After a City Pages reader called them the Coldplay of beers, Summit releases the literal Coldplay of beers

I used to ruuuuuule the world...

I used to ruuuuuule the world... Summit Brewing Company

When Summit announced the first-ever layoffs in its 30-year run this December, we published a reaction from reader Sue Bush that summed up the situation thusly: Summit is struggling because they're the Coldplay of Minnesota beers.

Did she mean "a wildly popular fan favorite capable of selling out arenas and landing its frontman a hot Hollywood wife?"

She did not!

"For too long they we're the only option in St. Paul and now that is far from the case," she wrote. "Their brews are obvious, middling, and with very little character or personality. They are the Coldplay of Minnesota craft breweries: aggressively mediocre."

"They need to step it up or they won't be around long," she continued. "Look at what Fair State, Indeed, and Dangerous Man are doing!"

Sue does not pull any friggin' punches.

But the good folks over at Summit took the criticism in stride, responding by brewing a literal Coldplay beer: Death and All His Friends, a barrel-aged stout they're releasing on Thursday. The taproom exclusive (ABV: 9.9%, IBU: 40) takes its name from the closing track of the British rock band's 2008 record Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends.

This new brew does find the St. Paul stalwarts doing a bit of envelope pushing: Head brewer Damian McConn worked "with new and experimental ingredients," according to a release from Summit, using their small pilot system before aging DAAHF in Jamaican rum barrels for 90 days.

What does the actual Coldplay of beers taste like?

"With a complex malt bill, hops from the UK, and our house ale yeast all contributing to Death and All His Friends, you might pick up on flavors and aromas of chocolate, leather, tobacco, and smoke, plus a dark roasty character and a nice, dry finish like the piano melody in a Coldplay song," the release goes on. (Also expect rum, vanilla, and a touch of raisin from those rum barrels.)

Death and All His Friends (the beer) will be available from Thursday through Saturday in the Summit beer hall. Death and All His Friends (the record) was a Best Rock album Grammy winner (and Best Album nominee) that was also 2008's best-selling full-length. It was, Wikipedia tells us, both a critical and commercial success.

Summit may be on to something here -- maybe it's not the worst thing to be your industry's Coldplay after all.

Play us out, boys!