Summit ESB | Summit Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Summit ESBSummit ESB
120 Ratings
Summit ESBSummit ESB

Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Tballz420 on 06-28-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 120 |  Reviews: 99
Reviews by teg8612:
Photo of teg8612
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Reddish, amber color. Foamy head with weak lacing.

S- Soft caramel malts, toasty with earthy, grassy hop notes.

T&M- Roasted toffee flavors backed with a herbal grassy hop character. Not as bready as other bitters and more roast than sweet. Slight metallic taste to water. It goes away as you drink it or I stop to notice it. Husky but not very balanced. Easy drinking as it isn't very heavy and has only subtle carbonation.

D- I was looking forward to this when I heard about it but it left me feeling flat. It didn't hit the right notes for the style. Texture was off and hop choice along with water/filtration/? didn't let this beer come together. Very decent beer but not what I expected.

 704 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.45/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bronzed pumpkin bread orange body with a big off white head that settles to almost nothing. Aroma of toffee, caramel, and apple. Tastes light and fruity with small amounts of caramel and a strong mineral presence followed up by respectable hopping. Aftertaste has an unpleasant sweet, chemical problem. Taste doesn’t really fit the style, lacks in malt character, particularly bready malts, and lacks bitterness or any sort of balance with the sweet fruit. This is not a bad beer but it’s not a great ESB.

 507 characters

Photo of WoodJRx
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

Photo of ThePostmaster
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is dark amber, a large head. Smell is sugary malt, slight floral tones. Taste is full bodied, very similar to s strong porter. Lots of malt, not as bitter as I had hoped. As is typical of Summit beers, hoppiness is very strong. This is a good beer.

 259 characters

Photo of bsp77
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into water glass at work.

Appearance: Color shifts from an orange-amber to somewhat dark reddish-brown depending on the lighting. Nice initial head that diminishes to a thin line with some lacing.

Smell: Fruit, caramel, metallic hops.

Taste: Very malty upfront, with a strong fruitiness, as well as caramel and biscuit. Nice bitter kick at the end.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, somewhat spritzy feeling, finishes fairly dry.

Drinkability: Great American version of an ESB. I really feel that this would be a better flagship beer for Summit than the Extra Pale Ale, but that beer has been ridiculously entrenched here in the Twin Cities.

I remember when this was the 20th Anniversary Beer in 2006.

 750 characters

Photo of beerkittycat
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was looking forward to this one when I heard that Summit decided on an ESB for its' 20th anniversary. It pours a deep reddish-brown, almost too dark for the style, but it makes up for it in taste. Nice malty profile of cereal, toast, toffee, with that signature earthy-grassy undertone an English beer should have. It finished a bit dry but the floral hops leave a nice bitter tingling on the tongue. Yum! All around a great beer to quaff with your buds on any occasion. Nice work by the guys at Summit once again.

 516 characters

Photo of ADR
3.02/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bright clearish chestnut color with a warm tone and highlights. Small yellowish head that lasts about 40 seconds. Laces in vertical strings. Malty aroma with some spice and a little apple, somewhat like the Summit Winter Ale. Mouthfeel is quite light, carbonation about average. Huh, a strange bitter sensation upfront, slightly balsam but more like the curly parsley on a lunch plate at the five and dime counter. A little bit of caramel and brown sugar follows and the finish balances between the two dominant impressions. Very dry and unpleasant quality to the aftertaste. This is not among my favorite Summit beers, and the body is too watery for me as well. I like almost all the Summit line, and I want to like this one much more than I do, and checked another bottle just to be sure. Thanks to Thomas Liquors for giving me three promotional bottles, otherwise I would have had to buy a twelve pack (the only way the bottles are sold).

 941 characters

Photo of LXIXME
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A medium sized off white slowly settles into a decent lacing above a clear reddish amber colored beer.

A light sweet caramel malt aroma with some added spices sneaking in there.

The spices that weren't very noticeable in the aroma make a bigger presence in the taste with the light sweet caramel malts very much welcome.

A medium bodied beer with a warming bitter dry aftertaste.

A very worthy beer, I wish I could find these in west Texas or New Mexico

 457 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Summit -ESB

On tap at Lyon's Pub. Between Nicollet & Hennepin Ave.-Minneapolis.

Appearance- dark mahogany brown with a thick head. Sticky lacing throughot.
Smell- light malt and earth tones.
Taste- a well balanced blend between a caramel malt and an earthy/ cocoa hop.
Mouthfeel- strong and earthy. Warm and flavorful.

Overall- a nice beer to sip while sitting outside enjoying the sunny day. A good Englsh Style beer and 1 that goes well with a meal! (veggie burger)

 480 characters

Photo of cokes
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Unpolished copper colored with a squat stack of sticky and lasting tan foam.
Prickly, metallic herbal hops come through in the nose, along with a backing amount of toast, peanuts, and brown-sugared cooked apples.
It enters the mouth with a fairly rotund maltiness full of toasted biscuits, apples, and black cherry. While assertive in its malty grip at first, it lets go after a few moments, and the flavors disseminate. The middle finds it with some stray dough and loose caramel. Hops hit and bring dried herbs and conifers, and a clanging finale burst of rusted metals.
The body is medium-light with a steady low-level CO2 to give it a sense of fluff and heft, but ultimately that settles out and this just seems thin and airy.
In many ways, this seems like a (heavily) watered down barleywine. Both the hops and the malt are brash and bold and bang off each other....only in a thoroughly diluted way. For an ESB, it lacks the interludes, the subtleties, and the cohesion of the great ones.

 995 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Slightly hazy, ruby-accented chestnut body with orange highlights. Creamy off white head. Decent head retention. Some minor lacing.
Smell: Rounded combination of leafy/grassy/floral hops and caramelish malt. Mineralish. Moderate yeasty fruitiness (apples, lightly sweet berries).
Taste: Starts mildly sweet with darkly caramelized, almost scorched sugar. Lightly bready. Gently toasty. Mild toffee. Hop flavors appear across the middle: leafy, grassy, floral. Solid bitterness acts as a base, and leads to a dry finish. Some grassy hops linger amidst the bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-light bodied. Gentle, fine-bubbled moderate carbonation.
Drinkability: A pretty decent, clean, well-balanced bitter ale with a mild yeastiness, rich caramel maltiness, and authentic English hopping. Well done!

 821 characters

Photo of tempest
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm always never quite sure what I'll get from a new Summit offering. Sure, it'll at least be decent, but they've been known to very occaisonally kick out some real good stuff. I'd say this falls somewhere in between.

A nice red color with white head. A rather unfortunate aroma at first, however, smells like adjunct was used to lighten the body. Later hops start to pull through. Interesting flavor, burnt caramel of scottish ale with a good bitter kick to balance it, this tastes like a winner. Body is a litter light, but this is very drinkable. Try it out, I like it better than the Summit EPA and IPA.

 608 characters

Photo of BigAl18
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of russpowell
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Retired? I don't think so. I already reported this today for what that's worth. Indiscernible date code with tiny letters on bottle

Pours an effervescent caramel with 3 fingers of fluffed up tan head. Very good head retention & above average lacing

S: Some roasted grain & fruitty notes

T: A bit of chocolate, toast & some herbal hops up front. Caramel, leafy hops & dryness. Finishes with some grainyness, leafy hops & more caramel

MF: Medium-bodied with low carbonation & pretty good balance

Drinks easy, this is a little too grainy for me, but good for a few.

 569 characters

Photo of morimech
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber or caramel color with a small head that had decent retention. Plenty of sticky lacing left on the glass during consumption.

The English hops come through in the aroma. Grassy and floral mild hop aroma combine with the sweet caramel malt.

The mildness is represented in the flavor as well. The malt isn't overpowering but the hops are not prominent enough. It is not until the finish that the hops make their appearance. I guess I was looking for more hops but then again this isn't suppose to be an IPA.

Has a medium body and a creamy mouthfeel. After the beer sits a little the carbonation isn't so harsh and it goes down better.

I think this is a solid beer in the category and better than average. Summit brews some solid ales in the English tradition.

 779 characters

Photo of marcobrau
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A decent ESB that has the right color, the right hop bitterness and malt flavors. The beer poured a red hue, with some herbal hop and malt aroma. The caramel malt flavors play against the hop bitterness pretty well, but something was lacking from this beer, and I think it had to do with a slight metallic off-taste a fairly thin body. A little more fruitiness could add some complexity and make this beer a little more interesting. Otherwise, this is a decent ESB and a good session beer.

 489 characters

Photo of Monkeypaws
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid offering from Summit - had the chance to down a few of these the other night. Nice dark pour, decent head, rich earthy aroma, nice malty flavor with a nice bitter backbone, kind of an anti-IPA with the malty sweetness up front and the bitter sneaking up from behind. Nice brew to share at a party.

 303 characters

Photo of edbeered
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have to confess I reviewed this beer before and gave it a less than positive review. It seems that I was a bit hasty in my judgement. It's possible that my bottles were bad and that the initial keg out of which my initial glass or two were bad. It might be equally possible that the brewer revised the formula after the initial batch(after all, this is a limited release beer). All I can say is that my impression of this beer has changed completely after my most recent tastings. The appearance is still a pleasing reddish amber with little or no head and minimal lacing on the glass. There is a slight smell of caramel malt. The taste is rich wirh caramel malt with just a hint of hops at the end. This beer is full bodied and very drinkable. A very worthy effort. Happy 20th anniversary, Summit!

 800 characters

Photo of matjack85
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Bierguy5
3.61/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice looking clear copper color. Thick white foamy head, that holds together very well, and leaves some good patches of lace. Caramel, mineral, and grassy hops lead the way in the nose. The flavor is full of some fruity flavors, minerals, and a good hit of caramel, particularly towward the end. Not terribly dry, but not overly sweet. Good floral hops give the English feel. Carbonation is not over done, so it works well. I liked this more and more as I drank it. A very good session beer, but the mineral flavor hurts the drinkability a bit for me. Nicely done.

 564 characters

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a solid offering from Summit. It pours a nice looking murky amber/copper colour with a moderate head that leaves its mark on the glass.

The aroma is a tad faint, but not bad overall: Malty and rugged with bread and fruit notes throughout, as well as a slight touch of peppery spice.

The flavour is malty and bready, with a chewy hop sweetness pushing through to the finish, which is a bit dry and rugged. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit slick overall.

I liked this one. It was fairly simple yet full of flavour and quite enjoyable and could make for a nice session beer. Pick some up if you can still find it...

 633 characters

Photo of umustdrink
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Dark amber see through color, with a few carbonation bubbles floating up. Head is a fluffy dark white and fades quickly to an eighth inch. Lacing is average.

S - Piney bitter hops matched by a spicy malt.

T - Starts off bitter with a hop/carbonation bite and quickly leads into a spicy malt character.

M - Consistency is medium and carbonation is high but I think lends itself well to the other characteristics of this beer.

D - Overall just an okay brew, the taste definitely needs more character.

 514 characters

Photo of Tyrawlings
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of fostwal
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a nice beer. It is a nice caramel brown color. It smells pretty average. The carbonation is low in keeping with the ESB style. The malt doesn't come through in the flavor. Just some hops to give a slight bitter taste. Paired well with some honey roasted peanuts.

 270 characters

Photo of supercolter
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a very decent brew. Was retired, but due to high demand is back in production.
Appearance is decent, a bit of head and a good amount of lacing.
Smell and taste were similar, but less nose than taste. Very dry, like a mix between an irish red and a winter ale.
Mouthfeel is a bit light.
Very drinkable, unless you like a lot of sugar.

 341 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Summit ESB from Summit Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 120 ratings