Samuel Adams Summer Ale | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

1,657 Reviews
Read the review
Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
An American Wheat, brewed with malted wheat, lemon zest and grains of paradise - a rare pepper from Africa first used as a brewing spice in the 13th Century to create a crisp and spicy flavor and body.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-09-2001

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,657 | Ratings: 5,450
Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.42/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 12 ounce bottle freshness dated November 2011

A hazy lemon yellow in color,no head to speak of with light lacing of the glass. Soft lemon citrus taste with a hint of spice. Very refreshing with a pleasant aftertaste, as you would expect for a summer seasonal!

 265 characters

Photo of Popkorn615
4.42/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a cloudy orange with a 1cm thick marshmallowy head that slowly dissipates to a surface glaze.

S - Citrusy, (probably from the lemon zest added to the beer).

T - Lemony, orangey, citrusy, zesty, and malty.

M - Very light and smooth. A touch watery and could probably use a little thickness in its body, but it is by no means a distasteful lack of thickness. Personally, I thought the mouthfeel was great, but I could understand how others might think that it is a little thin.

D - A fabulous summer ale that is very light and refreshing, and possesses a great balance of each element. I could easily have countless numbers of these in one go, especially on a sweltering hot summer day.

 699 characters

Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.4/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks good and has a summer appearance label on the bottle. Smells of lemon and spices. Has little head. Taste is above average but not the best. The lemony flavor makes this beer taste great, so mouthful has the same rating as taste. Drinkability is excellent not the best, but very close. This is a beer one could drink all day. Goes down smooth and refreshing.

 363 characters

Photo of maxson924
4.39/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer that got me into pale wheat ales. Great representation of the style: wonderful golden color and the smell and taste you'd expect from a pale wheat.

 156 characters

Photo of comingbackdown
4.39/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The Pour:
Dead perfect pour on my hand. My best yet. :)
Very foamy, with a slight hiss as the head builds up.

The Head:
One finger head right out of the bottle, warm and aromatic, long lasting. Perfection. Lacing to the horizon and back.

Consistency and viscosity:
Slightly watery, somewhat oily to me. Pleasant to look at though.

The Nose:
Strong aromas of wheat, lemon, fresh bread or biscuits, smells warm and peppery. The aromas don't blend perfectly, but it's hard to get them all.

The Taste:
Sweet Wheat and Lemon, strong, bold Wheat taste all over, no sour taste anywhere.

Warm, wheaty, bittersweet with a strong lemon bite at the finish. A rather dry finish, but nice.

The Mouthfeel:
Creamy, warm, lightly carbonated, smooth all across the palette.

The Aftertaste:
Wheat and lemon. A perfect aftertaste. I'll be looking forward to this all year until next summer hits. :)

Aside from the dry finish, I could drink a damn keg of this brew. Very appreciable. Now, to work off the carbs from it.

As the brothers say, respect beer.

Happy drinking to all.

 1,075 characters

Photo of xtremejammn
4.36/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hands down my favorite Sam Adams so far hands down.

A: Pours a light brown with a remarkably long lasting head,

S: Very strong wheat smell, smell is also very hoppy, with a hint of yeast.

T: A very citrus-ish beer, I get a sense of orange spice and lemony taste.

M: Perfect, not too bubbly although it packs a punch, makes it very smooth to drink.

D: Very smooth, not too bubbly, finishes pretty well.

Bottom Line: I'd highly reccomend this to anyone, a very well done ale and gets my two thumbs way up. ta ta

 543 characters

Photo of bark
4.35/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The colour is gold with a tint of orange, the liquid is a little bit hazy. The two finger white head is airy; it sinks slowly down, leaving no lacing.

The smell is fruity with notes of citric and honey. There is some sourness paired with yeast and a fine bitter hoppy flavour.

The taste is fresh and refreshing. There is fine wheat-y sourness, some sweet malt. Fruity notes of lemons and blueberries(!). The aftertaste got a good amount of bitterness, some sweetness and a hint of yeast.

The carbonation is powerful; medium sized bubbles. The liquid is somewhat smooth.

A summer ale that really suits summer days.

 628 characters

Photo of steinlifter
4.35/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This poured a hazy bright yellow/almost gold..tall sudsy, 2 fingered head, that reduced to a thin collar.
aroma was very citrusy and pleasant..grapefruit and mild hop whiff.
Tangy, citrusy, and mild...
mouthfeel was light and watery.
Drinkability is very high here, these go down very smooth and easy..great summer brew!

 320 characters

Photo of Big-Dog
4.34/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I poured a 12oz bottle into my glass mug, I saw a great amount of foam. This beer stays well carbonated.

The initial taste is great! It has a strong, but not overbearing beer-y flavor. Since I'm a slow drinker, my beer starts to get warm after leaving it out for so long. This beer starts to taste funky after about 20 minutes of it sitting. The last inch of beer is, well, yuck. It leaves a bad impression.

The color is great, the initial feel is great. Overall, I would buy buy this beer again.

 498 characters

Photo of thecarster1
4.33/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a- bottle poured into a pint, freshness date of august, hazy golden brown color, half inch head that faded quickly leaving ring around glass (when i had this on tap out at the bar the head was stronger)

s- smell is slightly citrusy, little notes of yeasty bread.

t- nice wheat taste, some yeast, and a kick of lemony hops, and a peppery lingering from those mysterious grains of paradise.

m- nice filling mouthfeel, good carbonation, nice and smooth.

d- very drinkable, delicious wheat ale for spring and summer, need to be sitting outside to fully enjoy this one, mmm.

 573 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.32/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear golden/yellow color with a large frothy head, great retention with a good amount of patchy lacing.

Smell is rather yeasty with a slight citric aroma, bit of lemon, quite sweet.

Taste is light and crisp, carbonation amount is just right, lemon zest hits the mouth first with a slight tartness, very smooth and easy drinking, has some subtle spices and can even make out some banana aftertaste, perfect session beer for the summertime BBQ-ing.

 457 characters

Photo of flipshevanel
4.32/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer! Started with an average sized, frothy, white, and mostly diminishing head. The body hue was medium yellow/light orange with tiny particles averagely dispersed. The aroma was a nice heavy dough with moderate malts and light hops. The flavor was definately sweet that calms down until a nice average bready finish. The body was medium to full, dry, and softly carbonated. I really love this beer and is in my top 5 of favorite beers right now.

 459 characters

Photo of jayrod20
4.32/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden color with a two finger off white head that fades to a ring on the glass and a small amount of lacing. smell of wheat and yeast and spice. wheat malts up front then some lemon comes through then the spice hits making for a great taste. mouthfeel light to medium, crisp and good carbonation make for a nice summer beer that can be drank in succession.

 370 characters

Photo of weizenbob
4.3/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, best before August 2011. I poured the bottle into a weizen glass, swirling the last bit in the bottle before pouring for maximum yeastiness in the glass. The pour yields 3 fingers of fluffy tan head. Retention is moderate. Lacing is pretty much non-existent. Carbonation is active as seen through the glass. The brew is hazy and golden. It looks about perfectly to style.

The aroma is packed with wheat, wheat and more wheat. Crisp spicy grains jump into the nostrils and dominate this brew. In the background a nice yeasty character can be found. A sweet and light lemony essence is detectable. There is also a faint amount of alcohol that can be found in the nose. All in all, it smells nice.

As with the nose, the taste is dominantly grainy; though I must say that this is one of the most complex wheat beers I've consumed. Wheat is the alpha flavor and carries throughout the brew. Mellow citrus is tucked behind, adding a light sweetness. It is heavily hopped for a wheat beer, though the hoppiness is not a bit overbearing and remains well balanced with the other flavors of this unique wheat ale. The finish displays the pleasantly unexpected flavor of peppercorn. It's a little watery on the back end, but that is not noticed for long due to the nice bready aftertaste.

In the mouth, this beer feels a little light, especially considering the hazy look and complexity of flavor. It is undercarbonated for my taste, and a bit watery. I will say though that it is refreshing and easy drinking as a result.

As with nearly all of Samuel Adams' brews, Summer Ale is easily taken for granted. It is never one of the summer seasonals that I look forward to with great anticipation, yet I always end up drinking a bunch of it in the summer months. That may have as much to do with its relatively low price and high availability as anything else. But that should not take away from the fact that this is a very well brewed wheat ale, and one that I should look forward to each year.


The Two-Schlitz Scale: (reference my profile for an explanation)
I give two Schlitz about Samuel Adams Summer Ale.

 2,124 characters

Photo of thelagerheads
4.3/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let's make it country simple: summer is a nasty little wench. You sweat, the dogs get fleas, the grass burns up and your woman makes merry behind the bush with a man with muscles and tattoos and a goatee. Summer isn't for you. But being as misery is man's constant companion he needs something to knock back his head like a soft little hammer and bring on subtle displays of fireworks and enjoyment. Here's where Samuel Adams comes into play. You see, they make the best beer in America. I know all of these brew-gurus blast off little soliliquoys expounding upon foreign yeasts by companies with intricate brew talents and clever little brand names but these guys are the microbrew with the big company expertise in consistency and quality. Snap the top off this thing like one of those wax bottles of sugar juice you used to get as a kid and sop it up with your hot swollen tongue. It's like drinking nectar from a sponge with subtle hints of mushrooms? Yeast, fungii, rock candy. Stand back with your piss-pucker salute ye drinkers of Budweiser while I explode like a rocket over Damascus.

 1,092 characters

Photo of mithrascruor
4.3/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a nice hazy orange color with a light, fluffy off-white head.

Smell: Aroma is sweet with wheat, orange, and a bit of banana. Also noticable is a slight aroma of malt and hops.

Taste: This ale has a fairly bold taste of wheat and oranges, with hops and a bit of malt. A bit surprising at first taste, but it really grows.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is the first thing noticed; it's very tingly, but not too much. Light- to medium-bodied and smooth.

Drinkability: Alcohol content is not bothersome and the beer goes down very nicely. Could easilly drink a number of these, I'm sure.

Overall, it's a really great beer but nothing about it particularly catches the drinker's attention. For some beers, however, that's a good thing. This would be great to drink on a warm summer evening outdoors. Very relaxing and refreshing.

 887 characters

Photo of FenwaySquid
4.3/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz bottle, BBD of October notched on the label.

Appearance: Poured a hazy gold color with a small head that faded quickly into lacing.

Aroma: Wheat malt with lemon and spices, pleasant.

Taste: Wheat malts up front but that gradually gives way to the lemon flavors and something else I can't place (maybe the paradise grains mentioned on the label). The finish is lemony with a hint of some hops.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, kind of light though. Carbonation was in good balance.

Overall: This is a great beer to have on a hot day. I spent a year living in the Persian Gulf the base liquor store sold this stuff during the summer months. I ended many a day on my balcony sipping one of these as the sun set. Maybe it's those memories but I really enjoy this one.

 784 characters

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.3/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

all around good beer with superior drinkability on hot days.

A- faded wheat with nice carbonation that leaves foamy, almost creamy head. Has a grainy look that makes it look foggy.

S- Smells like wheat and lemon with some sweet fruit flavor I can't put my finger on

T- Tastes like the lemon and wheat in the smell. I think sweetness is coming from the yeast. tastes like mango. Moderate hop bitterness

M- Feels light and yet has a viscous quality that feels great. carbonation feels right.

D- Drinks great and is quite refreshing in the heat.

 547 characters

Photo of DuqTroops
4.3/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - golden yellow in color. little white head atop.

Smell - fruity with some malts present - as if a pale ale.

Taste - citrusy in flavor - lemony and malty.

Mouthfeel - very good in summer heat. love it.

Drinkability - will be good to have a few of these at an evening ball game.

 300 characters

Photo of umustdrink
4.29/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, one of my favorite Sam Adams goes

A - Hazy light orange color. Head is bright white and settles to a thick film. Lacing is slightly below average.

S - Creamy orange citrus, earthy wheatstalks and zesty hot spices.

T - Starts bitter with earthy wheat, leads into a creamy light malt with hints of vanilla and sweet spices. Finishes bitter and creamy, like an orange julius.

M - Medium consistency and slightly above average carbonation.

D - A fine ale indeed. Crisp and clean taste yet complex enough to keep you interested. Definitely a great summertime drink.

 598 characters

Photo of sammy44
4.28/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love this beer. It is my favorite of the Sam Adams line that I have had so far. A great summer beer. If ever a beer has been better matched to a season I wouldn't know what it would be.

Pours a cloudy yellowish-orange with a white head that sticks to the glass. Smell was of fresh grain, lemon, and some spiciness. Taste was great, some of the wheat phenols and a burst of citrus and spiciness again. Mouthfeel was fairly standard for a witbier, a little creaminess and a drying at the end. Very drinkable on a hot day when it is served chilled.

 550 characters

Photo of jeffthecheff
4.28/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I love the summertime, partly because of this beer. Tasted from both bottles and on tap; on tap is definitley better.

Appearance- Poured into a weizen glass it looks very sexy. The color fits perfectly with the beer, it has a light apperance which invites you to take a big swig after some summer bbq food, but it also has a nice amber color that shows flavor

Smell- Citrus aromas are very strong. Invites you to take a big sip.

Taste- The lemon clearly comes through in the taste. Not much bitterness, but there is some that seems like the perfect amount for what the beer is.

Mouthfeel- Good amount of carbonation, goes down incredibly smooth

Drinkability- Wow these are easy to drink. Not very filling, has a good taste but isn't too full bodied to make you want to not have another.

 791 characters

Photo of Kooz
4.28/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What a nice surprise. It's been a long time since I've had these, but a got a twelve-pack for a party because I stopped in a crappy store with a bad selection. Anyway...

Nice golden color, slightly cloudy. Really nice to look at and made my mouth water just seeing it.

Nice smell, notes of wheat but not overly strong. Pretty nice.

The taste is really good. A hint of sweetness; slightly sour... It tastes like a corn sour-mash in a whiskey distillery should. Really awesome. Can taste the wheat, really good. Not much of a hops note, which I'm happy about. All in all, it's a really good taste.

Mouthfeel is really nice too. Slightly foamy, really rich. Almost a little thicker than it drinks...

Very drinkable--can drink this all day and all night. Very high marks--maybe my favorite summer beer.

 804 characters

Photo of ClassicBrad
4.27/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You'll never appreciate this beer more than sipping on it during a spring/summer barbeque. I was nearly about to grab a soft drink to match my burger and dog combo until I tried the Summer Ale's hand at washing it down and let's just say, the Coke spent the day in my fridge. The bottle never fails to mention the brews use of "Grains of Paradise" in the label and while the bottle no longer displays a beautiful sailboat, the 6-pack carrier still resonates the gesture.

A dark golden color with some gentle haze carries the creamy white head that tells its story of lace all the way down the glass.

The smell is a very light combination of grains, citrus and subtle hops; very refreshing and appetizing on a hot day.

The taste is a quenching opponent to the sun's dog day aura. Reveals a relieving meld of grains and citrus and the much vocalized peppery Grains of Paradise addition.

The carbonation of this particular brew is just as refreshing as its other features. It is the 7-Up of beers and it really helps break the sweat.

As if I didn’t mention this beers revitalizing features enough, the “drinkability” of this beverage benefits from every one of the aforementioned characteristics to make for an intoxicating alternative to an iced, cold soda.


 1,284 characters

Photo of Saint
4.27/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Certainly in the running for my favorite wheatbeer. This brew is exactly what it says it is, Summer Ale, its perfect for summer. Its appearance is cloudy amber. It smells of slight hops, wheat and zesty citrus. It tastes refreshing, its a wheat beer but with the taste of zesty lemon citrus flavors, very Similar to MagicHats Circus Boy. It has no flavors that overwhelm at any point, from first sip to aftertaste it presents a very even & pleasant palette, through and through. Its mouthfeel is average, nothing real special to report here, certainly not unpleasant, but not really unique. As far a drinkability, on a hot summer day, on the beach, out sailing, camping, hiking, grilling, enjoying a number of BBQ treats, polish-wiffle ball, or any other number of outdoor summer activities, this beer ice-chilled is a prime choice. Several of them in a row can and should be enjoyed on the regular this spring and summer.

 922 characters

Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.37 out of 5 based on 5,450 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.