Samuel Adams Seasonal Summer Ale

Sam Adams has changed up their Summer Ale for the first time in 23 years. If you think I’m passing up a chance to give it a sip-see, you’re crazy. And you’re not crazy. Okay, you’re the right kind of crazy. I like that.

I ordered a draft of the stuff, so I got an pro pour, instead of my typical “slosh it against the glass for the first part, then let it rip” thing I’ve got going on. The first thing I noticed is the bare head, especially for such a low ABV beer. The very slight head let’s a nose full off candied orange come at me. I’m not mad. Lest you think this will be all candy and sugar overkill, let me just say that it’s a nice whiff that leads to fresh air and a touch of yeast.

Opaque yellow orange hue, a color that shouts summer. But y’know, in a cool way. This isn’t a bossy beer, it’s one that asks to be invited to the party, then brings the best potato salad ever. It’s the popular kid that’s sure enough of herself to hang with whoever she wants to hang with. And she hangs with everyone, because we’re all cool, amirite? Yeah I am.

Definitely get a hit of that lemon/lime/orange flavor, not due to the hops but from actual fruits ‘pureed’ into the brew. The question ‘is this a fruit beer?’ crossed my mind, but the slight Weiss this wheat brew packs tones that down. Still, I can’t help but think that this is a pour that fruity types and traditionalists will both enjoy. Add anyone that’s looking for something cool and smooth to crack open on a hot day, and that pretty much makes Ale one for the masses. Not surprising for a large brewery with a huge distribution footprint.

So the re-imagining of their iconic summer brew is currently a limited release, but I’m hoping it’ll become the new profile for this brew. It’s refreshing, clean, crisp and exceedingly drinkable. To be honest, I never cared for SA’s usual take on this brew; it felt too spicy and robust for a warm weather brew. But this? This is groovy, baby.

Try it on its own, on a hot day. Or go crazy and have it with your favorite grillage; it goes especially well with Mexican food, so throw some Mojo Criollo marinade on things, and roll with it. Maybe try some of that killer potato salad while you’re at it. I hear it’s good.

Samuel Adams Summer Ale
Style: American Wheat Ale
ABV: 5.3%
IBUs: 7


Denise Kitashima Dutton has been a reviewer since 2003, and hopes to get the hang of things any moment now. She believes that bluegrass is not hell in music form, and that beer is better when it’s a nitro pour. Besides GMR, you can find her at Atomic Fangirl,, or at that end seat at the bar, multi-tasking with her Kindle.