Reporting Jason DeRusha
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – With the growth in Minnesota craft beers lately, it’s easy to forget that Summit’s been brewing craft beer in St. Paul for more than 25 years.
Not long ago, they started letting their brewers create their own limited-edition beers.
As a brewer, Eric Harper makes all the beer at Summit in St. Paul. But this beer has his name on it for good reason.
“It’s called Old 152 – I got to name the beer, I got to do everything with the beer,” he said. “The recipe is based on a style called Kentucky Common; it’s one of two original American beer styles. It’s not a style anyone’s making.”
This is Summit’s 11th in the Unchained Series, an extremely unique program where brewers get to create whatever they want – and then the brewery makes 600 kegs and 100,000 bottles of it.
“To make a full-scale production batch and then say, ‘OK, here it is,’ and somebody here has to sell it; hopefully people in the marketplace end up liking it, or we’ll try again,” Harper said.
“The malt profile is very different from any of the other brands we make,” Harper said.
It’s simply excellent. The beer tastes crisp, but is a little cloudier than most Summit beers.
“The beer is cloudy in there; full of yeast,” Harper said. “To get a clear beer, you have to filter it, or now we can spin the solids out.”
Harper used a centrifuge, a brand-new piece of equipment they just picked out.
“It allowed me to control the haze in the finished product,” he said. “I wanted some yeast, and that’s what gives it the haze.”
Old 152 was inspired by the beer Americans drank in the late 1800s; before lagers took over.
It’s a unique throwback from the mind of one guy, using the resources of a Twin Cities beer legend, hoping the Americans of today will like his beer.
“They’ll come to the tap room and say, ‘Where’s Eric, I really like his beer,’ or maybe, ‘I don’t like his beer,’” Harper said.
The brew will be ready on Monday.