Tag: surly

Calling All Artists: Surly Feature Artist Contest

Surly Call for Artists

Five years ago Surly Creative Director Michael Berglund won a coaster contest. Now he wears a lot of hats and is responsible for all things creative at the shiny new brewery. “It’s all you can eat. It’s a wonderful job” he says. Now he’s in charge of choosing this year’s artist who will create the artwork for SurlyFest, Darkness, and the anniversary beer.

The contest runs through Wednesday, February 17th this year and the process is long. First the major players at Surly get to review the portfolios and whittle it down to thirty. Then they are sent out to the former winners of the contest who will vote on it. Then Omar and Todd get to decide who wins. Berglund loves that it’s the fans of Surly that get this opportunity to create the artwork for these big events. “I think we should see what the fans are doing” he says. “The hardest part is that we can only have one winner. Last year we had to turn down 139 people.”

That’s right, there were 140 entries last year. Every single entry was seen by Berglund and he seems to take pride in that. “It’s a professional call for artists. What’s your connection to Surly?” Surly has always supported local artists and they seem to maintain good standing relationships with them even after their time is up. Some of those talented artists are Adam Turman, Josh “Jawsh” Lemke, Brent Schoonover, Aesthetic Apparatus, DWITT, Nic Skrade, Erica Williams, and Brandon Holt.

Speaking of supporting local artists, when Surly moved into their new markets in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa—Michael came up with an idea where the locals would design the poster in their respective markets. He hopes that artists in these markets will also show their connection to the brewery and what it means to them. “There’s no better way to show the spirit of Surly than allowing local artists to contribute.”

Well stated Michael.

Submit your portfolios here by Wednesday, February 17th: michael@surlybrewing.com


Surly Releases Brett Mikkel’s IPA


Surly teamed up with the Copenhagen, Denmark brewery Mikkeller— to come up with a brew that pokes fun at our favorite (or least favorite) pink pants wearing, make up laden, 80s butt rocker Bret Michaels. This funky IPA is fermented with Brettanomyces which differ from Lactobacillus in that they are a strain yeast, not bacteria.

Bottles (750 ML) have gone out to stores in their Twin Cities, Wisconsin, Chicago, and Iowa markets after a positive reception at the beer hall last summer. Most stores are charging around $9.99 a bottle so it’s pretty affordable compared to a lot of special releases.

Barnyard and tropical notes are evident in the nose right off the bat. Sweetness from the honey comes through slightly in the flavor but is soon overwhelmed by the bitterness of the german hops. The finish is nice and dry making this an extremely drinkable beverage. I’d grab this as soon as you can though because I can’t imagine it will sit on shelves long.


MN Beer Notebook: News From Around Town

Dangerous Man

Here are some tidbits from around town as the holidays wind down.
Dangerous Man has just released their SMASH IPA and it’s fantastic. Citra lovers will rejoice over this one as it’s composed of 100% Citra hops and Simpson’s Golden Promise malt. It’s available on tap and in the growler room. Also on tap is Sour Delores #2. This kettle sour was brewed with raspberries and it is also available both on tap, and in the growler room.

The Belgian Pale Ale I helped brew over at Bad Weather Brewing is now on at their St. Paul taproom. I’ve yet to try it but I’m hearing good things. This means I may not have messed it up after all.

Surly canned more Abrasive recently and it should be available in stores throughout January 2016. Now if they’d only can Todd the Axe Man all year long….

Buffalo Trace is on the Barrel Reserve line at Town Hall Brewery. The brewery recently decided to dedicate a draft line to their spectacular barrel aged program. They’ll even have some 750 ml bottles for sale starting today at the brewery.

The popular Double IPA they call Size 11 is making a return mid-January at Steel Toe Brewing. They also have 750 ml bottles of Wee Heavy ($10) and Lunker ($20) for sale in bottles at the taproom. I’m hearing whispers that the supply of Lunker is getting pretty low, so you’d better act quickly if you’re looking to get some.

Schell’s is releasing a Bock sampler pack that is available now here in the Twin Cities. It consists of a pre-prohibition style, heirloom wheat, a 90s version, and their current variety.


Surly/Lervig Collaborative Black Ale – 1349


Full label here.

Look what the cat dragged in… Here’s some artwork for a collaborative beer from our friends at Surly Brewing Company, Norwegian brewery Lervig and Norwegian black metal band 1349. The label describes a black ale brewed with coffee. A Norwegian website, Olportalen, offers some insight into how the project came together [keep in mind that this is a Google translation… we left it choppy because it felt right]:

Sunday 17 October 2010 played the Norwegian black metal band in 1349 with the Swiss Triptykon in St. Paul, Minnesota. In the audience was none other than Todd Haug and enjoyed the leaden tones while Headbangers. Todd is the guitarist of the American thrash metal band Powermad and Head Brewery in Surly Brewing. A brewery that because of lack of capacity does not sell beer outside their home state, but that is still highly sought after and stands high on the charts with ølnettstedet Ratebeer. After the concert was over let Todd noticed that the Norwegians were very laborious in the bar when they were choosing beer, it was only in the strong American hops håndtverksøl, he decided to go and greet. This marked the beginning of the project that not many weeks ago was realized on Lervig Aktiebryggeri in Stavanger.

The article goes on to describe a two beers that will be showcased at a beer festival in Stavanger, Norway October 31st & November 1st. The first is a black ale, “of not less than 13.49%. A kind of hybrid beer, with flavors you often get from both Imperial Stout and IPA.” The second is described as a 6.66% pale ale.

There’s no official word on the US version just yet, though from the description, it’s probably safe to say that the US version will indeed be different, if nothing for the addition of coffee. We’ll know soon enough.

From the label:

“The 1349 Ales are the results of a collaboration between three highly potent forces – Norwegian metal masters 1349, American feinschmecker brewery Surly and Norwegian rising brewery star Lervig. With these ales we wanted to explore the powers of combined forces from different worlds of craftsmanship and to manifest what our ideas of proper beers are. We have all brought our mind, heart and soul to this project. Revel in the Dionysian pleasures.

As the bubonic plague silenced 2/3rds of Norway’s population back in the day, this dark beverage will scatter ashes along its way – leaving you breathless, but wanting more. The 1394 Black Ale is our Strange Old Brew; an absolutely massive beer loaded with all the power malts, hops and freshly ground espresso coffee has to offer, and rounded off with a distinguishable note of apocalyptic delicacy. This calls for a toast; now have a sip from our massive cauldron of chaos.’

Darkness 2014 Artwork from Erica Williams

Here’s this year’s artwork for the beer that makes collector nerds sweat and eBay fiend salivate… we’re talking about this year’s artwork for Surly Darkness. This year Erica Williams takes the reigns with a harpy keeping watch over Surly Brewing Co.’s coveted Russian Imperial Stout, Darkness. (non-cropped version here)

Darkness 2014 - Erica Williams

What do you think? Like it? Dislike it? Love it?

Surly Darkness Day 2014 is slated for October 25th at the brewery in Brooklyn Center.

From the label:

The legendary Harpy tortured unwary travelers by stealing their precious food and drink. This year’s cruel creature defends her cauldron of Darkness with razor claws and a dead stare of malevolence. Don’t mess with her Darkness.

She’s hoarding this massively opaque barrel aged Stout screaming with notes of chocolate, coffee, dried tart cherries, vanilla, rye whisky and raisins. The thick body of this Russian Imperial Stout finishes sweet, with a piney resinous hop character.

Dare if you will to open the bottle and steal from the imagination of our 2014 Darkness artist, Erica Williams.