Starting off in a new direction with my first beer article, it’s important to know I am not a beer uber-geek. So I set out to chat with someone who is: Todd Haug, the master chief brewer at Surly Brewery. He’s a musician-turned-beer-lover-turned-brewer, and now he gets paid to do what he loves. Haug and Surly put their own twist on some traditional styles as well as some styles that are just twisted. Everyone is abuzz about their limited-edition beers, but I wanted to visit the standards, the cans that made them famous. I was amazed at their complexity and how similar the flavor components are to those in wine.
Price: $10.89 for a 4 pack
This Belgian-style saison is light in color and anything but light in the glass. It’s creamy, full bodied, and has cool peach and honey undertones that end with a hint of peppery spice.
Price: $9.99 for a 4 pack
Bender is a brown ale with a lot going on. It starts off malty and dark, like when you have that leathery or tobacco component in wine, but then delivers hints of dark cherries and butterscotch.
Price: $10.99 for a 4 pack
WOW! There is a definite pine needle nose to this beer, and, as a gin lover, I’m a fan. It’s hoppy and bitter, kind of like an IPA on steroids. If you love to have just one great beer in an evening, this is a good choice.
Price: $12.99 for a 4 pack
This is Surly’s Bender infused with coffee. The coffee adds a dark backbone to the oats, which I like because it comes across more than the tobacco. And props because it sounds like breakfast: oatmeal and coffee, just in a can.