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

Brooklyn Summer Ale | Brooklyn Brewery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
81
good
506 Reviews
THE BROS
80
good
Read the review
Brooklyn Summer AleBrooklyn Summer Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States | website

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed in as "British Summer Ale"; lightly dry-hopped pale ale, all barley malt, 11 Plato.

Added by Sammy on 09-04-2006

BEER STATS
Reviews:
506
Ratings:
1,755
Avg:
3.58
pDev:
24.86%
 
 
Wants:
41
Gots:
431
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 506 | Ratings: 1,755
Photo of OWSLEY069
2.7/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pale orange color with a white head. Aromas of corriander and spice and a mix of wheat and pale malt tones. In the taste, well it seems kind of wheat ale like, hints of spice and a dry end. Refreshing with a dry aftertaste. Kind of a standard summer ale, not huge on flavor, but refreshing and non offensive.

 316 characters

Photo of BeefyMee
2.73/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very pale gold but nice lacing. Biscuity and slightly sweet smell. Tastes a little tangy with a hop presence, however slight, finally coming through in the aftertaste. A decent summer beer. Kind of lackluster but still a bit unique. I'd gladly drink it again next summer, though I might not buy it over some of the other mainstays.

 331 characters

Photo of CharlieMopps
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a golden-amber color topped by two fingers of white head that displayed an average retention.

S: A clean smelling bouquet with a grainy and slightly hopped aroma, some spiciness evident also.

T: A carbonated pale malt up front, followed by a nicely hopped middle, fading with a trail of bitterness into the finish.

M: Decent texture, carbonated fairly well with a bubbly mouthfeel.

D: A very drinkable offering from Brooklyn, as I find many of their beers to be. Compared to other summer ales, this has a unique hop profile and a bit more interesting character than others.

 595 characters

Photo of techdiver
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear gold with modest head that fades to thin foam with minimal lacing.

Balanced nose of malt and hops.

Taste echoes the nose with a moderately bitter hop finish.

Mouthfeel shows a medium body with a fairly crisp feel with light carbonation.

Good drinkability, not a standout, but nothing radical enough to mar it's drinkability.

 350 characters

Photo of BitteBier
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bright, perfectly clear golden color with a small cap of off-white bubbles that quickly falls away to a tiny collar. Biscuity, slightly sweet malts make for a pleasant nose, while the hops that are so prominent in the taste are pretty muted. A grassy note is present in the smell too. As mentioned, hop bitterness has a strong presence, especially in the finish. The malts aren't particularly complex, but they're nonetheless tasty. Some ripe fruit in the middle. Mouthfeel is smoother and cleaner than I expect given that level of hops but doesn't cross the line into being watery. This isn't a standout but fares quite well as a different sort of summer ale.

 660 characters

Photo of bboven
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a very average beer, but I respect where Brooklyn was headed. The use of all barley instead of all kinds of adjuncts yields a tasty brew that's just as drinkable as a bud, but much tastier, which is ironic because it's a simpler list of ingredients. I think this could get bmc drinkers to give craft beer a chance.

 322 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
2.32/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a kight golden color with an off-white head. Decent retention.
Smell is lemon/orange, hops, floral with a hint of hops in the background.
Taste is watery, with very light hops and light lemon notes. Despressingly shallow.
A light body, light effervescence with nothing but hops after the swalllow. Sadly, nothing to make me want to have this again.

 357 characters

Photo of tapman
3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice bronze color with a 1 finger head of nearly white bubbles.

Smells nice and malty and really lets you get to know those English two-row barley malts if you didn't know them already. A mild hoppiness hits the back of the nostrils and lingers with a slight burn for a couple of seconds. As it warms caramel becomes apparent

Super malty summer beer, yes!! (note: the score for this will differ from others and reflect the malt-mouth that I am so no beer-mails, please). English malts for sure with a dry, hoppy finish. Aftertaste resembles an old lager so there is a downside; aftertaste is slightly metallic and thin.

Mouthfeel is pleasant, crisp; a full mouthfeel emboldens this beer. Who said that a summer ale had to be so thin? A lighter flavor doesn't need to have a lighter texture and this summer ale proves it.

For a malt-mouth like me this beer is pretty drinkable. Nice malty aromas, full-bodied taste, and a not-too-thin mouthfeel make this a nice summer brew.

 993 characters

Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.69/5  rDev +31%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear 17k gold hue, with a frothy three and a half finger head that holds very well and leaves fine patches of lace. Toasty Victory malt, light Crystal, and buscuit aromas are prevelant, along with Marris Otter and a touch of roasted barley. A hint of butterscotch in the aroma, accompanied by a fragrant EKG herbal hop scent. First sip if full of sweet Marris Otter and delicate Two-row, with a strong toasted note and mild caramel backing it up. The aftertaste starts out hoppy like soft Fuggles and herbal EKG, then a slightly spicy Tettnanger or Hallertau flavor brings the taste into perfect balance and level bitterness. A suggestion of diacetyl and fruity english ale character slowly becomes more apparent and pairs with the medium carbonatiion and light body to achive a mouthfeel that is both lively and complex, but also non-cloying and lusciously smooth. The finish is malty but not residual and the hop tones fade away gradually with the mineral character. The drinkability is simply phenomenal and this beer is a testament to the lower ABV styles that are just as satisfying as the modern-day Double and Imperial ales of great strength.

 1,158 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What's shaking over at Casa de LaChaingangguy, you ask?! Why, its none other than Brooklyn's SUmmer Ale!

Appearance: Pours a clear, light amber body with a thin, creamy white head.

Smell: Biscuity malt aroma with a good measure of citrus hops and a very subtle spiciness.

Taste: Biscuit maltiness with just a hint of sweetness. There's also an extremely faint honeydew melon fruitiness to it as well as what tastes like a loving pinch of salt. The hops, as with everything else in this beer, are light and provide some lemony citrus in the softly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: A light, refreshing beer that makes for fine summertime drinking.

 699 characters

Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden and clear. Picture perfect lacing after each sip the whole way down the class.
S: Malty, with a hint of hops.
T: Slightly sweet malts, with a dab of hops to round it out at the end.
M: Crisp, smooth, light. Taste gone almost as soon as it was there. Mild carbonation.
D: Incredibly drinkable. I had this as a night cap, but I can see it working wonders on a warm summer afternoon. I can't wait to pair this with a burger off the grill.

 449 characters

Photo of sleazo
4.02/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I don't think I have tried this befor-e so I picked one up at the Greenpoint Deli on Manhattan.
Best before 12/07
A-Pours a bright copper with a steady stream of tiny bubbles to replenish the head. The head is slightly small but there is good lacing. The small soaplike head prevents this from scoring higher.

S-The malt is the predominant smell here with a very bready quality. The hops do make their presence noted with a soapy/grassy aroma. This is a very clean smelling brew.

T-A very mild pleasing sweetness hits up front followed by that light grassy hop flavour. The hops are not too strong but I do not think that is what they were going for. The malt is the main player here and it is very crisp. The taste is very Englishand better than alot of the originals.

M-creamy yet efferevescent. Perfect for a hot summer day.

D-This is a great session summer beer and different than traditional summer offerings. Refreshing would definitely be my word for it. If you are expecting an American Pale you will be dissapointed but if you aren't expecting that you will be pleased. I will be picking up a sixer of this.

 1,130 characters

Photo of tpd975
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a mild golden yellow in color. There is a medium head that fades to a small rim atop the glass. There is a slow stream of bubbles making their way to the top to keep that little head around.

S: This beer has a nice malty aroma to it. I can also detect a nice sweetness that reminds me of the smell of Big League Chew bubblegum. I like it.

T: This is a nice brew. Starts out nice and malty. This really reminds me of a wheat beer. There is a very mild hop character in the finish which is pretty dry.

M: Nice level of carbonation to this medium to light bodied brew. Crisp is the best adjective for this beer.

D: Goes down smooth with the perfect level of carbonation. Quaffable? Yes.

Overall: This beer is poundable. It's not a world class beer by any means but take it for what it is an easy drinking good tasting beer. You could line these up down the bar and keep them coming. I won't fill my refrigerator with them, but it’s a good tasting nice drinking beer. I could see why others would love it.

 1,028 characters

Photo of SSBrennan
3.71/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a middle of the road amber color with a tan head that falls with good lacing.

The odor is great with good crisp hops and a complex malty base. It would be perfect but it for a very subtle metallic note.

The taste is dominated by bitter hops with little sweetness.

The carbonation has a slight sharpness but good otherwise.

The beer is solid but would probably be better with food.

 398 characters

Photo of blackie
3.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

single from Whole Foods Raleigh, notched as best by October 2007

a: Give a one finger white head when poured, gradually receding to leave a nice layer throughout. The beer is a clear medium-golden in color. Nice lacing.

s: Minerally aromas and earthy hops greet the nose alongside hard, grainy biscuits. Good in a simple way.

m: Bright, medium carbonation and a body on the lighter side of the medium range.

t: Typical Brooklyn flavors (from the water?) are immediately noticeable. English malts give subtler grainy and stale biscuit flavors accompanied by very earthy hop flavors. Pretty clean and dry on the tongue. A medium bitterness cleans up the finish. Just a touch watery.

d: Certainly easy. Another pleasant beer from Brooklyn.

 751 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.71/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, best before October 2007. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a golden color with an inch and a half white head. Head retention and lacing are both very good. It smells like grassy hops, grain and sweet malt, along with an earthy aroma. It tastes like grain, sweet malt, grapefruit and grassy/earthy hops. Mouthfeel is light, crisp and clean. Drinkability is good, it's not a bad choice as a session beer as it's smooth and goes down easy. I think this is a pretty decent brew, good and sessionable but even better on a hot summer day.

 555 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If you look at Brooklyn's Summer Ale as an English-style summer ale, it's pretty much spot on for the style although most examples from the UK offer a tad bit more hops in at least the flavor. The maltiness is quite distinct, however, hitting you squarely in the nose aroma-wise, and then following in the flavor. It's straw-like, grassy, and a touch earthy - and the hops that follow are very much the same. To guess, I'd imagine there's some Maris Otter mixed with a non-floor malted base, and Fuggles with a bit of Goldings thrown in. There's a mild bit of fruitiness to it, but it's really just about the rounded malt and hop profile. It's not complex, but it's not intended to be. It's lighter than a pale ale, well, at least less bitter, and basically just a nice, easy drinking ale that's got some nice flavor to it.

 823 characters

Photo of atsprings
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crisp golden yellow with a decent head that slowly diminishes to a ring. The aroma is dominated by earthy hops with some sweet malts. The taste is a very decent balance of earthy citrus hops and sweet malts, it's just nothing all that spectacular or overpowering. The beer is light to slightly medium bodied with a very slight heaviness to it. This is certainly an enjoyable beer, but I must admit, I'm partial to American style over English styles any day of the week.

 477 characters

Photo of KevinB
3.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a couple of these on back deck while grilling some food up. Nice easy drinking summer brew. Poured from a 12oz bottle and served in a pint glass, revealed a nice dark golden yellow body topped with a white, foamy 2 finger head. After a couple minutes the head settled down and after several sips, there was some nice lacing on the glass. The smell was somewhat faint at first but after digging in I could detect wheat, malt and some very mild fruitiness, a nice aroma. This ale tasted really good, it's got little bite, it strikes a nice balance between tangy hops and a tasty malty flavor, along with a wheat backbone. Mouthfeel is clean and crisp,it's a light bodied beer, with a mild dry bitterness. Overall this is a really good summer brew for the summer months, very sessionable.

 789 characters

Photo of prototypic
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It's a very clear, golden color with a thick, foamy two finger head. Retention and lacing were good.

Smell: Initially, it smells of malty sweetness with just a touch of citrus. A bit of a yeasty or biscuity aroma comes through along with a touch of floral hops.

Taste: Very nice, sweet malty base. There is a light citrus taste to it Floral hops are noteable as well as a spicy kick. Leaves a bit of a yeasty or biscuity aftertaste.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Light bodied and carbonation is very good. Very, very drinkable. I could session this. Overall, it's good. I'll drink it again.

 605 characters

Photo of arguemaniac
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This crystal-clear amber brew offers a grainy, bready malt palate with a nice caramel note and a firm peppery hop hint as well. There is also a fair but not cloying level of residual malt sweetness.

Easy-drinking with superb flavors. I’m not sure what’s up with BeerAdvocate’s classification of this brew as an American Pale Wheat Ale, after reading the description on the bottle and visiting Brooklyn’s website, its clear that there isn’t a bit of wheat malt in this thing. And that’s is one of the reasons I like it; I’ve always applauded any brewery that opts to brew something other than a wheat beer for it’s summer seasonal. I mean, a wheat beer isn’t the worst choice for a summer seasonal, just the most obvious. But besides all that, it’s just a refreshing brew with bright malt flavors and touch of crisp peppery hop spice.

Recommended…

 863 characters

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

The beer pours a gold color with one finger white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a clean pale malt and wheat scent that's refreshing. There is a bit of yeast fruitiness present. The taste is decent. It has a clean, crisp wheat flavor that goes down easy and refreshes. This is a simple brew that's quite tastey and easy drinking, especially during the summer. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This isn't my favorite Brooklyn brew, but it's very drinkable.

 514 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, 4.5% ABV. Best before Oct. 07. Very slightly hazy, bright gold color. Rocky white head. Pretty good head retention.

Pale malt, bready, grainy aroma, with a bit of zest thrown in near the end. Some earthy and slightly perfumy hop aromas.

Pale malt, a touch of tartness, and a bit of zest. Pretty clean. Enough bitterness to balance, while still leaving the beer refreshing.

Light body, with an appropriate amount of carbonation. Pretty simple and easy to drink, especially with a low ABV. Not a bad beer at all, and seems to fit well in the summertime mode.

 581 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.1/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best before Oct. '07 (Had in June '07):

Pours light golden yellow with a thin head that soon fizzles down to a thin disappearing patch.

The smell is of wheat bread.

The taste is of light wheat breadiness/dough with a touch of butter. Plastic-like fruitiness is present in the finish.

Soft fizz hits the tongue - quite a bit of carbonation here. Light. Some wheat crispness.

Not much going on here to make it stand out - too bready without much else. A run-of-the-mill summer wheat beer at best.

 509 characters

Photo of tempest
3.26/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad beer, but there's a watery feel that turns me off. Still, it's a nice amber color with a caramel malt profile and light cascade-like hops. So for a summer ale, it has malt and hops, the problem is just that there isn't quite enough of each. I feel like this might be better enjoyed outside in the heat, but inside it comes off like craft beer-light.

 359 characters

Brooklyn Summer Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 506 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.

    Subscribe