I’m in the last hour of playing Mr. Mom for the weekend. My daughter is asleep and I have a few minutes before a crazy Sunday afternoon begins. The final orphan from my Summit Sampler was their flagship, this EPA, and I felt it time to do right by the brew and pour myself a pint.
Summit abides by the Bavarian Purity Law: water, malt, hops and yeast in their beer, nothing else. Now, in fairness, I believe their Unchained Series takes that law a bit more liberally (I’ve seen them add spices, pumpkin and honey, to name a few), but this one, is a law-abiding brew.
It poured simply, a hazy orange-brown with accents of bronze around the edges that catch the light. The head is seemingly an afterthought, just a few wisps of it remain, mostly clinging lazily to the side of my glass, just barely off-white in color. The nose is full of a dank, maltiness, grainy and plain. I’m surprised that I pick up practically no hops in the smell, my nose searches again and picks up perhaps the faintest citrus waft. The texture is creamy, caramel gives off both a pleasant initial taste as well as a great smooth mouthfeel. The finish is hoppy, definitely, earthy and bark-like are my primary impressions. There is definite, but faint, alcohol as well, layered between the malt beginning and the hoppy end. Preceding the hops there are notes of toasted nuts and green apple.
From Summit comes another solid brew, one that fortunately finds its way to many a Minnesota party, wedding or get-together. In the craft world, this is middle of the road, but as a third option to a fizzy, yellow brew, this one takes them all on, hands down.