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Surly Brewing Company [MSP]

Okay, I'm probably the last to know but I just discovered a great local microbrew (Twin Cities)it is the Furious brewed by Surly Brewing Company (www.surly.com). Only available in select bars and restaurants.

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  1. I read about it but I have yet to have visited a restaurant that serves it.

    Tonight I found a new, I think, Summit brew called 20th Anniversary Limited Edition ESB, Extra Special Bitter Ale. So I bought a 12 pack.

    1. Here's the link with lists of local restaurant clients.


      Waiting to make the pilgrimage to Blue Max in Burnsville. Any feedback on this institution?

      Best German beer on tap (so far) Glockenspiel on 7th in St. Paul. Any others on your list?

      Surly and Surly Bicycles. Drink and ride responsibly.....

      1. I had a couple Surlys at the Happy Gnome. I really liked it. I also understand they are starting to offer brewery tours.

        1. I tried the Surly Furious and their other brew also. Both are good, but the Furious is exceptional, provided you love hops! I enjoyed these at Papa's Pizza on 42nd and Upton Av. N. in Minneapolis (nice place, great pizza, and of course Surlys so check it out)

          1. We've really enjoyed both the Furious and the Bender, I can't remember which is which kind of beer though. We've found them several places, Blue Nile and the Bull Dog come to mind.

            1. I have a few friends who are really into Surly. A great place to get it at a restaurant would be Cafe 28 in Linden Hills, which is co-owned by Surly's brewer.

              1. I had Surly's Bender at Grumpy's Downtown Minneapolis. I heard they can't keep up with the growth. There's not much yet in the western suburbs. That's success.

                1. They've started selling the Bender and Furious in cans (4-pack of 16oz cans). I've seen them at Surdyk's and Big Top. In addition to the above places, the Punch Pizza in NE has the Bender on tap from time to time. I was lucky to try the Surly Darkness at the Happy Gnome this fall -- it was my favorite of their limited edition beers so far.

                  1. In addition to the list on their web site, Surly is available at Edina Grill, and presumably its sister restos (like Longfellow). Dee-lish!

                    1. Surly is also available in growlers at the brewery on Saturday afternoons. Check their website.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: MN Hick Chowhound

                        Surly Growlers are no longer available.

                      2. Pumphouse Creamery at 48th and Chicago now has "Surly Bender" flavored ice cream. I tried it, and it was good -- very fresh as Pumphouse always is -- but a little mild on the beer flavor. Still, you could definitely taste the Bender in there. I would be interested to see if they ever make a "Surly Furious" flavor, which may prove more intense.

                        But anyway, if you like Surly, go over to Pumphouse and try this double-whammy of locally produced goodness.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Chris Mitra

                          I've tried Furious, Bender, CynicAle in cans & had Bitter Brewer on tap @ Cafe 28. IMO they are all excellent beers, with Bitter Brewer edging out Furious for #1...Furious has such intense hopping that it's just not quite as quaffable as the Bitter Brewer, which is actually less bitter and more balanced than Furious.

                        2. Nope, you're not the last to know. I am. But, thanks to you, I tried a can of Surly Bender on Saturday, and I'm hooked. WOW, is this stuff good! Even out of a can. Thanks for the great beer tip!


                          P.S. I found the Surly Bender four-pack at Sharrett's (Midway area, St. Paul). This place is tiny but has a great beer selection.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: AnneInMpls

                            Regardless of packaging, freshness is Surly's big advantage. They have hit it with great marketing and a ground swell of support which keeps their beer moving off the shelves no matter where it's served/sold. They also have a very tight can line - good equipment and high quality process.

                            Another brewery which seems to be on fire with great quality and freshness is Bells out of Comstock Michigan. Beer travels about as well as any other fresh product - the less travel the better the flavor, but it's all about starting points isn't it?

                          2. Get Surly's Bender on tap at Sen Yai Sen Lek. This dark ale goes great with Thai flat noodles, tofu, and yellow soy sauce.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: mplsbruin

                              A lot has changed since this post was active in 2006 and 2007, including a new MN law making growlers illegal... :-< Surly is now on tap at several places, including the Birchwood Cafe in Minneapolis and Ngon in St. Paul. See Surly's web site for more info (though their list doesn't specify on-tap vs cans):


                              And please drink lots of Surly so they stay in business. I love Surly beer!


                              1. re: AnneInMpls

                                Actually Anne, it is only illegal to sell growlers if you sell a certain amount of beer per year.

                                From Surly's website:

                                Per MN State Law (340A.301), Surly Brewing will not be able to get a license to sell growlers in 2009. In 2008, we have sold over 3500 barrels of beer. The cut-off limit for getting that off-sale license is 3500 barrels. So, no more growlers, no more Darkness Day, and no more SurlyFest.

                                Places like Fitgers in Duluth are still able to sell growlers.

                                1. re: AnneInMpls

                                  Anne, I don't think you need to worry too much about Surly-- their main problem right now is figuring out how to brew enough beer to keep up with demand. That's a good problem to have.

                                  If you're interested in preserving local microbreweries, you might make sure to pick up some Flat Earth beer to go along with your Surly-- they are much newer and therefore more vulnerable right now. Available on draft at various places, in bottles at better stores, and in growlers from the brewery on Tuesdays and Thursdays!

                              2. What does the Coffee Bender taste like? Has anyone had it? And can you taste the coffee in it?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: karykat

                                  Oh yes. Lots and lots of coffee goodness. But you can still taste the Bender underneath. I love it