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Summit Extra Pale Ale - Summit Brewing Company

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Summit Extra Pale AleSummit Extra Pale Ale

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1,105 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,105
Reviews: 444
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 12
Gots: 130 | FT: 1
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:
Beer added by: ADR on 08-31-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,105 | Reviews: 444
Photo of Rayek
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Nonic.

A: Pale amber colored brew with nice clarity. The small and pillow like eggshell head has very good retention. Leaves substantial lace on the gas.

S: Toasted malt with grapefruit and lemon citrus aromas.

T: Toasted malt up front. Bitterness is moderate, and is dominated by flavors and grapefruit and lemon. Finishes somewhat dry, with lingering citrus flavors.

M: The light body is a bit oily and a touch watery. The carbonation level feels about right.

D: Nice session beer. Good for pairing with food. The citrus flavors make me think that this beer should be moved to the APA category.

Photo of trbergman
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

A - Light copper with a thin, dense, off-white head. Plenty of lace.

S - Caramel, orange zest, pine.

T - Flavors of husky grains, nuts, toffee, orange, and pine. Assertive hop bitterness lasts from the middle through a long, slightly astringent finish.

M - Light-medium body, a little too fizzy.

D - It's ok, but it wouldn't be my first choice if there was other decent craft beer around.

Photo of steveh
3.74/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Haven't sampled this one in a while...

A -- Clear, deep gold color with a creamy, dense, off-white head that leaves great lacing.

S -- Piny and citrus hops up front, maybe the vaguest biscuit malt back.

T -- Fruity hops up front with a follow-thru by the biscuit malt backbone and some earthy character - probably from English hops, finishing with a nice bitterness.

M -- Medium light body with a soft to slightly syrupy mouthfeel.

D -- Very good drinkability, really reminds me of a fresh Special Bitter in a London Pub.

Photo of mwa423
4.32/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a hazy copper color with about a half finger of head that quickly died down to a lacing.

S - A slight sweet malt aroma followed by a powerful dose of hops that is above most pale ales but slightly below most IPAs. Quite enjoyable and fresh smelling.

T - Malty backbone with a spicy hop bite that continues towards the aftertaste. Far hoppier than most English Pale's I've had. I would call this closer to an APA. Very enjoyable however.

M/D - Mouthfeel is about dead on for a good session beer, and this is about as much of an easy drinker as you can get.

Photo of kruse
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Summit EPA - the default brew of pubs around the Twin Cities. Ask for a "Summit" and this is what you'll get.
Appearance is a nice copper color with an off-white head.
Decent, but not overpowering, hop aroma with a bit of pine and citrus.
Taste is a nice balance of malt and hops; not spectacular, but good.
Mouthfeel is ok, but could be a bit more full.
Overall a very drinkable beer and a reliable "standard."

Photo of youngleo
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured to a good head that left some lacing. Was copperish in color. Head had a slight orange tint. Smelled of piney hops, slightly sweet, maybe a little malt. Tasted good. Had that hoppy pine taste. Also tasted of malt. Left a slightly bitter aftertaste. Also a little on the dry side. Felt good in the mouth. Carbonation was right for me. Would make a good session beer. Doesnt have the high ABV. You could enjoy a few of these.

Photo of will4240
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Besides perhaps Grainbelt Premium, this is the quintessential brew of the Minnesotan Northwoods. Oh yeah you bet'cha! The midwest boston lager if you will. Great drinkability to go along with a more complex taste and a fuller body than most APAs. I blind tested this against a Sierra Nevada and I picked the Summit... A great go-to brew if you are ever in doubt in the midwest.

Photo of brentk56
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives at the table with a clear copper color and a modest head that, nevertheless, drapes lacing like a champ

Smell: Grainy aroma with a hint of toffee

Taste: Grainy flavor at the outset but adds a bit of floral hop by mid-palate; also arriving just before mid-palate is a a budding toffee sweetness that, after the swallow, blossoms to provide a distinct sweet tone in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Easy to drink but definitely a middle of the road beer; also, I wasn't enamored with the grainy aspect

Photo of mdwalsh
3.84/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer pours what I would call a standard head from the bottle. Just over 1.5 fingers to me, with medium sized bubbles that don't look like they're going to last. And it doesn't. Beer as very little carbonation, and is a clear coppery orange color. Maybe the slightest Haze.

S: Good mild hoppy smell, to me what is the basic hop smell. Combines elements of Piney, Floral and Citrusy. I'd put this with SNPA as far as a defining smell that's east to find. But it's not too strong. It does however occupy the space between Pale Ale and IPA nicely.

T: Still similar to the smell, maybe less floral hops and more just citrus/pine. Maltier too, but not sweet. I get something I don't like, possibly from the hops. I don't think it's diaceytl, but it could be, but it isn't strong enough to say "ok, this beer is bad". The more I drink, the less the hops stand out, and the more the malt comes into play. I get a little biscuit, no roast or anything like that, just a simple Pale, maybe a little amber to help balance out the hops. I started out thinking this beer was unbalanced, but I'll say it's pretty well balanced in fact. Indicative though of Summits attempts to be a west coast style brewer. Maybe a slight metalic aftertaste just for a second.

M: Slightly heavier than a macro, but much more biting. Great for a warm day -it doesn't get hot in MN, no matter what they tell you- or a crisp fall day.

D: Super drinkable, no question there.

Photo of objectivemonkey
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

So, I've done several hundred brews, yet no Summit EPA? Weird.

Anywho, into a pint glass, pours a nice light copper color, a thick fluffy whitish head, lacing in arches and blobs. The aroma has some nice grassy, citrus hops, slightly mineral, the malts in light caramels. Taste has a good hop load, not overpowering in the least, nicely bittered, perhaps needs a little more malt backbone. The mouth is medium, good carbonation. In all, a reliable session beer.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz tap in American Tumbler at Skippy's.

A - Crystal clear amber color with a small light tan head on top. Low retention from tap pour but it left a small right and touches of lacing.

S - Light, fresh, floral hops with minimal malts on the nose. A slight caramel-esque touch in the background.

T - Hoppy with nice floral and light pine notes going on. No malts in the background of the flavor, not that it lack in body. Light dry and bitter finish.

M - Lighter bodied beer that's crisp and refreshing but finishes dry and bitter.

D - Very easily consumable pale ale.

Photo of mcdevster
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Summit is one of our best beers here in Minnesota.. It is very often the best beer on tap.. although the competition isn't always stiff (especially when beers like bud and corona are all that is available)..
It pours a nice copper color.. typical pale ale appearance.. the smell is that nice citrus aroma of hops maybe slightly stale at times..
but the taste is what I love the most.. it is a little malty at first but the hops clearly dominate.. a nice dry grapefruit finnish.. it is very drinkable.. easy going beer but with lots of flavor..
Summit is probably second to the newcomer of Minnesota beers - surly- in quality.. but it is, without a doubt the most consistently good and readilly available beer in MN..

Photo of portia99
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Summer tumbler.

A - Pours a pale gold/light copper color with a thick white head that lingers for a short time. Head dies down to a thin skim coat of bubbles. No lacing.

S - Clean, citrusy hops, bready/biscuity malt. Nice.

T - Light, clean malt flavors with a crisp bitterness and light citrus hop flavor.

M - Light to medium body, Good, strong carbonation levels. Very smooth.

D - This makes for a good summer session beer. Flavors blend together well in a light, crisp way. Very refreshing on a hot day. Great lawnmower beer.

Photo of Riccymon
3.54/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at the Dog and Duck Pub in Austin. An amber beauty in a pint glass, Summit EPA was one of my early forays into craft beer at the 2006 10,000 Lakes Festival in Minnesota. Smell, however, is strangely musty, definitely not what I expected. I might finally understand other reviews that refer to a sweaty-sock aroma.

Taste returns me to the same enjoyment I experienced a handful of years ago, thankfully. Piney hops mingle with a strong caramel malt backbone to create a beer I could drink all night. Definitely not as hoppy as my then-immature palate remembers, but still very good. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and crisp, exactly what I like in the style. And again, once past the odd smell, this was the same highly drinkable beer I loved from the start. I'm thinking the bottled version won't have the aroma problem :)

Photo of Mardukk
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with good head retention.

A nice biscuit and fruit hop aroma.

Biscuity taste with a nice little hop kick at the finish to balance out the malts.

Medium bodied with a fine medium carbonation fits the style very well.

Very drinkable and a very nice representation of the style. I'm pleasantly suprised with this nice English style Pale Ale.

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nose is biscuit malty, softly fruity, with honey and splash of hops. Smells pretty good.

Pours a deep yellow honey color, good clarity, mild head. Looks pretty good.

Brightly hoppy, full-on bitterness, floral and perfumey with a soft pungentness, moderately tart. Biscuit malt base, mild sweetness, mild roasted character. Finishes slightly hoppy. Tastes pretty good. Feels good. Good drinkability.

A good, solid pale ale; could pass as an IPA.

Photo of kels
2.59/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Grabbed one on tap at Fries Cafe the other evening.

Appearance: Pours a light tawny, very clear, with light carbonation and little head nor lacing. A white skim hangs on for dear life.

Smell: Hardly detectable smell at all. I get the tiniest bit of sweet, toasty malt. That's it.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Nor really much to say - doesn't taste bad, just doesn't taste like much at all. Very light, toasted malt, no hops, really just a lot of fizzy, slightly malted water. Feel is slightly creamy, wet.

Drinkability: Boo. It's easy to drink, but I don't know why anyone would choose this over so many other good beers out there in the style.

Photo of cjgator3
3.64/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A- Poured into a pint glass. Pours an orangish amber color with a nice creamy off-white head that possesses excellent lacing and retention. Very nice!

S- The aroma is sweet malt, caramel and citrus from the hops. A little faint, but still a good aroma.

T- The taste like the aroma features a little bit of malt in the beginning, but the citrusy hops are the focus. Not an overly bitter beer, but plenty of flavor from the hops.

M- The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Not a bad Pale Ale, not my favorite but definitely worth a shot.

Photo of jwc215
3.16/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours light orange amber with a rich off-white head that descends to a healthy-sized cover. Sheets of lacing stick.

The smell is of light orange/citrus with biscuity malt - there is an "English"character. It has a coppery/metallic touch to it.

The taste is tea-like, herbal, slightly metallic. A biscuity malt balances it, with a honey-like sweetness. There is a dirty penny finish.

The carbonation is high/aggressive, making it fizzy and wiping out the taste. There is a seltzer-like aftertaste.

A light pale ale with some hint towards "English-style", but with aggressive carbonation. Nice lacing/head retention, decent smell. That's all. An attempt at an English ale that turns pretty seltzery.

Photo of ZAP
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can't believe I have never reviewed this...I was working for a beer distributor who had this in the mid 80's when it first came out and I was in college...to me then it tasted horrid...today it tastes great and is an underrated gem.

I've blind taste tested this against Stone Pale Ale and this came out on top...I plan on doing the same against Sierra soon to see how that goes.

I have had varying opinions of this over the years...from flat out great to mediocre...I think my true view is somewhere in between.

This is a great easy drinking pale ale with character....it is not an IPA but has nice citrus hop notes (particularly on tap)...the maltiness is enjoyable as well (caramel and toffee)...

Definitely more of an English Pale Ale...very well done and very underrated by many....

Photo of beerthulhu
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a clear, pale orange with a 2 finger, creamy frumpy light beige colored head that lasted easily for several minutes. A light spongey coating sticks well around the glass while a faint and sporadic visible effervesce lazily makes its way to the surface.

S: The nose delivered a light fresh flowery citrus aroma with soft hints of sweet caramel. Overall the strength was moderate at best, and well refrained providing just enough accent per style.

T: The malting was soft sweetly buttered toasted grains with a freshly squeezed grapefruit hop kiss. Light freshly cut pine wood and lemon hints also are evident hopping wise. The finish finds a nice dry hopping of lemon and floral notes while the overall flavor was crisp and dry well suited per style making for a decent representation.

M: fairly light, extremely smooth in texture with a light carbonation. Well aerated in the mouth it was hard to tell at times there was anything sitting on the tongue.

D: Overall an easy drinking pale, nicely hopped and enjoyable to consume. A six pack will do well in the summer time heat making for a refreshing representation per style.

Photo of allengarvin
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This moderately, but perhaps not "extra", pale ale is a gold color with the smallest of head formations. It features a nose of sweet malt and citrus hops. The flavor follows from the aroma, with a very light maltiness, and a moderate bitterness with floral/citrus hops. There's also a simple fruity yeast character near the finish. The body is light and well-carbonated.

Photo of ChopperSmith
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

When Summit Pale Ale first appeared in Minnesota it was very popular, because it was one of the first heavily marketed craft beers to hit it big. Several years later, it doesn't hold up well to the test of time. I've had many Summit Pale Ales over the years (from bottles and on tap) and have yet to be overly impressed. Now I usually just drink it at baseball games, where the other choices are Bud or Bud Light (yuck).

On the positive side, I do like Summit's Hefe Weizen, Maibock (in season) and Bohemian Pilsner a little better, and I look forward to trying their new Red Ale coming out. They do consistently make other better-than-average beer styles.

Appearance: Slightly amber with an average head that doesn't retain for long.

Smell: Hoppy, grainy and slightly skunky from the bottle. It's definitely better on tap.

Taste: Bold hops up front like most Pale Ales, with a somewhat harsh and bitter aftertaste. A rather unexceptional Pale Ale.

Feel: Thin and heavily carbonated. Nothing special.

Drinkability: Drinkability is somewhat low. The bitterness and harshness along with the heavy carbonation makes this a beer I wouldn't want more than one or two of before moving on to something tastier and smoother like a Belgian style or Wheat beer. It's better on tap, but not much.

Serving suggestion: Standard pint glass.

Photo of spointon
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this one on tap with a dinner of mini-burgers and fries on 5/11/2009.

A= This ale poured a mostly clear copper-gold color with a 3/4" white head. The head sank slowly and left behind rings of beautiful lace.

S= Though this beer was poured frighteningly cold, as it warmed I found aromas of biscuity cracker-like malt, citrusy hops, lemon grass, and just the slightest hint of yeast.

T= Nice moderately sweet malt base lead off followed closely by the grapefruity hops and a hint of pine. All well balanced and exceedingly pleasant. Finish dried considerably and left me feeling refreshed and wanting another sip.

MF= Medium body with a zippy, crisp carbonation feel.

D= Outstandingloy drinkable. To me this is the great North's answer to SNPA and I really enjoy it. A go-to, no-nonsense ale best enjoyed with a meal or outdoors on a summer day.

Photo of KBomb
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Spent the weekend up in Minnesota, had this on tap at the Metrodome.

Solid copper body sits below 1 finger of frothy head. Smell is a balanced blend of roasted malts, grapefruit peel hops, and a little whiff of piney hops. Flavor profile is similar: well balanced malts and hops, moderately sweet malt complimented by a blend of citrus/pine hops. Flavor isn't particularly strong, but definitely not watery. Slightly sticky, but not too bad a mouthfeel. Smooth balanced flavors and moderate weight make this beer quite drinkable.

Nothing really exciting about Summit EPA, but it is quality. A good "go-to" beer that is palatable, affordable, and accessible in the upper midwest.

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Summit Extra Pale Ale from Summit Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,105 ratings.