Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews


Summit Brewing Company
St. Paul, MN

Style: Kölsch

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Outstanding within its style.)

There is no other more delicate style than kölsch, the appellation ale hailing from the ancient brewing center of Cologne, Germany. You could argue pilsner, but you’d be wrong. Kölsches are light and clean, dry but with a tickle of fruitiness from the ale yeast. A well-made one is an always welcome, refreshing brew, enjoyable in the dead of winter almost as much as on a hot summer day. A poorly made one is like a heavy macro shit brew. That is the line a brewer walks when undertaking a kölsch.

The latest Midwest brewer to rise to the challenge is Summit, and their kölsch represents the first in their Unchained Series of one-off releases.

Summit’s take on the style pours a beautiful clear gold, with a towering snow white head. The whiffing off of this pillowy monstrosity yields a big spicy nose of yeastiness, rounded out by soft malt undertones. Subdued but still enticing.

The first sip is a welcoming, wonderfully soft mouthfeel amid some restrained carbonation. Bready malt sits up front, tickled with hints of fruitiness, holds a beat for a dry, biscuity middle, then gives way to a dose of spicy, acidic hops. The result? A clean, Mojave-desert dry finish.

Not only is Summit Kölsch a spot-on, damn near perfect take on this world style, but its spicy hop finish even lends it a bit of unique character, the calling card of great brew. This is one of the most thirst quencing beers I’ve had in awhile, and a great one-off from one of the Midwest’s great, somewhat underappreciated breweries. Pick up a sixer if you can. Worth every penny.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on November 3, 2009.
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