Summit Brewing Company

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Summit Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
4.06 | pDev: 11.82%
Sep 02, 2015
Jul 08, 2009
Notes: None
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 3.63 by iRun2Beer from Minnesota

Sep 02, 2015
Rated: 4.8 by PlacementSix from Minnesota

Nov 10, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by heyheymdn from Iowa

Oct 23, 2014
Rated: 3.25 by NilocRellim from Minnesota

Sep 29, 2012
Rated: 4 by ryancl from Minnesota

Aug 02, 2012
Rated: 3.5 by herman77 from Minnesota

May 19, 2012
Rated: 4.5 by PorterPig from Minnesota

Feb 07, 2012
Rated: 4 by Shango42 from Minnesota

Dec 10, 2011
Rated: 3 by FreshmanPour77 from Minnesota

Dec 03, 2011
Rated: 5 by dizztracted from North Dakota

Nov 15, 2011
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Reviewed by BeerLover99 from Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5
A: medium yellow, fluffy head

S: subtle citrus, pine, malt, crisp.

T: Lemon, trace amount of floral, pine, with faint bitterness

M: Medium body and carbonation. Not too heavy. Seems like a fine Summer beer, strong enough to stand alone or be sessionable.

D: Solid representation of a beer often missed by brewers and beer drinkers alike. Definately worth trying and keeping on hand during the warm Summer months.
Dec 04, 2010
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Reviewed by BeerAdvocate from California

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #32 (Sep 2009):

This is a new series that Summit has brought to us beer geeks. Good to see that not every specialty series has to be a massive, in-your-face style.

A beauty of a head, and the lacing is amazing as well, a bright and clear golden color that has real appeal. Aroma is of grape skin, bready grain and a delicate herbal hop. Deep and refreshing smoothness rolls over the palate. Clean grain throughout with some cracker-like maltiness. Hop bitterness has a nice bite and then drops some soft herbal flavor. A faint fruitiness and faded vinous quality from the yeast middle to end. If someone put a blindfold on us and told us this was from Germany, we'd have no doubt about that at all. Finishes dry with a long trail of hops and malt that makes us want to keep on quaffing.

Comparable to its German counterparts, if not better. This is a beautiful beer.
Nov 12, 2010
Photo of Chronofied
Reviewed by Chronofied from North Dakota

4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
About fifty degrees, poured in a pint glass.

Appearance - Very crisp golden hue, clear and transparent, with lively carbonation visible.

Smell - Smells like a Kölsch should; light, clean and full of grains. The aroma suggests light fruit, with faint hops.

Taste - A clarion clear, grassy taste, with lightly fruity hops and yeast, and a fresh mountain-air maltiness. Yeast is prominent, hops is sublte, they blend into a complex and delicate bitterness for the finish.

Mouthfeel - Very light and smooth. Carbonation is not as bouncy as it looks, but definitely opens up the beer. A good pull of this will leave the inside of the mouth feeling invigorated.

Drinkability - Awesome drinkability. Carbonation and alcohol level slow it just a touch, but the other components are so smooth that you need another before you know it.

NB - I found the complexity in this beer to be more than I expected. Half the glass was gone before I felt confident in my assessment of the taste. A very good effort for MN's Summit.
Feb 11, 2010
Photo of darklordlager
Reviewed by darklordlager from Wisconsin

4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
A: Pours a medium golden with 3/4" bright white head of tiny bubbles with butter coloured accents. Looks crisp.

S: Delicate. Lightly fruity, pale malt, pepper, lemon.

T: Light pale malt, light fruity yeast, cracker, corn bread. Lemon is there as well. Delicate hoppy bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium body but with lively carbonation to make it light and "fluffy."

A very nice "non-extreme extreme" beer.
Feb 08, 2010
Photo of weeare138
Reviewed by weeare138 from Pennsylvania

2.5/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5
Thanks to hopdog for the opportunity...
Appears a transparent, light gold with a small white head that quickly fades into a mild collar. Tiny spots of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, cracked grain, wet hay, and cereal.
Taste is of sweet malt, sweaty salt, grains, and corn-like dried maize.
Mouthfeel is mildly oxidized, sweet, and slick on the finish.
Feb 07, 2010
Photo of objectivemonkey
Reviewed by objectivemonkey from Minnesota

4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5
Just found my notes on this guy.. not sure when it was tasted, bought several packs of this beer, so it could have bene any time last fall:

Into a pint glass, pours a clear golden straw color with a quickly receding white head. which leaves some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is lovely, slightly grainy, grassy hops with a twinge of bitter. Very subtle, mellow, its spot on for the style. The taste is also done very well, a nice light base of bready malts, cracker-like, but the grassy hops take most of your attention. Crisp and clean, a light carbonation on the tongue. Very nice. A very good start to their 'Unchained' series. Now, if only they'd make this a summer seasonal, all would be righted in this world...
Jan 14, 2010
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Reviewed by alexgash from Connecticut

4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
12 oz. bottle.

Deep golden body. Clean and clear. Small, gauzy, off-white head. Nose of honeyed malts, lightly-powdered sugar fruits. Spicy, peppery, sea-air hops. Grains, lightly toasted, up front. Spicy, peppery hops bite as well. Honeyish malts fill in with a hint of apple. Drying hop bitterness in the finish. Delicate, yet complex. Moderate body with a crispy, lively, refreshing feel. Very well done!
Jan 09, 2010
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Reviewed by rhoadsrage from Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
(Served in a strange)
A- This beer pours a crystal clear copper orange body with a gentle carbonation of big bubbles and a beige head.
S- There is a nice dry flinty aroma but it is pretty faint and a very faint decomposing leaves and bright noble hop note in the finish.
T- The soft dry Munich malt flavor has a light sulfuy finish. The nice Noble hop bite has a hop pellet freshness an a slight green pungency to it. There is a faint lightly toasted malt bite in the finish that compliments the hops nicely.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slippery texture. D- This beer has great depth with a light crips flavor and a good support from the malt.
Jan 06, 2010
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Reviewed by Atron67 from Wisconsin

4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5
Poured into a chimay glass, came out a beautiful crystal clear golden straw color. has a fizzyish light white head that faded quickly.

has a bit of a grain flavor on the early finish, light malt throughout. very smooth and tasty. the lingering delicate flavors are really nice.

extermely smooth and very clean. hops are barely noticeable other than balancing

Jan 03, 2010
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Reviewed by trbergman from England

4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

A - Pours a clear yellow-orange with one finger of fluffy white head. A bit dark for the style.

S - Cracker-like malt, toast, grass, floral hops.

T - Clean, with light, bready malt, hints of toast and cider, grassy and floral hop flavor, and low - but noticeable - hop bitterness.

M - Light body, good carbonation, a bit peppery.

D - A solid effort on an underappreciated style. Quenching and tasty.
Jan 01, 2010
Photo of slyke
Reviewed by slyke from Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Summit Kolsch pours a clear golden yellow color with a finger of white head that falls to a cap of about 1/8-inch, sticking and lacing quite well.

The smell is light with notes of bread and mild apple.

The taste is light and refreshing. The bit of bread comes in again but there is a snappy taste of hops in there. Nothing overpowering.

Mouthfeel is light with only a tinge of aftertaste.

This is a very drinkable beer with little to keep you from wanting two or three. Recommended.
Dec 20, 2009
Photo of TeamSeinfeld
Reviewed by TeamSeinfeld from Minnesota

4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5
This beer was on sale for 3.99 I assume because it was at the end of its batch, boy was it a steal. Usually all Summits taste very similar with the exception of the winter ale and the porter, all their beers have that same generic micro hop. The kolsch however was not overpowering whatsoever and opened me up to a new beer style, Kolsch, provided this actually tastes like an authentic kolsch which I have no idea if it does. But a great beer anyways. I went back to the store the next day and bought the rest of their six packs at that great price.
Thanks, Summit looking forward to the next line in the series.
Dec 18, 2009
Photo of MPLS
Reviewed by MPLS from Minnesota

4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5
A style that a cultural impaired cretin could identify as German just by looking at the name. I have fond memories of this style as I was an exchange student in high school and managed to fall in love with style. I do not know what has happened since then, but I feel like it's a style I should revisit, especially once this frozen tundra is removed from our lovely city.

This beer comes for the ferocious "UNCHAINED SERIES", laughable name, but whatever. Batch 01 that I bought as a six-pack.

A: Very typical beer appearance that isn't going to look like anything crazy black and hellish, but for the style is pleasant to look at. Off white head that fades back to it's sunglow orange color with slight lacing. Light shines through quite easily, crystal clear.

S: Smell is not opposing but has it's lightly breaded malt, apple, and charming yeast.

T: This beer is off the charts drinkable and hits the style on the head for what memory and the description serve me. The beer is fruity apple-like up front then comes a nudge of earthy dry grain/ The finish on the beer is on the dry side, but nothing that screams bitter or overly hopped. Very mellow.

M: Completely see through body makes this beer look and feel light. Ample carbonation that gives it a little characters.

D: Sessionable beer here, get your sessionable beer here. Low ABV, affordable, and a maybe a slight-biased towards the style. I will have to finish these off and at minimum drink some of this brew come summertime...so so so so far away.
Dec 10, 2009
Photo of Pooter
Reviewed by Pooter from Iowa

4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5
This is , I think, the best beer that Summit has done.

I haven't been to Köln in quite a few years but I immediately had a flashback to being introduced to this style of beer there years ago.

A-Appearance is amber, slight haze. Nice head with some lacing, dissipates

S - Nice fruity aroma with some malts.

T - Not much hops, but has a great yeast/malt balance - not too sweet, that screams "drink me"!

D - Too bad I discovered this in October, would have been good to have this summer, could displace my favorite Pilsners.
Dec 05, 2009
Photo of gatornation
Reviewed by gatornation from Florida

3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
nmbr 1 in the series pours a clear golden yellow color with a minimal head and little lacing ..the smell is slight.. its fruit some spice some malts..the taste is a crisp slightly fruity beer with some sweet malts and some nice floral hops..this kolsch is pretty well balanced and flavorful the fruitiness and the malt and hops blend together for a crisp clean taste..its very drinkable a session brew for sure
Nov 21, 2009
Photo of AgentZero
Reviewed by AgentZero from Illinois

3.05/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4
A - Clear amber with lots of bubbles. Not much of a head, what was there was mostly large carbon bubbles.

S - Grainy backbone and some mild malts. Pretty crisp and light.

T - Grainy with a slight fruity taste. Small hop bite at the end, pretty simple, straight forward, not bad, not great.

M - Light/medium bodied, can really feel the carbonation on the tongue. Pretty crisp.

D - Light and refreshing, pretty easy to get down. Could session these easily. Not a great beer, but don't mind drinking it if it's around.
Nov 16, 2009
Photo of shadow1961
Reviewed by shadow1961 from Minnesota

3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Summit Unchained Kölsch pours a disk of foam over a clear golden brew. Carbonation is moderate, nose is clean light barley malt. The flavor is mild sweetish light toasty malt with peppery, herbal hops off the back. Mouthfeel is light, crisp, trending dry. Pretty solid rendition of the style.
Nov 13, 2009
Photo of gford217
Reviewed by gford217 from Georgia

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Thanks to buebie for this one, a 12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a clear amber with lots of bubbles streaming to the top feeding a short-lived white head that lingers as a swirl and hefty collar.

The aroma is full of toasted grains and light malts. There is solid hop presence up as well with some grassy and lightly herbal notes in the nose.

The taste has a quick lemony hop kick up front with the toasted malts making up the backbone and an herbal, almost spicy, grassy hop finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with plenty of carbonation and extremely refreshing on the palate with a dry herbal finish.

This is an excellent version of a kolsch with more complexity than most I've tasted with the herbal notes coming out very strongly. Very good and very drinkable.
Nov 13, 2009
Photo of budgood1
Reviewed by budgood1 from Minnesota

4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
pours out of the 12 ounce stubby twist off bottle a relatively clear pure gold colour with a tight and white bubbly head. thin wisps of lace. grainy, grassy herbal aroma with a definite whiff of the pilsner malts. smells quite nice. the taste is more of the same...lemongrass, crackers, and malt make up the majority of the flavours, with a big herbal hop bite that definitely provides a sharp bitterness that lingers on the palate. very rewarding. it's quite delicious for a kolsch. medium bodied with a dry tingly mouthfeel...finishes dry and tight with more lingering of those noble hops. i love it. drinkability is great...definitely recommended.

wow...probably the best i've tried from a style i find sort of mundane. summit really excels with this offering. the only complaint i have is that i wish i would have had this to quaff this summer. damn fine beer.
Nov 10, 2009
Photo of tempest
Reviewed by tempest from New York

4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
Finally, finally Summit's released a great beer and it's a about time. Yes, they're good at making middle-of-the-road session beers, but they've always lacked real character. This kolsch blows everything else they've ever done out of the water, even the oatmeal stout.

Most American kolschs seem to be just fruity blond ales, but this beer goes a lot deeper into the yeast character with subtle earthy and herbal notes over the bready grain character and light sweetness. This is no simple beer and had I drank it blind I would have assumed it came from a small brewery in Cologne. The complexity matched with drinkability reminds of another favorite new beer that's come out, SN Keller Weis.

Heck of a beer Summit. Please keep this up.
Nov 03, 2009
Photo of maximum12
Reviewed by maximum12 from Minnesota

3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Very nice that Summit is branching out past their core beers. I'll be happy to support them with a six-pack & some draft purchases on this new stuff to encourage such behavior. The Red Horizon was certainly tasty stuff, & the world can use a good 4.7% ABV Kolsch...let's hope this is one. To it.

Pretty tame pour, almost no head. Very clear & clean, with a nose that's heavy on the zesty lemon & fall grasses.

Humph. This Kolsch has a lot going on, far more than the average golden-hued brew. First impression is of a subdued but distinct spiciness that jumps out of the glass. Behind it are all sorts of things, gentle hops, classic grassy wheatishity, & vague bite of lemon.

Dry, dry, dry. Somehow his Kolsch, which has so much going on, which I approve of, doesn't quite mesh as well as it might.

Man, this one is close. Good beer, but it's just missing...something. Something to pull it together. I can't quite put my finger on it. A promising beer, looking forward to the next in the Unchained series.
Oct 28, 2009
Photo of jera1350
Reviewed by jera1350 from Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Light golden yellow in color with an eggshell white head and tons of champagne-like bubbles surfacing.

Fresh, crisp and fruity on the nose. Almost like a light Smarties candy scent. Some grain and light hoppiness as well.

Light and refreshing. Clean, light malt with a low hop bite. Some light fruit like described in the nose with mostly a light juicy apple taste. Just clean and fairly simple tasting.

Heavier end of light bodied. Smooth and crisp on the palate. Nice amount of active carbonation to roll the flavors out.

Outstanding session beer. Light, crisp and refreshing (I've used these words several times now) to drink. Summit may want to consider making this a full time beer.
Oct 22, 2009
Photo of wheatyweiss
Reviewed by wheatyweiss from Wisconsin

3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4
Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a funky pint.

Pours a medium to dark straw with a smallish head that sticks around for a second and settles to a nice cap. Lacing is sparse, but adequate in a rinsed glass.

Aroma is of grassy noble hops and huskey grain. Not a huge aroma even after warming and swirling, it's pretty weak.

Flavor is of dusty grain. Like eating dry oat bran minus the flavor. Slightly vinious, grape like flavor on the middle with a rider of funk. Middle is grain, but slightly sour, like a chardonnay. Finishes dry, nice and refreshing. Hops do not show up t all in the flavor, but in the grand scheme of things, not bad.

Mouthfeel is crisp and dry, not overly carbed. Pretty good.

Not the best domestic Kolsch I've had, but good.
Oct 17, 2009
Photo of mothman
Reviewed by mothman from Minnesota

3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Poured into Bud American Ale Glass

Pours 1/2 finger of white fizzy head. Not very good retention, leaves some splattered lace. Color is a clear orange gold.

Aroma: Grain, grassy hops, some spice, maybe some cloves. Very light, dry aroma.

Taste: Grain, dry grassy hops. A refreshing beer with spice notes.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, light bodied and refreshing. A decent amount of carbonation. Ends with a dry grassy hop flavored aftertaste.

Overall: A nice refreshing beer. Light and sessionable. A really enjoyable kolsch. Will have more of this one.
Oct 16, 2009
Photo of robbyc1
Reviewed by robbyc1 from Illinois

3.21/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
A good look with a fluffy white head, clear yellow pale, nice pour into a Sam Adams glass.

The nose is ok, a bit off from usual. I compare this to the new Krank Shaft kolsch from Metropolitan Brewing, which is better on several levels than this one. The taste here is closer to a pale ale, wheat is there but not very "fresh". More like a big lager than a solid kolsch, but not bad.

Soft and full in the mouth, better than average, as the drinkability, but I would not buy this again in favor of the Metro one. If I had a summer choice between this and a Bud, this wins hands down.
Oct 13, 2009
Photo of tniless
Reviewed by tniless from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
A nice beginning for the Summit unchained series. Nice appearance - golden blond with a very small head (bottler poured into pint glass). Nice aroma. Excellent flavor - more carbonation than expected, giving it more bite than others of the same style.
Oct 11, 2009
Photo of steveh
Reviewed by steveh from Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
My first foray into the new Unchained Series from Summit. My first impression? It's Summit -- let's not go craft crazy with the pricing here, $8.30 a sixer? Bad enough it's $8, why the .30¢?

A -- Nice, clear, pale gold with a dense off-white head.

S -- Spicy hops with some vague DMS back, even a little sulfur belying freshness.

T -- There's a vague sweet malt hit up front, then grassy, spicy noble hops take over the palate, and everything finishes in a hop bitter and grainy balance -- even some lemony fruit and floral hop character making itself known with warming. All mighty complex and subtly smooth at the same time in a little 4.7 ABV beer from the North Woods.

M -- Light body with a mouthfeel that starts soft and ends dry and crisp.

D -- Drinkability would be exceptional, but the dry, spicy hop bitterness is almost too dry to be refreshing. Then again, this is probably the best take on the Kölsch style from a micro that I've ever tried -- and Goose Island Summertime is one of my favorite beers. Is it worth $1.40 a bottle? Yeah, I suppose so, especially when you consider it's probably $4.50 a pint at the local.
Oct 06, 2009
Photo of cokes
Reviewed by cokes from Wisconsin

3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Light golden colored with a sturdy rise of white suds.
Floral, perfumed nose with backing crackery malt.
The crackers are first through the mouth. Dry throughout, but a bit of apple sweetness peeks out. Hay through the middle, then emphatic floral hop ring out. Lots of lingering flower petal bitterness with some grassy pulpiness.
Light bodied, beginning highly carbonated, but petering out as it rests.
This might be over hopped per the style and lacks the quaffability and balance of some of the more refined versions. Though it makes more of a statement than most.
Oct 06, 2009
Photo of CHSLBrew
Reviewed by CHSLBrew from Minnesota

4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Poured into a pint glass.

A-Crystal-clear yellow-gold brew. Pale white head, 1-finger off the pour, reduced relatively quickly to a thin, sparse layer. Some visible carbonation bubbles rising within the brew.

S-Spicy hoppiness. Grainy malt with something barely discernably sweet, slight dry cracker.

T-Spicy hoppiness, as in the aroma, ushers in a smooth, pale-grainy maltiness. Hop bitterness is spritely and provides balance to this relatively dry brew. Finishes clean, crisp, dry, with a slight lingering spiciness.

M-Medium-high carbonation feels refreshing. Medium to medium-light body pairs nicely with this superb warm-weather feel.

D-As stated above, this brew lends itself perfectly to a warm, or even hot, summer afternoon. I look forward to enjoying this beer in this type of weather in the next few days. The keyword for this beer is CLEAN, followed closely by NICE-REPRESENTATION-OF-THE-STYLE. (Alright, that last one is more than one word, but still.)
Sep 25, 2009
Photo of ZAP
Reviewed by ZAP from Minnesota

4.97/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Great selection for their first "unchained" beer and one I wish would become at least a summer seasonal for them...I'd love to see this replace Scandia.

This is an excellent Kolsch. We did a blind taster with this, Town Hall and Goose Island and while all three were very good this was the top pick.

Clean and crisp with a nice malt profile and a relatively substantial noble hop presence. Fruitiness is low (the Goose Island was much fruiter) but this drinks clean and crisp...almost like a lighter bodied Pilsner...although the body is firm and medium in its own right.

I love beers like this in the summer and this is a well made, exciting new entry into the Minnesota beer scene. I hope we see it again.
Sep 19, 2009
Kölsch from Summit Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 57 ratings