Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Beer of the Week (Vol. CLIII)

Another edition of Beer of the Week sponsored as always by the patient folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who never feel the need to rush and understand that haste makes waste when you’re trying to find the appropriate wine, whiskey, and beer.

Back to school merchandise started showing on store shelves the week of the Fourth of July.

People are already making plans for the Minnesota State Fair.

And Summit Brewing’s Oktoberfest is now available at local liquor stores.

Oktoberfest? It’s the third week of July for gosh sakes. Technically, summer officially began just over a month ago. Why are we all in such a rush to close it out already? Have a mo’ there guvernor. Let’s enjoy the summer season whilst we can. Fall will be here soon enough on its own without any help from us giving summer the bum’s rush.

Among the news of note on the local brewing scene was Summit’s decision to retire its Hefeweizen in favor of a new summer seasonal. I like Summit and I like Hefeweizens, but Summit’s offering was not an example of the style that I enjoyed. So their decision to go in a new direction with a summer beer was one I welcomed, especially since they were going with a Kolsch style.

Their new summer offering is called Summer Ale:

This highly drinkable session beer is made for sunny days and long nights. With a crisp, clean bitterness appealing to casual and serious beer drinkers alike. The refreshing fruity and floral hop aroma is a pleasant reminder to savor the season while you can.

12oz short brown bottle. Label is a bit of a departure for Summit with a gorgeous green scene of Minnehaha Falls providing a strong local summer vibe.

STYLE: Kolsch


COLOR (0-2): Light gold and just a little cloudy. 2

AROMA (0-2): Grainy and grassy. 2

HEAD (0-2): Bright white color. Good volume. 2

TASTE (0-5): Bready malts blend with an understated dose of floral hops. Some wheat and hint of spiciness as well. Clean and crisp finish. Has a lighter body and is very drinkable. 3

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Subtle but lingers nicely. 2

OVERALL (0-6): Summit’s Summer Ale hits all the right notes for the season. It’s refreshing, drinkable, and tasty. It met my expectations for a Kolsch with a clean taste and a pleasant bitterness that followed through. For a bit of experimental fun, try mixing it with Summit Winter Ale for an interesting seasonal combo. If you do it right (with a spoon), you should see the two beers clearly delineated in your glass. 3

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 14