Touch of Summer

Written by Justin on September 5, 2011

As a kid I used to love cream soda, especially Henry Weinhards’ Vanilla Cream. Pepsi wasn’t my thing, 7up was ok, Root beer was good but there was nothing better than a cream soda. There was something about the combination of the vanilla taste and the tickle of the carbonation on my tongue that bested anything else.

When I started getting into beer I stumbled across Anderson Valley’s Summer Solstice Ale. The first time I ever had it I was blown away, it tasted like cream soda. I completely went back to that love I had as a kid but this was a beer!

In February, spurred on by one of our winter heat spells, I decided that I wanted to brew a knockoff. After pulling out one of my last cans of last years seasonal I penciled out what I thought should go into it. It came out pretty good but the hop profile was off and the vanilla was not as present as I wanted it to be. About a months ago I decided to give it another try. Working off my notes of the first batch I switched up the hop profile and this time instead of using our vanilla extract I tossed an actual vanilla bean into secondary.

The second batch is now all kegged up and ready to serve. So how’d it come out this time? Exactly how I wanted it to. The beer is a gorgeous amber color with a big vanilla nose. When you taste it, it’s an adults version of cream soda. It’s got a nice maltiness and of course that vanilla cream taste. The carbonation cuts the richness of the vanilla and makes for a great beer. It’s very lightly hopped with Willametes and UK Goldings but the hops are a minor part of this beer.  A word of warning, even though it taste like cream soda it comes in at 6.8% and will catch you off guard on a hot summers day.

5 comments on “Touch of Summer

  1. [...] it. Just so you know I've added the recipe pdf and beerxml for Touch of Summer. You can find it ...

  2. Anthony

    This beer sounds absolutely amazing. We are going into the wrong season for it… but its sounds like a must try. Thanks for the recipe, I will keep you posted on how it turns out.


    1. Justin

      It’s a great beer. Please do let us know how it turns out when you make it. I like your blog, look forward to reading more from it.


  3. Anthony

    I just brewed 9 gal of this today, I will let you know how it turns out. Curious… did you guys soak the beans in vodka prior to pitching?


    1. Justin

      We’ve done both. Sanitized in vodka and tossed it all in and just tossed the bean. Didn’t notice a difference between the two. Please let us know how it turns out for you!


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