Anchor Summer Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

602 Reviews
Read the review
Anchor Summer BeerAnchor Summer Beer

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 01-14-2002

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 602 | Ratings: 1,302
Photo of vwbus7
3.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought this for the first time tonight on hatteras island NC. Chilled it and had it after supper.

Very attractive bottle as all anchor beers.

Pour-did not have a lot of head as label describes but may be from pouring carefully

Appearance- clear yellow-amber

Smell- of wheat malt but nothing to write home about

Taste- cereal with nice carbonation but bitter semi dry finish. Good body. Not the sometimes usual banana taste from ale yeast.

Overall- my beer taste changes all the time and maybe this was not the time for me to have the summer beer. It was good but as mentioned before, nothing to write home about

 617 characters

Photo of Karibourgeois
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear straw colored pour with a white one-finger head. Aroma is of yeast and wheat. Taste starts out with a bit of yeast but a developes a nice bit of lemony hop and grass tastes. Can also taste a bit of bread in the light body. Finishes dry and semi-crisp.

 257 characters

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 4/1/2014. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy bright gold color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon zest, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, bread, floral, grass, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and fruity yeast notes; with solid strength. Taste of lemon zest, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, bread, floral, grass, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Slight grassy/earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon zest, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, bread, floral, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a bit. Nice balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and fruity yeast flavors; with good robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish as expected of 4.5%. Overall this is a nice pale wheat ale. Good robustness and balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and fruity yeast flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,335 characters

Photo of thecheapies
3.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I wasn't expecting pristine clarity. Dons a pale orange-yellow straw color with a protein-rich head of dimpled white. Light crackling sound from the bubbles popping.

Clean wheat aromas, lemon, and with a faint hoppiness that conjure up spearmint and light pine. Interesting, because I've never had a pale wheat ale with a piney hop in it, that I can recall. Very herbal, but without defined notes. Sparing note of green apple skins and baked earth. It's interesting, but really, there's not much intensity. Pretty delicate, and I like it.

Minty hops meddle with cracked wheat, pilsner-esque grassiness, and mild bitterness. Has a pasta-like malt with clean, unenhanced flavors. It's really light. I like the crispness and blonde expression from the wheat malts, which this is an ode to, but it's hard to say that this didn't need a little extra barley malt or some toast or just a more rambunctious yeast strain. Underlying flavor that is hard to put my finger on, but I can best describe it as tasting a little like the way clean linens smell. Lightly floral, you might say.

Feels great. Not-so-shy with carbonation, as this bursts across the palate, and the body has a little bump in it that exceeds most light-bodied ales.

I guess you could say that a lot of American craft breweries muck up their pale wheat ales with fruit peels, chalky spices, and a big musty yeast; this is a minimalist wheat ale, at its finest. It doesn't really hold up, on its own, but I don't think the brewer's at Anchor care too much about that kind of opinion. It could only possibly be American in style, as it seems they're giving Germany and Belgium a great big middle finger from way, way, way across the pond. Nevertheless, it's not going to knock your socks off. But, if you like a summer beer sixer that you don't want to stop and think about too much, this is right as rain for you.

 1,875 characters

Photo of FLima
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden color with a thick head with medium retention and leaving some laces.
Light aroma of herbal and citrus hops and white bread.
Similarly, flavor of herbal and citrus hops with notes of green apples, lemon, bready malt, milt tartness and a distant white pepper. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Light smooth body with low carbonation.
This is actually a light APA with some wheat that further smooths the brew. Very refreshing and extremely drinkable. It fits well its purpose.

 485 characters

Photo of cbutova
3.59/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Dark golden body from a 12oz bottle to a goblet. Creamy white head forms to about two fingers high with nice retention. Head eventually falls to a foamy ring and cloud on the brew and lace rings start at the top after each sip. Thick lacing drizzles down from the top.

S- Not exactly the strongest of aromas but some pleasant things happening. A mix of yeast bread, wheat grains, grassy spicy hops and light malts combines in a smooth smell. Some pale fruity esters as well.

T- Opens up with a mix of lemon citrus, apple fruit esters and a floral grassy hoppiness. A wheaty, biscuit maltiness balances this out in about an equal strength. Some clove phenol type note must be from the yeast. Fresh yeast bread hints throughout.

MF- Light end body that really exhibits a creamy texture with any agitation. High carbonation level and a light bitterness lingers on the palate.

A sneaky but fresh grassy floral hoppy feel balanced well by a fairly strong yeast and nice malty backbone. It all comes together pretty well in a refreshing, balanced brew.

 1,053 characters

Photo of beergoot
3.73/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The pour revealed a nice, crystal-clear, amber body with a sticky, clinging white head. Nice fruity, clove and banana aromas. Taste comes across slightly sweet and fruity. Crisp, clean, dry finish.

This beer came packaged in an Anchor Brewing Company sampler case (including their Steam, Porter, and Liberty Ale) and is labeled as their wheat beer with James Stitt's original label art on the bottle. The beer itself is very refreshing and flavorful and is a nice surprise to me. There is definitely a nice mix of wheat and barley malts which provide a smooth, slightly sweet character to the beer. The yeast does a nice job of complementing the malts by providing a great fruity aroma and flavor enhancement. I'll have to keep this one in mind for the upcoming hot summer days...

 781 characters

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Although American pale wheat ales do not represent my favorite beer style, I am a fan of Anchor and this one was hard to pass up on when I spied it on a pick six craft beer wall. Pours up nicely, a mountain of off-white thick foam on top of a golden yellow base, beer does look a bit like darkish honey (or less pleasantly, concentrated urine. But hey). Very clean spicy wheat and "old world" earthy/leafy hop aroma, brisk and assertive. Carbonation was right where it should be for the style, moderate to quite fizzy, and I was struck by the smoothness on the palate, almost creamy. Palate features very pleasant lemon-lime, apricot, and green apple characters than are subtle enough but add complexity. Nice smooth bitterness with white pepper-type spice notes in the finish. This beer includes the underutilized Glacier hop and perhaps this is the source of the fruity character along with the wheat malt. Minimal pine flavor, the hops are more grassy, earthy and refined. Dry and crisp overall with some sour fruit character and the unvarnished clean flavors remind me a bit of a good pilsener. I am perplexed by the mediocre ratings this beer garners on this website. Perhaps people were looking for more aggressive flavors. It is not supposed to taste like a hefeweizen or a wheat IPA. I think this brew is right where it needs to be in terms of the wheat and hops balance. Refreshing and well-executed.

 1,409 characters

Photo of Boto
3.36/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Draught @ Headkeeper: This one pours a crystal clear, lighter golden color. There was a very small white head on it and minimal lacing. The aroma is OK. Earthy hops, some malts, some citrus. The taste is OK also. Some spice, wheat, citrus, earthy hops. A good summer beer.

 272 characters

Photo of Davidvols
3.44/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Purchased in a bottle from a supermarket in Knoxville, Tennesse. Poured into a pint glass of course. Very light beer. No heavy smell and no aftertaste. Nice golden color, with very little carbonation. Very good blonde. Not a strong beer, so a good choice with heavy meals, i.e. Pizza, pasta, etc. - will try again.

 314 characters

Photo of MDDMD
3.4/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-slightly hazy light amber color with a decent white head and a little lacing

S-wheat, light citrus, slight herbal

T-wheat, bready malt, lemon, hint of pepper, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp

O-pretty one dimensional wheat beer

 266 characters

Photo of DeFaz
3.81/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Arrives in a unique bottle. The beer pours a light, somewhat hazy golden color with a medium head that provides above average lacing.

Smell: While not bold, this smell really is welcoming, as the wheat provides a nice grassy scent that compliments the bit of hops that are thrown in as well, and there's a bread/grain scent too that also fits in nicely.

Taste: Wheat, malt, and hops. There's that grass and bread flavors, and the hops provide some dryness. Some people won't like it, claiming that it's too dry and hoppy for a summer ale, while others will complain that there's too much wheat and not enough hops for an American pale ale. Me, well, I like this.

Mouthfeel: This finishes really clean. The mouthfeel is thin, carbonation is just barely active enough, and some breadiness and dryness lingers in the mouth. Aside from the thinner body, this isn't what you'd expect for a summer beer, but it works

Overall: Again, a lot of people aren't going to like this because it lacks the flavors that most expect from the typical summer ale. I like the hops in this one, and I think there's just enough of them to balance the wheat and that the flavors of grass and bread are great.

 1,201 characters

Photo of Cylinsier
3.07/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3


Pours a clear golden with a white lacing for a head.

Fresh sweet citrus aroma and wheaty grassy malts.

Citrus malt flavor with a hop bite.

Medium body with a light tingle of carbonation on the tongue.

Slightly above average wheat ale, not bad but there are plenty of better offerings out there.

 305 characters

Photo of SouljaSaia17
4.39/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is the first beer I have had from this brewery. I was always a little hesitant to try the Full Steam, but when I saw the Summer, I decided to give it a shot.

A: This beer pours a light golden color and has a relatively thick, soapy, bright white head. Doesn't have any bubbles on top, looks like a big layer of foam.

S: I get some sweet floral notes in the aroma, followed by some heavy wheat and some pepper spice. A tad underwhelming, but overall has a nice smell.

T: On the surface I get a lemon sweetness, accompanied by some floral characteristics and that peppery spice at the end. The flavor mimics the aroma and has a nice balance with the wheat.

M: Very sweet, but not too sweet and is balanced out by a slight tartness. Lots of carbonation. A very drinkable and refreshing beer.

O: I had a feeling this beer was going to exceed my expectations and it did. Has the balance between the wheat and the adjuncts, the sweetness and tartness. Great brew that embodies summer.

 988 characters

Photo of Andrew041180
3.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A - The beer is a deep golden color, with what seemed to be a hint of green? Fairly clear with perhaps just a shade of haze. Small head with little visible carbonation, although the beer did maintain fantastic lacing throughout.

S - Not a huge bouquet here, but enough to know what you're about to get. Bready malt, a bit of a grassy smell.

T - Pretty nice. Follows the nose. Tasty, but it doesn't take any risks. Very comfortable beer.

M - This was the highlight for me. Medium bodied, but it felt like more than that. The lack of visible carbonation belies a soft and subtle texture to this beer that I truly enjoyed.

O - Nice flavors, great mouthfeel. Nothing exceptional here to be sure, but an easy-drinker that I enjoyed very much on a gorgeous summer day.

 766 characters

Photo of larryarms847
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a light clear golden yellow.

Toasted malts, floral and slightly citric hop aroma.

Floral, herbal hop bitterness, biscuity malts.

Light-bodied, high carbonation, soft, floral.

Overall, a rather lackluster beer.

 219 characters

Photo of Converge
3.62/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Clean golden-yellow with big bubbles of carbonation flowing up the glass. Frothy white head on the smaller side.

S - Sweet and grassy, with some notes of flaked wheat and a mild citric twang. Light and mild all around, and honestly a tad underwhelming. Was hoping for a touch of hops here, but they're really subdued.

T - Follows the nose for the most part. Sweet grains, mild grassy hops, wheat, citrus and a touch of caramel malt. There's a but more hop bite here compared to the nose, but not much. Just a light, mild summer ale. I don't know what I expected but I'm just not overly impressed here.

M - The thing I love most about most Anchor beers is their distinct mouthfeel, with just the right carbonation and a super smooth finish. This brew seems to be lacking that though. The carbonation feels overdone. The body is fittingly light, but not watery. A bit of a miss here.

D - Definitely the least enjoyable Anchor brew I've tried so far. The first 3 were all outstanding, but this one just doesn't quite do it for me. Run-of-the-mill summer patio sipper with a craft twist on it. But at the end of the day, average.

 1,165 characters

Photo of pacino77
2.77/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

picked up a single anchor summer outta the cold box because the sixer i was buying was warm and i needed something to break the spell of baltimore's summer sun. i'm pleased i don't have five more of these to imbibe because one is quite enough. the shape of the bottle and the design of the label are superior to the beverage contained within, i'm afraid.

 354 characters

Photo of BayouBengal1537
3.26/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into pint glass. Poured a light golden color, pretty clear, small white head that didn't stay long. Smells of lemon, grain, light citrus. Taste of grassy hops, some citrus, wheat, light malty background. Mouthfeel was lighter side, but still well balanced. Overall, it really was just okay, but is an easy drinker and can see how this can be enjoyed during the hot summer weather.

 394 characters

Photo of jkrich
3.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a code dated 12 oz. bottle: bright and clear golden hue with a sustained, fluffy white head.
The aroma has restrained but pleasant fruity notes, largely lemon.
The flavor profile is quite assertive for such a light wheat ale: pungent and tangy lemon-rind flavor dominate. There is a bit of husky wheat flavor in the finish. A mellow malt lingers on the palate.
The ale is fairly light in body with a nice, creamy mouthfeel. The carbonation is rather restrained though the ale manages to remain refreshing.
I am surprised by "Okay" ranking for this one. For a light, low-alcohol wheat ale, this is quite a flavorful and unique flavor profile. It is true a lot of breweries have made some excellent wheat beers since this one was first brewed in 1984, this one is still quite competitive in this category. Ideal for summer.

 835 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
3.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale gold with steady meringue head.
Grain sack, a bit of noble spice, some wax and lemon peel on the nose.
Snap wheat cracker, a bit of sourness, and vague grassy hops to finish.
Peach iced tea finish and coriander seed linger.
Thin, soft, crisp.

Refreshing, but in a characterless macro lager kinda way. Doesn't go for weizen character but doesn't load up on US hops either. And not as creamy as I'd expect for a wheat beer. This style can be done so much better.

 468 characters

Photo of gutbucket2
3.77/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

355ml bottle bb3/2015. Poured with immense head, which subsided to thin omnipresent head. Citric hops and a 'soft' taste. This beer did not taste 'prickly' in the mouth, unusual in my recent tastings. Well-crafted beer. Bought from Connollys B91 England.

 254 characters

Photo of SteveTheDog
3.49/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A refreshing beer on a summer day leading up to our bbq. Pour well into a weizen glass and developed a lot of head with a good yellow-orange color coming through. Smelled crisp with hints of citrus, tasted clean with a smooth finish. Will definitely be having another.

 268 characters

Photo of atigerlife
3.77/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden. Clear with lots of small carbonation rising. 2-finger fluffy white head. Good retention. A very pretty beer to look at....

Aroma is light citrus, hops, yeast. Nothing jumps out, nothing offends.

Taste is light floral hops, wheat, light malts. Sweet and grassy. Come citrus comes through [lemony].

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, cleansing. Very crisp.

Overall, a very drinkable beer. Sessionable. Refreshing.

 430 characters

Photo of Murphious
3.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a light yellowish/orange with a finger of creamy white head with some lacing.
Tastes like a good Belgian wheat that's been watered down a little. Nice lemony/citrus bite, would be very refreshing after mowing the lawn. Slightly above average, not to be turned down.

 271 characters

Anchor Summer Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
3.38 out of 5 based on 1,302 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.