Monteith's Summer Ale
Monteith's Brewing Co.

Monteith's Summer AleMonteith's Summer Ale
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Blonde Ale - American
Ranked #825
Ranked #49,855
2.79 | pDev: 25.45%
Monteith's Brewing Co.
New Zealand
Monteith's Summer AleMonteith's Summer Ale
Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 55 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Ciocanelu from Romania

2.5/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear golden color with a bit of white foam. Aroma has citrus fruits, ginger and some bready malts. Taste starts with ginger, a bit of lemon, mostly on the sweet side and some bitterness in the background that doesn't mix very well with the rest of the flavors. Medium body with low carbonation. Overall it feels like a "Salitos" type flavored beer, I don't really like it.

May 23, 2016
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Jsteez from Utah

2.75/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A bit thin, watery and cheaply sweet. Good for a mellow choice, but there are much better summer ales. On the flip side, it's still summer here at the beach in Busan, South Korea.

Sep 20, 2015
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Andrewharemza from Australia

3.08/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From bottle, Monteith's Summer Ale is a bright gold beer. I get Rata honey, ginger ,citrus and some spice.A splendid thirst quencher. Well worth a try.

Jun 21, 2015
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SmashPants from Australia

2.29/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Format: standard 330mL brown bottle with a simple but stylish label.

Appearance: pours out a clear dark golden in body with a white half-centimetre head with limited lacing. Looks okay.

Aroma: ginger, honey and spices, but smells a bit cheap, like essence was used instead of proper ingredients.

Taste: plenty of ginger and citrus up front, but once again it tastes more like a syrup rather than a proper natural flavour. Pretty ordinary.
Update: had this again today (01/02/2015) and it was completely undrinkable. Poured it.

Aftertaste: the flavours are bitter and yet also a bit saccharin on the finish. Some dryness. A bit awkward.

Mouth feel: quite light in feel and with a moderate carbonation that makes it feel a bit flat.

Overall: don't bother. A reasonably cheap tasting summer ale - there are better beers for less - this is $55 a case.

Dec 09, 2014
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chogm54 from Australia

2.5/5  rDev -10.4%

330ml bottle poured into pint glass

A - golden, pours a white creamy head than slowly fades into a lacing of decent thickness.

A - very strong ginger - like ginger beer. Some honey and spice notes in there too.

T - some malts and honey with a huge ginger and acidic taste, reminds me somewhat of Berrocca. some faint bitterness in the finish.

M - moderate to high carbonation, light bodied, slightly watery texture.

O - this is basically alcoholic ginger beer, not ale. Maybe refreshing in summer, but this is not at all what i expected when i grabbed it off the shelf.

Sep 06, 2014
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JimiTheBastard from Nevada

3.3/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Found this beer in pub in Omarama, Otaga, NZ... while fly fishing in the MacKenzie Highlands

Totally parched and starving from a hard morning after working a river close to town... we headed to the Omarama Hotel for a pint and some lunch... and started with two pints of Monteith's Summer Ale

Didn't really pay much attention to the appearance... first priority was to get it down the hatch... after a few gulps... I began to appreciate what I was drinking. There was an unexpected explosion of flavor... citrus / lemon / ginger flavors that suited my dry mouth... went well with our fish and chips

In my rating... I compare this to mass production beers... VB, Carlton, Tooheys, Bud, Coors, etc

Perfect for a hot day... wish I could find some here in Nevada... would be great in the summer

Jan 10, 2014
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soju6 from Missouri

2.95/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: Pours a golden color with a sudsy head that fades to some lacing.

S: Aroma of citrus, bit of malt sweetness and hint of spice.

T: Taste of mild citrus , a light malt sweetness with some fruit and bit of spice. Mild bitterness and a dry finish.

F: Light body, crisp, smooth and refreshing.

O: Nice beer to grab on a summer day.

May 30, 2013
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CrazyDavros from Australia

2.7/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours amber with a large, quickly fading head.
Nose shows hefty ginger and what might be nutmeg? Pretty overpowering. Also a faint vegetal/herb-like character.
Some ginger notes as flavours, followed by weak sweet malt and vegetal notes. No bitterness results in a cloying finish.
Could use more carbonation to dry things out.

Jan 30, 2012
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aBeeraWeek from Australia

3.38/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Monteiths Summer Ale pours a radiant golden amber lets through plenty of light. Head is light and thin and disappears quickly. There is very little in the way of lacing as the glass quickly empties. Not a classic looking ale, but what would you expect with a beer designed for hot summer days?

The smell is a clear indication of the taste journey you will be taken on when drinking a summer ale. It’s all about the ginger initially – not quite as punch as a ginger ale where I actually recoil when the zing of the ginger hits my nasal cavity – but a definite dominance. There is also some sweet honey (Monteiths actually add Rata Honey) to the brew, as well as light citrus and spicy herbs.

The ginger is strongly evident again on the taste. It is dangerously close to overriding the other flavours, but there is just enough maltiness to let you know you are actually drinking beer. The honey is there again and the citrus becomes more clearly defined as orange zest. The herbal spices are still there on the taste as well – a very similar taste to cloves which is a good match for the orange and ginger. My major criticism is that although the rata honey flavour is great the whole taste is just too sweet to have more than a couple of these. When drinking Summer Ale I have often felt the urge to move to something bitterer and more refreshing

It’s a medium carbonated beer with a light body giving it a good balance for drinking over a session

Jan 13, 2012
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doktorhops from Australia

2.98/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Jumping across the pond to NZ to try a beer from an alright (just alright) brewery: Monteith's. These guys are like the Burleigh Brewing Co. (or vice versa) of NZ; they produce semi-interesting craft brews on an almost macro level. Anyhow Summer Ales have always seemed like a bad idea to me. They mix the "heavy" ale brewing techniques with things like honey, orange and lemon, when really ales go better with flavours like chocolate or caramel... nonetheless I will proceed to drink them, rant aside.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A: This is a fairly average looking brew. Clear golden body with a white 0.5cm head that leaves a small amount of lacing in the glass.

S: Smells exactly like Bundaberg Ginger Beer! So yeah, gingery... No typical "ale" aromas (malt, hops, yeast) could be discerned because of the strong ginger note.

T: Tastes like Bundaberg Ginger Beer! (and no they aren't paying me to plug their product). The spicy ginger flavour is right up front, followed by the honey notes and then there is a mild hop bitterness at the end, but it's a ginger dominated show. I hope you like ginger (I was more of a Mary Ann man myself).

M: Nice and smooth, not heavy enough to be considered "creamy" like a Wheat Beer, but it's also not far off.

D: A drinkable brew? Quite, but with the prerequisite of liking ginger... a lot. Otherwise it's one of the more passable beers I've had of a style that is to me the uncle Fester of brewing styles; creepy and lonely. Yep that sums up Summer Ales for me; I want to love them, but they're just too weird to be lovable. Back to Pale Ales it is then.

Food match: Thai or Szechuan cuisine would be a good pairing with this beer.

Sep 02, 2011
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hutch312 from Illinois

4.2/5  rDev +50.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Touring through New Zealand by Motorcycle, this was the go to beer after a long hot day. The taste of ginger, honey and other unrecognizable spices, it is definitely a unique tasting beer, but is no where close to the same taste as other "summer shandys" or lemon soda beers. It is a mix between a ginger ale and a pale ale. Over all it is a great beer for hot summer days with unique taste.

Aug 21, 2011
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heygeebee from Australia

2.51/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Here's a bolter.

Reminds me of a drink I had when I was a kid in England - Limeade and Lager - in cans, around 0.1% ABV it was. Sweet sweet sweet.

This is very similar - highly carbonated, golden yellow with a white head. Looks alright.

Aromas of honey, lemon or lime cordial and a sweet soft drink style taste to follow. No hops. None!

Grab from an ice bucket, thump it down quick and it would be mighty refreshing, but don't call it beer. No, really.

May 26, 2011
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JohnnyBarman from Canada (ON)

2.8/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Single bottle served with dinner at a Gold Coast restaurant.

Poured into a small, slightly chilled schooner glass. Pale amber, big bubbly head, decent retention on that.

Nose is spicy, with strong notes of ginger, lemon, orange and honey. Smells like an herbal tea one might have for a sore throat.

Sweet, spicy and with bold ginger and citrus flavors, with a mild herbal bitterness to the finish. Pleasant for a sip or two, but this brew because cloying and undrinkable after just a few moments. Just too much - pushing in to ginger beer territory. Mild carbonation, slightly greasy/oily feel.

A brew that could have been quite pleasant if the defining notes had been turned down from eleven. Instead, it just tasted like a gingerbeer mixed with a pale lager. Cloying and tiresome. I only marked it above a 'D' because at least there was an attempt to do something different here.

May 07, 2011
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eric5bellies from Australia

2.89/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Pours a dull Golden colour with a white head that dies

S - Aromas are sweet spice and Honey.

T - Very sweet tangy honey and spice and not a lot else

M - Light body and full carbonation.

D - Not a great beer but Ok if you want to slam one down on a hot day

Mar 11, 2011
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Finite from Australia

2.98/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Deep saturated orange Gold. Very nice appearance. A soapy head which dissipates down quite quickly leaving no trace of any head. No lacing either. Light carbonation visible.

S - Strong ginger and spiced meet honey-like flavors. Orange peel spiciness and some mild maltiness. Little to no hop aroma.

T - Ginger and orange flavours dominate an underlying maltiness and very very low hop bitterness.

M - Light and fine carbonation, thin but quite smooth. Overly so.

D - Alot of people are slamming this beer and it is very unconventional, granted but I have tried a few of these fusion, lime/ginger/lemon beers and they have been truly woefull, this is the best by far. Still If your expecting a Euro Pale Larger you will be very upset.

Nov 13, 2010
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femALEist from California

1.96/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I didn't even want to try this beer after the Radler Bier, but the bar tender in the brew pub insisted I try it, as it's apparently their best seller. The only difference between this and the Radler beer is that instead of Spite lemon/lime soda, this tasted like carbonated apple juice soda. Not sure which one was worse, but they were both the worst beers I tried on my trip to New Zealand.

Mar 23, 2010
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laituegonflable from Australia

2.97/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Enjoying a Summer ale on a very cold Winter evening. Ooh yeah.

Pours a burnished gold colour with large effervescent bubbling, but a disappointingly thin head for all its efforts. White in colour, thin crown, retains well but I'd like it thicker. Lacing is enjoyable, but fairly thin. Pretty average-looking, has a soft drink appearance.

Smells tangy, sweet and spicy. Hints of clove, banana and red apple on that. But actually smells a lot like mead, which I guess is the "honey-spiced" aspect. Nice smell, very pleasant. But not very beer-y at all.

Taste is also sweet and tangy with a slight carbonated flavour and a fermented honey kind of flavour on the mid. Hints of clove and cinnamon without any real bite, just the flavour of spice without the sensation. Feel is a little thin, with a little bit of a tingle at first that pretty much dies to leave none of that effervescence that I can see in the glass.

Overall this is a beer with pleasant flavours, but it's very sweet and too hearty to call itself a Summer brew. I'd say this would drink better heated up on a chilly Winter evening (which is kind of what I'm doing with it) A bit sickly when it comes right down to it, unable to be drunk all the time. Not too bad though.

Jul 13, 2009
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goillini93 from California

4.13/5  rDev +48%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, I've always thought of myself as a beer snob but apparently I am way off base on this one. Monteith's Summer Ale is delicious. Perhaps it's a new summer and a new beer from the reviews that look like they might be from the last southern hemisphere summer? Anyway - sampled on tap, many times, at the Loading Ramp in Havelock North (that's Havelock Nth to the Kiwis, and Havelock Ninth?! for a little while to this dumb cowboy), Craft in the lovely city of Dunedin, and Monty's in Queenstown throughout February and March of 2009.

A: golden, crystal clear, in the pinty-like glasses on the North Island and the fluty-like glasses in the South. Great carbonation.

S: coriander? ginger? delicious? inviting? all of them

T: this is delicious, spicy and refreshing, the ginger comes through for me but backed up with enough malt and a smattering of hops that makes the ginger a strong bit player

M: it felt good in my mouth the second before I drank it. seriously, it was good.

D: are you kidding? coming from the land of double IPAs I could drink this all day, and I did - well, I probably drank more Original (that's another review). Absolutely delicious and unlike other summer beers, not at all cloying.

I thought the Summer was delicious. In fact, we brought 9 bottles home with us. Maybe it was just being in NZ - but I would defend this against many spring and summer beers I've had in the US. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Apr 22, 2009
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Kulrak from Australia

3.18/5  rDev +14%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orangy-gold color with very little head, which disappears almost immediately. Smells of citrus and ginger, very faint cloves & cinnamon there as well, very nice. The taste is very clean. There's some slight spicy flavor on the back end, but mostly it's just clean. Mouthfeel is pretty watery, some fizz as it goes down. Overall, it's actually pretty drinkable. It's not a bad summer ale, good for a hot day.

Jun 06, 2008
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brendan13 from Australia

2.06/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Pours a still dark golden colour with a couple of centimetres of head that falls away quite quickly.
S - HUGE dominating ginger aroma. Hard to get anything else after that blast.
T - Like a shit macro lager mixed with ginger beer (non-alcohol bundaberg) Some earthy, spice presence as well. Quite sweet.
M - Light to medium bodied with pretty high carbonation.
D - I'm not adverse to ginger beer but I'd rather mix bundaberg non alcoholic ginger beer with gin or vodka than drink this ever again. The VB like beer flavour just does not mix well with ginger.

Dec 06, 2007
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rjimlad from Australia

2.51/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Years ago I had a Monteiths Black Ale and loved it so I was expecting good things from their other offerings. Alas...
The colour is an clear copper and there was a short-lived head but the aroma promised a very interesting drop. Ginger/cinnamon smell with a dash of lemon. In fact it smells like a good ol' shandy you'd give the kids or the missus once upon a time. The flavour is much the same but the ginger overwhelms the mix and is badly out of balance. The label says honey-spiced but the honey is lost in the mass of spicy ginger. The mouthfeel is near flat and lifeless so by the time you get half-way into the drink its like spicy stale piss. This could be a lot better with better balance and some spark. It seems Monteiths are mastering the anti-climax.

Jun 21, 2007
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VitBAficionado from New Zealand (Aotearoa)

2.55/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours a pale golden color. Crystal clear with little head and no lace. Heavy carbonation.
S: Ginger in spades. Little bit of honey hiding in there too.
T: Very sweet. Little bit of honey but way more ginger than anything else. The ginger dominates the aftertaste as well with the presence of some other spice(s) I cannot quit distinguish (nutmeg maybe?).
M: Syrupy in the same way fountain soda is.
D: This tastes as much like ginger soda as it does beer. There might be a decent brew in there but they would need to cut back on the ginger in a big way to have any chance of finding it.

Feb 23, 2007
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alexgash from Connecticut

1.29/5  rDev -53.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Golden yellow body. Clear. Puffy, foamy white head. Lemon and honey sweetness over barely discernible “beer” malt. Lemon and honey sweetness is overpowering and too artificial. The lemon is borderline citrus cleaner (Pledge) and I can’t taste much more. Maybe if you don’t like beer…drink this. The tour guide actually said that this and the Radler were aimed at people that don’t really like that beer flavor! Well done! Soda fizz carbonation, lively feel.

Mar 03, 2006
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lacqueredmouse from Australia

2.25/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Dark amber colour with almost no head. Quite a lot of carbonation. Low viscosity. Looks like a soft drink.

The nose is ginger. And more ginger. In actuality it's more like asian pickled ginger. It's got a bit of sweetness, but there's very little else outside the overpowering ginger. Very one-dimensional.

The taste is pretty bad. Initial taste of ginger again, backed up by a strong hit of wet yeast. It's unbalanced and quite unpleasant. Eh. Mouthfeel very lifeless and dull.

Quite a disappointing beer. You could make a much better spiced ale for summer, and this just doesn't deliver.

Jan 07, 2006
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revdrjbob from Australia

2.23/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Jeez! do you reckon it needed a tad more ginger? I was a little bit excited about this beer, a nice summer ale? could be good. I was let down.
Poured golden into the glass, with almost no head that disappeared very quickly. Smelt of ginger. More like a ginger beer soft drink, than an alcoholic ginger beer. Was too overpowering. There was nothing in the taste either, but ginger, and a huge horrible sweetness. The label says to "try it ice-cold witha a wedge of orange or lime", that would probably be the only way to detract from th flavour of the ginger. No honey flavours at all, no after taste, possibly a bit too over carbonated aswell.

Sep 29, 2004
Monteith's Summer Ale from Monteith's Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 69 out of 100 with 55 ratings