Friday, August 12, 2011

Beer of the Week (Vol. CX)

Another edition of Beer of the Week brought to you by the polished staff at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who have the metal to help you explore the wide world of wine, whiskey, and beer.

Lots of exciting news to report this week. Firstly, the craft beer selection at Glen Lake Wine and Spirits has been dramatically expanded. Under the guidance of Glen Lake beer guru Mark, somewhere around THIRTY new beers have been added just this week. I didn’t have a chance to take note of every new offering when I stopped by the store, but I did notice multiple beers on the shelves from Lake Superior, Great Lakes, Lagunitas, Victory, Rush River, and Flat Earth that were not previously available. In addition, there are a number of new bottles of various Belgian beers to choose from.

Usually when I check in with the Glen Lake crew they might have one, occasionally two new beers that just came in. This week’s deluge of new beer is unprecedented and will provide opportunities for shoppers at Glen Lake to dabble in previously uncharted craft beer territory. It also will supply enough material for months of fresh Beer of the Week posts.

The other news item is that St. Paul Summit Brewing Company will soon be celebrating their 25th Anniversary. It seems like only yesterday that Atomizer and his better half joined my wife and I at the Summit Big Brew 20th Anniversary Party on Harriet Island. We watched the band Cake, drank beer, and complained about the long lines to procure the sudsy goodness (you would think a brewery would have no shortage of ways to dispense beer). Good times, good times.

In honor of their 25th Anniversary, Summit has produced a special beer, aptly named Silver Anniversary Ale:

What better way to celebrate 25 years of Summit than with a limited-edition ale inspired by the beer that started it all? This assertively hopped interpretation of our EPA offers up grapefruit, passion fruit and kiwi aromas that lead to a crisp yet well-balanced finish.

Standard 12oz brown Summit bottle. White label has faint background featuring sketch of the city of St. Paul. Sharp Summit logo is joined by picture of the brewery on green ribbon. Very smart and clean design.


Alcohol by Volume: 6.5%

COLOR (0-2): Golden brown. 2

AROMA (0-2): Grapefruit and pine. 2

HEAD (0-2): Bright white color, lots of volume, prominent bubbles, and great retention. 2

TASTE (0-5): Mostly hoppy with pine, but less citrus than the aroma and a hint of caramel and sugar. Pleasantly bitter and surprisingly smooth. Medium-bodied and fairly drinkable. 4

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Crisp and clean finish. 2

OVERALL (0-6): This is a very well-rounded beer. Hoppy and bitter, but not overly so. Better than either Summit’s flagship EPA or their regular IPA, I wish Anniversary Ale would join their regular lineup. As it is it's a fitting tribute to a brewery that helped launch craft brewing in Minnesota. Raise one while you can and celebrate twenty-five years of great beer from Summit. Cheers! 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 16