Summit Pilsener - Summit Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summit PilsenerSummit Pilsener

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BA SCORE
82
good

164 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 164
Hads: 365
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 10.83%
Wants: 5
Gots: 35 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: garymuchow on 12-30-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 164 | Hads: 365
Photo of gatornation
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

from 12 0z bottle

A- pours a clear light golden color wth a fluffy 1.5 finger head

S- was that of a pils with baked bread malts and some floral hops

T- was bready malts followed by floral noble hops with some wet grass taste nothing overwhelmed

M- was crisp and carbonated but did not have the hop/malt taste i like in a crisp tasty pils

D- was average not great so many other pils to choose from that this one gets lost as a choice for me..it drinkable (458 characters)

Photo of andrenaline
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a crystal clear golden colour with the slightest brown hue, finger of head, solid retention and admirable spotty lacing.

S - Sweet corn dominates and is followed by some sweet lemon iced tea, quite nice.

T - THe flavours are a little bland, but typical of pilseners, with corn malts dominating, and some sour lemon and bitter grassy hops on the finish.

M - Nice carbonation, but a little on the dry side for my liking. I like my pilseners to leave my mouth watering for more, so more of a personal preference here.

D - This is a worthy offering for the style, though I have had better. Makes for a tasty drink on a hot summers day, and I would never turn one down if offered. (689 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark golden hue, a bit hazey, with a good, fluffy head. Smells lightly of malt with a bit of hop presence, very soft on the nose. Taste is a smooth offering of malty goodness, lightly put together with a paled hop bite. Could be a bit more bolder and bodied for this style, but was pretty good non the less. Has a good clean and smooth feel, a little light with a wierd, dry hop finish thats hard to nail down. Not bad, could be better good be alot worse. (455 characters)

Photo of G2Brew
3.46/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Summit’s “Bohemian Style” Pilsner is a very good beer. In fact, I had a sense that I was picking at nits, real or imagined, when I was trying to determine the differences between the beer I was drinking and the Czechvar and Pilsner Urquel I had sampled before.

The only way to really know the difference is in a careful, side-by-side test. So, I poured one glass of each beer. I was in a “primitive” situation, without enough proper pilsner glasses, so I used wine glasses to keep it even. Poured at 45 degrees F. Let the tasting begin!

Visually, the three are very, very close. The Summit and the Czechvar are virtually indistinguishable, even side-by-side. The Urquel is a shade darker. All were clear enough to read a newspaper through them (until the glasses fogged up due to the excessive humidity here.) Let me say up front, the Urquel is in a class by itself. It was not only a shade darker, but also had more grain and more Saaz hops aroma. Likewise, it had not just more, but a mellower flavor, even though it has a bit more hop bite. Pilsner Urquel is an amazing beer. Carbonation among the three was nearly identical, with the Summit having almost imperceptibly more – evidenced only by the higher volume of bubbles ten minutes after the pour.

So, the competition really came down to a race for third, between the Summit and the Czechvar.

The summit has a bit more lacing, and better foam than either of the Czech brews. Understand that none of them has a lot of foam. But the Summit’s head retention was impressive.

The aroma (where the Urquel first ran away from the group) was very close between the Summit and the Czechvar. The Czechvar takes this one, but just barely. The Czechvar has more Saaz, and I admit, I’m a sucker for Saaz. The intensity of the grain aroma is about equal, but slightly different. The Czechvar has a bit more of that unique, earthy, richness of the Bohemian Pilsner malt. That said, the Summit’s aroma is very pleasant, and a bit lighter, but not in a bad way. Cleaner, perhaps. Some corn aroma.

The Summit has the best mouthfeel of the three – not overwhelmingly so, but slightly less watery.

Now for the big one: taste. Again, Urquel wins hands down. The flavor is full of Bohemian pils malt, and Saaz hops. Mmmm...Saaz. Yeah, baby, this is what a Bohemian Pilsner is supposed to taste like. The only better Pilsner I’ve had is Urquel on tap in Europe.

Now, for the other two:

Summit is very nice. Some good pilsner malt, but with a touch of corn. That makes it less earthy and rich than the true Bohemian, but still very pleasant. The corn doesn’t help it, if the goal is to be true to the Bohemian style, but this is a good “drink-all-day” beer. I think it would be improved without the corn and with a touch of carapils (which I suspect is what makes the Urquel darker and tastier) and definitely would be better with a bit more hops, especially late-boil and dry hops for flavor and aroma.

Czechvar has a bit more character in the flavor than Summit, and it’s a tad richer, even though it’s not darker. The hops taste is almost on par with the Urquel. It’s not as rich as the Urquel, but better than the Summit.

Of the three, my order of preference is 1) Pilsner Urquel, 2) Czechvar, and 3) Summit “Bohemian Style” Pilsner. The Summit and Czechvar are so close that it comes down to a matter of preferences. If you want a little more of the Bohemian malt flavor and Saaz hops, then go with the Czechvar. Taste wise, I think the Czechvar wins, but if appearance is more important to you, go with the Summit. If you want a cleaner tasting lawn mower beer, the Summit is great cold. (3,679 characters)

Photo of putnam
3.47/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Brilliant golden yellow with a dreary accumulation of fizz on top. Soft floral and mineral aromas are typical of chewy pale malt and reminiscent of various French farmhouse ales; I mention that only because I've been drinking boatloads of Castelain and 3 Monts lately. The comparison helps my opinion of this drink. There is very little in the way of minty, citric or resiny hops aromas, only a doughy, cracked kernel aroma and faint grass perfumes. On the palate bitter iron flavors pin down a very promising cereal and honey allure. Fine carbonation seems perfectly natural. In the end tiring, raw, tar flavored bitterness blocks any invitation to drink a sequence. (667 characters)

Photo of Mistofminn
3.47/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In the process of trying 90/- Scottish Ale, I figured I'd finish out all the Summit brews that I haven't reviewed.

Pours a copper tinted yellow with a nice one finger white head that has decent retention and leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

The aroma is very earthy, with light spicey hops and a solid malt backbone. Very Pilsner like.

Tastes maltier than the nose leads on, but the hops are definitely there, just hidden in the background. A pretty malty Pilsner, with that "Summit" taste. I can't describe it, but every Summit brew I've had has a distinct quality to it that just screams "Summit." If you've had Summit's offerings you know what I'm talking about.

Pretty light bodied, with a decent carbonation and a very light lingering bitter aftertaste. Drinkability is good enough, nothing special.

Not the best Pilsner in the world, but certainly better and more flavorful than what most of this world call's beer. (931 characters)

Photo of RonfromJersey
3.47/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pale yellow gold, good clarity, topped by two fingers of dense level white foam. Good lacing.

Big fresh grass/hay aroma.

Taste has a sweet center, and some pleasing bitterness from the earthy hops on the sides. Cleanish finish, but with a lingering hop tingle.

Smooth with proper tingling carbonation.

Wasy drinkability, but a bit light on desirability.

Lacks a bit of Saaz sass, but a good crossover beer. (412 characters)

Photo of Omnium
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours a nice straw color, thin fizzy half a finger of white head, little lacing.
S - Grain, minerals, a little barley, some light hop presence.
T - Tastes like a pilsener, very faint on the hops, but light and crisp.
M - Light in feel, but very refreshing.
O - Good average pilsener, made for summer quenching. (338 characters)

Photo of TastyTaste
3.49/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice looking beer. Gold in color, with lots of carbonation visible. Nice amount of pure white head. Tastes very hoppy, with no hint of skunk at all. This is a pretty decent pilsener, much better than macros. I have come around about Summit, they make some pretty good beers. (274 characters)

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

The prototypical lager/pilsner pour, an unblurred gold color, the head the archetypal bright white, frothy in texture, the lace a nice covering sheet upon the glass. Nose the quintessential malt, clean and fresh, crisp and quite satisfying as noses go. Start is typical malt, lightly sweet, the top middling in feel, finish purposeful in its acidity, the hops applicatory to the style, a nice thirst quencher and a fine session beer for those lucky enough to have access to this beer. (484 characters)

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

Appearance: Hazy deep golden color, with a modest white head, scattered faint lace, moderate carbonation.

Aroma: Rich aroma of caramel malt, rather uncharacteristic for a Pilsener, with mild noble hops as a backdrop. The usual cracker malt notes seem absent.

Taste: A modest punch of noble hops at the open, with a slightly sweet undercurrent of pale malt, and some mild pepper notes. As the taste progresses, the noble hops become a bit more dominant. Finishes slightly sweet, with a lingering metallic hop note.

Mouth feel: Smooth and pleasant, with slightly zesty carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: An example of moderate quality in a style where small errors are readily noted. Neither is this poor, nor is it outstanding.

Presntation: Packaged in a short twelve-ounce brown glass bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a standard pint tap glass. (855 characters)

Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight pour into a stange. The color is a clean and clear light gold. Two fingers of fluffy white head dissipated slowly to leave a billowy head and Brussels lacing on the glass.

Smell: Nothing impressive. Pale malts, a little lemon, lightly toasted caramel, and some hop astringency.

Taste: It has a dominant grain and grass presence that gives it a pleasant sweetness. Flavors of lemon and grassy hops offer a nice, balancing bitterness. The mouthfeel is very crisp.

Drinkability: A tasty brew. Nothing too complex or pretentious Straightforward and flavorful drinking. (589 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a flared pokal at Bliss.

The final beer at Bliss today, one that wasn't really part of the tasting (you gotta love these guys, right?). It pours a clear pale straw topped by a finger of fluffy white foam. The nose comprises light lemon rind, wheat, grass, and flowers. The taste brings in more of the same, but this sameness is then invaded by a rather unexpected horde of corn. The floral hop notes helped to stem the tide a bit, but ultimately their effort was in vain. The body is quite light, with a light moderate carbonation and a crisp finish. Overall, a pretty nice pils, but the corny-ness didn't set well with me. Frankly, I was surprised to see this classified as a Czech pils, considering the lack of hoppy bitterness. I'd probably drink one o' these again, but it wouldn't be my first choice. (816 characters)

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

On tap at 3 squares in Maple Grove.

The beer pours a fairly light gold color with so-so head retention and light lacing. Don't get a whole lot on the nose, just some light biscuit, light pepper and very light honey. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this lightly flavored pils, though I do get some light bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is fairly light, and finish is a bit watery. I could tell the alcohol level was pretty low, but that's not enough of a bonus to ever make me want to order this beer again.

Meh.... I guess this might make for a good transition beer for anyone looking to upgrade from BMC stuff. However, anyone hoping for a good domestic subsitute for a good Czech or German pils needs to look elsewhere.

I shared this beer with a friend who only drinks macro beers, and he was apprehensive the summit pils would have way too much flavor. After tasting the pils, he agreed he'd still rather drink his corona or bud lite, but was quick to admit that there wasn't a great deal more flavor in the summit pils than what he normally enjoys in BMC. Sadly, I would have to agree with that assessment. (1,127 characters)

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

Go figure, one of the coldest days of the year and I have the taste for a pilsner. Nevertheless, this beer fits the bill with a standard straw color, fair head formation that falls to a trace, but then hangs of for the duration. A mild haze persists with light traces of lacing.

Aromas of firm pilsner malts dominate the nose with floral hop notes, light peaches and apple esters, and an earthy hop character. A metalic note also comes up early but not detected late.

Flavors fall in-line with the aromas with an emphasis on pilsner malt flavors, a fair amount of residual sweetness and light fruitiness. The fruit notes swirl around the floral hop flaovrs and give a softness to the grain sweetness-- a pretty nice blend.

Body is firm, if not a bit heavy with the residual sweetness. Malty still with a subtle bitterness that never offends. Very mild graininess are the only distractions among the textures.

Ultimately a pretty nice beer that neither stands out or falls into blandness either. On par with most American attempts, but German and Czech versions fare better because of better maltiness, attenuation, dryness, and less sweetness. Fresher hop varieties would improve as well. (1,192 characters)

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: This pours a pale straw color, totally transparent with a fluffy white head. A little bit of lace is left as the head fades to a film.

Smell: Noble grassy hops, some light floral notes. Light pilsener malt.

Taste: The flavor is clean and straight forward. Light malt balances with grassy floral hops. The sweetness is light, but it maintains throughout the sip.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation tries to be crisp but ends up a bit muted. Light to medium body, and a light tingle throughout the sip. A light oiliness at the end.

Overall: Pretty standard, not a ton going on here. (637 characters)

Photo of Slynger
3.51/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear light golden color, with a pillowy cap of fine white fuzz.

Light nose with crackery malts and a touch of lemon grass.

Saltine crackery malt flavors with a peppery-spicy noble hoppiness. Light-medium body, lightly zesty carb, slightly cloying.

One of the better American versions I've had. Definitely a decent option when considering a pilsener. (361 characters)

Photo of JamesMN
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Translucent straw with a bubbly white head.

Aroma: Getting that funky lager yeast smell. A little malt and a hint of citrus from the hops.

Taste: Typical craft brewed pilsener. Bready with a small hop bite. Getting some corn or other adjunct in there but it isn't exactly out of place in this style. There's nothing really bad to say about this one but nothing incredibly positive to say either.

Mouthfeel: At the lower end of medium bodied. Nice level of carbonation. Goes down pretty smooth. Above average drinkability.

Final Thoughts: I'm not sure this beer deserves the status of being a year-round brew by Summit. It does the job but definitely doesn't leave me wanting more. However, this beer is never out of place at a summer picnic or backyard barbecue. (780 characters)

Photo of pweis909
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I can't be the first to review this, can I? Seems like a part of Summit's regular lineup, according to the Summit wesbiste, but I never saw this beer before. Found it on tap at the MN State Fair.

Pale, with dense white foam. Hoppy aroma. Crisp, dry taste, with bitter hoppy finish. Hopping seems appropriate to the style, but the genuine Czech versions have adistinctive maltiness that I just don't find in this one. Apparently this is not brewed with the traditional Moravian pilsner base malt. Better than I expected, not as good as I wanted.

EDIT: Was just informed that this is the same as Summit Grand. They just recently chanaged the name. (647 characters)

Photo of Greggy
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Golden color with no sediment, and a 1 finger head that recedes to nothing.

S- Skunky hops, a little bit of light malt, a bit of straw and a touch of light citrus.

T- A clean pilsner with not a hell of a lot of character other than a slight clove note, and a nice dry finish, with a bit of graphite.

M- Low carbonation makes the style talk for itself.

D- This is an ok pilsner. Sessionable, yes, but honestly, dang near comparable to Miller Lite. (457 characters)

Photo of CHSLBrew
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A-Pours a pale white head, 2-finger off the pour, but low retention. Beer was a crystal-clear yellow brew, showing bubbles slowly rising within, displaying the likely bright carbonation.

S-Bready malts with a zesty hop spiciness.

T-Bready, grainy malt, crisped by a nice hop spiciness and in-balance hop bitterness. Nothing off-the-wall here, just a dang enjoyable, smooth flavored lager beer. Finished dry and clean.

M-mdium-high carbonation cleans the palate, while the moderate body keeps this brew from being too blah and watery.

D-Quite good. As I said, overall simply a good-tasting beer, and quite easy to drink. Thumbs up. (661 characters)

Photo of mobyfann
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $1.49 for a single at Jungle Jim's...

The beer pours a clear golden base with a large white head, moderate head retention for the first 30 minutes then fades, and a few specs of lacing. The aroma is a faint scent of hops with no sign of alcohol.

The taste is smooth, yet a little scratchy on the palette, mild malt and hop after-tones. Good in the mouth and very drinkable at 5% abv, this is a solid choice for a middle of the line, micro-brewed pils.

Final Thought: A nice pils from the Twin Cities, but a Victory Prima Pils can be had for about the same price, in addition to being shipped from about the same distance aways. (635 characters)

Photo of bristol2120
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale/medium golden, with a nice big head of foam, that slowly fades, leaving significant lacing. Nice aroma, if a little faint, featurning hops and malt in fairly equal proportion. Taste is a bit less bold than I would have hoped for, with moderate hops flavor in the fore, but not much maltiness at all. Decent mouth feel, that could have used a bit more carbonation, but was still decent. Overall, a nice, drinkable lager, that would be especially good for hot weather. (479 characters)

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz short brown bottle, twist off cap, no date.

This beer poured a clear, light amber-yellow color with good bubbling action, and creamy, white foam that clung to the inside of the glass to coat. The smell was lightly malty with some grain and bread and a hint of hoppiness. The taste was mildly malty with good hoppiness, including a touch of floral hops and a hint of hop "soapiness". There were notes of grain in the taste as well. Overall the flavor was a bit thin. The mouthfeel was crisp with medium-light body and good carbonation, and a lingering hoppy aftertaste. This was a decent lager and was easy to drink. (624 characters)

Photo of marburg
3.54/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Strikingly bright gold with a dense, frothy latte-like head. A torrent of carbonation steadily rises for quite a while. Quite clean in both aroma and flavor -- very little in the way of "extra" sweetness. Nose could be a bit crisper and is a bit washed out with flowery plants and malt. Mild grainy malt flavor. Malt is very tame -- but the hop presence is not terribly assertive, and there is no lingering hop flavor. Much more dominated by the malt than I might expect, though that's not to say that it's devoid of hop flavor. A mild, tingly spicy hop flavor enters the picture briefly toward the end. A very clean, drinkable brew. (633 characters)

Summit Pilsener from Summit Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.