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The OGs of Craft Beer | Surly Brewing – Surly Furious IPA

The OGs of Craft Beer | Surly Brewing – Surly Furious IPA
Hannah Carlson

Similar to the rest of the country, my home state of Minnesota has seen an explosion within the craft beer scene. According to one article, thirty breweries opened up in Minnesota in 2017 alone – which was nearly double the openings that the state saw in 2016. Needless to say, the scene is not showing any signs of slowing down. So what initiated this domino effect? One might argue that Surly Brewing – Minneapolis’ 12-year-old craft beer darling – is partially to thank for the recent surge. And if we’re going to give thanks Surly, we have to look back to the beer that first helped put Surly on the map: Surly Furious, the IPA that makes you question what an IPA should be.

Before we deep-dive into what makes us so furiously passionate about Furious, let’s take just a moment to think about our run-of-the-mill IPA. I would assume you’re envisioning a golden hue, a slightly frothy head, aromas of pine and hop – perhaps a hint of citrus or melon. The flavor would, obviously, be built from hops, hops, and more hops. Those hops – obviously – being the brew’s most defining characteristic. It’s all about that bitter backbone.

Nothing about Furious fits this mold.

The Furious is an IPA for an Amber lover, a Red Ale fanatic – start to finish. This brew’s flirtation with malts makes it unlike any other IPA on the marketplace. It can trick its drinker into thinking its something that it’s not – perhaps a hoppy Red Ale, or a bitter Amber? Whatever it is, it’s sure delicious, and completely unique.

(READ: PorchDrinking Explores the OGs of Craft Beer)

The beer pours a reddish hue, and rocks a thick frothy head that bubbles in your glass. Its aroma isn’t that of pine or hops, but of malt and caramel – a consequence of the Scottish Malts prevalent in the recipe.  Take a sip and have your taste buds erupt first with caramel and toffee goodness, only to be followed by firey hops. Here you’ll find ever-so-subtle hints of your quintessential IPA – as pine and citrus emerge in that second-wind to leave you both confused and delighted as the contradicting flavors dance together.

Furious finishes slightly spicy – with strong, bitter notes lingering for a strong but eventually fleeting aftertaste. My initial reaction is to say that Furious is delightful start to finish, and though that might be true, I would go as far to argue that it’s more than delightful. It’s fascinating. The way that Surly has transformed this IPA into an undeniably malty, rich brew is a science experiment for adult taste buds. You don’t know why it works – but it just does.

Surly Furious can be found year-round in bars and bottle shops around the Midwest. Check to see if it’s in your neck of the woods here, and cheers to this OG of craft beer!

About the OGs of Craft Beer Series

We at thoroughly enjoy covering craft beer trends and showcasing the newest and beers. But, before terms like Brut, Milkshake, New England and even BBA entered the brewing-industry lexicon, beer fans were thrilled to taste Ambers, Pale Ales and some mysterious beer that may or may not have arrived from India. So, for one month, we are going to take time to remember some of those OGs of Craft Beer — the brews that made it all possible. While we can’t cover all the OGs of Craft Beer, we want to take this time in August to pay homage to several of them. If your favorite “classic” isn’t on the list; don’t fret. Let us know what you loved back in the day (or still do), and bring attention in the comments section below or via our social media channels.

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