Farmhouse Summer Ale | Flying Fish Brewing Company

208 Reviews
Farmhouse Summer AleFarmhouse Summer Ale

Brewed by:
Flying Fish Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
A tribute to the highly drinkable "every day" beers from French-speaking Belgium. Contains Belgian two-row pale malt and 7% wheat. This beer is lightly filtered with an earthy, spicy hop character from imported Styrian Goldings hops and a beautiful rich creamy head from the wheat.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-20-2001

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Reviews: 208 | Ratings: 575
Photo of DuncanIdaho86
3.64/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Flying Fish has yet to me down, this Summer Ale sitting in front of me is no exception. A lot of beer drinkers tend to get carried away in super esoteric imports and stouts so complex you'd lose a Minotaur in them but its important to take a look at other easier ales for the sheer enjoyment of them. But I digress.

This crowd pleaser looked good coming out of the bottle with a modest sudsy head that kept just long enough to appreciate. The Color was just what you'd want to see on a hummer summer's day in Jersey - pale blonde. Get a quick wiff of it too, a little tiny baby bit citrus with (others have said banana) an apricot or pear note.

Take that first big sip. Go ahead, drink it down - because Drink ability is where the Farmhouse Summer shines. Go and pound it, the old you would have. Fresh and light on the tongue and sits well in the belly too. Clean finish? More like The Immaculate Ingestion! See what I did there?

Yeah, go grab a few more.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this draft at TJ Smiths the other night.
IT is a golden straw colored beer with about an avg size head thats bright white. Faded pretty quickly leaving some lacing.
Carbonation was low.

Aroma was mainly of hops, which were slightly spicy and some malts.

Taste is spicy and with some very sutle hints of cloves.
Light mouthfeel

A pretty desent beer spicy and dry. I would like to fry this from a bottle for comparison purposes because I can taste so off flavors I'm sure are tap line related.

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Photo of Shaw
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A light blonde in color with a nice white head.

An earthy, lightly spicy aroma, with notes of clove and banana. Quite nice.

The clove and spice notes carry over to the taste. I see why the brewery considers this a session saison. It's like a lighter version of those beers.

Nice chewy body which is a lot fuller than I would expect for a lighter beer.

Overall this is a pretty good beer. It's a mix of saison and a light summer beer.

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Photo of PhageLab
2.89/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - By far the most violent beer I've ever encountered. This beer was handled properly and sat perfectly still in my refrigerator for over a week before pulling it out and pouring it. Exploded like a champagne bottle. Mostly head, hazy yellow colored brew left behind.

S - Zesty lemon aroma with some spices and funk.

T - A Saison light. Has some hoppy citrus notes, but mostly it is muted and watery.

M - Crisp light body, sharp carbonation.

D - I could drink another, but why would I? Not a bad beer at all, just nothing here to hold my attention.

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Photo of trappistlover
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(12oz bottle from Total Wine Desert Ridge). Pours hazy golden color with white head. I thought this might be a saison, but it doesn’t appear to be once I opened it. Aroma has banana, spice and other notes that make this see a bit like a hefeweizen. Maybe a little apricot there as well. Taste is sweet with some bitterness on the end. Pretty well balanced. Medium bodied with an oily texture. Lightly bitter finish. A refreshing and easy-to-drink beer on a hot day (like it is here now).

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Photo of socon67
3.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours golden yellow with an active white foam head. Some visible carbonation.

S - Has a skunky smell that reminded me of Moosehead lagers. Also some earthy spice after it settled a bit.

T - As mentioned by others this says "Framhouse" on the label but this is certianly no saison. Some sweet notes of fruit combined with a spicy finish.

M - Relatively light, but it is well balanced and smooth for the summer.

O - Not impressive, but just a deviant of the other summer seasonal craft offerings out there.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.8/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured out a yellow color that was pretty clear looking. The head was white and faded quickly. The smell was kind of on the weak side, some malts on the nose and just some light fruity notes. The taste is kind of bland, wasn't overly thrilled by the flavor or lack of one. The mouthfeel is very light since its a summer brew. The overall is that I'd probably take something else over this one.

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Photo of CASK1
3.26/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Was lured by the "Farmhouse" description on the label, and was expecting a Saison-style ale. Reviewing as an American Blond Ale (per BA).

Aroma is fruity and sweet. Low grainy malt aroma. Somewhat underwhelming. Appearance is golden and hazy. White head fades quickly to a stable thin layer on top of the beer. Sweet grainy malt dominates the flavor. Low hop bitterness just enough to prevent cloying sweetness. Some fruity esters, low citrus and some apple and pear. Body is light and refreshing, with medium-high carbonation. Very drinkable overall. Annoyed by the "farmhouse" description, which is usually associated with the Saison style. Good example of an American blond, but not a style I'll return to very often.

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Photo of pburland23
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite summer seasonals here in the Philadelphia area. Always look forward to this one.

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my Prima Pils pilsener glass.

Beer pours a slightly hazy light gold with about a finger or so of bright, white head.

It's not exactly a saison. The farmhouse ale moniker is a misnomer. However, this is still a nice tasting beer. Malty sweetness is at the forefront of the sip and there is some dry spiciness on the end of the sip. There's an earthy component to the taste that runs through the beer.

Mouthfeel is light but overly refreshing. There's a lot of carbonation that provide some added depth to the beer.

Overall, I have a soft spot for this beer. It's not going to blow anyone away, but it's a refreshing, light, flavorful summer beer. Always enjoyable.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.76/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this in a pint glass at a local bar.

There was a half a finger head when it was served. There was a very wispy head. I didn't pick up much from the foam.

The beer is the perfect light yellow of a summer beer.

This is the perfect beer for lounging on the back porch in the evening on a summer day. I thought it was very refreshing.

There were some fruit notes in the taste. I picked up pear and some light spice.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.16/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Bobby for sharing this one.

A: The beer pours a lightly hazed golden orange color with a tall white head.

S: Lemon zest, banana, and bubblegum make for a very...interesting aroma. Light breadiness from the malts with a moderate sweetness. Hints of pepper and other spices.

T: Sweet pale malts with some light bready notes. Pepper and earthy flavors are present as is a hint of banana. Lots of lemon, particularly lemon zest, with a little bit of tartness to it.

M: Light to medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: Not nearly as bad as their IPA that I had before it, but still not a fan.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.79 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, straw-hued body with a relatively airy, white head. Smattering of lace spray on the descent.

Smell: Lightly grainy, bready accented wheat and pale malts encapsulating notes of sourish citrus, spice, clover honey, and zesty hops.

Taste: Pale malted barley and malted wheat, incorporating a slight tang and joining a honeyish sweetness. Bready, biscuity elements to it. Floral, spicy hops with a sufficient bitterness present. Small splash of lemonade. Light touches of unripe bananas and cloves. Fast flourish of slight sourness. The sweetness darts back in and out as you work through the bottle. Creamyish yet crisp on the drying finish with light hints of citrus and earthy spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-plus carbonation. Slight creaminess.

Overall: I'll be honest, and maybe it's my own fault, but I purchased this assuming I was getting into a saison. The word "farmhouse" in the title is generally appealing, the word "summer" on the other hand... I've heard saison yeast can be tricky to handle, but I'm somewhat surprised they just copped out with just a standard English ale yeast. At least they did go for a sour mash. So the beer is a tasty blonde, yes, even a very fine "summery" beer, but I'd a bit happier if they dropped the word "farmhouse" from the label.

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Photo of ianjsullivan
3.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

ST: 12oz poured into a mug.

A: Pours a light gold with a thick white, foamy head.

S: Some citrus (mostly lemon), a little purple cough syrup, and some yeasty aroma.

T: Starts out with a little sweet fruit then quickly adds a slight biscuit flavor. The hops, mostly lemon, control the finish with a mild graininess.

M: Light and on the dry side.

O: This is a light beer that does not have an extreme amount of flavor. However, it is a summer beer. This beer has high drinkability. More to the point, it is an easy to drink beer that still has some nice flavor. There is some fruit, mild biscuit, and crispness from the hops. It is on the drier side, but the hops are not as aggressive as an IPA or even a pilsner. It would be a perfect accompaniment on a hot summer day or with a nice crisp salad.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: ? (possibly on tap at Johnny Brenda's, Philly, PA)

A fresh ale that I've seen described as both a blonde ale and a saison. Pours yellow-gold, slightly hazy, with a white head that gets thin rather quickly. Grains and hay in the nose. Grassy with light, floral hops in the taste, and slight tones of light fruits, melons, and the like. Light-medium mouthfeel, and generally pleasant drinkability. Good for a session, but not something I'd go for often.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a stein glass.

Look - light golden in color, somewhat murky, with off-white foam that disipates quickly.

Smell - a light maltiness, but also a bit of a cereal or grain vibe from the beer. Not much else that is noticeable.

Taste and Mouthfeel - definitely a more "cereal" type of taste, but more musky and refined than the cereal taste one gets from an adjunct lager. No fruitiness except for a slight hint of citrus in the aftertaste, and almost no bitterness. Texture is pretty well-balanced.

Overall - not a bad brew, but not terribly interesting from my tasting point of view. There's a little bit more variety toward the end of the taste, but it would be nice if it were there throughout.

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Photo of nms1987
3.23/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pretty disappointing stuff.

Pour an amber/gold color with a seltzer watery looking head that doesn't stay long.

A little spiciness on the nose but not a whole lot going on aromatically. On the palate it has a bit of nice tart character but this stuff isn't very interesting at all.
Its refreshing and easy drinking but not much more.

Not bad, but not good.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.05/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: more on the golden apprearnce with
lots of retaining head

smell: decent amount of hop aroma for style, no Belgian yeast as label may of inticated.

taste: nicely balanced with some hop flvaor and typical rustis malt flavors of saisons

mouthfeel: light-medium bodied

drinkability: nice easy drinking american blonde ale

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Pours a cloudy straw color with a thin head. Some lacing. Aromas of yeast, some citrus and slightly sour. Flavor is malty and bready. A bit tart. Having trouble pinpointing what I am tasting. Tastes kind of grainy. Overall this beer is alright. Not really for me but I don't think it is bad. Don't need to have it again.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very light golden yellow with a nice white frothy head that faded quickly leaving behind a decent, but shortlived lace ring. Smell was lively, lots of yeast was present even in the aroma, and it was very light. Bread and earthy grains were the predominant aromas. Taste was crisp, light and refreshing, perfect for a summer day. Very smooth and full of bready and earthy grain tones, with a slight hop presence as it warmed. Overall this was excellent for exactly what it was a great summer ale.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.27/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at devils alley in philly. review from notes.

Displays a light, creamy head, but almost instantly disappears with little to no retention. The lacing around the glass is minimal, and the beer is a light golden color with a decent amount of carbonation.

The aroma is very light, with a freshness to it, but easy on the hops and spice as nothing really jumps out during the initial impression.

Begins with a hint of fruit, and a touch of spiciness. Some straw is in there as well, as a mild sweetness peeks through in the middle. Finished off with a faint bitterness and dryness.

There is a noticeable bubbly, yet smooth feel, and lighter body. Pretty easy drinking, but not incredibly impressive.

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Photo of Samp01
3.22/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle Pours gold with small white head. Aroma of citrus hops, some grassy notes. Taste of light sweet citrus hops, very light malt. Palate is light carbonation. Overall an easy drinking, nice session beer on a hot summer day. A good summer ale.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another confusingly labeled beer from Flying Fish (the other one being the ESB Amber Ale). "Farmhouse" of course implies Saison and with that should come certain expected qualities. Yeah, we do find some Saison characteristics here, however, in a blind taste test, I wouldn't be surprised if "Saison" isn't the first style that pops into mind. Reading the description of American Blonde Ale on BA and on the BJCP site, we can get a better idea of what to expect here, although, I'd suggest that this beer qualifies best as maybe a hybrid of sorts between the Saison and American Blonde. YOU tell ME...

Poured into a snifter, it starts off with a fairly attractive, champagne-like head - Saison-like, I suppose as well - about an inch high, not real compact, and a little fizzy. This drops down rather quick, leaving a light, thin, sparkling, swirly forth on top which lasts through. Looks like it wants to lace, but it all slips off. The liquid is a pale, yellowish golden color with a very faint haze.

The aroma is interesting I guess. Musty is the first thing that comes to mind, and a fruity, champagne essence follows. The other quality I'm picking up I can only best describe as moist skin, or skin that dew or sweat has just started to appear on - if that makes sense. All in all, not a bad smell. Reminiscent of a couple farmhouse-style ales I've come across over the years. Maybe the closest element here to "Saison".

I'll keep repeating it: champagne. This, but with a little more body. A tartness is present maybe from the wheat, the yeast, or a combination. Starts off with this and some light fruitiness, finishing pretty dry, and ending with a mild flare up of spice. The flavors may not be bold and complex, but the balance is decent.

This beer took awhile (and a few) to start to get in tune with (it also reminds me much of their Extra Pale Ale). I enjoy it out of a glass and out of the bottle. It's light and crisp and it went well with grilled vegetables. It may not astound but it's worth a try and surely has potential appeal to a wide audience.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pour is a fizzy yellow with a half finger of foam that fades quickly. Aroma is lemongrass, spritz, and some faint corn.

First sip is... a weird corn flavor... doesn't finish too dry. Certainly not like other Saisons that I've had. The label says Farmhouse Summer ale - I call that a Saison and not an American Blonde. No matter what you call it - it is not enjoyable. needs a dryer finish and maybe a nice crisp hop finish. This seems under attenuated and corn flavored. Not a fan.

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.02/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

3rd beer of the night at the 13 August 2010 Friday the Firkinteenth at the Grey Lodge Public House in Philadelphia.

*Keep in mind that my review is for the beer served from a firkin*

A. Pours a hazy pale with a whisp of head.

S. Mint/anise and hay on the nose.

T. The mint/anise and hay come out along with a mild spicy pepper.

M. Thin with no carbonation at all.

D. I thought the flavors were interesting, but this beer was much too thin and flat for my taste. I'll have to try from a bottle/keg when available.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in an American pint glass)
A- This beer pours a crystal clear golden yellow hue with a lumpy light beige head that soon fades. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles gliding to the surface.
S- The clean aroma has a soapy quality with a very light lemon note in the finish. No yeasty character noticed.
T- The soft dry pale malt flavor has a corn note and a biscuit malt hint. The finish is a very slight hop hint with a larger sulfur quality that lingers as a dry taste for a bit.
M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a dry fizz.
D- This beer has a very light and lagered flavor to it with no yeast character or depth at all. There were no offensive or off flavors but I don't think I would work at their farm for long.

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Farmhouse Summer Ale from Flying Fish Brewing Company
3.46 out of 5 based on 575 ratings.
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