Archive for July, 2008

1st Annual Surlyfest

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

September 6th at the brewery
• $30 tickets for 21+
• Minors are free and welcome with parent
• 4 beers included for that price
• .5 Liter German-made SurlyFest Stein included with admission
• Tapping of the first SurlyFest keg of the season
• Food available for purchase at the event
• 2 or 3 bands playing outside
• Large tent for a rain-or-shine event
• Gate is open 4:00 – 8:00
• Open house in the brewery to see what we have been up to
• Tickets on sale at the brewery during tours and Saturdays 12:00-2:00
• On-line tickets now available
• Tickets are limited and nonrefundable

Oregon Brewers Festival – Our Beer Festival

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Wow. 60,000+ beer drinking fans over 4 days in Portland, OR… Oregon Brew Fest was amazing. Todd, Linda, Omar and Jerrod all headed out to the Rose City to check out this festival, and we were not disappointed. OBF differs from other fests in that you only bring one beer. For The Great Taste next month, Todd and I have spent hours talking about which beers to bring and what the special releases will be. OBF – one beer. We decided to ship out 15 kegs of Coffee Bender. 15 kegs! The good news was the beer seemed to be a hit. I hung out around our table and spoke to lots of folks that loved the beer. The bad news – I think we ran out.
Also odd was not being behind the pouring station. All the beers are set up and poured by the volunteers. The amount of organization to run an event like this is staggering. Everything seemed to go so well and run smoothly – very impressive.
It really got me thinking about events and the beer community in the Twin Cities. So many times I explained to Portlanders that we are a production brewery, not a pub, so we don’t have a bar. And no, we don’t own a tap-house in another part of town that serves our beers. I think it is no coincidence that the liberal beer laws in Portland have led to the staggering fact that ˝ of beer consumed in Portland in craft beer. Hopefully we can continue to open things up in Minnesota so local beer can become as embraced here as in other areas.
So, let’s talk about festivals! It is clear that well-run beer festivals and events expose many people to craft beer and simultaneously show that drinking can be a family friendly affair. Lots of kids were running around the OBF, listening to the great music, eating food and having fun. In addition, the support of volunteers is crucial. There must have been over 500 volunteers at the OBF, and that’s why it works.
We are going to take a lot of what we saw to heart in organizing our next couple events. I’m sure things are going to take a number of years to get them where we want, but with help, we can do it. First up is SurlyFest, the kick-off of our SurlyFest beer, September 6th at the brewery. The vision is something like this:
- $30 tickets for 21+, minors welcome with parent
- 4 beers for that price
- .5 L German-made Surlyfest Stein
- Food available for purchase at the event.
- 2 or 3 bands playing outside. We have one band lined up, drop me an email if you want to play. Check out Sajak’s Myspace page.
- Large tent for a rain-or-shine event
- 4:00 – 8:00
- Open house in the brewery to see what we have been up to
- Tickets on sale at the brewery when we figure things out
- Volunteers helping to get this thing working. Probably 4-5 hours of work gets you free admission, a t-shirt and a hug. We will also need help as baby #4 is expected that weekend around the Ansari house. If you are interested in helping, send an email with your info and your favorite Surly beer to:

As usual, the idea is not to make money off this thing, but to provide a fun gathering for beer fans. I really think these are the type of events that help build a beer community and great memories. I will never forget going to Oktoberfest in Munchen with my German cousin!
After that, Darkness Day, October 25th will be pretty big. We will be letting you all know about that event as we go!

Anniversary Party @ Busters

Friday, July 18th, 2008

July 24th @ Busters on 28th. One year Buster’s anniversary customer appreciation party from 9:00-11:00. Buster’s will be pouring Furious, Bender, Cynic, Smoke, oak-aged Cynic firkin and coffee bender!

Surly Neon

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Come on down and check out the only Surly neon sign at a bar in America! Brian Mackenzie was at our open house a few months back and saw the great neon sign that my wife and in-laws had made us for Christmas in 2005. He liked it so much, he made a Surly neon for his bar, MacKenzies Pub. To celebrate we will be drinking some special beers on Wendsday, July 16th. We will be tapping a keg of two, coffee bender and a cask!

Surly in Wisconsin

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Surly has announced plans to sell beer into Wisconsin as soon as Brett Farve signs with the Vikings.

Surly Tube

Monday, July 7th, 2008