I totally want to party with that guy Zane Lamprey from Three Sheets. Ever seen him? Well, I haven’t either round these parts. But I wish he’d pay a visit to the Twin Cities. Because the first stop he’d make would be at Surly Brewery in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. That’s right. Let me be the first to say that I am damn proud to live in Brooklyn Center. You pansies out on Lake Minnetonka sipping Heineken and Amstel Light on your borrowed yacht from daddy better listen up. They make real beer in Brooklyn Center.

Before I start, I just want all of you beer freaks to know that as I write this, I’m sipping on an Achel Blonde to simply pass the time. A fine Trappist Ale. And you know how much I love the Trappists. So you realize how good this upcoming beer must be if I’m not waxing eloquent about that.

Surly Bender. An Oatmeal Brown Ale. That’s right…an oatmeal brown. You think I’m kidding. But Surly, Brooklyn Center’s favorite brewer patriot, has found a way to combine my favorite grain (umm…oat) with my favorite liquid…beer. It’s a simple recipe. But so effective.

It’s a complex beer. Let me start with the nose…OATMEAL! You can’t avoid it. So smooth. So 9 a.m. I just love it. The color…black chestnut with a rocky khaki head. Yes. Like the pants. If you weren’t paying attention, you might take a slow swig of this fine brew and think “this tastes like Newcastle”. But no, upon further review, it’s nothing like the most popular brown ale this side of the pond. In fact, it tastes more like a fine coffee creamer infused with alcohol. Very nice. It comes in at about 25 IBUs and 5% ABV, so not an overpowering beer by any means, but it still makes a heck of an impression. If you ask me about the lacing, I’ll direct you to the picture above. It hangs on like Favre’s football career.

Rating: B+

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