Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Brooklyn Summer Ale | Brooklyn Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
510 Reviews
Read the review
Brooklyn Summer AleBrooklyn Summer Ale

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 510 | Ratings: 1,767
Photo of 57md
3.32/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance is a golden straw with less than a finger of head that dissipated quickly. The nose is very mild with no distinct notes at all. The flavor profile is quite light with some malty flavor but nothing terribly exciting. The dry finish is the highlight of this offering.

Like many summer ales, this offering is quite sessionable. The problem is that the flavor really isn’t there.

 389 characters

Photo of uspbacchus
3.56/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Light amber with a white head. Head lingers, eventually giving way to no lace.
S. Smells as expected for a summer beer. Light, citrus.
T. It is what it is. Brooklyn not being daring. Playing it safe. Light beer, citrus notes, more lemon than anything. Light on the malts.
M. Appropriate for the beer. Moderate carbonation. Light on the mouth,but it's a
summer beer.
O. Not bad, but there at better. Too light, not enough flavor to distinguish from the run of the mill.

 471 characters

Photo of Sam-VW
3.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into London Pride pint glass.

A - clear amber colour with thin white head that dissipates medium to fast

S - Malt, Lemony/Citrus hop, Grass

T - very malty kick that finishes with a slight citrus hop which is particularly lemony

M - well carbonated, just enough for this style. Very refreshing, great brew.

 326 characters

Photo of KYGunner
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This poured with a flat golden, limited carbonated look but it build a deep thick head of bright white foam.

The nose is lightly malty with bready, doughy character. There's a nice malty tea leaf with a bit of lemony hop.

This is a very malty beer and for a drinkable, sessionable ale it delivers very good flavor. The taste showcases barley malts, doughy and bready flavors along with a touch of residual caramel sweetness. It also has a bit of lemony piney hops and malty tea leaf.

This drinks phenomenally well with fullness and drinkability. Light yet full there's no astringency.

This may have become my favorite summer session beer as the malts are diverse and full but the easy drinkability remains intact.

 717 characters

Photo of Suds
3.51/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This is a pale golden, summery brew. Light, crisp, and refreshing. The head is bright white, but small, and the complexion is clear. The aromaisof grainanssome American hops. Light,modestly fruity,and subtle malt. It is not an intense beer. Lightish in body. The beer is suitable for the season. Nice.

 301 characters

Photo of papaglide
3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12ounce bottle then into my beer glass

A- deep yellow with a thin, creamy head that is leaving nice lace.

S- crackers with a nice floral note. Maybe a soft hint of citrus also

T- well balanced. A little bready at first quickly followed by light floral hop. Finishes kind of dry with an enjoyable hop aftertaste.

M- kind of creamy with seemingly low carbonation?

O- It is what it is: a nice, simple, easy drinking EPA. When you drink this you won't be tempted to dissect it; you will say "mmm" and want to drink more. This is a nice summer ale. Highly recommended for sitting on the porch, fishing, or just hanging out.

 626 characters

Photo of flyingpig
3.29/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

355ml Bottle from Good Spirits Co, Glasgow:
Clear golden straw with plenty tiny bubbles rising to the surface & a foamy white head, sitting about 1cm tall & holding well.

A definite EPA smell, some sweetness with a bread like aroma & some dough, quickly followed by a grassy aroma & some earthy malts. Some grain & citrus with lemon seeming strongest.

Earthy malts & grassy hops, followed by citrus & a few nondescript fruits. Some light malts and barely with some bread rounding this off.

Smooth bodied & about light-medium with a slight tang from the citrus & medium carbonation throughout the beer. The finish was crisp & dry with about moderate bitterness levels.

Fairly disappointing given the reputation of Brooklyn Brewery. The taste was pretty much straight down the middle and completely average with nothing to distinguish it from your run-of-the-mill, big brewery English pale ales that are much easier and cheaper to get a hold of in the UK. Not one I can recommend, especially if you live in the UK as there is much better out there.

 1,050 characters

Photo of hops202
3.49/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a bar glass.

A - translucent golden with minimal head

S - plenty of sweet breadiness here and some honey

T - Bread and more bread. Straight Wonder Bread.

M - On the heavier side of light with a fair amount of carb.

O - nothing too impressive.

 269 characters

Photo of CTbrew32
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden amber color with a one inch white head and some lacing as consumed. Aroma is sweet and bready with a little bit of floral hop. Taste is big on the bread malt with some underlying citrus flavor that blends with the malt for a very pleasant finish. Mouthfeel makes this a great summer beer as it consists of a smooth almost creamy feel that dissipates into a clean finish. Always a go-to summer beer for me.

 420 characters

Photo of DmanGTR
3.74/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Golden, perfectly clear, and brilliant in the light with a fluffy white head. Pale malts, citrus, and very slight floral hops. Flavors are light but nicely balanced. Light bodied, refreshing, and the english yeast lends a little zing towards the back of the palate. Nice.

 271 characters

Photo of dcmchew
3.36/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden orange, low head bubbly head that dissipates fast. Lots of carbonation.
Smell of grains, lemon, faint apricot, faint dry petals.
Nice grainy malts, but followed by a bit too sour crisp lemon zest, not great. Hint of floral honey, pinch of pepper and citrus peel. Low hops in the finish, not so clean bitterness.
Light body, fizzy. Would have been refreshing if the taste helped more.
A miss for Brooklyn, not so good.

 430 characters

Photo of Cylinsier
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce can

Pours a clear straw gold, inch of fine white head dissipates to a sudsy lacing.

Smells of honey, grassy malts, and a bit of citrus.

Tastes is of light honey and citrus sweetness over mild dry grassy malts and a hint of fruity hop finish.

Medium body with tingly carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

A nice light sessionable ale with some nice flavor and body. Very easy to like and enjoy, especially on a warm sunny day.

 442 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.02/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear golden color with an impressive head; nice retention and a few strands of lace are left behind

Smell: Bready, salty and grainy with a hint of sulfur

Taste: Bready, underneath, but the herbal, grainy and sulfuric tones take over quickly; the finish is harsh and grainy and there is a salty residual flavor

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: There aren't many beers out there that totally turn me off so this was a surprise and not a pleasant one

 514 characters

Photo of MinisterCurry
3.99/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A semi- sweet summer ale modeled after British summer ales of the 1800s. It's an easy drinking light ale with pleasant features all around. Poured from bottle to tulip:

A - pours a head with good bubbles, light lacing and a light amber color like others have compared to apple juice. The bubbles didn't stop surfacing all glass.

S - smells great, like baking bread, yeast, sunflower, green apple and a little less like light white flowers and green bell pepper, but they're present.

T - brioche notes with a hint of agave as it finishes slightly sweet, but there is a creamy component that lingers like butter on bread.

M - light to medium-light on the palate. Dances more on the back of the tongue than on the sides, probably due to the light sweetness.

O - a great summer ale for any outdoor occasion. I wish it was 90 degrees outside and summery to fully enjoy the bright sweetness this ale has to offer, but this is Chicago and it's 35. This is an outdoor 4th of July kind of beer, and at 5.0% you can have your fun all day. Maybe pair with cheese plates, mixed green and fruit salads, grilled chicken and fish, and citrus deserts like lemon bars or key lime pie.

 1,174 characters

Photo of ElijahRivera
2.75/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Reviewed based on tasting notes from a blind pale ale tasting.

12 oz. bottle inside a paper bag poured into a plastic tasting cup.

A- Dark gold to light amber in color.

S- Light malts, grassy hops with a hint of lemon.

T- Similar to bouquet. Also had some off, adjunct flavors. Not great.

M- Light for the style.

O- I was surprised this ended up being Brooklyn Summer Ale. I thought it would fare better. I won't be looking for this one next summer.

 457 characters

Photo of dar482
3.26/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

The beer comes in a sunset golden orange with a bit of fluffy head.

The aroma has stone fruits of apricot, peaches, lemon, grains, though also a bit of a metallic or adjunct character as well

The beer follows with that pop of fruitiness in the front, a bit of flower, and then onto this wonderful crackery malt. The flavor falls off very quickly onto a grainy adjunct flavor. Lots of carbonation.

A reasonable brew, but a bit too adjunct side for me.

 453 characters

Photo of megahurts4
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brooklyn Summer Ale

Appearance: medium-small head, apple juice colored, and some lacing.

Smell: grainy malt, hops, and a fruit sweetness.

Taste: floral sweetness, a pleasant malt bouquet, and a light hop finish.

Mouthfeel: medium-light.

This is a nice and pleasant brew. The flavors are matched fairly well. The finish lingers with malts.

 356 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Straw with a lumpy off white head.
Bread dough with lots of flowers and lemon peel.
Light crackery malt with lemon zest hop finish.
Bit of graham cracker in the finish and lemon Starburst linger.
Light, a bit watery, crisp.

I don't know why this beer gets no love; this does exactly what it says on the tin. Brit malts definitely give it that English blonde backbone, and the citrus from Cascade and Amarillo sign through. My only issue, ironically, is the strength: plenty of English breweries can and do make this beer at 3.8%.

Easy hot weather quaffer.

 559 characters

Photo of cottonkoozie
4.39/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a very light honey color. Thick white head dissipates quickly to a light wispy cap.

S - Mostly cereal grains. Some light hop undertones. Very clean smell, but smells. Smells like a high quality adjunct.

T - Very clean and crisp. Clean cereal malt flavor and excellently balanced. Very good session beer.

M - Excellent

Overall this is a great session beer. Very light and easy drinking. Would make a great improvement to anyone looking for an quality beer on a hot day.

 484 characters

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.29/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a golden amber color with a finger of off-white colored head that quickly disappeared into a thin lacing of foam that barely covered the entire top of the beer.

Aroma: Very floral with lots of hops and a hint of citrus, like grapefruit.

Taste: Like the aroma, there is a lot of hops and citrus, with a small amount of a malty backbone.

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp and smooth with some really good carbonation to tickle the taste buds and cleanse the palate.

Overall: It’s a good offering from Brooklyn, but not one of my favorites. Actually, as summer beers go, it’s one of my least favorites. If I’m going to drink a Brooklyn Beer for the summer season, I’d rather have a Pennant Ale 55.

 753 characters

Photo of mick303
3.49/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured a mildly hazy orange gold, slow carbonation, with a dense creamy white head.

S – interesting light combination of lemony citrus, spring florals, and a light barley character, hay, and faint forest fruit aromas with a mild sourness.

T –Light and bright taste, a subtle lemon sweetness, apple notes, firm biscuity malt, then a bit more florals come in on the finish, ends crisp with a bit of apple and malt tones. Mild with an overriding citrus and light barley note. Crisp, mildly sour dry finish.

M – Light bodied, with moderate crisp carbonation and a malt forward grassy presence. Decent and sessionable, but not exciting. A refreshing cold ale.

Not a very complex or intriguing ale, offers a relatively straightforward (bland) pale character, refreshing and tasty when cold, with some bright citrus and dry florals that are quite easy to drink without much complaint, but I won’t be intrigued to pick up more.

 931 characters

Photo of VictorWisc
3.24/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Got this at an event. Not something I normally buy.

Pours weak fluorescent yellow, like urine after taking a high-dose vitamin-B-complex pill (generally associated with Riboflavin). Head plentiful, large-grained, white--and fleeting. No lacing to speak off, some visible carbonation that quickly dissipates.

The nose is the best part of this beer. Initial hit of resin and peach out of the can, more of the same from the glass. This is followed by a hint of malt and generic spiciness.

The flavor is close to something I would expect from Belgian Witbier sans floral yeast note. Mostly orange--almost like a blend of mild natural orange soda and AAL.. A bit of pepper and straw, followed by somewhat unpleasant bitter aftertaste. Fortunately, no lingering notes.

The beer is nicely carbonated, with not-quite-medium body--the only characteristic that distinguishes this "ale" from a lager. No consequential alcohol feel.

Unfortunately, this only reinforces my distaste for beers labeled "Summer" anything. It clearly suffers from an identity crisis and falls short in almost every category. Not something I would buy or recommend buying.

 1,142 characters

Photo of TastyAdventure
2.29/5  rDev -36%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

ALE? Seems a lot like a lager to me.

A - looks just like a lager. one finger head, dies down to paper thin. Golden color with orange tint

S - "green" like a beer that had its priming sugar put in justa few days ago. some faint spicyness if i sniff real hard. Smell of vegetable on the verge of spoiling.

Taste - again, very "green." very light on flavor altogether. sure this isn't a lager??

Overall, I pretty dissappointed. I thought Brooklyn was a good brewery, but I guess you can't win them all....

 506 characters

Photo of TerryW
3.06/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Comes across largely as an average brew for me, distinguished maybe by the sparkle of its carbonation that gives it some bite.

Looks good. Clear golden yellow with a decent sized head that settles to a cap that gives good lace. Handsome.

Lemony and doughy to smell and to taste. Grassy and somewhat sweet. Noticeable carbonation gives it a bright mouth feel. Not liking the doughiness of it. However, in the end, comes across as simply a very average beer.

 458 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.76/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

one of the great summer beers of the northeast, and now that its canned, its even better. a light golden color, clear, with a creamy white head. it smells like pilsner malts, English ale yeast, and a crisp fruity juicy hop finish, more than is common in a summer brew. in taste, I get a nice combination of lighter malts, as well as some citrus fruit, ruby red grapefruit mostly, but a little lemon too. a touch of spice from the yeast is evident in the finish as well. effervescent carbonation is this beers best feature, it keeps it light and bright, summery. clean finish, ill take another please!

 600 characters

Brooklyn Summer Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
3.58 out of 5 based on 1,767 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!