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 maek228
3.42/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pale gold with a bleach white head. Head quickly dissapated into pretty much nothing.

Smell: Grains and hints of spice

Taste: Earthy grains, tart hops, with some mild spiceyness.

Mouthfeel: Meduium to thin bodied.

Drinkability: Would be a good beer to accompany a greek or italian meal

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Photo of IMincedTheKing
3.52/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like apple juice with a slightly more impressive head. That dissipates quickly to nothing, and... it looks like apple juice. What?

There's barely any aroma present. A sour lemon zest quality, maybe some apples or pears, and not much else.

A pleasant zing from the carbonation supports some decent flavors. Malty and nondescript with fruity high points of orange peel and commercially-sold apple juice. A nice spicy character rounds out the brew, and the spiciness lingers on the tongue for quite a while.

At 4.6% ABV, the mild and refreshing flavor makes this a great choice for a session beer. The apple taste might get to me after awhile, and it's not much to look at, but this is an easy drinker.

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Photo of NiceGuyMike
2.83/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bright golden yellow. Crystal clear with minor white head with little lacing. So clear is this beer that almost no bubbles. Very disappointing in that respect.

Smells of sulfer (burnt match) with some malts.

This beer has no belgian flavor. No citrus no noting. Just some malts as it warms up and light bitterness with strong sulfer.

Overall this is not a good saison but more of a average pale ale. I've tried this brew with several types of foods. Nothing seems to bring out any flavors. With that said, this is a drinkable brew.

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Photo of ajilllau
3/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An average beer. I've had it from the keg and the bottle. Bottle was much better, but they are both sort of boring. I would carry it again both ways next year but there is nothing memorable about it.

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Photo of Doctor_Bogenbroom
4.35/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I got it on tap a bit late for the season, but I thought it to be a good, crisp, tasty brew. I'd definitely get it again. It's very smooth going down.

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Photo of StonyB
4.05/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

In general, I'm not a huge fan of summer seasonals. One of the few exceptions is this Farmhouse Ale from Flying Fish...

12 ounce brown bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance - Foamy, soapy head, with good retention. Rising stream of bubbles visible in the transparent but cloudy body. Color is a hazy, dark golden straw.

Smell - Yeasty champagne. A little fruit and malt. Not overpowering, not memorable.

Taste - Champagne in a beer. Slightly sour fruit, balanced by semi-sweet malt.

Mouthfeel - Dry, and somewhat mouth-puckering, yet quite creamy. Refreshing.

Drinkability - Very easy to drink. With a mild ABV (4.6%), a perfect session beer for summer.

It's probably unfair to call this beer a saison. Compared to the classics of the style, Saison Dupont and Hennepin, there's no comparison. However, if you look at Flying Fish's Farmhouse Ale as simply a good summertime beer, it does just fine...


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Photo of Phillyduke
3.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Brown, 12oz. NR poured into a tulip glass.

A: Beer is a deep golden amber color with a slight haze and a nice, frothy one-finger head that hangs around for a bit and leaves a generous amount of lacing. Active carbonation is noticeable

S: Mostly bready malts with a hint of Belgian yeast, some spice, and a trace of a somewhat undesirable ester that I can't put my finger on. A whiff of alcohol is noticeable despite the low ABV.

T: Husky grains, sweet malts, and lemony-citrus hops are blended together subtly in such a way as none really hit you over the head. Finish is long, slightly bitter and pleasantly sour.

M: Light-bodied and light on the palate. Mouthfeel is a little soft for this style. I'd prefer a bit more crispness and bite for a summer thirst-quencher.

D/O: Drinkability is quite good for this beer, despite its flaws and straying from a true Saison. My summer party guests enjoyed it immensely, but I was let down with the bottled version after having had it on tap during Philly Beer Week. My recollections were of a beer that had much more crispness, sweetness, and bite. What came in the bottle was just a bit simple for my tastes. I'm hoping I just got a bad run, and I'll probably give this another try next summer.

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Photo of halfP1NT
3.37/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear, deep golden in color with a thin white head and lotsa tiny bubbles rising. Little bit of lacing sticks around.

S- First to hit my nose is light fruits, maybe sour apples, apricot. Bready, musty, light malts, alcohol comes through a bit, smells like fermented fruit.

T- I was expected a sweeter taste just based on the smell. Very musty, light malts, then hops hit the sides of my tongue. Weird, as it warms, it really mellows out a lot. It becomes more bready, fruit comes out very lightly, like apples & grapes.

M & D- Mouthfeel is carbonated & bubbly but thin, & thickens as it warms. This beer would be nice to drink on a hot summer day, especially when it's cold. As it warms, it becomes an okay sipping beer. Not bad, but didn't blow me away. It was my first rating of a Farmhouse so I'm eager to see what else is out there in this style.

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Photo of spartanfan
1.73/5  rDev -50%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: Pours a bright clear golden color with a huge fluffy white head. Lots of chunky lacing left behind.

S: Smells sweetly of grains and perhaps a bit of orange peel. Yeast is prevalant as well as a slight amount of funkyness. The smell reminds me a little of fresh vomit.

T: Bitter hops and faint sweet grains. This tastes a bit oxidized.

M: Thin mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation.

D: This beer just tastes bad. I had to choke down the one I poured, and I WILL NOT have another.

This is my first time having this beer, but it is just plain bad.

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Photo of sjohansen
3.86/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was my beer of summer. Flying Fish brews some great stuff, and I'm always open to pop a couple bottles from the NJ brewery.

Let's start with the head. Get a nice fluffy two finger foam. White and rocky. Good stick. Takes a little while to go away, but leaves a nice coating and some sweet lacing. Pours very clear. You could read a book through the other side, if not for the many bubbles racing to the top of the glass. Color is somewhere between straw and amber.

Nose is mostly straw. Get a little spiciness/yeast as well. Slight funk as it warms.

There's definitely some good funk that came out of this bottle. I think it's pretty tame for a farmhouse style, but it's definitely got everything that I was looking for. Hops have more spiciness then bitterness. Give off a good palate scrub either way. Finish is slightly dry (can a finish be damp?) There's some sweet wheat up front, then a turn to a spicy damp finish. Aftertaste is a little yeasty, a little bitter.

Carbonation is good. A definite compliment to the unique combination of flavors that came out of the bottle.

This isn't the best saison/farmhouse style ale. However, it is very complex, and a nice change from other summer seasonals. And clocking in at a sessionable abv, I can't find anything to complain about.

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Photo of goblet
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured it out into a pint glass from a bottle .

the color is a soft yellow amber ,with a white forthy head that has good retention ,its very clean and clear with a lot of carbotion .

the smell is very mild funk, slight lemon bittery hops,and unsalted cracks and biscuity pale malts some sweet sugar also.

lite wheat and layered pale malts greet my taste buds with delight,some spice and citrus hops it has a mild blonde ale quality smoothness to it .

lite body clear,crisp feel on the palate .

this is a good farmhouse summer ale ,easy to drink during thoughs hot days,well worth buying again.

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Photo of WissBrauSean
4.04/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer poured a clear and light gold in colour with a typical lager like thin white head and faint lacing.

The aromas are of sweet pale malt, biscuity and mildly fruity (pear and some lemon) yeast, some light notes of honey and maybe some grassy hops albeit very light just as the lemon is.

It's a pretty well balance between earthy hoppiness and pale malt sweetness aided by lemon and honey. It's delicious and very well done. The finish borders on dry with a mild lingering hop bitterness with faint notes of pepper. This is a good beer!

The mouthfeel is smooth and the body light, but not watery like I have read. The carbonation is medium or just over, but not hot in the least.

Overall, I feel this beer meets all the criteria of an American Blond Ale and many of a Farmhouse Ale as well as they seem similar and in that respect I am going to give it high marks. To add to that, the extreme pleasantness of this beer is also going to get it a great score and I don't see why it has gotten lower scores on Beer Advocate but I am going to give it a solid 4 out of 5.

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Photo of raiderandbeerfan
3/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Scored this one in Reno at the Total Wine. Pretty warm that day on the unrefrigerated aisle.

Pours out looking as you'd expect for a blonde ale, pretty uninteresting, mild color yellow, 1/2" white head on it. Grainy, the belgian yeast doesn't stand out at all on this one.

A little more bitterness than expected, less funkiness or belgian phenols than expected. Hops didn't come out in the aroma or taste, but the bitterness is probably from the hops, its a tad metallic in the mouthfeel, doesn't give itself the usual fruit or pine descriptors when purveying into the hop field. Clean mouthfeel, but not really refreshing either. The yeast profile is just weird, can't make up its mind what beer it wants to be. Kinda average all the way around for me.

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Photo of bpw28
4.26/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(With the amount of floaties in this brew, I might have a bad bottle but it is a farmhouse. I looked back and no one mentioned the floaties. No best by date, but I got it from a place that opened this summer so it cant be totally old. I'm only saying this because its a ton, not a little. Anyway, moving on.)

Look: Three finger bleach white head that died pretty fast, Copper (about an 8 SRM), ok lacing, lots of carb, tons of "floaties".

Smell: Big malty, pleasant grassy, nice earthy, mild fruity (strawberry/orange type), light floral, slight woods, yeasty.

Taste: Very nice yeasty, nice malt, good fruitiness, earthy/grassy/woody/good funk. good carb, nice body, crisp and clean, semi-dry.

Final Thoughts: Even with the lacking appearance, I would buy this beer anytime. It's perfectly summer to me. It's a sit on the back porch and sip in the summer evening, taking in the smell of sun baked grass and fresh air. Great beer.

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Photo of malloyca
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Hazy gold appearance, with nice lacing. Floral aromas of yeast, followed by some grain and stone fruits. Good mouth feel, with medium body and nice effervescence. Bone dry taste with a tight, hoppy finish. This is a very solid beer and great for summer session drinking.

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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 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 Antikythera
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this at Jack Duggan's in Philadelphia International Airport, terminal A East, along with buffalo shrimp and fries. Saw it on the tap and just had to have it.

Appearance: dull gold, a little foggy, a little creamy head.

Smell: you know, I don't really remember. A little yeasty. Nothing special.

Taste: nice, a little spicier and more complex than most summer ales.

Mouthfeel: creamy. Again, pleasantly odd for a summer ale.

Overall: I'd get this again if I saw it on tap.

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Photo of dbatch
3.47/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Now that tax season is over, I finally get some time to do some reviewing.

Beer pours golden in color, bubbles quickly and constantly flowing to the top. Mild aroma, primarily malt and a little hoppy. Taste is definitely malty, and heavily carbonated. The carbonation takes away from any real discernable flavor, although there is a hint of hop flavor in there. Very dry aftertaste, but I can see this as a very easy beer to drink on a hot afternoon.

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Photo of bubrewer
3.64/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer is very pale, down around Pilsener color, but quite hazy. Head is white and craggy and hangs around long enough. Aroma reminds me of pears and a slight spiciness.

Flavor is subdued and mostly harmonious. The fruity aroma foretells more fruit in the flavor - maybe less pear and more peach-like. This is definitely an ale, but not with the full slap of saison character I expected. Flavors are balanced, but a slight bitterness - maybe from spices rather than hops - lingers longer than I'd like.

Overall a pretty good beer, and one I would love to have when the hot weather returns.

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Photo of WEBBEER
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer is a golden sunshine yellow, crystal clear with no haze. Pours a half inch frothy head that goes to lace. Smells of hops and not much else. Taste follows smell with hint of fruit like pear and mild citrus. Very drinkable, flavorful and extra refreshing during a heat wave.
The name suggests a saison but in my opinion it is far from anything Belgium. That said I would recommend this ale and will serve it to friends as a session beer with seafood or as breakfast at the Jersey shore and along the Chesapeake waterways

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Photo of sparkydoyle
4.15/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Seemed to be more of a spiced cream ale (style owes a much to the English as to the Belgians). Grainy flavors, creamy mouth feel, faint hops but a lot of fruit and spice at the end.

More assertive than a lager, but with a creamy head, straw coloring,
light carbonation, crispness, low sweetness, and excellent clarity (slight chill haze). I liked it more than I would have if they had rigorously nailed the Saison style. Great to have while cooking and eating some barbecued chicken.

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Photo of mrgrinch
3.59/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - This is a very yellow beer, with a nice refreshing color. Not heavily carbonated though it had a nice head when it was presented by the server. (This beer was served on tap in a pint glass).

Smell - Fresh smelling with many aromas. Not boring.

Taste - This beer has plenty of flavor. None of which I can put my finger on. I am not a fan of most summer beers because of their typical fruitiness. This beer certainly does not taste fruity. Not simple and boring, but instead a crisp and zingy taste.

Mouthfeel - This beer is thin and clear. It goes down easily. It is very light on the palate.

Drinkability - Though not enamored on the taste at first, Flying Fish Summer proved to be an interesting and refreshing beer. I enjoyed it with a light dinner of salad and pasta and it was good enough that I had another. Probably one of the best "summer" beers that I have had.

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Photo of Ahoyhoyindeed
4.5/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: bright and golden
Smell: Slightly sweet and lemony
Taste: Citrus flavor up front, smooth and sweet on the back end
Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy but light
Overall: Fantastic summer beer, similar to Sam' sSummer but better
Serving type: bottle and on tap

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Photo of casemw
3.51/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this at Waterworks in Philly,

A-Crystal clear yellow color with bright white head that quickly fades leaving little to no lacing.
S-Not too much of an aroma here...a little bit of malt.
T-Not a big taste in this beer, it's nice and light. Semi-sweet with a yeasty quality and a touch of bittering hops.
M/D-A fizzy/dry mouthfeel and an easy drink. Not my favorite beer in the world, but I'd suggest that anyone give this one a try if you have the opportunity.

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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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