While visiting Minnesota, I took great pleasure stopping by the Summit Brewing Company located in St-Paul. My visit began with a 20 minute slide show where the host gives a little history bit on the brewery then explains the process of beer making. If you’re newer to the world of brewing or are simply an avid fan of beer, the visit is beneficial. So why Summit we asked, three theories were given. The first possible reason for the name was to associate their beer to the summit of a mountain, so to give it a grandiose positioning, the second possible reason is that it brings beer drinkers together (in a summit) and finally, the third reason, the answer, is that it was initially located on Summit Avenue.
Opened in 1986, Summit was already winning awards for their porter a year later and to this day, still wins awards. This is a classy operation and you wouldn’t know it just by looking at their branding but there’s plenty of attitude behind these guys. For starters, Summit keeps a copy of a very special letter (can be found on their website) that was sent to them by the American Brewers Association as part of their heritage, not because it praises their craft but rather because it tried to discourage owner Mark Stutrud from proceeding with his endeavour from the get go, 28 years back. Tsk tsk. Today, macro breweries of America struggle with the upraise of micro breweries where sales increase by close to 14% every year reducing barrel production of macro breweries from 177.6 million barrels in 2008 to 162.7 in 2013*. I’m somewhat pleased to see that what might have been their attempt to secure the big boys’ club’s future (just speculating, my words, not Summit’s) this letter never discouraged Stutrud and today the letter serves as a reminder that if you put your heart in something and believe in yourself, you can -and will- succeed. To me, Summit is a success story well worth its product.
It has since moved in a new production facility (in 1998) and today Summit brews well over 110 000 bottles a day. Their Extra Pale Ale is their baby and worth every dollar.
The above image is the refrigerator every Beergonaut dreams of having…
In conclusion, I enjoyed my visit very much and my appreciation for their Horizon Red IPA, Oatmeal Stout and Extra Pale Ale are just a handful of superb beers you can check out while in Minnesota. Check in real soon for the reviews.
Cheers Summit! Special thanks to Carrey for her time…
*As quoted by Beer Marketer’s V.P. Eric Shepard in an article on Huffington Post