Baggo must have been created by a secret consortium of beer manufacturers to help sell more of their product. If you’re not familiar with this popular yard game, also known in some parts of the country as Cornhole, shame on you. It’s quite possibly the most perfect mix of skill and beer enjoyment ever devised. Forget darts. Forget Golden Tee. Baggo is a game of the gods.

According to the Royal & Ancient Governing Authority of the game, I’m currently the #2 ranked Baggo player in the world. I’m not bragging. Just saying I’m pretty good. Especially after a sixer of Summit EPA’s. Which is what I was enjoying this weekend up at my buddy’s cabin in northern Minnesota. There’s just something about standing on a lake shore on a hot sunny Saturday, throwing small bean bags at a wooden board with a nice pale ale in your hand, and taunting your opponents after they’ve completely missed the board two turns in a row.

Summit is listed as one of my favorite breweries, and for good reason. For starters, they’re brewed locally in St. Paul, which means I’m more apt to get fresher samples than my beer compatriots across the Midwest. In fact, my greatest-ever Summit experience took place one day on a golf course in St. Paul…at the turn I bought a hot dog and EPA on draught. I took one sip, and the hops just exploded off the beer. I promptly threw away the uneaten dog. No sense in confusing my palate…I wanted to completely enjoy the freshest tasting beer I had have ever come across.       

Before we go any further, let me clarify one thing…I’m not trying to be a homer and tout this beer simply for the fact that it’s made a few miles down the road. It’s a very good beer, but on the scale of things, not the absolute best pale ale I’ve ever had. It is, however, a great example of quality brewing from the Upper Midwest. According to the website, they use a combination of Horizon, Fuggle and Cascade hops to give the beer its distinctive bite. It comes in at about 45 IBU’s, and from the nose alone it’s certainly the first characteristic you notice about the ale. They use 2-row Harrington and Caramel grains, and I think the nutty, slightly sweet malt profile helps balance things a bit. At 5.3% ABV, it’s a good session beer if you’re not planning on doing anything for the next 12 hours or so. Except of course defend your Baggo world ranking.

Rating: A-