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 bigfnjoe
2.08/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- pours a pale, clear yellow with a 2 finger white head that begins to dissipate very quickly. No lacing to speak of at all. Crappy appearance.

S- mostly an aroma of lemon...a little soapy, almost. Then it totally dies and I'm left with nothing.

T- a little lemon, a little banana. It is not a pleasant combination how they are combined. Actually pretty disgusting.

M- thin and watery. No body to speak of at all

D- I guess you could drink one pretty quickly on a really warm day. I do not want this near my lips at all with the superior variety of summer beers on the market.

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Photo of quasimoto
2.16/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Dark yellow / orange with a large off-white head. there is slight lacing but not much.

S - Cleanser. I used to walk through the halls of my high school, after lacrosse practice and I occasionally would run into the janitor cleaning the floors with that large spinning scrubbing brush. This was the first thing that popped into my head when I smelled this beer. It has that lemony cleanser smell.

T - It is lemon ,pepper, nutmeg . There are hops in there are hops in there but they are masked by the lemon and pepper taste.

M - Slick, but tileaves a slight film of somthing on the sides of my tongue.

D - If you like lemon pepper chicken...I mean really like it then this is for you.

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Photo of necoadam
2.23/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured out a clear light gold color with a decent head. Smell was mostly citrus with nothing else coming through. Very one sided on the aroma side. Taste wasn't any better either. A ton of lemon flavors with some citrus and wheat flavors also coming through. Light amount of malts underly the citrus flavors. Mouthfeel was light and finished dry and peppery. Where are they leading to with this beer? Heck, add some coriander and we'll almost have a wit. Just a complete mess with this beer. Very sloppy.

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Photo of wailingwench
2.24/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Eye Candy: Transparent dark-goldenrod. Thin edges. Minimal retention.

The Nose Knows: Overbearing artificial lemon candy coated with powdered sugar. Would do double duty as an air freshener in the bathroom. Sweet malt and spice beg to emerge.

Tongueland: Grassy wheat overtaken by lemon bomb. Peppery finish. Wierd. Regulated to the beer pong beer collection.

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Photo of barknee
2.24/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a medium gold color with an impressive head that rapidly diminishes to a patchy slick. Bottle states “brewed with natural flavors, colored with caramel” DAM IS THAT ANNOYING!! Saranac has many products that receive post-brewing manipulation. Obviously they were concerned about the way the finished product appeared, so lets dump some caramel in to color it and make it more appealing. “Natural” flavors and their use is another thing that the FDA needs to tighten up on; requiring specific indications and listings of the agent derivative used by the manufacturer. I would never of purchased this “best of summer” 12 pack if I had access to and read the labels on the bottles within. This type of beer and those who conceive them are in my opinion lower on the scale than some of the most ill regarded, albeit non-manipulated massive macros to grace the shelves of your local supermarket.
Oh yea the review……Yet another Saranac product with the diagnostic essence of wallpaper paste, generous carbonation, non dimensional with a slightly tannic, slightly sweet, and completely unappealing aftertaste courtesy of the unknown and non-specific additional “natural flavors added”
“The spirit of the Adirondacks?” NOT!! More like the spirit of the Hackensack River..
Yet another Saranac disappointment!

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
2.28/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Lemon juice and copper mix in the coloration below a half finger of quickly dissipating white head...

Has a urine citron and cherries smell too it not much else

Light fruity malts and lemon water... reminds me of the belgian white and wheat from the same sampler... also has a distinctive sam adams wheat flavor to it too

Soda pop mouthfeel on a light body

Overall there isn't much here. I have a feeling this is just another one of those breweries that are scared to put out a bold product. Like Boulder Beer and BJ's Pizza. Too bad

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Photo of brystmar
2.31/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to afksports for the tick!

Watery yellow and pilsner color with decent head, actually leaves lace though. Aroma is distinctly of Runts banana candies. Weird and not good.

Watery and bland, super thin body. A true ticker's beer; I've definitely had worse.

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Photo of jsprain1
2.36/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a slightly hazed apricot, with a foamy head that actually doesn't look to bad. Fizzed down to a ring though.
S- Some decent wheat characteristics, and some artificial lemon, that is not particularly enjoyable.
T- A tale of two halves here. Initially it is a pretty good beer, with some grainy wheat characteristics, but then the artificial lemon character comes in and hits it on the head. Minimal hop character. Really dug it until the lemon came in.
M- Fizzy carbonation in the mouth wasn't appreciated. Decent body though.
O- This seems like a decent beer ruined by the lemon addition. I think the trend in my taste is to like Saranac's base beers, but any time they add fruit, it doesn't mesh well. Generally would advise against this one, though it is refreshing enough.

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Photo of 160Shillings
2.36/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Light wheat malt aroma with very faint citrus.

Appearance: A modest head that dissipates quickly to a thin film of foam that covers less than half the surface of the glass. No lacing. Yellow with hints of gold (~5 SRM).

Flavor: Mild wheat malt tang and faint general citrus. A hint of sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Light body with light carbonation. Smooth and modestly dry finish. Not actually tart.

Overall Impression: A beer for the beginning wheat ale drinker. An easy drinking summertime beer.

Comments: Certainly not to style, but a decent wheat ale beginner's beer. This beer has no faults, but no highlights either.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
2.37/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Crystal clear golden body, a few scattered carbonation streams, topped by a fluffy but rapidly decaying soft white layered head. Not sure this really should be this clear, but it looks damn good.

Aroma is wheaty, a bit yeasty, and has a rather sharp smack of lemon, which reminds me more of a cleanser than say lemonade.

Lighty sweet to start, spicy middle, and a sharp lemon twang in the finish, The lemon is a hit and run, fading back some in the aftertaste which also features subdued spice, with maybe a taste of honey (which is odd since many times I can't taste honey in beers that are suppose to have it). Overall, not really well integrated.

Light mouthfeel is fine for the season. Drinkability impaired by the lack of "symphony" of the various elements. Lot of solos, but this band isn't playing together.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
2.38/5  rDev -24%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

After a hot afternoon I was looking to the refreshing nature of a good summer themed beer. Summer Ale from my Saranac variety pack seemed to fit the bill. Alas...

The beer poured a dark golden color with a thin ring of foam around the glass. The foam quickly and completely disappeared.

The aroma is off-putting--to be blunt about it. It reminds me of some kind of lemony cleaner spiced with cardamom. The feeling on the palate was acceptable with noticeable carbonation. More soapy lemon, unfortunately, on the palate.

I am not sure what happened to this beer, but, whatever it is, a correction seems necessary, forthwith.

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Photo of palma
2.38/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Gold-light amber body. Decent white head.
Light fruity aroma. Clean hops.
Taste is close to awful. What the hell is with that lemon? Way too much of it. Artificial tasting as well. Not good in my book.

Will not drink this again.

Matt Brewing did not hit this one on the head.

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Photo of KYGunner
2.4/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pale, straw yellow fills the glass as tons of bubbles line the edges and add no loft to a quickly fleeting head.

Very little scent to note I detected mostly corny adjuncts with some lemon tones.

The taste is weak but mostly adjuncts of corn or rice. Faint touches of lemon or citrus hit the tongue but they are fleeting and almost imperceptible. I'm very disappointed in this entry as Saranacs are usually a lot of fun and tasty.

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Photo of AtlasBrew
2.4/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Presentation: a medium gold color with off-white head that has a larger fizzy sort of bubble which fades relatively quick.

Aroma: lemon grass and citrus, not much malt or yeast.

Flavor: fizzy medium body with lemon/citrus flavor and a tart finish. Subtle sweetness underneath but not too much. It's a lot like watered down lemon aide with some beer spilled in it.

Overall: I often wonder where beer stops and fruity chemical concoctions begin. Is there a certain percentage of malt that needs to be used in order to have a product worth being called a "beer?"When the fine print on a bottle reads "Beer brewed with natural flavors and colored with caramel" one has to wonder "What is this?" My roots as a brewer tells me that you don't need to add caramel for color when you could have added some crystal malts to get this beverage to the medium gold that it currently is. However, my business side says: "if I were trying to sell beer to the tasteless masses and go with the current trends (i.e. Bud Lime/Miller Chill) then I would make a fruity watered down beverage like this. But I like beer, and this just doesn't work for me. Saranac, from my perspective, is a company on the brink of becoming a really good brewer. When they do things like this it sets them back a few steps. I hope they can brush this one off and move forward by making real beer from this point forward.

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Photo of bboven
2.44/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Medium gold color, crystal clear with nearly no head. No lacing.

Huge nose of coriander and slight lemon. Nothing else.

This is like drinking liquid coriander with a hint of lamon. No beer characteristics show through.

Mouthfeel is crisp and drying, nothing wrong there.

If you like spices and heartburn, you'll like this. If you like beer, stay away.

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

Saranac Summer Ale is a clear and sparkling golden ale with a thin white head that mostly dissipates. It has an aroma of lemon cleanser or lemon Starburst with a little coriander. A light cereal note-- almost oatmeal-- is present. It is very light and crisp all the way down. It's pretty watery and a little flat. It has a light flavor of lemon dish soap and a hint of Pine-sol hops. It seemed like a good idea, but it tastes very artificial.
(rated May 8, 2007)

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Photo of TheFightfan1
2.51/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a cloudy orange color with a white heading. No lacing present.

Smell is kind of spicey,a little coriander,but a funky yeasty smell overrun's the aroma.

Taste and mouth is a bit over carbonated light to medium bodied. Very sweet malty beverage that leaves a funky taste in the mouth not far from the smell.

Drink is unenjoyable I almost had a drainpour but I couldn't bring myself to do it.

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Photo of AmericanGothic
2.52/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Peace Tree pint.

A: Pours a clear, golden color with one finger of nearly white head. Little retention or lace.

S: Sweet wheat malt, not bad. A bit of hay.

T: Weak. No off-flavors, but barely any flavor at all. Faint wheat malt, nothing else.

M: Okay mouthfeel, light enough but nothing special.

O: No joy here. Just really bland. Have yet to meet a Saranac that really does anything for me. Maybe next time.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.53/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appears a clear golden honey hue with a large amount of white head that dwindles quickly, lacing is scant and thin. Aroma tart lemon peel with spiciness and thick grainy edges. Flavor is a bit rough on the back of the throat with that cereal graininess and lemon zest flow, thick spices left on the palate in the finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied carbonation is heavy to point of it gives you trouble when going to swallow. Drinkability is not so great I'd much rather have a nice golden ale rather than lemon flavor and strong spices added. Those two aspects take away from the drinkability factor.

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Photo of jwc215
2.53/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours golden yellow with a thin white head that stays around. Minimal trailing lace sticks to the glass.

The smell is of wheat with underlying hints of lemon.

The taste is of wheat and lemon juice. Very slight hints of a flat spiciness that doesn't mesh very well. A bit soapy. Fairly crisp/dry finish.

It's light, a bit too slick. Something of a body for the style. Lemony wet cardboard lingers.

Don't know what they are trying to do here - goes towards a wit a some point, but the spice is too muted and yeast strain too weak. It just seems off - there are much better summer refreshers out there.

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Photo of pentathlete
2.53/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Something is not quite right with this one. Appears dark gold, with little or no head. Smells like lemon-scented oil used for candles or room deodorizers. Taste like a blonde ale mixed with lemon-scented Renuzit cakes. The lemon does not come off natural and this ruins it for me. The wife unit thought it was ok, but she likes perfumey floral stuff. The mouthfeel is ok for this style of beer, but it cannot overcome the flavors. Not recommended.

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Photo of aranheaney
2.58/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got in a sampler, poured into a DFH snifter:

A-light straw with a finger of head that is quickly gone and no lacing

S-non-offensive, fruity with some lemon

T-meh, lemon, weak, not so great

M-there's not alot going on here

O-wouldn't recommend, there's just not much positive, it's lightish, has a funky aftertaste and I don't think I'll revisit it again

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Photo of connecticutpoet
2.58/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This brew was clear and deep yellow, with a thin head that dissipated quite quickly. About average for a wheat beer.

Aroma was more complex than expected. A little fruity, light hops, caramel malts, but a slight medicinal bite. It was just a little off.

Taste was light lemon, a bit spicy and peppery, but kind of bland. No aftertaste to speak of.

Mouthfeel was average for a wheat... not a lot of body, not too heavy.

I have to take away a little on the drinkability because of that medicinal twang. It hit me as a little too odd to be pleasant.

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Photo of whartontallboy
2.58/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear brass pour, one-finger fizzy head that quickly runs off to head heaven.

Not much of a smell to speak of, slight hints of lemon Pez, oranges, and a very faint hoppiness.

Flavor is similarly flat with candy-lemon notes. The thin mouthfeel is pretty astringent, and it makes the whole thing seem even more biting and unpleasant. There's just not much going on here other than the Pez flavor, and I don't really dig it.

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Photo of ski271
2.58/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clear, light amber with a small, very slightly off-white, foamy head the quickly diminishes to a light film. Very little lacing. It has a sweet smell of wheat and malt, a strong lemon scent and a little honey and something herbal (kind of like marjoram). The taste is very sweet with typical wheat flavors (including coriander), some malts and hardly any hops. The finish is very lemony, kind of like dish soap. It has a medium-light body and a dry texture. I find the lemon to be too strong and distracting, not that it’s distracting me from an otherwise decent beer. Not horrible, but sub-par beer and a disappointment.

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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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