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What’s In A Name: Summit Dakota Soul Craft Lager

Ever looked through a beer menu and wondered, “How did they come up with these names?”

Well, we’ve got an answer for you!

We’ve already looked at how Summit Slugfest Juicy IPA and Summit Cabin Crusher Kölsch-Style Ale with Lime received their titles. Now, we’re exploring Summit Dakota Soul Craft Lager.

Dakota Soul Craft Lager pour shot in Ratskeller
(credit: Summit Brewing Co.)

One of the many questions folks often ask our brewery employees is, “Do you get to help name the beers?”

As we’ve mentioned in past blogs, the answer is yes. But as we’ve also mentioned, this can be a very difficult task for several reasons.

We like our consumers to know what they can expect from the beer in the way of style and flavor from what they see on the can. This often comes through in the name, not just the artwork. We also know there are a lot of beers out there and we certainly don’t want to have the same name as any of them. Finally, while we like to have fun humor doesn’t always translate to the can well. All of these reasons are why, often, throughout the years several of our beers have been named after their style.

However, that’s obviously not the case with Dakota Soul Craft Lager. This was, in part, due to how the beer was first conceived.

The Midwest-style craft lager was a bit of a re-imagination of our Summit Pilsener. To avoid confusion, as we already had a similar style beer donning said style name, and to help ensure this new brew was distinct from its predecessor we decided to go with an entirely new name.

For inspiration, we looked to the ingredients.

Founder Mark Stutrud has long said barley is the soul of beer. The barley used in this beer, two-row Moravian 37, was grown on Stutrud’s cousin’s farm in North Dakota. Stutrud himself is also from the North Dakota.

With the barley and the brewer both originating from the state, it was as if this beer itself had a Dakota core. That’s not nearly as catchy, so we borrowed Stutrud’s term and made it Dakota Soul.

Using historic maps of the Stutrud farm and surrounding towns to create the packaging, Dakota Soul was released in winter of 2018 as our second year-round lager. It has remained in our line-up since.

Summit Dakota Soul is available in 12-packs of 12oz cans. Find it at a store near you!

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