dsc00826Beer and hockey just kind of go together.

The NHL season is just getting going, and as I settled in to watch my MN Wild take on Phoenix this evening, I partook in some Surly Furious, the flagship beer from my favorite local brewer. I’m a little surprised I’ve yet to review this beer, considering I drink it prolifically and look at it as one of my favorite all around IPA’s. Last weekend I had it on tap at Stub & Herbs, a fantastic college bar down on the U of M campus that also happens to offer arguably the city’s best selection of craft beers on draught, and I just about passed out with my eyes rolled into the back of my head from pure craft beer enjoyment. Those college kids have no idea how good they have it.

They brew Furious with Golden Promise malt from Simpsons in Scotland. The same grain used by The Macallan, world-reknowned makers of fine single malt scotch (I can’t get enough of their 18-year). Hopped with four different American varieties, at a rate of 3 pounds per barrel. For any home brewers doing the math at home, that breaks down to a half pound of hops for a 5 gallon batch. Jesus. 100 IBUs, and it’s no wonder. As a home brewer, I’ve slowly come to the conclusion that if you want to make a good beer, particularly an IPA and several other styles, you can’t skimp on the hops. It just doesn’t work well.

Pours from the 16 ounce can (as is the preferred method of delivery for most of Surly’s offerings) with a deep amber coloring, and a respectable two finger head. A little hazy, but that’s not a knock. It’s hops right from the get-go, dominating the aroma. Not as intense as some IPA’s, but still nice.

Taste is good and bitter. Nice tartness on the back of your tongue. Not grapefruit, but definitely citrus. Pretty smooth as well, considering how hoppy it is. I don’t know alot about Golden Promise malt, but it lends a very solid mouthfeel, just right.  

Again, out of the can this is a very respectable IPA. From the tap, I think it gains a little something, as most beers tend to do. Very, very drinkable IPA.     

Rating: A