Summit Brewing Company

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Lager - Märzen / Oktoberfest
Ranked #370
Ranked #41,850
3.65 | pDev: 12.33%
Summit Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
Notes: Brewed in the classic Märzen style with Northern Brewer hops from Germany. Rich, toffee malt flavors up front with a clean hop finish as crisp as the autumn air. Unfortunately, like the fall colors, this seasonal beer is gone before you know it.
Reviews: 297 | Ratings: 697 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Mindcrime1000
Mindcrime1000 from South Dakota

3.49/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours just lighter than amber and clear. Limited head but good lacing.

Aromas of bready malty grain, yeast, and a touch of grassy/earthy hops.

Similar flavors, with some fruity and spicy touches in midstream to go with the expected toasty bready malts and hop balance. Some style-defying booze warmth at the finish.

The brew is rather dry and abrasive for the style, owing certainly, at least in part, to the higher than usual ABV.

Not a bad brew, but too boozy and abrasive for the style.

Oct 03, 2020
Photo of chitoryu12
chitoryu12 from Florida

3.96/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Burnt orange and completely clear. One finger of thick white head with excellent retention.

Smell: Bready malt balanced by fruity, bright hops. Mild orange peel note.

Taste: Mild malt that’s quickly overcome by floral hop bitterness. Lingering bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Full, smooth body with high carbonation.

Overall: A little too much lingering bitterness on the tongue, but still nice.

Oct 01, 2019
Photo of WoodBrew
WoodBrew from Ohio

3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I tried this at Smith & Wollenski's in downtown Minneapolis whilst there for a trade show. The beer poured a clear amber and had thin white head that did not leave much lacing. The scent had malt and grain notes. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink with sweet malt presence. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall its a decent beer.

Sep 30, 2019
Photo of marcobrau
marcobrau from Illinois

3.99/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours deep gold to amber with plenty of foam that leaves laces while slowly settling to a collar. Delightful, delicate aroma of caramel malts and hop spice. Not as full bodied as expected. Malt and hops are very nicely balanced. A very good Oktoberfest.

Sep 10, 2019
Photo of defunksta
defunksta from North Dakota

3.86/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a deep, but bright, auburn orange color. Like a dried orange or apricot color. A strong off-white head. SRM of 17. (4.00)

Aroma: Fairly light aromas. Mostly orange citrus, cream, toffee, and bread malts. Alcohol is detectable. Light toasted bread crust with caramel spice behind that. (3.75)

Flavor: Lots of chewy & resinous orange citrus with strong breadiness on the flavor. At the same time there is a strong, creamy, fresh baked bread and toffee sweetness. Little caramel and cinnamon. Some monkey bread. Finishes slightly sweet. (4.00)

Feel: Heavier bodied and creamy on the tongue. Medium carbonated, smooth, and creamy. Alcohol is detectable here. (3.75)

Compared to Mankato Brewery's Oktoberfest Festbier (2020) 9/13/20: Pours a similar color with a stronger head. More orange and alcohol aromas. Less toasty bread and spice. Stronger carbonation and candied fruit bitterness.

Compared to Sierra Nevada's Oktoberfest 2020 9/24/20: Pours a darker and more amber color with a larger head. More orange, cream, brown sugar, bread. Less pine for sure. More bread and spice all around.

Overall: A pretty good Marzen. Nice chewy and creamy orange citrus with toffee flavors. Showcases the fruit flavors, more than the German malt flavors, so definitely is Americanized. Strong orange and toffee here. Not true to the German festbier style, but for an American Marzen, it's quite good. (Final Rating: 3.71)
*Compare to Odell or Sam Adams*

Aug 31, 2019
Photo of SB2017
SB2017 from Iowa

3.06/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Like many other uninspired oktoberfest beers by popular breweries, this brew comes across too sweet, cornsyrupy, and leaves an unpleasant bitterness behind. Flavor of teriyaki really comes through.

Mar 16, 2019
Photo of Drak-Nib
Drak-Nib from Nebraska

3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Subtly spicy taste and smell makes me want to guzzle it. Tasty and full of interesting possibilities. The aftertaste is a slight bit bitter. Very easy drinker. From a taster. 2018/11/25

Nov 28, 2018
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.12/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into glass. Stamped on label is '82120749'. 2018 edition.
Clear, pale amber colored body. One finger white head that reduces to interrupted islands and ring. Leaves behind rings of lacing.
Subtle aroma of toasty malts, and a hint of floral hops.
Taste of toasty, toffee laden malts, with a blend of floral, slightly spicy hops. No bitterness.
Medium mouth feel with a toffee/caramel note. Good carbonation.
A well done fest beer from a professional brewer. Expresses as a well balanced and well crafted fest beer. Represents well when sampled and compared to other fest beers. Nothing out of place but presents as a confidently crafted fest beer. Quite sublime but also quite memorable.

Aug 29, 2018
Photo of ipeters1017
ipeters1017 from Wisconsin

4.09/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2017 batch, from the bottle into a shaker pint. Pours a clear burnt orange with a thin head, minimal lacing down the glass. Smells strongly of malt with biscuit and earthy hop undertones. Taste is bready, strongly malted, with a hint of warming alcohol. This is a sweet, but not overly sweet beer. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Overall, a great lager that should only taste better as fall approaches.

Aug 06, 2017
Photo of dhannes
dhannes from Wisconsin

3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a perfect pint.
L=Dark amber with a foamy head of about 1 inch.
S=Strong maltiness with a bit of mustiness.
T=A fair amount of maltiness, with a bit of sweetness and fruitiness.
F=A tad bitter, with a fair amount of body and carbonation.
O=Although I was a bit disappointed, this is a decent offering...try it if you like beers that are lighter and more bitter than a traditional märzen.

Oct 24, 2016
Photo of matcris
matcris from Arizona

4.68/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A very clear copper/amber with a finger + of off white creamy head that lasts all the way down. Lots of tiny bubbles rising up the glass. The beer leaves a great looking thick lacing down the glass. The aroma is of toasted sweet malt, fresh cut grass, and honey or a floral note like jasmine. The flavor is lots of toasted biscuit, sweet caramel malt, lingering pleasant sweetness combined with a nice earthy/grassy hop note. That honey or floral note is there in the taste, and adds another layer of complexity. Feel is a little slick, medium body, with the finish drying things up, nicely, and good full carbonation. Overall, I think this is a pretty interesting take on the style and is more complex and layered than any other brew I've had in this classification. Very nice! I don't know how authentic this beer would be in a competition, but I thoroughly enjoyed this brew.

Oct 06, 2016
Photo of Beginner2
Beginner2 from Illinois

3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I'm developing a theory about why so many Midwest second generation craft brewers (i.e. those that were had respectable products in the last century) have Marzens. The theory runs like this: if your initial market has enough German heritage (say 10% before the 1930s) mixed in and you have a decent recipe to start with, then overtime your Marzen is worth introducing every year and it gets better during the course of this 21st Century. Of course, this is just a theory that seems true... to me. What do you think ?

As for Summit, I'm not sure they started with a decent recipe; but, they are making it better. I remember having this over 5 years ago. The bottle I just Had now is better than in 2010... but that is based on my flawed memory.

Bottom-line: if you like the style, buy Summit's and try it. You may think it average (like me), but it is getting better and that alone is worth saying "Prost!"

Oct 04, 2016
Photo of emerge077
emerge077 from Illinois

3.99/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bright amber with a pillowy head of fluffy foam, drippy lacing all around a glass, and a lasting surface skim.
Aroma is lightly sweet with apple esters and nutty toasted malt notes.
Taste is fairly amped up, fully malty with some husky toasted bready notes and light apple esters.
Medium to light bodied, dry finish with a light bitterness and toasty aftertaste.
Overall not bad at all, a touch on the sweet side but fresh and tasty.

Sep 25, 2016
Photo of KonigObHops
KonigObHops from Ohio

2.74/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

The beer poured a clear dark copper color with a white head that was about two finger widths thick. There was ample lacing.

The aroma was a combination of earthiness and some sweet hoppy tones.

The beer begins sweet. There is a biscuity flavor briefly present in the middle, but the finish dominates with what almost seems like an apple flavor.

The carbonation on this beer is rather high.

This was an interesting beer overall, but I would not call it an Oktoberfest. I liked this beer, but don't get it if you are looking for a true Oktoberfest.

Sep 03, 2016
Photo of umustdrink
umustdrink from Minnesota

3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look - Medium orange color, transparent. Beige head, hangs on as a film.

Smell - Light, grainy sweet, burnt caramel. There's an "airyness" to it, like a very mild alcohol.

Taste - Some sweet bitterness up front, sweet and bready. Lightly caramely. Flavorful in the finish, dark bready and caramely.

Feel - Very dry, medium carbonation.

Overall - You can tell this has some alcohol strength to it, which I suppose is appropriate for a Märzen style.

Aug 25, 2016
Photo of CraigP83
CraigP83 from Minnesota

3.59/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, light Amber, 1 finger off white head. Sweet bready smelling, slightly tinny, crisp hops. Sweet caramel, can the ethanol. Drinkable I love 12oz can format + price

Aug 22, 2016
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.39/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My main man Nick K. dug these beers. I thought they looked pretty, all that amber flowing around and giving substantial head. Gives some mild grain and honey aroma.

The malt is toasted the right amount, earthy. Caramel. Clean. ABV is up. This is pretty much one of the better beers in a style I don't usually jive with, but you gotta admit when a beer is pretty much exactly what they were probably shooting for.

Dec 09, 2015
Photo of tone77
tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

WTF is this? A bottled beer courtesy of the creator of the canquest, woodychandler? Unthinkable. But true. Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark golden/copper color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of malts, some sweet caramel. Taste is caramel malts, sweet and bready, very easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

Nov 07, 2015
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.74/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I have been winnowing through the backlog of beer here at Chez Woody, eschewing hoppy IPAs & DIPAs for everything else that seems to get short shrift. I have several Oktoberfest/Marzens lined up for this evening.

I had to fight a little bit with the cap, but when it Pop!ped off, I was happy to begin a heavy-handed pour. I got two fingers of foamy, rocky, light-tan head for my efforts. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a robust maltiness, not cloyingly sweet, but assertive with regard to its maltiness. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste had a sweetness that hovered between bready and maple syrupy. This would be the sweet spot for me from the style since I really dislike sweet and especially overly sweet. Warming, I began to taste a pleasant nuttiness beginning to assert itself, kind of an almond/pecan flavor. The finish was semi-sweet, again, just right for the likes of me. I really dislike malt bombs and this managed to keep its sweetness in check. Well done, sirs!

Nov 07, 2015
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i dig this on a whole number of levels. as good as any beer i have had from these guys. for one, its much stronger than the industry (or traditional) standard for the style. i suppose that come this time of year way up in minnesota, there is snow on the ground as often as there isnt, so a big burly body and abv on this style make a lot of sense. the flavor resulting from the increased grain is tremendous, its autumnal for sure, german, sweet, rustic. notes of honey and raisin, bready lager yeast, and something i cant quite place, sort of rye-esque spice in the middle there, but i dont know what from. notes of red apple and apple cider too. sweet like that. the hops seem backed off a little bit, the beer is grain driven and on the sweet side all the way through. all the body is really awesome, and the smoothness and creaminess are uncommon in the style. this is a style, especially for american brewers, thats almost like, if youve had one, youve had them all, but thankfully this is a bold statement in a unique direction, and its almost like an imperial octoberfest. creative and well put together, i would buy this again. drinking it by the pint will catch up to you though, trust me...

Oct 28, 2015
Photo of dcotom
dcotom from Iowa

3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12-ounce bottle into a dimpled mug.
Look: Beautiful caramel color with tons of of white, sudsy foam that left lots of sticky lacing.
Smell: Not too complex on the nose, sweet malts and a hint of the sort of spiciness that you get with some Belgian yeasts.
Taste/Feel: Again, sweetness dominates. Nothing overpowering on the palate, a little bit of bitterness on the finish with some warmth from the alcohol (7.1% ABV). Creamy mouthfeel, with some lingering sweetness.
Overall: A nice, malty Märzen-style lager, very enjoyable and highly drinkable for the ABV.

Oct 22, 2015
Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
BigDaddyWarbuxx from Iowa

3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A little bit of spice, but nothing major. Honestly, the one attribute to this beer that stood out to me the most was the relatively high carbonation. Other than that, there isn't really anything unique about this.

Oct 10, 2015
Photo of maedhros09
maedhros09 from Minnesota

3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a sweet caramelly malt driven märzen without too much hop presence. However for being a sweeter example of the style it is pretty tasty. I enjoyed it more than most Summit beers I've tried.

Sep 20, 2015
Photo of Czequershuus
Czequershuus from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a light amber with a nice white head. The aromas of caramel, cotton candy, crackers, and roast vegetables rise of the beer. The flavor leads with a bubblegum like sweetness, tempered by a balanced fruity bitterness and cracker finish. The mouthfeel is rich but not overpoweringly so. This is an awesome oktoberfest, and while it stays within the tradition framework, it explores just enough to create and amazing flavor.

Sep 18, 2015
Photo of vickyreddy
vickyreddy from Minnesota

4.24/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It is kind of intense and strong flavor with bitter taste.... for all those who like strong this would be one of your bucket list try it it good...this is good compared with the taste of Samuel Adams October fest

Sep 06, 2015
Oktoberfest from Summit Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 697 ratings