1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Summit Great Northern Porter - Summit Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summit Great Northern PorterSummit Great Northern Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

570 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 570
Reviews: 291
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.29%
Wants: 12
Gots: 39 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ADR on 03-04-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 570 | Reviews: 291 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of whartontallboy
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a dark brown with a thin tan head of big bubbles that didn't hang around too long.

Smell is predominantly chocolate maltiness, with a bit of coffee, espresso, cinnamon, and a tiny hop bite sneaking in on the back end.

Taste is also extremely chocolate-laden, but it's still a tad bittersweet and melds nicely with the coffee flavors. The finish is pretty roasty and long, which is nice. Hops come out a bit on the end, but are never more pronounced than a slight, brief bite.

Overall: A middle-of-the-road porter. Certainly drinkable, and fairly inexpensive, but not stellar.

Photo of MDekker
3.27/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

My first Summit. No expiration date. Pours out dark black, with a mahogany tinge to it. Small amount of head that disappears rather quickly. Pleasant, typical porterish aroma, which makes me think of mahogany wood again. It tastes somewhat the same, with a dark roasted, slightly maple-like flavor. Feels a little watery in the mouth, but goes down all right. Nothing great here, but nothing bad either. I probably won't bother again, as there are other porters out there that I know I like better.

Photo of Applesauce1
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got the Great Northern Porter at the Pit Stop Drive Thru in Nelsonville, OH. Excellent establishment.

1st smell - the smell was good, the most prominent scents were coffee and roasted nuts (mostly coffee though)

1st taste - coffee (this was the most dominant flavor), it was a really good taste; I haven't drank many porters in my days, but this is my favorite one I've had so far. There was also a hint of some fruity flavor in this beer. There was a little bit of bitterness in the flavor, more noticable as I got halfway through the beer.

Mouthfeel - It goes down easy, it's not very thick; I could drink a few of these in one night.

Overall though, this is a good quality beer that goes down easy, and that I would like to drink another of.

Photo of fisherman34
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown with low carbonation and a lasting head. Good roasty aromas with dark caramel malts and some subtle nuances of milk chocolate and coffee. Loads more roasted flavors going on... especially nuts, but some dark chocolate and espresso notes as well. Not a whole lot of contribution from the hops. The light body (which was advertized) made this beer a bit disappointing. These flavors seem to scream out for more body and a bit more sweetness. Still, a pretty good porter.

Photo of neonbrown82
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was not too particularly impressed by this porter. Has a little bit too much of a soy sauce flavor.

The beer pours to a dark brown, almost completely opaque. A thin tan head forms and quickly fades.

The nose has a bit of a vanilla aroma along with chocolate, coffee, and a slight bit of roastiness. Very earthy and nutty. Smells promising, but the taste lets down.

The taste starts off soy and vanilla, but moves into a chocolate roasty coffee flavor in the finish. A bit of an herbal hop accompanies the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is velvety and smooth, but nothing too remarkable going on. This is not one of my favorite porters. It wasn't bad, but I have many more drinkable porters at my immediate disposal.

Photo of battlekow
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a couple porters at Sendik's, this, Butte Creek Organic Porter, and Bell's Porter.

Great Northern is pretty close to black, and ruby red where the light gets through. Nice little beige head and good lacing. Smell is stale coffee and a hint of hops. This is definitely a hoppier porter than most, as a large portion of the taste is spicy hops. Pretty bitter. Seems like a one-trick pony, though, as the hops really overwhelm everything else. There's a little bit of dark chocolate, but tone down the hops, please!

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

A very dark brown/Black beer with deep mahogony highlights. Has a big foamy beige head with some lace. Very deep roasted malt aroma with hints of coffee behind a solid backbone of bittersweet chocolate. The bittersweet chocolate starts out the flavor and then battles the underlying coffee note until the finisih which is a dry bittersweet chocolate.

Photo of beergeek279
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 12 oz. stubby bottle into a pint glass. The color is nice and black with a quickly subsiding beige head. The smell is chocolatey sweet with just a touch of hops. The taste is touched with a very nice chocolate sweetness with a good base of a coffee-ish bitterness melded with a good noble hopping leaving a nice lingering. Mouthfeel is a bit thin. As for drinkability, one that I could have a few of.

Thanks to the 'monk for this bottle as part of Secret Bunny. As far as porters go, this one is quite nice, with a very nice balance of chocolate and coffee bitterness. Quite nice and one I'd be glad to have again!

Photo of blitz134
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz stubby bottle courtesy of the monk...

Poured nearly opaque black with only hints of caramel highlights. Head was light brown and about a half inch think reducing to a thin layer and leaving nice lacing on the way down.

Aroma is of nice roasted flavors with hints of chocolate and maybe a touch of oatmeal. Also a bit of flowery hops in the background.

Taste is mostly dark chocolate with a bit of oatmeal and lightly roasted nuts. A very sharp refreshing taste. Mouthfeel is very nice as it coats well and has a full, heavy, creamy feeling on the tounge. Makes me want another, which is totally possible since this sits relatively light on the old acid bag.

A very well done porter and worth a taste.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep, dark, stained walnut brown with beautiful ruby-orange accents at the edges. The impressive head of malted milk ball beige is creamythick and leaves a good deal of itself on the glass in the form of thick strands and streamers of lace. As the beer falls with drinking, the lacing is even more impressive; a nearly solid sheet is now covering the opposite side of the glass. I love opaque porters that look like they mean business.

Great Northern has a good porter nose that relies on the scent of roasted barley for its personality. Accessory aromas (chocolate, coffee, etc) are at a minimum, although carob is now more prominent than it seemed initially. The nose is slightly sweet and slightly roasted nutty as well.

This is tasty stuff and is deeper and more complex that the aroma hinted at. There's certainly no shortage of flavor: loads of roasted black malt, dark toffee, cocoa powder and a shot of black coffee. A handful of hops come to the party late and come with bells on. GNP is definitely a well-crafted beer.

Sweet and bitter cancel one another out early and the finish is increasingly bitter with the appearance of (surprisingly!) citric hops. Was this beer brewed on the West Coast of Minnesota? The body/mouthfeel is strictly porter medium and is nicely smooth. More full would have been even better.

My previous experiences with Summit were limited to their APA and their IPA and I wasn't all that impressed. Great Northern Porter is a horse of a different color though and is a much better beer. Too many porters wimp out when it comes to appearance, flavor and mouthfeel, but this one brings it and brings it with style. It looks like I have a renewed interest in the brewery up north. Recommended.

Photo of Dogbrick
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours near black with a garnet halo. Very thin tan head that disappears almost immediately and almost no lacing either. The aroma is pretty nice, smokey and chocolatey. Medium-bodied and fairly effervescent for a Porter. Flavors of malt, nuts and coffee are nicely blended. There is a light smokey character in the flavor too. The finish is short and lightly bitter. Above average overall.

Photo of putnam
2.8/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Malted coffee aromas from this brown liquid. A cluster of wadded, dried red berry fruits and peppery spices are discernable on the nose too. The flavors are burnt with blackened cell matter exposing alcohol and steely metal flavors. Soda fizziness, a little salty, concludes the unexceptional brown beer experience.
This sample has got to be off condition, but I doubt it started from a very prime position either.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - very dark red pour, a finger and a half of light mocha head, very big bubbles on top, very creamy looking. Leaves a thick lace coating behind.

Aroma - good roasted coffee and chocolate nose. Trace of metal, but I am sampling it 3 months past date.

Taste - hearty malt and espresso flavors. A charred taste follows with some bitterness, enhancing the dark, roasty feel of the brew. Again, a touch of metal, but the beer still tastes good to me.

Mouthfeel - average weight, above average bubbles. Doesn't get in the way, doesn't elevate the beer either.

Drinkability - Yeah, I'd have it again.

Photo of andyo
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smells like many other porters I have had. Nice chocalate brown color. Great spicy, roasted nut, bitter espresso flavors.

This is pretty much an all around *average* porter. Nothing really stood out to me, but this is not in any way a bad thing. A great session beer I will revisit, but for the same price I'd rather be drinking Sierra Nevada.

Photo of Hhawk06
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one at the end of a very educational and well organized tour of the plant in St. Paul. It looked very good off of the tap with a mostly black-to-very-deep-brown body and a smallish bubbly tan head. The nose is pale and hoppy, a little different than what I anticipated. The mouthfeel can best be described as prickly bitter. There are a couple of intermingling flavors involved here; chocolate to spruce to a citrus kick. Innovative. The finish has a puckering lemon surge. Overall, a good brew and different (always good for bonus points).

Photo of TastyTaste
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks like many-a porter, very dark brown, big tan head, foamy, which fades to leaves craters. Smell is very chocolately and espresso-ish. Taste is more acidic and grainy than most porters. Very smooth and drinkable, and the extra acidity does not really detract that much from this offering. I had this at a cellar, or warmer, level, and I think it was at it's peak of flavor.

Photo of Bierguy5
3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, almost black. No highlights. Tan, foamy head. Pretty good head retention. Nice lace on the glass. Roasty smells, and slightly nutty. Deep roasted malt combined with a good amount of hops. Nice amount of bitterness. Hopped prety good. Almost comes close to a stout. Medium body, low carbonation. Dry-ish cocoa powder finish. I enjoyed this one, a good porter.

Photo of rugger
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Feloniousmonk for the summit sampler. The Porter poured a nice dark ruby red with a very smal head I spent half of the bottle down the middle of the glass as roughly as I could trying to get a good head out ot this guy but it was very tired. The smell said hello with a nice chocolate espresso scent and the taste mirrored the smell. The mouthfeel was a litte thin but there is something there that makes this a very flavorful drinkable porter. You really can't go wrong with a porter. Hopefulle BMC will stay away from this style. Too much flavor here for these guys.

Thanks Feloniousmonk.

Photo of chilidog
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Santa brought six of these as i've been working my way through Summit brews, they are new to my part of Ohio.
Thisone poured a nice deep mahogany color with a moderate tan head. Lace is nice, glass long, rings that hold. The aroma is of a sweet malt, smoke and coffee. That coffee taste show's the way as the malt seems more burnt than sweet. Chocolate over nut can be noticed as well. The mouth is left slightly dry. Drinkability is good as this 4.9 abv is smooth and easy to put away. Good with food or by itself. Thanks Santa!!

Photo of fdrich29
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks once again to Feloniousmonk for this brew.

Tan, bubbly, dimpled head sits atop a sea of black.

Smells of smoky malt and coffee.

Tastes like espreso. Sweet, smooth and very tasty.

Smooth! Goes down increibly easy. A tastey porter that is not overwhelming.

Photo of skybluewater
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by date Dec 10. Pours a very dark mahogany color. There's a nice head that lasts for quite a while and leaves lace all the way to the bottom of the glass. Smell is of chocolate and coffee. Taste is very much the same, very quaffable.

Definitely a great porter here, not "big" but just right.

Photo of RushLimbmalt
4.77/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This another great beer brewed locally here in Minnesota. It pours a very dark, reddish brown and has a nice creamy tan head that leaves pretty quick. It has the terrific smell of dark malts...I love the smell of porters and stouts. It has a major hop kick and a bitter, dark chocolate/ coffee flavor that is most agreeable to me. Hey, maybe I am biased, because Summit is a local brewer, but this is one of the best porters I have ever tried. It has plenty of hopping to go with the heavy usage of dark malts. All in all a dreamy beer...

Photo of bashiba
2.21/5  rDev -42%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I was really disappointed by this porter as it came highly recommended from a couple people.

First off the appearence was terrible. It barely had any head at all and what it had was a very sickly brown color, the beer itself was a very dark brown not letting any light through it. It almost looked like pouring a flat can of coke.

The smell wasn't to bad, with some nice earthy and coffee scents.
Then the taste. Very bitter and light on flavor, almost has a watered down taste to it with slight hints of coffee and cocoa, anot what I have come to expect in a good porter.

The mouthfeel was very, very light not real impressive.
Overall not very drinkable, I'll stick with Bells or Grants when it comes to Porter.

Photo of ppoitras
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, and, well, "Houston: We have a foamer." Inches and inches and inches of tan head over a barely translucent mahogany brew. Lacing tons of heavy, heavy foam. Aroma is nutty and effervescent. Head lasted for quite some time before drinking became even remotely possible, after three pours to get the brew into the glass. Taste is of sweet, slightly nutty, dark malts. Mouthfeel a bit light, but nice and smooth. Drinkability a quandry, because it was such a chore to pour and wait (me being so patient...), but it goes down so well once the waiting's over. A nice porter.

Photo of SheepNutz
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep jet black color with two fingers of light tan head. There is quite a bit of lacing left on the glass. The smell is fairly sweet with coffee and chocolate accented roasted malt. The taste contains lots of burnt malt flavor and black coffee bitterness. Not too much sweetness at all. A fairly dry finish. The mouthfeel is just a little light and oily. The drinkability is fairly good though. A decent porter.

Summit Great Northern Porter from Summit Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 570 ratings.