Geary’s Summer Ale doesn’t look like your standard summer beer, and it doesn’t taste like one either. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It turns out the beer is made in the style of a Kolsch, a German cold-conditioned ale of which Harpoon’s Summer Beer is also an example.
You might not guess so, though. Where other American takes on Kolsch tend toward a yellow color, the Geary’s Summer is a light copper color, even though the brewery's website describes it as having a “crystal clear golden color.” It is crystal clear, though, with lots of carbonation visible on the sides of the glass. A creamy head builds up and simmers down, leaving behind a thin layer of bubbles.
The first thing that hits on the nose is a very strong scent of bananas, which, if not for the clarity of the beer might hint towards a Dunkelweizen. The hops provide some earthy odors and smell that’s a little like cigar smoke. On the tongue, these notes are backed up by caramel from the malt and a bit of a dry toast-like flavor. The beer is very sweet, though, with apple and pear flavors coming out as the beer warms. The hops also display a hint of mint later on. A lot of this reminds one of a lighter version of Long Trail Ale. Long Trail is in the Altbier style, which like Kolsch is a cold-conditioned ale. Maybe that accounts for some of the similarities.
This is pretty different from more familiar Kolsch beers but it’s a very tasty drink, overall. It’s also a bit heavier and more flavorful than a lot of summer beers, but that just makes it uniquely suited for those cooler summer nights, around the campfire, say, when you’re camping in Maine.