Saranac Summer Brew
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Summer BrewSaranac Summer Brew
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Fruit and Field Beer
Ranked #966
Ranked #47,822
2.85 | pDev: 28.77%
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States
Saranac Summer BrewSaranac Summer Brew
Notes: Not to be confused with Saranac Summer Ale ... this is a German Radler: A refreshing blend of lemonade and lager.
Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 70 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Ratman197
3.92/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of adneilsen (thanks AAron) poured a clear gold with a small lingering white head. Aromas of wheat, lemon zest, light orange and light spice. Palate was light bodied and crisp with a dry finish. Flavors of wheat, lemon zest and light orange with a crisp dry citrus finish.

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Photo of tdm168
1.63/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a very light, clear yellow with one finger of head that fades quickly. Smells like a typical pilsner, but with a hint of lemon. Taste is a blend of a pilsner and avery sugary, syrupy lemonade. Mouthfeel is thicker than one would expect almost syrupy on the tongue; very little carbonation to help out.

This beer has an awful flavor and mouthfeel. Sugary cough syrup. Absolute drain pour. I will never pick this up again.

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Photo of ebeard2
2.75/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is a summer brew by Saranac which reminds me of the Summer Shandy by Leinenkugel. They are not exactly the same, they just remind me of one another. I drank this brew straight from the bottle so I cannot give much insight to the color of the brew.

The taste of the brew was sweet. VERY, very sweet. It tasted like I was drinking a bottle of lemonade with a splash of beer in the mix. I am not a huge fan of super sweet things so this was a bit of a turn off for me. I don't think I could drink more than one of these in a sitting.

This may be an ideal choice for people who are not big fans of beer. However if you enjoy the taste of beer, and I assume anyone who explores this website would fit into that category, I would steer clear of this beer unless you are looking for something super sweet for dessert.

Overall I would not recommend this beer unless you are looking for something more comparable to Mike's Hard Lemonade or Smirnoff.

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Photo of mikesgroove
2.41/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

. An almost clear liquid coming forward with only the slightest bit of a tint toward the pale golden color. Lots of carbonation here was readily apparent as it just ripped toward the surface like seltzer water. A decent head formed on the pour, but then fell back as things started to drag on.

The aroma was a step above horrible for me. Nothing here but a terrible artificial lemon smell that was light, and at the same time sickingly sweet. The flavor was even worse though. This was one of those that I literally gagged on when I took a sip. Cheap, like a bad sprite. There was just way too much carbonation that made it feel even lighter then it was, which was saying a lot. But the flavor lacked any real depth, no character to it at all. Just a light grain, malt beverage that was overloaded with too much lemon.

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Photo of wfuqua
3.05/5  rDev +7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This doesn't taste like beer, but then again I didn't expect it to. Smells like lemon. Sweet lemon flavors up front with a beer-like aftertaste which I admit sounds terrible, but it actually works for me. It has a light but somehow still syrupy mouthfeel. It's not a serious beer, but I'd definitely drink it on a hot summer day.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

A: The beer is a pale gold color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains a lot of lemon along with light caramelized malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a sweet lemonade flavor that is followed by mildly bready flavors from lager yeast and a thin malt character. The hops presence is very mild and brings a little balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, light body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down easily since it's so light, not filling at all, very mild kick, there are several other summer beers that I would choose first.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.06/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a golden straw color with a thin white head that disappears quickly.
S- Interesting in that it is not nearly as lemony as I would have expected. Slight lemonyness to it but predominantly grainy.
T- Definite sweetness. Starts sweet and then grainy. I didn't pick up lemon until the finish where it's very much like lemon candy.
M- Light carbonation, a bit fizzy in the finish. Actually sturdier than I expected. Still on the light side overall.
D- I mean, it's not my cup of tea, but it is an interesting brew that is worth a try. Glad I got one in a mixed pack, though I don't know that I would by a full sixer.

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Photo of DmanGTR
3.96/5  rDev +38.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes

I wasn't expecting this to be much of anything after experiencing other Saranac beers, but this one caught me by surprise. Pale fizzy yellow with a short lived white head, no lace to speak of. But wow, if you like lemonade, this is actually pretty good. Nice dose of lemons, apples, and perhaps a touch of wheat? This is pretty refreshing. I think it's a nice beach beer or something to drink while playing a basketball game lol.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.14/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I can't decide if I like this beer. It's definitely different than any other beer that I have had. Slight resemblence to Bud Light Lime but more of a beer taste and bitter on the back end. You can definitely taste both the beer and lemonade. The bitterness on the back end stands out just like a sweet lemonade. The taste itself is decent if you can get used to drinking lemonade and beer at the same time. Great on a hot summer day which is what they were going for so I'd recommend it.

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Photo of NODAK
2.57/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Aroma here is mostly of lemon. Although not really overwhelmingly so. Perhaps on par with other summer beers and kolsches.

This is one of the oddest beers I have ever had. Take lemonade that's pretty sweet (not one of the tart ones, unfortunately) and put it in with a pretty basic lager and this is what you have. From the first sip, I get a load of lemony sweetness from the start on through the body. At the finish, there's a bit of tartness to at least somewhat derail the sweetness, along with a slight "beery" flavor. But other than the carbonation and a tiny bit of basic lager flavor at the end, there's almost nothing here to tell me this is a beer.

I'm just not sure why I'd drink this, I suppose. It says on the bottle that Europeans have mixed lemonade and lager for over 100 years as a refreshing summer beverage. I'd never heard that before. I think that, if this is the output, they can keep it.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
1.14/5  rDev -60%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

12 ounce bottle poured into a Unibroue tulip. Clear yellow body, with a small white head. Minimal and thin lacing. Aroma reminds me a bit of a soured Heineken. Now to the taste. I want to like the taste. My friend David was excited to share this bottle with me so I wanna lie and tell him I like the taste. I wanna stretch the truth and tell him it isn't bad. He's going to own a brewery someday and I don't want to discourage him by telling him I don't understand how he can like this beer. But alas, this beer is disgusting and apparently has mixed two flavors that should never be mixed. I honestly can't finish the 6 ounces or so that he poured for me. Fowl and medicinal and sour and a mess, a big disgusting mess. Good thing I'm holding back. I love lemonade and I love beer but OH MY LANDS!!!! He says its much different and better on tap, but you can't polish a turd.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.56/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is light golden in color with a snow white foam cap - very pleasing to the eye. Sour and sweet in the nose with hints of apple cider. Feels nice in the mouth, the lemonade hits the sides of the mouth and lager hits more towards the back. It is balanced nicely and is very refreshing. It reminds me of sparkling cider only not so obnoxious, smoother more mellow. It finnishes nice and is fairly consistent throughout. A nice refreshing brew for a hot summer day.

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Photo of wcintula
2.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I picked this up in a mixed Saranac six. Pours with a nice frothy head with a golden yellow body. Smells strongly of lemonade and tastes the same with a slight lager taste. It's a crisp feel but there's something I don't like about the lemonade. These are nice for fans of the style.

EDIT: Now that I look, I gave this a 2.9, which is .05 less than I gave to #9 which isn't great, but still far better than this. Come to think of it, it's not a fruit beer, but a beer, mixed with lemonade.

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Photo of mtnbikerpa
3.76/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First of all I am not confusing this beer at all with Saranac Summer Ale it is certainly Summer Brew, lager and lemonade. No freshness date on the bottle.

Drank from the bottle this beer is certainly got a punch from lemony flavors. Mouthfeel is smooth. Scents sort of like Mr. Clean. Pretty drinkable on a hot day at a ball game or a pinic. All and all this is one of the best Saranac Beers I have tasted.

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Photo of Dodt
3.78/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

picked this beer up with a mixed six
poured from the bottle into a pint glass
appearance golden yellow with tiny bubbles
smell citrus and for me a hint of apple
taste lemonade with a bit of a lager finish
mouthfeel clean and crisp
a light a refreshing beer for a hot and humid summer day.

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Photo of Kendo
3.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured into a pint glass. Body is pale, pale yellow with absolutely no head. Some carbonation is visible, but not much.

S: Slightly stale cereal grains and lemon juice. This beer is pretty fresh (brewed in late April if my math is correct - 1170 is stamped on the bottle - and consumed on June 30), but it gives off a whiff of staleness.

T: Wasn't sure what to expect from the radler. First impression: it's not as bad as I thought it would be. Sweeter than expected; there's an almost sugary feel to it, if that makes sense - like the lemonade you'd make from a box of CountryTime powdered mix, blended in with a very light lager. Finishes with some sugary lemonade taste; could maybe benefit from some more bitterness or tartness. Leaves the flavor of chewed-up SweeTarts on my lips.

M: Active, bordering on fizzy carbonation is a surprise given the lack of bubbles.

D: OK. I'm drinking this on a relatively cool summer night, but on a hot afternoon, I wouldn't mind reaching for this instead of a lemonade if, say, driving were in my future and I couldn't enjoy a couple real beers. Not sure I'd want more than one given that sweetness, but that one would go down pretty fast.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.21/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very clear, light yellow with a fluffy white head.

Smell is straw like, grass with lemonade and a slight metallic finish.

Mianly lemonade. Probably a good thing that the lemonade is the dominant flavor. Not too artificial tasting. It tastes like a lemonade with a watered down lager poured in.

Decen mouthfeel, and a very drinkable beerish...

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Photo of al3
1.6/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Not really sure if you can qualify this as beer, it certainly does not taste like it. I guess I was expecting something like a lemon version of Buffalo Bills Orange Cream Ale, which I though was a relatively good balance between the beer and fruit flavors. Saranac would have been better off calling this a Shandy or something other than "Brew". Anyway for what it's worth:

A - golden yellow, average top..looks like beer

S - get some lemon, but still could be beer

T&M - really no beer here, not even a decent lemon flavor, overly sweet, cloying. Finish is syrupy and well...just bad

D - drainpour

This concept works well with ice tea, not so much with lager...

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Photo of HeroicDoses
1/5  rDev -64.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poured a bottle of this (and I'll be nice) 'stuff' on a balmy June evening. First impression upon smelling it....this is going to be undrinkable. I understand that this is (as they put it) "Beer & Lemonade", which I was in the mood for, but duuuude, drinking this crap made me long for a (ghasp) Mike's Hard Lemonade. This 'beer' is extremely acidic, tart, and harsh all at once. Appearance (not that it really matters) is terrible as well. After having two painful sips of it, I had had enough. I poured it down my bathroom sink, went to brush my teeth 45 minutes later and the entire bathroom STILL reeked of this garbage. Saranac, I love you, but pull this piss off the shelves ASAP.

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Photo of erosier
3.53/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: Pours a nice golden yellow with a medium bodied and light white colored head that laces the glass a bit on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet light toasted malts and then lemonade?? I had to look at the bottle to see how much lemon they had put into it. Sure enough, it was beer mixed with lemonade which made a lot of sense to my senses now.
T: Like the aroma, lemonade is one of the big flavors along with toasted malts and a hint of citrus-y hops. Interesting, it was a strange taste to me but it wasn't bad and it was kind of refreshing.
M: Very crisp, light bodied, sweet, I wasn't sure if it needed to be more carbonated but it wasn't over carbonated.
D: Pretty drinkable, it was really sweet but that is to be expected once I read the label. All around pretty interesting.

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Photo of wingman14
2.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a nice golden yellow with a nice white head and great carbonation. The smell is grainy with subtle malt, lots of sweet and some lemonade smells as well. The taste is either carbonated lemonade or sugary beer. It isn't terrible, but interesting. The mouthfeel is light, somewhat refreshing, the high sugar content detracts from the overall flavor. I can't see having more than one of these, is was an ok beer, but the sugary taste keeps me from having more.

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Photo of jmarvin4189
1.57/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

-Looks like a combination of bud light and lemonade
-Smells like beer...
-Tastes like I'm drinking lemonade... not too impressed. It reminds me of Mikes Hard Lemonade with a tint of a beer taste
-It feels like I'm drinking juice, I chugged one and i didn't burp... just like drinking juice
-its easy to drink but i would only recommend it if your girlfriend doesn't like beer.... the Sam Adams summer brew is so much better.

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Photo of mralphabet
2.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The idea of a beer-lemonade mix doesn't really appeal to me, so perhaps I shouldn't have bought this beer. However, I love Saranac, so I figured I'd give this beer a shot. I have to say, this is the first Saranac that I really have flat out disliked.

Appearance - Pours very pale, which is to be expected given its beer-lemonade hybrid-status.

Smell - overpowering, sweet lemon.
12 Oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Lighter than straw yellow... very clear and highly carbonated. Little to no head or lacing.. Very hissy when poured.

S: Faint beer smell.... mainly lemons and sugar.... Hey that is lemonade.

T: Well the smell and label says it all... Far more lemonade than beer.... Very sweet with sugar and lemons. Very wine cooler like...

M: Light yet sticky with sweetness, very carbonated.

D: OK.... You could drink a lot of these... Wow very light ABV.... but sadly this is more lemonade than beer....

Save you money and drink lemonade...

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Photo of FloppyDog
3.42/5  rDev +20%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass with large bubbles (looks like a soda, which is usually not good). Light yellow straw, very clear.

Aroma is of DMS, light malty/watery-ness. Not getting any lemonade at all in the aroma.

Now the lemonade makes its appearance. Lemonade immediately with a decent beer backbone. The beer is light enough to let the lemonade shine through. Probably much too sweet for many beer drinkers, but I think it is ok.

The big bubbles are apparent in the mouth feel, and make for a not so smooth drink. The drinkability is pretty good, although, after multiple, the sweetness might start getting to me.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.73/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sun-faded straw... a hue at least as pale as most light beer. Then again, this is a mixture of lager and lemonade, so it's expected. A decent looking bone white head has appeared, lasts acceptably well and leaves a smattering of lace.

The nose isn't as lemony as expected. In fact, I might not have guessed radler if blinded, since some Czech Saaz-hopped lagers smell just like this. A little more lemon juiciness is appreciated on subsequent sniffs. Other than being a bit grainy... not bad, not bad.

Radlers have never been my thing. Maybe I've just never had a good one, who knows? Saranac Summer Brew tastes like an alcopop with almost no alco and a lackluster (lemon) pop. I'm not sure how it could be improved, or even if it's worth trying. If it's a strong seller, more power to those who brew it and those who drink it.

Saranac Traditional Lager is pretty good stuff (if that's what was used), so it's surprising that adding lemon juice has taken things so far in a negative direction. More sweetness would not be a good idea. More lemony tartness and/or a crisp German hoppiness would be.

Although the mouthfeel is on the light side, the added sugars give it a slickness that makes it feel slightly bigger. Gentle carbonation means drinking quickly is a snap, if your stomach can handle the sweetness that becomes cumulative in the bottom half of the bottle.

The Matt Brewing Company has never impressed me, but they do a few lagers and pale wheats respectably well. In the end (and the beginning and the middle), Summer Brew doesn't come together well at all and can't be recommended. When the weather gets warm, I'll stick with pilsners and kolsches and wits.

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Saranac Summer Brew from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 71 out of 100 with 70 ratings