When you visit a good friend’s house, they feed you, make sure you have something refreshing to drink, and make you feel at home with laughter and a smile. Mark Stutrud did all those things and more at the ribbon-cutting ceremony to reopen the Summit Ratskeller on Wednesday. The event included a toast from Melvin Carter, the Mayor of St. Paul, wonderful German food from the Black Forest Inn, and lots of smiles from Mark Stutrud himself.
As Mark addressed the numerous members of the media, business partners, and other notable drinkers, he admitted that this space was never in his original business plan. Stutrud went on to say that Summit is not reinventing themselves; they have always been about enjoying a beer together. Stutrud believes that the Ratskeller embodies the simple concept of providing space for friends and strangers alike to gather. The focus in the Ratskeller is going to be the beer and the camaraderie.
The abundance of dark wood is, to me, what really makes it a cozy place to enjoy a Keller Pils. If you walk around the room, you will see the Summit logo carved into every piece of wood.
Open to the public today, Summit’s newly renovated Ratskeller will have 20 taps, each pouring Summit’s nectar of the gods. There is a much better flow in the Ratskeller because they have made the 130-year-old red oak bar the anchor of the space. You enter double doors and immediately are greeted by the bar. By showcasing this classic looking bar, they have made the room warmer and a lot more welcoming. They also got rid of the beer hall tables with benches in favor of much more comfortable individual chairs. Don’t get me wrong, I love the communal aspect of the picnic beer hall benches. However, I can count on more than one hand the number of times I have nearly been clocked in the grain bag by one of those things when I got up and someone was too far to the edge. Let’s leave the teeter totters to the playgrounds.
There are high top tables that are scattered around the perimeter of the room. One is specifically reserved for staff to gather, but there are also others for everyone to use. As far as the beer is concerned, there will always be a few tap lines dedicated to Ratskeller exclusive beers. Over the next few days, they will be releasing Ratskeller 1, 2, and 3, special limited beers to kick-off the reopening. The schedule for the Ratskeller reopening events is listed below. They are also adding Sunday hours to help make that transition back into the work week a little easier.
I don’t know Mark Stutrud well at all. However, watching the pride radiate from his smile and seeing what this new space will mean for Summit fans gave me a glimpse into how humble and proud he is. He greeted everyone and welcomed them as if we were gathering in his living room. I know Mark would say otherwise because he wants to make sure we all know it took many hands to create the Ratskeller. To me, whenever I go to Summit to enjoy a well-crafted and quality beer, I will always be drinking in the house that Mark built.
Summit Ratskeller Reopening Schedule
Thursday, July 12: Opening at 2 p.m. with the Blue Fire Pizza Food Truck and a collaborative live music event from 6–8 p.m. — The MN Music Coalition presents Amanda Standalone, a folk and blues artist. We’ll also be tapping Summit Ratskeller Exclusive Number 1, a super-limited, super-aromatic 8.2% ABV unfiltered IPA clocking in at 70 IBU with notes of grapefruit and orange peel.
Friday, July 13: Opening at 2 p.m. with the Wyn 65 food truck and another collaborative live music event from 6–8 p.m. — The Minnesota Music Coalition presents The High 48s, a bluegrass band. Get here early for Summit Ratskeller Exclusive Number 2, another super-limited, super-aromatic unfiltered IPA, this one weighing in at 7.5% ABV and 60 IBU with big dank and fruity notes of mango, clementine, apricot, pineapple, and bubblegum.
Saturday, July 14: Opening at 12 p.m. with the Ninja Sushi food truck and a special Summit-themed edition of Trivia Mafia beginning at 6 p.m. Swing by for Summit Ratskeller Exclusive Number 3, a limited roasty and smoky brown ale with 5.1% ABV, 42 IBU and notes of maple syrup, light roasted coffee, graham cracker, spice and wood.
Sunday, July 15: Hey! We’re adding Sunday hours! Open from 12–6 p.m. every Sunday going forward, for your drinking pleasure. New tour times at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. We’ll save one extra keg of Summit Ratskeller Exclusive Number 3 for Sunday, too, but don’t be tardy. These exclusive beers come in tiny kegs.
All four days of our Grand Reopening celebration will include tours, special giveaways and prizes, and raffles for baseball tickets — including the Summit Brewing Co. Balcony at the St. Paul Saints’ CHS Field and seats at that other ballpark over in Minneapolis.