Saranac Summer Brew
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Summer BrewSaranac Summer Brew
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Fruit and Field Beer
Ranked #962
Ranked #47,403
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
Reviews by LumpyGuitar:
Photo of LumpyGuitar
3.62/5  rDev +27%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at my local beer stop during an Ubu tasting.

Pours a clear golden yellow with a thin finger of white head, almost no retention.

Smell is strongly of lemonade with a mild wheat.

Taste is very crisp, and not as strongly lemonade as one would think. Mild wheat blends with a lemonade sweetness, malty finish. Much more refined than Leinenkugels Summer Shandy, this tastes more like a summer lager with lemonade added as a small final thought.

Mouthfeel is very crisp and smooth, light bodied.

Drinkability is average. This isn't a bad beer but the style isn't for me.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of jdhilt
2.65/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a four finger white head that fades quickly leaving some lace. Crystal clear pale amber color. Light-medium carbonation and light bodied. Light lemon nose. Flavor is more lemonade than lager, lemon finish, almost like an English shandy. Too sweet for a real beer. $1.50 for a 12oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.98/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours out with the lightest shade of pale yellow gold I've ever seen in a brew, it's a few spectrums away from Bud light. Head forms with tight bubbles, and sticks around for quite a bit, chunky uneven lace clings to my pils glass. Aroma sharp lemongrass with a heavy lemon peel nod as well, but not much malt or herbal hops going on. Drinks like a Mike's hard lemonade with less cloying sweetness a sugary blast of lemony tartness, tastes like it good induce some diabetes or at the very least a toothache. Really not offensive to me after one and it drinks relatively smooth, never had any other blended beers I'll have to try the real thing in Germany some day to compare. Mouthfeel is super light alcohol is non existent, background light beer with heavy lemon concentrate. I don't know about this one I don't think I could drink this in number or if I want to drink this any time soon.

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Photo of WesWes
3.37/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer/lemonade pours a pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry, lemony scent along with a solid lager aroma. It smells like it sounds lager with lemonade added. The taste is decent as well. I'm trying to keep an open mind about this brew. It's crisp and clean with a dry lemonade taste. The lager waters it down, but the lemon aspect rules the palate. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a refreshing beer. I think it's a little heavy on the lemon flavor.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
2/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Saranac- Summer Brew

A- Light flat yellow, no bubbles, and no head.
S- Light sweet lemony aroma. Very sugary.
T- Very sweet and lemony slight wheat touch.
M- Blahh flat and sugary.

Overall- I'll pass on this. I would drink regular lemonade instead.

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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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Photo of rab53
2/5  rDev -29.8%

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 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 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 AlHam
1.71/5  rDev -40%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

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.

Taste - Far sweeter than I expected, even for a beer & lemonade mix. The sugar is overpowering. It totally kills the palate, and even left me feeling a bit nauseous.

Mouthfeel - light, and very carbonated. Did Saranac pump carbonation into the lemonade? Something doesn't feel right. That carbonation is so intense that you can actually feel a lively bubbling on your tongue, almost like a toned-down version of Pop Rocks.

Drinkability - even on a hot day, one is more than I want.

Bottom-line: if you like really sweet beer-hybrids, give it a go. I'll be the first to admit that I generally don't like sweet beers, so I'm not surprised that I didn't like this one. However, be forewarned: this beer failed to meet my low expectations for a beer-lemonade mix.

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Photo of FatSean
3.63/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought one 12oz bottle in a mix pack. Poured into a 20oz Otter Creek glass.

Looks...yellow. Not much head. Plenty of bubbles.

Smells...weird. Lemonade contrasts with the coarse malt and hop aromas. You won't miss anything drinking this from the bottle

Tastes...better than I'd expected. Sweet and sour combined with the malt and hops. It grows on you

Mouthfeel...Nicely carbonated

Drinkability...Quite high. Nothing fancy here, but a nice refreshing drink.

Not really a complicated beer by any stretch, this beer has more flavor than the usual 'malt beverages' that taste like lemonade. I might buy a case for a party but probably wouldn't go out of my way to find it.

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Photo of JohneHoodlum
3/5  rDev +5.3%

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 williamherbert
2.34/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

So this is that lager and lemonade beer I've heard so much about.

The appearance is straw yellow. No head. See through. Lame-ass.

The smell is pure Budweiser with lemonade. Has the rice-laden, corny aroma of a lite lager, with the secondary sourness of a lemonade. Interesting but I'm not dying for a sip.

The taste is a crisp, light lager in the first sip. Ends on a tart, sour note. The lemonade taste is soooo much better than the lager taste, and I simply cannot recommend that. Might as well be a Smirnoff Ice.

Actually has a decent body. More like a lemonade than a lager. Finishes clean but not watery. It might be easy to absently sip away at this, but it's not a good beer by any stretch. It is, however, a decent lemonade.

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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 JoeyBeerBelly
3.72/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a Saranac pint glass.

Clear golden yellow color with a bit of fizz (not really a head, per say).
Light and lemony, some type of spices, sort of like lemon/gingerale.
Lemon/Gingerale - bingo!
Light, crisp and refreshing and extremely easy to drink if you just remember...
That this is NOT 100% beer, it's a German Radler*

*Brewers Notes:

"For nearly 100 years, Europeans have mixed lemonade and beer as a refreshing beverage during the summer months.
We continue this tradition with Saranac Summer Brew.
A refreshing blend of lemonade and lager.
Kick back, relax and enjoy!"

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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 Brad007
1.78/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours a light blonde color with mild carbonation and a one-finger head into my glass.

Aroma is full of sweet and grainy malt with only a tiny hint of anything else.

Taste is the standard lager feel with a strong amount of lemon in the middle. Very kool-aid like and it totally ruins any beer flavor in this.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering lemon and sweet/grainy malt. Not much else. Too sweet.

Why do they need to make a beer like this? Saranac has the potential to make better stuff.

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

I rounded out a mix-a-six by throwing in this beer from Saranac that I had not tried previously. The label has a picture of bear lounging on it and it says "summer brew" and it is summertime, so I said "why not?" I did not realize until after the purchase that this is more of blended beer/hard fruit beverage. Anyhow, it poured a yellow color in my pint glass with a thin fizzy head. It smells sweet, some lemons, sugar, faint booze to the smell. It tastes tart, malty, sweetness along with more of the lemon. Mouthfeel is actually kind of pleasant and does work for a warm summer day. Drinkability is average, certainly more drinkable than a Smirnoff Ice or the like. Not a good beer, but an average fruit beer on a warm summer day.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
2.92/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a clear plastic cup at Mt. View in Naugatuck.

A: Poured a very light, golden yellow color with a slight chilled haze. A thin layer of wispy white carbonation forms on top.

S: Smells fairly grainy with a lot of fruity, lemon zest and juice aromas and little to no floral hops.

T: Taste is straight up sparkling wine; like a chardonnay or pinot grigio with more of a malty, flat beer flavor. Very sweet and citusy, not sour, but sweet and malty and sort of gross ... for the moment.

M: Mouthfeel is super light, a little chewy from he fermentables and citrus sugars used here.

D: It would have to be a super hot day and very specific company to put this "brew" down. The Saranac rep told me this "chamblay" style brew is made with lemonade and a golden lager. Part of that is correct, anyway. Sip and see for yourself.

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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 Amalak
2.5/5  rDev -12.3%

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