Alaskan Summer Ale | Alaskan Brewing Co.

302 Reviews
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Alaskan Summer AleAlaskan Summer Ale

Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Alaskan Summer Ale balances a softly malted palate with the clean freshness of hops. In the tradition of the style, neither overpowers the other. Both hops and malt come together to refresh and renew the palate. The straw-gold color and easy drinkability are an enjoyable way to celebrate summer.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-01-2002

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Reviews: 302 | Ratings: 783
Photo of Cburnette23
4.59/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was fantastic. The Kolsch style - My first, but not last! Instantly has become one of my favorites. This ought to be a mainstay and I sure hope Alaskan brewery keeps making it forever.

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Photo of beernut7
4.5/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alaskan BC has done it again. This Kolsh style corn colored offering and foamy yellowish head live up to the usual standards. Aromas of German hops and malts as well as a hint of German ale yeast intorduce a sweet medium bodied VERY smooth beer. Awesome.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.46/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow. What a surprise. Remember how the old Bud commercials showed a poured glass of beer that looked so very refreshing and clean?
That's this one...only the taste is not a disappointment.
Poured a light crystal clear golden color with a med head of large bubbles that quickly disappeared. Very large bubbles escaping the glass settling down to a medium carbonation looking very pretty and refreshing.
Aroma is immediate...not overpowering, but you don't have to look for it. Slightly sweet, like fresh baked fruit filled (berry?) pastries....clean, fresh, sweet, hops noticable at all.
Taste is incredibly light an refreshing. Much like the aroma...slightly sweet malt....bread yeastiness...light fruit (very faint fruit).
Clean drying aftertaste. No noticable alcohol.
What a great summer cooler.
I could very easily session this beer or drink it all day long by the pool...on the lake....floating down the river....or simply avoiding mowing the lawn.
You get the's a cold March day and I'm thinking of California sunshine while enjoying this brew.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.45/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well, uglyguy must have gotten a bad bottle, this bottle was bought in Anchorage maybe that makes a difference. The head was real good but didn't last too long. Low on the bitterness scale and a slightly sweet flavor one of the best Kölschs I have had. Good balance of hops and malt.

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Photo of MrNuggets
4.45/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Today a work a customer handed me $20 and said "go get yourself some beer." Long day at the fish house, i earned this one.
Pale gold body with a thick white head that faded fast. Smell carries a hint of sweetness. Malt really steals the show here. Hops certainly do their job. But the malt is what is putting the smile on my face.
Crisp as the day is long. Beer doesn't get more drinkable than this.

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Photo of kgotcher
4.43/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 Bottle pours a straw to copper color with nice foamy white head.

Aroma is grainy malt, hint of hops, but generally not heavy handed.

Taste is clean malt flavor that leans more to grainy than sweet. Nicely balanced hops don't stand out but just do the job. Mouthfeel is light to medium and is very refreshing without any noticable bitterness or strong aftertastes.

Frankly speaking it is hard to believe this is an ale and not a lager. Very smooth and refreshing for an ale. Quafable is a word that comes to mind. . . Great malty flavor that shows off the raw grain without adding too much body or sweetness. Love it.

I think I have a new session brew for the summer.

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Photo of xhcadamx
4.37/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - yellow straw with a touch of honey. fizzy white head the leaves quicker than it came. no lacing

S - creaminess which is what draws me to these kind of beers. Hops are present but I cant detect which varities.

T - creamy and i love it. I wish I knew other beers like this. I only know of two: anchor steam and four peaks kolsch. Graininess and cereal. Perfect amount of bitterness.

M - super light and delicious

D - i love this beer

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Photo of HochFliegen
4.36/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a very crisp and clear copper color with a thin white head that laced quite well down the glass. The smell was very floral and malty. Slight apple and honey smell as well. Seems very fresh.
The taste was very subtle and pleasant. Slight fruity on the first sip turning almost dry and sweet in the end. Also a bit of bitter in the end as well. Mouthfeel was very light and enjoyable for a summer evening.

A very nice Kolsch seemed true to style to me. Ill be getting this one again.

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Photo of mjurney
4.35/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden color. A little carbonation rising. Small head.

Very clean and crisp. Fresh cut hay, slight fruity.

Sweetness up front. Sweet grain, grassy, bisucity, slight fruity. Semi-dry finish.

Very clean and crisp. Light bodied. Well carbonated.

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Photo of genaro
4.35/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer beside a bonfire on the Oregon Coast, so I a little trouble seeing the color. Nice floral aroma, cloudy gold color by firelight. Good use of hops instead of lemon. It had a flavorful hop finish with just a bit of astringence. I found it to be more malty than the usual citrusy character of other summer beers which I am not a big fan of. Definately my favorite Summer ale.

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Photo of MisterClean
4.32/5  rDev +20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At homebrew club for fruit and blonde (creams & commons) styles meeting.

A - Dark blonde, fairly heady, which dissipates fast.

S - Cream, malts and bittering hops.

T - Very creamy, malty, sweet, lightest amount of hops.

M - Carbonated and just a nice beer.

D - Great lawnmower beer, hit the cream part head on.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok my second Kolsch of the night and Im rather wary after the Pyramid( was Ok but boring).
This comes in the 12 oz brown bottle very attractive label with the Orca jumping.
THis beer pours a clear and deep golden colour small pure white head..lovelly carbonation strings nice.
I smell the aroma of some nice floral style hops abut also some nice sweet caramel malts.
MM this is a delicious beer..nice honeylike sweetness followed by a creamy bitterness at the end..very good..some perfumy tastes too..but nice like roses etc.
Very good on the palate this makes you want to take a sip quickly
Very very drinkable i could drink a 6 of this easilly.
Verey nice for me this is a good beer.

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Photo of SargeC
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep gold-amber color, thick, tan head.

Smell: Slightly smoky malt, caramel.

Taste: Slightly sweet with just a touch of bitterness. Perfect hearty summer brew.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Nice consistency.

Drinkablity: One of my favorite Alaskan Brewing Company beers. Very easy to drink and compatible with almost any food.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.29/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured cold into a standard ale glass
A - Golden amber with a minimal head that becomes a white ring on the sides of the glass. Lace forms and descends rapidly.

S - Mild + malty, slightly cheesy yeast not with a beet of spice.

M - Smooth, crisp carbonation w/ malty somewhat dry texture mixed with a tidbit of spice. Medium light with a full feel.

T - Gentle biscuit + honey flavors blend with lightly toasted and sweet notes. A nutty texture melds with effervescence that leaves a clean yet full flavor of ale yeast character. I enjoyed the flavor which is not a common summer ale taste.

D - A refreshing summer ale. A honey-like Kolsch with subtle peppery spiced yeast. A pleasantly malty ale with a dry aspect and clean finish.

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Photo of bkilpatr
4.27/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. 03/18/09.

Pours a bright clear golden color with a finger of bubbly white head. The head dropped quickly to a thin layer, decent retention. Aroma has green apple, subtle malt, and floral hop.

Taste starts with sweet honey and bready malt, which is quickly accompanied by a slightly sweet fruitiness. That is followed by floral hops and a very subtle grassy hop flavor. Feel is light-medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. Very crisp, clean and dry finish. Very mild bitterness. Drinkability is very good - quite sessionable.

This would be great to have on a hot summer day. Very refreshing.

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Photo of Tupperwolf
4.22/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ah... how the packaging reminds me of my year stationed on Coast Guard Cutter Storis, Queen of the fleet - the oldest commissioned cutter. We patrolled the Gulf of Alaska and Bering sea, and never went a day or two without being joined by humpbacks, porpoises, Minke whales, or, most memorably, orcas. (I'll never forget BM1 Lochlan making the pipe - "Now for the information of all hands, there are orcas breeding off the port bow.... Belay my last... Orcas BREECHING off the port bow...")

The appearance is somewhat standard for this style; A medium-colored golden glass of beer, with plently of easily visible rising bubbles that don't do anything to feed the tiny head. A very small head appears on pouring, but pops by the time I sit down in my chair.

The aroma is clean, lightly spicy, with orange peelings and a slight doughy character. Saaz style hops make a tiny appearance. It smells crisp and inviting.

The mouthfeel has a lot of flavor! There are a few characteristics that seem to be simultaneous, yet distinct - yet simultaneous. It's fruity, spicy, and bready all at once. It never gets too fruity, because the crisp pear and orange flavors are kicked back by a coriander spice - which is subsequently taken over by a creamy breadiness. The flavors transition quickly, and it even tastes good right out of the bottle. Matter of fact, I drank the first four of my sixer without pouring.

Mouthfeel begins smooth and deep, and transitions to a crispness as the spiciness kicks in; It finishes doughy and creamy, with a little lingering malt.

Exceptionally drinkable beer, this will likely become a staple of this summer's festivities at my house and other places of gathering where good beer is needed!

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Photo of MtVernon
4.22/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've gotten this beer for a long time now, every time its in Season. This and Full Sail Wassail are the only seasonals really worth remembering here in the great NW, in my humble opinion.

This is a really good beer, and you can usually find pretty good deals on it. That's really all there is to it. I won't go into great detail, as people before have already covered it (sorry, I don't smell things like lemongrass, butter, & corn), but let's just say this is a very drinkable, pleasing, satisfying beer that always reminds me of cicadas and birds chirping on summer evenings, those fleeting, hypnotic post-quaff lulls of contented existential wonderment that can only happen with just the right beer, one that didn't cost too much to make you feel self-conscious beer-pride, nor too little to induce humility-in-my-beer-thrift pride... or whatever.

Point is, this is just right, it's from Alaska, it's got a bitchin' label, and it tastes really good for the price point. You can't go wrong.

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Photo of joedon
4.21/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted on tap at Humpy's in Anchorage.

Crystal clear pale gold color with a thin white head. As clear as a lager but presumably made with an ale yeast.

Subtle aroma, mainly of grain and hay.

Nicely complex flavor for such a delicate beer. First taste of a mild residual sweetness, malt and very subtle bitterness. Next comes a slightly tangy wheat taste. Finally, more citrusy notes and a bit of estery ale flavor.

Nicely fizzy carbonation and just the right amount of body.

Very drinkable. Favorable comparison to summer wheat beers.

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Photo of KoG
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I was finally able to track this down this year.

Golden color with a white head that leaves good lacing.

Smell is fruity with a light malt backbone and a hint of hop.

Taste is slight fruit with a good amount of lighter malt and a twinge of hop on the end. No off flavors with a slightly dry finish.

A great summer brew and one that I was hoping I could find again.

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Photo of Offa
4.19/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice, tasty kolsch-style beer.

It is golden with a smallish white head steadily shrinking to a ring and wisps.

The aroma is grain, grass, fruit, applies, and overall very nice.

The taste is crisp, dryish, with grain, apples and very nice balance. It's fizzy, with a light, lively, zesty feel and it's highly drinkable, comparable to a very good pale lager.

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Photo of xybreeder
4.17/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Beautiful golden/yellow color, crystal clear, small to no head, no lacing
S - Sweet malt, buttery (diacetyl?), slight bubble gum aroma, nice & pleasant, little to no hop aroma.
T - Sweet/creamy flavor, buttery, no bitterness, biscuity, clean finish.
M - Light bodied, carbonation a little low but not problematic, smooth and clean finish.
O - A very good brew, very clean, lots of flavor for something with not a lot of malt/hops, delicious!!

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Photo of brentk56
4.17/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a modest head and little lacing

Smell: Grainy aroma with a bit of biscuit

Taste: Starts out with a bready flavor that becomes very fruity, mid-palate; after the swallow the fruitiness lingers and provides a slightly sweet flavor on top of the grainy bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Nice fruity tones make this a terrific example of the style

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.13/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a Hinterland stange.
5.3% ABV,m 70913 on label.

A - Two fingers of rich, foamy white head rise up from a moderate pour but then lower to a thick pile with no lace rather quickly. The beer is a clear and well-carbonated deep golden color and leaves plenty of lace clinging to the glass.

S - The light aroma is crisp with a faint grainy smell and dry straw that merges with a pale malty, light floral hoppy nose. A tiny touch of white grape sweetens up the finish of this hybrid-style beer.

T - Smooth pale malts still have that touch of graininess up front that quickly changes to a fuller bready flavor with a decent helping of light noble hops which impart some floral characteristics mid-sip. Delicate notes of white grape and red apple trail off on the finish of this beer.

M - Crisp and refreshing, Alaskan Summer is a good summer beer with a smooth entry, a light carbonation tickle and a fairly dry finish. The body is a little bigger than normal for a Kölsch but it still drinks nicely.

O - Alaskan Summer is a very drinkable beer but it's body is a little more rich for a Kölsch than I'd like, only hindering it's inherent crispness. The simplistic bready malt and undertones of fruit work very well though.

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Photo of Murchmac
4.12/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a pale gold color with not much of a head into a mug. This beer smells fantastic! It has a very earthy smell to it. The body starts off light but has a lot of depth to it. Perfect mouthfeel, light, but with an understated malt presence. The hop presence is bitter but finishes dry with you wanting a little more. Great session beer if you consider 5.0 a session beer. I could drink a bunch of these on a hot summer day with some hot dogs to wash it down. Try it.

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Photo of tmitch75
4.12/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a sixer on a vacation in Tahoe and brought a few bottles home. I'm glad I did.

Bright yellow color with an orange tint, darker than a macro lager, with thin white head.

Clean smell of grass and honey with just a bit of citrus (lemon).

Tastes a lot like the smell, very clean, with a bit of a corn like flavor mixed in. But honey and grain predominate with good lemony hops.

Light and crisp mouthfeel.

Very good beer, perfectly to style and great for summer drinking.

Tasted on 5/4/08. Bottle stamped "061808", I assume this to be a "Best By" date but it'd be nice if it were a little more clear.

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Alaskan Summer Ale from Alaskan Brewing Co.
3.6 out of 5 based on 783 ratings.
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