Great Northern
Summit Brewing Company

Great NorthernGreat Northern
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Summit Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
American Porter
Ranked #322
Ranked #20,226
3.82 | pDev: 10.99%
Dec 04, 2021
Mar 04, 2002
Very Good
Great NorthernGreat Northern
Notes: Originally named after the London market workers who popularized this brew, we dubbed our Porter with a nod toward the majestic railway stretching from St. Paul to Seattle. Roasted malts offer up coffee notes and lead to a slightly sweet, chocolatey finish. All aboard!
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 4.25 by megamick from Iowa

Dec 04, 2021
Rated: 4.01 by LesDewitt4beer from Minnesota

Oct 22, 2021
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Reviewed by defunksta from North Dakota

3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
Appearance: Pours a black color with a giant, clinging tan head that leaves a rim. SRM of 23. (4.00)

Aroma: Moderate aromas of full, bittersweet Belgian cocoa. A strong, but airy roastiness comes through that give sit a slight plastic/metal aroma. Also some sulfur, sort of like feces. Smells dry. (3.25)

Flavor: Nothing overwhelming on the tongue. Extremely balanced. There is some nice Belgian/European chocolate notes that is balanced by an airy roastiness that was present in the aroma. It has a funny plastic/metallic twist to the roast and almost reminds me of the smell of an airplane or airplane bathroom. The roasty notes are smokey, slightly bitter, with then an airy and dry finish like a porter. Mostly light chocolate flavors here. (3.50)

Feel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation, but it fits well with the dry-roastiness to protect some of the flavor. Drinks balanced, dry, and clean. Leaves a slight airy smokiness on the palate. (3.75)

Compared to Great Lakes' Edmund Fitzgerald 3/29/20: Pours a similar color with a stronger head. More mellow and rich chocolate flavor. Less pastry/strudel & milk sweetness. Similar bitterness and body. Overall, I slightly prefer the Edmund Fitzgerald due to the complexity and malt flavor.

Compared to Bells Porter 2/11/21: Similar appearance. Stronger airy roast aromas. Less chocolate and deep flavors. More plastic/metallic roast flavors. Stronger carbonation, and more dry.

Compared to Bent Paddle's Black Ale 2/16/21: Pours a similar color with a milder and lighter head. More mild and airy aromas. More airy roast and sulfur/plastic. Less chocolate and malts.
1/18/22: Pours similar. Milder aromas. More airy roast. Less chocolate.

Overall: This one has gone a bit downhill for me. Sometimes it has a weird plastic/metallic aroma/flavor that reminds me of how an airplane or balloon smells. On the aroma it comes across like sulfur or feces which isn't pleasant, but at least it corrects on the flavor. Dryer and cleaner than some others I've had. Respectably clean, tame, and drinkable. A decent porter that is trending downwards. (Final Rating: 3.50)
Feb 17, 2021
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Reviewed by hbeimers from Illinois

4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Loads of roasted malt flavors in here. Almost no bitterness and a heavy dose of coffee and chocolate. Slightly sweet finish and plenty of bubbles. Tasty.
Jan 03, 2021
Rated: 4.01 by HopliteMpls612 from Minnesota

Oct 17, 2020
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Reviewed by Jason from Massachusetts

4.26/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
12oz can, sample from the brewery.

This is a beautiful beer and an amazing example of what a Porter is. Just toasty enough with no harshness, a kiss of sweetness within the we'll established maltiness. Good dose of hop character to balance it all out. Tasty from start to finish!
Oct 10, 2020
Rated: 3.79 by nruhlig from Minnesota

Dec 08, 2019
Rated: 3.97 by evanschaaf from Minnesota

Oct 23, 2019
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Reviewed by detgfrsh from Texas

3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
From a 12oz bottle. Black color with tan head. Smells of roasted malt, chocolate, and vanilla. Light body. Roasted malt and chocolate flavors with a bitter finish. Great all around.
Oct 05, 2019
Rated: 3.99 by superwho24 from Arkansas

Oct 03, 2019
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Reviewed by marcobrau from Illinois

3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75
Pours a very dark brown with a good head. Lace is left behind as the head falls to a collar of foam. Aroma of cocoa. Fairly light bodied with chocolate flavors and fairly assertive hop bitterness. A bit thin with a quick finish that ends end hop bitterness a bit of dark chocolate...dry cocoa flavors with even a hint of tartness. Pretty damn tasty.
Sep 10, 2019
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Reviewed by GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Brown liquid.

Tan head; nice lace.

Cream, coffee & chocolate nose.

Thin mouthfeel.

Oats & muted coffee flavor; hop finish.

Decent; nice nose though.
Apr 01, 2019
Rated: 3.88 by corywalston from North Dakota

Jan 30, 2019
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Rated by GaryT2 from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
It tastes the same as Deuchartes to me.
Nov 19, 2018
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Rated by mngermanshepherd from Minnesota

4.48/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Malty, chocolaty and delicious!
Oct 19, 2018
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Reviewed by bbtkd from South Dakota

3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Summit Great Northern Porter, 5.6% ABV. Pours black, with a one finger tan head. Nose is vanilla and slight chocolate, taste is chocolate, with a slight bitter close. Excellent mouthfeel, overall excellent.
Jun 08, 2018
Rated: 3.92 by Efoss from Minnesota

Feb 28, 2018
Rated: 3.73 by Rilesmiles from Wisconsin

Feb 24, 2018
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Reviewed by Victory_Sabre1973 from Minnesota

3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
This beer pours pitch black . Slightly off white head. 1 finger. Retention is moderate. Nice lacing on the glass.
Nose is rich with malts. Nice chocolate notes. Some vanilla.
Taste malty. There's a slight bitterness on the backside.
A bit on the watery side.
Tasty overall beer.
Jan 18, 2018
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Reviewed by ipeters1017 from Wisconsin

3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Pours pitch black with an off white head with great retention. Smell is lightly roasty and chocolate without a lot of depth. Tastes mostly of roasted malt with hints of coffee. Straightforward but well done. Feel is smooth, lightly carbonated, medium bodied. Very easy drinking porter.
Nov 12, 2017
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Reviewed by MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Brewer's notes:
"Original Gravity: 13.3° P
Alcohol by Weight: 4.3%
Alcohol by Volume: 5.4%
Color, (deg. L.): Black, 60° L
IBUs: 51
Malts Utilized: 2-Row Pale, Caramel, Chocolate, Crystal
Hops Utilized: Northern Brewer, Fuggle, Cascade
Yeast: Ale
Established: 1986

Originally named after the London market workers who popularized this brew, we dubbed our Porter with a nod toward the majestic railway stretching from St. Paul to Seattle. Roasted malts offer up coffee notes and lead to a slightly sweet, chocolatey finish. All aboard!"

Poured from 12oz bottle into glass. Bottle is stamped 'ENJOY BY 03/14/17'.
Dark body, but light does show through. Tan colored head, settles to thin cap. Some spotty lacing.
Aroma of coffee and dark chocolate.
Taste has dark chocolate, coffee, and dark malts.
Thin to medium mouth feel, appropriate for its ABV.
I have been a fan of this beer since 1986. During Saturday tours at the original brewery on University Avenue, this is the first tap I would pull during the free pour session. Solid, not spectacular, but consistently good.

I tried the rum barrel aged Great Northern Porter at the opening of the 'Summit Ratskeller'. To me the barrel did not offer much over the base beer. I could taste the rum barrel influence, but the beer was rather thin, and no flavor aspect really stood out. Okay to try, but do not expect a great barrel aged beer.
Nov 09, 2017
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Reviewed by Ri0 from Wisconsin

3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75
Poured 12oz bottle into snifter. Color is dark brown with a 1.5 finger off white foamy head with some lacing, Aroma of roasted grains with coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and earthy with very subtle bittering hops. Flavor follows the nose with the bittersweet chocolate, earthy and slight bittering hops with light coffee. Smooth with a medium feel. Solid Porter from my mixed 12 pack.
Nov 05, 2017
Rated: 4.02 by MrUse from Minnesota

Oct 26, 2017
Rated: 3.75 by NodakEric from Minnesota

Oct 02, 2017
Rated: 3.74 by sparx1100 from Minnesota

Sep 22, 2017
Rated: 3.83 by BLarson31 from Minnesota

Sep 18, 2017
Rated: 4.24 by Cristoph from Nebraska

Aug 13, 2017
Rated: 3.92 by craigbelly from Iowa

Jul 10, 2017
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Reviewed by Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
This was poured into a pint glass. The appearance was a deep dark brown with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within less than a minute. Minimal light lacing slid into the beer. The smell was a roasty dark bitter chocolate with some coffee and a light toasty note. The taste had a rich chocolate to coffee that ended up allowing a slight roasty quality to it. On the palate, this one sat right about a medium on the body with a fairly good sessionability about it. The carbonation was somewhat smooth and nice. Overall, I say this was a good porter worthy of having again.
Jun 24, 2017
Rated: 4.25 by tvenne from Minnesota

May 07, 2017
Rated: 3.85 by Taphouse_Traveler from Florida

May 04, 2017
Rated: 3.46 by Nolster from Minnesota

Apr 08, 2017
Rated: 4 by rickklein9 from Pennsylvania

Apr 02, 2017
Rated: 4.31 by JMN44 from Minnesota

Feb 27, 2017
Rated: 3.85 by APH from Ohio

Jan 30, 2017
Rated: 3.44 by DesMoinesMike from Iowa

Jan 23, 2017
Rated: 4.43 by ANiklaus from Minnesota

Jan 20, 2017
Rated: 3.58 by fiveiron from Minnesota

Dec 29, 2016
Rated: 4.5 by TCMike from Minnesota

Oct 28, 2016
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Reviewed by rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
Halfway between black and brown pours this porter. Brown head. 3/4". Aroma had some sweet roastiness to it.

Taste had some mixture of counterbalancing sweetness with the roast and substantial hoppiness for a midwest porter. Chocolate malt used nicely. Good format, good price. A very minor coffee malt impression. The bitterness is more hop derived than it is from the roast.
Sep 22, 2016
Great Northern from Summit Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 668 ratings