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 Kevin_Langford
3.11/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is a great, refreshing summer beer. It's a darker golden color, light carbonation. Crisp drink, very refreshing. Not overly unique, but it's an enjoyable drink.

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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 BeerSamurai34
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is really nice and crisp. This is not something I would ever drink at a beer tasting or something like that, but it is a perfect summer afternoon beer.

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Photo of jrsqc7
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Smooth with some weird but good finish like vermouth. No harshness. Clean feeling. Like a light wheat beer? Good but not quite textured properly. Would recommend.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.06/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Has that nice kolsch yellow appearance, lots of clarity and a solid one inch of white head. Aroma was sawdusty like kolsch yeast.

Taste, balance, like a yellow beer alt, but this is a kolsch with lager yeast. Easy mouthfeel like Sunday morning. This don't do anything bad and are good for people doing the gateway thing.

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Photo of vikinggary28
3.51/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This is my first Kölsch style ale so I have no other to compare it too. Poured from bottle to glass mug. Pale gold colour with a suddsy white head. Smells of mild hops and maybe a slight citrus aroma, hard to tell. Reminds me of a light pale ale. Tastes very smooth, much like the aroma, it goes down very well with good mouthfeel. If you want something cold to drink on a hot summer day that isn't overly hoppy or grassy, you'd probably enjoy this as much as I did.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
3.46/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Light golden, bright n clear, fizzy head disappears fast. Aroma is grainy with a hint of fruit. Crisp cracker grain taste with a touch of citrus. Finishes dry with a little grass in there. Overall good summertime brew, refreshing if looking for a clean, mild tasting brew.

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Photo of archyquaffer
3.92/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A moderate pour from a stubby into a shaker produces about an inch of frothy white head. The beer is a pale amber color and quite clear. Carbonation is on the high side.

A subtle floral hop aroma melds with an equally subtle fruitiness. The flavor is also subtly fruity, but with a semi-dry finish accented with caramel and with a touch of earthy bitterness.

This is a nice beer and a good summertime quaff. Purchased as part of a variety 12 pack which sold for about 15 bucks.

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Photo of OKbrew89
3.49/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a beer mug. Hazy gold color with a two finger head that recedes quickly and leaves half an inch of lacing. Aroma of floral hops and grain. Taste is floral hops followed by a bready middle and a dry finish. Light body and medium carbonation with no alcohol aftertaste.
A nice attempt at a kolsch. It was lightly hopped for the style, but very quaffable and refreshing. It isn't something I'm likely to come back to, but it hit the spot in the Texas heat.

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Photo of staubot
3.69/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle and came out with a small head that has ok retention and little lacing. Slight hazy coloured with the right carbonation look for a Kolsch. Sent of floral fruity hops. Tasted was clean with a slight lemon matiness. Maybe not enough hops but some was present. Mouthfeel was a good for a Kolsch with maybe slightly too much carbonation. Overall a good North American go at a Kolsch. One of the better tries I've had so far and like it advertises, a great beer for summer heat.

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Photo of Kuaff
4.07/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Cellar temperature in a tulip.

It's a golden-orange of great clarity with very fine sediment flecks visible if I look close. A centimeter of white froth was there, but it went away quick.

The aroma is... a bit of sweet lemon and vanilla, and just a little bread and grains. Not much, but promising enough.

Ah, there's the bread. It was hiding in the flavor. A smooth, almost minty-cool current of citrusy vanilla takes hold first, and then said bread takes it's rightful place on my palate. It finishes crisp and clean, of course.

Nice feel. Feels full in carbonation, yet light on the tongue.

Nothing much not to like. A kool Alaskan kolsch.

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Photo of OrtheusMaximusRex
3.54/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Might be my least favorite Alaskan Brewing offer...all others are very solid in their type. I am not a big fan of the Kolsch style, especially when there are plenty of German beers in the style or closely related styles at the same price. Sorry Alaskan, my dear friends, but not this one...I'd first drink one of your nice hoppy pale ales, or hold onto your Big Mountain Pale Ale, which is a very nice beer.

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Photo of Furlinator
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed this on a getaway trip to Palm Springs where the temperature was 98 degrees at 10pm. This refreshing kölsch hit the spot. Light grains, slightly sweet with some faint citrus accents. Very good.

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Photo of KLHBB
3.69/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Gold color, a smell I can't identify --- rocks? Rain soaked gravel? A taste of black pepper and grapes, refreshing, a very nice beer. I've only discovered this style this summer, I see it's a popular summer seasonal. Light, clear, refreshing. This has more substance than the other Kosch's I've tried. For the style, I don't know if that's a good thing, but I'm enjoying this beer.

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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 Myotus
3.92/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle (best by date September 2015) into a stange glass. Pours with a half finger's worth of foam that dissipates into a quarter's worth within one minute (nice and slow dissipation rate, I can appreciate that). Bubbles become mild once head settles. Pure gold in color. Has very strong, biscuity malt aromas (I love that smell personally) combining with strong earthy hop aromas that almost overpowers mild black pepper, red grape, and lemon peel aromas along with very subtle yeast ones. Initial taste is a punch of biscuity malts and a jab of earthy hops that are almost instantaneously followed by strong black pepper and mild lemon peel flavors. Mild red grape flavors along with a hint of sour yeast enter act two as the initial taste continues in strength with the exception of the biscuity malts gradually growing stronger until that, along with the earthy hop flavors, are the only flavors remaining in the aftertaste. Full bodied, medium-strong carbonation, too dry of a finish to be crisp (which is a shame given that this is a "summer ale"). Definitely not what I expected from a kölsch, but was still pretty good.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 7/11/2015. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy deep golden yellow color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, biscuit, light honey, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and light yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, biscuit, light honey, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Light herbal/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, biscuit, light honey, and herbal/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice robustness and balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and light yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Very clean flavors, with noticeable but very well restrained yeast ester notes. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and slightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish as expected of 5.3%. Overall this is a damn nice Kolsch style. All around great robustness and balance and pale malt, earthy hops, and light yeast ester notes; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Alaskan Brewing's Summer Ale last week for $1.69 at The Lager Mill. The weather is starting to warm up and a Kolsch sounds pretty good today, so lets see how it goes. 2015 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks nice, it's got a nice design to it and it's a little eye catching. It poured a nice darker golden color that took on more of an orange hue when held to the light and it had almost three fingers worth of fluffy off white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left lots of patchy lacing behind. This is a good looking beer, I have no complaints at all.

S- The aroma starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with some fruity yeast being the first to show up and it imparts a nice apricot and stone fruit like aroma that's pretty nice. Up next comes a slight spice aroma followed by the malts which impart some pale malt, light biscuit malt and sweet malt like aromas. This beer has a good aroma, the fruitiness sets it apart.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly lower amount of medium sweetness with the fruity yeast still being the first to show up, but it's a good amount lighter this time and it still imparts a little bit of an apricot like aspect. Up next comes a light spice flavor that goes into the malts which impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma and this time there's also a cracker malt like flavor. On the finish there's no bitterness with some sweetness taking it's place and it has a biscuit and cracker malt like aftertaste. This is a pretty nice and fairly true to style Kolsch.

M- Smooth, crisp, clean, slightly refreshing, on the thick side of being light bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. This beer has a good mouthfeel that works well with it, I have no complaints.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and I thought it was a good example of a Kolsch, it had everything that I look for in the style and I thought the fruity yeast made it just a little unique. This beer has good drinkability, I could drink more than a few of these, especially when it's hot out. What I like the most about this beer was that it was true to style while still being a little unique. What i like the least about this beer is that more of that fruit yeast didn't come through in the flavor, but it didn't really hurt this beer. I would buy this beer again when looking for a nice Kolsch and I would also recommend it. All in all I was pretty happy with this beer and it tasted pretty good on this warm day in Mid Michigan. It's one of the better beers I've had from this brewery and it's above average for the style. Good job guys, this was a tasty Kolsch, keep it up.

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Photo of JAD1956
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

First off... So dang easy to drink. A lot! Beyond that.... Not quite authentic for the style- more malty breadiness needed, not picking up any true Nobel hops, slight phenols. But I can drink this all day and even into the next day.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.77/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Clear, pale, bright orange with thin off-white head. Smells of orange, banana, and grain. Aromas fall away quickly. Taste is similar, reminds me somewhat of a hefeweizen or witbier. Banana qualities are from the yeast/esters I presume and the orange (or lemon) could be either yeast/ester fruitiness or hops or both. Rindy and lemony in and around the finish, definitely the hops, but a bready aftertaste. Medium-bodied with soft carbonation but plenty of it. Quite smooth.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Summer Ale pours a clear darker golden color with a small but lacing head. There is a very crisp and light malty aroma. The taste is very crisp, creamy, nice pronounced pale malt flavors, some citrus notes. Nice full flavor, good feel. Overall its a stronger and very tasty Kolsch.

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Photo of pat61
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%

a little grain and spicy hops on the nose but they are not big.
The beer pours straw color with a touch of gold with a thin white head.
A touch of light grain to light bread on the palate balanced by spicy hops and a light bitter accent, hints of light fruit.
Light, crisp, mild and refreshing and very drinkable.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

As Summer begins to close, I pour my last one of this six pack into a stange (so glad I only recently learned about this beer vessel). Though many times before I've had it in a pint glass, luckily, as I sit here and ponder this beer, I'm comforted knowing I'll have this next Summer as well.
The appearance was a delicate glossy yellow color with a slim white head that dissipated within seconds. Light lacing stuck and then slid into the body.
The smell had some sweet corn with a delicate crisp grassy presence of hops in the background. Light citrus comes through.
The taste was basically the same.
The mouthfeel was slightly crisp and smooth with a nice refreshing texture.
Overall, I'll see ye again next Summer - matey! Cheers.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.29/5  rDev -8.6%

Kolsch! Kolsch! Kolsch!

Summer and Alaska don't seem to pair together too well, but I like the Orca on the front so let's go!

Serving style : 12 oz stubbie glass bottle/8 oz miller fortune cup for appearance

Appearance (3.5) : Pours a warm orange/yellow haze that looks beautiful when held up to the light. More clear than opaque. Glows. Head recedes rapidly and disappears.

Smell (3) : Whatever is there is very light and floral. I'm getting orange rind, lemon zest, apple juice, raisin, and a hint of booze at the end. It's fairly pleasant but very faint.

Taste (3.5) : Very nice until the finish. Almost identical in the way that the booze hits your palate just like it did in the nose. I don't like that. The overall flavor is nice, it is hoppy and pleasant. No malt. Hops are light and fruity. Peppery. A little spice and cilantro. As it warms it takes on an exclusively peppery orange flavor.

Negative flavors that surface later on are wet paper and booze. The positive flavors tend to outweigh these though so overall it's not tanking the score.

Mouthfeel (3) : Zippy carbonation that follows all the way down. Light bodied. Finish is wet and papery with a very faint husk of dryness.

Overall (3.29) : Best Alaskan product i have tried thus far. If it was sitting in a cooler at a pool party I'd be more inclined to grab this than many others as it is refreshing and easy to drink without sacrificing hops or flavor. Schell's Zommerfest is a far superior Kolsch and so far that's the only other one I have to compare it to. Summer Ale is right, and this is wheaty and zesty just like a Kolsch should be.

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