“ Brand: Fullers / Type: Ale „
A review of a summer ale at this time of year? When warm balmy evenings are but a distant memory and darker evenings are the norm?
What can I say? I drank this beer a good few weeks ago when it was indeed summer and I've only now got round to putting pen to paper (as it were) to describe the experience. Sue me.
If the pub across the road from my local can display a Christmas tree on September 22 (I kid you not), then I can feckinwell post a review of a summer ale. After all, I'm sure it's still summer somewhere anyway (I know it's not Xmas).
Where was I? Oh yes, the beer.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to sample a Fuller beer on draught (without visiting London and environs). An opportunity I exploited several times.
Fuller beers are brewed at the Griffin Brewery the oldest in London. It's been continuously brewed on this site since the mid 17th century. It's still a family concern and has won numerous awards for their products. In fact Fullers have won more awards than any other British brewery.
You can read more about that at their website.
They brew a wide range of ales which are widely available on draught and in bottles, and most, if not all of them are very good. This review concerns only one, however, and that is Fullers Summer Ale.
"Light, smooth, and refreshing, Summer Ale is pale gold in colour, and at 3.9% alcohol by volume, an excellent quaffing ale. It delivers a flavour most lagers can only dream of, thanks to its all-malt brew (containing malted wheat), and 100% Saaz hops, a Czech variety found in the best pilseners."
When my wife left, I was sad, upset and lonely.
Since then I've got a dog, bought a new motorbike,
bedded two women and blown a grand on drink.
She'll go absolutely mental when she gets home from work.
Back to the beer...
This beer pours a darkish straw-yellow colour which is topped by a decent, though not huge, head of fluffy white foam. The head lasts quite well only slowly disappearing to leave moderate amounts of lacing on the glass.
Floral hops dominate the aroma, but there's also some biscuity maltness there too. The Saaz hops give it a very noticeable grassy tone, with some light citrus note in the background.
It has quite a smooth mouthfeel from the gentle carbonation. As for the taste, it's initially quite sweet but not cloying. Again the citrus is present, although a little more prominent than in the aroma. There's a good malt character, with lots of crispy, biscuit-like flavour, and a vague hint of toast. It's also very slightly grainy.
The hops don't really give it a lot of bitterness, more a grassy, floral, herbal tone. It finishes a little dry, with a lingering hoppy aftertaste.
At 3.9% ABV, I'm not exactly sure how to classify this beer. It's like a cross between a lager and a pale ale with a touch of wheat beer thrown in for good measure. It's tasty enough, and it's certainly refreshing, not to mention easy-drinking. However, there's just something missing from it for me. Maybe just not enough depth, especially for a Fullers beer. Having said that, it's a good choice for a warm day or evening when you have a thirst on you and don't want to get legless while quenching it.
Not a classic, by any means, but a decent enough session ale.
A final thought...
What do you call a dog without a bone?
Fuller's refreshing summer ale Fuller's. Overview: During the Summer months, many breweries offer 'lower-impact' versions of their stronger ales to ease the thumping headaches that can occur with too heavy a beer mixed with scorching beer-garden sun. No fear of that at the time of writing however, as we're currently enjoying the wettest August I can remember. But anyway, in brief, this is a light ale pitched at those who would like an alternative to having to drink cheap fizzy lager. The alcohol content is 3.9%. And I've just read the other (excellent) review on this product from years gone by, and I'm afraid to say this ale didn't quite strike me in the same way as it did the previous reviewer. Drinkability: Upon opening it and taking my first swig, I was somewhat disappointed by the lack of flavour. I took another just to be sure -- hmmm nope. I hate to make this comparison but taking small sips I found the drink to be approaching Budweiser levels of untaste (not good!). There is a slight malty aftertaste, however, so it's not all bad here. I found taking big gulps a requirement for the ale to be rendered enjoyable. I'm drinking this after having a large dinner, which in retrospect probably isn't the best time for drinking a light ale. Relaxing on a hot sunny afternoon in the garden with friends, or outside in the beer garden of a quiet pub would be a more ideal environment. I may well try it again in those circumstances if we get any more sun this Summer. Sessionability: All that said, the beer is extremely drinkable, very unchallenging. There is a slight fizz to it, but nothing like the carbonated concoctions that most lagers are. I didn't find it particularly tasty though, but I got the feeling that adding a slice of lemon to it or o
therwise adding some citrus flavours would improve the drinkability enormously. Conclusion: In conclusion, I wasn't entirely bowled over by this ale. It's a very weak drink, in fact probably the weakest ale I've ever drunk - which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing if it tasted good, which in my opinion it doesn't particularly. I felt it lacked flavour and was a little dull. But it certainly achieves what it sets out to do, that is to be a light refreshing summer ale. And it sure beats drinking water (although it's debatable which will get you tiddly quicker!) I was disappointed, but I may try it in a pub to see if it's any better second time round - 4/10 Current price is £1.66 at Sainsbury's (and they have a 20% discount this week on all bottled ales!)
It's now the “summer ale” time of year once again. This got me remembering the lovely brew we tried last year while visiting my brother in London. Now I’ve returned from holiday feeling relaxed, tanned and happy, I can think about summer again. Consequently I can think about those lovely summer ales once again. One such brew is Fuller’s summer Ale! Fullers are London’s oldest brewery; it’s stood on the same site for over 350 years. The company we know today was set up in 1845 and, surprisingly enough, the founding families are still involved in the present process. Fullers try to maintain traditional methods and have been really successful in producing some great beers (there aren’t many breweries that have won CAMRA Beer of the Year on 5 occasions). Their seasonal beers include Red Fox (4.3% ABV), Honeydew (4.3% ABV) and the rather interesting Jack Frost (4.5% ABV); a winter beer made with blackberries! The regular beers you may have heard of include London Pride (4.1% ABV) and ESB (5.5% ABV).Fullers have 217 pubs; they supply their beer to them along with nearly 1,000 other outlets – plenty of opportunities to find them then! They make beer both on draught and in bottled form too; so check them out down at the supermarket too. Fuller’s Summer Ale weighs in at 3.9% ABV and is a typical summer ale. It’s only available from April to September …so snap it up while you can. You can either get it on draught or in standard 500ml bottles. (You will recognise it by the summery looking yellow/orange label with the name and a picture of a sundial.) Looks wise it is a lovely golden colour. It is pale and crisp and has exactly the look I would expect from a summer beer. It has a frothy head, not unlike the top you would find on a lager. The smell is quite hoppy and I could detect a faint hint of vanilla. It’s the perfect choice for a refreshing drink during a hot
summer’s day or evening; whether you choose to drink it in the pub, or in a bottle on your patio is entirely up to you. It’s not too strong either, so is a nice option for a session ale too! Taste wise it isn’t overly complex, but it does have a lot more flavour than some of the summer beers on the market. It may resemble a lager in colour, but the malted wheat and Czechoslovakian Saaz hops, give it a nice flavour. It is quite dry with a hoppy flavour which is well balanced by the maltiness. The aftertaste is slightly bitter, but it is very refreshing, especially if served nice and cold. It is pretty light, as you would expect from a summer drink, and has a crisp, clean finish with a slight element of fruit. I find it to be a pleasant, unchallenging and generally smooth drink. It’s not quite in the same league as Hop Back Summer Lightening, but not much is! It’s a creditable and excellent quality brew all the same. I would recommend it to a cross section of beer drinkers…in fact anyone who enjoys a refreshing drink (alcoholic of course…it’s not for the non-drinkers). It also stands up well to the bottling process, and loses very little of its appeal when enjoyed poured out nicely chilled into a glass. Price wise it costs around £1.60 for a bottle from a variety of supermarkets and off licenses. I have to admit I really can’t remember how much it cost us for a pint last year. No, I hadn’t drunk THAT much and didn’t know what I was paying! .... It was one of those rare occasions when my brother bought the beer. It doesn’t happen very often, so it was a combination of shock and being too polite to ask how much he paid for the drinks. Judging by what we paid for our pint of London Pride on a previous occasion, I would put it around the £1.60 to £2.00 a pint mark…but I prepare to stand corrected. I would advise you to look out for it next time you are do
wn the supermarket or at your local hostelry. I am travelling down to London a couple of times this summer and will certainly be seeking out a couple of pints…only to find out the price for research purposes of course! What do you mean you don’t believe me?!? Go on, give it a try…now that summer is hopefully here, it will be nice to taste fuller’s Summer Ale once again. Why don’t you join me? ~~~Brewery Details: FULLER, SMITH & TURNER P.L.C., Griffin Brewery, Chiswick Lane South, Chiswick, London W4 2QB. Telephone: +44 (0) 20 8996 2000 Fax: +44 (0) 20 8995 0230 http://www.fullers.co.uk/frames.phtml
A summer ale produced by Fullers Brewery.