Saturday, August 8, 2015
"Abrasive" Surly Brewing Company
Surly Abrasive Double IPA, Surly Brewing Company, Minneapolis MN
A sad week for Surly nation with the passing of Omar's Dad, Naseem "Nick" Ansari. His beaming smile and infectious pride always made for a memorable visit to the old brewery in Brooklyn Center. His obituary reads like a screenplay for the American Dream, RIP Nick!
Abrasive gets its name from the Abrasive Manufacturing business Omar's parents owned for 35 years before housing the building that became Surly brewing. First brewed in 2008 to commemorate the end of growler sales it was the first double IPA brewed for sale in Minnesota (something I did not know). Originally called 16 Grit, a type of abrasive grit.
Fast forward to 2015 and Surly's temple of imbibement sits resplendent in the Prospect Park area of SE Minneapolis, in the shadow of the Witch's Hat water tower and a stones throw from TCF Stadium and the U of M. I'm not easily impressed but $34 million has bought a magnificent destination brewery that should be envied nationwide. I've been to the beer hall several times since its opening in late December and my advice would be to go off peak, lunchtime weekdays and Sunday afternoon (Super Bowl Sunday would be an ideal time to visit since the beer hall does not have TV's) avoid the weekend if at all possible and take public transportation- the Green Line light rail stop at Prospect Park is a mere block away. An easy bike ride too, with ample bike racks available outside the brewery. If you do visit try a "Todd the Axeman" (an awesome West Cost IPA) and "Misanthrope" a tasty Wild ale. Looking forward to spring when the outdoor beer garden and upstairs restaurant are scheduled to open.
You may have heard about the hysteria on beer forums regarding carbonation levels on some Abrasive cans - a welcome diversion to the Patriots from Deflategate I have heard (!) i.e. regarding the beer pouring flat and under carbonated.
My can date stamped 1/13/15 on the bottom exhibited no such shortcomings.
The beer pours an orangey Amber color with a moderate carbonization and a head that dissipates swiftly. Taste is tropical fruit, tangy grapefruit, tangerine, with a marmalade sweetness that hides any trace of bitterness. Resinous hops coat the tongue. Not as pungent or exhibiting the tongue splitting hop biting potency (cat pee)! as in previous years but considering this is the first canning run in the new brewery I would say this year's version is an unqualified success!
"Abrasive" Double IPA by Surly Brewing is available in 4 pack 16oz cans for $15.99. 9% ABV or as I like to call it a session beer. Cheers!