What? A summer beer on a cloudy, crappy 35° day in Kansas City? Sure, why not? I went to Lukas and decided to build a sixer from cans, as part of my “Hey, Babe, Nice Cans!” series. LOL I enjoy most of the Anderson Valley Brewing Company beers I’ve had, so I thought I’d give this one a shot since I’d not had it before.
AVBC bills this summer beer as a “cerveza crema” or, presumably, a cream ale. The can says it has natural flavors added, but I could find no info about adjuncts on the website or anywhere else, nor detect any in the flavor, so I’m not sure what that was all about.
Cream ales are malt-forward, American “lawnmower beers.” They typically contain adjuncts of as much as 20% glucose or corn, so maybe one of those is added to Summer Solstice? There is a definite corny aftertaste with this beer, and it’s relatively sweet.
Summer Solstice pours a cloudy copper color with an off-white, bubbly head, as you can see in the photo (courtesy of boozedancing.wordpress.com). There isn’t much aroma to speak of, but what little there is seems sweet and malty.
The carbonation on this beer is relatively high and it has a full mouthfeel. The flavor is malt-forward with a little hops balance. The aftertaste is slightly bitter, but without much actual hop character, and there is a DMS (cooked vegetable) and corn-heavy aftertaste, for sure. While it is malt-forward in flavor it isn’t cloying and there is enough hops hidden in there somewhere to give it some balance.
This isn’t a bad beer, but for a summer, lawnmower, thirst-quenching type of beer there are a lot of things I would go to before this. There isn’t anything wrong with this beer, per se, but it seems a little heavy for what it’s intended to be, and the low hops makes it a little less refreshing than I’d like. I really enjoy everything I’ve had by AVBC, but this one is lacking compared to their other beers I’ve had.