July is going to be a busy month for the folks at Summit Brewing Company. There are two new Summit beers being debuted this month. The week of July 12 brings the seventh edition of the Unchained Series, Honeymoon Saison. The following week the brewery will fete its 25th birthday with launch events for Silver Anniversary Ale. Events are happening all over town. And here's a hot tip: They're practically giving the beer away!
It's been 25 years since the first keg of Extra Pale Ale was rolled out of the Summit brewery to the bar across the street. Opened in 1986, the brewery was one of the early pioneers of craft beer, particularly in the Midwest, which was solid Schmidt, Bud, and Miller country at the time. When founder Mark Stutrud, a former addiction counselor, approached people for funding they thought he was crazy. The lunacy has paid off: 25 years later Summit produces nearly 100,000 barrels of beer annually from a state-of-the-art facility in St. Paul.
As brewer Damian McConn explains in a piece for the latest Summit newsletter, it seemed only fitting to that the 25th anniversary beer should pay homage to that original brew. Silver Anniversary Ale has been described to me as an amped-up version of EPA; A bit stronger, a bit more bitter and hoppy, and making use of some newer, American hop varieties. Sort of an Imperial EPA. Here are the specs as released by the brewery:
Silver Anniversary Ale OG: 14.5° P ABV: 6.5% Color: Light Bronze IBU: 80 Malts: 2-Row Harrington, Crystal 60 Kettle Hops: Citra, Centennial, Cascade Dry Hops: Citra, Centennial, Cascade Yeast: American Ale
With memories (apparently not all good) of the 20th anniversary party on Harriet Island still fresh in their minds, Summit has decided to keep this celebration a little more intimate. There will be a smaller-scale event at the brewery in September for just "a few thousand people." Tickets will be sold in advance for this event with the proceeds going to support the Minnesota Music Coalition. More details are still to come.
The initial celebration and launch of Silver Anniversary Ale happens the week of July 25 at area bars. During the scheduled hours of each event they're selling glasses of the new beer for 25 cents. Yes, you read that right. Here's the schedule of events:
July 26 Groveland Tap, Details are still pending.
Honeymoon Ale Event Added
As long as I'm writing about Summit release events, they've added a new one for Unchained #7: Honeymoon Ale. On July 14 there will be a beer dinner at Haute Dish from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.. Sneak in a great dinner and then head over to watch the Twins.
Cheers, Michael Agnew Certified Cicerone A Perfect Pint