Summit Pilsener | Summit Brewing Company

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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

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Reviews: 173 | Ratings: 404
Photo of ryanocerus
3.74/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear golden color with a small, short-lived head (only after a hard pour). The aroma had a very high hops profile, as a pilsner should, with a slightly sweet malt aftersmell. The flavor was also high in the hops department and again, not enough malt to balance. As it warms, the maltiness starts to come through. The high carbonation and long lasting flavor give it an excellent mouthfeel. It is refreshing, but just an average pilsner.

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Photo of hylton44
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I read that this is just the new name for the Summit Grand, but I don't believe it. The Grand, I remember as being non-representative of the Czech pilsner style; being both bland and tasting of adjuncts, with the only bitterness being my dissapointment.

This pilsner poured a crystal-clear straw color with an actively-bubbling, snow-white head. It had a dry, pleasing mouthfeel (if a bit over-carbonated); and was moderately bitter, balancing out a champagne-like sweetness. Grassy malt was present also, with a buttery edge to it.

A fine and enjoyable beer, though not in the category of Urquell, by my way of thinking/tasting.

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Photo of bristol2120
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale/medium golden, with a nice big head of foam, that slowly fades, leaving significant lacing. Nice aroma, if a little faint, featurning hops and malt in fairly equal proportion. Taste is a bit less bold than I would have hoped for, with moderate hops flavor in the fore, but not much maltiness at all. Decent mouth feel, that could have used a bit more carbonation, but was still decent. Overall, a nice, drinkable lager, that would be especially good for hot weather.

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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.

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Photo of beerkittycat
4.28/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance is a brilliant pale gold with a long-lingering white head. Aroma has faint noble hops notes mixed in with some cracker hiding in there. Taste is a lovely dance between hop and pilsner malt but the finish is clean with a touch of carbonic bite on the tip of your tongue. Medium mouthfeel carries this beer and the clean finish leaves your thirsting for more. I could drink about 7 or 18 more of these. Yum!

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Photo of ROMER79
3.94/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When poured it is golden in color with a thick two to three finger white head. It almost looks like a typical pils, but something is different about this one. Right off the bat you can smell the grain coming through with little hints of hops and a little bit of fruit. In my first sip I caught the lemons and grains bursting through, but after a few more I picked up on a little bit of honey and hops. It is very crisp and refreshing on the palate. A good session beer, but a little to carbonated to drink too many.

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Photo of jwilli7122
4.04/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Clear golden yellow. looks like lots of carbonation (though doesn't taste like it). fizzy soda head

smells...leafy...bready? not sure how to describe, but the way a pils should.

decent lighter taste. nothing offensive. nothing great initially. minimal bitterness. then...subtle but excellent bready aftertaste is the highlight of this beer!

thin mouthfeel

while not overpowering in terms of flavor, Grand is extremely drinkable. It's just hard to go very long between drinks. Light on the tongue, easy on the stomach, and leaves that subtle doughy taste in your mouth that is just perfect. an outstanding session beer and a very good pilsner.

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Photo of Hergestridge
3.13/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Smell: Crisp and Clean. Very light beer aroma...

Taste: Clean but not crisp and no wow factor. A decent amount of bitterness.

Mouth-feel: Cool, carbonation light and airy on the taste buds.

Overall: An ok pilsner.. Pales in comparison to Pilsner Urquell, the original.

Keep trying Summit.. You've a nice beer.. Just not a great beer...

Carry On Citizens

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Photo of billyzoom666
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Slow pour left no head, there was some lacing after the first few sips. The color is a pure yellow wheat color. The smell reminded me of that too, like wheat fields in late summer/early fall. Nice and comforting. This is something my grandfather, a non experimenting guy, would've drank. It's not bad, it's just that it has a traditional pilsner taste to it....a "beer" taste if you will. There was some bitterness on the tongue, but nothing to write home about. It has a light mouthfeel which would would lead to pretty high drinkability, although after a couple I'd want something with more taste.

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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 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.

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Photo of Monkeypaws
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich golden hue, nice finger of foam on the top. It's not overly gassy, so the bubbles are steady but not overly plentiful. It has a nice fruity, almost wine-like aroma, somewhat flowery and quite agreeable. The taste is pretty full for a light colored beer, with plenty of malts on the front and back ends, with a mild hops bite through the middle. It has a pretty thick mouthfeel as well, as there is sufficient carbonation to give it a thick, expanding feel as you take a swig. Overall, this is a very good beer in the style, especially for an American take, and with warmer weather ahead, this will be a staple in my fridge this 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 MikeAAL
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a decent pilsener. Not too shabby.

Pours a yellow, gold color. Not very transparent. Decent head.

Smells like a pilsener.

It's got a bitter pilsener taste with a lot of hops. I like hops.

Medium body with light carbonation.

This is good, not great.

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Photo of ctxfenris
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.
Cloudy yellow. Lots of lacing.
Smells like malt and grass.
Tastes like a typical pilsner, very smooth. Hop bite at the end.
I like this beer but it's nothing to write home about. The Summit sampler is a bargain at 14.50 however.
Would have again.

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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!

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Photo of TWHartman
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A- Pours light, one-dimentional golden hue, clean white head with pretty good retention.

S- Bread dough, grass or fresh hay, slight lemony brightness

T- Strikes a nice balance, slight sweetness finishing with a restrained bitterness

M- Very nice mouthfeel for the style. Not thin at all, noble hop flavor stays in the back and roof of mouth and throat

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Photo of Schwarz04
3.92/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light golden, and very clear in color, easy to see through. Pours out with about a 3/4 inch head that quickly dissipates, very sparse lacing present.

Smell: Slight hoppiness, and other varied floral aromas present. Very faint orange/citrus scent too.

Taste: A hint of bitterness at first, grassy and floral notes are also present.

Mouthfeel: Quite heavily carbonated, but in a good way, it enhances the floral and hoppy notes that are not as pronounced at first. Has a very crisp taste, no dry feeling afterward.

Drinkability: Quite easy to drink, however the carbonation may become a factor after several...

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Photo of jdseltzer
4.5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is real good and pretty cheap. It can compete with them foreign Pilsener's. I think it is far better than the Pilsener made by Lift Bridge. I will by it again. It sort of reminds me of the beer James Page which is no longer made.

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Photo of JugglerPeter
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I'm not generally a big fan of lagers - especially light ones.

However, after taking home a six pack of this leftover from someone's wedding I have become a bit of a convert.

The taste is light and malty, just what I was looking for - occasionally the aftertaste is slightly unplesant, but I find that with all light lagers and this is not better/worse.

There is no aftersight to speak of, the bubbles just kida went away, even in a skinny pilsner glass that usually gives a nice aftersight to any beer.

The smell is very nice, almost citrusy, and I find myself sniffing this beer enough that my wife gives me funny looks.

Drinkability is great, I'll be having a lot of this on hot summer days.

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Photo of vickyreddy
2.28/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I am fan of different kind of beers but when it came to pilsener I did not like it especially the taste ..... I like summit Extra Pale Ale but unfortunately did not like it...but I can say for sure that it is thick strong and intense...for all who like pilsener would love this flavor

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Photo of davesterli
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A - light, somewhat lackluster
S - light beer aroma.
T - standard pilsner. Serviceable.
M - clean...nothing exciting, but no complaints
O - at 4.5%, this is a good but not great session beer. I could have a few of these, but it wouldn't be the most exciting session.

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Photo of lastdazeman
5/5  rDev +39.3%

This is the beer that helped me decide to learn more about beer. I bought a summer selection of Summit beers and liked this one better than the other three in the sampler. It is the first time a beer really struck me as, "Man this is good." After tasting this beer, I started asking my friends who either knew about or brewed their own beers to tell me the differences between the way different beers are brewed.

I may find other brewers and other beers that I enjoy more but this is the one that influenced me to learn more about beer. I have a loyalty to this style and this brewery.

I brew wine from scratch and from kits. I understand that brewing beer is different and more complicated. I am enjoying learning about both.

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Summit Pilsener from Summit Brewing Company
3.59 out of 5 based on 404 ratings.
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