There are two kinds of surly: the grumpy kind and the beery kind. I’m feeling the beery kind.
We’ve been dipping into a few recently acquired beers from the Land of 10,000 Lakes, my buddy Christa and Surly Brewing Company.
Surly is one of those big splash breweries all the rage for traders. They brew with attitude, and have won many fans for their effort. I first had Bender, their delicious “oatmeal brown” a couple of years ago, when Michelle trekked to Minneapolis for a work-related conference. Like the Wonderful Beer Wife she is, she brought me back a few presents.
Bender had me ready for more, and a couple of weeks back, we tracked down Coffee Bender, Furious and CynicAle, all packaged in 16-ounce cans.
In short, the beers are all quite good.
Coffee Bender: Yep, coffee. Smells like coffee. Tastes like coffee. But it’s beer and ten times more refreshing than a frozen cappuccino. Great on a hot afternoon, or a hot morning while breakfasting al fresco. I just finished up my Sunday morning pancakes and am kicking myself for not opening one. This is one of the beers that coffee drinking beer chickens should try to get turned on to the Good Stuff. My idea of a gateway beer for a certain group of people.
Furious: Curiously drinkable for 99 IBUs. Big hop aroma and flavor, but I’m surprised that it’s not more harshly bitter. I expected to be punched in the face. I’m also surprised at how much some people like Simcoe hops. I’m not on the Simcoe bandwagon. This beer is well-brewed, but I’d like a different hop in my liquid.
CynicAle: Saison in a can. This beer could encourage me to take up golfing. Or–no–I just don’t like the beach. But if you like the beach, this is the beer for you. Delicately spicy, herbal, fruity and earthy, this is a quencher that would also be a good breakfast beer. Do it up like Uncle Matt: scrambled eggs packed with Italian sausage, onions, potatoes and cheese. A whomp of bacon. And this beer, for sure.
Perhaps it’s just the few warm days we’ve recently seen in this young February, but these beers make me want to get outside. Hiking, horseshoes, bocce, splitting wood, fishing in a secluded pond, sitting on a chair, hanging with friends and family. Gravel road drives with the windows rolled down headed for Missouri to buy fireworks a week before the Fourth of July. Eggs. Bacon. Cheese. That’s what these beers encourage. And so they must be good.