Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews


Surly Brewing Co.
Brooklyn Center, MN

Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 10.3%

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (World class.)

Feel the Darkness.

It pours black and thick as a moonless, dead winter’s night. The head, a complex mesh of dusky tan froth, clings to the side of the glass like clouds tearing across a midnight sky. Even the nose is that of gloom: black coffee and darkest chocolate, with some spice and hops nothing more than shadows in the inky depths of this beer. Looking over the lip of the glass is like peering into the grave, a tingling sensation of inevitable dread as one’s eyes slowly focus on that unavoidable, oncoming doom. Refusing to take a sip is as much of an impossibility as cheating death.

The body is thick, full, and heavy as the concrete doors of a crypt. Just the body alone makes this a challenging beer to drink. But there’s more. A black storm of black patent malt roaring through your mouth like a freight train full of coal. There’s coffee and toffee and chocolate balanced by a hint of vanilla. Is there hops? Where in Hell are the hops? Oh, there, at the very end, faint but real, like a soot-darkened hand reaching through the darkness to grab you a split second before you’re dragged down into the bowels of absolute night. You’re saved. Alcoholic warmth washes over you as you sit hunched over, gasping for breath, barely cognizant of the living moving around you in the light. The light. Yes, it’s real. The light. That’s when you look up and flag the bartender. “Another Surly, please.”

Feel the Darkness.

P.S. Eddie Glick is not a bitter, failed writer who has been kicked out of every creative writing class he’s ever attended and he will not show all you assholes what’s what once he gets around to finally writing that novel.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on November 28, 2007.
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