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SurlyFest - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

355 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 355
Hads: 831
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 16.58%
Wants: 228
Gots: 69 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: feloniousmonk on 09-03-2006

Brewed with three different types of Rye and a single variety of American Hops. Malted Rye, Flaked Rye, and Crystal Rye impart a distinctive biscuit flavor to the lush Vienna Malt body, and dry-hopping with Sterling Hops adds bright, floral hop aromas.
View: Beers (55) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 355 | Hads: 831
Reviews by HuskyinPDX:
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can opened on 3.14.13

A - Pours a clear, dark orange-red with a foamy three inch head that fades slowly.

S - Malty, rye bread, still hoppy.

T - Silky smooth rye and wheat bread with a touch of hops.

D - Gread carbonaton with a light body.

O - Old, but still tasty. Some hops still left. How'd I miss this one? I want a fresh one!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of warnerry
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned 9/14/11

A - Pours a clear red-copper with two fingers of dense off-white head. Head has great retention and leaves some lacing. Looks fantastic.

S - Nice amount of herbal hops, some bread malt, and a bit of spicy rye. Pretty unique aroma.

T - Definitely has a Marzen character, though hopped-up and with a nice spicy rye character. Pretty complex and enjoyable.

M - Medium mouthfeel. Finishes pretty clean and with a bit og lingering bitterness and spice.

O - I don't know that I would drink this in place of my favorite Oktoberfests, but it is a very enjoyable and unique lager that I would definitely get again.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can provided by BitterBeerGuy.. Thanks George!! Poured into my trusty slim tulip so I get a 2nd pour... foamy white head.. the brew is clear light amber.

Big toasty maltiness with some slight cocoa notes in the nose.. hops are light and floral.

Flavor mirrors the nose with a sorta dry maltiness... rye malt is there (I guess) but I would not pick it out in the crowd.. again a little toasty on the finish..

Body is light/medium... carbonation seems light... small bubble...

Interesting... Not exactly right, but down the right street..


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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a four-pack of pint cans at the Trig's Cellar 70 in Rhinelander last week. The canning stamp says this one is good for another three months. Poured right from the fridge into my Samuel Smith pint glass.

L: Pours a clear, bright orange blossom honey color with about two inches of very dense off-white head that sticks around for a very long time and leaves considerable lacing on the glass. Profuse visible carbonation--like a whirlwind of bubbles--is present.

S: Caramel and bread-like malt notes are at fore, with grassy hops spicing things up. Just a bit of earthiness and floral notes, as well. At least at the initial pour, the bouquet is very pleasant but unassertive. As it warms, it takes on a more robust aroma.

T: Bread-like malts are there at the outset--more cracker-like than sweet. There's a tartness immediately lent to the malts from the hop presence--it's citrus, grassy, and floral in flavor. The middle retains the malt notes and brings a heightening of the hop flavor, with the citrus especially gaining some punch. An earthiness emerges here, as well. The back end has more of the nice malt bill showcased, an increase in the earthiness, and a nice level of citrus rind and slightly resinous hop bitter to close things out.

F: On the lighter side of medium-bodied, this one drinks just a touch more watery than the carbonation implied. It has a bit of astringency at the front, some creaminess to the middle, and a nice level of bitter at the close. There's just a bit of stick, as the hop bitter lingers on the palate for a short while.

O: Well, this one probably shouldn't be categorized as a Märzen; if we're gauging this one on those grounds, then it definitely misses the point/mark. However, as far as hopped-up lagers go, this one is impressive. Surly has deftly handled the competing flavors in this one and delivered a beer that should appeal to the both the lager and pale ale camps. I recommend giving this one a try.

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Photo of oberon
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a becker a clear rich copper/bronze with a thick creamy white head atop.Grain and light toast in the nose along with mild spicy rye.Dry on the palate wich I liked alot with German malts toasted bread notes,a good shot of spicy hops and light lactic rye in the finish.I could drink this from a stein all day,a great O-fest beer.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.09/5  rDev -48.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Many thanks to Mike for the 4-pack.

Great Appearance. Dark orange body with a huge white froth.

Aroma: Huge citrus hops aroma. Touches of rye. No toast. No caramel. I know that this is a Surly hi-bred rypafest but honestly I’m not impressed. This smells nothing like an Oktoberfest.

Taste: Hops, Grapefruit. Virtually no malt. No toast. No caramel. No toffee. Rye? Maybe, but that’s a bit of a stretch.

Mouthfeel: Blistering. Unbalanced, overwhelming bitterness. Medium to light bodied. Aggressively carbonated. Not creamy or smooth as an Ofest ought to be.

Drinkability: Null. Hop heads will love this but I had a very hard time consuming half a can let alone a whole pint.

This beer really disturbs me.

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Photo of Schlais
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of blackearth
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber body with a thin white head that soon disappears. Aroma is of toasted caramel and peat. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a spicy rye flavor. There's a medium hop bitterness that is discernable as well, but the rye is what shines through. Decent drinkability, but sometimes it depends on the setting with rye beers.

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Photo of beaversfan12
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of NWer
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Afroman
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of MorganJ
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: poured 16oz can into pint glass. Nice mahogany amber color with good head.
S/T: little hoppy and some raisin. Finish is sweet with some malty.
MF: not smooth. Different from most of this style. Little bite and uniform carbonation with each drink.
O: good and different for this style. I love Octoberfest and marzen. This one is a bit more hoppy for this style -- I prefer the traditional carmel and malt.

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Photo of 77apm
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Guinnsslvr
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of MrUse
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ryancl
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mikesgroove for this beer as an extra. Cheers. I took my first sip without reading the can and thought that this was a weird beer for a fest. Then, I saw it was brewed with rye and dry hopped which explained it. Pours with a thin head and amber. Smells of the mix of rye and hops. Tastes like a hoppy marzen with rye whatever that means. A very unique beer which is tasty & I am generally not a rye fan.


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Photo of bsp77
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from can into dimpled mug.

Appearance: Clear bright copper with a very thin white head. Looks like a Marzen.

Smell: Citrus, caramel, toast and smoky, spicy rye.

Taste: Slightly sweet malt body of caramel, toast and biscuit with a slight citrus counterbalance. Almost smoky spiciness at the end due to the rye, although the malt also remains through to the finish. Extremely well balanced.

Feel: Relatively low carbonation for a lager with an unusually smooth body. Semi-dry finish.

Drinkability: Fantastic autumn beer. While the malts are somewhat reminiscent of a Marzen, the hops and rye clearly move it well beyond Marzen territory. That said, it beats any traditional Marzen by a wide margin.

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Photo of CBorg
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice dark copper color with a finely grained head. It may look like a typical Oktoberfest, but it's anything but. The nose clean and hoppy with plenty of citrus, but with a nice malty body in the background to balance the hops. This beer is exceptionally drinkable and downright delicious; And the mouthfeel is pure velvet. Awesome!

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Photo of deebo
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I hosted a beer tasting focused on marzens last year and included this one amongst the others as a change of pace. Perhaps because it was different from the others or just that it's a well made brew but this one was high on most of the beer lovers list at the end of the tasting.

A-Poured from a can into a tall glass this brew is very heady. The tan foam laces the glass and remains until the last drop. Clear with an attractive copper amber color. A beautiful brew.

S-Rye and toasty barley malt with a nice tropical citrus hop aroma with a fair amount of spiciness.

T-Plenty of rye malty goodness alongside the Vienna malt but there is also a fair amount of hoppiness (same taste as the aroma) here too.

M-Moderate bodied, moderate to high in carbonation. A bit of a bitter spicy lingering finish but definitely not overwhelming and cleans up nicely inviting the next drink. Vapory alcohol bite is also detected.

O-I've really been enjoying this beer on cool fall days the past couple years. Like all Surly beers this beer will wake up your taste buds. I haven't been a huge fan of rye beers but this one is quite nice. I really like the combination of rye flavor and the generous flavor of Sterling hops. Biggest defect is the alcohol bite in the finish.

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Photo of NilocRellim
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of MNMike
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of beerkittycat
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surlyfest 2008 vintage. Appearance is mostly clear amber-orange with a frothy off-white head. Good lacing. Aroma has some citrus hops and bready malt, neither too strong, with the hops dominating. Initially, the flavors had me scratching my head for sometime because I thought I was drinking an Americanized Oktoberfest so I was relieved to see the heading here as a rye beer. I tasted restrained citrus hop flavor with the bready malt but the malt flavors danced on my tounge for only a moment and was whisked away in a fairly dry finish, which is explained by the rye malt and normally tends to be a palate cleanser when added to beer leaving a pretty dry finish. Mouthfeel was right in the middle making this beer very drinkable. This is unlike any beer I've tried before because it does remind you of Oktoberfest but you've got interesting twists with the American hops and rye malt. Oh, and of course it's absolutely delicious.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Bryant Lake Bowl and from a can – it was better from the can. L: Pours copper tinted amber under a pillowy 1” cream colored foam collar that mounds up over the rim of the glass. S: Bready malt aromas seasoned with hops. T: Brisk, bitter hops dominate rich malt flavors. F: The body is a little thin for the style and the carbonation is above average. O: If you like hops this is your Oktoberfest, the hops are really king here and they are really well done.

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SurlyFest from Surly Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 355 ratings.