Summer Solstice | Anderson Valley Brewing Company

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Summer SolsticeSummer Solstice
1,611 Ratings
Summer SolsticeSummer Solstice

Brewed by:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Cream Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by xlperro on 05-09-2005

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,611 |  Reviews: 499
Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cream ale with some attitude, a definite fruitiness,peaches and cream, though the finish is a bit odd. Overall on the very sweet side, though quite tasty. I am of the school that this is not a summer beer, which I would imagine something Kolsch, rather a cream soda substitute.Full mouthfeel.

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Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of kylehay2004
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: 3 finger head with minimal lace. hazy amber with brown hues.

S: some fig, caramel malt with cinnimon notes.

T: sweet caramel malt and cream soda upfront with a candy-like finish.

M: light to medium body and light to moderate carbonation.

Overall: as good as a cream ale can be for my taste. Not really something I will get again though.

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Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.31/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear honey amber color with a 1 inch bone colored head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Random thin streaks of lace stick to the sides of the glass on the drink down. Smells of sweet malt and some funky spice. The smell is almost like gym socks. Taste is of sweet malt and a slight spiciness. This beer has a lower carbonation level with a creamy and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that I can see being a good choice in the warm summer months.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out with a slight orange color, pretty interesting actually. The smell of the beer has a light amount of citrus notes and some smooth malt aromas. The taste of the beer was a little sweet, hardly any hops noticeable in this brew at all. The mouthfeel of this beer was very creamy... Really impressed by the feel of this brew. It's still light and refreshing also. Overall the beer isn't bad, I'd probably drink it again one day.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of spycow
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of metter98
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear copper in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high creamy beige head that died down yet consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface..
S: There are light aromas of caramel malts in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is filled with flavors of caramel and has a mild amount of sweetness. There are also some hints of vanilla and spices. No bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied, creamy and very smooth on the palate with a high amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and its low alcohol content makes it quite sessionable, particularly on a hot summer day.

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Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz can. Thanks to Christian, the Alberta rep, and Jim from Sherbrooke Liquor for the sample can. Cool to see "Good Drinkin' since '87" in a heretofore unknown to me North American English dialect.

This beer pours a clear, dark brassy amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, bubbly, and finely foamy ecru head, which leaves a few sparse streaks of grotesque, upward reaching arched lace around the glass as it slowly seeps away.

It smells of semi-sweet, raw pastry malt, a tad biscuity, with caramel, candy corn, and vanilla notes swirling about, and some soft, savoury spices. The taste is more sweet biscuity caramel malt, the doughy pastry element still strong, a slight drupe fruitiness adding to the mire, and the same cooking spices from the nose mixing with the earthy, leafy hops in a sluggish balancing effort.

The carbonation is quite soft and understated, the body a serene medium weight, and smartly creamy in its unassailable smoothness. It finishes on the sweet side, of course, the confectioner's dream malt and low-key spices overwhelming a mildly bitter (and this is from California?) spurt.

Now this, this is a cream ale, I say - a nicely rounded, soft, yet full malt base, some quirky, but still workable side flavours, and an almost silky-smooth mouthfeel. Bahl hornin', indeed.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of superspak
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce can into pint glass, no canning date. Pours hazy orange copper color with a small white head with decent retention, that reduces to a thin cap. Minimal lacing on the glass. Aromas of orange, biscuit, toast, caramel, nuttiness, vanilla, grass, floral, light chocolate, and herbal. Very nice aromas with good balance and strength. Taste of orange, biscuit, toast, nuttiness, caramel, vanilla, floral, grass, and herbal. Lingering notes of citrus, toast, biscuit, caramel, nuttiness, vanilla, and light herbal spiciness on the finish for a bit. Fairly robust flavors with nice balance; no cloying sweetness at all. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and lightly crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming present on the finish. Overall this is a damn nice cream ale. Nice amount of flavor and balance; very smooth and easy to drink. Really enjoyable, I would have it again.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.9/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger beige-light khaki head of fair cream, pretty decent thickness, and above average retention. Colour is a clear gold. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Clean malts, wheat, ripe orange peel (over ripe methinks...), cream, and caramel. Orange flavored toffee hints perhaps. A mild strength aroma.

T: Wheat, orange peel, vague butterscotchy notes, a hint of toffee, caramel, and cream. Interestingly built, with bright malts coming through. The fruit is vague and indistinct. The butterscotch is off, perhaps a diacetyl note. Simple and lacking depth or subtlety.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some nice coarseness about the climax. Nice carbonation. Moderate on the palate.

Dr: Drinkable but boring and underwhelming. It's a fair summer beer - pleasant and fresh and that - but there's little here that would bring me back to it. A decent offering, but still rather meh.


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Photo of BEERchitect
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

As America's beer making roots steered away from German authenticity and into an indigenous world all its own, the taste of warm fermented lager gives distinguished taste with all its quirks, rusticity and charm. Anderson Valley brewers are here to help us to not forget those wobbly stepping stones.

Their summer-made cream ale bridge the season with a surprisingly dark, almost copper hue. Laced with a cloudy haze, its appearance even seems creamy. Well headed, the aromas of sweet caramel and cream corn are expected. But is toasted sweet taste and yogurt-like texture make for exciting allure.

Its stern structure remains highly creamy and sweet with a tea-like presence that act in balance. As its caramel and toast outweigh the commonality of sweet cream corn, the hybrid beer isn't as vegetal as expected. With such tepid bitterness to counter its sweetness, the taste is focused and dedicated, however somewhat one-dimensional.

In finish, the caramel loosens and its sweetness begins to evaporate. All this leaves a honeycomb structure of malted milk behind, with a creamy and semi-dry closure. Slight mint and tea leaf peak through and help to keep the beer highly drinkable and remarkably refreshed.

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Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of emerge077
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Sebastian for the bonus can!

Into a pint, it has a pretty charged head of foam on it, eventually it rises above the rim momentarily in uneven peaks. High clarity amber with a touch of reddishness. Retention is pretty good, though the head fades quickly to a skim.

Multigrain bread, sweet apples, and a hint of cotton candy in the aroma.

Toffee and cream soda come to mind in the first sips, later backed by a lightly nutty, husky grain. Light toasted malt sweetness and a mild apple astringency. Sort of watery with a sweet slickness, bigger on flavor than body. Still, a couple of these poolside wouldn't be a bad option. A good crossover craft beer.

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Photo of Boone757
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of zeff80
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly, copper/bronze color with a small, tan, bubbly head of foam. It left minimal lace.

S - It smelled very floral with fruity notes. It smelled of caramel malt, too.

T - It tasted of sweet biscuity malt. It had a nice caramel backbone.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a smooth finish. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a really nice cream ale. I'm not a huge fan of the style but this one was one I'd grab again.

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Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy copper colored body with a miniscule head that quickly disappears and leaves no lacing

Smell: Very malty nose resplendent with vanilla

Taste: Starts out rather creamy, tasting like a cream soda without the cloying sweetness; joined mid-palate by some lemony bitterness; finishes somewhat spicy with a lot of residual sweetness on the tongue

Mouthfeel: Smooth medium body with low to moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A decent quaffer, even if it is not summertime right now; the lemony flavor adds an unusaul balancing tartness

Thanks, BeerBeing

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dbrauneis
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear copper in color with light amounts of active visible carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass and some amber + peach highlights. The beer has a finger tall creamy light beige head that reduces to a large patch of medium thick film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of caramel malts with a hint of sweetness along with some very light notes of vanilla and spices.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of toasted and caramel malts with a light amount of initial sweetness. That is followed by light notes of vanilla and some light spicy hops which contribute a light amount of bitterness that does not linger at all.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Creamy and smooth.

O: Easy to drink and sessionable with the rather modest ABV. Refreshing and a great beer for a warm spring or summer evening.

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Photo of paulish
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Summer Solstice from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 1,611 ratings