Summit India Pale Ale | Summit Brewing Company

283 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Summit India Pale AleSummit India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Replaced by True Brit IPA.

Added by ADR on 02-16-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 283 | Ratings: 511
Photo of emerge077
3.08/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Definitely an English IPA... sweet, mellow, and tea-like.

Smells like a buttered biscuit, and has a dark copper orange body, with a thin head of white foam. Light honey sweetness in the aroma. Flavor seems driven more by the mild complexity of its specialty malt character than much hop content. Faint inkling of dried citrus peel. Some earthy grassy notes suggest hops, but its pretty muted. Overall fairly average taste and aroma, body is sturdy though. Not much here to distinguish it, an entirely average English IPA.

 522 characters

Photo of ncsutton
3.41/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving - Bottle

A - Rich amber color with a good head to start out with, head lasts throughout the beer

S - More of a weak smell, its of roasted malts and some light floral tones to it as well

T - Tastes highly of roasted malts with a lot less of a hop taste that you would expect from an IPA, they are present however, just weaker than most of the style

M - Medium bodied and medium carbonation, maybe a bit to thick for the taste of the beer

O - Overall my review might sound as if I didn't enjoy this and that is not the case, I was reviewing it in relation to other IPA's, and in my opinion I think that Summit should have gone with a different name for this beer, it is however still a very solid beer

 712 characters

Photo of beagle75
3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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

A: Slightly hazy, light to medium amber color with one finger of rocky off-white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Mild floral hops are the single most distinctive feature, though nothing truly distinctive stands out. Bready English malt is present in trace amounts, alongside some carbon dioxide.

T: Begins off-dry, with assertive Maris Otter malt that borders on diacetyl-like qualities. Hop aromatics are understated, earthy and herbaceous perhaps, but in conflict with sharp minerality and strong carbonic acidity. Malt presence persists through the middle, while moderate bitterness defines the finish in the absence of other features.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, acidic on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This ale is a rare, malt-focused example of an American-brewed IPA. It shares some features with its smaller sibling, Summit's Extra Pale Ale, but it struggles to be as successful in its style as that other beer. Perhaps its most defining feature is its bitter finish, but even that is noteworthy only in relative terms due to the lack of other dominant flavor qualities. It has no glaring weaknesses, but it does struggle to distinguish itself or be remembered.

 1,254 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.79/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served on-draught into a pilsner glass in St. Paul, Minnesota. Reviewed from notes taken over Thanksgiving holiday. Not paired with food. Expectations were low given the style.

A: Pours a half finger head of fair cream, decent thickness, and okay retention. Colour is a transparent textbook copper.

Sm: Lightly toasted malt. A mild strength aroma.

T: Lightly toasted malt, cream, and barley. Light hops. It's surprisingly restrained for an IPA. A bit simple, but pleasant. Fairly balanced and decently built.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but a touch too thick. It suits the flavours generally.

Dr: Decently drinkable, but it's far from special. I wouldn't have it again. Even IPA fans might not like this too much as it isn't horribly hoppy.



11/29/13: Truncated notes from a bottle serving.

Hoppier than I remember it, with plenty of floral hop character and bitterness. Somewhat balanced by the pale malts, but the balance is far from ideal. Quite cohesive, but not gestalt. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour.

Smooth and wet. Overcarbonated, even a bit biting. Decent thickness and body.

Drinkable and enjoyable but far from world class. A decent little IPA from Summit that I see no need to buy again.


 1,239 characters

Photo of bnes09
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Transparent, golden copper color. Good head with lots of lacing.

Clean aroma of mildly citrusy hops.

Taste is mild yet well balanced. Not a lot of hops for the style, some citric and soap flavor. Bready malt character. Average for the style.

Good carbonation and dry, crisp finish. Medium body.

Descent brew. Not up to standards of the top ipa's yet still tasty and highly drinkable.

 387 characters

Photo of pBRale
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter

Appearance: Medium to deep amber pour, clear, with a 2-finger creamy off-white head that settles fairly slowly with exceptional retention and a thick, sticky web of lacing.

Smell: A nice bouquet of hop aromas--earthy, resinous, floral, and fruity--with a subtle caramel malt in the background.

Taste: A nice earthy taste to start, along with some malt presence and a hint of gruity/estery taste. The finish is very bitter and earthy.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body, medium carbonation with a crisp finish that is dry and bitter.

Overall: A very nice, drinkable english IPA with a fairly substantial malt presence. A solid choice.

 658 characters

Photo of BedetheVenerable
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown screw top, nice label. FINALLY got a hold of one of these, and it's even date-stamped. The only problem is, it's a little over 2 months out of date. However, considering that this was by far the freshest I could find in central IL (the others were 6 months plus) I'll take it, as I've been wanting to try this English-style offering for awhile now.

Appearance: Just slightly hazed burnt orange beer, capped with a large, creamy dark ivory head which shows good retentino and some nice lacing.

Smell: Even though it's a bit long in the tooth, this is still fairly hop-forward, though it's definitely an 'English' hoppiness, full of dark, herbal, and earthy notes. In support of the hops is a nice, biscuity, ever-so-slightly-toffee-like malt backbone. Straightforward, but I'm definitely digging it.

Taste: Pretty much in keeping with the aromas, though there's not much in the way of hop flavor. I'm assuming a lot of this is due to the age; all I get here is some very mild fruity hop flavor. Mild English-style fruity esters, a fairly strong, lightly tannic/tea-like bitterness (I'd guess maybe 50-60 IBUS?) and some nice light caramel notes from the malt. This tastes darn good now; I bet it'd be great fresh.

Mouthfeel: Medium; quite drinkable

Overall: I need a fresh sample (why is that so hard to get??) If I could, I'd definitely pick up an (in date) sixer of this now and again. Nice English-style IPA!

 1,441 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.86/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pint right in front of my gate at Minneapolis-St Paul's airport terminal.

This beer appears a clear medium amber hue, with one finger of creamy, foamy ecru head, which leaves some layered rings of lace around the glass as it duly settles. It smells of bready caramel malt, some faint lemon and orange citrus, and pine hops. The taste is more bready caramel, a bit of vanilla nougat, grassy, piney hops, and a mild tinge of booze. The carbonation is average, the body medium-light in weight, and a bit too prickly to be considered outright smooth. It finishes off-dry, with warm citrus creamed maltinesss.

Not too shabby an IPA, a bit too zingy, but overall easy to drink. Just don't do it at the airport for damned near a sawbuck per pint.

 743 characters

Photo of TheBear11D
3.11/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours a rusty bronze color with a thick creamy head that leaves decent lacing.

Has a floral hop aroma but not much else is happening.

Floral hops and a hint of spice.

Medium to full body with light carbonation.

Overall this is a decent beer but nothing to be too excited about.

 319 characters

Photo of JEdmund
3.61/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Copper hued with a thick white head. Retention is good and it leaves proper lacing.

Smell is underwhelming, but to be fair it is English style. Aroma features berry, mint, wood, toffee, caramel notes.

Taste is pretty well balanced with a lean towards hops in the finish. Hops definitely not PacNW. They're a bit earthy and slightly minty. I like the bitter flavor. It's subtle compared to the American IPAs I'm used to. Body has good texture, and there's a fine amount of carbonation.

Overall an enjoyable beer but not particularly striking. And it doesn't hold a candle to Goose Island's English style IPA.

 610 characters

Photo of JMad
3.46/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from a pint glass...

The liquid is orange copper with a soapy off white head that left a lot of lacing. It smells of sweet malt, apricot and there is a muddled hop presence that was not pleasant. The beer is bitter up front with lemon hops and citrus peel, the taste is kind of weak but there is a nice finish with bready malt and piney hops. It's kind of thick with low carbonation and a dry finish. This is a mediocre IPA, ok, but not great.

 457 characters

Photo of BrewerB
3.61/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, medium orange with golden highlights. Formed a 1-2 finger foam, off-white in color, slowly receding back down while sticking some lacing aside the glass. Surprisingly malt-forward aroma also contains hints of herbal hops. Minty with a bit of floral. Fermentation seems mostly clean with just a tad of esters. Again, more of the malt flavor reaching the palette than hops. Seems a bit too malt-focused for the style and has a flavor leaning towards toasty bread, with some caramel character reaching through, too. Subtly floral. Medium-light bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Smooth.

A little too malt balanced for the IPA-style but a well made beer none the less. I feel it's a bit more of a "Pale Ale" than it is an "India Pale Ale" though perhaps the bottle is beyond its peak freshness.

 817 characters

Photo of PokerGod
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance- Nice brown beer, slightly cloudy. Good one finger head, which dissipates into a nice collar that leaves frothy light-tan lacing.

Smell- A subdued hop aroma, but underneath a strong breadiness that usually I don't get with IPAs. I'm excited for possibly a malty IPA.

Taste- Not as much of the malts that I had hoped for with the smell, but the hops are, of course, present. And indeed, they are delicious. This is a pretty easy IPA to drink if you're a beer newbie.

Overall- I like it. I would have no problem puting down a few of these while watching the game or playing some poker.

 637 characters

Photo of sendsilk
2.58/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle received from a friend as an extra ina trade.

I drank this about an hour ago and still have about 1/4 left in my glass. I'm really liking IPA's as of late, but this one just is not very good. It's either old, or just not a good IPA. Kind of sad considering MN produces Furious which is fantastic.

I'd recommend shying away from this poor man's IPA, especially when there are so many better offrerings out there.

 428 characters

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.36/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Amber and clear, three finger head with some staying power and very nice lacing.

Smell seems a bit heavy on the caramel malt for an IPA. There's some citrus, but little pine.

Taste follows the smell, caramel malty, almost oily so, but I'm not convinced the oilyness is from the hops, with less pine, citrus and grapefruit than is typical for the an IPA, English or American. Almost tastes of an English bitter mixed with a weak IPA.

Feel is fine, light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Decent but lacking for the style. Simplistic.

 549 characters

Photo of Goliath
3.46/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber color with a two inch cream colored head. There is excellent head retention and some nice lacing.

The aroma is ok. There's a light hop presence with a bit of an earthy and piney note. There's also a light malt presence showing a little raw grain.

The taste is ok. It's lightly bitter, but only on the finish. It's got some herbal qualities, with a touch of citrus. I also get a bit of bread from the grain profile.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a light carbonation.

Drinkability is relatively high. It's a pretty simple beer, and not the best IPA I've had. However, the flavor profile is decent and it's a very sessionable IPA. All things considered it's a nice little beer.

 699 characters

Photo of mvanaskie13
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip shaped pint glass, nice off white thick head; color is a dark copper. A shade too dark for an english ipa.

Smell is floral, citrusy hop with a sweeter, caramel malt follow up. Not as bitter as I'd expect.

Taste is quick hop lemon and mild pine bitterness, followed by a sweeter caramel maltiness.

Mouthfeel is relatively balanced, a touch on the sweet/cloying side.

Overall, a decent beer but more of a sweeter ipa, in between an pale/ipa/amber.

 469 characters

Photo of CalhounJohn
3.35/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice, mild IPA

Appearance - A semi-deep brown beer that met my expectations.

Smell - This beer had a mild citrus aroma that didn't set the bar, yet didn't disappoint.

Taste - A nice depth of flavor and not as hoppy as you might expect from an IPA.

Mouthfeel - It sat nicely as it went down and didn't disappoint. It had a nice balanced flavor that raised this beer in my eyes. I was very surprised by the depth of flavor.

Overall - Ultimately, I was happy with this beer and think it would be a nice addition to have on hand when a better than average beer is needed.

 574 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Dark amber orange with a medium white head that fades into a thin white layer. Pretty good lacing.

Smell: Mild citrus and earthy hops followed by a scent of citrus. Hints of pale malt, lemon, and dried fruit.

Taste: Starts with some malty and fruity sweetness and spice. Then a nice bite of citrus and earthy hops. Also a hint of caramel.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Fairly smooth.

Overall: A lighter but pretty decent tasting and complex IPA.

 517 characters

Photo of FosterJM
3.03/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

372nd review on BA
bottle to pint
12 oz

Brewsky's in Lincoln, NE

App- Very dark amber with a one finger head. A little too dark for an IPA, especially after the GI IPA. Not a lot of lace/cling at all.

Smell- Just smelled very off to me, more in line with the malt scents from the Imperial Pumpkin porter I have had before.

Taste- This was malty, but was missing at least a small hop note to it. The taste was flat and a bit more creamy than I belive intended.

Mouth- Medium bodied with a medium carbonation level. A small flat malt feel.

Drink- A bit let down with this, I liked my first beer from summit and wanted to like this but it was flat and a bit off to me.

 671 characters

Photo of zoolou
2.55/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Definitely the best thing about this beer is the way it looks. A pale golden color with a great head that stays throughout and leaves layers of sticky lacing up and down the glass. However, that is where the fun ends.

S - The smell that sticks out is corny/grainy, reminiscent of Budweiser. I guess a hop aroma is there, but way in the background. Very unimpressive for an IPA

T - I was expecting a big hop attack from this one, but it almost seems as if Summit's Extra Pale Ale is more hoppy than this one. Very corny/grainy tasting under the small hop undercurrent. Underwhelming and not very appetizing.

Overall I was rather disappointed with this beer. If you're trying out Summit, go for the EPA or the porter.

 722 characters

Photo of Clearce
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer as part of the spring sampler. I am very impressed with the flavor of this IPA. It had a huge foomy head that remained all the way to the bottom. I am ok with all IPAs not being the same. I like IPA with really bold flavors that stand out and I also like beers with more balanced subtle flavors. I would consider Summit IPA to be less bold of flavor, but very good tasting. I liked the balance of spice and bitterness. I am glad I tried Summit. I am new to comparing beers, but I have not had a bad IPA yet. The beers mouth feel was full enough. The drinkability was very good.

The most critical thing I can say s that if it was a choice between this Summit IPA and The excelent Summit EPA I am not sure which I would choose. Not sure how quickly I will get back to summit but I do want to get back to it. Good stuff.

 835 characters

Photo of marty21
3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours golden orange with 1 finger worth of white foamy head. Settles to a ring around the glass and left a decent amount of lacing.

S: Mild hoppy nose with some earthy tones. Almost smells likek alcohol.

T: There's some pine initially but then you get this big earthy grass taste. Finishes with a bit of bitterness.

M: Medium carbonation with a light to medium body.

D: I don't think I would consider this an IPA there were hardly any hops. Most Pale Ales have way more hops then this.

 493 characters

Photo of CanonJohn
4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle in to a pint glass.

A: Very nice light amber. Clear, with a nice amount of carbonation. Head was thin, but creamy. Tan, almost caramel in color. Left some nice lacing that hung high on the glass and never fell.

S: Malty, roasty, hops, citrus, perhaps a touch of dried fruit.

T: Starts malty, sweet, some fruit notes. Spicy and complex, with the hops kicking in right after. The finish is alcohol with a nice mild hoppy/bitter after taste.

M: Nice medium bodied. Coats the mouth well, leaving a lingering flavor that is very pleasant.

D: Highly drinkable. Not quite a session beer because of the ABV, but I could knock back a few easy. Also would be good with a meal. This could stand up very well against a steak and baked potato.

 754 characters

Photo of FreshHawk
3.46/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Crisp bronze color with a large, thick, creamy, foamy, smooth, white head. Great retention finally settling in a thin, foamy lace.

S - Faint and soft on the nose. Hops provide most of the aroma, but it smells more like a hoppy pale ale than a full IPA. Touch of citrus, earthy, spicy, and grassy hops. Touches of lemon zest. A very faint pale malt and faint mineral aroma.

T - Similar to the nose. Slight English/European hops, but not enough to really convince me it is an IPA and not a pale ale. Some earthy, citrus, grassy, and earthy hops. A touch caramel and pale malt.

M - Light to medium body with a good amount of carbonation. Fairly smooth and slick.

D - Pretty easy to drink although it is lacking a bit to make me want to drink more. Not offensive but it's not really tasty either.

Notes: A little too light on the hop flavor. Luckily the alcohol does really come out as for an English IPA with a lack of hops it has a pretty high ABV. Not really a true English or American IPA. Not bad but not great.

 1,021 characters

Summit India Pale Ale from Summit Brewing Company
3.56 out of 5 based on 511 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.