Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Fun Fact About the Brewery:
Surly Brewing from Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, has been one of the biggest crusaders for promoting craft beer in the state. You know how liquor laws differ from state to state? Minnesota used to have some very restrictive laws regarding the brewing and selling of beer.The founder of Surly, Omar Ansari, has been working along with other Minnesota brewers since 2005 to change these local laws. In the last 2-3 years, there has been a absolute explosion of microbreweries all around the Twin Cities. But, so far in my visits to Minnesota, Surly is still king of the hill when it comes to delicious and unique craft beer in the "Land of 10,000 Lakes."
As you can probably deduce, this ale was brewed to celebrate Surly's 7th anniversary. My soon to be father-in-law Jim went way out of his way to buy this beer. Apparently whenever Surly releases one of their specialty limited release beers, people go out of their minds and line up around the block for it. More so than any Seattle beer release I can think of. It's a testament to Surly's quality, I suppose. Anyways, huge thanks to Jim for scoring me a bottle and to Cassie for bringing it home from her recent trip to the Twin Cities.
Onto the beer! This one was pretty dang special. It was brewed in a quasi-Trappist style, but also with rye and wheat. One of the few Belgian ales I've had with rye. Very unique and also very strong. This one is a complex, slow sipper. The color is actually very reminiscent of Maudite by Unibroue (the tulip glass is a happy coincidence), a dark reddish amber hue. From what I'd heard, I was expecting the clove spices and banana aroma to be a bit more overpowering, but I was pretty pleased with it. And with age the beer will only get smoother, I'm sure.