Geary's Summer Ale | D.L. Geary Brewing Company

172 Reviews
Geary's Summer AleGeary's Summer Ale

Brewed by:
D.L. Geary Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
The style of this ale is traditionally European, similar to a German kolsch: full bodied with a spicy hop tang and a rich, crystal clear golden color. Alcohol content is approximately 6% by volume.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-10-2001

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Reviews: 172 | Ratings: 274
Photo of Todd
4.7/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Gotta love those slightly buttery, caramel-like toasted and biscuit flavours paired with that distinct Ringwood yeast, spicy flavours and loads of fruity esters. A near perfect, albiet raw on the palate, summer time beer.

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Photo of Leon
4.68/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love the new packaging for this year's version of the beer. Beautiful green-and-blue motif.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Head died fast, left a little lace on the sides and and top.

Smell is crisp, whiff of alcohol and citrus, clean malt.

Taste: I've been baffled somewhat by the low-80s scores this beer has garnered. In my opinion, it's hands-down the best summer beer out there. Fruit, tight carbonation, good malt flavor, crisp, some balls from the 6 percent alcohol, great finish. Simply excellent, excellent, excellent.

Hop heads, this is the summer for you. While it's not a hop bomb by any means, there's enough here to keep your interest.

Also, there is much to admire about the sheer craftsmanship here. Such a unique combination of elements, yet it works so well.

Seems like the beer might use Ringwood, so haters beware.

Drinkability is top-notch.

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Photo of Bounty628
4.47/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Their Summer Ale is brewed in the Kolsch style and has a very refined 6.0% ABV. The ale is exactly what you would hope for in a summer offering and the balance of the beer is simply put: exceptional.

The ale was poured into a pint glass and there was the ideal amount of carbonation upon pour which gave way to just the right amount of bright white head that dissipated rather quickly after being poured. The pour is very golden in nature with quite a bit of translucence to the pour. Very little lacing is left along the pint glass during the drinking of the Summer Ale.

The smell is a great bouquet of fresh and crisp scents that really work well in the nose. Banana is the overwhelming aroma in the nose and what is lacking in this summer offering is the forced citrus that so many brewers attempt to work into their offerings. Though it works sometimes, I give Geary’s the win here since they stick to what works for them and it works out really well in the end.

The same banana complexity in the nose shines through in the taste, as well. There is a nice matching of that note to the wheat and spice tastes that are present throughout the offering. There is a good, earthy presence within the beer that when tasted almost forces the palate to the wheat fields that gave way to this beer becoming what it is. The hops are balanced and smooth and work in a very symbiotic way with the other tastes present in the taste.

The mouthfeel of this beer is what you want in a summer ale. There is a smooth and crisp nature to the ale and though sometimes ales are better served at room temperature I must say that this beer was perfect nicely chilled when poured into the pint glass. The moderate amount of carbonation really allows this beer to grace its way across the palate.

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Photo of FatSean
4.45/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I LOVE this beer. To me, summers are for lagers, but sometimes a summer ale just hits it right. This is one of those ales.

Poured from a brown stubby bottle with a yellow label and red lobster picture. Just the label had my mouth watering.

I had this at a party so I couldn't really take notes, but It had a nice subtle nutty/fruity flavor and very very clean finish. I've had a kolsch or two before. Mainly imports which were very nice. I guess you can't beat fresh because this beer is my favorite summer beer second only to Sierra Nevada's SummerFest.

Well done Geary's!

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Photo of Offa
4.45/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is very nice, crisp and light yet tasty.

It's gold with a big white head that slowly shrinks to a wispy top with a hint of lace.

The aroma is very nice with honey, flowers, grain, bread crust, herbs, and a hint of citrus.

The taste is similar, with a lot of hay, bread, herbs, hint of grass, and flowers. it's tasy, well-rounded and lively, if a bit light. It holds up well to food.

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Photo of Thrasher
4.37/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer rocks. Takes the qualities of a big, heavy beer and adds a summer twist to make it refreshing. If it sounds weird, that's because it's true. Dark, dark gold, bordering on copper color, with full head that reduces but doesn't vanish. Some hints of the Geary's classic Pale, with lighter elements of lemon, wheat, and grass. Still a pretty thick beer with robust caramel malts and a spicy, lingering hop finish that recollects the buttery malts as well. Not too refined, a bit raw, but that's what makes it interesting. Great warm, but also delicious icy cold. The perfect brew for snatching out of a chest of ice and enjoying as it rapidly warms in the summer sun.

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Photo of Darkale
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I look forward to this beer every year. To me, calling it a summer beer is not quite right, because many summer beers are pallid, insipid, wimpy little things, and this beer could stand on its own at any time during the year. Crisp and biscuity, just slightly sour but also smooth, it has moderate heft and the ability to go from ice cold to warm without losing attractiveness. Its slightly oily mouthfeel makes me slink toward the fridge for another.

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Photo of Snazzinator7290
4.34/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a truly wonderful beer from the wonderful state of Maine. Maine is well known for its micro-breweries, and Geary's is a well known brewer that produces some quality stuff. Its summer ale is no exception to this quality. Unlike many summer ales, Gearys Summer Ale is inundated witha full bodied flavor, with just a touch of sweetness on the aftertaste tha makes it a summer ale. It isn't loaded down with lemon zest that makes it toooo sweet. It's a dark ale with subtle sweetness, not overwhelming but just enough flavor to enhance its drinkability. Along with its excellent taste, it has an extraordinary appearance, dark amber with a nice frothy head. I highly recommend this sensational Maine brew.

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Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My favorite summer brew, not only for the beer, but also for the artwork. Every year Geary's has a contest with the Portland School of Art to see who will grace the label. The artist gets a prize and we get this outstanding beer. More taste than most summer brews, this one does not need any citris condiment. Full bodied, yet somehow light, it goes great with the foods of the season. I look forward to its appearence every year.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice crisp light amber color with a big foamy head that is only midly sticky. Still, this one looks surprisingly nice to me.

The smell is somewhat citrusy, somewhat malty & biscuity and somewhat sweet. There are hints of grass throughout as well. Again, nice overall.

The flavour is simple but full. Similar to the smell but with a bit more kick. Juiciness is more apparent here as well. Its basicially a malt/frui or malt/biscuit flavouring woven throughout, with a bit of a tart finish.

Mouthfeel is spot on and this one is just right for summer (though I am unfortunately drinking it on a crappy, rainy, late May evening). Geary's stuff is hard to find around here, but I'm keeping an eye open for this one all summer long.

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Photo of erosier
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a golden orange color with a short and light white head that settles fast and laces down the glass nicely.
S: Very light toasted malts and some nice citrisy hops at the end of the nose.
T: Very lightly toasted malts for a nice sweet base underneath a nice citrisy hoppy bitter finish.
M: Very fresh, crisp and refreshing with the right amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable summer ale and a good kolsch. Well worth a try.

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Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Geary's, the premier east coast revivalist, best beer in my opinion is not the HSA, but their summer ale. This is not only for the cool art, but for the incredible drinkability and taste of this brew. It pours a clear orange with a small white head. The smell is fruity with hints of peach and mild hoppy bitterness and notes of a summer wheat field that has been in the sun all day. The taste is crisp as a summer should be, proudly displaying the rather high ABV for a summer ale with mellow fruity esters, oak and vanilla, sharp hop bite and a wheaty dry finish. Perfectly carbonated for that summer feel as well. Get as much of this as possible for the summer haze.

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Photo of longpondbeerman
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Their label artwork aside (but you got to check it out anyway--it's very cool that they support the budding artists in Maine) Geary's has always put a great product in their bottles, and the summer ale is among their best--the Hampshire Special is a winner too. It pours a deep amber, and the smell is of light, tangy citrus with an undercurrent of hoppiness. The taste does not disappoint--it is bright, wheaty, and happy (and hoppy); perfect for a summer night on the lakeshore here in interior downeast Maine. I'm having another. If only the Red Sox could produce such a consistent winner.

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Photo of Midland
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been a Geary's fan for a long time, but this is the first time I've tried the Summer Ale. I know I can't believe it either. I've been more of a Harpoon Summer person, until now. This is not a knock on Harpoon, but an endorsement of Geary's offering. IMHO, Summer beer should be straight forward. It should be what you reach for when your sitting on the deck or at a BBQ. Enough of that..what about the beer? One word, balance. Geary's Summer Ale '08 has it.

Purchase 5/16/08 from Julio's and enjoyed the same day!

It's a nice lite Amber to dark Golden. I'd say between 9-10 L? After a vigorous pour, decent off-white foam settles back and head retention is minimal, carbonation is on the medium to low side(2v?) and the beer is very clear.

This beer is all about balance. There are both hop tones and malt aroma in the nose. There is a slight hop spice but not an over-bearing one. There is a sweet malty toffee tone, but it is in the back. The yeast smell is very neutral to none.

This is where Geary's hits a long ball. The balance in taste is exactly what I'm looking for in a Summer Ale. All things in equal harmony. The hop profile seems like an Americanized tilt of a Euro classic. Like an American cousin of European Royalty, the genes are there but the manners are a bit off. This is a good thing for me.

Purchase a six of Geary's Summer Ale and you will not be disappointed. Purchase a keg and you'll thank me later ;)

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Photo of MrMonkey
4.27/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear dark gold/light amber with a one-finger off-white head that fades quickly to a sticky ring. Barely any lacing.

Smell is lightly toasted grains, a mild fruitiness, and some faint floral hops.

Taste starts with some sweet fruits before leading into some toasted bread, light caramel and sweet malt flavors, and finishes with a mild hop bitterness.

Light-medium bodied mouthfeel with lively carbonation. Very crisp with a dry finish.

A wonderful summertime brew with great drinkability. An easy beer to session in warm weather. Very refreshing and very enjoyable.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a pilsener glass.

Pours a clean, yellowish-golden hue with a few steady streams of carbonation rising up to fuel a thick, fluffy, eggshell-white cap of foam. Head recedes to a thin layer and is excellently retained. This aroma of this kolsch is very pleasing for the style, with a near-perfect balance of wheat, sweet mandarin orange, floral hops, and pale malts.

Taste is more flavorful than I was expecting, with some tart/bitter grasses, citrusy hops, and a good dose of biscuity malt. Body is very well-carbonated, with a light consistency and a very nice bitter finish. This beer surprised me. Not only is it phenomenal for the style, but even as a stand-alone beer, it leaves me wanting more.

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Photo of TonyReaves
4.23/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty copper into my shaker pint with a 1-inch head.

Smells bready with some lemon notes.

The flavor is what makes this one of my favorite summer ales. It's a crisp, light beer, but it's still got a bready malt flavor and a nice hop bitterness, but the absence of much ale yeast flavor makes the subtle British malt flavors pop to the forefront.

This is a beer I didn't care much for when I got into craft beer years ago but that I've loved these past two summers.

Crisp, dry finish and it's easy to drink a bunch of these. This is probably my favorite summer ale, although I love Brooklyn's, too.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.21/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Brassy copper hue, very translucent. Capped with a nice white head and good lace.

S - Slightly sweet and caramelized with a non-specific bitter balance and a bit of minerality.

T - Lots of mineral flavor, some sweetness, and a sharp grassy bitterness that lingers on the finish. Very good example of the style.

M - The feel is lighter of body, creamy and sharply bitter on the finish. Really good, again.

O - This beer is shockingly good; I just got it for the tick, but damn it is a home run for the style

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Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a summer beer this is no light ale or lager here a nice deep golden rich color and flavor.A nice creamy head to this beer with a malty and fruity with a hint of yeast to it,flavor is a big malt attack in the start with nice fruitiness with a light hop profile,a bigger tasting beer for a summer but not heavy a great beer for any season.

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Photo of marburg
4.19/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Emeril beer. Kicks the concept of "summer ale" up a notch. Richer color -- a darker, tarnished coppery gold brew -- than most summer ales, I think. Deeper aromas. A thick, doughy, cookie-like malt backbone is smothered in floral and fruit aromas -- apple with a citric, piney twist. Lovely sweet malt flavors. Great big balance -- strong hop finish that brings its own level of herbs, fruit, and bitterness. Not your standard summer ale -- perhaps *should* be a standard BBQ summer ale.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

OK number 3 from bennybrew and the last tonight.
Comes in a 12 oz brown stubbie style bottle..witha very bright label..kayaks and campfires etc..looks very 70s.
The appearance is similar to many pale ales I ahve sen in my life slightly above average though nice clear amber with a tiny bubbly white head that goes fast.
I smell the malts but it very subdued,,some hops too.
The taste however makes up for the subdued note of the aroma..big big malt followed by a dark unsweetned chocolate..then a tangy hop bitterness..a substantial taste for a summer beer.
Pretty good on the palate smooth when it had to be and a great hoppy after taste.
Very drinkable pale ale..but it really seems it should be a fall beer..seeing how robust it is.

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Photo of ericj551
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Geary's Summer pours a clear copper with a thin head. Aroma is a bit of diacetyl and almost metallic hops. Taste is crisp, more ringwood yeasty flavor with a nice rounded hop bitterness. I toured Geary's last summer and was assured they used only the Ringwood yeast, so I don't really know if this is a Kölsh, but cheers to Geary's for making their summer beer something other than a light wheat beer.

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Photo of BassAssassin
4.14/5  rDev +14%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a clear, deep copper with a tight head. Head disappears quickly. So far, this isn't looking too kolsch-like.

S: The first thing I noticed was the strong tea like hop aromas. The malt lingers in the background and smells sweet and bready. Actually, reminds me of sweet iced tea.

T: The aroma is a great indicator of the taste. An assertive tea like hop bitterness is balanced quite nicely by a malty, bready backbone. Lots of toasty malt flavors going on. A bit of buttery diacetyl is present, as well. Finishes sweet.

M: Medium bodied and smooth. Not nearly as light as most summer beers. However, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

D: At 6% this isn't really a kolsch, but it's damn tasty nonetheless. This may be my favorite summer brew. A sure bet.

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Photo of dedgarmcvey
4.09/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from Redstone Liquors in Stoneham.

Appearance: Pours solid gold with an off-white head that shrinks but clings to life. Left spotty lacing.

Smell: Sweet bananas and mild spice with a bit of hoppiness, a good strong aroma.

Taste: Light and quaffable, but with a spicy complexity. Spice flavors hang around after sipping, without the distasteful tang of over-engineered summer beers. Hop aroma and flavor well balanced by the bite, creating a well-rounded flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, carbonation noticeable but not objectionable.

Overall: A summer beer for folks who eschew the overabundance of mega-spiced hefes. One of the only summer beers I will deliberately buy to consume myself -- bring on the falls already...

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden body, nice effervesence. Foamy white head. A lot of malt in the nose. Big malt body with just enough hops to offer some balance. This is not your typical summer beer. But it is a summer beer if you've been drinking Hampshire Special Ale for the last six months. I'm glad it's a seasonal, because otherwise it might not find its way to Jersey. No apparent wheat or lemon here, but a fine ale, any time of year.

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Geary's Summer Ale from D.L. Geary Brewing Company
3.63 out of 5 based on 274 ratings.
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