Surly Brewing Co.

Surly Brewing Co.

4811 Dusharme Dr
Brooklyn Center, MN, 55429
United States


Year Established: 2005


Sign Up to Participate:

SURLY STARTED WITH A BREWING KIT Shocker, right? People who love beer begin homebrewing. In 1994, Surly owner Omar Ansari received a homebrew kit as a gift. Purchased from St. Paul's legendary Northern Brewer, it became the gift that keeps on giving. The more Omar brewed, the more he enjoyed the craft. And the drinking. Omar's first real beer came at age 14 at Munich's Hofbrau Haus, and it made quite the impression. By his early 20s, the growing enthusiast was exploring the country, seeking out the best micro in every region he visited. Omar dabbled for years, regularly making batches that thrilled his friends. Why? Because it was great beer. Or because it was free, you choose. In 2002, Omar and his wife, Becca, had their first child, Max. Instead of traditional birth announcements, Omar created a beer announcement. An EPA was sent to scores of family and friends. Response was kind, and it motivated the new father to get serious. First came all-grain brewing, which quickly overwhelmed the garage. Soon Omar had so much equipment he moved it to the family business, and it has grown from there. In January 2004 inspiration hit the surly man. He loved brewing beer, but it wasn't enough. He wanted to make more... lots more. The "Pilot Brewery", Omar's original "brewhouse" is in Surly's brewery for test batches. The idea for a brewery was born. A building was procured (owned and occupied by the first-generation family business) and education undertaken. Beer education, Omar enrolled at the American Brewer's Guild. Many texts and lectures were processed and a week at Otter Creek Brewing in Vermont ensued. Omar's education wrapped up with an apprenticeship at New Holland brewing in Michigan. At the spring 2004 Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego, Omar met Todd Haug, an experienced head brewer at the Minneapolis, Minnesota, Rock Bottom. That was convenient, being that Omar calls the Twin Cities home. The pair actually attended the same junior high but hadn't seen each other since. A month later, Omar visited Todd's brewery and was blown away by his beer. Omar was convinced that the slightly hostile beermaker was bitter enough for the title of Surly head brewer. By fall, Todd was convinced, as well. A year of preparation followed. The family business' 5,000-square-feet of industrial space was converted to a brewery, and other renovations included rebuilding the office area and installing a tasting room. Mmm, tasting room. Only two things remained. The first was to encourage the fine city of Brooklyn Center, Surly's base, to change the law and legalize breweries. It didn't take long, who doesn't like yummy beer? And good beer makes for good business. (In other words, Surly said "Legalize it!" And it was done.) Next up? Find a brewery. We searched far and wide and finally found one right next door. Sort of. A great used brewery built in Wisconsin was there for the taking. The only problem? It was not in Wisconsin. It was in the Dominican Republic, which apparently is nowhere near the Midwest. After several weeks of international negotiating (translation: wading through b.s.), we had our equipment. A few months of finishing touches followed before they were ready to bring Surly's vision of great beer to those with a thirst for finer refreshments. Sure there were setbacks; Omar somehow managed to cut his own water line. That happens. You move on. By the end of 2005, all systems were finally go. So there you have it -- a brief history of Surly Brewing, Minnesota's first new brewery west of the Mississippi since 1987. While you're enjoying the full-bodied flavor of the beer, remember that it was more than 10 years in the making. We think it was worth it. We hope you agree. Surly: The anger fueled by the inability to find good beer.

ID: 7171 Last updated 5 days ago Added to database 17 years ago

Quick Stats






Most Drunk: Surly Furious [7]
Highest Rated: Surly Darkness [4.111]
Most Reviewed: Surly Furious [34]


Beer | Style | ABV Score
Surly 16 grit ale
Imperial IPA| -
3.275 (1)
Surly Abrasive Ale
Imperial IPA| 8.8 %
4.035 (14)
Surly Bandwagon
IPA| 6.6 %
3.225 (1)
Surly Bender
Brown Ale| 5.5 %
3.656 (22)
Surly Bitter Brewer
Bitter| 4.1 %
3.395 (17)
Surly Brett Liquor
Imperial IPA| 8.3 %
3.225 (1)
Surly Coffee Bender
Brown Ale| 5.5 %
3.850 (15)
Surly CynicAle
Saison| 6.6 %
3.628 (22)
Surly Damien
American Black Ale| 5.2 %
3.050 (1)
Surly Darkness
Imperial Stout| 9.8 %
4.111 (24)
Surly Doomtree
Extra Special Bitter| 5.7 %
3.417 (3)
Surly Double Bladed Axe Man
Imperial IPA| 10.8 %
3.275 (1)
Surly Eleven
Abbey Quadrupel| 10 %
3.275 (1)
Surly Fiery Hell
Helles / Dortmunder| 4.5 %
3.100 (1)
Surly Five
Wild Ale| 7.5 %
3.234 (3)
Surly Four
Coffee Stout| 10 %
3.250 (1)
Surly Furious
IPA| 6.5 %
4.033 (34)
Surly Hell
Kellerbier| 4.5 %
3.358 (11)
Surly Mild
Mild Ale| 4 %
3.200 (1)
Surly Nein
Weizenbock| 9.2 %
3.275 (1)
Surly Oktoberfest
Marzen / Oktoberfest| 6 %
3.075 (1)
Surly One
Strong Lager| 9 %
Surly One-Man Mosh Pit
IPA| 7.2 %
3.075 (1)
Surly Overrated
IPA| 6.7 %
3.420 (7)
Surly Pentagram
Wild Ale| 6.7 %
3.638 (5)
Surly Rocket Surgery
IPA| 5.5 %
2.925 (1)
Surly SeVIIn
Belgian Strong Ale| 12.5 %
3.300 (3)
Surly Smoke
Baltic Porter| 8.2 %
3.646 (8)
Surly Syx
Strong Ale| 15 %
3.500 (3)
Surly Ten
Old Ale| 10.5 %
Surly Three
Mead| 8.3 %
3.150 (1)
Surly Todd The Axe Man
IPA| 7.2 %
3.360 (2)
Surly Two
Fruit Beer| 9 %
3.340 (2)
Surly Wet
IPA| 7.5 %
3.786 (4)
Surly Xtra-Citra Pale Ale
American Pale Ale| 4.5 %
3.200 (1)
Marzen / Oktoberfest| 6 %
3.700 (16)

Sign up to Add a Missing Beer

Where in the World?

1 Member Photo

Sign up to share your photos

Rating Distribution

230 Reviews 3.89 Average 3.9 Median

Top Members

Most Reviewed By:

Not Yet Available

Most Drunk By:

Not Yet Available

Discuss This Brewery