Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Summit Pilsener | Summit Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
173 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Summit PilsenerSummit Pilsener

Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Czech Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by garymuchow on 12-30-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 173 | Ratings: 404
Photo of Redrover
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recently added to the tap list at Palmers. Palmer's is located in La Grange, IL and offers 38 beers on tap plus well over 300 bottles.

Served in a standard pint, the beer is bright, crystal clear light gold. There is a smallish white head and decent lacing.

The nose is of gentle malts, green apple, grass and a bit of perfume from the hops.

The taste is crisp and clean. Some flowery notes and more than a touch of sweetness. This is kind of a throwback beer and by that I mean it’s a straight-ahead beer that doesn’t try and overpower you. It is very easy to pair with food and went well with my Dagwood burger (Palmers has great bar food).

Well worth a try and a solid effort from the brewer.

 712 characters

Photo of ccs
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

There is no head on this beer, it simply pours a nice golden color. Very pleasant taste, clean and malty. The aroma is all malt with a faint hops in the back ground. It has a full mouthfeel, mostly from the carbonation. I think this would be a great lawnmower beer, just a happy little refresher that'll keep you cool and quench your thirst on a summer day.

 357 characters

Photo of hanco005
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass

A—pours honey amber, clear and clean , with a fizzy ½ inch white head, fades away slower than it’s appearance led me to believe, produces spotty lacing as I drink

S—sweet malts and grains, nothing else really

T—sweet and grainy…tastes like Capn Crunch. Honestly, it does.

M—crisp and clean, light bodied, moderate carbonation

D—not a bad pilsner here, would work for the summer.

 442 characters

Photo of tgbljb
3.42/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a perfectly clear golden color with modest white puffy head. Some lacing as the beer was slowly consumed. Smell is bread-like and slightly sweet. Taste has a slight maltiness, but also a somewhat metallic taste. Finishes with more of the metallic mouthfeel.. An OK beer, once you get past the metallic taste.

 315 characters

Photo of ryantupy
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a definatly enjoyable lager, a Minnesota best for sure. Well maybe not the best but still pretty good. It pours a nice golden hue with a well developed head and some mild lacing. Predominatly it smells of malts and fruits all on the sweet side. This beer provides a smooth taste and easy drinkablility. The beers sweet undertones give this beer a nice and rather unique finish. Give this one a try for sure.

 415 characters

Photo of ggaughan
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very pail yellow color into a standard pint glass with a slight white head that didn't linger for very long. I got a slightly sweet malt aroma from this one. Not much really to speak of in terms of complex taste. Pretty comparable to macro pilsners out there. Very light in body so maybe this would be a good summer beer or a beer to start someone out in drinking non-macro beers.

 389 characters

Photo of RBorsato
2.84/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Tasted on 01/18/06 at Bricks (Beer Bar) in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Clear straw color with a low white film and virtually no carbonation. Boring standard/typical low hop and standard malt aroma and flavor -- not much different than a higher-end macro. Light bodied with a thin finish. A Pilsener more like Miller touts than it's European counterparts... pass.

Per Label: "Summit Grand Pilsener"

Per SBC website:
12 P, 27 IBU, 5% ABV, 5.5L (color).
Malts: Harrington, CaraMunich
Hops: Warrior, Saaz, Vanguard

Enjoy By: '05223'
Tasted: 01/18/06

 552 characters

Photo of Brent
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Moderate straw color. Sweet malt aroma with the barest whiff of phenols. Indeed very Bohemian, with sweetish light malt flavor. Some reserved grassy and grape flavors. I'd have like just a bit more bite to clean it up at the finish. "Grand" oversells - how about "Pretty Good?"

 277 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Filtered golden straw hue bright white large head forms nicely in my conical v-shaped pilsner glass with each sip leaves thick clinging patches of lace, very nice. Aroma: Saaz and grassy citrus tones for this Bohemian style pils has a mineral note along with biscuit malts breadiness nice touch of hops here. Taste: Crisp flavor definitely a solid all around pils strong hop leafy flavor solid bitterness lightly toasted 2 row and bready pilsner malts, it mixes well here. Mouthfeel: Lighter body healthy carbonation crisp is a good word for the overall feel. Drinkability: I'd seriously pick up a case if going to a friend's house to watch a game or a party to convert Bud/Miller/Coors fanatics.

 708 characters

Photo of slyke
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Came upon 3 bottles of Summit Grand in their sampler 12 pack. I'd had this beer a couple of times before.

Appearance: Golden with a white head of about 1/2 inch.

Smell: Grassy/grainy notes in the aroma.

Taste: A nice little hoppy bite for a lighter bodied beer like this.

Mouthfeel: Nice for the style, not too heavy, not too light.

Drinkability: A pretty decent beer. It isn't my favorite from Summit, but it beats the pants off a lot of similar beers - especially when it is the same price as macrobrews at sporting events.

 540 characters

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

Appearance: Pours a relatively pale golden straw with a surprisingly nice foamy head that sticks around a long time and actually leaves some great lacing!

Smell: Sweet, malty wheat smell with some hints of citrus.

Taste: Not a whole lot going on here. Not overly fizzy, which is nice. Lots of malt taste, but very flat. There is some moderately tart hop bitterness at the end, which is the redeeming value of the taste. The taste does become more complex and pleasant as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and not overly carbonated. Leaves a nice, hoppy aftertaste.

Drinkability: Very drinkable beer and probably a great choice for sessioning. It goes down easy and the taste is not offensive.

Considering Summit's reputation in the Twin Cities, I guess I kind of had my hopes up for this brew. By the end of the beer, however, I was enjoying it more than I was at first. For the style, this is good selection in my opinion.

 938 characters

Photo of mynie
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Light gold with an excellent head. For this style it looks about as good as it can.

Light fruit esters mixed with a pale malt flavor-- little bready and a little bitter.

Starts with the fruit taste and moves into a dry seltzer middle and ends on the lightest hint of bitterness. This taste is about the definition of "okay."

Decent session ale. To tell the truth, when it comes to all malts I'd probably pick Strohs.

I upped flavor to a 3.5 as it started tasting better as the beer warmed up.

 513 characters

Photo of mac56
3.17/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

An "about average" product from a quite remarkable brewery. I was surprised, and a little let down. I can drink a few of these, and not feel like I've had anything really memorable. And I love lots of their other products - specifically their pale ale and their porter. On the other hand, "about average" from Summit is still far better than the best from lots of other breweries!

 380 characters

Photo of putnam
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Brilliant golden yellow with a dreary accumulation of fizz on top. Soft floral and mineral aromas are typical of chewy pale malt and reminiscent of various French farmhouse ales; I mention that only because I've been drinking boatloads of Castelain and 3 Monts lately. The comparison helps my opinion of this drink. There is very little in the way of minty, citric or resiny hops aromas, only a doughy, cracked kernel aroma and faint grass perfumes. On the palate bitter iron flavors pin down a very promising cereal and honey allure. Fine carbonation seems perfectly natural. In the end tiring, raw, tar flavored bitterness blocks any invitation to drink a sequence.

 667 characters

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

Lucent lemony amber with a snazzy looking crown of rich alabaster. The texture is rich as well, promoting persistence and maintenance of structure as it descends. Fingers of squiggly lace wend to-and-fro over the upper reaches of the glass and give the beer a wonderful look.

This site calls Grand an All-Malt Lager. Summit calls it a Bohemian-style Pilsener. I'm always intrigued by the differences in style assignment that crop up every so often. After assessing the aroma, I have to say that it isn't an obvious choice. Sure, there's some noble hoppiness (Saaz), but it isn't as dominant as I believe it should be in a pilsener. The nose is clean, fresh and grain-like, with just a little floral spiciness.

After tasting, I think BA is correct. There isn't enough noble hop character for Grand to be called a pilsener. Minimally toasted, crackery malt is at least as prominent as hops; perhaps more so. Maybe the three varieties of hops (Saaz, Warrior and Vanguard) cancel each other out with regard to flavor, and that, more than the actual malt-hop balance, results in the muddled, unfocused nature and the difficulty in assigning a style. Either that... or I could be full of shit.

The finish is somewhat brief and is dominated by mildly sweet grain rather than hops. It's a relatively clean, uncluttered ending, but not a pristine one. There's nothing much wrong with the mouthfeel. It doesn't make me want to dole out praise or find fault.

Summit Grand is good, solid beer. It's a jack-of-all-trades brew that would go well with all manner of foods, yet could be enjoyed solo as long as one wasn't looking for anything even remotely special. It might not stand up to intense scrutiny, but what the hell, sometimes you just want to down a few, and it's more than adequate for that.

 1,793 characters

Photo of karengarys
3.22/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours clear straw like a typical pilsner. Leaves little foam, no lacing. I rated "appearance" a bit low not because it looks bad, but because it looks boring.

Smells okay, typical of a pilsner.

Taste is a little richer than I would expect from a pilsner. I'm picking up a touch of pine hop, a touch of sweetness like maybe sugar, a touch of yeast like bread, and a bit of malt. Now, pilsners are not my favorite, but if I were stuck with one, I think this would be it so far... Haven't tried too many though.

Mouthfeel is a bit richer than I would expect too. A bit sparkley on the tongue, with a creaminess in the finish I didn't expect.

Finish leaves a bit of bitterness, but not too bad. There is a hop of some sort that cleans the pallette.

I'm not a pilsner fan, but of the few I have tried, this is the first that doesn't bore me to tears. I'm not going to buy myself more, but if somebody handed it to me, I'd accept.

 950 characters

Photo of RushLimbmalt
4.92/5  rDev +37%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another in a line of stellar brews by Summit. Pours a nice golden hue and has a decent white head. It has a very malty aroma that is clean and very much Pilsener. The hops are hidden in the aroma, but definitely show themselves on the first sip, backing up a very heavy(for the style)body that is so malty that it is almost Marzen-like. This is a damn fine Pilsener and one that is worth a spot in anyone's refrigerator.

 420 characters

Photo of BigRedN
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of four beers in the a sampler pack I picked up. Was a little confused by the "Bohemian Style Pilsner" on the bottle, and its listing here as an All Malt. Clicking on the link, I then read the description, and it makes sense now. Excellent addition to the site.
Now the beer.

Appearance: Poured into a pilsner glass. Golden, clear, a lot like a macro lager. Thin fluffy, white head (about 1/4 - 1/2 inch in height). Shortly dissolved to nothing but a ring around the glass. Minimal lacing. There are plenty of tiny bubbles dancing through the liquid.

Smell: I can not detect any hops, mostly malt. I am not overly familiar with the style, but I assume from the style description this should be accurate.

Taste: Almost all malt, a little bitterness in the middle. I found this beer to be a little sweet and buttery.

Mouthfeel: Smooth like butter, lighter bodied, good carbonation. Finished crisply and clean with no aftertaste sensation.

Drinkability: Plenty good, but I just can't shake the sweetness. This is probably due in part to the fact I had this one sandwhiched between their IPA, followed by the Extra Pale Ale. A different beer, but still worthwhile.

 1,180 characters

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

Clear, medium golden-yellow body with an excited, foamy, white head. Laces the glass politely. On the nose, light, crisp, honeyish malts contrasting with salty, spicy, and lightly Saaz-ish hops. Not bad. Taste follows along similar lines. The malt is light, grainy, faintly sweet, and most noticeable near the finish. Tart, lemon zest hops up front, and spicier, more herbal hop flavor in the finish. Plenty of carbonation and a dry finish make this a rather refreshing beer. I like it even more on draft.

 505 characters

Photo of skybluewater
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very pale gold color. Smells like a typical pilsner. Tastes...well, like most other pilsners: Nothing special, but nothing offensive either.

Overall, not a bad pils. Even though it's not my favorite style (it's one of my least favorites actually), I'd try this one again.

 283 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Squat looking 12 ounce bottle, with a predominantly dark burgundy colored neck and main label. Titled as just ‘Grand’, but underneath listed as, ‘Bohemian Style Pilsner’. Lists the ingredients as ‘Water, Malted Barley, Hops & Yeast’.

Appearance: Solid presentation for a Pilsner, it has the perfect Urquellian light golden body with a fantastic thick white massive head. A few streamers punctuate the body, but it mainly unfettered. Sticky globs of lacing cling to the glass sides. Look good in my tall Pilsner Urquell Glass.

Nose: Toasted Pilsner Malt aroma with some subdued Saaz hops, a light funky feel, almost skunky at times.

Taste: Dry and crisp but refreshing and wholesome. Toasty pilsner malts, bitter middle, dry finish that has a clean citric twist. The toasty malts linger in the bitter finish. Clean and very crisp, it also invigorates a dry palate.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation aids the presence, and adds a sense of medium proportion about the mouthfeel. Just right for a serious session beer.

Drinkability: This has the archetypal nose, body and taste profile and it is not let down by the Drinkability. A seriously “poundable” Pilsner that would do well on draft I think. I could do some damage to a Six-Pack of these.

Overall: A solid Pilsner, and a damn good libation. Nicely done Summit!!

A large “Na Zdravi” to BigHuge for shipping this Eastern style brew West.

 1,426 characters

Photo of Mitchster
3.74/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Brewed with Harrington and CaraMunich malts. Hopped with Warrior, Saaz, and Vangaurd.

12d plato, 27 IBU, 5.0% ABV, 5.5d Lovibond.

Pours out to a sparkingly clear pale golden with yellow touches throughout, forming a tall rocky white head with superior retention and gorgeous sheets of lacing. Carbonation is moderate...not too fizzy like most EuroPils or Domestic wannabe's. Aroma is spritely with freshly mown hay, floral perfumy hops, crisp water, clean ferment, and dry pale malts. Mouthfeel is tangy like a Pils should be, with a medium-light body. Tastes of floral and citric hops, grass, riverside foliage, medium herbal bitterness throughout, ending in a semi-dry finish with a faint touch of honey and copper. Cleanly fermented. The body is a little heavy for the style, and the herbal type bitterness is just a bit too strong to make it very drinkable.

A fine pilsener, certainly one of the better American attempts. Summit brews some great stuff and this doesn't disappoint, though it's not quite what I'm looking for in an ideal Pils.

 1,055 characters

Photo of marburg
3.54/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Strikingly bright gold with a dense, frothy latte-like head. A torrent of carbonation steadily rises for quite a while. Quite clean in both aroma and flavor -- very little in the way of "extra" sweetness. Nose could be a bit crisper and is a bit washed out with flowery plants and malt. Mild grainy malt flavor. Malt is very tame -- but the hop presence is not terribly assertive, and there is no lingering hop flavor. Much more dominated by the malt than I might expect, though that's not to say that it's devoid of hop flavor. A mild, tingly spicy hop flavor enters the picture briefly toward the end. A very clean, drinkable brew.

 633 characters

Photo of beerluvr
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lasting eggshell tinted head. Clear yellow-gold in color. A light lemony-citrus nose with grassy hay background. Malty backbone beneath a more than adequate hoppy bitterness. Husky graininess. Smooth yet dryish finish with residual bitterness. A nice session lager. Thanks CRJM for the bottle.

 293 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured ultra-clear, light gold with light amber highlights. Very effervescent but only small white head develops leaving virtually no lace.
Aroma of grain, bread, some light citrus tones.
Flavors were malty sweet with a menagerie of sweet citrus and herbal hits from the hops.
Mouthfeel crisp and light, refereshing with a good mixture of sweet and bitter aftertaste.
High on the drinkability scale due to refreshing quality, not much in the way of superior flavor though.

 477 characters

Summit Pilsener from Summit Brewing Company
3.59 out of 5 based on 404 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!