Summer Beer Week: Sunburn Summer Brew

Summer Beer WeekThis year Widmer debuted a new seasonal summer beer: Sunburn. It’s a true session beer at 4.3% alcohol by volume, and they’ve loaded it up with Citra hops: the relatively new variety that’s all about the tropical fruit.

Here’s their summary description:

Sunburn Summer Brew is a very smooth, refreshing, sessionable ale. Sunburn is light in color, body, and bitterness, but by no means light in flavor. Sunburn’s point of differentiation is that it delivers an abundance of flavor via the new hop called Citra. Citra is aptly named for its thirst quenching citrus flavor and aroma. Sunburn Summer Brew is lighter in alcohol, full in flavor with a crisp finish making this a great beer for any summer afternoon.

To tell the truth, I was surprised to find out Sunburn is only 4.3% alcohol; it’s not marked on the bottle anywhere and I would have guessed it was higher, around 5 to 5.5%. Easy drinking!

Sunburn Summer BrewAppearance: Bright golden yellow and lively; bubbles rising off the bottom to a crisp, white head.

Smell: Juicy and green and bright with touches of tropical fruit; floral, slightly grass bitterness.

Taste: Grassy-bitter hops paired with a toasted malt body. Light, crisp with neutral wheat notes. Hops are not overwhelming but they make themselves known nicely.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and light and clean finish.

Overall: Very tasty, like a milder version of their Drifter (or so it seems to me from memory). Very drinkable.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores an overall grade of B+. On RateBeer, it scores 3.32 out of 5, and is in their 64th overall percentile (92nd for the style).


  1. First of all, I think we can all agree there is nothing fun about a sunburn. Sunburns suck. Therefore I do not support the naming of any endeavor you wish to be fun after a sunburn. Poor choice by Widmer.

    You’d say the hops are mild enough to make this an easy-drinking session beer? I feel like that’s the general theme of summer beers, to be sessionable. Would you agree?

  2. Usually sessionable, but they don’t always have to be. Most of the time you’ll look for the lighter, crisper, lower-alcohol beers just because they work so well as flavorful thirst-quenchers when it’s really hot out.

    But there’s really nothing stopping you from drinking an Imperial Stout or Barleywine during the summer either. 🙂

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