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

277 Ratings
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 277 |  Reviews: 173
Photo of tgbljb
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a crystal clear light copper color with moderate white creamy head. Some attractive lacing present.
Smell is light, with some summer fruits noted.
Taste is more sweet summer fruits, a touch of caramel and a firm hoppy bitterness that slowly grows.
Nice and full creamy mouthfeel.
Finishes with enough bitterness to over the sweet start.
A very pleasant nice drinking beer. Not quite what I would want in the summer, but in the autumn it was great.

 459 characters

Photo of plaid75
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a medium copper hue with a half finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a nice biscuity grain with a mild hint of anise.

The taste was smooth and doughy with a spicy licorice element. Slight medicinal flavor. Decent biscuity aftertaste.

The mouthfeel was a bit astringent with a mild medicinal element.

Overall not all that impressive. Not a very good representation of the style.

 442 characters

Photo of bruachan
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

looks a little like a pils. pretty dark for a kolsch. big head, though

musty noble hop aroma. light pils malts

it's a sweet beer, actually, and heavy for the style. hop flavor is notable, but bthe bitterness is nothing to mention. it's a tasty beer, a little out of character for true style

 296 characters

Photo of NEhophead
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle; no best before date listed, but the label is of the 2006 vintage.

Clean golden with a brass hue. Minimal white head that fades to an almost intact sheet. Plenty of active carbonation. A few trails of thin lacing.

Clean, almost sweet wheat aroma. A distinct citrus nose: lime, lemon. Very clean, yet reserved aromatics.

Bright citrus fruit: lemon, lime, that linger like a cleaning solvent from start to finish. Toasted oats and biscuit at mid-sip; sweetened, malted wheat. Semi-bitterness followed by the artificial lime and stiff-wheat aftertaste.

Almost medium in body; crisp, but almost waxy in how it coats the palate.

Not as refreshing as most Kolsch's, but more flavorful than most. A flawed version of the style: a little over the top in terms of flavor and abv %, but unique to say the least.

 835 characters

Photo of bjohnson
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear darkish amber color with a nice frothy one finger white head.
S: Aromas fresh malts with a slight citrus and grassy hop background.
T/M: Nice sweet citrus and grassy hop. Hints of floral hops also. Smooth and silky on the palate but crisp through the mouth. Slight bitterness in the end, but a very refreshing finish to this offering from Geary's. Hops are definately more noticeable than the malts.
D: Highly drinkable and definately recommended. Great summer beer.

 488 characters

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up recently as a change from all hefe's and witbier's that I've been enjoying as of late. Reviews seemed good for this, I've never had a kolsch before (even if this isn't true to style), and yes, props to Liza Kelley for one of the more stylish bottles that I've seen in quite some time. Thankfully, the expectations and the outside were matched by what was on the inside. Not an easy brew to pin down, but it's growing on me quite nicely as I work on it.

A nice, bright apricot hue was the hallmark of this pour. The head was decent as well, even though I expected much more from the lacing. The taste, well...I'm still getting it down! I haven't had anything like this in quite some time, but I can feel a lot of lemon, citrus, resin, and caramel notes here. Nearly no malt, and a nice level of hop bitterness that lingers long after each sip. It doesn't really fade, so much as the resin and soapy aspects gently kick in more and more. This finishes very clean, crisp, and sharp, and certainly fits the bill for a beer on a hot summer day, with some substance and bite to it. The floral and caramel notes pick up more as it warms up, to boot.

The 6.00% ABV can hardly be felt here, and it still amazes me how high it is. Since I've never had a kolsch before, I'm not sure how close to the real thing this is. Nevertheless, I enjoyed tasting this and having something better than the "semi-mindless, watered down" beers that tend to characterize the summer season. Not great for an introduction or for someone looking to stay within the norms, but for those willing to step outside their bounds a bit, this beer would prove to be quite rewarding!

 1,670 characters

Photo of Manosbeeroffate
3.41/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of the Geary's mix 12 pack. pours an amber-orange color, head sticks arounds a bit. Weak sweet smell. Taste is sweet malts, lemony cirtus flavor, some bitterness. Overall it's not too bad. I'm usually not into summer ales, this one is not bad. May not go out of my way for it, but if it's there, will drink it.

 315 characters

Photo of malty
3.14/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2006 lime green sailboat illustration.

A forceful pour shows a clear golden orange color with a loose off-white head that settles to 3/4". Beautiful lacing.

A quick few swirls emit a clean sharp scent of pale malts and earthiness reminiscent of dry hay. A few swirls prove the same, not much else wishes to come out and play.

Quite an erupting taste of sharp pale malts and an astringent dryness, which is definitely from the hops. Not much hop flavor, but a very well constructed dryness and sharpness from the hops. Semi-dry finish with a short-lived flavor profile.

Mouthfeel is spritzy and lively. A tad bit right of light bodied.

Drinkability for me is OK. I might drink 2, but I'd be looking for something else soon after.

Overall a great looking ale that kinda went downhill from there. Not bad, just rather uneventful for me. Still, a great brewery and a quality product for sure, just not my thang. Still love the NE!

 944 characters

Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.41/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle

Pours a clear peach color with a small white head that maintains. Decent lacing on the glass.

Aroma of crisp malt with just a slight fruitiness and a hint of hops.

Taste is crisp and malty upfront with a very slight fruitiness and a faint hop taste. Finishes dry and crisp.

Medium body, nice carbonation.

A nice summer brew, quite refreshing. Not quite a Kolsch...

 392 characters

Photo of BabaJohn
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

In my opinion, this is the perfect “refreshing” beer for people who are still concerned with the taste and overall quality of their beverage. To produce any head one must pour rather vigorously. The beer is a clear, light amber color with steady, mesmerizing carbonation. It smells crisp and faintly sweet and fruity. The taste is well balanced, with just enough bitterness to play on the initial sweetness, which is reminiscent of caramels. Feels clean and light in the mouth. Overall, a very drinkable beverage. I’ve had this before and it has yet to let me down. Bought it this time because I wanted something lighter but no less delicious. Finally, props to Liza Kelley for the design on the bottle and packaging!

 720 characters

Photo of errantnight
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours like a pilsner. All clear gold and light, thin, frothy head. A little lighter on the lacing, and held up to the light, a little more orange in there.

Smell is kinda flat, thin malt notes, there's sweetness in the nose, but molasses/brown sugar straight sweetness. I suppose "clean" would be a better adjective than flat.

It does have a sweetness up front that "I expected, but it has more of a hop bitterness that lingers pleasantly on the tongue. But there's not enough to really get me excited, and I'm still not entirely behind that sweet front. Nothing offensive, just nothing exciting. Well balanced, and there is some depth. As it warms a bit of floral and citrus notes from the hops begin to sneak out, but also, strangely, by hints of ethanol/alcohol. ?! At 6%?!

The alcohol notes disappear quickly however, and actually tame the mild hop notes to leave the palate incredibly clean. Upping the drinkability.

Mouthfeel on the whole is incredibly pleasant, light and smooth with just enough crispness mid-palate to have you raising your glass again in a moment.

Happily drunk, but my search for a standby summer brew on the east coast to replace Sam's Summer.... continues.

 1,216 characters

Photo of mcowgill
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear copper color with a nice thin white head that clings to the edge of the glass. Plenty of carbonation bubbles floating to the surface.

S - Faint grainy aroma with a slight touch of hops

T - Crisp, sweet, malty flavor with buttery undertone.

M - Light bodied beer with great carbonation

D - This is a nice summer beer. I could see going through a six pack very quickly.

 389 characters

Photo of veggiemafia
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. from Bierkraft into a nonic pint.

Orangey-gold with not much head.

Smell is sweet, like honey, slightly bready and hoppy, with nice apple notes and an earthiness that balances the smell nicely.

Taste is similar with less of a hop hit, actually. Candy-like sweetness at the front, with weird phases like hoppiness, earthiness, breadiness, sweetness. Keeps me guessing if nothing else.

Mouthfeel is clean, fairly light-bodied, well carbonated.

Really solid beer that is very drinkable.

 504 characters

Photo of asabreed
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. stubby bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Cool label. The colors are a bit different than what are pictured currently. I imagine they change the label each year. This one has a cool drawing of a sailboat on it, and the colors are a funky and hypnotic yellow and green. The body is straw yellow with some brown hues. Not much head or lacing, unfortunately.

Smell: A healthy does of earthiness, grass, some sweet malt, and an assault of hops that seem to subdue the malt sweetness a bit. Maybe some caramel and brown sugar in the mix too. IS this a Kolsch? Very nice, and a lot going on here.

Taste: The best thing about this is brew is the complex and lingering finish. I can't put my finger on exactly what's going on there, but there's a harmonious balance, with a little tweaking of the complexities, of the hops and malt. Very accomplished, with notes of dark bread, hay, brown sugar, and vanilla throughout. The longer part of the finish provides a nice hop bite to those who crave that sort of thing.

Mouthfeel: A bit watery unfortunately, with carbonation levels that I wish contributed more to the fullness rather than a sprawling all over the place, in a sense.

Drinkability: One of the better domestic versions of the style I've ever had. Lots of everything and lots of flavor. Definitely a summer brew too. I could certainly a 6-pack of this around a grill and on the dock sometime this summer.

 1,440 characters

Photo of Naes
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a clear amber colored beer with a two and a half inch layer of white head.
The aroma is of faint hops and not much else.
The flavor is mostly of watered down pale malt, but does contain traces of fruit and has a mild hop addition as well.
Mouth feel is very light and actively carbonated.

 299 characters

Photo of Dewey0603
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with a smallish head. The smell is malty with some floral and hop aromas. The taste is very malty,nutty, with a bitter hop aftertaste.This is OK, but nothing special. The m/f is light with the sweet malt and bitter hops clashing that makes a beer that can be tough to drink. This is OK,but buy a different summer and you'll be better off.

 358 characters

Photo of blackie
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

appearance: The pour produces a 0.5" white head that soon recedes, leaving a thin layer on top. The beer a medium-light amber in color, pretty rich for a kolsch.

smell: There's a surprising light toasted, nutty malt sweetness upfront, unexpected from a kolsch. Some hints of lighter malt, sweet light fruits (apple juice?), a decent amount of noble hops, and a slight floral character. Maybe a touch of sulphur in there also.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the lighter side of the high range, and the body is a heavier light to medium.

taste: There's a general pale malt character to the flavor, but with a caramel like nutty sweetness to it also. Nice to see a mix of clean character with flavor. Light to moderate hop flavor. Finishes with a long moderate bitterness and some sweet toasted malts lingering.

drinkability: A somewhat unorthodox, "boosted" kolsch, but still pretty easily drinkable. The drinkability is somewhat off for a kolsch though, as the clean crispness usually associated with the style is negatively affected by the caramel malt.

 1,067 characters

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.

 451 characters

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.

 903 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Geary's offerings are my everyday beers. Slightly above average, good, serviceable beers. This year's summer offering has a striking green label (part of Geary's art contest) with a green cap. It poured a clear orange with a medium head that quickly dissipated. It had a pleasant floral/citrus odor, and a citrusy taste that was nicely hopped. I think it's a little more assertive than most summer brews, and very enjoyable.

 424 characters

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was a clear yellow ale with a one finger head. It lasted longer than the Geary's Winter ale. And a Kölsch as a summer beer? Much more along the traditional lines than the winter.

Aroma was of light malt with a hint of sweet apples... maybe cider? Close, anyway.

Taste was mostly light malts with a hint of bittering hops. No fruitiness.

Mouthfeel was good for the style... not overpowering.

Drinkability... pretty good. Light and refreshing. Not a power beer, that's for sure, but an OK choice for a session.

 527 characters

Photo of nouseforotacon
3.46/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew poured out a pleasant amber tone; clearish orange/yellow with a decent white head and a strong, lasting foam. Very pleasing in comparison with other summer ales I've experienced.

The aroma contains slight hints of fruit, peach in particular, and is not particularly strong or overpowering. There is also traces of a thick, soapy smell that linger in the background. On the whole the aroma is weak in tone.

The taste is easy and light, crisp and refreshing - as any summer ale should be. Not very much going on here, though some of the fruit qualities from the aroma are retained in the taste. It's very smooth and it goes down well, but overall it ends up being a bit too simple and drab.

A very sustainable refreshment in the hot summer heat, but don't expect much if you're looking for something with more character.

 837 characters

Photo of HoorayBeer
4.02/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up in a Geary's mix pack the other day, found all sorts of surprises in it. Poured this into a pint glass, as I was pouring the aroma poured out as well. Had kind of a sweet smell, almost caramel with malts laying on top. Very pleseant. Nice golden hue to it, no head when poured. Good taste, sweet at first, it grabs your taste buds with the fist moutfull. Then slowly mixing with the malts, this leaves a nice aftertaste. The taste does not stay for long. Good flavorful brew, not your average summer ales, a little bit more malty.

 545 characters

Photo of villainchiwwin
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from 12 oz. bottle
honey colored and filtered with a thin head that is persistent and lacing that slid slowly down the side of the glass back into the brew. dry smell that is almost wine-vinegary but with a bitter tone and buttery notes (almost a hint of faintest glenmorangie). dry taste as well, tonic water tinge on tip of tongue with buttery notes and sweet white grape, then hops dropped on malt with a wholesome bitterness. maybe some woodiness somewhere in there too. clean, lasting echo of a finish. could be a bit fuller bodied but there is a wonderful spiciness to the mouthfeel that persists with the flavor's finish. serious summer brew, but not that typical light seasonal stuff if that's what you're craving. interesting change of pace.

 758 characters

Photo of Hibernator
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Geary's Summer Ale
12 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20oz tulip pint glass
I was unable to find a freshness date on the bottle, but this year's label edition is sharp. Nice colors with a simple Maine mountain backdrop.

Pours a bubbly orange brown color. Nice head on top with some lacings.

The nose is a mix of buttery corn and grains. Faint whiff of hops.

Very crisp, clean and buttery. As with most other Geary's beers that I have had the diacetyl is prevelent as can be. I like how there is a good presence of malt in the flavor.

Interesting take on a summer beer. Unlike any other kolsch that I have tried. This beer might be classifed incorrectly. It's good to see a summer brew ring in at 6.0% ABV.

 718 characters

Geary's Summer Ale from D.L. Geary Brewing Company
3.63 out of 5 based on 277 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More