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 pgfault
1.71/5  rDev -52.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into std pint glass with little head, although it maintained carbonation throughout. I've had a couple other Kolsch style beers recently and the Alaskan comes up considerably weaker than the others. The distinctive Kolsch flavor is only slightly present in Alaskan, making this taste more like an American lager than a true Kolsch. This will be my only 6 for the summer. Hopefully they can bring up the Kolsch flavor next year.

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Photo of Flyer
2.51/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Take this review with two grains of salt. First, I had it in a plastic cup on an airplane, which takes "improper glassware" to a new low. Second, I was feeling irritated because the flight attendant had said they carried Alaskan Amber, but when I asked for it I got this instead. (Can you do a place review for an airplane? Can you use a negative number to rate the knowledge of the waitstaff?)

The appearance and aroma were disturbingly reminiscent of a macro, with a vaguely corn-like quality and a macro-brand of light hoppiness (think Coors Light). The flavor was clean, with a minimum of malt and hop flavors -- I struggled to identify any ale-like qualities. Since I normally don't drink Kolsches or Summer Ales or whatever you want to call this, I want to be fair, but this beer was all about refreshment and little more, and it wasn't particularly refreshing. (A good tripel can be very refreshing, and so much more.) I can appreciate that craft brewers may have to expand into more drinkable styles to survivie, but this just goes too far for me. Not recommended.

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Photo of Atricapilla
2.51/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer has a hazy yellow color with a small head. The aroma was fairly weak consists of a (slight) wheat and citrus. The flavor again was a mixture of wheat and corn followed by a weak hops finish. Overall fairly bland, but goes down easy on a summer day.

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Photo of Ilafan
2.55/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This disappointed me. The label is awesome, but the beer is pretty average. It was quite light when poured with no lacing, no head, and virtually no fizz. The smell was non-existent. The taste was very rich but pretty sour for my taste. Not something I would have again.

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Photo of SamN
2.58/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a regular tumbler pint glass.

Looks perfectly average; slightly better color than a basic adjunct lager, a little darker and golden hued. Weak, thin head that doesn't last. Very lively beer, lots of bubbles. Smell is that classic kölsch odor; like tart dust is the best way I can describe it. Smell is dry and musty. To say there is some fruit in there might be a stretch, but I think I detect some grape and lime aromas, actually. Not a whole lot of malt smells, but I don't detect much in the way of adjuncts. I can't tell what exactly gives kölsch that specific aroma, perhaps the type of hops used? Can't tell. Either way, I don't like that smell very much. I've smelled worst, but still, it doesn't do it for me. Taste is of a slight caramel sweetness, then the delicate hops tinniness of the style takes over and ruins it all for me. Reminds me of lime rinds or mint leaves, a weird sweet, tart and musty taste.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
2.68/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear straw yellow with no head or lace. The aroma is faint lemons with hints of dough and cake. The flavor is balanced, even if plain, with a mix of crisp malt and hoppiness. There's a faint taste of medicine in the finish as it warms. The mouthfeel is light and slightly sticky. Alaskan Summer Ale is a decent beer, recommended.

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
2.71/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On vacation in Yellowstone I was looking for a refreshing beer after a day of rain in the park. This brew left me wanting so much more.

It poured a dark golden color that was clear and slightly bubbly. The aroma was almost non-present with just a slight bit of grain present. For taste it was a bit of grain and corn without much to enjoy. It was like a macro beer with a tad bit of extra flavor and no nastiness. It wasn't bad tasting it just didn't have much to offer. Plus since this was considered a premium beer at the BBQ place it wasn't worth what I payed for it. Not a repeat buy.

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Photo of 1759Girl
2.72/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance> Thick and creamy vanilla head, dark amber colour. Light bubbles. lookin good!Though dark coloured for a kolsch.

Smell> Slightly metallic and very alcoholic. hmmm

Taste> sweet, heavy lagery taste, bananas, grape acidity, but overly alcohol tasting which covers the other flavors

Mouthfeel> tingly, not pleasant.

drinkability> would prefer a different kolsch, or a different Alaskan Brew beer.

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Photo of ChicoraBoy
2.75/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Light malt aroma, slightly fruity. Lilttle bit of wheat and citrus, and oddly, some smoke. Overall, weak balanced aroma. Dark golden yellow clear, but no head. Palate is medium watery with medium smooth carb. Light malt sweet and soft hops taste. Watery, with grain finish and light sweet after. Very little bitterness at all. Light fruity taste. Pretty refreshing.

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Photo of Floydster
2.75/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pint from Naja's Place during a hot September day

Pour was a light golden brown with a very small white foamy head that faded quickly

Smell was a little malty

Taste was weak except for a few hoppy accents

Could drink a lot of these because they are smooth and light, but not very tasty

Much better summer beers out there

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Photo of MaggieReed
2.76/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

At first I tasted this and thought it was a mis-pour and I had been given an MGD...which I dont completely hate...

Maybe that initial reaction is a little harsh...but this was a kinda wimpy beer for me. I know that that is the style, but I have had better versions of it. In the end, it is more drinkable as it warms than your average macro, but I am pretty underwhelmed here...

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
2.77/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I don't know what my problem was with this beer, maybe it was the style, or maybe it was the brewery, but it just wasn't working for me. If I had to put my finger on one thing I didn't like about it, I would have to say that the malt flavor just grossed me out, it was too sweet and really just gross. For a summer beer I don't want something that malty, and if it is malty, at least make it a good malt flavor. There really wasn't much of a hop flavor either, which would have helped I'm sure. No head whatsoever, no lacing. And since I didn't like the flavor, it was hard to drink, hard to finish too. I mean it wasn't god awful, it wasn't the worst beer I've ever had, so I can't grade it too low, it just really wasn't my cup of tea.

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Photo of RoyalT
2.79/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance – Light orange in the body with a decent head that went down rather quickly.

Smell – Very light fruity hop aroma with a touch of uncharacteristic grain.

Taste – The traditional fruity taste is there but it’s very cheap. The hops are almost overpowered by this sweetness.

Mouthfeel – Lightly carbonated and very light in the body. This was somewhat smooth and refreshing.

Drinkability – Clearly Alaska Brewing was no match for this difficult style.

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Photo of bonsreeb85
2.79/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I wish that the Kolsch style was done more frequently here in the states, as it is sort of hard to find. I am only familair w/ Tire BIte(Flying Dog) and I beleive that I has one by UNita. That said, i love the style, however am not all that familiar with it. But here goes my review anyway.

A - clear golden/copper w/ small head and LOTS of bubbles

S - Barely noticable, not to much going on in the olfactory, just sweet malts and apple cider???

T/MF - Very sweet throughout, mostly all malt, but the hops are there just really well hidden.
Pretty much middle of the road beer, better than the macros, but not much complexity here. Just a balanced, yet 1 dimentional beer w/ a crisp bite and low biterness.

D- Very high if you are just looking for something to throw back while watching a game or snacking on some pretzels. Very light body(a bit watered down)and low ABV mske this quite quaffable. In fact, i forced myself to sip the first round, but after that it was game on and i found myself pouring them down.

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Photo of lnashsig
2.8/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

another Summer beer for today, #BOTG 47!

Poured from bottle into brooklyn tulip. Pours a crystal clear yellow/orange color. Barely any head at all, kind of surprising. Smell- apple sauce, peach. lots of sweet malt character. Taste- apple juice. Hmm. carbonated apple juice. Barely any hop presence, and not much depth at all. This isn't great. Don't see coming back to it, and god dammit- I bought a whole six pack. It also isn't too carbonated. Overall, not pleased.

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Photo of Ragingbull
2.87/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark gold in color and very still. Some random prickle pops around in the glass and there is no head to speak of. Sweet malty nose is okay. The attack is refreshing and clean and leads you to believe it will be a nice, simple, easy drinking beer. The flavor has a strong sour grain flavor. It seems a bit heavy to me for a summer ale. The aftertaste is sour. Compared to other summer ales, I am not a huge fan of this one, but I get that summer in Alaska is different than summer in other places. It just doesn't seem all that much like a warm weather beer. A little heavy and sour.

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Photo of Mdog
2.9/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear yellow gold, fast fading head.

Smell: Not much, a little grain I suppose.

Taste: Dry crackers, with a little sweetness in there. Interesting how dry it tastes.

Drinkability: I could have a few of these in a sitting, the dryness doesn't really quench a thirst though.

This is an interesting beer, most of the other kolsch beers I've had reminded me of mini-pilsners, but this is out on its own island. Very dry cracker-like flavor is interesting but seems to be missing a component. Didn't really look good or smell like anything so I can't really give above average marks there. Still, I would say this is worth a try.

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Photo of fizzy
2.94/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I like Alaskan beers. I have a feeling, however, that the mystique of Alaska is getting in the way. So it is with the Summer Ale, the Kolsch style beer.
A couple of weeks ago I was drinking Kolsch beers in Koln. Must have drank 5-6 different brands, all perfectly chilled and in the small glasses they like to serve it in. They share a common heritage so all sort of taste very similar.
Now the Alaskan. All the Kolsch beers I drank in Koln were yellow, not the pale gold of the Alaskan. All the Koln beers were, for the most part, light in flavor ( ice cold), yes, fruity and easy to drink. The Alaskan? Hummm, to heavy me thinks. On and on I could go, but the Alaskan Kolsch just isn't, in my opinion, a Koln Kolsch.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured into a tall pilsner glass from a 12oz. stubby brown bottle with a twist off cap. Says limited edition on label.

Slightly hazy golden color hint of amber. Thin white soapy head dissapated quickly into a very slight coating. Streams of tiny bubbles with some stringing from the sides of the glass. Carbination was steady throughout the beer.

Nectar-like fruity aromas,pears/nectarines/white grapes some doughy/yeasty aromas with some carmell/toffee notes in the background. Moderate to faint no hop presense was detected.

Light sweet maltiness,an assortment of dried fruit tastes,bready,light on hops a very light citrus. Smooth bitterness with some tang. Light with slight cloying, not a crisp hoppyness like a lot of Kolsh beer i've tasted.Easy to drink,not as refeshing as i would like. Just didn't feel like a Kolsh to me. Sort of a letdown. Not bad,not a beer i would seek out again. Ordered this beer from Liquid Soluctions.

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Photo of drpimento
3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma is a nice fresh beer at first, but then with a second whiff - medicinal. Flavor has some crispness from carbonation, but also some heavy malt sweetness that's a bit out of place. Color is darker than traditional Kolsch. Ok beer.

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Photo of Foyle
3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a healthy 3" white sudsy head that recedes rapidly. Very faint lacing, modest amount of carbonation bubbles streaming. Color is a light golden and clear.
Aroma: mild toffee aroma, some grassy smell, just a hint of hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel: light and frothy like a soft drink with a mostly dry finish.
Flavor: toffee, lightly roasted barley malt, grass, a bit of lemon, and some bittering hops in the finish.
Overall: pleasant, drinkable. Not outstanding, but not bad either.

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Photo of Maerzen
3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I flew on Alaska Airlines this weekend and was able to order a bottle of this on the flight. Kudos to Alaska Airlines just for offering something different and supporting their local brewery.

This poured a medium amber color that had medium head that disappeared quickly. The smell reminded me of Alaska Amber. In fact, the whole beer itself reminded me of Alaska Amber. It was a little heavier and had a little more substance than I was expecting in a summer ale. Flavor and substance are great but in a Summer beer I would like it to be a little lighter and focused more on thirst refreshment. Therefore, if I had a choice I would probably go with another Summer Ale.

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Photo of WetCoaster
3.01/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ah, the subtle, elusive Kolsch, rumored to be among the most difficult, if not THE most difficult, ales to brew. Has Alaskan succeeded?

Appearance: Crystal clear pale gold with a dense, pure white head. Thick, rocky and sticky, but quickly subsides to a thin rink of white lace, with a collar pasted to the glass wall. Absolutely microscopic carbonation -- makes champagne bubbles look like basketballs -- floats to the top, albeit with a half-hearted effort.

Smell: Well, it is a subtle style. Fruity and a bit vinous, sweet, a bit husky, with a mild note of pilsner-like hops.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Sweet; lightly malty, a bit fruity, with a subtle hop presence. The hops dry out the finish, and leave a somewhat unpleasant metallic soapiness. The mouthfeel is this beer's weakness: limp, thin and flabby, with the carbonation barely bothering to put up a fight. Blah. (Drinking this cold rather than cool helps a bit, though.)

Drinkability: While it's refreshing and light, and may be a decent example of the style, the mouthfeel is dead and the flavor is bland -- it's a total snooze. I realize that the style is all about restraint, but this one never even gets out of bed.

Adaquate take on an unusual ale, but since most supermarket "import" lagers have a similar flavor -- and some carbonation -- I wouldn't seek this out. Hey, it's a tough style; at least they gave it a shot. That said, save your pennies for their mindblowing smoked porter this winter.

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Photo of humuluslupulus8
3.01/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer was a transparent golden-yellow color. There was a medium-thick white head on top.

S: The beer smelled sweet from the malts and piny from the hops; nothing too exciting in this category.

T: The taste was fairly balanced overall between the sweet malt and bitter hops; neither side of the balance was strong though. Also, the hop bitterness did not linger too long, yet I wouldn't exactly describe the beer as crisp.

M: There was plenty of carbonation that made the beer feel thin. The mouthfeel wasn't bad or great to me.

O: Overall, the beer was easy to drink but was boring. It seems this summer ale was designed to be palatable to a wide spectrum of beer drinkers. The beer was balanced well, but there weren't any specific characteristics that made me look forward to drinking the rest of the sixer.

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Photo of Tang07
3.03/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks good, it pours a nice orangish gold with a light head that disappears pretty quickly.

It has a mild malt smell, with a hint of yeast.

The flavor is mild malt with not much hop.

The carbonation is just about right, maybe on the high side.
It is quite drinkable. I'd prefer a bit of hop to balance it out, but all and all pretty good.

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