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: 573
Photo of tone77
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is slightly sweet, some citrus. Taste is good, hops and grain, well balanced, some citrus. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this makes for a quality beer.

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

Pours a clear golden color. White foam forms with good staying power. Aroma of earthy herbs, honey bread and spicy house proprietary yeast. In the taste, more of the same with some lemongrass, peppercorn and bread. Lightly tangy, well balanced, and somewhat light. Had good flavor on a light to medium bodied ale. Well carbonated. Overall, this is a nice session ale.

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Photo of plaid75
3.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a pale straw hue with aone finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured very subtle grain with hints of earthy yeast esters.

The taste was clean and light with a slight estery yeast and a gentle lemon zest.

The mouthfeel was clean and refreshing.

Overall an easy drinking saison. A very toned down specimen in my opinion.

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Photo of Zorro
3.28/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled through MrBURTON55 and the Summer Sipper 2007 BIF.

This is a clear gold colored beer with a momentary decent white head.

The smell is sweet and yeasty with a hint of spice. The malt is candy like and the hop is a little herbal and a little horse blanket.

The flavor begins neutral in sweetness yeasty. Very quickly the sharp hop level becomes apparent here, more bitter than most Saisons in sensation but probably only because of the lightness of the beer and low malt content. Mildly fruity but its most notable feature is the bitter snap in the after taste.

The mouthfeel is light.

A very light Saison, I prefer the stronger versions. It is drinkable but light for the style.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.28/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle from the Total Wine,

A: Pours a deep goldenrod with a medium white head, solid retention.

S: Grass and some herbs, hint of farmhouse.

T: Grassy flavours with some citrus. Light malt character. Not particularly robust.

M: Light-bodied, crisp, clean, a refreshing beverage.

O: An easy drinking summer beer, not really much to it, but it'll get the job done, enjoyable.

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

Some American breweries seem to do this style pretty well, some not quite so well. Flying fish is definitely in the latter group.

I give Flying Fish some credit for trying to make a drinkable summer ale with low abv., but I'm puzzled by the fact they call this a saison/farmhouse beer. The beer looks, smells and tastes like a rather insipid pilsner. Had on tap the other day at Mahaffey's.

The beer pours a yellowish gold color with pretty persistent head retention and modest lacing. The nose is pretty close to non-existent, with none of the spice and/or funk one would normally associate with a Belgium saison. If anything I get a very light aroma of hoppy bitterness. On the palate this beer is very light and crisp. I guess one might call it refreshing, except that it's so light, watery and insipid, I really had no interest in finishing off my 10 ounce glass of the stuff. While I give Flying Fish points for keeping the abv. down, in this case they clearly did so at the expense of having much flavor. At least IMO, this is not a beer that would hold any interest for me in the future.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat hazy golden color with a very white, very foamy head that fades to a cap. Lightly sweet, and lightly funky in the nose. Pleasant. The taste is similar- some nice fruitiness, with notes of red apple and pear as well as some breadiness, a hint of bitterness, and a little bit of funk. Restrained, and very refreshing, but enough interesting flavors to hold your attention. This is in no way an American Blonde Ale, and those looking for such will be disappointed. This, as the label attests, is a classic Belgian farmhouse style ale. Call it a Saison if you will, but not a blonde. I enjoyed it, and suspect that many that didn't are looking for something more mundane.

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Photo of weeare138
3.47/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

growler from witbier...
Billed as Grey Lodge 10th Anniversary Dunkel Farmhouse but this is no different than the regular Farmhouse Summer Ale. In fact, I don't get the Dunkel monicker either b/c there is nothing that is "dark" about this version at all. A bit of a letdown, as I had hoped to have the same version but with dark malts added.
Appears a pale light gold with a small white head that quickly falls out into a gentle collar. Mild CO2 bubbles slowly rise to the top. Small spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of pils sweetness, sourdough bread, and definite wheat that comes out like crushed shredded wheat cereal mixed with a gentle hoppy spiciness.
Taste is of the described aromas. Actually tastes ok with all things considered. The killer here is that it's not a true saison. The English Ale yeast is definitley present and sadly not a Saison yeast. I would love to try this fermented with the duPont, or Fantome yeast. I know they do a sour mash with this but it just doesn't touch upon the funky, horse blanket, open fermentation that the real style emulates.
Mouthfeel is light bodied, smooth, crisp, airy, with a semi-dry finish that settles out with a slow wheat that drags down the back of the tongue.
Drinkability is alright. I know FF keeps this drinkable for the masses. One of my old neighbors knew I was heavily into craft brews and she brought me up a few bottles a couple of years ago. She described it like a lighter hefe weizen. She didn't know much about beer but something prompted her to buy a case of it. To me, this would be more of an American Ale than a Saison. Fellas need to make money though. Maybe we could get a Farmhouse "Roots" version of FF sometime soon in the big corked/caged bottles where they use the same recipe but a Saison yeast.

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

A: Poured a clear, bronze-orange with a foamy, dull white head that maintained very well while leaving a great full rim lacing. Visible carbonation was very soft.

S: soft with fresh grains and a light sour fruitiness (pineapple).

T: sweet grains with some toffee, buttery toast notes and a spicy citrusy flowering. Some sour fruitiness (pineapple) and honey dew. A nice spicy hopping is found on the finish with orange peels, lemongrass, and some malt sweetness wrapping things up.

M: light, very smooth with hardly a trace of carbonation detected.

D: A light drinking summer that goes down with barely a second thought. Worthy of a try.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.82/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle a slightly hazy medium gold with a large head of foam that shrunk quickly but left a solid layer throughout the session.

The smell is malty with good notes of earthiness.

The taste has some lemony bitterness up front from the hops followed by a good sweet malt presence with some biscuit flavour. The finish is quite dry. Unusual tasting beer and I'm glad I got to try it thanks to jwc215.

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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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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.02/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Yellow liquid, solid half inch of head on it, average lacing and retention.

Aroma didn't strike me as a 'farmhouse' beer. Was more like just a wheat beer.

Taste had some metallic bitterness to it. Again, not farmhouse-esque. Can't figure out the kind of hops they're using here. Not off flavored, but just not offering much in the distinct flavor department outside of said bitterness.

Mouthfeel keeps hitting with wheat like grist, bitterness and some aspects of the yeast as it warms give way to 'oh that's what they were getting at' farmhouse wise. Weird beer.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a medium copper color with a 1/4 inch head that bears little retention time before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a patch of bubbles in the middle of the surface surrounded by wispy foam. Sudsy, jagged ring of lacing.

S- Crisp with sweet, buttery malts which is uncommon for a saison. A touch of yeast.

T- Slightly fruity and the saison yeast comes through a bit more in the flavor, but the malt is the key player in this bringing more sweetness and overall body to the flavor. Barely any alcohol detected, as expected. A hint of sulfur.

M- Slightly tangy and very light. Medium carbonation.

O- As far as "summer ales" go, it's not bad. But, as far as farmhouse ales go, it's not very good. One of Flying Fish's less-than-interesting brews.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.62/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yellow-ish gold with a low wispy white head, decent carbonation, and almost no head. Tart yeasty Belgian aroma; light horseyness and fresh cut hay notes. Tastes much like it smells with a light sourness (?) and a grainy malt profile. Light bodied and refreshing.

Per label: "Bottle Conditioned Belgian Style Ale"

Per FFBCo webite:
Malts: Two-row pale, white wheat (7%)
Hops: Magnum, Styrian Goldings
Yeast: English (... strange ... ?)
Original Gravity: 1.041
Alcohol by volume: 4.6%

2001 version
Tasted: 07/03/03

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Photo of Bighuge
4.1/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer is a very clear light golden with carbonation evident. Head is insignificant. A nice light malty aroma tainted with hints of lemon. This is a really nice tasting brew. I rarely sampled from this style, but this one is enjoyable. Light body. Very easy drinking. Nice subtle maltiness (seems like a pils malt). A nice little hop bite that adds to the overall experience. No overbearing or complex tastes, but for the style and what little I know of the style, this seems pretty good. To me, a bit similar to a good kolsch.

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

Picked up at Total Wine Reno, unrefrigerated and warm on the aisle. At least one of those buffoons didn't try and convince me that this beer was made by the Bruery too!

Pours out looking completely as expected, a minimally colored, yellow beer with 1/2" white head on the top. Aroma of grainy ness, wheat escapes me, doesn't come off as farmhouse, just a plain blonde ale.

Taste, a little more bitterness, less funkiness than it should have. Hops didn't come out in the aroma or taste, but the bitterness is probably from hops, its a little metallic, doesn't lend itself to the usual fruit or pine descriptors with hops. Mouthfeel is clean, wouldn't say refreshing, the yeast profile is kind of strong on this one.

Average all the way around.

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Photo of Bung
3.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. pretty clear yellow/gold pour. Thin layer of white but retains fairly well.

Aroma, quite bready with some caramel.

Taste, not nearly as sweet as the aroma. Well balanced light grain bread, some herbal spice and hop notes. Fades fairly quickly.

Nothing über complex but very drinkable. Just slightly dry. Good level of carbonation. I would drink this again.

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Photo of maximum12
3.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to MrBURTON55 for passing this along in the now-infamous Summer Beer BIF.

My first beer from this brewery. Poured an extremely clear golden yellow, & there was some gushing from the bottle, resulting in an almost-too-big head in the pint glass. Reeked of wheat with a bit of sweetness lingering underneath.

Taste is wheaty lemon juice with a shot of summery breeze underneath.

Nothing great, nothing bad about this beer. Definitely a session beer that one could put away without thinking about it. Very drinkable & easy to reach for another sip.

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Photo of Suds
3.82/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall, a very good summer beer. Slight Floral, fruity aroma. Head doesn't last very long, but the beer seemed well carbonated. Mildly hoppy. Refreshing and enjoyable.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
2.6/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from bottle with BB 9-22-14 into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a light golden color with a tiny white foam head. The head fades superfast leaving only a trace level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is quite light overall with some smells of wheat and biscuit along with some lighter smells of a fruit sweetness which are mainly of a pear and lemon aroma. Along with these smells comes a very light grassy smell as well.

Taste – The taste begins with a biscuit taste and light fruit flavor of peach and pear. The peach and pear fruit flavors are later lost, being replaced by some other sweet flavors of a caramel and light candied sugar nature. Along with the transition in the sweet, there is also a transition in the malt with more wheat flavors and a cracker flavor coming to the tongue at the expense of the biscuit. With a light grassy and lemon flavor that comes to the tongue at the end of the taste, it leaves one with a muddled malty and sweet flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – For the low abv. of the brew, the body is average in thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is rather low. The moderate thickness is fairly decent for the mix of malt, sweet, and light grass flavors of the brew, but the lower carbonation is not really appropriate for the brew, taking away the crispness and refreshing character that the beer should have.

Overall – Ah… A very lack luster beer. Nothing was all that great.. A rather weak look and very little aroma with the flavors never really find a balance and the body was a bit off for me. Not one I will likely do again.

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Photo of ZAP
3.62/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A summer beer with some character...not a chugging to be studied and savored...relatively clear golden in color with a nice creamy white head that laces the glass nicely....Nose reminds me a little of a Whit Beer...some definte wheat notes on the nose but also a spicy hop accent...great aroma...body is light but not thin...pretty charged up too...taste isn't as nice as the nose but is still interesting and enjoyable...spicy characteristics take control of the taste...herbal like...also some lemon notes...malt is in the background but mixes in to offer some balance to the spiciness....overall this is definitely an interesting beer worth a try..

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.82/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Unibroue Tulip. No date or info on the bottle.

Thanks to NeroFiddled for the extra!

A - A moderate pour released a hazy straw yellow-golden color with no carbonation rising up. A loose thin white head popped up to drop to a tiny ring near instantaneously.

S - The nose is really mellow. Light cereal grainy with pale malts and wheat with a low spiciness to the nose. No real hop presence.

T - The lack of hops on the nose is made up for in the flavor. It's got a crisp and light straw and pale malt background to a moderately spicy and cleanly hopped flavor.

M - Light-bodied and crisp, it has a smooth beginning with a dry and medium carbonated finish.

D - Besides the appearance which is really lacking, it's not a bad beer, it just needs some work. The spiciness isn't pronounced or distinguishable, its just there and the malt is the same way. It just needs some more character. Drinkable though as it is. A solid sessioner and refresher for a summer day.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.91/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a stunningly clear straw color. The head is a one finger white shade. It doesn't have the best retention, and only leaves a small amount of lacing on the glass. Love the clarity, though.

S: The maltiness doesn't provide much - maybe a touch of crackery malt - and the hops used are very earthy in their tones. There really isn't much of anything on the nose, good or bad.

T: Again, there isn't too much here. A touch of wheat and cracker opens things up - and I mean a touch. The feeble malt base allows the hops to shine through, providing some finishing earthy, mildly sour notes. I was skeptical of the farmhouse label (and doubly skeptical when taking its clarity into consideration), but at the end of the day, I do notice a touch of funkiness, if only because it's hop-derived.

M: Certainly, it's a crisp, dry brew, one that's vibrantly carbonated and refreshing. I feel it's not really interesting enough to inspire great drinkability, but it goes down easily enough.

O: I'm not sure where the 'farmhouse' term comes from here - the yeast is way too clean/subdued. As a simple blond ale, though, it's okay. I wouldn't pick it up again, though.

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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 Dogbrick
3.54/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a pale gold/yellow color and is mildly bubbly. Thin off-white head that did not last. The aroma is wheaty and vaguely spiced. Light and crisp with a nice hops presence along with more spice and a little citrus. The finish is a little on the sweet side but has a small hops bite to it. Kudos to Flying Fish for actually making a Summer Ale with some flavor other than lemon.

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Farmhouse Summer Ale from Flying Fish Brewing Company
3.46 out of 5 based on 573 ratings.
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