Saranac Summer Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

195 Reviews
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Saranac Summer AleSaranac Summer Ale

Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Available in the 12 Beers of Summer sampler. Not to be confused with Saranac Summer Brew (a German Radler).

Added by WesWes on 04-14-2005

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Reviews: 195 | Ratings: 306
Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.08/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear dark gold. About of finger and a half of creamy white head that quickly drops to a thin cap leaving weak lacing. Strong wheat nose with a distinctive scents of lemon,coriander, and a sweet aroma- probably the caramel used for coloring. Phenolic wheat and cirtus spice flavor jumps out initialy, followed by strong yeast aftertaste. Hop flavor is scarce, but the wheat and spice flavor balance out for a nice mild bitterness and clean finish. Medium body and well carbonated. An excellent session brew, with a smooth but interesting flavor, but would score higher if left unfiltered and rated as a Hefe-wiezen.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.07/5  rDev +30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is from the "12 Beers of Summer" pack. The beer pours a clear gold color, with an inch white head which goes away quickly. It smells like lemon, malt, wheat, hops and a bit of spicyness. It tastes the same way it smells, but the lemon taste is the strongest. Mouthfeel is light/medium, but not watery at all. Drinkability is pretty good, it's smooth, crisp and very easy to drink. Overall I was impressed with this brew, it's very sessionable and would be a great choice on a hot day.

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Photo of claytri
4.03/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a beautiful amber with an eggshell head. It has a nice floral hoppy aroma. It has a really nice blended taste. It has a good malt core to it, but seems to have a wapper of hops. The hops adding a rather floral almost herbal set of tastes. The feel is medium and smooth with a clean break at the end of the draw. All in all a good solid beer.

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Photo of AlexJ
3.99/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale yellow with a nice white head that has moderate retention.

Aroma is wheaty and has signs of sweet caramel malt. The lemon and citrus note is pronounced as is the coriander spice. There's a note of peppery dryness in there as well. This actually smells good.

And tastes good...almost like a Belgian Witte. Clean wheat malt notes supported by lemon and orange citrus, white pepper, sweet coriander and spice, and a note of yeast that almost tastes Belgian. Overall, light and very refreshing with good, clean flavor.

Body is medium, well carbonated, and has a crisp texture. Excellent drinkability. For the price, this is a decent beer here.

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Photo of auxiliary
3.97/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance - Goden color, small head, but had some lace.

smell - Lemon, wheat, sweet malts.

taste - Nice sweet malt and hop taste that is well balanced. Some wheat taste too.

mouthfeel - Light body, some carbination.

drinkability - nice clean crisp taste, i enjoyed this.

Whoooo ! I am an Initiate now.

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Photo of mlasher1
3.89/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours golden with single finger head leaving no lacing.

Great hop aroma along with some citrus.

Hoppy bitterness followed but lemon citrus and then back to a little bitterness.

Light body with some lingering bitterness.

A good beer for the summer without sacrificing alot of taste.

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Photo of dgherm
3.88/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really enjoyed this one. Poured into glass a golden yellow. Nice white head that sticks around a bit. Smells of lemon and wheat. Tastes of lemon. Sweet but not sickening sweet. Nicely carbonated. Could enjoy several in a sitting. Good summertime brew.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.87/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another pick from the Saranac Summer Mixed Pack we picked up for the holiday weekend. I found it went well with a buffalo burger, but what doesn't?

Placid but pleasant appearance with a instahead that vanishes in a flash. Typical golden color. Nose is sweet fruity, almost bubblegumesque, if such a word could ever exist. Very appetising.

Tasty and easy to drink with notes of banana, clove, berry, and mild hops. Slightly too much carbonation but palateable enough. This is drinkable and quenching stuff, not outstanding but a good effort from Saranac nonetheless.

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Photo of MacMan1980
3.87/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another entrant from the Saranac Summer Sample:

Appearance: Slightly darker yellow.
Smell: a little more aromatic than some of the other Summer Sampler selections.
Taste: A little hint of hops but not at all overpowering. Not quite as smooth as other summer ales though.
Mouthfeel: Very crisp beer.
Drinkability: Having one or two with a dinner would work fine, but not sure about a full six-pack.

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Photo of akorsak
3.85/5  rDev +23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle, number three from the 12 Beers of Summer pack.

A: The is a tea-colored amber, more yellow-brown than orange. The color isn't so dark, allowing the translucence to remain. Not much head to speak of.

S: Lemon essence is strong, not syrupy or bitter but sugary with an added emphasis on lemon peel. Almost, if not entirely, shandy-like.

T: Not bad at all. Much better, in fact, that I was expecting. The lemon is strong, tempered by cloves and light wheat tartness. The lemon is sweet, not cloying and not tart. The wheat and lemon play nicely, a flavorful combination.

M: The lemon, wheat and spices are all in proportion, with the lemon leading the way. Much better than I was expecting.

D: Very quaffable, this would be excellent on a hot, muggy day.

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Photo of dreadnatty08
3.85/5  rDev +23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mostly clear, medium straw color with some orange tones. A nice half inch of pure white head forms with good staying power. Aromas of orange, some spice (coriander, allspice), berries, and a nice fresh wheat stalk. On the palate, the subtle estery spices blend well with the flavors added. It is a medium bodied wheat, with a nice full mouthfeel, good carbonation and a slight sweet finish. This is perhaps the most enjoyable of the summer 12 pack, but still not anything I'd purchase in the future.

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Photo of CJfromPhilly
3.83/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a coppery golden color with a bubbly, one finger head. Fairly active carbonation, but not overly fizzy. Aroma is of clean malt, a kind of dry grassiness, & a hint of lemon peel. Taste is clean also...malt, hay and a touch of the lemon peel again on the finish. Maybe just a hint of banana? Lightly hopped. Has a refreshing crispness to it. Medium mouthfeel. Overall, an ok beer. Would be good at a cookout or on a hot day at the beach. There’s better out there, though.

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Photo of Ragingbull
3.82/5  rDev +22%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a straw color with a mild honey nose. Wispy head of light lacing. Thick and full mouthfeel. Very enjoyable in the mouth. A clean attack that gives a touch of lemon and some citrus notes in the flavor. The finish is a bit fruity but cleans up to not allow any lingering aftertaste from the fruit notes. I am not normally a big fan of summer ales, but I truly enjoyed this one. Definitely one of the better summer offerings that is readily available and widely distributed.

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Photo of tomthumbsblues
3.8/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appeared as a light golden beer with few streams of bubbles ascending from the bottom. One finger creamy head goes down quickly. Aroma is of a blueberry bagel or muffin. Taste is similar, but with hints of lemon and spice. Aftertaste is lemon peel bitter. Light in the mouth. This is a pretty ok beer.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.77/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light golden color with a nice full off-white head and subtle carbonation. Light lemony aroma with hints of spice (grains of paradise?) and grain underneath. Similar flavors but disappointing considering aroma; has some "soapy" characteristics. Light bodied with a crisp spicy finish but not a great one...

Better than Sam's Summer but not a stand out...

Per Label: "Hints of lemon and spice. Brewed with Natural Flavors. Colored with Caramel" & " brewed with generous amounts of wheat malt"

'0685' lasered on neck
Tasted: 09/21/05

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Photo of WesWes
3.75/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a light pale wheat malt scent that is riddled with lemony zest and a touch of caramel malt. The taste is decent. It has a very dry wheat malt flavor with loads of lemon and a bit of caramel malt to balance the flavor. It's a nice warm weather beer. I like the use of crystal malts to add a malty aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fine. It's a low/medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good summer seasonal. It's not your typical wheat beer for sure, but it drinks well.

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Photo of tone77
3.72/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to woodychandler for yet another canned beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a golden color with a 1 inch head. Smell is sweet, malts and grains. Taste is crisp, some citrus and grains, a bit on the sweet side. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an easy drinking summer beer.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.72/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color with a slight head, maybe one finger that gives way quickly. There is very little carbonation to be seen through the glass. The smell is at first lemon but it gives way to a floral aroma almost carnation like. The taste is floral with a hint of lemon at the end. The taste is a little more complex than I thought with my first one. The mouthfeel is dry. The drinkability is a little different. The first time I had this beer I wasn't impressed with it. After having it a couple weeks later in a glass the taste doesn't seem as harsh of lemons as before and the taste seems much more balanced. After second review I would say the drinkability on this beer is high.

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Photo of bonbini26
3.71/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

When poured into a glass....a nice head forms, but dissappears quickly, yellow in color, nothing special

Smell was refreshing, with lemon and spices very present

Taste was not as strong as i thought it would be after the good amora, but a nice refreshing taste

Easy summer ale to suck down, ive had better summer ales though

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Photo of bourbonbock
3.7/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 oz bottle into my mug.

A. Clear and golden body with about a finger of white fluffy head which is receding pretty slowly.

S. Light aroma of pale malt and perhaps some lemons.

T. Light body with a lemony and spicy flavor. Not much aftertaste but the spiciness fades slowly.

M. Light and carbonated like a refreshing summer beer should be.

D. I like this better that the sam adams or brooklyn summer ale and would definitely buy a 12 pack when the weather turns around.

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Photo of kegger22
3.7/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear orange color with a generous head that rapidly dissolved to a collar. The aroma had a soapy scent to it. The taste was lemony. The feel was light bodied with plenty of carbonation. Drinkability was very good. A good beer, one that probably made the best use of lemon in a beer that I have had. That being said, I think that may be the reason a lot of the great beers don't rely on a lemon taste. Still liked it though.

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Photo of PhageLab
3.68/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into the Lowenbrau mug.

A - Clear golden yellow brew that came with a massive pillowy head. Eventually calmed down to a thin layer, but only after some time had passed.

S - Lemons and grassy hops make up the nose, while a distinct earthy tone also shows itself.

T - Pale malt sweetness with a mild hop tinge to balance. Big zesty citrus notes and a slight peppery quality are also present.

M - Clean light body with a good carbonation level.

D - Pretty tasty, while drinking it I was actually not sure if it was a pale wheat or a pils, but regardless I really enjoyed it and look forward to having another.

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Photo of semihobo
3.67/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gold, straw, rich yellow color with a hint of red -- "colored with caramel" says the bottle, wtf. Head is here and then it's gone. I like the bottle's color schemes.

Smells of wheat malt, spices, maybe coriander more than nutmeg, lemon. Grainy.

Taste is grainy and almost fruity, hints of berries although they aren't supposed to be here. No hops. Spices are definitely a big part of the action but aren't too overpowering. Enough lemon (probably from direct flavoring but if it tastes good, who am I to question the method?) to taste like someone dropped a lemon slice in, but it tastes nice when integrated into the brew like this. Simple, but delicious. If you don't like lemon or spice flavorings added, you won't be a fan, but I am open to them.

Mouthfeel is great, not thick or thin and rolls around the mouth. Not too much carbonation so it goes down in gulps.

Very drinkable, it's cheap (especially considering the lack of cheap APWAs) and simple but tasty. "Quenching" is cliched for the genre but it's more quenching than most due to the mouthfeel, simplicity, and conformity to the style. As good as some more expensive APWAs, not really anything to make you crap your pants but it hits the brewer's goal competently, just how you'd imagine a good Saranac attempt at this style.

Yes, it is a simple attempt at a confined style that has fake color and flavorings -- that said, it is tasty and flows down the gullet, so ha.

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Photo of smerkinb
3.67/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a disappointing 1/2" head-fizzy and pure white...not really what I was expecting from a wheat beer. Head is gone in the time it took to write the previous sentence. Coppery gold color, the collar left little lacing.

Smells of caramelly malts, light floral hops and a hint of citrus.

Crisp wheat malts and lemon. The citrus is more than background but wisely stays away from anything resembling a "flavored" beer. The hops in the nose don't show up on my palate. Wheat, wheat, lemon and more tangy wheat.

Nice snappy, zingy, mouthfeel--good robust carbonation. Crisp and tangy. Sort of middle of the road--not thin or watery, not thick or syrupy.

I find myself describing this beer in terms of what it's not--not overly complex, not thick/thin, not too lemony.... What it IS though is a tasty refreshing and simple wheat beer with enough character to park it firmly in our camp. It might make an excellent "starter" beer (I hate the term "gateway"). It's refreshing and interesting. It's tasty and accessible and it's going with me to every damn pool party, BBQ, tailgate and beach trip this year.

Thumbs up on the Saranac 12 beers of summer pack. I have officially justified impulse shopping!

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Photo of Kendo
3.65/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Into a weizen glass a 1/2 finger white head settles quickly over a clear, light golden body. Plenty of bubbles rise to the top but do little to refortify what little head remains. Some splotches of foam stick to the glass on the way down.

S: Lemon, wheat and some sort of spice. Not sure if its coriander or grains of paradise (like Sam advertises, I believe), but it's something slightly spicy.

T: Same as the nose, pretty much. First impression is "lemony, light and crisp." There's a slight lemony bitter bite at the end of the sip, but as it lingers in the aftertaste is seems to get sweeter -- though not in an overwhelming way; it just seems to cut through the lemony bitterness a bit. I described it as being "like a lemon rolled in sugar."

M: Light, crisp, with a pretty clean and dry finish. Appropriate carbonation level.

D: Very good. This went down pretty quickly and in fact it picked up steam after a few sips. A solid summer beer; probably the best of their 2007 summer sampler 12-pack so far.

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Saranac Summer Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.13 out of 5 based on 306 ratings.
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