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SurlyFest - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
SurlyFestSurlyFest

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

681 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 681
Reviews: 331
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 220
Gots: 41 | 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: 681 | Reviews: 331 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by tewaris:
Photo of tewaris
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Oktoberfest inspired single hop, dry hopped rye lager
6% ABV
OG: 14.5º Plato
34 IBUs
14 ºSRM
16 oz can with no freshness date poured into a Surly pint glass on September 30, 2010. I know it's very fresh since it just came out and I am a homer ;).

Appearance 4.5/5
Clear red brown with a light tan colored creamy head. Average retention. Good lacing.

Aroma 4/5
Rye bread character is dominant; some hop character from dry hopping. Overall impression is good, although hop aroma is rather weak and not long lasting, which is not a fault. Rye aroma, however, is in abundance. However, none of the familiar toasted malt character associated with Oktoberfest beer. The aroma is unlike the base style so it becomes a subjective question. Does it work? Yes, it does.

Taste 4/5
Clean, as I would expect from a well done lager. Some bitterness and flavor from hops that plays well with the rye character. Yields to a clean, mildly bittering finish, with a slight creamy texture. This is a rye beer very well done.

Mouthfeel 5/5
Crisp, but not overly carbonated and good even when warm. Body is medium for a lager of this kind.

Drinkability 4/5
Very drinkable. In fact, perhaps more drinkable on its own (without food pairings) than traditional fest beers. I wish this had lower alcohol, which would make it an excellent session beer.

tewaris, Sep 30, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev +2%
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.

oberon, Oct 13, 2014
Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.05/5  rDev -49.4%
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.

DaPeculierDane, Nov 01, 2007
Photo of Schlais
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Schlais, May 19, 2013
Photo of blackearth
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

blackearth, Oct 26, 2009
Photo of NWer
4/5  rDev -1.2%

NWer, Sep 23, 2012
Photo of DaftPatrick
4/5  rDev -1.2%

DaftPatrick, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of warnerry
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

warnerry, Oct 30, 2011
Photo of 77apm
4/5  rDev -1.2%

77apm, Sep 20, 2014
Photo of Guinnsslvr
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Guinnsslvr, Oct 20, 2013
Photo of ryancl
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

ryancl, Aug 02, 2012
Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Cheers.

SkinnyElvis, Oct 16, 2008
Photo of bsp77
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

bsp77, Sep 22, 2009
Photo of CBorg
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
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!

CBorg, Oct 24, 2007
Photo of deebo
4.05/5  rDev 0%
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.

deebo, Oct 06, 2012
Photo of NilocRellim
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

NilocRellim, Sep 29, 2012
Photo of beerkittycat
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

beerkittycat, Oct 04, 2008
Photo of warmbier804
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

warmbier804, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

MattyG85, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Cynic-ale, Oct 04, 2014
Photo of OStrungT
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

OStrungT, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of brow1901
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

brow1901, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of IchLiebeBierZu
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

IchLiebeBierZu, Sep 22, 2013
Photo of mtpHokie
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

mtpHokie, Sep 29, 2013
Photo of glid02
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

glid02, Oct 03, 2008
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SurlyFest from Surly Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 681 ratings.