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Abrasive Ale - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Abrasive AleAbrasive Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,945 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,945
Reviews: 796
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 8.19%
Wants: 1,840
Gots: 264 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Was "16 Grit Ale," but now available in cans and renamed "Abrasive Ale".

Sure we're abrasive. We were abrasive long before we were Surly. If you visit the brewery you can still see remnants of industrial manufacturing factory Omar's parents ran for 35 years within those same 4 walls. Bandsaw blades, grinding wheels, and a sanding discs came long before ales and lagers. But let's be honest, this is a lot more fun. Pale in color, this over-hopped, under-brewed Double IPA has almost twice the amount of hops & malt crammed in the can.

(Beer added by: Buebie on 12-27-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,945 | Reviews: 796 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of esullivan880

4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

12-14-2012 06:49:39 | More by esullivan880
Photo of markasparov

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev -11.5%

12-14-2012 03:24:42 | More by markasparov
Photo of Justin_Neff


4.85/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Caramel, honey, golden color with fluffy white head that remains for several minutes and lacing that sticks to the top of the brew throughout. Amazing clarity - fully translucent.

S: The first part of the nose is all hops. TONS of citrus - pineapple, mango, and orange seem to be pretty spot on.

T: Hop, hop, hoppy. There is a great bitterness that balances out the sweet, fruitiness. As soon as you think the sweetness might be a little too much, the bitterness dries it out. I think the citrus fruit tones really add an awesome element to it. Not much malt character, which is the way I prefer an IPA, personally. There is almost no boozy taste at all. This could be extremely dangerous.

M: As mentioned previously, there is a definite dry feel as the bitterness overcompensates the sweetness a little bit. It's not overly bitter like you often get in IPAs though, and isn't too sweet. A tad under-carbonated, but really nothing else to complain about.

O: My first thought is that I am furious (see what I did there?) that I didn't buy more than one 4-pack while in Minny on a work trip. It would be really, REALLY, hard to beat this, but I just can't stomach giving something all 5's across the board. Would take this over many rated higher, and yes, that includes Pliny. Just another Surly thing that rises to expectations for me.

Serving type: can

12-14-2012 00:43:36 | More by Justin_Neff
Photo of Treb0R


4.25/5  rDev -6%

12-13-2012 15:19:13 | More by Treb0R
Photo of Rau71


4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From notes.. Drank 12/8/12.

Poured from can into a Anchor Brewing Pint Glass.

Pours a Golden color. Very Clear.

Smells like liquid hops.

I get a nice Bitter kick with some tropical fruits mixed in the background. It is smooth and in your face at the same time, which is what I think makes a great DIPA, and this is that for sure, Up there with Pliny and Citra for sure.

Serving type: can

12-13-2012 03:26:04 | More by Rau71
Photo of thedopeyone07

3.75/5  rDev -17%

12-12-2012 16:26:09 | More by thedopeyone07
Photo of Holland


4.61/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: clear golden orange color, great looking carbonation, and a small but feisty head. Beautifully clear.

S: smells of huge amounts of citrus hops with some tinge of onion.

T: citrus, bitterness, pine, some malt

M: well carbonated and not too thick at all for how big it is. Well put together.

O: a beautiful IPA that we had up against Heady - I give HT the win in smell and taste, but this probably takes the rest (especially appearance). Very nice to drink, would love more.

Serving type: can

12-12-2012 03:13:06 | More by Holland
Photo of largemouthdmb

5/5  rDev +10.6%

12-11-2012 02:27:44 | More by largemouthdmb
Photo of Auror


4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

12-10-2012 05:23:29 | More by Auror
Photo of MaudeLebowski


5/5  rDev +10.6%

12-10-2012 01:33:58 | More by MaudeLebowski
Photo of mobius387


4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

12-09-2012 22:15:06 | More by mobius387
Photo of jriggins6


4.25/5  rDev -6%

12-09-2012 20:09:20 | More by jriggins6
Photo of zac16125

South Carolina

4.33/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can into a snifter
canned on 11/14/12

Thanks to haveanother1 for sending a 4 pack over in a trade.

A: Pours a hazy amber orange with 1 fingers width of slightly off white colored head. Fine sedimentation particles can be seen suspended throughout. Leaves patches of spotty lacing.

S: Huge aroma. First I get tropical fruit sweetness, followed by a massive dank, resinous juniper/piney character. A bit of citrus in the form of lemon zest and orange rind. Wonderful aroma.

T: Piney bitterness comes out first and takes center stage. I also get a big citrus component with lemon zest and grapefruit, plus a boozy alcohol presence that gets more prominent throughout the drink . I dont really get any of the tropical fruit notes, or really any sweetness at all. Its pretty much a one dimensional bitter hop bomb, but its very tasty.

M/D: Pretty big carbonation for the style, but still smooth and very drinkable. Medium bodied, with a quick drying finish that leaves you waiting for the next sip. ABV is pretty noticeable, its not hot, but the boozy flavors are pretty prominent.

O: Overall, certainly a good beer, but a little overhypered IMO. Enjoyable for sure, with a wonderful aroma, but the taste falls a little short for me and its boozier tasting than what I look for in a DIPA, which detracts from the hop profile. Don't get me wrong, if this were available to me on the shelves where I live, I would buy a 4 pk on every release, but with such high expectations it just came up a little short. Good beer, but not amongst my favorite DIPAs.

Serving type: can

12-09-2012 14:29:23 | More by zac16125
Photo of Hawkharvs


4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

12-08-2012 22:26:20 | More by Hawkharvs
Photo of jacewg

District of Columbia

5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Very hazy pale orange color. Nice rocky white head. Leaves great lacing. This looks like a pale malt hop monster.

Smell: !!! Citrus and tropical fruit. Some melon notes. I can smell this beer from a foot away. Tiny hints of pale malt.

Taste: Opens with some balancing sweet pale malt. Then transitions into everything good about the Citra hop. Tropical fruit, citrus peel, flesh, and zest and some cantaloupe/melon type notes. Citrus to the max. This tastes like a bigger, slightly less malty Zombie Dust. Not getting any of the vegetal hop flavors I sometimes pick up from Warrior. Bitterness is not over the top for all the big qualities of this beer. Finishes dry and slightly bitter with a lingering citrus juice quality. So easy to take another sip.

Mouthfeel: Well-carbed and only medium bodied for a a beer of this size. Finish is again lingering, dry, mildly bitter, and packed with citrus. Supremely drinkable for what it is.

Overall: This is probably the 50th can I've had of this stuff, and I can find no faults. With all respect to Hill Farmstead, The Alchemist, Lawson's, Russian River, Kern River, Alpine, DC Brau, Pipeworks, 3 Floyds, etc etc etc etc. This is the best DIPA on the planet, to my palate.

Serving type: can

12-08-2012 18:04:43 | More by jacewg
Photo of Evan


4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

12-08-2012 17:07:20 | More by Evan
Photo of WillCarrera


4.7/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can, canned-on 11/30/12, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a clear golden orange color, produces an inch thick off-white head, good retention and spotty lacing.

S- Smells amazing, loads of tropical fruit (mango, pineapple) along with grapefruit, tangerine and pine. Very juicy and vibrant.

T- The aroma is a huge tropical fruit explosion, yet somehow even more so in the flavor. This is probably one of the fruitiest IPA's I've ever had, grapefruit, pineapple, tangerine, peach, mango, just a whole assload of really delicious fruit flavors. Pine and resin bitterness are definitely there, but are kept in nice moderation and avoid becoming overbearing. A tiny bit of caramel malt is in the background, but this beer is all about the hops.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth feel with a slightly dry finish, alcohol is totally invisible.

O- This has instantly become one of my favorite DIPAs, the juicy, fruity hop flavors are straight up delicious and it's pretty easy to knock back even at 9%. This is easily one of the best DIPAs that is being made today.

Serving type: can

12-08-2012 10:27:18 | More by WillCarrera
Photo of Ncpogs


4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

12-08-2012 06:07:07 | More by Ncpogs
Photo of Pinknuggets


4.8/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can to troegs pint glass

A: golden honey colored with a thick land heavy white slightly tan head. Totally translucent looks like hops

S: very floral hoppy smell with with lots of tropical fruit very pungent and pretty spot on for my kinda an ipa

T: very hop forward just the way I like it almost sweet tropical fruit taste up front that is juicy there is some hop bitterness but its fairly mild though its there to dry out the finish. I like it this way but it could be more well balanced.

M: the first thought that comes to mind is smooth and oily has almost a juice like consistency to it but the hops do have some bit. Thick but fairly drinkable and the alcohol is no where to be found so you gotta watch that.

O:I am shocked that I am saying this (especially as an imported vermonter)but this is the first beer that legitmently compares with my favorite dipa ever Heady Topper its not as good but its the first one that I have found that is comparable in taste and smell. It is very hop forward with very little bitterness thick smooth mouthfeel decent drinkability and a good smell/slash appearance. Nothing bad to say I would buy it all the time if it were available. Also my first surly beer and I will be back.

Serving type: can

12-08-2012 01:11:19 | More by Pinknuggets
Photo of coachdonovan

Rhode Island

4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

12-07-2012 14:06:29 | More by coachdonovan
Photo of Roeters


4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

12-07-2012 13:57:18 | More by Roeters
Photo of MrKennedy


4.63/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to syrupjoe for this 500ml can, poured into a Lost Abbey Teku. Canned on 20 November 2012.

Copper golden colour to it. Was clear to start with and then hazes over a bit. Nice white foam on top. Plenty of lacing drops as it falls.

Smells of pineapple and it stays with it for an age. Pine comes through later to work with it well along with grapefruit. Really nice candied smell about it. So fresh.

Tastes of pineapple and pine, with the grapefruit on the back end. Very well put together. Flavoursome, not over the top, fresh and balanced.

Couldn't pick this as 9%. So well balanced and easy to drink. Some sweetness. But the bitterness to compliment it.

I've liked or loved everything canned from Surly and this is no different. Super drinkable, flavoursome and most of all balanced. Having this in Australia within 3 weeks of canning is a real treat. Thanks Max!

Serving type: can

12-07-2012 10:32:55 | More by MrKennedy
Photo of MN_Beerticker


4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

12-07-2012 04:48:29 | More by MN_Beerticker
Photo of zonker17


4.25/5  rDev -6%

12-07-2012 00:15:09 | More by zonker17
Photo of spicelab


4.58/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to MrKennedy for the Minnesota coup which snaffled this long time want of mine. Canned 20 November.

Deep sunset orange, bright and clear initially, but with a minor haze on subsequent pours. Two-finger, just off-white head of some heft which leaves an impressive raised curtain as it falls over a couple of minutes.

Lovely crisp, candied tropical and citrus aromas of pineapple, tangerine, lemon gelato, and pink grapefruit. The malt backbone is obviously responsible for the excellent clarity and sweetness, but has been so seamlessly interwoven with the hops you can barely tell it's there.

The aromas carry through to the taste, and amalgamate with a beefy earthy pine resin presence and rich and dank jungly notes. Juicy and delectable.

Syrupy and chewy, although by no means heavy, with moderate but assertive carbonation spreading a lengthy and even bitterness throughout the palate.

Truly unblemished with a genuinely deliciously hop profile. As someone who has fallen out of love with pointlessly big or bitter IIPAs, it's reassuring to know that when done intelligently they can be balanced and approachable, without sliding into gratuity.

Serving type: can

12-06-2012 10:39:46 | More by spicelab
Abrasive Ale from Surly Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,945 ratings.