Summer Ale
Brooklyn Brewery

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
English Pale Ale
Ranked #168
ABV:
5%
Score:
81
Ranked #44,224
Avg:
3.57 | pDev: 13.45%
Reviews:
556
Ratings:
1,942
From:
Brooklyn Brewery
 
New York, United States
Avail:
Summer
Wants
  48
Gots
  507
SCORE
81
Good
Notes: Summer in Brooklyn is all about following your impulses, winging it from beaches and barbecues to stoops and rooftops. Brooklyn Summer Ale is a refreshing, flavorful pale ale made to accompany you on all your warm weather adventures.

18 IBU
Reviews: 556 | Ratings: 1,942 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of realJohnnyHobo
3.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Marketed as an English pale ale, at least on BA, it is time to check out what Brooklyn brewery is calling a 'sunny pale ale'.

This pours from a 12 fl oz brown bottle conditioned beer that is highly carbonated leaving a beautiful lacing on top with the smell of nice effervescent hops and malty notes. The first taste is clean, met with a medium-bodied beer. As a pale ale, this is lighter (not fully light) in the mouthfeel, but is very malt-forward while still finishing clean with a kiss of hops on the back end. I was expecting citrus hops but got more earthy tones accompanied by ale yeast. This paired very well with sun and a bacon mushroom swiss burger.

 662 characters

Photo of beersampler6
3.62/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Light, refreshing ale that would work well either on a hot summer day or indoors during a cold fall day. Great taste and balance. Best by 11/19/19 printed on bottle. Clean golden color, a little fluffy white head and very spotty lingering lacing. Smells of malt, grain, a little hops and wheat. Taste follows the nose, decently bright and refreshing and I enjoyed the balance of flavors. Very smooth, sticky, surprising coating of the palate. Good amount of carbonation. An enjoyable beer.

 497 characters

beersampler6 from Michigan, Oct 30, 2019
Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.79/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Murphy's Law in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a slightly hazy golden yellow color, with a small head, and a bit of lacing.

This smells like lightly hoppy lemon, some tea, light malt, and a bit of grassiness.

This is pretty basic, but it's well-brewed and clean. The lemon and grassy hop flavor is nice, and there's a very crisp and clean flavor to it.

This is light bodied, and very drinkable, with no off-flavors or flaws, really.

This is pretty lightly-flavored and basic, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

 519 characters

GreesyFizeek from New York, Oct 07, 2019
Photo of hman43
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look: It pours golden clear with a white head. Head retention is very good.

Smell: It is grainy sweet with some citrus and low lemon.

Taste: It is grainy sweet in the flavor with some lemon and citrus in the background with a slight herbal quality.

Feel: It is medium light bodied.

Overall, an easy drinking beer with summer flavors.

 341 characters

hman43 from North Carolina, Aug 10, 2019
Photo of Amendm
3.52/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A strong pour from a 12-oz. bottle yields a finger of white fizzy foam with some large bubbles, short retention and strings of lace. A slight haze(not chill haze) to a light yellow-straw color. Light smell of pale malt and floral hops with lemon and cracker. These follow to the semi-dry and mildly bitter taste. Faint toasted malt and bready yeast add some flavor.
Light body, average carbonation. Session-able and smooth with a sort-of crisp finish.
I don't believe the brewer was trying for EPA and sunny/summer ales are not a style.
Too light on taste and body, low on malt and missing the spicy aftertaste of typical EPAs.
A good beer for summer yard work, average yet enjoyable. BB 11/19

 694 characters

Amendm from Rhode Island, Aug 05, 2019
Photo of MNJR
2.5/5  rDev -30%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Tastes weird. Like a wheat beer, but it has no wheat? It is an English pale ale? Does not taste particularly good. Dry, astringent, bitter, and yet watery. I must repeat this does not taste like a pale ale at all, but to me like a weak and diluted version of a summer wheat beer. No hops flavor. It is refreshing only inasmuch as it contains water and I had it cold. I would not buy this ever again.

 406 characters

MNJR from Illinois, Jun 29, 2019
Photo of brocc
2.13/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I got a 6 pack from a friend when I opened the beer look very light gold doesn't have a big smell, taste flat, there is a dry finish but nothing else than an overall beer not my favorite summer ale..

 199 characters

brocc from Massachusetts, Jun 18, 2019
Photo of Urtravel
3.15/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

L: clear, very light yellow color almost seems a bit watery; light head and lace
S: although not very strong in smell it had what smelled like a combination of perfume and fruit
T: was surprisingly clean and not as perfuming but a bit watery
F: initial burst of foamy carbonation like feel that was smooth but finished without much pizzazz
O: I was glad to haves tried it but would have wished for a bit more spunk to it

 421 characters

Urtravel from Pennsylvania, Jun 12, 2019
Photo of mooseisloose
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 1 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a twelver at TW, it is summer. Popping the top I get a waft of hops and biscuity malt. Pours to a orange yellow with a multi sized bubble head. Taste is sweet and malty with hints of orange. Not much body. A very light drink for the summer. Brooklyn but brewed in Utica, too funny.

 293 characters

Photo of UbeerFest
2/5  rDev -44%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Tried this at a wedding this weekend. Very light yellow and clear. Thin body; little to no malt character. Wiry hops that dry out at the end. Undercarbonated (had from can not bottle). Probably not the first time a craft brewery made a beer worse than Bud, probably won't be the last. Unremarkable and disappointing.

 317 characters

UbeerFest from Massachusetts, Jun 03, 2019
Photo of Claude-Irishman
4.04/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a semi opaque light golden yellow with a fizzy white head, Smells lemony, fresh dough,fresh hay or grass, Taste has a lemon zing with a really nice malt backbone. Feels crisp, refreshing, Finishes semi-dry. Overall for a pale ale this is excellent.

 254 characters

Claude-Irishman from New Jersey, May 02, 2019
Photo of JohnDon
3.76/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had on draft. Poured a clear straw yellow, thin layer of foam that disappaited quickly. Light mouthfeel. Good balance and can taste the english variation in the malt and yeast. Good and drinkable.

 196 characters

JohnDon from Texas, Oct 11, 2018
Photo of nickles
3.96/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

has a nice transparent golden color with a very thin persistent head. taste is rather muted but i think thats a summer ale kind of trait. has fruity notes that blend wel with the grainy and hoppy flavors. goes down very smooth as a summer ale should. reminds me of oberon. not a bad session ale.

 295 characters

nickles from Illinois, Oct 01, 2018
Photo of wexmary
2.38/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

I guess this is what a session summer ale is like. But 2018 Sam Adams Summer Ale puts this to shame. It is maybe a notch better than an American lager and that is not good. No head, inoffensive taste, carbonated mouth feel, little hop taste. Come on Brooklyn, you can do a better version and you have done a better version. This is Howie from Canarsie.

 357 characters

wexmary from New York, Sep 02, 2018
Photo of basaywhat
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Pours a light golden color with a decent head and bit of lacing. Aroma of citrus, light malt sweetness and grain. Taste is similar to the aroma. Mild bitterness and fairly clean finish. Moderate body, quite crisp and refreshing.

 243 characters

basaywhat from Illinois, Aug 27, 2018
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
1.98/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

L - Mid-gold. Clear. Some rising CO2. Thin white head that clears quite quickly to lacing.
S - Subtle, though I do get some mild fruitiness.
T - Quite dry in a precise and crisp kind of way. I'm surprised that I really don't get much flavour from this at all.
M - As above, it's 'precise and crisp' on the front, but I don't sense any body, and meatiness, coming through afterwards.
O - This lacks some dimensions for me. It's blessedly not a currently popular mega hop-bomb, but it is dry and a little sharp. It'd be refreshing on very hot day, but there's not much else going on, it seems to lack character of any sort. As such it's like many other pretty blah beers. And so you ask yourself why you'd be paying a premium to drink this beer in Europe...

 756 characters

Photo of GStone899
3.07/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Can't give this one anything better than a 3. It's light and refreshing which fits the basic definition of a summer ale but it doesn't prove much in flavor or smell. It's an easy drinker and would go well at a BBQ but it's definitely not memorable.

 248 characters

GStone899 from Minnesota, Jul 15, 2018
Photo of brewerburgundy
2.86/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, tulip, “BB SEP 2018” on the bottle. Come on, just print a bottled on date!

Straw develops into gold and a pure white head forms and dissipates to a ring. It is very clear.

Fruity, grassy, and light, just like most summer ales for the undiscerning. A little grain, a little green grape.

Same story, but less sweetness. There’s a light apple caramel.

The body is light, but mineral and dry.

This is a pleasant light brew, but emphasis on the light.

 476 characters

brewerburgundy from California, Jun 11, 2018
Photo of TerryMills
3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Little bit of the bread yeast type smell and flavor going on and MAYBE just a hint of grassy hops , not much of either.

Certainly crushable easy drinking beer but is it worth twice what a macro lager cost ? Not really , pretty much a macro lager with a slight hint of flavor.

 276 characters

TerryMills from Tennessee, May 21, 2018
Photo of drtth
3.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The slightly hazy bright golden yellow beer pours out into a Shaker Pint glass with a 1/4” white head that soon recedes to a ring and a thin layer. Sipping creates an occasional patch of foam on the side of the glass. By mid-way through the beer there’s virtually no foam remaining.

The aromas include lots of bready malt with some grassy, earthy character mingling in.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose, with lots of rich bready malt, well supported by the grassy, earthy hops. The malt sweetness is subdued and blends well with some definite bitterness from hops.

The mouth feel is medium bodied and fairly smooth with some light, persistent carbonation. The finish begins as the bready malt and sweetness begin to fade allowing the grassy and earthy flavors to finish the ending with a light bitterness.

Overall this is a good workman like beer that is drinkable and one that I could have more than one of. While not particularly complex it has an enjoyable aroma/flavor profile and should work well as a summer refresher.

 1,051 characters

drtth from Pennsylvania, May 17, 2018
Photo of Bustillo
3.11/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

We have a trend in American craft beers--brewers making "summer ales" to appeal to the masses looking for lighter fare in the hot months. Most of these beers are mediocre, and this is no exception. It pours a golden color with a very light head. It has a clear, crisp but unremarkable taste and mouthfeel. It's perfectly OK, but nothing more, and has a 5% ABV that puts it at the edge of my drinkable spectrum (nothing below 5% is worth consuming in my view). All in all, better than some varieties of this unfortunate trend in brewing, but not as good as some others. For those living in Texas, I personally think the Real Ale Fireman's 4 is a slightly better choice, for those looking to bring something light to a barbecue.

 726 characters

Photo of EMV
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an Alesmith tulip

L: Clear light golden pour. 2 fingers of white head... falls fast with a solid ring of lacing.

s: Light citrus and pale malts. Floral and lemon.

T/F: Light grains... goes with the very light body and lager-style malts. Lemony citrus hops. Not overly bitter.. floral notes. Not overly complex. Zesty carbonation.

O: A solid if unspectacular pale ale. One you could drink a lot of... no offensive flavors... lemon/citrus hops. Good summer beer, as I assume it was intended.

 538 characters

EMV from Pennsylvania, Mar 17, 2018
Photo of doktorhops
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tis summer! The season of “farken hot” weather is upon us, may we all not die of heat stroke here in Australia. It’s a season where I tend to abstain somewhat from the darker beers (don’t read my next review - it will make a liar of me) and switch to lighter beers like a proverbial migrating swallow. So obviously the appeal of this latest Brooklyn brew is in its lighter emphasis on flavour and a push towards Lagery characteristics which should make it a boon for when the power is out and there is naught to keep spirits high than a frothy glass of the amber fluid. Brooklyn note on the can that they’ve used British 2-row malt with unstated German and American hops - which should translate to an easy drinking Pale Ale that will go a treat in the heat.

Poured from a 355ml can into a nonic pint.

A: Clear pale gold body with a white sea foam head that starts about 2 centimetres and drops back to a thin white blanket. Pretty pale in comparison to other English Pale Ales, but otherwise standard stuff. 7/10.

S: Nutty overtones with a fruity/floral backing, lemon, chestnut and a light spicy/earthy character as well. This isn’t a beer that demands attention and as far as the brief goes “light summer ale” I say “nailed it”. 7/10.

T: Above noted flavours (nutty, lemon, floral, spicy and earthy) with a long dry finish. Easy and approachable brew for the uninitiated and a reprieve from Russian Imperial Stouts and Double IPAs for the seasoned drinker. Of course the ABV is a bit high at 5% given that I’ve had mid-strength English Pales with more flavour, however that’s not necessarily a bad thing unless you’re driving and these go down too easy/too fast. 7/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a mid to light carbonation - simple stuff, not challenging at all, more body would always be welcome though.7/10.

D: After all the heavy +10% ABV RISs and DIPAs this is a nice little brew that is laid-back and doesn’t ask for much. It’s got flaws - it could have a dash more bite, more body, some haze - but it’s also good at what it does, which happens to be very little. So I think Brooklyn nailed the brief with this brew, however that brief is not something I gush over anyhow, which accounts for my score here. That said if it’s a bloody hot day and I’m mowing the lawn (I never mow the lawn coincidentally) I might crack open a can of this and chug it down with gusto. 7/10.

Food match: Beetroot, feta and walnut salad will work a treat here.

 2,492 characters

doktorhops from Australia, Dec 11, 2017
Photo of chinchill
3.42/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12 oz 2017 bottle served in a lager glass.
Pours with a pale amber body that has excellent clarity and lots of visible carbonation. Fine white head with nice lacing.
A mild ale, but quite flavorful compared to, say a light beer. More flavor from the hops than the malts but very mild bitterness.

 298 characters

chinchill from South Carolina, Oct 24, 2017
Photo of ordybill
3.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 OZ can into a pint glass. The appearance is a clear light gold color with a small white head. The aroma is bitter hops. The taste is a light hop blend.

 173 characters

ordybill from Georgia, Sep 17, 2017
Summer Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 1942 ratings