Friday, May 31, 2013

Beer of the Week (Vol. CLXXVI)

Another edition of Beer of the Week sponsored as always by the well-grounded folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who can help map out the best wines, whiskies, and beers to help you reach your drinking destination.

Our featured beer this week is the first release from Summit Brewing’s new Union Series:

The inspired union of new ingredients and time-honored brewing traditions. Brewing has always been about discovery. For the Summit Union Series, we scour the globe for new (and sometimes rare) hops and malts. Then we add equal parts craft and creativity to bring you a whole new brew. Released in small batches every so often.

It’s called Meridian Session Ale:

Summit kicks off the new limited-release Union Series with Meridian Session Ale. Inspired by Belgian Enkel (single) style ales. Drinkable yet distinctive. Simple in design yet complex in character. Brewed with a single malt, Concerto Pale, that’s a rising star in the UK and a new hop variety called Meridian that was actually discovered by accident in Oregon (more on that story below). Of course, we called it Meridian Session Ale for a reason. So don’t let the whole single-minded thing keep you from ordering another round.

Six-pack of 12oz bottles go for $8.99. Label design is a new one for Summit featuring a simple and smooth craft look.

STYLE: Belgian Pale Ale


COLOR (0-2): Dark gold and partially clouded. 2

AROMA (0-2): Spices with banana and clove. 2

HEAD (0-2): Bright white color with decent volume. Laces the glass quite nicely. 2

TASTE (0-5): Like the smell with flavors of pepper, banana, and clove from the yeast joined by bready malts and earthy hops. More flavor than you would expect with the low ABV. Mouthfeel is smooth and it has a medium body. It’s pretty drinkable, but I don’t know if I’d really consider it a session beer. 3

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Nice follow through. 2

OVERALL (0-6): The flavors of Summit’s Meridian Session are a bit different from a typical Belgian Pale, but I found them to be quite enjoyable just the same. And you have to give Summit credit for getting that much flavor with a low alcohol content. The Union Series appears to be another effort by Summit to get outside their comfort zone and with Meridian Session Ale it’s off to a promising start. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 15