Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Alaskan Summer Ale | Alaskan Brewing Co.

299 Reviews
Read the review
Alaskan Summer AleAlaskan Summer Ale

Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States | website

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 299 | Ratings: 772
Photo of vkv822
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz : pilsner glass

Clear golden with a thin, short lived foamy white head.

Clean grassy, crackery, biscuity notes in both the aroma and nose. Quite nice, especially on a warm summer day.

Medium+ body, foamy carbonation.

A solid, well done Kolsch. Easy drinking but still flavorful.

 287 characters

Photo of boddhitree
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Looks like a Pils/Kölsch.

Aroma: Pils malt aroma, some lemon with a citric smell

Up front: A very little bit of bitterness, but more noticeable is a tartness and slight bite, but overall here smoother than a pils.

Mid: Here’s also just a little bitterness, and more tartness/astrincency noticeable. On the sides, a tangy, lemon-like but not really lemon mild sourness. There’s also a slight sweetness, but not Pils malts, just a bit of pure sweetness

Back: All the same flavors as above, stronger here, a tangy lemon-like tartness is quite sting, too.

Aftertaste: I’m left with a slight tang and a lemon-ish flavor lingering.

Mouthfeel: A little dry but quite thick. Feels more like a Pils swishing around the mouth. Thicker that what I remember a Kölsch being.

Overall: It’s been a few years since I’ve had a real Kölsch from Köln, so I’m not sure really sure if my memory of what they tasted like is at all accurate. I remember the tartness, but I also remember a really crisp dryness and almost a sourness. So, I get the feeling I’m almost drinking a Pils, and that’s something one never gets from drinking a Kölsch from Köln, so I have to question this beer’s authenticy. The mouth feel is definitely too Pils-oriented and not dry and crisp enough.

But, regardless of hitting this style or not, it’s a pretty good beer. It’s almost dry, but not really. It’s got lemony, citrus-like flavor up and down the tongue, so yes, this is as advertised, a pretty good summer beer. I can imagine drinking it on the beach or poolside, but I hate to say it but I don’t think it’d drink more than a bottle or 2 at any sitting, for there’s just something missing, but I’m not sure what. I like that it’s got some Pils malt sweetness but it’s not a major component, just a minor note that comes and goes, depending on what part of the tongue you’re focusing on.

I think a 3.6 of 5 is in order.

 1,954 characters

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.

 497 characters

Photo of Redneckwine
3.92/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

cold 12oz bottle into pint glass

Appearance - Crystal clear and light gold color, not much head development or retention at all, not much lacing to speak of

Smell - Crisp and clean scent...flowery and a bit herbal. Slight biscuit and grain goodness

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tingly carbonation, medium/light body, smooth and refreshing! Taste is more of the flowery/herbal hops action, mixed with nice, clean biscuity malts. Slight hit of fruity sweetness, but finish is decidedly dry with low bitterness.

Overall - Though not attractive in the glass by any means, this is a tasty and refreshing brew, and is aptly named as it would be perfect on a hot summer day. I'll definitely come back to this.

 695 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A kolsch to fit in with the Germans. Light golden straw color with nice snappy malt flavor. Poured into my favorite Fruh stange, only to have the wind knock it over and smash it into a million pieces. But the beer was very good.

 228 characters

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

Light golden pour, light bubbles, thin white head of a finger's width.
Smells initially of light apricots and then it's bready.
Blah taste. The hint of fruit is there apricot/ pear bordering apple, but it's quickly dominated by a heavier, earthy, metal-like finish that's a bit dry. Maybe that's the style I'm unaccustomed to, as I dont recall trying a Kolsch.
Feels light to medium carbonation, thin and crisp with a astringent-like aftertaste.
Nice to try, but I'd probably only pick this up again if the alternative was buying one of those big-name brand, mass-produced light beers.

 589 characters

Photo of ISmith87
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Quick one here - tried this one on a whim because the bottle was marked down to 99 cents at TW.

A - 3.5 - golden straw clear color, minimal head, no lacing

S - 4.0 - Sour, yeasty, citrus fruits, bananas, wheat bread

T - 3.5 - No much at all, really light bread, corn, rice, slight banana, a TINY bit of tartness but you basically have to imagine it

M - 3.5 - very light, extremely easy to drink , slightly wheaty aftertaste, alc completely hidden.

O - 3.5 - Wanted more tart flavor from a kolsch. I can think of a few I'd rather have than this one, but that's just me.

 575 characters

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

Pours a pale, golden yellow hue with a soft, white head that quickly recedes. Decent amount of carbonation and light chill haze.

The aroma here is simple but pleasant. Malt, grains and a tint of honey. Light and sweet as a any beer of this style should be.

Not a lot going on here either. Grains, slightly sour yeast, and a faint bitter finish. Hops are mostly undetectable

Light. Carbonation isn't as pronounced as I'd like but it's good. Saying this one is easy to drink would be an understatement - you will be at the bottom of your glass before you know it and on the prowl for more.

A highly enjoyable Kölsch. Not a ton of character, which might be a turn off to those unfamiliar with this style. However, those who can look past that are in for treat that can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere.

 846 characters

Photo of elNopalero
3.94/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the coolest tap handles—in the shape of a killer whale. Ah, marketing.

This poured a light golden-blonde color with a bit of foam. Light aroma, with a clean, crisp, easy drinking flavor with a touch of toasted biscuit and a light squeeze of orange blossom.

 266 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.47/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured minimal head on a fairly clear, medium straw colored body.
The aroma is a pleasant mix of fruit: apricot, pear and banana.
The taste is nice and crisp. Mildly fruity with a mild bitterness. Clean finish.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
A fine beer.

 273 characters

Photo of beergoot
3.67/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A fine medium gold body with a thick, chunky white head. Light grain scent; cereal; somewhat woody. Warm biscuit flavor with a soft hop bitterness. Light bodied; soft and dry.

A nice little malt-forward ale, perfect for a summer afternoon when you're in the mood for a lighter ale. Nothing mind-blowing, just easy drinking and tasty...

 336 characters

Photo of BigBrewStu
3.51/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Ok summer beer. Enjoyed several of these light feeling beers--also light golden in color. The flavor is an interesting flavor--surprisingly malty. I tried this by error--the keg I ordered was not delivered so I took this one instead--and I am glad I tried it. I am not a big fan of this style (Kölsch) but it is worth trying.

 326 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: medium golden hue with a crystal-clear body and a very strong effervescence. Head poured a finger of fizzy white foam that doesn't have a lot of staying power. Body is brilliant, though.

Smell: crisp malty aroma with a hint of pear and apple character. There's a little graininess, too; it's a bit on the sweet side, but I like the composition.

Taste: similar to the aroma. The graininess is a little more pronounced, along with a very light sourness which is not entirely appropriate. Tasty, though not perfect.

Mouthfeel: light body with a rocky yet refreshing creaminess. Not bad.

Overall: this is a decently drinkable Kölsch, although perhaps a little bit unrefined. Still, great on a hot day.

 758 characters

Photo of Auraan
4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear golden yellow with a one finger white head. Scents of German ale yeast, crystal malt and German hops. Flavor is crisp and clear with sweet malt and some bread and slight citrus pith flavors and an excellent moderate level of hop bitterness. Good and flavorful without being overwhelming. Mouthfeel is light bodied with moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink. This is a good Kolsch, well worth trying. It's an easy drinking, light bodied, yet flavorful beer, great for the summer.

 496 characters

Photo of spoony
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

From a 355 ml bottle (dated September 13, 2013) into a pokal.

A-A normal pour produces about a finger of white head that quickly fades. There is no lacing left behind. Carbonation is chunky and visible in the clear, medium-golden liquid.

S-The beer has a mild aroma that is vaguely sweet at first with unidentifiable, light-colored fruit (maybe apple and white grape?) and some drier crusty, bready scents.I detect very little in the way of hops.

T-The taste, like the smell, is light and pleasant, but lacks any real distinguishing qualities. Vague sweetness, a light hit of lemon/orange citrus, and dry, bread-crust pale malts. The finish is drying, but not quite chalky or biscuity. As the beer warms, I detect a slight herbal astringency from the hops.

M-The feel is pretty light, but medium for the style. Carbonation is noticeable, but not aggressive. The finish is crisp and drying.

O-This beer is an easy drinker, but lacks any real character. From the looks to the smell and taste, everything about the beer is vague...not bad, just not great or memorable. On the other hand, I find the feel to be refreshing and the beer is definitely drinkable, without being too light or fizzy and I suppose that is what a summer beer is for.

 1,244 characters

Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.44/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden color with absolutely no head. There is no lacing either. Biscuity malty aroma with some stale lager aroma. I detect banana. Biscuit malty taste with some banana at the end. Somewhat spicy. Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Decent but not a go to beer. Refreshing for summer. Would drink in a pinch.

 336 characters

Photo of KBomb
3.72/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice golden-amber color, thin fizzy head. Color runs just a bit darker than some other Kolsches.

Smell is quite restrained... almost to the point of absence. Some faint grain and maybe some damp hay. But not much.

Some dry, honey-like malt is followed by a bit of spicy/citric hop. A little brief puckery sour chases the aftertaste, preceeding a gentle and clean bitter hop bite.

Nice crisp and dry mouthfeel.

I've not been super keen on Kölsch in the past, but I'm starting to come around and Alaskan Summer Ale has not hurt that process.

 545 characters

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.

 1,247 characters

Photo of bmwats
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a stange.

A: Medium golden hue. Quickly and continually rising effervescence. Pours a half finger, bubbly, white head. Settles quickly. Very slight spotty lacing, mostly quickly retreats into the body of the brew.

S: Hay with some light floral notes.

T: Grassy, with a little lemon citrus, and just a light bitterness.

M: Light and crisp. A bit of a brassy feeling aftertaste, and a lingering sweetness.

D: Goes down easy.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Decent hue, with a slight head, and no real lacing. Nose is earthy grain and flora. Flavor is a light combination of grass, citrus, and a bit of a brassy finish. Overall, this is a good quaff.

 681 characters

Photo of CanuckRover
3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium gold. Eggshell head settles thin. No lacings.

Sweet grain on the nose with a nice bit of fresh grass seed.

All about the grain, as you'd expect with a kolsch. Touch of unpleasant diacetyl, I'll put that down to less than optimal freshness. Fairly sweet malt with floral hops. Finish is pretty clean.

The style can be unforgiving, and I think I may be drinking this a bit too late. That said, I think I can get enough from it to know that it would be decent fresh.

 475 characters

Photo of budgood1
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours out a slightly hazed pale straw gold colour with a thin fine egg shell white head reducing quickly to some sparse lace. crackery malt aroma...slightly sweet with lemon zest hints. taste profile lays down a fairly sturdy sour dough bread malt foundation with citric overtones and a meekly spicy and bitter noble hop bite. the overall body of this kolsch style ale is meatier than what i was expecting, with a full, chewy mouthfeel. drinkability is fine...easy to quaff on a warm, late summer afternoon.

overall, this seasonal offering from Alaskan is a decent, drinkable and fairly tasty take on a delicate style. i am not overly fond of the style, even in the hottest of weather, but this wasn't bad. it can quench a thirst to be sure.

 743 characters

Photo of vickersspitfire
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear, mild head thin layer of random bubbles good lacing and good carbonation.
Malts, barley, but not much else.
Crisp and refreshing, it has a mild coriander flavor and a mild alcohol aftertaste very mild hops over all. Not bad beer for the style. The flavor does get better as it warms slightly. Some citrus fruits start to come out along with some grains.
It has a light mouth-feel and is pretty relaxing to drink!

 426 characters

Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. Printed on the label is, I assume, the “best by” date: “101112.”

Appearance: Poured into a 400 ml stange. The color is medium gold. Two fingers of light, off-white head dissipated to leave a skim of lacing and ring around the edge.

Smell: Lots of grain and fruit — apricot, strawberry, granny apple. It also has a sweet floral hop aroma, too. Honestly, it does smell a lot like summer.

Taste: My first sip made me think of a boat. I have no clue why. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. The flavor is subtle but tasty and mostly mirrors the smell: grain, floral hops, fruits.

Drinkability: Light, tasty, and easy drinking. This is a summer beer I wish could buy locally.

 715 characters

Photo of depechemode1983
3.67/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear, dark gold in color. A stream of bubble can be seen coming up from the center of the glass. The head is white and disappeared a little to quickly. The beauty is in the color.

S - Excellent nose. Its sweet with lots of fruit and a soft floral notes. I'm getting apricots, green apple, white grapes and a nice wheat backbone. The aroma is very assertive and all the characters stand out nicely.

T - The taste is of dry wheat and fruit. Again green apple comes in to play, along soft lemon zest. The finish is slightly bitter and lingering.

M - The mouth feel is excellent. Medium bodied, crisp, clean, and with refreshing carbonation. Perfect for a hot day. Alaskan Summer is the perfect name.

O - Just a straight out enjoyable beer. Looks good. Smells amazing. Taste great, and feels wonderful. I recommend this one if you see it.

 843 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average.

Served refrigerator cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with a fruit tart.

A: Pours a four finger beige colour head of fair cream and thickness, and good retention. Colour is a clear pale copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Fresh floral hops, orange rind, clean malts, and lemon peel. An average strength aroma.

T: Orange rind, clean malts, floral hops, some lemon, and wheat-esque grain. A pleasant crisp taste, but it lacks complexity and subtlety. Nicely balanced. I like it.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Too light and thin, weakening the impact of the bright flavours. Adequate carbonation.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but far from Alaskan's best beer. I like it more out of the bottle than on-draught. There are better Kolschen available.


 1,015 characters

Alaskan Summer Ale from Alaskan Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 299 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.