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SurlyFest - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

608 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 608
Reviews: 325
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 218
Gots: 29 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: feloniousmonk on 09-03-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 608 | Reviews: 325 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ryantupy:
Photo of ryantupy


4.85/5  rDev +19.2%

16oz can. "beer in a can for a stein"
Pours a nice hazy amber color with a nice tan frothy head. Smells of hops with notes of citrus and a nice sweet malty backdrop. Its tastes great! Nice a hoppy with a great citrus sweet malt character. This is a great medium bodied beer that has a ncie carbonation level to balance out the flavors. Great beer

12-04-2007 05:10:08 | More by ryantupy
More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane


2.05/5  rDev -49.6%

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.

11-01-2007 15:42:30 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of Schlais


4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

05-19-2013 07:17:43 | More by Schlais
Photo of blackearth


4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

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.

10-26-2009 19:17:37 | More by blackearth
Photo of NWer


4/5  rDev -1.7%

09-23-2012 11:39:16 | More by NWer
Photo of DaftPatrick


4/5  rDev -1.7%

03-01-2014 03:14:48 | More by DaftPatrick
Photo of warnerry


4.03/5  rDev -1%

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.

10-30-2011 02:03:44 | More by warnerry
Photo of Guinnsslvr


4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

10-20-2013 03:24:25 | More by Guinnsslvr
Photo of ryancl


4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

08-02-2012 21:19:15 | More by ryancl
Photo of SkinnyElvis


4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

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.


10-15-2008 23:38:51 | More by SkinnyElvis
Photo of bsp77


4.38/5  rDev +7.6%

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.

09-22-2009 03:31:33 | More by bsp77
Photo of CBorg


4.45/5  rDev +9.3%

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!

10-24-2007 01:25:26 | More by CBorg
Photo of deebo


4.05/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

10-06-2012 22:46:46 | More by deebo
Photo of NilocRellim


3.5/5  rDev -14%

09-29-2012 04:27:22 | More by NilocRellim
Photo of beerkittycat


4/5  rDev -1.7%

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.

10-04-2008 11:28:28 | More by beerkittycat
Photo of warmbier804


4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

03-16-2013 21:53:09 | More by warmbier804
Photo of MattyG85


4.45/5  rDev +9.3%

Poured from 16 oz. can into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Canned on 9-08-11.

Appearance: Deep copper like amber orange with lots of rising bubbles. Solid three fingers of off white head with very good retention. A decent amount of lacing sticks around the glass.

Smell: Aroma of caramel malts and wheat grains with hints of rye spice. Also has a fairly strong smell of sweet orange citrus hops. Smell is overall pretty malt forward but hops are very noticeable.

Taste: Sweet taste of bready malts with caramel and some toffee up front is followed by some spicy rye and wheat grains. A taste of orange citrus comes from a surprisingly sharp hop presence for such a malt forward style. The hops add a mild bitterness towards the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very rich, creamy, and smooth.

Overall: A very good take on a rye beer. A very nice balance of sweetness, spice, and bitterness. Complex and tasty.

09-20-2011 06:10:22 | More by MattyG85
Photo of OStrungT


4.13/5  rDev +1.5%

This beer pours a golden orange color, with a tiny off white color head. The head fades fast, leaving no lace.

This beer has a nice grainy aroma. I can detect some spicy hop aroma as well. It smells slightly bready as well.

This beer tastes much like it smells. It has a more dominate bready flavor. Some grain mixes in. It has a slight spicy flavor also.

This beer is crisp and refreshing. It leaves a bready aftertaste. The carbonation is light.

This beer would probably make a good session beer. It tastes good, and the alcohol is not too high.

Overall: Thanks go to Scoobydank for being so kind as to hook me up with this one. This beer was great. I would definately drink it again.

03-07-2009 03:31:51 | More by OStrungT
Photo of brow1901


4.72/5  rDev +16%

Extremely happy I was able to pick up a couple six packs surlyfest this year. Cool looking can like most of the surly beer poured into a pint glass.

A- Color is a dark dull orange, bordering on red. Off white head is nill but the great carbonation keeps it alive. Not much lacing.

S- Very different smell from any lagered beer I've had, and it's quite pleasant. The smell of lager yeast is there, definite hop aroma. But theres that other pleasant scent I mentioned, I'd guess it's the rye but I could be wrong.

T- Nice complexities, the hop bitter stikes the tounge (not too sharply) and gets washed away by a smooth almost oily malt and rye flavor. And quickly leaves the mouth dry.

M- Great carbonation, excellent feeling of smoothness on the tongue. And leaves the mouth nice and dry ready for another swig.

D- Highly drinkable, very refreshing and leaves you wanting more. An excellent session beer.

09-24-2009 01:55:16 | More by brow1901
Photo of IchLiebeBierZu


3.5/5  rDev -14%

09-22-2013 15:57:56 | More by IchLiebeBierZu
Photo of mtpHokie

South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

09-29-2013 21:40:46 | More by mtpHokie
Photo of glid02


4.3/5  rDev +5.7%

Got this gem from an LIF hosted by maximum12. I am deeply obliged good sir.

Pours a slightly cloudy golden color with a one-finger white head into my UGA mug. The head sticks around for a bit before receding into a thin ring around the glass. The lacing is very good for a lager.

Smells good. Really big on the noble hop aroma with a mild sweet malt smell.

Tastes a little better than it smells. The sweet malt and noble hop flavors are superbly balanced, and there's also somewhat of a floral taste that pokes it head out every now and then. There's a very mild bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel is good. There's a good creamy thickness there with subtle carbonation that's not too much nor too little. Very nice.

Drinkability is good. I'm not the biggest fan of the smell, but once I take a sip it doesn't really matter. This goes down very easily.

Overall I'm very impressed with my foray into Surly Brewing thanks to maximum12. I look forward to snagging any more of their brews any chance I get.

10-02-2008 23:28:39 | More by glid02
Photo of brewgetter


4.47/5  rDev +9.8%

A - The beer pours a light brown with some orange highlights, slight haze

S - I get grapefruit, pine, and lemon. nice.

T - Rye is certainly there, slight maltiness is nicely balanced by huge hops. The can is probably a good 4 or 5 months old, not sure if that would play a factor or not. Not as good as Furious, but still a great beer! can't wait to see what comes out next year!

M - medium body, seems sppropriate for the style, and very good for a lager.

D - Quite drinkable, Don't know if I could drink two in a row...I probably could though:)

Since I'm a confirmed Surly Nut. I love the twist that they've brought to an O-fest, certainly one of the best lagers I've ever had.

02-27-2008 01:29:58 | More by brewgetter
Photo of pwoods


3.58/5  rDev -12%

16oz. can purchased somewhere in Minneapolis, poured into a pint. Review from notes.

Pours a dark coppery amber with a large fluffy white head. Head holds for a bit and leaves good lacing. The aroma is very spicy, loads of rye. Not very typical of an Ofest but interesting.. Very peppery and mildly sweet. Taste is much the same. Lots of peppery, very spicy, loads of rye. Pretty damn dry. Has a very earthy taste and feel. Body is medium to medium light with good carbonation.

11-21-2008 22:12:23 | More by pwoods
Photo of johnyb


4/5  rDev -1.7%

02-21-2014 13:06:44 | More by johnyb
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SurlyFest from Surly Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 608 ratings.