Tasting: December 27, 2016
Style: American Double/Imperial IPA
Beer #: 1,028
In January 2004, Omar Ansari proposed the idea of converting the family’s abrasives business into a brewing operation. With his parent’s blessings, he and head brewer Todd Haug began Surly Brewing. Two years later, they delivered the first kegs of Surly Furious to local bars. Omar describes bar owners spitting out samples of his beer. Thankfully, they pressed on and bar owners ultimately came around to their beer.
In October of 2016, Todd Haug left Surly. Most think that a lack of a stake in the $35m brewery was the cause. Some think Surly’s firing of Linda Haug drove the pair to the open arms of Three Floyds in Indiana. Whatever the reason, it will be interesting to see the changes at both breweries.
The most noteworthy item about this beer is the addition of oatmeal. At one time, oatmeal was a common ingredient and it was said that using too much would cause a bitterness beyond the tolerance of era. In the early 20th century, brewers touted oatmeal as a healthy holistic medicine until the British government moved to ban any advertisement that made this claim. Today, oatmeal is added to beer since its lipids will lend to a slick mouthfeel.
Finally, on to the tasting. It has more citrus in the aroma and you can almost smell the bitterness. First of all, I’ll say that Surly Abrasive delivers a flavorful punch. Assertive grapefruit, tangerine and minor tropical fruit notes almost eclipse a sweet candy undertone. Maybe a little too much unstructured bitterness. In conclusion, Surly Abrasive scores 94 in my book.
Finally, read about a couple more offerings from Surly: