Oktoberfest as far as the malt base goes. Fitting for a beer celebrating the Summer Solstice. When Fall is approaching. I think this beer got me ready to start drinking some Oktoberfests straight from Bavaria.

Aug 25, 2017
Photo of BB1313
BB1313 from Ohio

3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into a tulip. Pours copper with a subtle haze; fluffy off-white/light khaki head that fades leaving nice retention and lacing. The aromas are full of sweet malts. Some butter cream. Vanilla is there with some hints of caramel and toffee. Corn is there. The flavors basically follow the nose. More vanilla, caramel and toffee. Solid malt backbone. It's slightly sweet, but remains refreshing. Alcohol goes completely unnoticed. Mouthfeel is on the fuller side of light-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's fluffy, smooth and very easy to drink.

This is a nice cream ale. It's straight forward, but slightly unique. Enjoyable stuff. I like it.

Jul 21, 2017
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BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

2.1/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Taste: hint of sweet caramel sugars, mild and rather thin and watery. Mild nose of malt. Golden in color, clear, but decent nitro head with some lace. Very lite body. Only a hint of cream soda beer. 5 IBUs

Jul 19, 2017
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hof_1991 from Wisconsin

3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at our local gastropub. Light and sweet, very sessionable. Pale, with a full head. Not a lot of powerful flavors but very pleasant with food.

Jul 15, 2017
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IchLiebeBier from Virginia

3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Mar 12, 2017
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Everydayoff from Thailand

3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Jan 25, 2017
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.39/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Dec 29, 2016
Photo of Marius
Marius from Netherlands

3.29/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Nov 14, 2016
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vette2006c5r from Minnesota

3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Oct 01, 2016
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Ciocanelu from Romania

3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Sep 28, 2016
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hoptheology from South Dakota

3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Sep 10, 2016
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Guppy314 from District of Columbia

3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

Jul 28, 2016
Summer Solstice from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 1629 ratings