Summit Kölsch - Summit Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summit KölschSummit Kölsch

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

56 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 56
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 11
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: wagenvolks on 07-08-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 47
Reviews by objectivemonkey:
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.49/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Just found my notes on this guy.. not sure when it was tasted, bought several packs of this beer, so it could have bene any time last fall:

Into a pint glass, pours a clear golden straw color with a quickly receding white head. which leaves some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is lovely, slightly grainy, grassy hops with a twinge of bitter. Very subtle, mellow, its spot on for the style. The taste is also done very well, a nice light base of bready malts, cracker-like, but the grassy hops take most of your attention. Crisp and clean, a light carbonation on the tongue. Very nice. A very good start to their 'Unchained' series. Now, if only they'd make this a summer seasonal, all would be righted in this world...

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #32 (Sep 2009):

This is a new series that Summit has brought to us beer geeks. Good to see that not every specialty series has to be a massive, in-your-face style.

A beauty of a head, and the lacing is amazing as well, a bright and clear golden color that has real appeal. Aroma is of grape skin, bready grain and a delicate herbal hop. Deep and refreshing smoothness rolls over the palate. Clean grain throughout with some cracker-like maltiness. Hop bitterness has a nice bite and then drops some soft herbal flavor. A faint fruitiness and faded vinous quality from the yeast middle to end. If someone put a blindfold on us and told us this was from Germany, we'd have no doubt about that at all. Finishes dry with a long trail of hops and malt that makes us want to keep on quaffing.

Comparable to its German counterparts, if not better. This is a beautiful beer.

Photo of blackearth
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Purchased from Cash Wise grocery store in Owatonna, MN. Pouring into a pint glass yields a bright, gold body with a rocky, white head. Aroma was sweet pilsner-like malts and faint hops. Medium bodied with crisp carbonation, this beer boasted rich malt flavors with a slightly bitter and dry finish. Superb drinkability.

Photo of bsp77
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into new Summit glass.

Appearance: Bright, burnished gold with moderate head and nice lacing. Very active bubbles continue throughout.

Smell: Semi-sweet malts with notes of apple and grass; fresh, spicy noble hops.

Taste: Just slightly sweet apple, pear and fresh cut grass, countered by a nice level of spiciness. Ends primarily with a spicy hop bite. Make sure to drink this fresh, as I am sure the spiciness will fade.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, pretty smooth body, dry finish.

Drinkability: Very refreshing but with a nice amount of flavor. Finally, a Kolsch I truly enjoy. I would prefer this year round over Summit's Pilsener.

Ready for Unchained #2!

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a strange)
A- This beer pours a crystal clear copper orange body with a gentle carbonation of big bubbles and a beige head.
S- There is a nice dry flinty aroma but it is pretty faint and a very faint decomposing leaves and bright noble hop note in the finish.
T- The soft dry Munich malt flavor has a light sulfuy finish. The nice Noble hop bite has a hop pellet freshness an a slight green pungency to it. There is a faint lightly toasted malt bite in the finish that compliments the hops nicely.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slippery texture. D- This beer has great depth with a light crips flavor and a good support from the malt.

Photo of cokes
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light golden colored with a sturdy rise of white suds.
Floral, perfumed nose with backing crackery malt.
The crackers are first through the mouth. Dry throughout, but a bit of apple sweetness peeks out. Hay through the middle, then emphatic floral hop ring out. Lots of lingering flower petal bitterness with some grassy pulpiness.
Light bodied, beginning highly carbonated, but petering out as it rests.
This might be over hopped per the style and lacks the quaffability and balance of some of the more refined versions. Though it makes more of a statement than most.

Photo of tempest
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally, finally Summit's released a great beer and it's a about time. Yes, they're good at making middle-of-the-road session beers, but they've always lacked real character. This kolsch blows everything else they've ever done out of the water, even the oatmeal stout.

Most American kolschs seem to be just fruity blond ales, but this beer goes a lot deeper into the yeast character with subtle earthy and herbal notes over the bready grain character and light sweetness. This is no simple beer and had I drank it blind I would have assumed it came from a small brewery in Cologne. The complexity matched with drinkability reminds of another favorite new beer that's come out, SN Keller Weis.

Heck of a beer Summit. Please keep this up.

Photo of morimech
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden color with a large white head that had excellant retention before settling to a thick cap. Large amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass. Has a spicy and grassy hop aroma. Smells very much like a German Pilsner as other reviewers have noted. The German hops give a lot of flavor as well. It has a peppery and slightly grassy flavor. The malt gives a cracker like quality. Extremely dry overall which I particularly enjoy in session beers. The body is light with carbonation being slightly on the harsh side. Nothing bad but it distracts from the consumption a bit. Very refreshing beer. Kolsch is not a style to receive high scores but this one is better than most I have tried. Plus it does it without any adjunct additions.

Photo of supercolter
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nothing fancy, just a well made Kolsch. Appearance is a nice off yellow color, with minimal head or lacing. Looks very clean in the glass. Smell and taste are similar, with the taste being just slightly more hoppy and sweet. Mouthfeel is on par, lighter with a healthy amount of carbonation. Drinkability is quite good, just as it should be in this style.

Photo of weeare138
2.5/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to hopdog for the opportunity...
Appears a transparent, light gold with a small white head that quickly fades into a mild collar. Tiny spots of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, cracked grain, wet hay, and cereal.
Taste is of sweet malt, sweaty salt, grains, and corn-like dried maize.
Mouthfeel is mildly oxidized, sweet, and slick on the finish.

Photo of gatornation
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

nmbr 1 in the series pours a clear golden yellow color with a minimal head and little lacing ..the smell is slight.. its fruit some spice some malts..the taste is a crisp slightly fruity beer with some sweet malts and some nice floral hops..this kolsch is pretty well balanced and flavorful the fruitiness and the malt and hops blend together for a crisp clean taste..its very drinkable a session brew for sure

Photo of MPLS
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A style that a cultural impaired cretin could identify as German just by looking at the name. I have fond memories of this style as I was an exchange student in high school and managed to fall in love with style. I do not know what has happened since then, but I feel like it's a style I should revisit, especially once this frozen tundra is removed from our lovely city.

This beer comes for the ferocious "UNCHAINED SERIES", laughable name, but whatever. Batch 01 that I bought as a six-pack.

A: Very typical beer appearance that isn't going to look like anything crazy black and hellish, but for the style is pleasant to look at. Off white head that fades back to it's sunglow orange color with slight lacing. Light shines through quite easily, crystal clear.

S: Smell is not opposing but has it's lightly breaded malt, apple, and charming yeast.

T: This beer is off the charts drinkable and hits the style on the head for what memory and the description serve me. The beer is fruity apple-like up front then comes a nudge of earthy dry grain/ The finish on the beer is on the dry side, but nothing that screams bitter or overly hopped. Very mellow.

M: Completely see through body makes this beer look and feel light. Ample carbonation that gives it a little characters.

D: Sessionable beer here, get your sessionable beer here. Low ABV, affordable, and a maybe a slight-biased towards the style. I will have to finish these off and at minimum drink some of this brew come summertime...so so so so far away.

Photo of AgentZero
3.05/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Clear amber with lots of bubbles. Not much of a head, what was there was mostly large carbon bubbles.

S - Grainy backbone and some mild malts. Pretty crisp and light.

T - Grainy with a slight fruity taste. Small hop bite at the end, pretty simple, straight forward, not bad, not great.

M - Light/medium bodied, can really feel the carbonation on the tongue. Pretty crisp.

D - Light and refreshing, pretty easy to get down. Could session these easily. Not a great beer, but don't mind drinking it if it's around.

Photo of shadow1961
3.77/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Summit Unchained Kölsch pours a disk of foam over a clear golden brew. Carbonation is moderate, nose is clean light barley malt. The flavor is mild sweetish light toasty malt with peppery, herbal hops off the back. Mouthfeel is light, crisp, trending dry. Pretty solid rendition of the style.

Photo of robbyc1
3.21/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A good look with a fluffy white head, clear yellow pale, nice pour into a Sam Adams glass.

The nose is ok, a bit off from usual. I compare this to the new Krank Shaft kolsch from Metropolitan Brewing, which is better on several levels than this one. The taste here is closer to a pale ale, wheat is there but not very "fresh". More like a big lager than a solid kolsch, but not bad.

Soft and full in the mouth, better than average, as the drinkability, but I would not buy this again in favor of the Metro one. If I had a summer choice between this and a Bud, this wins hands down.

Photo of KarlHungus
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear spun gold color. The head is an inch in height, and recedes into decent lacing. The aroma is spicy noble hops, and bready malt. It is a very balanced aroma, and very pleasing too. The taste is a lot like the aroma, with a mildly hoppy finish that lingers a while. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a good beer. I was a bit apprehensive when I heard Summit was doing a Kolsch, because I've had multiple bad experiences with American brewed versions of the style. Summit Kolsch is on par with the German versions I've tastes, and I appluad Summit for that.

Photo of garymuchow
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours perfectly into Sam Adams glass. Brilliantly clear bright gold. Dense full off-white head. Good looking.
Strong yeast character to the aroma, holding a slight sourness. This is backed by malt aroma that holds minimal sweetness.
Yeast character continues in the flavor with an ample drying finish that seems malt driven. Mild hop flavors that also linger in the finish. Both lend a pleasuable thirst quenching quality. Nice touch of sweetness in the malt with some drinks which contrasts the sourness noted at other times. Being an ale it warms up nicely in this summer weather.
Carbonated very softly and nicely. Lends an overall softness to the drink that adds to the pleasure.
Very nice drinker. Very good summer drink. Well done first go with the "Unchained series".

Photo of tniless
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A nice beginning for the Summit unchained series. Nice appearance - golden blond with a very small head (bottler poured into pint glass). Nice aroma. Excellent flavor - more carbonation than expected, giving it more bite than others of the same style.

Photo of Buebie
3.46/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I just drank a Hell, so my expectations are high.

Poured from a 12oz brown stubby twist off, into a pub glass. Less then a half inch of white cola like head forms. Fizzling down quickly to leave a smallish layer on the top.
Color is actually pretty nice with a deep golden yellow, mostly transparent.

Aroma is of sweet cereal grains, with a bit of caramel and toffee mixed into it. Some un-fermented honey maybe? Aroma is good, I like it, but its seems to be missing somthing, its a bit one dimensional. There is a mild bit of hops there in the smell, but its so mild its almost undetectable.

Taste is better then expected. Some good grain flavors up front, with a touch of honey, burnt caramel, and lemon zest. Grains get a bit husky into the swallow, mixing with bitter grassy hop leaf flavors.

Mouthfeel is a bit too carbonated and thin with a watery touch.

This is a pretty grand example of the style, just a touch to husky though. But all in all a beer I would return too. Not really one that I would seek out, as I like to have my pallet blasted with flavor, aroma and feel.

Photo of steveh
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first foray into the new Unchained Series from Summit. My first impression? It's Summit -- let's not go craft crazy with the pricing here, $8.30 a sixer? Bad enough it's $8, why the .30¢?

A -- Nice, clear, pale gold with a dense off-white head.

S -- Spicy hops with some vague DMS back, even a little sulfur belying freshness.

T -- There's a vague sweet malt hit up front, then grassy, spicy noble hops take over the palate, and everything finishes in a hop bitter and grainy balance -- even some lemony fruit and floral hop character making itself known with warming. All mighty complex and subtly smooth at the same time in a little 4.7 ABV beer from the North Woods.

M -- Light body with a mouthfeel that starts soft and ends dry and crisp.

D -- Drinkability would be exceptional, but the dry, spicy hop bitterness is almost too dry to be refreshing. Then again, this is probably the best take on the Kölsch style from a micro that I've ever tried -- and Goose Island Summertime is one of my favorite beers. Is it worth $1.40 a bottle? Yeah, I suppose so, especially when you consider it's probably $4.50 a pint at the local.

Photo of Mistofminn
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is clear straw yellow with a lively carbonation. A decent sized white head comes and goes quickly, but leaves some nice lacing.

The nose is pretty light, but has a strong malt backbone and some fruity characteristics. I also get a light hop zest, as well as a honey or toffee like smell.

The taste is sweet malts, light floral hops, a nice earthy character with a faint fruitiness in the background. There is also a light honey or caramel taste.

Mouthfeel is on the higher end of the light side, with a generous carbonation. Drinkability is high.

I'm not the biggest Summit fan, that is well documented. This is a good beer though. A great, refreshing and crisp, summer session beer.

Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.29/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first Kolsch in quite some time. It pours a dark golden color with a wispy head. Malty and grainy in the aroma. Notes of yeasty bread with hints of fruit are complemented by a dash of spice in the nose. Light and carbonated as it rolls across the palate.

Soft malt flavors soothe the palate. A dryness rises toward the center and continues through past the finish. Spice and bitterness are prevalent in the finish.

Nice, tasty, refreshing are all adjectives that come to mind. True to the soft spoken Kolsch style.

Photo of gford217
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to buebie for this one, a 12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a clear amber with lots of bubbles streaming to the top feeding a short-lived white head that lingers as a swirl and hefty collar.

The aroma is full of toasted grains and light malts. There is solid hop presence up as well with some grassy and lightly herbal notes in the nose.

The taste has a quick lemony hop kick up front with the toasted malts making up the backbone and an herbal, almost spicy, grassy hop finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with plenty of carbonation and extremely refreshing on the palate with a dry herbal finish.

This is an excellent version of a kolsch with more complexity than most I've tasted with the herbal notes coming out very strongly. Very good and very drinkable.

Photo of darklordlager
4.26/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a medium golden with 3/4" bright white head of tiny bubbles with butter coloured accents. Looks crisp.

S: Delicate. Lightly fruity, pale malt, pepper, lemon.

T: Light pale malt, light fruity yeast, cracker, corn bread. Lemon is there as well. Delicate hoppy bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium body but with lively carbonation to make it light and "fluffy."

A very nice "non-extreme extreme" beer.

Photo of wheatyweiss
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a funky pint.

Pours a medium to dark straw with a smallish head that sticks around for a second and settles to a nice cap. Lacing is sparse, but adequate in a rinsed glass.

Aroma is of grassy noble hops and huskey grain. Not a huge aroma even after warming and swirling, it's pretty weak.

Flavor is of dusty grain. Like eating dry oat bran minus the flavor. Slightly vinious, grape like flavor on the middle with a rider of funk. Middle is grain, but slightly sour, like a chardonnay. Finishes dry, nice and refreshing. Hops do not show up t all in the flavor, but in the grand scheme of things, not bad.

Mouthfeel is crisp and dry, not overly carbed. Pretty good.

Not the best domestic Kolsch I've had, but good.

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Summit Kölsch from Summit Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.