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Summit Extra Pale Ale - Summit Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summit Extra Pale AleSummit Extra Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,040 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,040
Reviews: 431
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.13%
Wants: 12
Gots: 87 | 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
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Ratings: 1,040 | Reviews: 431 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of eballard
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured clear with a slightly red brown color. It had a light head that poured think and left a good amount of lacing. There was also a good amount of carbonation. A very woody hops smell with a bit of a bite to the nose. It tasted a lot like it smelled, very hopped with a strong bite. The beer doesn’t kill your senses but it takes a good swing at them. It has a light crisp body with a strong aftertaste. This is a fine pale ale if you like a hops bite. It is heavy in the hops area for a normal pale ale but just about right for an extra pale ale. I’d drink it again.

eballard, Sep 12, 2007
Photo of ianrca19
4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Summit Extra Pale Ale is a mainstay in my fridge. It's great out of the bottle, but there's nothing quite like having it on tap.

I'll pull from my most recent experience from the Minnesota State Fair.

It pours a bright, caramelly orange with a thin, but lingering head. If no one's looking, dip your finger in the head- it's like caramel with a hoppy zing. Take a swig and the first thing that hits you is the hops- piney and refreshing, but not over-the-top. You notice an average amount of carbonation, and feel a medium-sized body in your mouth. The flavor then becomes one of caramelly malts with stong hints of citrus. The finish is much like the first swig- hoppy and refreshing, but it doesn't linger too long.

It's good all year round, but especially on a hot Minnesota summer day. There's also nothing like having one on tap with a pizza at Pizza Luce in Minneapolis.

Balance and drinkability is what this beer is all about. There's enough going on for those with experience, and a great place for a beginner to start. It's the quintessential Minnesotan beer!

ianrca19, Sep 05, 2007
Photo of kimcgolf
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours to a light copper color with thin white head that lingers awhile, then dissipated to a thin skim with little lacing. Aroma is a slightly stale fruit smell, blended with mild hops. Mouthfeel is tingly, but againm a little stale, and the flavor is a decent mixture of apples and floral hops.

Finish is okay, but short. Not a bad beer, and one that one probably be good as a session beer on a warm day.

kimcgolf, Aug 04, 2007
Photo of Bamabrew22
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not a bad beer at all. I had this on tap at Bubba Gump's in the Mall of America, as well as at the MSP airport on the way out of town.

Pours a nice copper body with a taupe head. Smells of a significant hop presence, maybe some light fruity esters. Overall the taste was reather pleasing. Certainly not the best example of the style, but it was good nonetheless. Citrusy, hoppy spiciness with a good dose of malt. Really cold and clean finish. Just a good session beer all around, if you ask me. Another good example of the diversity and variety in the Twin Cities.

Bamabrew22, Jul 30, 2007
Photo of surlyseth
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Much better on tap than in the bottle IMO.

Looks golden to pale orange.
Smells bitter.
It's hoppy, but it's not defined by its hoppiness. In fact, t's rather malty.
Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but hey, it's not a sandwich. How many do you want?
I have had hundreds of these pints, so that explains drinkability assessment.

It is a solid American brew that doesn't try too hard.

surlyseth, Jul 21, 2007
Photo of malty
3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliantly clear copper-russet color with a nice cream-colored 1/2" head. Moderate visible carbonation making headway upwards. Nice lacework all the way down (I think I should invent the acronym 'ATWD' for this distinction?).

A few brisk swirls of my std. pint glass evoke a clean and sweet pale malts with gentle pricks of a spicy hop presence - but not too pronounced. A few more swirls do not conjure-up anything more that I just experienced...must be shy?

The flavors walk a fine line between pale ale & ESB. There's a sweet caramel maltiness that just peeks it's cute head into the mix all the while the gentle hop jabbings let my tongue know who's running the show - but they play very well together. There's a clean and somewhat sharpness to this beer.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin based on my overall experiences with APAs. The finish is clean, somewhat dry and a lingering sharpness is apparent on the back edges of my tongue.

I'd bet if I lived close to the brewery, this beer would somehow find a way to the front row of my beer fridge. It just seems to have that blue collar, drink local 'flagship' beer vibe to it. For me, I'll try something else after this.

Overall a good pale ale, just nothing to write home about. A beer to offer guests new to craft beer though. I always enjoy the modest bottle presentation of the Summit beers.

malty, Jul 15, 2007
Photo of rm0312
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap in Bloomington, MN – Nice amber color with a medium head with decent lacing. Apparent hoppiness and citrus was present in both the aroma and the flavor. Slightly bitter feel with an honest finish that held on to the tongue. It is a good APA – good enough that I had it a few more times during my three day business trip to Bloomington.

rm0312, May 22, 2007
Photo of Westsidethreat
2.78/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Sort of a drab butterscotch color, clean and filtered. Head is wispy with an off white hue to it.

S: Watery lemon, lime and grapefruit.

T: Begins with a basic lymon flavor mixed with caramel. A really unattractive soapiness moves in next, killing the chance of this beer getting a good review. Finishes with yellow corn and other grainy flavors.

M: Medium body, fluffy mouthfeel.

D: Not a lot of appealing characteristics. Pass

Westsidethreat, May 20, 2007
Photo of icemonkey908
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a beer I have had many times. Probably hundreds. In many establishments here in Minnesota the choices are Bud, Bud Light, Mich Golden Light, and Summit. What will one go for in this case? Obviously Summit, and it is not a bad choice.

The appearance is dark orange, with medium carbonation. A nice head captures some citrus notes and dissipates after a few minutes. The hop aroma is very 'sharp' which follows in the taste. Delightfully bitter with citrus undertones which linger. A wonderful APA with good balance and character.

icemonkey908, May 19, 2007
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle given as a gift from vendor; cool. Free beer.
Pours a glossy copper/amber color with a really nice foaming head. Thick, turns a bit rocky and sticky. I like.
Smell's like a weak IPA, which is I guess what it's suppose to smell like. Slight hoppy smell, a bit bitter in the nose. Caramel and malt also present.
Has a rather weak taste for a PA. Comparable to SA Lager. Nice crispness, enough to weaken the sweet malt.
I gave higher marks on drinkability, b/c it went down nicely and I drank the glass quickly. As for the style, it misses a bit.

Mebuzzard, May 18, 2007
Photo of becktone
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Eye: Pale orange yellow in color with a nice white head, a little small in size, with pretty good lacing.

Nose: Crisp floral and spicy aromas emanate from the mouth of this glass. Not much malt aroma.

Tongue: First thing I notice is a malty sweetness, and some caramel flavors that make a good impact on the palate. Hop flavor is there in just enough amounts to balance the malts out. Hop flavor-spicy-comes out more at the end of the taste-more as a lingering aftertaste.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: This is an alright APA. Not something that I'd buy again though. There are others out there that are much better. This is not a bad beer, in my opinion its a standard solid APA. However, there is nothing all that great about it, sure it fits the category, and meets expectations, but it is more or less average. Nothing to really make me want to come back to it.

becktone, May 15, 2007
Photo of jar2574
2.73/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Amber coloured. Nothing special here, not a lot of carbonation.

Smells of hops. Fruity, citrus smell as well.

Typical pale ale taste, except slightly watered down. Decent bitterness. The hops definately outweigh the malt. I don't mind the imbalance, but I'm not liking the watery feel.

Not a great beer, overall. I didn't dislike it per se, but I won't buy it again because there are much better pale ales out there.

jar2574, May 08, 2007
Photo of uwmgdman
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pale ale pours a clear deep golden/light copper color in to my pint glass, a very nice color. There is a medium white head that diminished quickly to a skim. The aroma is moderately hoppy, citrus character; there is also medium-low sweetness and a bit of grainy malt tones. The taste has moderate-low sweetness, likely from caramel malts. The sweetness is well balanced by a solid moderate bitterness and a moderate-high citrus hop flavor. The beer is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall I enjoy this brew quite a bit, a very good ‘house ale’, something I enjoy having my fridge at all times. Solid appearance, nice aroma, and good hop flavor without being overdone, leading to a nice drinkable pale ale.

uwmgdman, Apr 25, 2007
Photo of brdc
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark yellow, almost orange in color with a reasonably good head, with moderate retention.
Well-balanced nose of fruity hops and malts
Light to medium bodied, starts hoppy and bitter, shows some balancing malts, and finishes dry.
Not overly complex, nothing spectacular, but a well-rounded, well-crafted pale ale that makes for a very good session beer.
Good summer day brew.

brdc, Apr 23, 2007
Photo of skillerified
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light copper and brown tones residing in the glass. A reasonably sticky cap on top that lasted throughout the entirity of the beer's stay in my glass.

Scents were light. Sweet fruit, oranges mainly, but without the citric bite. Some malt notes in there.

Taste was light and reasonably fresh. Some hoppy notes, grapefruit mainly, and some sweeter less distinct malt flavors in there as well.

Reasonably well balanced. Favors the bitter side of the business. Pretty light on the body. Easy drinking though.

A pretty run of the mill American Pale Ale. Easy to drink, went pretty good with a spicy pizza.

skillerified, Apr 21, 2007
Photo of bruachan
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the sudsy white head faded slowly. the color was an imperfect amber

the aroma has some biscuity aspects to it but is mostly dominated by hops

the body is small, though not flimsy. it's a session brew. citrushoppy. i can dig this stuff. it's not complex (though not one-dimensional), but super drinkable

bruachan, Apr 21, 2007
Photo of BretSikkink
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the first pour I realized I've been sleeping on this one. I thought they meant "extra pale", but this APA could pass for Viennese; rich almost red color. Okay head retention. There's some citric peel hop aroma and more caramel malt sweet punch than I'm used to in a pale.

I guess they meant "extra" ingredients: great malt presence, good hoppy flavor. This is a solid brew, I was afraid it was going to be too light. Definitely missed the boat here, the label is misleading. Highly recommended. Mouthfeel is average, flavor is very good. Nice complement to my burger and fries, could accompany plenty of foods.

BretSikkink, Apr 14, 2007
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - dull orange amber, a one-finger cream-colored layer of foam. Leaves a thin but solid layer of lace behind.

Aroma - fresh citrus and grain; appealing.

Taste - a mildly sweet and citrusy start, the flavors are subdued yet still lively and tasty. Finishes with a bitter edge, but pleasantly restrained.

Mouthfeel - well-carbonated, slightly lighter than average body.

Drinkability - a great session beer for warmer weather. Good beer-tasting candidate as a crossover selection.

brewdlyhooked13, Mar 20, 2007
Photo of beveritt
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. The bottle has a 20th anniversary label. Printed code read 6303, not sure how or if that corresponds to a date.

Appearance: Pours with a 1/2 inch white head, took a little persuasion to get that much. This settles quickly leaving little islands of foam here and there. Head sticks well to the sides of the glass as the beers goes down. The beer itself is a nice orange-copper color, with a slight haze. Lots of bubbles coming up.

Smell: Orange and other fruity, citrus hop aromas.

Taste: Upfront citrusy bite from hops, with citrus and pine notes. Followed by an almost buttery diacetyl flavor. Finishes with a medium level of bitterness, doesn't linger that long.

Mouthfeel: Average to slightly less than average carbonation level. Body is okay, a little thin.

Drinkability: An average beer, a decent execution of the style, but I wish their was more malt to balance out the hops.

beveritt, Feb 08, 2007
Photo of Ricochet
3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Seeing as how I list this as one of my favorite styles, I'm really critical of the ones I try. This one was, about average, but a little too sweet for me to really look for it again. It's actually leans more to JW Dundees pale ale, but isn't as low in price to make this a buy again beer.

A: Head small, nice orange, little carb, little lace

S: Slight grapefruit, mostly malts to the nose. Eh...

M: Bitter going down, thicker on the tounge with little aftertaste.

T: Standard APA leaning towards the budget side. Grapefruit was strong as usual, bitter hops flavor is average, sweetness pervails, a little nicer than JWDPA, but not enough.

This is a standard drinker, about average as they come. Nothing I would seek out, but not bad in a sampler pack.

Ricochet, Jan 21, 2007
Photo of Chaz
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A brilliant copper pour is topped by a pale tan head which subsites after a minute or three, leaving a touch of lace all around. Great nose: musty-dank / perfumey in the best possible way, blending a touch of yeast with citrusy hops with slightly buttery malts. Bittersweet on the first sip, with a sharp aromatic element from the yeast aiding the sharp hop bite, round malt profile sort of dominates in the middle, but it ends fairly quickly in a semi-sweet, semi-dry finish. Buttery as I said, but not overly irritating or off-style. Mildly fruity, with aromatics of fresh-picked pear and the tang of green grape skins. Hops are both citrusy and lively throughout, not to mention the fact that the bitterness lingers interminably - I love that! A touch of astringecy gives this the cleansing, semi-dry finish that makes it a great match for some of the most unforgiving of greasy pub-grub while not making it in the least bit sour - sour = bad in this style doncha know : ) ?

I've always thought Summit's EPA (or just "EPA" to its loyalists) to be a bit more challenging than a true 'gateway' or 'training wheels' craft/micro brew, and I still feel this way. Many first-timers feel EPA to be a bit too chewy, and that first impression remains with a few of them ever after. As for myself I've enjoyed so much of this fine brew over the past twenty years that it hardly impinges upon my sessioning as such, but I will acknowledge its heft and complexity to the palate of the many, many neophytes: it's a great beer to cut your ale-teeth on! There has also always been an *excellent* hop profile to EPA, something that initially snares the Pilsener-lovers (for one) and reels them in . . .only to later confounded them with the mildly-fruity characteristics of ale! Not a light or 'thin' brew at all, but a long ways from a strong ale, and lacking in the richer malt complexity of certain of the British renditions. I'd call this the 'hall monitor' of ales, to whit: once you've passed the gateway, once you've left the training wheels at home, Summit EPA will be the beer to keep you on track through the sometimes weedy, sometimes downright rough halls of Aledom (where's Perry King?) Also, from its looks alone EPA could pass for an all-malt Amber Lager ala Boston Lager, and I've often seen folks mistake two freshly-poured taps of these in a dimly-lit bar with a hilarious result! Am I waxing nostalgic already? Yes, apologies all-around, and my sincere apologies to Mr. Grossman and his fine flagship ale but . . . my sense of hometown pride would be sorely abused if I didn't admit that I prefer our local 300 lb gorilla to his 900 lb offering! Fact is, Summit was the first American Pale Ale I'd tried and remains my personal benchmark for the style. The fact that I can get this in 50% of the bars in Minnesota, in one form or another (and usually quite fresh, and with clean lines : ), only makes me prouder of the work that the folks at Summit have done over the years. All of this being said, isn't it about time they released that Barleywine squirreled-away in Horace and Damien's collective noggin?

Chaz, Dec 15, 2006
Photo of Grundle20
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper in color in to a pint glass. There is a one finger slightly off white head with some minor lacing but little retention to speak of.

The beer has an interesting sweet and sour citrus hops smell mellowed out by and base of mild malt scent. I suspect the beer may be old but not beyond drinking.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
There's an odd almost lambic like funk to the taste. It's an underlying fruity sour hint. An oily pine hop note is soon to follow after the initial interesting tart fruit taste. There is a very light caramel malt body but it's kind of a wash to the other flavors. The finish is clean with a citrus rind aftertaste. Not bad, not great.

It's a little too bitter and weird for prolonged drinking but it's a pretty good one at a time beer.

Bottom Line:
The beer could be a little old but it's still showing a good amount of it's character and it's alright. Plug in a few extra points for a more fresh bottles and give it a whirl sometime.

Grundle20, Dec 14, 2006
Photo of BeerBelcher
2.45/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I've had this a few times...my understanding is that it is Summit's largest volume beer, but the Extra Pale is my least favorite Summit product (I think their Maibock is great).

This beer pours a dark amber/orange color typical of a lot of APAs. The beer is clear, but has a certain dullness to it and an adequate amount of head.

The smell is of sweet hop esters, and is quite pleasant. I didn't pick up a lot of citrus or pine notes.

The taste is a bit of a letdown. The beer is slightly bitter (that's good), but there's a maltiness or an earthiness that just doesn't seem like it belongs there...I know that malt taste is there for balance, but I feel this beer would be better with it toned down.

My mouth seems to interact with the beer in the back of my throat, instead of the roof of my mouth where other APA's seem to "stick." Mouthfeel is a bit thin and watery.

In terms of drinkability, the beer is light enough to drink several of, but I didn't really want another.

BeerBelcher, Dec 13, 2006
Photo of mattcrill
2.08/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Aroma: Biscuity and a touch fruity. Some musty wet hops as it warms but that's stretching it a bit.

Appearance: Clear orange with a sudsy white cap. Good looking brew.

Flavor: Wait, I missed it...a little biscuity, a little vegetal, touched with some seltzer water. Finishes with a bit of a saltine flavor. Just a touch of hops but my tongue has to fish around for it.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated and thin.

Overall impression: This one is lost on me. I don't see anything "extra" about it. I think I'd look for other APA's. There are too many good ones out there to re-visit this one.

mattcrill, Nov 25, 2006
Photo of hylton44
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What's the difference between "Extra Pale Ale" and a standard APA? Not sure. But this offering from Summit is a nice addition to a summer repertoire, in any event. Sharp, dry, toasty bitterness but almost a little "thick," rather than "clean," if that makes any sense. Ranks in the upper echelon of APAs, among those I've sampled,and it can usually be found for the right price during the summer season in Minneapolis/St. Paul, so that's an added bonus.

hylton44, Nov 15, 2006
Summit Extra Pale Ale from Summit Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,040 ratings.