Summit Brewing – 100% Organic Ale (Unchained Batch #12)

SUMMIT HITS THE dozen mark in their limited-edition Unchained Series with this 100% Organic Ale. While it scores no points for creative titling, it certainly required creativity on the part of its brewer, Gabe Smoley, who guaranteed its completely sustainable organic credentials from top to bottom. He even cultivated his own strain of yeast in the effort, and the result is a highly sessionable, light amber American IPA of commendable balance. Though only 4.5% ABV and with no special sauce in its recipe, the 100% Organic shows that conventional technique still has plenty to offer: unexpectedly strong aromas of fresh malt husk and moderate spiciness, well-balanced if rather standard American citrus hops, and a more satisfying, fuller mouthfeel than many pale ales of this modest strength. The finish is fairly dry with good carbonation, avoiding the watery flatness found in the sub-5% pale ales that some craft brewers present with lukewarm endorsements as gateway beers for non-craft drinkers. Shame that this sustainable ale won’t itself be brewed beyond this single release; though no great coup, the scene could use more unpretentiously solid, sound ales such as this. 

Served: 12 oz bottle

Rating: 85

See below for an interview with Smoley–a few comments on this beer start around 1:30.

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