My travels have taken me to exciting Minneapolis in the state of Minnesota. I landed around 11:00 AM and began my day. On this trip, I am visiting the headquarters of Nestlé U.S.A. It’s a big deal.
Because I like mixing business with pleasure, it’s no surprise that while up here (btw: up here because Minneapolis is actually slightly more North of Toronto, didn’t realize this until now) I’d pay a visit to a couple of breweries. My breweries of choice were Summit Brewing Company and Surly Brewing Company, two heavy weight champions in Minnesota.
I started my venture with a quick stop at Pizza Lucé for a pick up and sure enough on their beer menu chalkboard are featured 2-3 beers from both these breweries.
For now, I’ll limit this blog entry to the first brewery I visited, Surly.
As you pull in to the dead end street, you are greeted by a tanker and a keg apparatus with the Surly logo printed in warning-enter-at-your-own-risk-orange. To my left, was a Tasty Twins food truck serving dogs, burgers, fries and poutine. Being a Quebecer, I couldn’t help but order a poutine, letting ‘em know they’d be severely rated.
Once inside, I went straight for the goods. “Bartender, give me that Furious IPA everyone speaks of!” I grabbed a seat at a table near the back and to the sounds of Uncle Acid, Graveyard and Skrillex, I indulged in my reward.
Surly is the product of a home-brewer gone mad. Omar Ansari began brewing beer in the comfort of his home until the day he decided to make things happen. In 2004, Omar set out to complete his vocation and a quick year later, things were in place and the “anger” would begin. I don’t know if he expected one of his beers to become a world-class IPA but whatever he did, he did right. Because Surly brews well over 20 000 barrels / year, this makes them unable to retail on site so beware if you’re going there to buy a 6-pack. You can however, find Surly beer on tap and by the bottle/can in many bars and restaurants and liquor stores. This brewery is heavy metal man, I mean, there’s a lot of German gothic inspired branding happening (fuelled by some German style beers), the soundtrack is refreshingly metal (no Crazy Train here) and the staff is solid, it’s no wonder the Surly web sites cites “The anger fuelled by the inability to find good beer”. This statement is true to both their attitude and their vocation to deliver on that promise.
Today, I’ll review 1 of 3 Surly beers, Furious IPA. (You can expect reviews on their Overrated IPA and Schadenfreude sometime next week).
Look: Dark amber with beautiful toffee head leaving behind thick creamy lace ribbons
Aroma: Smells like citrusy fruits, caramelized malts, pine and hops
Taste: This is outstanding, so well balanced. I get a perfect blend of bitterness from hops and caramel malts with some citrus note. Everything is so well balanced. No flavour steals the show, just a perfect harmony of flavour with minimal aftertaste.
Finish / Mouth Feel: A very nice dry peppery finish with a medium feel and a slight syrupy feel.
Context: Dead on
Repeater: Makes me want to move to Minnesota, how’s that for a response.
Pairing: Beautiful curry dishes and Mexican, grilled meat and summery salads. Finish it off with chocolate cake and fruity pastries.
Price: $3 for a 8 onces on site…
Beer type: IPA
Brewery: Surly Brewing Company
Country / Region: Minnesota, USA