Alaskan Summer Ale | Alaskan Brewing Co.

789 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 789 |  Reviews: 301
Photo of mrseano
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
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 -3.3%
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 +7.8%
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%
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 -5.3%
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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Photo of herman77
3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear straw gold with a small off white head. Okay lacing.

S: A bit of lemon, grapes and light hay. Very light.

T: A lot like the nose. Lemon, some fruitiness (apples and grapes). A touch of malt. Some spicy and slightly bitter hops near the finish

M: Lighter body, active, higher carbonation. Kind of macro like, but with a bit more body.

O: Decent. Its a Kolsch, so nothing to get excited about, but its well made for the style. Pretty easy drinking.

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Photo of smm
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a crisp-clear golden color with a 1/4 in white head which recedes quickly. Big bubble rise from the bottom of the glass.

S- Citrusy and sweet, a bit grassy.

T- Starts grassy slightly hoppy, finishes with a banana-like twinge on the tip of the tongue. Quite dynamic.

M- Very crisp and bubbly up front. Finishes a bit dry. Definitely a thirst quencher after the bike ride home.

O- This is my first crack at an Alaskan brew since they arrived in Minnesota. Nice and crisp, good balance of sweetness, very refreshing. I'm looking forward to picking up a couple of sixers this summer.

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Photo of morimech
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear, bright yellow color with one finger of head that had good retention. The head settles to a very thin cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass. Aroma consists of some bicuity malt and slight fruity esters. Not getting much from the hops. The flavor is a little more fruity which comes as a suprise in a Kolsch. Malt is semi-dry and bready. What is not surpising is the light body and lively carbonation. This is an easy drinking beer that compliments hot summer days. Not the best Kolsch I have ever had.

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Photo of hardy008
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear gold color with a 3 finger bright white head. Good retention and spotty lacing. The aroma has grapes, spices, and grains.

The taste is just like the aroma. Grapes, spices, and grain. There is a nice, light sweetness. Somewhat vinous.

Medium bodied, medium carbonation, soft mouthfeel, very easy to drink. I could easily drink several of these in one evening. Welcome to Minnesota, Alaskan Brewing Company!

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Alaskan Summer Kolsh-Style Ale pours a clear golden hue from the 12 ounce bottle. A cap of white foam followed the beer down, leaving lacy traces down the glass. The aroma is light, as expected for the style, with pale malt contributing the most. The flavors are pale malt with a little sweetness underlying it. Very little bite at the end, par for the style. This is a fine summer ale, refreshing after a day in the sun.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sun yellow body. Clarity is good. Carbonation looks to be moderately high as many tiny bubbles surface at a nice clip. Nice and fresh boquet of light biscuity malts and floral hops. Feel is crisp and refreshing. Light bready malt base with hay and lemon sprinkled on top. Hops provide a very slight dryness to the beer. Fairly decent Kolsch. It's hard to pack a lot of flavor into a Kolsch, but I have had some that were pretty outstanding. This is not that, but yet a good summer quaffer.

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Photo of bsp77
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into unique Summit glass, which is the closest I have to a Stange. Bottled on 72nd day of 2011 (March 13).

Appearance: Clear gold with initial white head but quickly subsides.

Smell: Dry citrus, cherry and apple. Very light hay aroma as well. Simply too light overall.

Taste: Very light taste as well. Grainy malts with apple and hay. Not much hops; just a light hop spiciness.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, semi-dry finish.

Overall: Overly simplified (and de-hopped) version of a Kolsch. Refreshing and easy to drink, but not enough there to truly desire buying it again.

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Photo of gatornation
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from 12 oz bottle

A- pours a slight hazed golden yellow head with a very fast receding head slight lacing

S-bready malts ,citrus,some spice,a touch of hops

T- was baked bread malts with some citrus hops,a touch of fruit and spice..i liked the hop profile with the was tasty

M- was a medium carbonation somewhat crisp with a good balance of hops and malts

O- nothing outstanding here but a decent light easy drinking brew good for the summer and will drink some more singles of this

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear golden color. The head is a half inch in height, and recedes quickly into sparse lacing. The aroma is of spicy noble hops, bready malt, and a hint of metal. This is a very pleasing aroma. The taste is a little maltier than the aroma with the spiciness only showing in the back ground. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium bodied with lively carbonation. Overall, this is a good that I will surely drink again.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
3.72/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a balloon New Belgium glass from a 12-ounce twist-off bottle.

A: Pours a crystal clear golden color with a thin white head that settles to a decent lace on the edge. Carbonation is quite lively.

S: Biscuity malt profile up front, with a hint of honey, along with a grassy, fruity hop aroma.

T: Very clean taste. Malt lends hints of cracker and some honey, along with some fruity esters. The finish is quite dry and refreshing, with some grassy, bitter hop notes.

Notes: Light and crisp, Alaskan Summer Ale is a good interpretation of the Kölsch style. There's not alot to it, but it's still a decent session beer for the season.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.62/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another in a series I am working my way through this weekend. I went for the lighter fare right after dinner. Served cold and poured into a pint glass.

The pour was yellow straw colored with a good amount of carbonation rippling throughout into a big fizzy white head that settled dwon to leave a bare top after a few moments. Light wet hay in the aroma, hints of banana and maybe clove? Clean crisp flavor here with a very light body and a clean and very quick finish, leaving almost no flavor behind as it moves past the tongue.

Overall this is not bad at all, but put in the category of a Kolsch and I have had much, much better. Still I would go for it in a pinch.

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Photo of humuluslupulus8
3.01/5  rDev -16.2%
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 JeffBob
3.24/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear yellow into glass from bottle with about 1 inch of foam.

S Pine with a bit of hops to it

T light crisp and clean, with a finish of slight hops fading into some semi sweet floral yeast notes.

M goes down smooth a clean

O Not my style of beer but all and all good. I may drink this later on in the year when the days are 105 F and the nights are 95 F
the name says it all a great light beer for hot days and nights.

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Photo of Tone
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, golden color. 1/5 inch head of a white color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of sweet malt, pale malt, hint of hop, and a hint of yeast. Fits the style of a Kolsch. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, pale malt, hint of yeast, hint of citrus, and a hint of grain. Overall, decent blend and body.

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Photo of veinless
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very thin and glassy light straw yellow, with an appearance not unlike filtered apple juice. Lots of effervescence and only slight retention of head. Leaves no lace and bubbling is oddly uniform and hypnotic.

Grassy and grainy on the nose at first, only the slightest bit of citrus is evident. Weakly aromatic in general. Some faint sugars, like candy canes and the like, make their way through as the beer warms.

Those sugars are more pronounced in the taste. Quite sweet at the start, with grassy character only coming through at the end. This is quite malty for being such a light beer, and the graininess isn't even that big of a factor in it. I'd like more hops and citrus to balance it out, but it's not bad as it is. Needs more bitterness for sure though.

Mouthfeel is quite smooth and crisp, but is warmer and more full than I expected. It's never watery which is a good thing. Drinkability is ok, but could have definitely used some bitterness to the finish. As it is, it is solid, but unspectacular.

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Photo of SamN
2.58/5  rDev -28.1%
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 Nerudamann
3.41/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Stange.

Look - Golden in color, clear, with about half a fingers worth of foam that dissipates quickly.

Smell - a bit sweet and malty-smelling. Maybe a slight touch of the hops.

Taste and Mouthfeel - hoppy in flavor, but not bitter at all. A bit sweet at the beginning and then in the middle and finish more dry and musky-tasting. Texture is pretty light and leans a little more toward wateriness.

Overall - not a bad brew, and maybe not a bad American version of the style. Hop flavor could be more distinct.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of Alaska's more mundane offerings, which I guess is to style. Clear, faint yellow appearance. Dusty aroma.

Taste, lots of carbonation, minimal hop presence. Interesting aftertaste, slightly metallic and earthy at the same time. Very easy to drink. A good hot weather girlfriend beer.

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Photo of Chyren
3.26/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pour: non existent head leaves a slight ring of foam. Light golden, clear, bubbly, a rather attractive beer.

Smell: the scent is somewhat grassy and astringent, sweet too.

Taste: a clean sort of dry grass flavor, grainy, crisp and lightly sweet. It's got more to it, something of a tang that I can't quite put my finger on.

Feel and drinkability: this brew is somehow full and light but not weak. It is creamy with none of that annoying over-carbonated sense that similar beers sometimes have. It's called Summer for a reason and one could easily spend an entire summer afternoon at the lake throwing back pints of this tasty libation.

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Photo of u2carew
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz stubby.
A) Pours with a two finger white head that slowly settles. Clear body, gold in color. Lacing is thin and semi-sticky.
S) Malty aroma - tones of caramel and red apple.
T) Grainy. Sweetness is a bit sugary but has a caramel flavor. Overall taste is not strong, thins out halfway through. A noticeable hop bitterness in the finish.
M) Fizzy. Light body. Fairly smooth. Dry in the finish.
D) A decent brew. Seems true to style. I'd have another.

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Alaskan Summer Ale from Alaskan Brewing Co.
3.59 out of 5 based on 789 ratings.
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