Alaskan Summer (Kölsch Style Ale)

Alaskan Summer

Brewed by: Alaskan Brewing Co.

Beer Classification and Specs

  • Style: Ale
  • Variation: Kölsch
  • Seasonal: Summer
  • ABV: 5.3%
  • IBU: 18

Notes: Based on the traditional style of Kölsch beer brewed in Cologne, Germany.

Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients

Alaskan Summer Ale balances a softly malted palate with the clean freshness of hops. In the tradition of the style, neither overpowers the other. Both hops and malt come together to refresh and renew the palate. The straw-gold color and easy drinkability are an enjoyable way to celebrate summer.

Hops: European and Pacific Northwest hop varieties

Malts: Premium two-row and specialty malts

Additional: Water originates in the 1,500 square-mile Juneau Ice Field.

More Alaskan Summer Images

First Impressions

Artwork: Follows the Alaskan brand label template, with a killer whale breaching.

Color: Golden, to pale orange tint. It shimmers in the light, like small iridescent crystals.

Aroma: Domestic smell, with slight hint of grain.

The Tasting

Arrived in: Bottle

Served in: Tall pilsner.

One “cool” thing about Alaskan Summer, is that it’s brewed with pure glacier water: “Our water originates in the 1,500 square-mile Juneau Ice Field and from the more than 90 inches of rainfall Juneau receives each year.”

Alaskan Summer Ale was extremely carbonated like champagne, with masses of tiny, pin-sized bubbles racing up to the top. With the amount of sparkle in the glass, you would expect more of a head, but its small froth dissipated rather quickly.

This beer is brewed in Alaska, and salmon comes from Alaska — so we thought we’d try to set the couple up for dinner. This light-bodied Kölsch style ale paired well with our salmon dinner, but we found ourselves wishing the beer itself stood out a little more on its own merit.

Kölsch is supposed to be less bitter, and Summer was — but its taste was fairly nondescript, and bordered dangerously close to “domestic.” Maybe it was a complement to the food, because its minimalistic flavor profile didn’t interfere with the fish.

Summer Ale may have left more to be desired in that department, but refreshment factor was its most redeeming quality. It’s a summer seasonal for a reason — lightweight, fueled by invigorating carbonation, sessionable, and next to no aftertaste.

Final Score: 2.5/5


We don’t want to go as far as to say Alaskan Summer could be blind tasted against domestic brands, but it comes pretty close. Although its “summer” qualities are present, this was a somewhat disappointing effort from Alaskan, considering how much we have enjoyed their other offerings over the years.

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