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Summit Pilsener | Summit Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
82
good
173 Reviews
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Summit PilsenerSummit Pilsener
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
summitbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
173
Ratings:
406
Avg:
3.59
pDev:
12.26%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
52
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 173 | Ratings: 406
Photo of Converge
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle poured into a 16oz pilsner glass.

A - Pours an effervescent golden-yellow with a bubbly white head that recedes quickly. Mediocre retention, but some nice sticky patches of lacing. Nice bottle and cap too.

S - Pretty straight forward aroma. Nice bready malt with some grassy hops lingering. A touch of sweet cereal and honey too. Simple, mild, and quite true to style.

T - Lots of bready malt presence upfront with light notes of honey, citrus and grassy sweetness. A gentle earthy hop character permeates the palate, giving some balance to the malty side of this brew. Slight metallic twang in the finish, with an ever-so-slight bitterness. As it warms flavors of honey and melon become more pronounced. Simple and as expected, highly drinkable.

M - Biting carbonation, too much so for my personal taste, but a degree of fizziness is expected with the style. Light body, but not watery. Overall refreshing and easy to drink.

D - Basically just a simple craft pils. All around, it's insanely drinkable and mild, but also lacks depth and complexity. That being said, this style doesn't typically boast the most complex beers anyways. Some reviews on here imply a lack of hop flavor in this brew, but I certainly taste enough to qualify this as a Czech pilsener. A tasty and refreshing lawnmower beer at worst.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.52/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Translucent straw with a bubbly white head.

Aroma: Getting that funky lager yeast smell. A little malt and a hint of citrus from the hops.

Taste: Typical craft brewed pilsener. Bready with a small hop bite. Getting some corn or other adjunct in there but it isn't exactly out of place in this style. There's nothing really bad to say about this one but nothing incredibly positive to say either.

Mouthfeel: At the lower end of medium bodied. Nice level of carbonation. Goes down pretty smooth. Above average drinkability.

Final Thoughts: I'm not sure this beer deserves the status of being a year-round brew by Summit. It does the job but definitely doesn't leave me wanting more. However, this beer is never out of place at a summer picnic or backyard barbecue.

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Photo of frankiepop
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This isn't a Czech Urquell, but it's pretty damn close. I think it's a good summer beer. Like most Summit beers this baby goes down smooth. I listened to some great ambient music by Erik Wollo "Imaginary Landscapes" which should be considered a classic.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12OZ BOTTLE best by 9/12/12

Appearance is a crystal clear lemon color, with a small sudsy head. Smell is light wheat/grain, corn, lemon. Taste is very light and grainy as well, with touches of lemon and sweet grass. The hops are there but very subdued. Feel is crisp (maybe a tad under-carbonated), but the finish is watery and has an unpleasant musty aftertaste not unlike GMC.

This wouldn't be a bad choice on a hot summer's day.

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Photo of steveh
3.26/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

With all of the discussion about American Pilsners going on I had to stop and pick up something to quench my thirst, and maybe see if we're talking up our sleeves.

Summit and BA both call this a Czech Pils, so I'll rate it to that standard.

A -- Clear, straw to light gold color with a thick, dense white head that holds up well.

S -- Bready, yeasty malts up front. Vaguest of citrus hops trying to fight through. Mild DMS and light sulfur.

T -- Grainy to light citrus up front with some mild bitterness in the middle and finish. Some mild citrus in the finish. There is a light vegetal character in the aftertaste of this beer that I get in some light micro lagers. Not sure if it's a hop or yeast byproduct, but it makes for a less-than clean Pilsner.

M -- Body is light with a soft to crisp mouthfeel.

O -- I find this closer to a German Pils than Czech, though the hops are light. This is a highly refreshing and drinkable beer, but the lacking malt character and low hop character in the flavor, plus the off characters, keep my marks low.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
2.92/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pilsener pours a typical golden color, with a nice size lasting head, and plenty of carbonation bubbles. The smell while not strong did have skunk like qualities. The taste was pleasant, rather light, had a nice mellow straw like flavor, a few hops, and was actually a bit sweet, but the aftertaste isn't that great. While easy to drink, that aftertaste would stop me from getting more. Overall a pretty nice pils, nothing spectacular but has some good qualities.

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Photo of inlimbo77
2.8/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz into Portsmouth pint glass. No bottle date is present, but this code is there "12381101". I think that I have had this bottle for a couple of months.

A: Pours a very clear yellow color similar to a BMC beer. About a finger of bright white head. Lingers a while.

S: Basically smells like BMC. Light bready malts. No real hops.

T: Mild hop (?) bitterness on the tip of the tongue. Then all biscuity malt in the mid mouth. Good carbonation to clear it.

M: Light

O: Blah

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Photo of jsprain1
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear pale golden. Head is one finger and lasts decently well. LEaves some lacing.
S- The aroma is cracker, bread, a bit of fresh greenness.
T- There is a bit of a hop bite up front but just a touch. The balancing sweetness of bread dough come through in the middle before a fresh, crisp, clean finish.
M- The body is a bit too light up front, but I like the crisp carbonation.
O- A well made simple pilsners. Pretty standard but pretty good.

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

Poured into a 12 oz. Pilsner Glass

Appearance - Lighter Yellow/Straw color with a hint of haze. Half finger head that quickly dissipates. Leaves some good lacing behind

Smell - Has a fairly malty smell to it with a hint of butter/biscuits and honey. Earthy aroma is fairly prevalent in this brew

Taste - Fairly lacking in flavor even for a Pilsner, but not to the point where it feels watered down. There is a sweet honey taste with a malty and lemon flavors that stay throughout, but that's basically it.

Mouthfeel - This is a fairly light Pilsner, both in body and thickness (or thinness if you want to be picky), carbonation dies off after a few minutes.

Overall - It's a beer that you'd drink when you're fishing with your buddies over the weekend. It's not an awful beer, but there are much better Pilsner brews out there.

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Photo of Bockrules
3.39/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pilsner glass

A - Pours a nice straw-gold with perfect clarity, showcasing the barrage of bubbles streaming to the dense, white, two-finger head. Head has fallen apart halfway down the glass. Leaves a spider-web of lacing on the top third of the glass.

S - Really not much here. A touch of Saaz hops on cereally malt background. Not too much of a step above bud.

T - Buttery malt upfront. The body is buttery-malt driven with a large dose of lemon flavor and just hints of Saaz hops trying to poke through. Crisp lemon and a tad more hop flavor as the beer passes over the back of the tongue leads to lemon bar finish.

M - On the heavier side of light bodied with ample carbonation, yet still fairly smooth.

Overall, a pretty average pilsner that suffers from lack of peppy Saaz hop flavors and a lackluster nose. Honestly, I'd take Beck's or Bitburgur over this any day, but for $10 for the 12-bottle variety pack, it's hard to complain. I would buy the variety pack from Summit again and happily drink these, but can't really see myself purchasing just this.

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Photo of John_M
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at 3 squares in Maple Grove.

The beer pours a fairly light gold color with so-so head retention and light lacing. Don't get a whole lot on the nose, just some light biscuit, light pepper and very light honey. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this lightly flavored pils, though I do get some light bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is fairly light, and finish is a bit watery. I could tell the alcohol level was pretty low, but that's not enough of a bonus to ever make me want to order this beer again.

Meh.... I guess this might make for a good transition beer for anyone looking to upgrade from BMC stuff. However, anyone hoping for a good domestic subsitute for a good Czech or German pils needs to look elsewhere.

I shared this beer with a friend who only drinks macro beers, and he was apprehensive the summit pils would have way too much flavor. After tasting the pils, he agreed he'd still rather drink his corona or bud lite, but was quick to admit that there wasn't a great deal more flavor in the summit pils than what he normally enjoys in BMC. Sadly, I would have to agree with that assessment.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Pilsener glass.

A: Golden straw color with a thick white head that has quite good retention. Fine, Champagne-like carbonation. Lacing is a bit sticky for the style.

S: Some cracker-like malt shows first, with hints of honey and lemon zest, along with some grassy, floral hop undertones.

T: Very well-balanced flavor, with malt notes of honey and cereal. Some toasty character pops up as well. Characters of apple and a bit of citrus rounds out the palate, followed by a floral, dry hop finish.

Notes: Light and crisp, yet has enough flavor to make up for it. Creamy mouthfeel makes this Pils quite easy to knock back. Not my favorite brew Summit has to offer, but a solid effort nonetheless.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Appearance: This pours a pale straw color, totally transparent with a fluffy white head. A little bit of lace is left as the head fades to a film.

Smell: Noble grassy hops, some light floral notes. Light pilsener malt.

Taste: The flavor is clean and straight forward. Light malt balances with grassy floral hops. The sweetness is light, but it maintains throughout the sip.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation tries to be crisp but ends up a bit muted. Light to medium body, and a light tingle throughout the sip. A light oiliness at the end.

Overall: Pretty standard, not a ton going on here.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight pour into a stange. The color is a clean and clear light gold. Two fingers of fluffy white head dissipated slowly to leave a billowy head and Brussels lacing on the glass.

Smell: Nothing impressive. Pale malts, a little lemon, lightly toasted caramel, and some hop astringency.

Taste: It has a dominant grain and grass presence that gives it a pleasant sweetness. Flavors of lemon and grassy hops offer a nice, balancing bitterness. The mouthfeel is very crisp.

Drinkability: A tasty brew. Nothing too complex or pretentious Straightforward and flavorful drinking.

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Photo of bnes09
3.27/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light straw colored brew. Lots of bubbles. Thin white head with some lacing.

Clean, crisp smell. Bread grains and some Euro-lager skunk.

Descent malt backbone, wheat and corn flavors with some skunk. Mild hop bitterness, spinach leafs and Italian herbs. Nothing monumental.

Light to medium-bodied. Good carbonation. Crisp feel.

Not a bad beer but nothing special either.

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Photo of Duff27
3.66/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aggresive pour yields a two fingered white fluffy head atop a clear golden beer. Effervescence galore. Wonderful head retention and some lacing.

Smells sweet, bready.

Pale malts. Faint noble hops. I feel this pils could be a little "crisper".

Creamy. Good carbonation.

For me, to be a top-tier pilsner, it needs to have the crisp hop bite. Summit Pilsener does not have this, as it is more malt driven. Having said that, I enjoyed this overall...and would gladly have again in the future.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a flared pokal at Bliss.

The final beer at Bliss today, one that wasn't really part of the tasting (you gotta love these guys, right?). It pours a clear pale straw topped by a finger of fluffy white foam. The nose comprises light lemon rind, wheat, grass, and flowers. The taste brings in more of the same, but this sameness is then invaded by a rather unexpected horde of corn. The floral hop notes helped to stem the tide a bit, but ultimately their effort was in vain. The body is quite light, with a light moderate carbonation and a crisp finish. Overall, a pretty nice pils, but the corny-ness didn't set well with me. Frankly, I was surprised to see this classified as a Czech pils, considering the lack of hoppy bitterness. I'd probably drink one o' these again, but it wouldn't be my first choice.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Bright and clear golden yellow with lots of bubbles and a huge four finger white head with great retention and lots of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Grains, caramel and pils malts with some earthy, grassy hops. Some hints of lemon linger around. A very grainy and grassy aroma overall.

Taste: A sweet taste of grains and malts up front is followed by a decent amount of earthy hops. Hops are grassy and herbal in character. Also some strong hints of lemon citrus. Good balance.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Very crisp and smooth.

Overall: A very solid take on a Pilsener from Summit. Sweetness and hop bitterness is well balanced.

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Photo of dali27
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pilsner glass.

A: Deep golden color. Very small head which leaves a ring around the glass with soapy looking suds in the middle.

S: First thing I smell are grains. Light hoppy aroma typical of style comes after.

T: Bohemian style hops are a key to the taste, but they're not at strong as I expect. The hops go together nicely with the much more noticeable grains. Wheat and grassy notes. Good flavor.

M: Mouthfeel is crisp with the carbonation that stays active for a good while. Nice clean finish.

O: Another solid offering from Summit. The brewery is one of my favorites for their other offerings, but while solid, this one doesn't compare with others in same catagory. Pilsner Urquell and SANP have my vote there. Hard to find myself drinking this one on a regular basis because of this.

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Photo of zeledonia
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle says enjoy by 24 August 2011. I shall do my best.

Pours a very clear light orange color. One-finger head, not too dense, fades fairly quickly. Some bits of lace try to stick to the glass, and occasionally succeed.

Smell is... light! As expected, I suppose. Light grainy pilsnery malts, some robust spiciness back there with the hops. Like chili pepper. Intriguing.

Might tasty. Mostly I get hops, starting out grassy but coming through spicy and peppery. The spicy flavors and high carbonation combine really nicely to provide a tingly, stimulating sensation in the mouth. Finish is quick; like that, it's gone. I really like this.

Mouthfeel is great. Light-bodied; carbonation is high but right on. Finish is dry and very crisp.

I find this to be a really good pilsner. Great complexity in the flavor, while maintaining that refreshing crispness and dryness. Dang, this is good. Very refreshing, and ideal for the sweltering Minnesota summer.

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Photo of G2Brew
3.46/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Summit’s “Bohemian Style” Pilsner is a very good beer. In fact, I had a sense that I was picking at nits, real or imagined, when I was trying to determine the differences between the beer I was drinking and the Czechvar and Pilsner Urquel I had sampled before.

The only way to really know the difference is in a careful, side-by-side test. So, I poured one glass of each beer. I was in a “primitive” situation, without enough proper pilsner glasses, so I used wine glasses to keep it even. Poured at 45 degrees F. Let the tasting begin!

Visually, the three are very, very close. The Summit and the Czechvar are virtually indistinguishable, even side-by-side. The Urquel is a shade darker. All were clear enough to read a newspaper through them (until the glasses fogged up due to the excessive humidity here.) Let me say up front, the Urquel is in a class by itself. It was not only a shade darker, but also had more grain and more Saaz hops aroma. Likewise, it had not just more, but a mellower flavor, even though it has a bit more hop bite. Pilsner Urquel is an amazing beer. Carbonation among the three was nearly identical, with the Summit having almost imperceptibly more – evidenced only by the higher volume of bubbles ten minutes after the pour.

So, the competition really came down to a race for third, between the Summit and the Czechvar.

The summit has a bit more lacing, and better foam than either of the Czech brews. Understand that none of them has a lot of foam. But the Summit’s head retention was impressive.

The aroma (where the Urquel first ran away from the group) was very close between the Summit and the Czechvar. The Czechvar takes this one, but just barely. The Czechvar has more Saaz, and I admit, I’m a sucker for Saaz. The intensity of the grain aroma is about equal, but slightly different. The Czechvar has a bit more of that unique, earthy, richness of the Bohemian Pilsner malt. That said, the Summit’s aroma is very pleasant, and a bit lighter, but not in a bad way. Cleaner, perhaps. Some corn aroma.

The Summit has the best mouthfeel of the three – not overwhelmingly so, but slightly less watery.

Now for the big one: taste. Again, Urquel wins hands down. The flavor is full of Bohemian pils malt, and Saaz hops. Mmmm...Saaz. Yeah, baby, this is what a Bohemian Pilsner is supposed to taste like. The only better Pilsner I’ve had is Urquel on tap in Europe.

Now, for the other two:

Summit is very nice. Some good pilsner malt, but with a touch of corn. That makes it less earthy and rich than the true Bohemian, but still very pleasant. The corn doesn’t help it, if the goal is to be true to the Bohemian style, but this is a good “drink-all-day” beer. I think it would be improved without the corn and with a touch of carapils (which I suspect is what makes the Urquel darker and tastier) and definitely would be better with a bit more hops, especially late-boil and dry hops for flavor and aroma.

Czechvar has a bit more character in the flavor than Summit, and it’s a tad richer, even though it’s not darker. The hops taste is almost on par with the Urquel. It’s not as rich as the Urquel, but better than the Summit.

Of the three, my order of preference is 1) Pilsner Urquel, 2) Czechvar, and 3) Summit “Bohemian Style” Pilsner. The Summit and Czechvar are so close that it comes down to a matter of preferences. If you want a little more of the Bohemian malt flavor and Saaz hops, then go with the Czechvar. Taste wise, I think the Czechvar wins, but if appearance is more important to you, go with the Summit. If you want a cleaner tasting lawn mower beer, the Summit is great cold.

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Photo of ChopperSmith
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a stubby brown bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Clear golden color with a nice white head that fades fast but leaves some lacing.

Smell: Grain and corn, with grass notes and light malt aromas.

Taste: Grainy and sweet with light malts. A fairly average Pils.

Mouth feel: Medium to light body with medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Probably one of my least favorite of the Summit line. It's not a bad beer at all, but it's pretty unremarkable for the Pils style. I like the local August Schell's Pils much better.

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Photo of drabmuh
2.64/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Beer served in a wine glass out of a bottle. Beer is yellow with a small sparse head, clear body that is straw yellow.

The beer smells like grain and mild sulfur, not really appealing.

Beer is thin and watery with a grainy aftertaste and a biting minor bitterness with a mild aftertaste. The beer is pretty disappointing, a below average pilsner.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.06/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle at SAVOR 2011. Served in a SAVOR goblet.

Pours a sparkling golden color with a good fizzy white head that leaves some sparse, spotty lacing on the way down. The nose carries a lot of grain and some bread. Along with that are some light floral and herbal hops. The grain takes over the flavor as well, barely even leaving room for the slight amount of bready malt. Some mild herbal and floral hops in the background. Light body with fizzy carbonation and a bit of dry bitterness in the finish. Not bad, but quite average. Needs more noble hops and/or less graininess.

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Photo of mothman
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours 1 and a half fingers of creamy white head. Great retention leaving a lot of lace. Color is a clear golden yellow.

Aroma: Zesty flavors with some lemon citrus. Grassy hops and a bit of skunk.

Taste: A little bit of skunk flavor again. Some bready/biscuity malts. Grassy herbal hops. Some lemon citrus.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean. Light bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends clean.

Overall, this beer would be a ton times better if it didn't have so much skunk flavor. It was fine otherwise. Very easy drinking on a hot summer day.

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Summit Pilsener from Summit Brewing Company
3.59 out of 5 based on 406 ratings.
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