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Summit Golden Belgian Ale at Punch on tap

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Was at the Punch on Grand the other night and noticed they had Summit Golden Belgian on tap. Decided to give it a try. Seriously tasty beer. It looks like a nothing beer, very much like a Bud or Bush or Miller. But it tastes really really good. And lookout below, it's like 8.4% ABV making it quite a bit stronger than Surly Furious.

Went to the liquor store a couple of days later and bought a sixpack. It was pretty much just as tasty as the draft product.

I've got a new favorite local beer.

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  1. Mark me down as a big fan as well. I got my first taste at Black Sheep a few weeks back and have had it a few other places since.

    1. Is it pretty sweet? I usually think of Belgians as sweet and kind of avoid them for that reason.

      2 Replies
      1. re: karykat

        I didn't think it tasted sweet. But it wasn't bitter either. It was ... ineffably delicious? Had no discernible yeast flavor either.

        Generally, I'm not a huge fan of Summit's normal products. I put them solidly in the ranks of the 1st wave craft brewers, like James Page and Sierra Nevada. We owe these guys because they showed us that we Americans could make better beer than Budweiser back in the 1980's. The new wave (Surly, Two Brothers out of Chicago, etc...) are showing us that we can make FANTASTIC beers equal to or better than anything coming out of Europe. And this Golden Belgian from Summit seems to me to compete with the beer the new wave producers are making.

        Try Domaine Dupage from Two Brothers (had it in bottles at The Modern) for another example of amazing new wave beers.

        The problem is the really good brewers are hidden amidst a pack of bad beer in with really fancy labels.

        1. re: JimGrinsfelder

          I agree with your assessment of brewing history.

          Well, I will have to give this Summit Belgian a try.

          I love the Two Brothers label. Have you seen Cain and Abel anywhere? It was on tap for a while at Tavern, and I have seen some of Two Brothers other offerings at our local liquor store, but not the Cain and Able, which I think is great.

      2. Summit is back - with a hot brew. Tried it and really liked it. Did not have it on tap, but in bottle. All local hop-head should give this one a whirl and report back. Yes, it is a strong one, and yes, this specific one is better than the similar Surly. Also, like the Summit Rye.

        7 Replies
        1. re: PhilESL

          Phil,

          Which Surly do you consider to be similar to the Summit Belgian?

          1. re: JimGrinsfelder

            Not a big fan of Summit. They all seem to have the same finish to me. This beer isn't even in the same ball park as Surly in my opinion.

            1. re: Fudist

              Fudist, have you tried the Summit Belgian?

              I can sorta agree with you on the finish for the IPA or the EPA, but those beers don't taste like their Maibock, Hefe Weizen or Winter Ale. Maybe the Winter Ale tastes a bit like a Maibock. To my taste, their Belgian is nothing like any of their regular beers.

            2. re: JimGrinsfelder

              I'm guessing he's talking about Cynicale? I don't care for it or the Surly Hell myself, but to each his own. I'll have to give the Belgian from Summit a try...

              1. re: JimGrinsfelder

                or, perhaps the similar Surly hinted at could be Surly Abrasive...

                1. re: JimGrinsfelder

                  Yeah, that would be interesting to know.... since none of Surly's beers are remotely similar. The Cynic, at least, is an approximation of a Belgian style, but that style is not at all similar to a Belgian Golden Ale.

                  1. re: mtullius

                    The Cynic was too florally for me. Kind of like a Heffe which I can't stand.

              2. Sampled this from bottle for the first time last night. Summit hit it out of the park with this one. It immediately took me to a patio in Maastricht where I had (too) many Belgian and Dutch beers.

                With respect to the sweetness question, Summit does add Belgian Candi Sugar to this ale. Usually the addition is meant to boost up alcohol (and this brew is 8.6% ABV).

                Surly Cynic Ale is nothing like a Belgian Ale. It's a Saisson.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Brad Ballinger

                  I don't care for Saisson either. I had one called Farm Girl Saisson from Lift Bridge I think?

                  1. re: KC612

                    Neither Farm Girl nor Cynic are much of a Saison... Hennepin is easy to find and more representative of the style.

                    Candi Sugar (and other sugars...) are used in brewing to make a stronger beer while still keeping a lighter body vs. using more grain to get that same effect. But sugars like that will ferment out almost entirely and don't really leave any residual sweetness.

                    -g

                2. Also on tap at Heartland.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Brad Ballinger

                    Great reco but Beer board????