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Beer Spotlight: Sam Adams Summer Ale

Sam Adams Summer Ale

Beer: Samuel Adams Summer Ale
Brewery: The Boston Beer Company
Style: American Wheat Ale
Suggested Glassware: New Samuel Adams Pint Glass

One of many Samuel Adams Seasonal Beers, the Summer Ale, has two unique twists. The first is grains of paradise. Katie Powell of The Boston Beer Company tells me, Jim [Koch] visits the spice markets all over the world to find the highest quality and best tasting ingredients for our beers – Grains of Paradise being one of them.” This seed is grown in Western Africa and imparts a mild pepper-like flavor with hints of ginger, cardamom and coriander. Originally used as a cheaper substitute for black pepper the spice has long been used to flavor alcoholic beverages. The name is derived from a tale that the grains were only available in Eden and had to be collected from a river flowing out of this mythical garden. The second is the addition of lemon zest to the brewing process. Americans feel the need to add lemon to wheat beers, though my thought is if the brewer wanted to add lemon he would have brewed it that way. The Boston Beer Company does just that with its Summer Ale by brewing with the zest of the lemon, which contains more essential oils and gives it the zing without having to add anything at all.

If you like this beer try:
North Coast Brewing Company, Blue Star Great American Wheat
Rock Bottom Brewery, Heartland American Wheat


  1. brian | Monday, April 6, 2009

    I had this last summer. I wasn’t a big fan of it, but it wasn’t bad by any means. I wouldn’t mind having one every once in a while, but more than just one at one sitting was enough for me.

    I am, however, a big fan of Sam Adam’s brews. their light beer is probably the best light beer I’ve ever had. Also enjoyed some of their Cream Stout (awesome!) last night, as well as their Blackberry Wibeir (also awesome!).

  2. Greg | Saturday, May 2, 2009

    I had this on tap the other day and it was delicious. Being a lightweight I could only do 1 glass as to not be impaired but I wished I could have had another. It is a smooth and tasty brew and I just bought a six pack of it today. :)

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