Summer Solstice | Anderson Valley Brewing Company

490 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

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Reviews: 490 | Ratings: 1,547
Photo of TheFlern
1/5  rDev -72.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I can't begin to describe how much I loath this beer.

Um, its basically a watered down juice drink. No carbonation. nasty off flavors. ugh. nothing is going good for this beer. this is the last straw for me and anderson valley. their beers all suck top to bottom. i'm done with them.

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Photo of dnolan36
1.24/5  rDev -66.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I recently picked up some beer for a fellow BA while I was out of town and he asked me to pick him up a 6-pack of Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema. Well he offered to give me one when I gave them to him and who can turn down a free beer.

The beer poured a nice clear reddish, golden color. The head was very light, about 1" which quickly went away.

I found this to be more malty than I normally like. I also found it to also lack the hops.

Definitely nothing too special about this beer. To me it tasted like another BMC.

Overall it is not what I like or look for in a Summer beer.

Sadly enough, this turned into one of my first drain-pours I have had in a while.

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Photo of mothman
1.74/5  rDev -52.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pours a light layer of white head. Fades to a ring. Color is golden orange.

Aroma: Funky cheese. Some spice flavors, maybe nutmeg. Not much else.

Taste: Tastes like Barq's cream soda. Not much else though. Really, there isn't a lot going on here. Is this pop or beer?

Mouthfeel: Crisp. Light bodied with a high amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, I have no idea what to think about this beer. It smells bad and doesn't taste like beer at all. What were these guys trying to brew.

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Photo of kbutler1
1.85/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle. Pours a clear copper color with a mostly white with light tan head. The aroma is....cheese, yes cheese, slightly like swiss. Oh good lord, I am not looking forward to tasting this. It taste like watered down cream soda. Medium mouthfeel. The flavor is not that great to say the least. I’m not sure what they were shooting for on this one. Slightly sweet start. Ends with a linger cream soda flavor. No lace, but some head retention.

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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 thepliceisright
2/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a 12 oz can.

Poured a nice copper color, with a tan head, noticed a lot of carbonation.

Definitely smelled malty, with hints of fruit, and slight spice. Smelled creamy, which is something that I would expect from a beer like this. Absolutely no hops come through.

I don't know if I had an older can or what, but the taste was more along the lines of a less watered down malt liquor, with a slight hop taste in the end. No fruity, creamy taste that I would have expected from the smell.

The mouthfeel was watery and over-carbed.

Overall, I was really disappointed. Like I said above, I don't know if I had an older can, or a bad batch? I would really like to try this again, because the reviews of this beer are decent, and I think I'll give this a second chance. The taste was nothing like the aroma, which was promising.

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Photo of clickpush
2.01/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

pour: 12oz bottle to stange. Just off-white head that builds to about 1cm before dissipating quickly to almost nothing. Pleasant seltzer-like carbonation sounds and very active streams coming from throughout the glass

nose: almost no aroma, if not a tad unattractive

mouth: enters smooth and coats entire mouth w/ creamy foaminess. carries a slightly bitter, unpleasant flavor that is the only taste separating this beer from carbonated water.

I hope for this beer's sake that it was just a bad bottle.

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Photo of chefjack428
2.06/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.75

Can, picked up on a very hot day.
The appearance of the beer is the only good thing.
Smells like over sweetened A&W cream soda and stale cereal.
Taste was pretty awful, skunky, overly sweet cream soda flavor and a bit of lemon.
So many people love this stuff, I thought it was horrible. Wish I had my $3 back.

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Photo of ADZA
2.11/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I love beer in cans as long as its good.

A-See through burnt toffee,copper hue which leaves the creamiest two finger head that stays and sporadic lacing.

S-It smells very sweet almost like creaming soda with a touch of barley sugar hmmm too sweet for me almost like a kool drink.

T-Creaming soda mixed with corn syrup and old english toffee straight out its so sweet way too sweet,borderlining on kool drink.

M-A touch creamy and light bodied.

O-Avoid like the plague i mean if your not really into beer its great and would be a great girly beer for your missus but its not for me the sweetness really goes to the next level with no hoppy bitterness noticeable to counteract which really kills it for me.

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Photo of MrKennedy
2.18/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12oz can from The Local Bottlestore & Provisions, poured into a Brooklyn tulip.

Has a real soft drink style hiss as it settles into an unnatural bright orange and pink colour. Head comes out cream coloured and fades quickly to film.

Smell is very sweet with the malt. Some fruit in a sort of tangello and mandarin way, mixed with a bit of bread. Not real nice.

Taste is a little creamy, and an improvement over the nose, while still sweet and having a fruity flavour. Nice bit of bread helps this a but in the end.

Feel is like flat soft drinks. Syrup like, just with dome carbonation. The sweetness kills this here too.

Avoid! Was looking forward to this, but it is a super sweet soft drink like beer.

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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 bunnyhustle
2.38/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer was a malty mess in my humble opinoin. Pours a slightly hazy amber with 1 finger off-white head with no retention or lacing. Smell is of malt, some biscuit, and an overall "off" scent. Taste is the same, malty, malty, malty. Really dont notice much else I have to say. Maybe I just dont get this one, I dont know. Lower carbonation leaves a medium mouthfeel, that was the one thing I didnt mind about the beer, it did go down smooth. Overall just not impressed and will most likely not revisit.

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Photo of constahoogan
2.46/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into my Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A - Translucent Copper/brown color body with a frothy off-white cream head. Minimal to no lacing in my glass.

S - Bitter Malts no such hints of hops. Seems like I'm diving my nose into a light or watered down Wee heavy or scotch ale. the scent was a little off to me

T - bittersweet malts, hint of vanilla. I think that's just about it. I was expecting something a bit more creamy.

M - a bit south of smooth. The feel runs a little flat.

D - slightly lacking in the drinkability department. I really didn't feel inclined to finish this brew.

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Photo of Murchmac
2.56/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Dark amber, red highlights with a big white head, that follows you around like a white guy stalking Nicole Kidman.

Some grassy and cream notes, like those milkweed flowers that would explode in the summer.

Tastes like flat vanilla cream soda that was left out overnight. Both the winter and the summer beers have lots of Robert Matthew Van Winkle minus the ice in them.

A little to sweet for me. I'm more of a David Lee Roth guy, not Sammy.

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Photo of chumba526
2.58/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appears light red in color with a small white head.

It smells of vanilla, it smells slightly sour and it smells slightly of molasses.

There is a very strong vanilla/ milky taste to the beer. There is a very sweet sugar taste that reminds me of cake as well. There is also a slight caramel taste as well.

The carbonation is medium high.

For a so called "summer beer" this is not very refreshing. I could only have one of these because of the sweetness of the beer.

Overall an ok beer if you like vanilla and cake like flavor to your beer: I don't. This is way too heavy to be considered a summer beer though.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
2.62/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: muddled copper/deep amber color, minimal head.
S: toffee, long-cooked caramel, butterscotch, and suggestions of vanilla, marshmallows, and honey. maybe some earthy hops in the background. but mostly cooked sugars.
T: saa. moderate to full sweetness with a background bitterness attempting to bring balance. loads of toffee. finishes sweet.
M: sticky. medium to full body. lightly carbonated. more Co2 may have helped.
O/D: i would never have guessed this for a cream ale. 'summer' would suggest dry, crisp, refreshing to me, and this is none of these. i suppose this is what it would be like if i tried to make toffee or caramel at home, overdid it/fucked up, and licked up what was left in the bottom of the pan. if i would like that sort of thing.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.65/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark amber in color with no head forming on the pour. Smell is slightly spicy and very fainlty hopped. Not much going on in the taste. Some fruity flavors, very weak hops. This is a pretty weak flavored beer. Very muted and watered down. Not a whole lot going on here. I'll wait for the Winter Solstice to come out.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.65/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a light shade of copper, leaning towards amber. Decent head and retention.

Big bready, doughy malted presence dominates. Creamy mouthfeel. Its like walking into a bakery with this brew, just tons and tons of sweet bready malt. Lingers a bit in the end sticking to your teeth type of linger.

Notes: Its OK but not one I'll pursue. It has some cake likeness to it that just doesn't fit my palate.

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Photo of Murrhey
2.67/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz can into a pint glass. Reviewed live.

A- Two finger foamy white head. Quickly fading retention and some sticky lacing. Poured out a lovely smooth copper color. Looks alright, just wish the retention would hang around a bit longer.

S- Creamy is the best smell to describe it. Some mild, citrusy hops with a caramel malt backbone. Light smelling beer, but nice on a hot day.

T- Tastes like cream soda with some hops in it. Caramel, cream, citrus, brown sugar and a definite clarity from the water. Not my cup o beer.

M- No real substantial feel to it. Light and smooth.

O- Drinkable beer, but nothing too impressive.

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Photo of DavidSeanNJ
2.68/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this beer a couple of years back, 2005 maybe? I remember loving this one, so decided to give it a shot. Damn, I was dissapointed.

A- This beer poured a dark ruby color with some red tones. Not much head and no lace.

S- Smell was straight up malts with a fruity kick.

T- Once again, I remember this beer being a lot better. Maybe my palate has changed? Maybe the recipe has changed? There was really not much going on in the taste. Loads of malts with a fruity strawberry/sugar background. Some cream was evident, but faint if anything. Think a mild cream soda.

M- Syrupy and oily.

D- Too sweet for me. This one was a big dissapointment in my book, didn't enjoy it at all.

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Photo of tlazaroff
2.71/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not much on the nose but a light grain character. Somewhat disappointing, but it's not offensive.

Pours a darker yellow color, but not quite amber. It's more like the highlight of amber. The head was giant when poured but quickly dissipated to a manageable size, leaving some attractive lacing.

Unfortunately the taste is just about as interesting as the aroma. I taste grain, and maybe a little bit of earthy hops. Again, it's not offensive, but it doesn't do anything for me.

This is a DRY beer, it drys my mouth even before swallowing it. It's moderately carbonated with a body that is a bit light, but that's expected. I'll give it points for being refreshing and moderately drinkable, but it's not session able.

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Photo of Kegatron
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with a finger of bright-white foamy head. This retains with more of a fizzy look, with some creaminess around the edges but the lacing is confined to just a light smattering on the sides of the glass. The aroma is sweet, with a ton of caramel and creamy vanilla sweetness going on in the nose. There is some graininess from the malts as well but this sits mostly underneath, along with a little citric flavor and some grassy tones.

The taste has a base of grains and light green hop bitterness before that flush of caramel and vanilla swoops and pretty much permeates the entire profile and especially comes out strong as this finishes. Them mouthfeel is lighter bodied, with a gentle crispness that keeps this interesting feeling and relatively easy in the mouth.

I like a good Cream Ale like the next guy but when the "cream" aspect consists of some overly fake tasting vanilla flavors, it just isn't my thing. I could see this being pretty accessible for new-to-craft beer drinkers but I look for something a little more substantial in my summer beers, as there was just too much sweetness here.

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Photo of klewis
2.78/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a slightly hazy copper with a frothy head htat quickly fades. No lacing.

S: Equal parts DMS and caramel. Not offensive, but not good.

T: Fairly sweet. Mostly DMS and flavors of corn and celery. Well balacned, I suppose - just not of my liking.

M: Light bodied with light, but fizzy carbonation.

D: This could be a good summer beer, except I'm not much of a fan of the taste. This one is drinkable, but not one that I would be willing to drink again.

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Photo of StretchZep
2.8/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

First sip was 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 BeerFMAndy
2.82/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a Nonic. No date.

A - Hazy amber color with a fizzy tan head that went away quickly leaving nothing but a few bubbles in a ring.

S - Abounding caramel and amber malts - very sweet - an unfortunate gross dirty sock smell in the background. No hop aromas. Off for style.

T - Sweet, almost way too sweet, caramel flavors from amber and caramel malts. Honey in the background.

M - It's creamy and smooth which is good but it's also very syrupy from the mass amounts of unfermented sugar left in the brew (I'm assuming here since it's incredibly sugary). Medium-bodied.

D - In my opinion, its really not the easiest drinking beer at all. It's incredibly sweet like a dopplebock (and I love rich, malty, sweet beers) but not in a good way. It also really isn't to Cream Ale style as outlined by the BJCP at all.

As a side note after having half the 12 oz bottle for rating I asked my dad if he wanted to finish it. He took a sip and by the look on his face that was a "no". Needless to say it was a drain-pour. [Also, there was no date. I wonder based on all the positive ratings if mine was way too old...]

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Summer Solstice from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
3.67 out of 5 based on 1,547 ratings.
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