Surly Brewing Company

Surly Brewing Company

Infobox Brewery
name = Surly Brewing Company

caption =
location = Brooklyn Center, Minnesota United States []
owner = Omar Ansari
opened = 2005
production =
active_beers = brewbox_beer|name=Bender|style=Brown Ale brewbox_beer|name=Furious|style=India Pale Ale
seasonal_beers = brewbox_beer|name=CynicAle|style=Belgian Saison brewbox_beer|name=SurlyFest|style=Oktoberfest
other_beers = brewbox_beers|type=Special Release brewbox_beer|name=Darkness|style=Russian Imperial Stout brewbox_beer|name=Coffee Bender|style=Coffee Infused Brown ale brewbox_beer|name=Tea Bagged Furious|style=Dry Hopped Cask India Pale Ale brewbox_beer|name=Tea Bagged Bender|style=Dry Hopped Cask Brown Ale brewbox_beers|type=One Time Release brewbox_beer|name=Sausage Fest|style=Smoked Belgian brewbox_beer|name=One|style=Lager beer brewbox_beer|name=Bitter Brewer|style=Bitter beer

Surly Brewing Company is a Brooklyn Center, MN based craft brewery. As of summer 2007, Surly is only available in and around Twin Cities area, parts of southern Minnesota and in Duluth, MN on tap and in cans at a number of local liquor stores.

Surly's brewing system is a 30 beer barrel (BBL) Sprinkman, one of 4 identical systems produced by Sprinkman of Wisconsin. They shipped it to Minnesota from a defunct brewery in the Dominican Republic.


Surly worked with Carley Foundry over 6 months to design their tap handles. Each handle is poured out of molten aluminum by Carley in Blaine, Minnesota. At the brewery, Todd and Omar hand grind and finish each tap handle.


In 1994, Surly owner Omar Ansari received a homebrew kit as a gift, purchased from St. Paul's Northern Brewer. This is what sparked his interest in brewing and it grew from there. Omar is on the Minnesota Craft Brewer's Guild's Board of Directors.


Todd Haug, Surly's brewmaster, has been brewing since he was 19. He brewed at Summit Brewing Company in Saint Paul, Minnesota and was then the head brewer at Rock Bottom in Minneapolis, Minnesota for 9 years before coming to Surly in the fall of 2004.

urly Beer

None of the beers produced by Surly can easily be categorized into a specific style of beer. To quote Todd, Surly's head brewer, "Surly Brewing Company's beers are NOT brewed to fit into ANY beer style guidelines. So please spread the word!" [cite web | title=Surly's Brewer's Notes | url=| ]

Year Round Offerings

*Furious - Made with Golden Promise malt, made by family-owned Simpsons Malt. From Scotland, this malt is still produced in the tradition of turning over the barley by hand. Four American hop varieties are used at a rate of over three pounds per barrel. The result is a rich malt sweetness infused with bright hop flavor and aroma. 6% alcohol by volume (ABV) and 100 IBUs. Rated the third best American IPA by members of [cite web | Top American IPAs | url=| ] and rated thirteenth best India Pale Ale on [cite web | World's Best India Pale Ales | url=| ]

*Bender - This beer is an amalgamation of styles; Brown Ale/Porter/American Pale Ale (APA). Made with five distinct malts, including two from Belgium and oatmeal added to this beer to give it a smooth texture not usually associated with this type of beer. Large amounts of American finishing hops to give it a citrus hop aroma. This is a session beer. Around 5% alcohol by volume (ABV) and 25 IBUs. Rated the number one American Brown Ale by members of [cite web | Top American Brown Ales | url=| ] and third highest rated brown ale on [cite web | World's Best Brown Ales | url=| ]


*CynicAle - Brewed with Belgian malted barley, this copper hued ale is brewed in the Belgian Saison style. A unique Belgian yeast strain creates the spicy flavor and imported hops lend the apricot/peach aroma. Available in cans and on draft from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
*SurlyFest - Surly's interpretation of a German Oktoberfest beer. Made with Crystal Rye and German malts. This beer is a single hop lager, hopped exclusively with Summit hops. Aged over 11 weeks to let the flavors mellow. This beer became available in 16 oz. cans during the fall of 2007.
*Darkness - Brewed 7-5-2006 with a blend of 8 different malts, oats, and candi sugar. Only 10 barrels of this beer were brewed when it was first made in 2006. Rated the third highest Russian Imperial Stout by members of [cite web | Top Russian Imperial Stouts | url=| ] and fifth highest rated Imperial Stout on [cite web | World's Best Imperial Stouts | url=| ] . A second batch was brewed during 2007 and kegs were distributed to local bars on October 31. In December 2007, the remainder of this batch was bottled and sold at the Surly brewery in 480 hand-numbered limited-edition 750ml bottles. Surly held some of these bottles back and auctioned them off, with the proceeds going to a local charity.
*Bitter Brewer - This beer is brewed in the tradition of an English Style Bitter. Only 30 barrels were produced and some of it was cask conditioned in firkins. Third highest rated English Bitter on [cite web | Top Engligh Bitter | url=| ]

Limited Release

*Coffee Bender - Regular Bender beer with a cold-press coffee-brewing process. Surly steeps 20 gallons of Bender at a time. The coffee is roasted locally at [ Coffee & Tea Limited] in Linden Hills, Minneapolis. Rated the number two American Brown Ale by members of [cite web | Top American Brown Ales | url=| ] and twenty second highest rated brown ale on [cite web | World's Best Brown Ales | url=| ]

*Tea Bagged Furious - Furious that has been dry-hopped in a firkin cask with various hop varietys. Surly frequently changes the type of hops used for the dry hopping but usually uses a full pound of hops for the dry-hopping.

*Tea Bagged Bender - Bender that has been dry-hopped in a firkin cask with various hop varieties. Surly frequently changes the type of hops used for the dry hopping but usually uses a full pound of hops for the dry-hopping.

One Time Release

*Two - A cranberry infused stout, limited to around 400 bottles.

*One - Second highest rated American All-Malt Lager on [cite web | Top American All-Malt Lagers | url=| ]

*Sausage Fest - A Belgian pale ale made with smoked malts and a generous dose of hops. Made one time only for the 2006 Great Taste Of The Midwest in Madison, Wisconsin.


Surly beers are currently only available in the state of Minnesota. Most of the distribution is within the Twin Cities area.

Surly distributes beer in much of the Twin Cities themselves. Dahlheimer Distribution handles some of the Twin Cities. In the Duluth, MN area and parts of northern Minnesota are handled by Rohlfing Distribution.


Surly began canning their beer in October 2006. Their canned beer is not pasteurized so it must be kept cold.CynicAle is available in four packs of 16oz pint cans from Memorial Day to Labor Day.


*Surly was named the Best Brewery In America by Beer Advocate Magazine's June 2007 issue's Top 50 American Breweries. [cite news | author = Jason and Todd Alström | date = 2007-06 | title = Top 50 American Breweries | publisher = BeerAdvocate Magazine | pages = p. 1]

*Omar Ansari was named an Artist Of The Year 2007 by City Pages magazine. [cite web | title=City Pages Artists Of The Year 2007 | url=| ]

*Furious won the Best Of The Fest Award at Arborfest 2006 and 2007. [cite web | title=Arborfest | url=| ]

* Surly was named one of the best things in Minnesota by Minnesota Monthly in their MN Favorites 2007 [cite web | title=Minnesota Monthly's MN Favorites 2007 | url=| ]

* Surly was awarded the Best Take-Home Brew award by City Pages in their Best Of The Twin Cities 2007 [cite web | title=City Pages Best Of The Twin Cities 2007 | url=| ]

* Surly's seasonal beer Coffee Bender was awarded the gold medal at The Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado in the Coffee Beer category.. [cite web | title=GABF 2007 Winners | url=| ]


External links

* [ Surly Brewing Company web site]

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