1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Summit Extra Pale Ale - Summit Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summit Extra Pale AleSummit Extra Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

998 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 998
Reviews: 429
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 11.86%
Wants: 10
Gots: 69 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ADR on 08-31-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 998 | Reviews: 429 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ZeroSignal
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

A - Light orange-copper pour with a thick off-white head. Excellent clarity with good retention and sticky lace

S - Bright citrus aroma with hints of toasted bread, light fruitiness and orange zest

T&M - Lighter bodied and crisp with a lighter hop bite; predominantly lighter orange based citrus flavors with a touch of lemon. Good dose of toasted malt makes itself well known with a slightly sweet edge. Do I detect a hint of diacetyl? This feels very well balanced to me; if anything I'd just like there to be a little more intensity of flavor, but for just over 5%...not bad at all. Finish is mostly clean with a very light astringency and mild fruity sweetness.

D - Lighter bodied and easy to take down flavors make for a very drinkable ale...a fine beer.

ZeroSignal, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of dali27
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: Dark gold color with hints of red, yellow and orange. Thick foamy head which produces sticky lacing down side of glass.

S: Light floral and fruity hops and grain.

T: I consider the taste to be a pretty good balance between hops and malt. Summit has done a great job making a completely non-offending pale ale.

M: Solid, nice carbonation.

D: Very easy to drink either on its own, or as a change of pace between or after other beers.

This is not a beer that I get too excited about, but if included in a sampler, as they usually are, I have no problem at all drinking down three of these.

dali27, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of manzilla86
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I live in St. Paul (home of Summit Brewery) and so it's pretty common to have this stuff on hand at most bars and pubs. I was worried I would be biased by my love for local breweries, but I really didn't like this that much. Here is my review.

Reviewed 1/10/11 from a pint glass out of a 750mL bottle.

(A) The beer poured a nice golden with hints of red color but was pretty cloudy with a thin head. The head that remained had pretty bad retention. Their looks like a lot of carbonation bubbles.

(S) I can note a little citrusy hop scent as well as some malt sweetness. Not that strong of a scent, but noticeable.

(T) The hop bitterness comes through mid drink but the finish doesn't kill your tongue. I am not sure what the IBU's are, but it's a good flavor if you are looking for something between a regular beer and an IPA.

(M) It has a thin mouthfeel. A little bit of smoothness from the carbonation.

(D) I am not sure what I would do differently about the beer if I had a chance, but it does have drinkability. You could probably drink a lot of it in a sitting though because it isn't overly sweet or hoppy. I guess that means it is fairly well balanced.

I have had a lot of great beers from Summit but I don't care too much for this EPA. Sorry local brewery!

manzilla86, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of plfahey
4.18/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance-Pale copper in color, brilliantly clear, moderately large, nearly white, dense frothy head with moderately good retention and some lacing.

Aroma-Malt is in the forefront here-biscuity, with notes of caramel and toast. Light floral/herbal hops. Very slight fruity esters in the aroma.

Flavor-Well balanced between malt and hops. Caramel and biscuity malt up front blend well with moderate floral, herbal, and somewhat piney hop flavors. Hop bitterness if moderate and grows in the aftertaste to give a crisp, dry finish. Slight to no fruity esters. Very subtle mineral note, which is not unpleasant, but adds another layer of complexity.

Mouthfeel-Medium body, medium high carbonation. Crisp, clean finish. No astringency.

Maybe it's because this was one of the first real craft beers I ever drank, maybe it's because I've drank so damn much of this, or maybe it's just because I'm Minnesotan, but I think that Summit's EPA is one of the more drinkable beers out there. Is it my favorite? No. Is it astounding or groundbreaking? No. However, it's a very well balanced pale ale with a crisp, refreshing finish that leaves you wanting to drink more of it. This is one of my go to session beers, and it's great to have around for when you want to drink something decentthat doesn't require any focus or thought, and won't weigh your palate down.

plfahey, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of happygnome
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: pours a nice caramel orange brown color with about a half inch of head that disappears steadily but not overwhelmingly fast. there is a good amount of sticky lace on the edge of the glass and top of the beer

s: caramel malts, there are bready and citrusy aromas. the malts are balanced nicely with piny hop bitterness

t: sweet caramel and biscuity malts

m: medium bodied beer with a good amount of carbonation

overall, this is a solid predictable beer

happygnome, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of johnnnniee
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received in trade from depechemode1983 thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a deep golden amber color with a bubbly white head that dissipates quickly.
Smells mostly of peaches and citrus with a slightly herbal hop aroma.
Taste is malty sweet. Bready biscuit and toffee malts rule a slightly herbal floral hop bite.
Medium body and carbonation level. Sweet almost sticky mouthfeel.
Decent enough pale ale, but nothing extraordinary. Glad I got to try, but I wouldn't seek out again.

johnnnniee, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of philbertk
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Summit Extra Pale Ale--12 oz. Draft at Brainard, MN Country Club Restaurant. 5.5% ABV? 35 IBU's? (4.0 / 5.0) Nice white head.Clear bright copper bronze thinnish color. Lightly toasted delicate floral hop front. Crisp dry sweet biscuit caramel body. Dry mild crisp hop spice clean tasty end. Refreshing, quenching, and well balanced.

philbertk, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of bishopdc0
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer is golden with generous amounts of head and lacing.

The aroma is of grains malt with a slight citrus in the end.

The taste is light sweet with a pale malt backing. A slight citrus taste appears but it finishes dry with a slight bitterness. This is definitely a American style pale ale with a good balances of malt flavors and hops

the mouth is smooth and never harsh

bishopdc0, Nov 29, 2010
Photo of twoheadedboy
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A nice light amber color with a half finger of head.

Smell is extremely sweet and floral. Fairly strong hop presence. Brought to mind the image of a field filled with dandelions for some reason. So poetic.

Taste is quite good, slightly bitter in the mouth but with a very smooth aftertaste. Very sweet and citrusy. Significant caramel malt presence balances the strong hops well. Pretty heavy and filling for a pale ale. Overall a very solid beer from a very solid brewery.

twoheadedboy, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of scarfield
3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours from bottle to pint glass, amber in color, little to no head and little to no lacing.

Smells far "breadier" than most pale ales i've tried Smell is a high percentage of malt. Hops also come through in the nose as well.

Taste has that same breadiness, more malty than hoppy, A bit of toastiness also comes through, but the aftertaste to me is uninspired.

Nothing complex about the feeling in the mouth, it seems a bit thick and creamy.

I wouldnt drink multiple of these, it seems to me to be very filling.

There was not anything in the beer that seemed to me to be more than average.

scarfield, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of jampics2
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass. This was an extra from a Minnesota trader and, boy, was it fresh!

The beer looks nice in my pint glass. It's a copper color with some nice hints of amber, yellow and gold. The head is about one finger thick and is very fluffy and displays great retention properties. Some nice active carbonation and lace are notes.

The smell keeps things moving in a positive direction. There's a decent malt component which provides some sweet notes and some caramel hints. The hops add flowery and citrus notes. There are touches of grapefruit and orange, to me this smells like cascade hops were used in the dry hopping or flame out and perhaps some English hops in the boil. There's some great hop and malt integration with sweet and fruity scents working well together, and the hops are nicely expressive without crossing over to IPA territory.

Summit Extra Pale Ale tastes very, very nice. Some sweet caramel and 2 row malt keep things anchored nicely with minimal toast - this is mostly pale and just a touch sweet. The hops are pretty dead-on for an APA, but I don't know about an English Pale Ale. For that style, I tend to see more earthiness and less citrus. There are notes of flowers and some great grapefruit and orange from the cascade.

The mouthfeel is a bit light in terms of density and viscosity. The lively carbonation keeps things light, but there could be more to this. That being said, it's an enjoyable and expressive beer. It's certainly one of the better English Pale Ales for me, but not for the style - I fear the use of cascade crossed this over into APA territory. Worth a try for sure!

jampics2, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of dpnelson1978
3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into glass pint.

$8.99 / 6-pk.

A: Bright amber body with a two-finger off-white head that quickly dissipates leaving light foamy lace and a thin creamy cover.

S: Sweet bready malt and distinct lemon citrus. Simple, but solid.

T: Biscuit malt throughout with pine and flower hop character. Very mild bitterness lingers.

M: Light to medium body and heavy carbonation. Strong carbonic bite with mild hop bitterness. Crisp and refreshing.

D: Very sessionable, but essentially on par for the style. Goes down easy, and finishes fairly clean. Approachable and versatile.

O: Another standard offering from Summit. They are very predictable in their execution (a good thing) but don't often "wow" me with something outstanding.

dpnelson1978, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of WhistlingBird
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm going to Minnesota next year and will be visiting Summit Brewing Company. So I decided to pick up the EPA to give it a try. It poured nicely with a decent sized head. It was slighlty bitter, but not to the point where it was undrinkable. It had a nice after taste that wanted me going back for more. I will definately pick this beer up again and am looking forward to my trip to St. Paul next summer.

WhistlingBird, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of boomer31
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Figured I'd review this as its like a cult beer here in the cities.

A - Absolutely clear tan with an off white head. Head is about 1/4 inch and remain on beer throughout.

S - Smells like a very clean pilsner...no hop presence at all. Some malt but underwhelming

T - A hint of malt but overall very clean. No hop bitterness at all and no hop fruitiness either. Again, reminds me of a certain pilsner

M - Light bodied and high carb. Not sweet, not dry just average.

D - I can see why this is the go to beer of many people in the cities. Nothing really stands out just a beer for those wanting a beer.

Overall an average beer at best. Drink this at social occasions or bring it to social occasions for non BAs and you'll be a fan favorite. Otherwise, choose something else if you're looking for a good EPA

boomer31, Oct 17, 2010
Photo of dberthia
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer makes me proud to be from Saint Paul, Minnesota! I had a 15.5 gallon keg of this delicous beer in my kegerator that I bought from Zipps in Minneapolis. Summit EPA is a must have if you ever come to the twin cities and can be found at most pubs. This is the beer that my kids will probably be most familiar with thanks to their parents and uncles enjoying it over the years!

dberthia, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of plaid75
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Bonfire, MSP airport.

Poured a light copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light leafy hop and a soft grainy malt.

The taste consisted of a grassy yet slightly spicy hop atop a moderately doughy malt. Nice residual hop spice.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty and easily drinkable ale.

plaid75, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of climax
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I feel that Summit would do better with a good IPA, but this will have to do, it is their flagship however. It pours a bright orange with a good size frothy head that faded quite slowly. The clarity is slightly hazy and there is a good wall of lace.

The nose is well-balanced. Juicy citrus and a dash of pine from the Cascade hops is the highlight of the flavor. Caramel and toast beneath brings the aroma into balance.

The flavor is, again, well-done on both sides. The hop dryness is kept in check by the juicy citrus flavor and a sweet and slightly spicy malt backbone. Well done.

The body is thick enough to have character, especially paired with the sharp carbonation, and smooth enough to be easily sessionable. Undoubtedly a solid beer, and as far as Summit goes... probably their best.

climax, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of eclaycamp
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I don't have access to Summit here in Kansas, so finding this at Brix in Omaha was a nice treat. Summit bills this as an XPA, a style I'm not completely familiar with. Pours a golden amber. The first thing you notice, at least with the glass I used (a modified tulip) is the head retention. The head is thick and foamy, like old school shaving cream, with sticky lacing. Really gorgeous. There's a playfull level of carbonation along with the beer. From an appearance standpoint this one is really solid. I think of picnics when I smell the beer, specifically honeydew melon, maybe cantelope. There's a hint of lightly sweet bready malt in the background as well. Lightly carbonated with a fizzy mouthfeel and a moderate amount of bitterness at the end. Nice malt sweetness helps to balance this out. Taste is pretty solid, with citrus-style hop characteristic up front followed by malt sweetness. I'm picking up some dried fruit - apricots maybe - the more I drink it. The main flaw with this beer is that it doesn't have quite enough body to stand up to everything that's going on - the whole experience, from start to finish, is gone in a flash, which requires multiple sips to really capture what's going on. I'm guessing that's kind of the point.

eclaycamp, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of drizzam
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a hazy amber in color topped by a foamy one finger off white head. Head retention wasn't fabulous and some spotty lacing was left down the inside of my glass.

S - Sweet aroma consisting of citrus hops with a slight tinge of caramel at the end. Seems like I can pick up a bit of a fruit component as well, possibly peach or apricot.

T & M - Floral hops up front followed by a bit of caramel malt sweetness. Not especially sweet, just enough to complement the hop bitterness. Medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation as well to give a bit of coarseness on the tongue.

D - This is a highly drinkable brew, flavorful and low enough in ABV to make it sessionable. This is a well crafted brew! Thanks to my BA friend WJVII for hooking me up with this fine brew.

drizzam, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of tewaris
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

5.3% ABV
OG 12.2° Plato
40-45 IBUs
Served in a pint glass at Stub & Herb's.

Appearance 4/5
Clear dark copper colored with an off-white creamy head. Good retention, good lacing.

Aroma 2/5
Nondescript aroma with some sweet malt character and an odd sharpness, like a pilsner.

Taste 4/5
Crisp taste full of earthy hop flavor and good bitterness. Clean finish, bitter aftertaste that doesn't linger for too long. More malts and perhaps more hops will make this beer better, but the unoffensive character (?) might get lost.

Mouthfeel 4.5/5
Crisp, but too crisp at times. Very refreshing, and not cloying at all, as one would expect.

Drinkability 4/5
Very drinkable, but needs either more malts and hops, or a lower ABV.

Good, but not exceptional.

tewaris, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: bright golden orange, slight haze, nice white head and lacing.
S: subtle citrus and some vague light fruits along with honeyed doughy malts. doesn't jump out, but what's there is nice.
T: lighly sweet bready malts are very well balanced by a smooth hop bitterness. finish is crisp and somewhat clean.
M: nicely carbonated, frothy, just over light-bodied.
D: a pleasant surprise, especially at about $3 less per sixer than most other craft brews.

MrMcGibblets, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have drank this beer more times that I can count. I go to it again and again. This particular review comes from beautiful Target Field. The tap reveals a copper amber brew with a frothy creamy head. A handsome brew. The aroma offers a slightly toasted malt mixed with bitter hops. The mouth feel is light and nimble. The malt upfront leads into a splendent bitter end. The palate is left dry, inviting another taste.

This beer is not overly complex, but it is nicely balanced and very drinkable. I really enjoy Summit EPA.

BeardedBoffin, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of lester619
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep golden bronzish amber. A little cloudy with a moderate head. Lots of carbonation. Very run-of-the-mill. Smell is pretty straight forward as well. Nice clean malty grainy hoppy smell. It tastes very clean and crisp. Some tangy fruity flavors are picked up first. Then It blends into a pleasantly balanced sweet, malty, biscuity flavor that is mixed with a spicy bitterness. Good beer flavor throughout. It ends very crisp and dry with a clean bubbly mouthfeel that makes the drinkability very easy. To sum it up, it is a good beer with clean straight forward beer flavors. Nothing great, but good in every way. The kind of beer that goes very well with a beautiful day, a good cigar and a hot grill.

lester619, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of Paulny
2.15/5  rDev -42%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not to diss my beer-breathed brethen, but I just don't get how anyone really into great ales can give this bland boring quotidian flavor-light barley pop anything near an "A" other than newbies that haven't yet delved into the beautifully balanced hoppy/toasted malt nirvana of a truly great pale ale or IPA.

And yet 'twas a time I used to really love this Summit offering as well, way back in the early years of Summit Brewing when they were a much smaller shop. The flowery citrus hops were much more prominent then, a delight to the senses and an early introduction to the wonders of a hopped up ale. Since those long bygone days of yore Summit has dumbed down the recipe of their flagship Extra Pale Ale several times to now present a weak, watered down highly commerical version of a beer not much different than any other high volume, high profit-margin Bud or Miller or Coors.

The once alluring piney/citrus nose is now long gone, there is next to nothing to smell at all without REALLY trying, any tiny essence of hop aroma evaporating by the time the bottle cap hits the floor.

Yes, there is some malt in the gulp, but leaning much more closely to a European lager - with notes of sour yeast and undercooked barley - than anything within reality of a fine full flavoured "extra" pale ale.

There are so many much much better pale ales now on the market I pass on it even if Summit is the only ale on a restaurant menu and ask for ice water instead.

Paulny, Aug 31, 2010
Photo of andrenaline
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

More from the BlackBerry tasting notes...

A - Pours an nice golden colour, thumb of head with solid retention and lacing.

S - Oddly enough, the scent is loaded with citrus, lemon and orange dominating.

T - Totally unexpected. Lovely sweet lemon hops, with nicely balanced bready malts. Bitter hops on the finish. The scent was deceiving, since this one packed a delicious bowl of citrus fruit hops.

M - Medium body with the slightest dry finish. For such a flavourful hop, I was expecting something a little more dry, so pleseantly surprised.

D - As previously mentioned, this was a delicious surprise and I could plow through a 6er of these no problem. Any hop fan would be pleasantly surprised by this citrus fruit basket.

andrenaline, Aug 25, 2010
Summit Extra Pale Ale from Summit Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 998 ratings.