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Summit Summer Ale - Summit Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summit Summer AleSummit Summer Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

51 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 51
Hads: 279
Avg: 3.72
pDev: 27.42%
Wants: 7
Gots: 40 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jera1350 on 05-04-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 51 | Hads: 279
Photo of jjanega08
4.67/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No freshness dating on the bottle but I think this is a pre-release bottle.

A= Pours a beautiful golden yellow color with a finger of head on it thats a nice white color and despite the "loose" look to it it holds some solid retention and lacing on the glass.

S= The smell is of nice lemon zest and a bit of a flowery summer smell. Little sweet malt character and a small amount of hop spice to it. Really just smells like summer.

T= A totally summer taste to it. Excellent lemon zest and a slight hop spice to it that gives it a little extra brightness. This my friend is summer in a glass.

M= Nicely carbonated with a good amount of carbonation and zest.

O= This is a home run from Summit. A well made "summer" beer. I don't care the style or the flavor this is an all around awesome summer beer. I'll be drinking a ton of this over the summer and enjoying every last drop. Seek this beer out and enjoy the hell out of it. I know I will be.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.57/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The Fridge recently got Summit Summer in CANs and The CANQuest (TM) would be slacking if I did not score one for review and inclusion.

From the CAN: "Proudly Brewed [& CANned by Summit Brewing Co.] in St. Paul, Minnesota"; "Savor Summer With Every Sip"; "Mother Nature Doesn't Want Your Empties. Please Recycle."

A nice loud Crack! was just the thing to start this off! I began with an inverted Glug to empty this brimful CAN of its CANtents, but I quickly had to back off due to the creation of a lot of head. Its three-plus fingers created a dense cap of bone-white foam that resembled the top of a vanilla ice cream cone. Retention was good, but as it began to fall, sticky lacing appeared in its wake. Color was Straw-Yellow (SRM = > 2, < 4) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had notes of freshly-mown hay, grass and lemon zest. It smelled like a farm at the end of summer! The duck on the CAN's label quacked in agreement. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste opened with a grassy, Noble hop bitterness, but then I caught a splash of lemony tartness in the mouth. The malt was almost an afterthought, kind of biscuity. This all added up to a very dry finish. 4.4% ABV means that it is eminently sessionable, a strong CANdidate for a Summer cooler stuffer and with all of its flavor, it beats so many of these "Session AIPAs" now on the market which rely on aromatic hops but CAN come up short on flavor.

My original, bottle review dtd 23 Aug 2013, rating = 4.6 follows:

As summer begins to wind down and school has reopened, I am ready to wind down with this beer.

An aggro head netted me two pillowy fingers of dense, bone-white head that took forever to fall even in the day's humidity. Color was a sunshine-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled strongly of Noble hops with a lemony tartness. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was very lemony in the mouth. Boy, did I pick the right one for this humid evening! It was like lemon sorbet in its taste as well as its refreshing, thirst-quenching nature. Finish was semi-dry, still quite lemony and very tasty.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a cylinder glass.

A: Golden in color with a fluffy white head that slowly settles. Great lacing and decent head retention.

S: Slightly fruity on the nose at first, with floral hops and plenty of fresh grainy malt.

T: Cracker-like malt lends a hint of sweetness up front, with some fruity notes as well. Mid-palate is dry, with grassy, floral hop undertones. The finish is very clean, and quite dry.

Notes: Light in body, with subtle flavor and great balance. Glad they decided to try something different this Summer. Quite tasty, and very easy to drink. A textbook example of the style. Well done!

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Photo of MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a bright and clear golden yellowish orange with lots of rising bubbles. Huge five finger white foam head with good retention. Leaves lots of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A crisp and malt forward aroma. Bready pale malts and wheat grains with good hints of biscuit and crackers. Hints of lemongrass. Also some floral German hops in the mix along with some grassy aromas. Smells pretty refreshing and crisp.

Taste: Like its smells, a nicely bready and crisp beer. Sweet pale malts and wheat grains. Pretty bready taste with notes of cracker and biscuit. Good notes of lemon and some light hints of other citrus fruit. Nice backing of floral and grassy German hops. Well balanced and tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Very crisp and somewhat creamy. Nice body for a lighter style. Very smooth, refreshing, and drinkable.

Overall: A pretty solid take on a Kolsch. Its everything you would expect from the style. Very good summer beer.

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Photo of mjryan
4.26/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, pale gold colour. Lasting, sticky head. Fresh bread, honey, hay and flowers in the nose, very gentle. Crisp flavour. A bit of soft, grainy malt up front is followed by an intising, floral/haylike hop character. Noticeable hop bitterness for a dry, curt finish. Carbonation is prickly, but not overdone. Sub 5% abv makes this a beer you can reasonabley consume in quantity. Well done. A perfect summer beer that really seems to capture the essence of the season.

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Photo of ZAP
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Excellent summer offering from Summit. 4.9% makes it a great drinker..tastes pretty similar to the unchained Kolsch from a few years back although perhaps just a little less malt forward and definitely has more of a puckering dry finish.

This has a nice gentle grainy maltiness...some light yeasty fruitiness and a pretty substantial dry finish. Body is light to medium...crisp....

Overall this is not as good as the Unchained Kolsch that came out a few years back but that was a truly elite offering. This is definitely solid and will be a nice summer beer. I plan on doing a blind taster with this and four other Kolschs to see how it stands... Schells Zommerfest,Alaskan Summer, and Goose Island Summer. Right now I would say that matchup is a toss up with perhaps a slight edge to GI...we'll see...may update this when I do that.

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Photo of jera1350
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear straw yellow color with a clean white head of fluffy foam. Nice lacing.

The smell is very clean and fruity with some bread dough. A little bit of green grass from the hops.

Light honey sweetness, the hops are lightly grassy and spicy, but the key is light. Crackery finish on the palate.

Lots of pillowy carbonation in a body that feels somewhere between light and medium. Dry finishing. Very nice feel.

This would be extremely easy to put back several. Very clean and refreshing, yet has enough depth as to not get boring. This makes a great summer drinker.

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Photo of tempest
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly hazy blond in my pint glass with a two-finger head that leaves intermittent lacing.

Mmm. Reminds me a bit of Summit's Kolsch from a couple summers back. The slight earthy mineral note is subdued, but there's still a wonderfully subtle character of bready malts, mellow citrus hops, and light fruit esters. Complex, yet drinkable, what a fine beer. It opens with fresh-baked bread and finishes with a dry grassy bitterness. I'll have another.

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Photo of Mdog
4.02/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Yellow-gold, ok head.

Smell: Bready at first, then more grassy.

Taste: Nice grassy, crisp flavor. Dry cracker malt flavor and grassy.

Mouthfeel: Tingly and light.

Overall: I like this one, tastes like a light bodied pilsner with an emphasis on the hops. I should get the summer sampler to compare this side by side with their pilsner, reminds me a lot of it right now.

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Photo of morimech
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear straw color with just over one finger of head that had good retention before settling to a thin cap. A lot of lacing is left down the glass.

Semi-sweet pale malt that gives a bready aroma with hop compliments of grass and black pepper.

Slightly sweet bready malt base. Hints of green apple, grass, and pepper. Finishes slightly spicy. More bitter than just about any other Kolsch on the market.

Light to medium body with some nice carbonation. Lively without being harsh.

Enjoyable summer brew that is different from boring hot weather beers. I did not enjoy it as much as the Unchained Kolsch from a couple years ago, but being produced on a larger scale, I understand that compromises had to be made.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 3 cans into a German boot glass.

A slightly hazy golden straw colored body holds a white sea foam head with decent retention. Light rings of lacing on the glass. Aroma is malt based with grains and lemongrass coming through. The taste is clean, grassy, and a bit more hoppy in the finish. Bright and citrusy. Mouthfeel is medium to light.

Overall, a nice refreshing summer ale.

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Photo of Greggy
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a 1.5 finger white head over a straw yellow body with extremely fine sediment. After about a minute, the head recedes to a thin cap with thicker lacing ringing the glass.

S- Fresh and floral notes pop from this brew. Lemon pastry comes through as well as fresh hop notes.

T- Starts off with a light floral grainy flavor and then quickly transitions into dry, almost astringent notes. The finish extends this out a long way.

M- Medium carbonation works well per style.

O- Overall, a nice kolsch. Very reminiscent of the german kolsch's I've had in the past in the mineral taste. I look forward to having more of this during the summer.

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Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a finger of beige head. Good retention and lace. Color is a clear golden yellow.

Aroma: Very earthy and green. Citrus fruits with some bready malts. Almost smells like a hopped up pils.

Taste: Lemon citrus and bready malts. Also has a pale malt flavor. Earthy and green. Fairly floral.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean. Light bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends clean.

Overall, this is a great offering from Summit and something I will be having in the fridge this summer. Very easy to drink, yet provides a nice flavor.

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Photo of Czequershuus
3.96/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a pale straw with a lasting head. The nose reminds me of crackers, wheat, and, oddly, marmalade. The flavors very dry and malty, with just a bit of woody hop bitterness. It is very balances and refreshing. The mouthfeel is almost astringent. As a summer ale I really do believe this succeeds.

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Photo of budgood1
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours out a pale straw yellow colour with a frothy egg shell white head at least an inch high and not showing any signs of receding. plenty of chunky lace. pale malt aroma...some herbalness with lemongrss accents and hints of herbal hopppiness. the taste is frontal with the spiciness and herbal and lemongrass notes. a sturdy wheat and barley malt presence provides the impetus for all the impending flavours to take hold and lay down a foundation. it's a bit dry, and definitley has a quenching aspect to it, and i enjoy that after a hot day in the sun at work. well received body with a bit "rough around the edges" mouthfeel make this a unique kolsch. drinkability is quite nice...i like takes on a summertime style that exudes character.

overall i would say that summit has hit upon something good here, after messing around with the hefe and scandia. not sure where this rates compared to those two, but the ultimate comparison will be to see how this stands up to the schell zommerfest as go to summer slammers for my drinking pleasure. stay tuned...

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Photo of Jason
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date

LOOK: Clear yellow hue, decent lacing

SMELL: Herbal, green peppercorn, fresh crackers, faint mint, very clean

TASTE: Very crisp, wet, dry pull, oily hop resin, herbal, leafy, fresh grass, slightly biscuity, clean, long dry finish

Immensely drinkable, fresh malt flavors from start to finish. Hoppiness balances and shows off a little. Summit has certainly brightened up my summer a bit more with this one.

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Photo of bsp77
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into new Summit glass.

Appearance: Bright, burnished gold with moderate head and nice lacing.

Smell: Semi-sweet malts with notes of apple and grass. Floral, spicy hops make this quite dry and bitter smelling. Aroma becomes too muted after a couple minutes.

Taste: Just slightly sweet apple, pear and fresh cut grass, countered by a nice level of spiciness. Ends primarily with a spicy hop bite and is more bitter than most Kolsch I have had. Really fresh tasting (at least when it IS fresh).

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, clean & crisp body, dry finish.

Overall: Very refreshing but with a nice amount of flavor. As far as I can remember from two years ago, this is very similar to the Summit Kolsch Unchained beer, and that is a great thing. I know they used some slightly less authentic ingredients for this one than the Unchained one (to save money and/or increase production), but I can't really tell.

Much better than their Hefe Weizen (which this replaced), but I still miss the old Scandia Ale summer seasonal.

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Photo of herman77
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pale yellow with a small bright white head. Some haze to it when held up to a light. Good lacing.

S: Sweet cereal malts, a bit of fruity esters. A bit of lemon zest coming through.

T: Some light, slightly sweet grains up front. Then a bit of lemon and some very mild spicy hops punch through. Nice crisp and clean finish.

M: Light body. Moderate carbonation that is feels pretty soft.

O: Great drinkability. Nice and refreshing. Another great seasonal brew from Summit, glad it replaced the Hefe.

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Photo of Converge
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle poured into a 16oz pint glass. My first Kölsch.

A - Clean golden look with a touch of haze in it. Ample carbonation feeding a bubbly white head on top. Head retains as a thick, dense cap of white foam that leaves patches of sticky lacing.

S - Simple and clean, and very summery. Crisp wheat malt, light grassy hops, with some bready notes and a subtle kick of citrus.

T - Opens up with wheat and bready malt, but as it finishes a herbal hop presence makes itself known. Very grassy, and a bit oily. Buttery malt balances the hops. Balanced, simple, and very drinkable.

M - Medium bodied with assertive but crisp carbonation and a dry, slightly bittering finish.

D - Didn't really know what to expect form this brew, as I've never had a Kölsch before. I figured I'd get more yeast and less hops; something akin to a hefeweizen. This reminded me more of an APWA, but with both more hops and malt. All in all, a tasty and drinkable summer brew from Summit.

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Photo of Act25
3.87/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

As good as it gets with American Kolsch or summer beers. Well done!
Bought in craft pack from WFM.

A: Hazed lemony gold poured at first into a Leffe Chalice, and then a second chance in a Kolsh .2l cylinder named Dom. (the right glass for this beer) In both cases a large white dense meringue like head. That head stayed a long while and laced a little. Needed the right glass!

S: I actually opened this because my Great Divide Rumble just needed more time to warm and breathe to do it justice. It's a summer day and I am dining on giant local sea scallops, sausage on a garden veggie base, including fresh cut tomatoes, truffle oil, rosemary bread and cheeses.

Summit smells of lemon, grass, back of the bakery, dough, flower and flour.

T: cracker, biscuit base with plenty of hop clean finish, neat and dry, refreshing. This is now the #1 summer beer I have tried up there with Harpoon and Wyld Organic.

F: Good carbonation tickle, great finish, great with food. I could drink these all evening. Should come in cans!

Great summer beer. Makes me want to find more from this brewer.

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Photo of MadScientist
3.81/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: A pale golden beer with a slight haze and a thin white head.

S: Not a lot in the nose but a faint sweetness and a light lemon ester. The fermentation esters are pretty clean and lager like in there absences that is.

T: A medium bitterness and faint sweetness in the middle but becoming a very dry beer. A moderate lemon, citrus flavor. The balance is slight towards the bitter and the finish is dry.

M: A little fluffy, being a slightly creamy beer with a medium-light body and a medium level of carbonation

O: A very good Kolsch. It's a style I struggle to describe because when it's done right is a light dry beer with some potential fruitiness that is great a Summer session beer, much like what we have here with Summits Summer Ale.

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Photo of Omnium
3.76/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours a cloudy straw color, nice one finger of fizzy white head, good lacing too.
S - No real good aroma here that stands out, a little light grain, some grassy tones, a little lemon peel, maybe some biscuit.
T - Taste is mild bitterness on some biscuit malt, a little grassy and floral on the end.
M - Crisp and refreshing, light bodied.
O - Excellent summer beer, probably my favorite, easily drinkable, very refreshing. Not the most on flavor, but definitely a good example of a kolsch.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Cheese Cave.
Mild aroma that is mostly malt.
Clear yellow/gold body with white head.
Soft malt flavors with a smooth bitterness that doesn't overpower. Yeast character is in background.
Moderately light body with a soft carbonation.
This is a nice summer ale. Soft and well blended flavors. Should work for the masses, and could make a nice lawnmower beer.

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Photo of MNAle
3.74/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light color. Very crisp aroma. Subtle hop presence, consistent with the style. Refreshing, easy drinking. The 4.5% ABV (note: the 4.9% ABV shown with the listing here is not current) and crisp, refreshing taste means you could pound back more than a few of these on a hot summer evening.

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Photo of mnredsoxfan69
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I picked up Summit's Summer Sampler, a 12-pack of four different brews, three year round (Extra Pale Ale, Horizon Red IPA and Pilsner) and their Summer Ale, a Kölsch style brew. The first bottle of the Summer Ale I had was dull, lifeless with minimal smell, taste or head. I'm glad I tried a second one because it was like broad daylight versus fading sunset.

I poured it into a tulip glass (my favorite drinking vessel) and immediately saw the difference. This one poured a sticky, two finger head with moderate retention. The beer itself was a slightly hazy, light gold with light carbonation. The smell was fresh and zesty, lightly hoppy with floral and fruit notes of apple and pear. This followed into the taste, again with the apples and pears followed by a lightly bitter finish. Light to medium-light body with a slight carbonation prickle on the tongue.

Overall, an excellent, refreshing summer brew, a sessionable alcohol level of 4.4% and a flavor that isn't a hop slap or a cloying syrup. Nicely balanced. I'll buy more this summer.

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Summit Summer Ale from Summit Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.