Tasting Notes: Summer Somewhere (English Golden Ale)

Summer Somewhere was about brewing a new style for the first time, brewing with Australian Galaxy hops for the first time, and using 1084 Irish Ale yeast in something lighter than a stout or Irish Red Ale.

The beer pours a very cloudy straw color. The beer looks like a wheat beer. That was not what I was going for. The head is a frothy, white and persistent.

The aroma features notes of passion-fruit and kiwi. There are dandelion eaters from the yeast. There is an underlying aroma of fresh cereal from the grain. Like when you first open the bag inside the box.


Golden Ale is a British Ale, designed to compete with European lagers, but hopped like an American Pale Ale. The hop flavor is prominent, but I wouldn’t describe the beer as “hoppy” by today’s standards. In the past I’ve brewed pale ales that could easily have been IPAs I’m glad this didn’t fall into that trap. There are light, fruity esters that compliment the hop flavor and add complexity.

The Malting Company of Ireland Stout Malt isn’t as nutty as some English malts like Maris Otter. Making up 95% of the grist the malt flavor is more Pilsner Malt-like than I had expected. Given how both malts are lightly kilned and lightly colored it makes sense. There wasn’t enough flaked maize to make a flavor contribution, but it did lighten the body. Since I had the flaked maize it made sense to use it. I’m sure I could use corn sugar in a future batch and end up with a similar flavor.

Unlike my Crackerjack Cream Ale, when I brewed this batch I could not get my wort to a rolling boil. I think that hurt the clarity of the beer. I also get a very light DMS-like flavor. It doesn’t ruin the drinking experience, but I think with a longer and more vigorous boil I would’ve ended up with a cleaner beer.

My team leader who is a beer-trader and homebrewer said this was his favorite beer of mine. He thought the beer tastes like a Pilsner and that he enjoyed it while mowing his lawn. As summer beers go, that sounds like a success to me.


I plan on using some of the same ingredients and processes in this beer and applying them to an upcoming brew I am working on. It will be a contemporary New England IPA. I can’t wait to brew that in the coming weeks.

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