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Saranac Summer Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac Summer AleSaranac Summer Ale
307 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 307 |  Reviews: 196
Photo of smerkinb
3.67/5  rDev +17.6%
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!

 1,208 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
2.91/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Saranac- Summer

A- Light caramel brown, clear, no carbonation, small light sticky head.
S- Not much here. Slight sugary corn syrup, wheat, and clove.
T- Very light malt, sweet caramel/ corn syrup with a slight fruitiness. Spicy clove and wheat with a thick malt finish.
M- Light sweet malt with a dry body and thicker malt in the backend.

Overall- Light and mellow but a decent drinker.

 388 characters

Photo of Buschyfor3
2.68/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Sam Adams draft glass.

A: Pours a clear, rich golden amber body with a fizzy white head about 1.5 fingers thick that swiftly dissipates. Leaves thin rings of white lacing.

S: First note was a sweet burst of apricot or peach; then I start to get some husky, musty grain notes. Other than that, I really don't detect a lot going on in the nose.

T: A bit of hoppy bitterness peaks up front, followed by a flash of fruit - apricot, orange rinds, a hint of lemon. Mid sip, the malt background appears with a grainy, wheat-like note followed by the slightest touch of peppery spiciness. In the finish, the malt washes out the citrus notes and ride out the finish. Reminds me of a toned-down Sam Adams Summer Ale - the flavors are there, they just aren't as vibrant and they disappear all too quickly.

M: Light body with alot of carbonation - quite fizzy.

D: 4.70% ABV means you could easily drink a couple of these in a night without any problem. However, I think there are better examples of the style with more "pop" on the palate

Alright, but nothing special. Really, I would probably play it safe and just stick to a Sam Adams Summer Ale if I were presented with the choice between the two.

 1,229 characters

Photo of ClockworkOrange
2.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a shaker glass. Appears a crystal clear bright yellow color with a finger of quickly fading bone white foam. Smells and taste is over run with citrus, mainly lemon peel. Tastes a tad artificial to me (pledge-like). Notes of grass, and lightly toasted grains are also present. A bit thin bodied with modest carbonation.

 343 characters

Photo of KTCamm
2.75/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden color with moderate foam that recedes very quickly. Beer is cloudy in appearance, mine has very small bits of sediment in it (not sure if that was intended).

Smell is citrusy malt. Tart.

Taste is overwhelmingly citrus - at times too tart, especially as the beer warms. Its backed by wheat, and no discrenable hop presence. Its almost as if I spilled some lemonade into a wheat beer.

If they could reduce the tartness, this would be much more drinkable. Given its current state, I'd hesitate to have too many of these.

 541 characters

Photo of yesyouam
2.5/5  rDev -19.9%
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)

 462 characters

Photo of tmoneyba
2.93/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draft in Siesta Key, FL.

Poured clear golden color with a moderate frothy white head that was mostly lasting with excellent lacing. Moderate wheat sweet aroma. Medium body with a smooth texture. Medium sweet flavor with a medium sweet finish of average duration.

Smooth soft summer beer.

 289 characters

Photo of mtstatebeer
2.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle from summer mix pack. Pours a sparkling golden yellow color with an extremely thin white head, little to no lacing. Aroma is initial lemon zest, crisp light/wheat malt, and maybe clove. Flavor is fairly plain, pale malts, lemon, a slight bitter finish. Mouthfeel is crisp, fairly carbonated. Overall a very drinkable beer, but not great.

 351 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought as part of the Saranac 12 Beers of Summer mix pack ($11.99/12)

One of the better offerings from the summer mixed pack but still doesn't compare to the other micros. Has a bit of a lemony and citrusy taste to make it 'summer' like, but overall its a beer that is lacking on body and overall taste. Would try again though.

 328 characters

Photo of dacrza1
2.97/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thin, clear golden orange-yellow body with a sudsy white head settling atop a Hoegaarden tumbler--why so much plaer than the Belgian white? the head leaves a slight tracing as the bottle drains... straw and lemon zest to the nose... a bit of pilsner malt plays a part as well... a freshness does exist here... softer yet more astringent than the Belgian in the sampler... malts provide a semblance of a body, but this is still light (purposefully, I imagine) and buttery/creamy on the finish... the malts rush the flavors straight back to the throat--a soft ale exists somewhere in this wheatness... this provides a nice feeling for summer, even if August in NJ has been unseasonably Autmumnal... shorter on hops to increase its drinkability, no doubt, this ale seems to attempt the "sparkling" aspect of a Cooper's perhaps... not bad, but flavor is elusive...

 860 characters

Photo of changeup45
2.85/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Overall I'm a little disappointed with Saranac's summer beer mix pack. This was one of the better ones from the bunch, but it's still merely average. Pours a copper color, practically no head or lacing on the glass. Doesn't have that cloudy, hazy look that most wheat beers I've tried had. There is a rather strong lemon zing in there for quite the summer effect. Not much else though, the lemon stands out and is a little too much, even for the summer. The bottle says the lemon hints are subtle but don't be fooled by that.

 525 characters

Photo of MTNboy
2.76/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- A golden yellow color a little bit hazy due to carbonation bubbles but still transparent. Both the head and lace go quick.

Smell- There is something a little off in the aroma. There are tones of citrus, floral hops and metal.

Taste- Spiced roasted malt a little bitter but in a good way.

Mouthfeel- Light and soft texture.

Drinkability- Not a bad little summer beer.

 384 characters

Photo of oneeye
3.2/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.
A. Golden yellow with a lot of carbonation. Little white head with little lace.
S. A somewhat metallic aroma with lemon wheat notes and a hint of spice.
T. The taste of wheat malts and some spice. Finishes dry with a lemon metallic aftertaste. The wheat malty taste is the best flavor going on in this beer.
M. Mouthfeel is thin and creamy. Finishes dry.
D. A dry spicy summer brew that would quench your thirst on a summer afternoon. I would not turn one down if offered.

 498 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A seethru auburn-tinted gold with a two-finger head that died instantly and left a minor lace ring. A somewhat odd smell of of cherries and caramel...I have no idea why that comes across my nose but that's what I'm picking up with some minor clove/pepper hints and citric hops. A dull, lifeless citric taste with a fluffy but empty medium body. Has some spiciness to it with a crisp backbite, but not really a great beer. Of the six beers in the Saranac Summer Sampler this one seems undeveloped...it is missing something.

 522 characters

Photo of nrpellegrini
3.27/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very typical summer ale, nothing stood out for me. Surprisingly the other 5 beers in the mixed party pack seemed a lot more worthy of being called summer ales than this one. It was decent, very refreshing and smooth. Just not a lot of flavors coming out. Looks like they played the safe route on this one. I wont being trying this again although it was decent.

 362 characters

Photo of cvstrickland
3.08/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12-ounce bottle poured into a pint willi glass yields a clear bronze body capped with two fingers of soft white foam that holds at a fat sheet and leaves scattered scraps of lacing on the glass.

Smell is softly malty with a twist of lemon and a spicy note.

Taste is toasty malts and a bit nutty with a rush of zippy spice and a mildly bitter finish.

Nice drink, pretty ho-hum.

 379 characters

Photo of philbe311
3.2/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Orangish amber with a nice cloud like head... Attractive carbonation...

S - Wheat... Spices... Citrus... Malt... Nice aroma, but too faint...

T - Wheat and spices... Perhaps a hint of citrus...

M - Light and creamy texture... Crisp and refreshing...

D - Refreshing... I'm not a big fan of "summer brews," but this one isn't too shabby and has some redeeming qualities... A little more aroma and taste would have helped out...

 433 characters

Photo of cjgator3
3.38/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The final beer out of my Saranac Summer mix pack. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark golden orange color with a nice off-white head. The aroma is sweet floral malt and a touch of citrus. The taste has some notable wheat flavors with a hint of citrus and hops in the finish. Overall, Saranac Summer Ale accomplishes what it sets out to be, a refreshing and easy drinking beer to enjoy during the warm summer months. Not overly flavorful, but refreshing.

 468 characters

Photo of Rootdog316
3.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Medium oily-looking amber-gold, smallish lasting head...grainy, lightly sour nose with hints of fruit...refreshing tart, crisp flavor profile, hints of toasty malt underneath and a touch of smokiness late...light-moderate body, tiny swirls of tart apple in nose and flavor as it warms.

 285 characters

Photo of mlasher1
3.89/5  rDev +24.7%
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.

 285 characters

Photo of MacMan1980
3.87/5  rDev +24%
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.

 398 characters

Photo of PatrickJR
3.6/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - With a hard pour I got about 3 fingers of head. Decent retention with moderate lacing. Light amber with good clarity.

S - Coriander and orange/lemon peel are present (much like a wit), and some wheat as well. Sweet malt backs the aroma.

T - Something sweet and flowery hits initially; it could be hops but it doesn't seem like it. Spices kick in mid palate, notably coriander but hints of mace, cinnamon and citrus peel. A quick burst of citrus hops rounds up the finish with little bitterness. Wheat malt provides a solid backbone throughout.

M - Moderate carbonation and quite watery. Either (or both) of these areas could've been improved to make for either a crisper or more savory brew.

D - I'm pretty impressed by this beer as far as summer ales go, but the weird mouthfeel and a lingering sweetness limit this beer's drinkability.

 896 characters

Photo of TheTrevor
2.98/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a copper color with a single-finger head that lingered. The smell is some malt with some wheat notes and a little bit of hops. The taste starts off some sweet malt that gives way to a little bit of hops and some citrus. The mouthfeel is not watery, but doesn't seem to have too much substance to it. I'd consider this beer to be pretty drinkable, and makes for some decent summer fare on a hot day.

 415 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.3/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into pint glass. Clear light amber in hue, a bit of head that dissipates to next to nothing. Leaves no lacing.

S. Smells of dark wheat. When agitated, I can pick up some citrus notes.

T. Some wheat, giving way to a lemony punch, a bit of grassy citrus hop, not half bad.

M. Light bodied and crisp, leaves a sour lemon aftertaste.

D. Quite drinkable, good for a hot summer day.

 411 characters

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pale, medium straw colored, and crystal clear. Foamy white head of about 3/4" inch. Low head retention going to a thin film of bubbles rather quickly.

S: Light malt mixed with something of a fruity herbal note, perhaps coriander. Some very faint citrus hops come through as well.

T&M: Light bodied but flavorful, with an interesting combination of light or pale malts and what I think is probably coriander. The result reminds me of something like a Grand Cru but some how more of a lighter way about it. The carbonation is fine but abundant, giving a bit of a lively mouthfeel. This finishes mostly dry & clean with a touch of malt and a linger of those spices.

D: The spices are nice at first but it doesn't take long to get enough. Nice but not something I would drink often.

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Saranac Summer Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.12 out of 5 with 307 ratings
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