The old reliable Twin Cities metro area beer

The reason I say this is that, usually, no matter where you go in the TC,  you can at least get yourself a Summit EPA.  I take advantage of this when I end up at bars/restaurants that have limited beer selections.  The Summit EPA, to me, is what Grain Belt Premium is to a lot of people.  The EPA is not a world-class talent, but it sure beats the pants off of the typical bland domestic light beers.  It is versatile enough to appeal to the light beer crowd, but is hoppy and flavorful enough for those like me that would rather take a punch in the teeth than to be stuck sipping a Bud, Miller, Coors, Busch, or Michelob.  A reliable old friend that can be counted on to be there for me when others don’t show up, that’s my Summit EPA.

Say no to pumpkin ales

Fall kicks ass. This year especially because it means I don’t have to water my new sod twice a day any more. And of course because of all the great seasonal beers. No not the Pumpkin ales, although I always buy a couple 6 packs, and I’m always a little dissapointed. I’m talking about Octoberfest. Continue reading Say no to pumpkin ales

line ’em up

Put a Schell Maifest and a Summit Maibock side by side last night, in an effort to get caught up around here.

They looked about the same, pretty blonde color, decent head on both. Nice mouthfeel, excellent flavor (I like the maibocks). No disappointments with either one. The Maifest was a little sweeter than the Maibock.

Both these beers appropriately provide a great transition from my winter beer preference (dark, heavy and sweet) to my summer beer preference (lighter, hoppier). I’m pretty happy that we have more around the house.

line ’em up

Put a Schell Maifest and a Summit Maibock side by side last night, in an effort to get caught up around here.

They looked about the same, pretty blonde color, decent head on both. Nice mouthfeel, excellent flavor (I like the maibocks). No disappointments with either one. The Maifest was a little sweeter than the Maibock.

Both these beers appropriately provide a great transition from my winter beer preference (dark, heavy and sweet) to my summer beer preference (lighter, hoppier). I’m pretty happy that we have more around the house.

To Style

Mai Bocks are a sure sign of spring and summer to come, especially in Minnesota: They’re released in March, and you start looking forward to the Hefeweizens and Saisons–and then wham! you get 8 more inches of snow. I’ve been ready to leave the bock season for a couple weeks now, including the 2 or 3 I brewed myself, so it’s hard to finish this Mai Bock.  With that, I think this nails the style. Strong, yet easy to drink with a nice sweet aftertaste. I have found that I prefer the darker bocks like dopples, so while I drank the entire bottle of Summit Maibock, I didn’t enjoy it!

Wait, did I grab the EPA?

Not because of the taste, this definitely tastes different, and I really liked it. But when I was at the liquor store I had to double check to make sure it was the Winter and not the EPA. They just look so similar. From a brand perspective it’s important to have consistency across beers, but I’d like to see a bit more uniqueness. Continue reading Wait, did I grab the EPA?

I’m Having Trouble With Winter

I really enjoyed this beer.  It’s very drinkable, it’s very tasty.  It went down quickly and smoothly last night, as I enjoyed some delicious hot and sour soup.  But I’m having a hard time reviewing it, because I can’t think of much to say about it. I guess I should just say, I like it.  I don’t love it.  But I’d drink it again. 

Not a favorite

Not really a big fan of this one…I think it is just the style I really don’t like. There are a lot of good flavors, but the whole mix together…just really not that crazy about it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a horrible beer by any measure. Reading some of the other comments on this beer I guess I have to agree with CJ Camp, this beer is nothing to get up about. The good thing is that the Great Summit Brewing Co has plenty of other quality beers for me to enjoy!

I don’t know what it is…

I just can’t get excited about this beer, which is too bad, because if I read its description somewhere, I’d tell myself that I ought to get some immediately.

I’ve been drinking this all winter, both at Tracy’s and at home. On my most recent pour at home, I managed about a finger of head. Lovely reddish-brown color. Smells like someone put roasted malt in there!

And then…

I don’t know. It just kind of tastes like a basic dark beer. Thin-to-medium body. It’s got decent malt-to-hops balance, with the roast flavor coming on fairly strong midway through and a mild, hoppy finish. It tastes like a light porter.

I like it. I drink it. I just can’t get excited about it.

Subtle Perfection

A couple years ago I stopped drinking Summit Winter. Well, not completely. I would have one or two each year, and then hang it up. “This is just a brown ale,” I would decry. My friends and I would swear that Summit Winter used to be a spiced up porter, full of ambition and hope, and that a couple years ago they went soft

But now I’m not so sure. (Was it me? Did they change the recipe?)

I can’t get enough of this years’ brew.

Maybe it’s my palate, or maybe it was the Summit Winter on cask I had right before Christmas, smooth and creamy, reinvigorating my belief in Summit. That happens every so often; I get bored and worn down on Summit, and then I have a particularly fine pint of EPA, or try a limited release stout with brettomyces, and it’s like falling in love all over again. 

This year’s Winter is like that. It pours a creamy mahogany, exactly what I want on a cold night. I’m thrilled by it’s subtle perfection, and even more thrilled that it’s Summit that brought it to me.