Saturday, April 4, 2009
Summit Brewery Tour
If you are a beer lover, and you haven't done it yet, I highly suggest you attend the Summit Brewery tour (est. 1986). They give tours on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at various times, and I suggest you call ahead as our tour was full, and had been for several weeks.
The brewery is located just off West 7th in St. Paul and is pretty accessible from just about anywhere in the Twin Cities. The tour itself only took about 25-30 minutes, so it isn't super heavy on information, but the staff and tour guides are fun and entertaining. They essentially take you through the whole process including the fermentation room as the bottling facility and give you a quick view into what happens at each step in the brewing process. I found this interesting as I have jumped on the pairing beer with food bandwagon. Seems like special wine dinners have been in on area menus and event calendars for quite some time, but I've also noticed that beer dinners are starting to pick up in popularity - seems fitting given the diversity and bold flavors the beverages offer.
The best part about the tour is the fact that they let you sample a generous amount of product. Each participant gets 3 coins good for a glass of beer and they had anywhere from 10-12 brews on tap including some seasonal items for you to sample. I went with a group of 15 friends (highly recommend this for groups if you can call far enough in advance) and we had a great time.
I sampled the Heffe Weizen, Winter Ale, Oatmeal Stout and the Maibock. I arranged the outing so the ladies who didn't want to drink too much (1 p.m. is a bit early for some people to knock back 3 beers) and the drivers were giving their extra beer coins out freely, so I was able to enjoy quite a few. I'm a fan of dark beers, but also appreciate the lighter offerings as well so I was happy with the diversity they were pouring. I enjoyed Summit's Hefe Weizen (not a huge fan of wheat beers) and was trying it for the first time so I felt like I picked up something new. I left with a good piece of knowledge of brewing, and a pretty nice buzz (thanks to my roommate for driving) so all in all I say it was a great time and a nice way to catch up with friends over some good beer.
Happy (safe) Drinking,