dsc015931Birthdays and anniversaries are two occasions you need to pay special attention to. Not that I’ve ever forgotten my wife’s birthday (april 23…april 23…april 23) or anything stupid like that. But you generally need to put forth a little more effort than usual to acknowledge these types of milestones.

Which is why when I got home from work Wednesday evening, generally fatigued, and a little brain-dead from a long day of PR meetings, I knew what had to be done…for tonight was the anniversary release of Surly Three. I wouldn’t entertain any excuses from myself about “how early I had to get up the next day” or “how much my liver still hurt” from the weekend. Forget it. I was going to the Surly party, and there wasn’t anything I was going to do to change it.

After picking up one of my more reliable tippling buddies, we walked into the Blue Nile in Minneapolis a little after 8 p.m. and found throngs of Surly faithful taking up every last square foot of available space. Great to see alot of happy faces enjoying alot of quality beer. We elbowed our way to the bar, and ordered ourselves a couple glasses of Three.

I actually had no idea what kind of beer Three was before I got to the place, and after slowly enjoying my first glass, I was still having a hard time placing it. After chatting with some folks, I came to realize Three is a braggot, half mead and half ale, a style I’d never had before. Poured with minimal head, dark brown coloring with a nice malty sweet aroma. Not much in the way of hops, but fairly yeast-forward which immediately brought Belgian to mind. Also a hint of spice in the nose, possibly even cinnamon. Taste was also sweet and very complex, definitely honey and dark fruits in there. At 10% ABV, it’s an extraordinarily well-balanced ass-kicker. Very nicely done Surly. 

Rating: A