Gramps’ Ups His Game

In the year 1986, America had still not recovered from the apostacy of Abolition.  That is, the beer scene consisted in the heavy hitters:  Budweiser, Miller, Coors, etc….  We had not yet been called to leave the land of watered down un-crafted beers; we were making bricks without enough straw.  The same was of course true in Minnesota.  But, in 1986 Summit Brewing Company ruined the land flowing with milk and Miller and instead gave us rivers of golden, hoppy, Summit Extra Pale Ale.  The whole state was filled with the knowledge of true beer-craft, even as the waters cover the sea.

But things happen.  We get old, we lose that competitive edge.  In fact Summit had almost no competition for years.  Sure there were a couple brew-pubs, and we still had Schell’s Brewing Co., but nobody to really compete in that emerging craft-beer market.  But in 2005 a bomb went off. . . Her name was Surly.  Surly was a young and sexy brewery.  She broke all the rules.  Her beers refused categorization and they entered the scene with not one but two glorious signature beers.  And She has been pumping out the good stuff ever since.  Be it an Octoberfest, an oatmeal Saison, a coffee Bender, an Imperial Stout; Surly was hot.

Meanwhile, Gramps was showing his age.  To satisfy the masses he had a pilsner.  He periodically released an oatmeal stout, which, though a great beer, didn’t have that pizzaz!  Oatmeal stouts have been done.  Don’t get me wrong, Summit’s EPA is a gift.  You can walk into any dive bar and even if the whole draft rail is lite – lite – lite – lite Summit will be there to make sure you are not abandoned to the pit.  But some began to wonder if we would ever have the same relationship we did when Gramps could run.  More breweries popped:  Flat Earth brewery in St. Paul came out with a new and bracing Stout.  Could Summit be beat on its own home turf?

Enter Summit’s Horizon Red Ale.  A genre-busting red-IPA.  Bursting forth with that dry hoppy flavor that only American beers can manage, the Red finishes with a malty balance as it utilizes mohagany dark red malts.  Malty, Hoppy, Red, Dry, Balanced, Creative     Don’t count out Gramps just yet!


  1. Perfect, Tony! It’s true though, age can limit ones … potency … for the hunt. The hunt for competitive brew making.

    What is funny to me is that “Summit” was the male beer company in the story and “surly” was female. There are a series of great innuendoes you missed out on there.


  2. I love how your beer posts always take on the tone of biblical epic. One is always expecting Charleton Heston to appear.


  3. … I don’t know if your response to my comment is sarcasm …

    What I found funny: summit = male; surly = female
    From ‘summit’ I take the cheap boob joke route. Summit could also be taken as the climax of sexual pleasure …
    Surly I always took as a impetuous masculine quality … though (in reality) this could equally be a tough, relentless female quality.

    By now I have ruined the fun of it all. I trying to say I would have switched the genders while fully admitting I like your genders too.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s