Summer is a great time to enjoy tasty wheat beers! Many brewers put out special seasonal beers for summer which are lighter, and seemingly more refreshing in the heat than say, a stout might be.
In this case, we’ve got the 5.3% ABV Sam Adams Summer Ale to review for you which is in fact, a wheat beer. Its brewed with wheat malt, lemon zest, and something called ‘grains of paradise’ which, according to the label are “a mysterious spice used by Renaissance brewers centuries ago“.
Further research shows that these ‘grains of paradise’ are a peppery type of spice found only someplace in Africa. The real name of the spice is the Melegueta pepper, and its more closely related to cardamom. Does it help?
I’d say so! Sam Adams Summer Ale is one of those beers I actually enjoyed before I knew even less about beer than I do now! Its been one of those beers that I’ve picked up from time-to-time, enjoying it, but not really caring about (or knowing) why. Let’s see what makes it work for me.
Well, to begin the beer looks typical of a wheat beer. It’s a straw-colored, beer, that isn’t quite clear in the glass. It looks really good though! It doesn’t create a massive head, but there is one and there’s also a little bit of lacing left on the glass.
The aroma. Well, can I smell these ‘grains of paradise’? I suppose so. To me its got a little bit of a citrusy scent and there is a bit of a peppery thing going on too. I guess those are the grains of paradise? The beer has an inviting aroma and it reminds me of some Witbiers I’ve tried. There’s something of a fruity thing going on in the background – maybe banana? Not sure exactly but its quite nice. They mention on the website that the beer is inspired by Belgian Witbiers – but instead of coriander and orange we have lemon and those ‘grains of paradise’. Works for me!
The taste. Well, as I’ve disclosed before, I’ve always liked the Sam Adams Summer Ale. Its got a bit of a citrus flavoring, and a little pinch of those peppery spices make it an interesting drinker. Again, like in the aroma, there’s something of a fruitiness going on the background – like the banana that I’ve mentioned.
Mouthfeel is just great. This beer is not heavy at all, and it doesn’t have any stickiness or over-sweetness that would take away from its Summer beerness. Last week at a BBQ I hosted, I found that this beer was perfect for the event and complimented the hot weather and food perfectly. It was definitely better than the Sam Adams Blackberry Wheat that I also had that day.
I think Sam Adams did a good job on this one, and I think its a no-brainer good beer for summer that I go back to year after year. I like it!
What do you think of the Sam Adams Summer Ale? What’s you’re favorite Summer beer?