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Sometimes You’ve Just Gotta Make Room

Say you want to get a bunch of skaters together and make a hockey team. International Ice Hockey Federation rules say you can use up to 20 players — 18 skaters and two goaltenders. And of those 20, you can run five skaters and one goalie out on the ice at any given time. That’s just six hockey-guys or hockey-gals per team. That’s not that many, is it?

hockey brawl
Too many hockey guys on the ice. Photo from the Niagara Falls Review

Problem is, there just isn’t room for more. You’ve gotta have space to skate and pass and shoot the puck and throw punches, and, well, things get crowded out there.

Brewing beer isn’t a whole lot different from hockey. OK, well, actually it is a whole lot different, but there is one similarity: Just like all the players can’t skate at once, we can’t make all the beers at the same time.

And as some of you may have heard, we’ve got a bunch of new beers coming: three new year-round beers, like Summit Dakota Soul, plus another ten or so limited and seasonal beers. That means new cans, new bottles, new kegs, more Summit Keller Pils, more Lazy Sipper… it’s pretty exciting.

What we’re trying to say, though, is in order to make some room on the ice, we’ve had to make some tough decisions and bench a few beers. There may or may not have been fistfights in the board room over it. But as we’re icing the black eyes and bruised ribs, we’ve remained focused on the silver lining(s):

  • These beers could reappear at any time. (Seriously, all you gotta do is ask. We listen.)
  • The new beers are gonna be friggin’ delicious.

Bottom line: Making the best damn beer we can requires continuous improvement. Better ingredients, better recipes, better processes and equipment — the whole works. And getting better requires that we make adjustments. We hope you’ll stick with us as we change it up.

Retired TapsSummit Pilsener – First introduced in 2001 as Summit Grand, this Bohemian-Style Pils was named the 13th best Pilsener in the world in a 2016 Paste Magazine blind tasting. It also pairs really well with doughnuts. Look for Summit Dakota Soul to provide a new take on the classic Czech style.

Summit True Brit IPA – Introduced in 1991 as Summit IPA, True Brit was modeled after old-world British IPAs that were brewed with spicy and herbal hop aromas — not the bright citrus and juicy hop flavors Americans have come to know and love in recent years. Truly one of a kind, it was recently rated 5 stars by Untappd user Ripley826. So, we’re sorry, Ripley826. Next time you’re itching for some spice notes in your beer, reach for Summit Shore Sitter, coming in April.

Summit Horizon Red IPA – Established in 2009, Summit Horizon Red IPA has since existed somewhere between Amber styles and IPAs, blending roasted malt notes with intense pine and citrus hop flavors. Our neighbor Jimmy once caught a 33-inch walleye while enjoying a Horizon Red, and we know fish like that don’t come around every day. And neither does a beer like this. So if you find yourself aching for a Horizon Red some time in 2018, pick up the new Summit IPA Collection for your hop fix.

Summit Summer Ale – First introduced in 2012, Summit Summer Ale’s low ABV and refreshing fruity and floral hop aroma have made countless hot July days more bearable. Though we’ll no longer have a Kölsch you can keep cold in your cooler, we’ve got the next best thing at the ready: Summit Lazy Sipper. A blonde ale brewed with Minnesota-grown hops, malts and strawberries, we assure you that with this beer on hand, July will be all blue skies and sunshine.

Summit Winter Ale – Established in 1987, Summit Winter Ale has been known to change a bit from year to year. Sometimes boasting notes of dark fruit, other times knows for its rich chocolate aroma, it’s gonna be hard to really embrace the holiday spirit without this warmer nearby. Fortunately, our new Summit Snow Emergency is on the way for next winter, boasting everything you love about Summit Great Northern Porter plus some vanilla and cacao nibs. HO. HO. HO.

With the exception of Summer Ale, which has now ended its run, you can still find these beers at your local bottle shop, on tap at your neighborhood bar, and in freshly poured pint glasses at the Summit Beer Hall. They won’t last forever, but you’ve still got time to enjoy one another’s company for a few more weeks. So stock up on your beer of choice before the new ones comes in early 2018, and if you’re mad, don’t blame us. Blame the International Ice Hockey Federation.

Retiring beers
It’s not goodbye. It’s see ya later. *sniffle*
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