Summer Basil
Fullsteam Brewery

Summer BasilSummer Basil
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Farmhouse Ale - Saison
3.89 | pDev: 10.54%
Fullsteam Brewery
North Carolina, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Summer BasilSummer Basil
Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 112 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of mothmanscott
mothmanscott from Georgia

3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy deep straw producing 2 fingers of somewhat lasting, foamy, white head that recedes to a nice cap & collar leaving virtually no lace. A pale sediment dusts the bottom with lots of effervescence streaming to the surface. Aroma is pale malt, wheat bread, lemony citrus, fruity hints of peach, pear, earthy herbal hints from the basil & thin banana hides in the background. Taste is piquant, pale malt, biscuit, wheat, vegetal earthy herbal from the basil, fruity pear & peach, lemon, clove & light banana with a nice spice & peppery bite in the tangy finish. The aftertaste is dough, citrus, earthy & thinly fruity with a faint bitterness. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation, peppery, dry & slightly chalky in the finish & aftertaste.

Dec 31, 2017
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Tone from Missouri

3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy, straw color. One inch head of a white color. Great retention and slight lacing. Smells of yeast, pale malt, slight sweet malt, hops, slight basil, and floral notes. Fits the style of a Saison / Farmhouse Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with a high carbonation level. Tastes of yeast, pale malt, slight sweet malt, basil, hops, and slight floral notes. Overall, good appearance, aroma, body, blend, but lacking in basil and high carbonation is a detriment.

Jun 29, 2016
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trackerdave from North Carolina

4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

My preference is a farmhouse ale and this one is a very refreshing beer. Just finished my last 16 oz can. That is one thing I like about Fullsteam, they give you a full 16 oz beer.
Look: Light color with a small head that doesn't stick around for long.
Smell: Basil (Duh!!!), light citrus, yeast and hops.
Taste: A great saison with basil, yeast, lemony peppery notes.
Feel: Great palate cleansing ability, bubbly on the tongue. Definitely goes down smooth.
Overall: A very refreshing beer that is typical of a well made saison. The basil is the real show. Fullsteam gets their basil from local farms in the area. It is brewed during the summer months while the basil is growing through about October. One of the interesting things about this beer is that the taste will never be exactly the same from batch to batch. As the basil plant matures it gets stronger and more pungent throughout the summer. Also, the amount of rain, sunshine and temperature has an effect on how the basil will affect the taste. This adds additional interest to the beer (IMHO) as the summer begins to come to a close. I need to go out early next week and see if I can find some more.

Oct 29, 2015
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justintcoons from Pennsylvania

3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can poured into a mug.

Pale straw and very yeasty. Has 1 finger of white head with lively carbonation.

Basil, white pepper, lemon, and Pilsner malt.

Basil, pink peppercorn, potpourri, and lemongrass. Light Pilsner malt, cereal grains, and lemon. Slight noble hoppiness.

Light bodied, crisp, clean, off-dry, and refreshing.

The Saison yeast and basil really shine through. Very easy drinking.

Sep 25, 2015
Photo of SFNC
SFNC from North Carolina

3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look; A very pale, hazy yellow. Not very enticing, though it does sport a nice 2 inch meringue head.
Smell; Belgian yeast, light basil.
Taste; The first taste is a little off, with a vegetable taste mixed with the chalky Saison yeast taking over. This improves with each sip, becoming a a well integrated herbal presence.
Feel; Just right, lightly carbonated and light.
Overall; A brave success. A very refreshing drink, subtle and very enjoyable after a shaky beginning. Nice packaging as well!

Sep 06, 2015
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MakeMineADoubleJack from North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not the most attractive looking beer as its color is a pale shade of urine. Nice basil nose through that light farmhouse funk. This is definitely a crushable beer, and the 16oz can is perfect for just that. Tasty, light, and overall enjoyable.

Aug 05, 2015
Photo of Immortale25
Immortale25 from North Carolina

4.24/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish traditional oversized snifter. Bottom of can says Canned 06/23/15.

A- Pours a hazy straw color with a 1/4 inch white head that retains a bit before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a large center patch of bubbly surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Floral smell of saison yeast with the basil complementing quite nicely.

T- Somewhat sweet from the yeast and then the basil cuts it a bit adding a nice layer of complexity. Faint bready malt detected. So incredibly drinkable.

M- Crisp with medium carbonation and a light body.

O- What a fantastic summer beer. This has been selling like hotcakes in my neck of the woods and now I see why.

Jul 22, 2015
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thatoneguymike from Georgia

4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very light appearance, almost like a Berliner, and the smell is obviously dominated by basil, but I also get a hit of mint and grass on it. The flavor is much like the smell, and very refreshing and just about a perfect beer for the summer and hot weather. Easily crushable, and may be my favorite brew that I've had from Fullsteam.

Jul 21, 2015
Photo of Landon11
Landon11 from South Carolina

3.39/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Extremely easy to drink, makes you want to drink it really. Not a super strong flavor but that's what makes it so drinkable. Good smell and taste. Sucks it has to be from durham that and my whole family are tarheels but I'll give credit. Very surprised by how much I like it.

Jun 21, 2014
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blackie from Oregon

4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Finally getting this one into the system - had it awhile ago, fresh, at the brewpub.

Served in a tall weizen style glass, the beer is an opaque-cloudy golden in color, topped with a nice layer of bone white carbonation, leaving some light lace

Lovely aroma, clean malts, delicately spicy yeast influence, fresh basil aroma in ideal proportion - not exactly subtle, but that's not the point, really nice basil presence, light lemony citrus, grassy.

carbonation lively, body refreshingly light but not thin

Pale malt flavors, crisp and clean, perfect basil flavor - fresh and very complimentary to the style, hops grassy and imparting a refreshing bitterness, some spicy yeast flavors, a little bready at times, quite nice.

Love the implementation of the basil here, matched perfectly to the base, and shows off the best parts of the herb, others herbed this way have been a bit heavy handed.

Apr 04, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429 from Illinois

4.29/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Growler from Sam’s in Durham. Served in a Full Steam shaker pint. Pours a fairly-clear golden with a nice white head. Nose carries light basil and faint notes of spice and pepper. Very light, base saison behind a nice herbal presence. Really tasty and well-integrated. Extremely refreshing.

Jan 09, 2013
Photo of oberon
oberon from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before 10/12/12 per growler cap.Poured into an imperial nonic a lemony color with athinner wispy white head,very good carbonation to the beer,it had a look kinda like lemonade with carbonation.Yeasty phenols with sweet basil in the back end,seems like a Belgian pale "table" beer to me so far.Bready malts with yeasty phenols on the palate,again there is a nice subtle sweet basil note in the finish.As I drink more I get a light shot of white pepper in the finish as well.This isn't bad,it's very Belgian in style with the phenols going on but it's really good.A great summer quaffer,nice job here.

Aug 17, 2012
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drabmuh from Maryland

4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler shared by Thopre, thanks. Beer is yellow / amber, clear with a white head, some bubbles, nice retention, some lacing, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet with basil, smells good.

Beer tastes like basil and yeast, flowers, not overly strong, just a solid beer, a very nice, light lawnmower beer to me.

Aug 03, 2012
Photo of wedge
wedge from North Carolina

4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very fresh growler from Bottle Revolution: "Best Before 09/03/12"

Foggy straw yellow under a large, though fleeting, airy pure white head. Fresh basil hits the nose immediately. Sweet pale malt, pepper, maybe some clove and licorice. Basil upfront in the flavor, well integrated with fresh grain. Subtly sweet, crackery malt, light lemon, very mild yeasty funk melding with the herbalness. Creaminess in both aroma and flavor. Pretty light, drying, and solidly crisp. Super refreshing. I think this is a little less basil-forward than what I had last year, which is a good thing. Not super Belgian-y overall, but quite satisfying and appropriate for the summer season.

Jul 09, 2012
Photo of VncentLIFE
VncentLIFE from North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pour is cloudy light yellow, looks alot like the Beasley's Honey White. Decent half inch light white head.

The smell is pretty good. Lots of spicy peppery Saison yeast esters (more spicy clove than anything). Sweet malt backbone, but I dont get a ton of basil, just a small hint that melds in with the yeast flavors.

Now this is how to mix herbs and yeast. wow. Lots of spiciness from both the yeast and basil. Black pepper, super spicy clove, and overly spicy basil come out, but not enough to overpower anything. Theres a slightly sweet thing from the malt that balances out what would be too spicy.

It finishes super clean and light. i like this one alot.

Jul 05, 2012
Photo of jsanford
jsanford from Georgia

4.29/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Brewvival 2012

Pours a clear gold with a soapy white head. Strong aromas of tart lime juice, crisp malt, honey, and a bunch of basil. Taste is similarly herbal, with a good amount of basil and mint and a wonderfully tart base of lemon, lime, and honey. Mouthfeel is very crisp, with a smooth medium body and good carbonation. A great Summertime beer that I wish I had regular access to.

Apr 22, 2012
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The beer has a golden color with a finger or so of head; plenty of lacing is left behind

Smell: Tart and lemony, with undertones of basil and licorice

Taste: Opens with a lemony flavor that adds basil undertones in quick fashion; by mid-palate, the sour tones build; the tart lemony flavors dominate the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: Made with a deft touch as the basil adds a unique element to the lemon and sour tones; bet this would go great with Thai food

Feb 25, 2012
Photo of jgreenearrow
jgreenearrow from Virginia

3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a pint glass.

A: The beer pours a very light golden yellow color. A thin, creamy white head develops at the top of the pour with slight retention throughout the glass. No lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Smell of lemon accompanied by yeast and grain dominate the nose. Basil is prominent in the nose along with slight pepper notes.

T: Sweetness of malt hits the tongue at the outset of the sip. Basil flavor dominates the middle of the sip and carries through towards the end. The beer finishes with a peppery bitter, dryness.

M: This is a light bodied beer with good carbonation.

Overall, this is a tasty, interesting beer. Per the brewery website, the beer is brewed with six pounds of basil per batch. The basil definitely comes through in the aroma and flavor, creating a very light, fresh flavored beer. This beer makes for a tasty, refreshing summer treat.

Sep 20, 2011
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RichThatchr from Florida

4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I visited the brewery's tavern on Rigsbee Street in Durham where I found this on tap. Cloudy and vibrantly yellow in its appearance, it looked very much to style with a multitude of little bubbles on the sides. The fresh basil aroma was very inviting of the first taste as it seemed to have replaced the hops with its floral elements.

The first taste was a mild revelation as I could seemingly distinguish between the basil and the Saison as well as them both together. Easy drinking in its own way, this was clearly a unique selection to me that was a one round item.

I think the supporting element of Fullsteam's Saison would be just fine on its own merits without additional flavoring, though the Basil element was unique in my visit.

Sep 18, 2011
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tdm168 from Pennsylvania

3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Tribeca Tavern in north Raleigh

Pours a golden yellow with little head. Nose detects herbs and wheat. The taste is sweet but balanced out by the basil. The basil does not overpower but compliments what otherwise would be a mediocre pale ale nicely. Mild carbonation and light bodied, this is an enjoyable Saison.

Jul 20, 2011
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callisbeers from North Carolina

4.92/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I should give this a really bad review because they only brewed it for the summer! But I won't.

Far and away my favorite beer that I have had on tap at home. Typical saison appearance but man does the basil just kick the taste to the next level, It isn't overpowering but you can definitely taste it in there. I had this on tap over the summer and I could not wait until I would come home from a long, hot ride, and have a cold one. I believe this was the fastest I have gone through a keg at home. Just a perfect beer. Can't wait till late spring of next year!

Nov 15, 2010
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cadaugherty from Illinois

4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

If this was their very first batch then lookout world here comes Fullsteam!

I got this growler from some friends who are still down in the triangle and I was damn glad to get it, back in August. The appearance is about standard for a saison, good light color and lost of bubbles. The smell and taste are absolutely right on and I love the fresh summer basil that is so apparent in the beer. The whole idea of farmfresh and local ingredients creating a unique south-eastern beer line is wonderful and this beer embodies that quality so well.

The Mouthfeel is light and this beer is highly drinkable, which is exactly what I think of when I want a saison. If you can get some of this beer, it isn't easy since it is growler only but give it a go.

Nov 15, 2010
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detlefchef from North Carolina

4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy golden peach color with a light white foam that holds up well and reforms with a swirl.

Aromas of orange and banana.

Very clean sweet, rich flavors of sourdough and fried, blanched almonds. At the finish, you get the slightest flavor that reminds me of how your hands smell when you've been picking basil.

Supple texture and a beer I could drink a lot of at once.

A very, very enjoyable beer.

Aug 10, 2010
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nboris827 from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: The beer was light in color, almost like a pale ale.

t: sweet upfront, with a hint of basil, and an almost pale ale feeling to the finish.

It was a good beer. Almost a bit sweet for my taste, but the slight bitterness at the end complemented the sweetness. Would get it again, but would not drink more than 1 in a session.

Aug 08, 2010
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atsprings from North Carolina

4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First batch on their full scale system, served a bit early so I'll come back and edit the review after another pint in a few weeks. On-tap at Dos Perros and served in a standard pint glass a very murky dark yellow with a nice khaki head that lasts and leaves slight lacing on the glass. The aroma is loads of spice with sweet fruits and malts with just a hint of basil. The taste is a nice amount of sweet malt with a nice kick of Belgian spice and a bit of basil. the beer is very crisp, smooth, and refreshing, great for the style. This is a very refreshing Summer beer, one I look forward to having again.

Jul 15, 2010
Summer Basil from Fullsteam Brewery
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 112 ratings