If you’ve ever looked through the review section for Flying Fish Brewing Company‘s Farmhouse Summer Ale, there are bound to be a number of drinkers upset at its classification as a Farmhouse Ale, saying it doesn’t share any characteristics with others of the style.

What is a farmhouse ale anyway? A farmhouse ale isn’t just a single beer style. It’s a broader category of styles.

When the first farmhouse ales were being brewed, recipes and techniques would vary greatly from farm to farm as each farmer has different water access as well as a variety of different ingredients and equipment.

A no-two-are-alike legacy lives on in many contemporary “farmhouse” ales. Emphasis on individuality, rather than uniformity, is evident in modern Belgian, French and American versions. Though this lack of conformity may be vexing to those who like their stylistic ducks in a row, attempting to narrowly define the beverage misses the point.

– Phil Markowski in All About Beer Magazine 

With the farmhouse ale style of beers, drinkers need to be open-minded. It can vary wildly from region to region, even within breweries and farms in the same region.

It could, but doesn’t have to be brewed in a real farmhouse, and is overall just plain difficult to define this style. Let’s just call it what it is… beer, and begin.

Gold in color, hazy, with a white head that dissipates slowly with impressive lacing. From the glass comes a light aroma of spicy wheat, hops, honey, and a bit of lemon.

As I taste, I am first hit with light and clean, sweet malt. The hop bitterness is low to start but picks up slightly on the back-end, so if you avoid IPAs, this may not be the farmhouse ale for you.

Very light-bodied with a crisp mouth feel, ending dry with the bready malt and spicy hops.

I wasn’t wholly disappointed, but there wasn’t anything that stands out to me with this seasonal offering.

Overall, Flying Fish Brewing Co. has in the Farmhouse Summer Ale a light and refreshing session beer, a great choice …if you don’t have better options.


  • ABV: 4.6%
  • IBU: 15
  • Style: Farmhouse Ale
  • Taste: Bready malt, spicy hops
  • Rating: 3/5
  • Untappd Reviews
Andrij Harasewych
Editor at The Craft Beer Diaries. Devoted husband and father. Excessively geeky. Comic books, video games, and craft beer are my vices. Favorite beer style easily the IPA. Growing love for the DIPA, specifically.
Andrij Harasewych

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