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Local Beer of the Month April 2013 (Tie): Surly Furious vs. Steel toe size 7

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Tell us what you like (or don't like) about these beers. The whole point of this thread is to encourage others to go out and try our local breweries (to support them) and more importantly, to critique them vs. other local and national breweries. They will be listening. As Bob Dobbs once said, "Trust Me" :)

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  1. I am so happy there is a hop alternative to Surly. Size 7 has balance where Furious is off the wall. Furious is fun to drink for a while but when you want a balanced beer that is quite hoppy try Size 7. Surly is fun to love but in reality hard to like.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ibew292

      I agree. After a while, Furious starts to taste like malt liquor. But I will say one thing: Furious makes a crazy delicious (albeit expensive) beer batter for fried fish.

      1. re: ibew292

        Surly is easy to like for me. Size 7, Day Tripper, Hop Dish are all great beers but in the end I will always first reach for a Surly. Speaking of which the new Over Rated West Coast IPA from Surly is magnificent.

      2. I feel so fortunate to be a beer lover in Mn right now. I love the variety of different hoppy beers available to us. Surly Furious, Abrasive, Bitter Brewer, Steel Toe Size 7 and Size 11, Indeed's Day Tripper and Let it Ride IPA and I cannot forget Lift Bridge's Hop Dish. Hard to pick a favorite but lately I gotta go with Indeed's Day Tripper.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Hoppygoodness

          The beer scene here is indeed (no pun and no reference to Indeed) awesome. I honestly think that the Twin Cities could be become a beer destination. And not just from people who travel here from Fargo. But as local consumers, only we can make this happen. What I am hoping for (and you are already beginning to see this happen) is when local beers are being utilized in cooking preparations at local restaurants. I tried the Coconut Stout at Dangerous Man a few days ago and this beer just screams to be put into a Thai or Indian curry (or better yet, an ice cream float!).

          1. re: jeff55432

            And Surly Furious being used in Surly beer brats made in-house by Oxendale market in South MPLS.

            Agreed, the beer seen in MN is fantastic, and has shot up in a short time. What's helping the beer scene is the bike scene, also extremely strong in the area. NE MPLS has a strong cottage industry in beer-bike touring, and with good weather coming (soon, hopefully), it's only going to get stronger.

            1. re: foreverhungry

              Don't forget the Surly cupcakes from Salty Tart!

        2. When Furious first came out, I was all over it -- not having had anything like it on tap in this market before, with the possible exception of Bell's Two Hearted Ale. But the more I drank it, the harder I found it to get past the grapefruit character and over the top fruitiness. I prefer Hell and Cynic, if I'm going to drink Surly.

          Comparing Size 7 to Furious is an apples to oranges thing. But I will disagree with ibew292. I love Size 7, but would not call it balanced. I think the bottle narrative even admonishes anyone who would dare do so. I really enjoy its bitter character.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Brad Ballinger

            Much more balanced than Furious.. I wasn't comparing it to beers that weren't part part of the proposed discussion. Lets stick to Furious and Size 7 or why bother to have this thread.

            1. re: ibew292

              I'm not certain these two beers need to be compared against each other. Both beers are not balanced. That's not a bad thing. I like the strong bitter character of Size 7. If I wanted a balanced and boring IPA, I'd drink Lagunitas.

          2. I had Steel Toe Size 7 at the Republic the other night. I liked it a lot and thought the hop bitterness came across as refreshing rather than unpleasantly bitter. Of the local hoppy beers I have had recently, I think it was my second favorite. The Lift Bridge Hop Dish still holds first place. It had a ton of flavor, but still managed to come across as crisp rather than overwhelming.

            1. I hope Steel Toe can expand coverage to more Liquor stores. My favorite one can't get some of theirs. It's great beer, as is a few other local ones....in fact the new Overrated is quite good. Glad Surly brewed Abrasive longer as well. Keep up the great work local beer and food artisans. We all owe you part of our paycheck :-)

              1. Ashamed to say that I had not tried Size 7 until now, but I live in the south Metro and they don't get down here. I made the trek to Zipps and picked up a bottle. First the numbers: Size 7 - $4.99 - 1/22 oz, Furious - $9.95 - 4/16 oz (one of the local stores down here is selling it on special for $8.75). Size 7: 77 IBU, 7%, Furious: 99 IBU, 6.2%.

                I have to agree with Brad in saying that it is apples to oranges, they are both IPA's, but that's where the similarity ends. Furious is sweeter with a more citrusy smell and taste, whereas Size 7 has less of a malt presence and is more hop forward. They're both good, just different.

                For me, Furious is the beer that I will always buy when there isn't anything else that interests me - kind of a comfort thing. I know that many craft brewers are going to the bombers and 750's, but my preference is the 16 oz. container. Sometimes 12 ounces is not enough, and 22 is too much.

                Now I have to get out to St. Louis Park to see how Size 11 compares to Abrasive.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Slightly Grey

                  I know Surly markets Furious as an "American IPA," so maybe that's the style. Everythign is supersized here, right? More IBUs, but not the bitter profile of Size 7.