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Saranac Summer Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 195 | Ratings: 306
Photo of SickGnar
2.88/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark straw/golden, clear, just a few bubbles but a big white head. Barely fair retention, but no real lace.

S: Lemon, faint wheat beer, hint of spicy, herbal hops. Ghost hint of sweetness. Pretty clean and faint actually.

T: Lemon – both zesty from peel and herbal from coriander – a bit too much actually. Some more of the herbal & spice aspect of coriander. Perhaps some other spice. Not really a lemon tartness, but some acidic flavor without much bite. Base beer is rather generic, only slightly bready, American wheat beer with touches of pale crystal and husky grain. A tiny hint of hop bitterness flashes through at the end before the lemon takes over again.

M: A tad thin with firm but appropriate carbonation – expansive, crisp, & quenching. Herbal, lemon drying, but no tartness. Decent mouthfeel, one of the good parts of this brew.

D: American wheat with Wit-esque riffs – but it doesn’t work. Not blended & melded, but rather angular and constructed. Not proportional and balanced. Comes across as overly gimmicky in the lemon direction. Could be improved with more orange citrus, some character and robustness to malts, and less lemon.

 1,166 characters

Photo of KenC411
2.88/5  rDev -8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a clear orange brown with a sickly thin head. Disappears almost instantly, leaving no peaks.

Smell: A sweet citrus

Taste: Citrus, some malt notes with almost no hops. Tastes a strongly carbonated, like seltzer water.

Mouthfeel: The beer is very crisp but watery, and although it tastes gassy is not overly carbonated.

Drinkability: Its sweet but gassy, crisp but watery, strong nose but flavorless. It feels like it is missing something.

 463 characters

Photo of sraimondi
2.88/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this one from "The 12 Beers of Summer" box.

Significant head after an aggressive pour. Nice initial sheet lacing followed by spotting. I can't really pick up much aroma which is surprising, as this one is supposed to be a filtered version of a Hefeweizen. Taste is also somewhat "flat". The only thing I can pick up is lemon/citrus--no perceivable spices, as the label indicates should be present. Mouthfeel is OK with some fullness. Drinkability is also OK.

I'm not sure about this one. There's no doubt that this one will be a refreshing summer/lawn mower beer for most. However, it is absent of any real character, IMO. I probably will give away the other one.


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Photo of scottbrew4u
2.9/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Golden yellow to light orange with half inch of bubbly white head.

S: Lightly toasted malt, husky grains, lemon zest and spicy hops.

T: Slightly sweet toasted malt, light breadiness, some tart lemon flavors and a hint of spice.

M: Light body and moderate carbonation.

D: Refreshing yet not quite there for a summer beer. Lemon flavors work well but it still seems a bit boring.

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Photo of mtstatebeer
2.9/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
2.9/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of TinusTime
2.9/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a hazy medium golden with a nice fluffy white head. The aroma was a touch sweet, but very citric. You would have thought the lemon slice was bottled in the beer. Taste was OK. Decent flavours of lemon bread, a touch of spice ( green pepper and or coriander) and some typical wheat graininess. No real hop bitterness to speak of. Mouthfeel is good and carbonation is fairly high and the body is light to medium light. Drinkability is a bit under average. For some reason I could never figure this beer out fully. Every time I thought I was gonna like it something made me back off. I think the flavours just did not do it for me

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Photo of NJpadreFan
2.91/5  rDev -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 VelvetExtract
2.91/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a perfectly clear honey color. Small head. Not many bubbles in the glass.

S-Smells like a weaker version of their Belgian White. Aroma is too weak. Light fruits and wheat. In all seriousness, this beer is very poor in the aroma department. But I don't drink beer for its aroma alone...The taste rules over all.

T-A bunch more citrus than in the nose (mostly because their is almost no nose). Mostly lemon. Vibrant and light. I keep sipping to attempt to describe more flavors but in essence this beer is bright, crisp, and easy going.

M-Light bodied. Heaps of carbonation. Much more energetic on the tongue than the bubbles rising from the glass would lead me to expect. Somewhat watery.

O/D-Seemed like it was going to be a superior bore at first, but the flavor isn't half bad. Summer beers usually don't rock. This one is a mediocre summer beer. Therefore it is not that great in my book, but there is something about it that maintains my interest...At least for the first bottle.

 995 characters

Photo of UDbeernut
2.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a cheater pint

A: clear straw yellow, slight 1/4" head with very low retention. Gobs of bubbling carbonation.

S: neutral nose, slight citrus and malt

T: not a lot of flavor. Hint of malt and citrus. Slightly soapy.

M: light bodied

O: an ok session beer, nothing that really standsout in my mind.


 331 characters

Photo of OldSock
2.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Dark for a pale wheat ale, more of a gold/orange color, but it has the characteristic billowy white head of a wheat beer.

Smell – Strong citrus smell, more lemon than anything else. There is some malt as well, but not too much.

Taste – It tastes like someone already added lemon to this wheat beer, with a decent amount of malt to balance it out. Not too bad for a wheat beer, not too complex but refreshing as a summer ale should be.

Mouthfeel – Relatively strong carbonation, combined with a light body, again very refreshing, but nothing too interesting.

Drinkability – Pretty drinkable, but not something that I want more of unless its above 80 degrees and I haven't had anything to drink in awhile.

Notes – Certainly refreshing, but the flavor is pretty lacking, not one of my favorite American wheat beers.

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Photo of tmoneyba
2.93/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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Photo of kimcgolf
2.94/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Another disappointing effort from Saranac. Pours from the bottle to a light golden orange with some medium carbonation and a thin white head that lingers a while and then dissipates to little lacing. Aroma is a mixture of light wheat bread scents and citrus.. mostly lemon and orange. Mouthfeel was bland for this thin-bodied beer. Flavor was a not real pleasant mixture of bread dough and more orange peel than orange fruit.

This all led to a short, stale finish that did NOT leave me wanting more.

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Photo of dacrza1
2.97/5  rDev -5.1%
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...

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Photo of Zraly
2.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A light orange pour with a 3/4 of an inch thick head that diminished rather quickly. Carbonation seems nice and lacing is minimal.

A citrusy smelling ale, it tastes heavily of citrus as well. A minor malt flavor comes through with tiny notes of caramel malt, wheat bread and sugar. Finish is tangy and tart, a sweet lemony punch to end on. Hops are minimal.

Like most of Saranac's Summer pack offerings, it goes down easy. Nothing exciting, though.

An interesting little thirst quencher. Not overly impressive, but it functions and works for what it is. I enjoyed mine with a Mother Corn squash and hominy casserole (that was jazzed up with a big jalapeno bite) and okra. And that seemed to work well with the spicyness of my dinner.

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Photo of TheTrevor
2.98/5  rDev -4.8%
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 ChainGangGuy
2.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Part of the Saranac Beers of Summer Box - $13.48 at Sherlock's in Marietta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a hazed, bronze-esque body with a thin, scant, whitish head.

Smell: Malted wheat with a vague, ill-defined spiciness and a bit of honey and perhaps less than a bit of light caramel (though I may be unduly influenced by reading 'caramel coloring' on the label). Then, there's the lemon, which, sadly, has an artificial bent to it.

Taste: Wheat malt, along with some simple pale malted barley joins a medium sweetness and small hint of graham cracker crumbs. A small hint of honey as it warms. Then, in comes a lemony flavor akin to adding a spoonful of Crystal Light to the brew. A subtle spiciness and a hint of bitterness tries to cut through the lemon additive to no avail. Finishes crisp, the tongue popping with crackling carbonation. A bit more of the lemon flavoring lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium-high, soda-like carbonation.

Drinkability: SSA reminds me a bit of Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat (minus the Fruity Pebbles kick, natch). One to pound after mowing the lawn, or pound while out at the lake with friends, or not drink at all. I think I know which option I'll go for. I see a few notations of people wanting to call this a witbier, but, come on, let's not be hasty. At the very best, it's like a weird, creepy distant cousin the rest of the proud Witbier Family never calls, doesn't accept FB friend requests from, or responds to requests to "borrow" money.

 1,510 characters

Photo of tdm168
3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottles poured into a pint glass.

Pours a golden straw color with a quarter inch of head that fades to a thin lacing. Smells grainy and mildly like straw, the hops are noticeable, but take a backseat here. Taste is very mild; wheat and hops, but the flavors are so mellow that neither offer much. The bottle says lemon, orange and spice, but I get a tiny hint of lemon in the finish and that's it. This beer is very carbonated and actually turns to foam in your mouth; incredibly light bodied.

This beer is mediocre at best.

 531 characters

Photo of donkeyrunner
3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Leftover Easter beer!

Gold with a thin white head. Thin horseshoe retention. Light grain, lemon, and spice aroma. Crisp and grainy taste. The subtle lemon taste that the label suggests is definitely there but so is a copious amount of soap taste.

Comes across as kind of a Kolsch and Wit combo. Nice.

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Photo of riored4v
3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured in to a pint glass. 1 finger, frothy white head. Crystal clear, golden body. A bit too clear in my opinion.

Kinda dull and flat in the aroma, but there was some signs of lemon and a grainy, breadiness. Slight orange aroma as well.

Taste was thin and one dimesional with a hint of citrus. Lemon seems to come out the most. Otherwise, slightly malty with a grainy flavor.

Mouthfeel was thin body, medium carb and a dry finish.

Overall, pretty average at best. Nothing really stood out aside from the lemon.

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best by September 2012:

Into my nonic:

A: slightly hazy, pale yet golden yellow colored body that gives a small white one finger head, lasts less than twenty seconds. Barely any lacing is left, perhaps just a bit of spottiness here and there. No carbonation is rising.

S: based around some grassy yet faint fruitiness combined with some light pale malts. There is some slight bready/biscuity maltiness but it is only smelled after the beer warms.

T: very light with a slight pale maltiness, a fair amount of grassiness comes in with floral tones

M: extremely light that leads to a slightly dry finish. Nothing is harsh on the tongue.

O: It is decent for what it is. It is nothing spectacular, but nothing that is bad.

 723 characters

Photo of packetknife
3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It was just overly ordinary for a Saranac but not ~bad~. Poured a bit more orange that I expected and was champagne bubbly for a moment. Thin fading bleached-white head. Sweet citrus on the nose, very light, fleeting. Citrus and some sort of spice that reminded me of that Indian spice that they glaze with sugar and snack on (I can't recall the name). No real aftertaste. OK mouthfeel.

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Photo of alexskovan
3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured hazy gold with a thin fizzy head that dropped at once, leaving slight lacing. Aroma of floral hops and pale malt. Taste is cloyingly sweet, like honey-water with lemon. Finish is crisp. Feels a little thin in the mouth.

It tastes a bit like a watered-down, much-less-sweet-and-horrible version of Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat.

This is not a good thing.

 365 characters

Photo of RedChrome
3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A very light golden color. White head was a half an inch before fading almost instantly. No carbonation rising in the glass at all. Lacing was at a watery minimal.

Lemon scent is the primary quality. Slightly weak overall scent leaves a light hop bitterness in the nose, but nothing special. A fairly weak wheat scent is also present in the very back.

Flavor profile rings very true to the aroma. Light lemon and wheat with a faint hops bitterness to round out a pleasant albeit watered down flavor. Good but weak.

Slightly watery with an overall lack of hold on the surfaces. Carbonation lightly hit senses, but can't shift flavors.

An average beer. A nice light summer salad to go with this one. Taste and aroma are nice but just not strong enough. Filler against others in the mixed pack.

 795 characters

Photo of u2carew
3.01/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A) Pours with a frothy two finger had, then settles. Decent lacing. Visible carbonation. Bronze in color.
S) Dry. Grainy. Some fruity notes. Not much character to the aroma.
T) Mellow citrus notes. Wheaty. Some hop bitterness in the finish.
M) Crisp. Lots of carbonation. Dry. Light bodied.
D) Just average. Not much to it. It's wet and refreshing.

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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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