Summit Brewing Co. to Release Union Series 6: Imperial Russian Stout

ST. PAUL, Minn.  Six months ago, Summit Brewing Co.’s Head Brewer Damian McConn used his Outlook Calendar tool to reserve the brew house for a day and kicked out all the other brewers. Armed with an authentic British recipe from the 1840s, he set about brewing the kind of classic Imperial Stout he liked to drink 20 years ago in the UK.

Aging since June 2017 at 50 degrees in a 300-barrel stainless steel fermentation tank, it’s possible that Russians operatives may have, at some point, hacked in and attempted to influence the final outcome. Often tied up with a number of other brewing projects, McConn explains “It’s easy to forget about a beer over six months of aging.” Every few weeks, however, McConn took samples of the beer and noticed it was slowly developing rather complex flavors and aromas of dark fruit, roasted malt, black licorice, and mocha coffee. At the same time, the ABV kept creeping closer and closer to 10.5% — very consistent with the strong Russian-style stouts British brewers first crafted in the 1800s to impress Russian czars.

Featuring massive malt character from the UK’s Golden Promise and Pearl Brown malts, as well as huge hop additions of two new UK hops — Minstrel and Olicana — Summit Union Series 6: Imperial Russian Stout pours coal black and is finished with a UK Ale yeast for a full mouth feel and a dry, assertive, warming finish.

“It’s really a lovely beer,” says McConn, who’s adamant that no foreign agents actually interfered with the stout. “The integration of flavor, alcohol, yeast, malt, and hops makes this a special and unique beer, and we’ve given it the appropriate amount of time to age before packaging it.” (That means, Dear Beer Geeks, that you don’t have to cellar your 4-packs of 12-oz. bottles; it’s best enjoyed fresh.)

Like the five Summit Union Series beers to have come before it, the Imperial Russian Stout was crafted and brewed by Head Brewer Damian McConn, highlighting his gift for marrying unique modern ingredients with time-honored brewing traditions. On hold in 2016 due to Summit Brewing Company’s 30th Anniversary Series brews, McConn is excited to welcome back the small-batch Summit Union Series and share his newest creation with you. “It is,” he promises, “shockingly drinkable.”

Summit Union Series #6: Imperial Russian Stout will debut at the Summit Beer Hall Thursday, November 30, 2017. In the following weeks, the very limited Union Series brew will arrive on draft and in 4-packs of 12-oz. bottles.

For more information about this and other beer releases, visit

P.S. The Russians didn’t actually mess with the beer.

Summit Union Series #6: Imperial Russian Stout

ABV: 10.5%

IBU: 70

Color: Coal Black (80 L)

Malts: Golden Promise and Pearl Brown Malt from the UK

Hops: Minstrel and Olicana from the UK

Yeast: UK Ale yeast

Serving Tips: Serve at 50–55ºF in a snifter glass. Pair with Stilton or gorgonzola cheeses, German chocolate cake, bison sliders, ribeye steak, or blackened pork chops if you haven’t already eaten them.

Summit Union Series

Launched in 2013, the small-batch Summit Union Series allows Summit Brewing Co.’s Head Brewer Damian McConn to scour the globe for obscure hops and malts as he looks to marry new and modern ingredients with time-honored brewing traditions. Briefly put on hold in 2016, McConn is eager to reintroduce Summit beer lovers to this series and the rare and unique ingredients it celebrates.

Summit Brewing Company

Founded in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1986, Summit Brewing Company has remained close to its roots, refreshing thirsty folks throughout the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions. Currently available in five states, Summit now produces seven year-round premium craft beers, seven occasionals, four seasonal brews, and the limited-release Unchained Series and Union Series. Since our inception, we’ve been a consistent pioneer in the craft beer movement. For everything Summit Brewing, visit