Alaskan Summer Ale | Alaskan Brewing Co.

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Alaskan Summer AleAlaskan Summer Ale
809 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 809 |  Reviews: 306
Photo of codynevels
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Tamarack22
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of tomholland
3/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of doucmehu
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of thebouch01
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Phocion
4.09/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Clear, gold body with a thick but unretentive fizzy white head. No lacing, and a lot of bubbles.

Aroma is dry with a bit of white wine-like grape, a slight touch of nuttiness, and just enough honey. Slightly floral continental hops provide a touch of balance, along with mildly spicy (clove?) tones and a fair amount of weizen-like breadiness. Also somewhat of a lemony citrus aroma as it warms up.

Flavor is slightly bready with just a touch of floral bitterness. Nice light and crisp citrus/spicy finish.

Lighter-bodied and heavily carbonated. Light flavor profile and immensely refreshing, but surprisingly complex. Not the best kölsch I've tried, but it has all the attributes to make an excellent session ale.

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Photo of sommersb
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted On: 08-30-2011
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Stange
Purchased: Received in a trade

A: Brilliant, clear golden beer with lots of bubbles streaming from the bottom of the glass. The head is white and frothy, with a good amount of lacing and retention.

S: Aromas include floral hops, soft malts and a light fruitiness.

T: The taste is crisp, with a lightly bitter hop character, balanced by very subtle malts.

M: A light body and high carbonation make this a refreshing drink. The finish is dry with some lingering bitterness.

O: All in all, a good summer brew from Alaskan Brewing.

Thanks to Cyberkedi for this one

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Photo of Gatch
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Golden yellow with a bit of an amber hue. White head bubbles and builds quickly, then fades quickly. No lace whatsoever.

S - Lightly toasted malt, caramelized sugar, a bit of alcohol.

T - Dried fruit, malt, bread/yeast, some alcohol. Had a nice sweetness.

M - Sweet and smooth. Not much carbonation. A bit cloying.

Enjoyed the six-pack that I bought. I generally don't like the Kolsch style but this was nice. Good when it's warm because the flavors come out but most enjoyable when it's cold.

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Photo of TheRealBigC
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is certainly an excellent summer beer. Smooth and refreshing!

A pale golden color with a little head. Goes down smooth, light carbonation and light sweetness. I can definitely sit back on the porch with a 6 pack of these and a friend.

On a side note, I like orcas.

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Photo of lurpy1
3.62/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber, with almost no head and a generally flat appearance. Slight hint of honey in the scent. Very light beer with almost no hop or malt presence, vague spicing, not unpleasant, just not real strong either. The presence of alcohol is light as a feather too. I did find the texture and carbonation to be spot on for a summer beer, makes for very easy drinking after a hot day.

Pretty much what I expected: nothing earth-shattering, not much to challenge your palate, but a good, recommendable Kolsch.

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Photo of ChopperSmith
3.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard paint glass.

Appearance: Clear amber in color. One finger of off-white foam that fadedf fast and didn't leave much lacing or cap behind.

Smell: Floral hops and citrus, with a little sweet malt beneath.

Taste: Citrus hops with lemon and grapefruit profile, balanced well with sweet malts. A nice rendition of the traditional Kölsch style.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and light-to-medium bodied. Good carbonation.

Drinkability: Good flavors. Well balanced. A good interpretation of the Kölsch style (which is a style I really enjoy when it's done right). I would definitely drink this again. It's a good spring or summer brew.

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Photo of Mdog
2.9/5  rDev -19%
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 Flightoficarus
3.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type - Bottle into glass.

A - Pours a rich, pilsner-like golden hue, with low, white head retention and lacing.

S - Smell is of honey, grains, and a slight, grassy-floral character. Not overly aromatic, but the scents are there.

T - Taste is of a bready malt forefront, similar to that of some pilsners, sweet honey, grains, and a grassy, slightly citrusy-hop character that serves more so to keep this beer in good balance than to give it much bitterness.

M - This beer is medium-bodied, and flavorful, but manages to be pretty drinkable too. The best of both worlds for a beer like this IMHO.

O - Americanized or not, this is a pretty solid example of a Kolsch to me. Hits the spot just right for the summer months!

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Photo of Tballz420
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear golden colored brew, chill haze, very big white head, good amount of lace. Scent is light sweet biscuity malt, just a touch of floral hop. Pilsner malt front, bready, a bit grassy, some slight hop influence. Pretty full bodied, overall pretty soft but there is a bit of sharpness to it. Not gonna go wrong with this during a hot summer's day

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.42/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is malty with a yeasty overtone and a hint of fruit like summer sunshine. It pours a typical clear amber with a thick, frothy, off-white head. Flavor is malty and fruity with hints of caramel and honey - not complex, but still refreshing. Smooth texture has a decent tingle to it and leaves behind a fruity fizz. Not great, but grab a bottle if you get a chance.

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Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep gold color. Light transparency. Head doesn't last long. Decent amount of carbonation bubbles.

Smell: Grass. Grain. A little bit of a soggy smell. Hints of floral hops and citrus. Malt base is very grainy.

Taste: Very pale tasting. Slight citric sweetness. Refreshing. Earthy.

Mouthfeel: Crisp a little grainy for a lager. Finishes well.

Overall: Good taste. Well balanced. Not the best lager i've had but it's drinkable.

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Photo of JackieTH
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured golden-yellow with about an inch of foam. Not much for an aroma mostly grain and malt. Taste is grain and sweet malt with a just bit of a hop and citrus presence toward the end. Mouthfeel is light and crisp. Overall it's solid, aptly named summer ale.

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Photo of Retsinis
3.13/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had a bottle of this last night as part of a mixed six pack from Total Wines.

A: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a small brandy snifter. The beer pours a light clear yellow in color, with a small half inch of fizzy white head, and quickly recedes.

S: Not too much here, mild scents of grass, tinge of mineral earth, and some sweet citrus notes.

T: The flavors are light, with a mixture of barely registering tropical fruit, sweet malt, and light grass hops. Touch of grain in the middle, and very mild hop spice on the finish.

M: Light body with medium carbonation.

O: Decent summer beer for $1.29 for a single. Not much there, but then again the style does not scream complexity either. It's Crisp, and refreshing. No where near as good as a German Kolsch, but it hit the spot just fine.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Seattle TapRoom. Pours deep golden with a white head. Aroma is of grassy, perfume hops and biscuit malt. Medium, slightly crisp body. Light, crisp, grassy malt is balanced on the palate by biscuit malt and hints of tropical fruit. Short, light finish. Easy drinking brew, one of the best Kolsch I’ve tried.

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Photo of mrseano
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light golden color, fair amount of carbonation with medium bubbles. Quickly vanishing white head, no lacing.

S: Not a ton of smell, but picks up sweet grains and malt, possibly fruity scents but can't distinguish certain fruit.

T: Good taste. Tastes much stronger than its scent. Sweet grainy taste with some hint of honey-like sweets. No strong aftertaste, but refreshing while it lasts!

M: Easy to drink, light mouthfeel. Some bubbles/carbonation make it a great summer option.

O: Not outstanding, but overall a good beer. Perfect for a hot summer day when you need a quality refreshing beer that tastes good. Solid overall.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.47/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear light yellow color with a 1 inch white head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Random spots of lacing dot the glass on the drink down. Smell is of sweet grains, citrus, and some fruity notes. Taste is exactly the same with the sweet grain taste being the most prominent and the fruit flavors coming through on the finish. This beer has a lower carbonation level but is still bubbly and smooth. Overall, this is a pretty good beer and I can see why this would be a Summer selection. Very easy to drink with a lower ABV but nothing all that special.

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Photo of Bockrules
3.87/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from the bottle into my most strange-like pilsner glass

A - Pours a straw gold with a two finger white head. Lots of carbonation. Head is gone 2/3rds down the glass. Leaves behind a couple of small splotches of lacing.

S - sweet malt background that smell a little wine-like. Definitely some grape tones and maybe some noble hops.

T - Sweet malt upfront. The body has kind of a dry experiment-snappley flavor (I was a kid, this is what it reminds me of) with a hint of grape and noble hops. Dry finish that turns into a a white wine aftertaste with a touch more bitterness.

M - Fairly light and well carbonated. This is a summer thrust quencher- suits the beer very well.

I picked a single bottle of this up a general store at the Grand Canyon since Alaskan doesn't distribute to New Mexico. Glad I did. Although a won't lose any sleep over not having access to this beer here in NM, it would be an excellent pick for a six pack when I go to Hood Canal in Washington next month.

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Photo of MattyG85
3.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.

Appearance: Straw golden yellow with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of white head fades into a patchy layer with a little bit of lacing.

Smell: Sweet aroma of pale malts, citrus, grapes, lemon, and grains with a hint of grassy hops. Everything smells fairly light.

Taste: Tastes like it smells with a sweet mix of pale malts and grains with lemon, grapes, and other citrus. Has a light hint of honey and hop bitterness in the finish. Everything is fairly subdued.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with a moderate carbonation. Very crisp.

Overall: A good version of a Kolsch. Nothing outstanding, but a pretty good summer brew.

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Photo of beagle75
3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a becker glass.

A: Clear, medium golden color with over one finger of diminishing white foam head. Scant lacing remains on the glass.

S: Barely-toasted malt smells of sweet fermentation, with carbon dioxide providing a mild and unthreatening air of acidity. It bears an unsettling similarity to a diet lemon-lime soda.

T: Begins off-dry, with very soft grain that transitions into wheat-like flavors by the middle. Acidity is fairly mild, complementary, providing some citric qualities in the absence of any significant display of hop aromatics. A whiff of honey emerges late, finishing delicately sweet but not at all bitter.

M: Thin viscosity, wet and refreshingly acidic, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This beer is a malt-forward representative of the style, full-flavored compared to some brewpub kolsches that have been encountered. It becomes too sweet as it warms, detracting from its refreshing qualities and generally becoming less drinkable. Still, it may ably serve as a great gateway to craft beer.

Around 2001 this beer provided an important lesson for me in beer appreciation. As newer American beers were introduced to me, it was easy to assume that every unfamiliar style was therefore a newly-created style. In fact, they were usually trying to follow a precedent already established by traditional styles--usually in other countries. Alaskan Summer ale taught me a new word: kolsch. I came to realize that Alaskan was not inventing new styles of beer, they were just remembering (and teaching) beer history. It was a useful and necessary lesson to learn.

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Alaskan Summer Ale from Alaskan Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 809 ratings