Monday, July 21, 2014

Summit Southern Cape Sparkling Ale Review

Name: Summit Southern Cape Sparkling Ale
Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 4.4%

Since it's launch last year, Summit Brewing's Union Series has been utilizing new hop, malt, and yeast types to create new and interesting takes on what are otherwise traditional beer styles.

For their newest entry, Southern Cape Sparkling Ale, they have taken it upon themselves to use ingredients that all originate from the Southern Hemisphere, which seems to be the big trend in craft brewing as of late. Most "Southern Hemisphere" beers I have seen use Australian and New Zealand-based ingredients. What sets this apart is that it also uses ingredients from Chile and South Africa, which don't strike me as big craft beer least not yet.

Like the Meridian Session Ale, the first entry in the Union Series, this ventures back into "Sessionable" territory with an ABV of 4.4%, which makes it the lowest ABV content beer release to date from Summit.

Southern Cape pours a fairly clear yellow straw color with just a slight bit of haze to it. The amount of visible carbonation is pretty high and there isn't anything in terms of lacing.

The nose starts out with some lemon zest, pale maltiness, some moderate hoppiness, and what I can only describe as a pseudo grassy/adjunct/pilsner malt scent.

The flavor starts off with some pale and grassy pilsner malts and a very strong bitter hop aftertaste. There is also a lingering resin bitterness that hangs around long after you've taken a sip.

The palate, interestingly enough, is surprisingly heavy for what it is. As for the carbonation, despite it's bubbly appearance, is actually very mild and tame. It does have a nice crisp feel to it though and it's fairly easy to drink.

Southern Cape is an interesting specimen. It starts out with some almost Pilsner/Lager-like qualities but on the inside, it's actually very hoppy. It is quite flavorful but in-your-face bitter hoppy finish is a bit too much for my liking, it's like they took all the hoppiness and compressed it at the very end of the palate, instead of spreading it out evenly. Nonetheless, it's still a solid effort by Summit and I would say that it's worth a look at the very least.

Summit Southern Cape Sparkling Ale - 7.5/10

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