Friday, July 24, 2009

Summit Unchained

Attention Midwest beer lovers: there's a new series of limited edition brews headed your way.

Summit is offering up a limited series of beers called their "Unchained" series. The first offering is to be an authentic German Kölsch.

Kölsch, unlike most of its German cousins, is not a lager. The beer is actually top fermented at relatively warm temperatures, like an ale. Although it is often stored for a period of time, or lagered, it is not technically a lager.

Much like tequila, champagne, or cognac, technically only beers from Köln (Cologne) can bear the Kölsch designation. A 1986 German law limited production to Köln and a few nearby breweries that were grandfathered in. The designation was eventually extended to the entire EU.

Indeed, referring to Kölsch brewed in the U.S. the Wikipedia page notes that:

While the labeling of these brews as Kölsch may be legal in local law, it is certainly misleading, as Kölsch-style ales brewed outside the Cologne area are not guaranteed to use the same ingredients and brewing processes, and might therefore differ in their flavor and aroma profile. Further, they may not be compliant with the Provisional German Beer Law, the current implementation of the Reinheitsgebot.

It may be a concern for some folks, but it shouldn't be for Summit drinkers. According to the Brewery:
...we have used only the most authentic ingredients available to produce this beer. We have used 100% imported German malt; a blend of Pilsener and Kölsch malts from the Global Malt cooperative (a cooperative of 3 German Maltsters with a combined 6 maltings headquartered in Osthofen) and a small percentage of Caramalz from the Weyermann maltings in Bamberg. The hops we have used are also imported from Germany and are only grown in the Hallertau region of Bavaria. Hallertau Mittelfrüh are some of the most delicate, distinctive and highly prized hops in the world. Finally, we will be using traditional top fermenting Kölsch yeast obtained from the world-renowned yeast banks at Weihenstephan in Bavaria.

I don't know about you, but I'm getting thirsty just thinking about it!

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1 comment:

Kelly said...

Have you had this beer yet? I see at the local stores for over $9!! I'm not sure I can throw down that much money for a Summit?