A More Meaningful Brew, a More Meaningful Tour


If you ever get the chance to tour Summit Brewery in St. Paul, Minnesota, take it. If not only for the free samples, but the smell as you walk towards the building and the great atmosphere are enough to make it an enjoyable afternoon.
The tour only lasts around 45 minutes, not counting the beer sampling, but it’s free and it’s educational. Not in the boring, sit in desks and watch a teacher write on a chalkboard sense, but the I’m getting free beer and learning about it all at the same time sense. Who doesn’t love that, along with learning about one of your favorite beverages?
Summit Brewery was founded in 1986 when Mark Stutrud had the urge to discover traditional brewing methods. Installing a brewhouse from Heimertingen, Germany, he started test brewing in an old truck parts company in St. Paul. From there came the release of their EPA and Great Northern Porter, only found in kegs.
The brewery started as a microbrewery with the few beers being made, but more beer introductions were being made and an expansion was necessary. After the purchase of 4.2 acres in 1996, they had a bigger brewery with more expectations and more ideas flowing. In 2011, Summit celebrated their 25th anniversary with many more years to come with this brew.
Summit has won many awards throughout the 26 years of existence, one of them being Great Northern Porter gaining first place at the Great American Beer Festival. The Great Northern Porter is one of the most popular brews that Summit has with its dark, malty taste. Besides the Great Northern Porter, Summit has a good variety of beer, as long as you like a bit of hops, malts and a true Minnesota beer. The water used for the brew comes straight from the tap in St. Paul, giving you a taste of Minnesota and is what makes Summit what it is.
Summit’s Summer brew is perfect for those hot summer days whether you’re sitting on a lake or just day drinking. It’s not available until May 14, but anyone can sample it on tap at the brewery. The Summer drink is a lighter beer with some hops and even less malts included in it.
There might be a new popular Summit brew with their Dunkel Weizen. Summit brewer Eric Blomquist created this craft with a German wheat beer style in mind. It’s similar to the Hefeweizen, but darker with rounded biscuit, toffee and chocolate flavors.  It has a maltier taste with a dark caramel color to it. Dunkel Weizen is part of their “unchained” brews, meaning that it’s a limited time offer so it’s first come, first serve for this batch.
Summit’s brewery is on the smaller side, but that could be what keeps the beer so tasty. Anyone who walks close to the brewery will be able to smell the greatness that the brewery brings. 14 states distribute this Minnesota beer, with 90% of sales being in Minnesota.

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