Beer Review – Samuel Adams Summer Ale

  • Name: Samuel Adams Summer Ale
  • Brewery: Boston Beer Company
  • Style: American Pale Wheat Ale
  • Origin: Massachusetts
  • ABV: 5.3%

Keeping the theme of American Independence, today’s review will focus on another beer bearing Samuel Adams’ name, the Summer Ale. This was one of the six beers found in the Samuel Adams American Summer variety pack of 2017.

Samuel Adams Summer Ale
Samuel Adams Summer Ale

Going into this review, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was initially fairly excited to learn it was a wheat ale, though I was unsure if a lemon flavor would compliment such a brew. Typically speaking I had come to expect wheat beers to be smooth and creamy in texture, and although orange tends to compliment some of them, lemon just didn’t seem to fit the bill.

When I poured Samuel Adams Summer Ale into a glass, it showed a clear, light amber color – something that immediately rose my suspicion as wheat tends to be hazy. It had a slight carbonation and grew little head. When smelling the beer, I was somewhat disappointed in its lackluster aroma. While it had some faint tones of lemon, it smelled almost synthetic and lacked the general pleasantness of a fruit beer. No other smells stood out all that much.

With my suspicions at an all-time high, I cautiously took my first sip. What greeted me failed to impress. Although the beer had a light and pleasant mouthfeel, it lacked any real strength of flavor. It had more to it than a typical lager, but it just couldn’t seem to decide what that “it” was. The initial, bewilderingly bland, experience was quickly replaced by an aftertaste that was equal parts sour and bitter – well, I guess I’ve found the lemon.

Related: Samuel Adams Boston Lager

At this point in the experience, I feverishly typed notes into my phone. I was quick to condemn this beverage to a 5/10 and list it on the “would not drink again” column. But a few minutes passed and I notice myself continuing to drink it.

The more I drank Samuel Adams Summer Ale, the more I enjoyed it. The initially unpleasant sour and bitter aftertaste slowly grew on me. As I analyzed the bland flavors, I noticed subtleties I didn’t see before. The beer still wasn’t the best thing I had tasted, but it was one of the most refreshing.

For some, the slow start would be enough to call it a day. I know I was ready to write this one off early and move on to something else. I’m glad I mindlessly continued down the glass and met the redeeming features this Summer Ale offered.


Samuel Adams Summer Ale is OK. What it lacks in flavor it makes up for in refreshing-ness (is that even a thing?). It’s difficult to pinpoint what exactly turned my opinion, but the beer made up for a slow start by finishing up OK in the final stretch. While I probably still wouldn’t go out of my way to drink this again, I would still drink it again.

Rating: 6.5/10

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Have you ever grown to enjoy a beer you initially disliked? Let me know!

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Learn more about Samuel Adams Summer Ale on its website, Untappd and Beer Advocate.


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