Beer Review - Surly Furious

A friend of ours had been down to the twin cities a few weeks ago and brought back some Surly Furious for us to try. Surly, a brewing company out of Brooklyn Center, MN cans their beer and tries to break down the stereotype that good beer only comes in bottles. Admittedly, we were a little put off by the can at first, but its about the beer inside right?

So here goes...

Style: American I.P.A.
ABV: 6.2%
IBUs: 99
Color: Amber-red
Hops: An American blend
Malts: Scottish Malts

Appearance: Cloudy appearance. Pours with a large thick head the diminishes after a few minutes. Head about a finger thick reducing down to a 1/4 finger that stays on top. Great lacing.

Smell: Nice, big aroma featuring loads of citrusy hop tones. However, the hop aroma does not overshadow the wonderful caramel malts.

Taste: While there are tons of hops that go into this brew, a near-perfect balance is produced with a beautiful caramel malt backbone. This is one beer that tastes just as it smells, a very good thing in this case. The hop tones represented in the Furious are both citrus and pine origin with some piney bitterness that lingers.

The Skinny: Wow. Now, ales are our specialty and even though we appreciate all of the ale varieties, the I.P.A. is not usually our favorite. This beer, however, provides a whole new perspective on the that whole branch of styles. Past I.P.A.s we've tried (ones that we've really liked) have not been able to strike the balance that this 99IBU monster has. Its highly drinkable and refreshing enough to have during the summer.

IN A Word: Encore

Naming the Brews - Noble Nobody's Amber Ale

For years and years men and women of the brewing world have paid homage to their animal companions through naming beers and even whole brewing operations after them. While we don't necessarily want to follow the brewers before us, we do understand how special naming a beer after something or someone you love is. To us, its not just another name on a bottle or concept to catch the consumer's eye, its a legacy that is enabled to continue every time you pick up one of the bottles and read the story on the back. While not everybody who drinks our beer knows our dog, Nemo, and his jovial nature, but we're hoping this beer and the label (in the creation process) will help share his story.

Two years ago, we broke our lease in a one bedroom apartment and moved across town in the midst of a blizzard. The reason for breaking the lease was for our lovingly loyally companion, Nemo. Nemo, a sheltie-retriever mix, was a shelter dog that had spent several months in and out of the pen. Born a stray, Nemo was taken in by the dog catcher for his first trip to the animal shelter. A few weeks later, he found himself in a house full of children and people who undoubtedly appreciated him. This all changed when the family had to move and could no longer keep Nemo because they were moving to a location where dogs were not allowed, so back to the shelter he went. In the first 10 months of his life, Nemo had been a stray and dropped off at the kennels twice. When we found him, he was dirty and a little nervous but he had such a big heart and came straight to us. We moved out of that little apartment and into a house picking him up that same day. We vowed that day that he would never see the inside of an animal shelter again and that all of our dogs would be rescued.

Two years later as I write this, Nemo lays close to me on the couch never wanting to be further than 20 feet away. Our companionship with Nemo is one of dependence but not just one sided, we need him as much as he needs us.

Nemo had his name before we adopted him and the reasons for the name are unknown. However, Nemo is the most fitting appellation as it is Latin for Nobody or No-one, what he must've felt like the first 10 months of his life. We hope that every time you pick up a bottle of Noble Nobody's Amber Ale you will share memories of your animal companions and feel part of the joy we receive from our Nemo Nobody.

We haven't started selling our beer yet but when we do we would like to donate 10% of the earnings to our local humane society and rescue networks so that other animals can get the same opportunity Nemo had.