Axe Man
Surly Brewing Company

Axe ManAxe Man
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
IPA - American
Ranked #3
Ranked #255
4.45 | pDev: 7.64%
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
Axe ManAxe Man
Notes: Collaboration with Amager Bryghus

Double dry-hopping with Citra and Mosaic hops creates this world-renowned IPA’s intense tropical fruit and citrus aromas. Brewed with Golden Promise malt, this beer finishes rich and dry. First brewed in collaboration with Amager Brewery in Denmark.

Formerly known as "Todd the Axe Man".
View: Beers
Reviews: 546 | Ratings: 3,002 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by BB1313:
Photo of BB1313
BB1313 from Ohio

3.57/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Canned on 8/19/19. 16oz can poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy golden, but it's not cloudy or murky; small white head that fades leaving decent retention and lacing. The aromas are floral along with some citrus notes. Mild hints of coconut in the mix. Some fresh grass. Some bread and crackers. Malts are there. The flavors basically follow the nose. Some grapefruit and orange coming through. More subtle hints of coconut. More fresh grass. More bread and crackers. Solid bitterness. Mild spiciness. Some black pepper coming through in the finish. Malts do their thing without dominating. Finishes juicy and dry at the same time, but it's probably on the juicier side. Alcohol goes unnoticed for the most part. Mouthfeel is nice. It's on the fuller side of medium-bodied with active carbonation. It's sharp, crisp, slightly fluffy, smooth and easy to drink.

This is a solid IPA. It's nice, but it's really nothing "special" based on the acclaim, in my opinion. It's not bad at all, but I guess I was just personally expecting something crazier. The craftsmanship is on point. Not bad at all.

Sep 27, 2019
More User Reviews:
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

among the best ipas i have ever had. it has something so special about it, and although this might be offensive to some, i found it decidedly east coast in style. it has all the features of something like an abner or something lawsons would do, this might as well have come from vermont. glowing hazy orange color with a tall white head, you just know by looking at it thats its the same type of ipa, raw and juicy, just how i like mine the best. then you smell it, and oh man, its an explosion of fresh pineapple, melon, lemon, citra, mosaic maybe, maybe even some nelson, its just fruit punchy and insane. the thing that i find amazing here, is that the taste is even more developed than the nose. so often in these types of beers, the flavor never lives up to the smell, they get washed out and messy, but not here, all of that tropical hop brilliance comes on, and lasts forever. the pineapple is the dominant note here, especially in the finish, and there really is hardly any bitterness at all. i could drink this all year and not get bored with it, which might be the ultimate compliment for any beer coming from me. its s juicy, my mouth waters for it after every sip, and i find my glass is gone way too fast, owed in part to its soft medium body and sparkling carbonation. among the best i have ever had, and for all the beers that were under expectations here at surly, the very fact that they made this one makes them one of my favorite operations in the country. what a beer! easily worth the hype that surrounds it. stunning.

Jun 04, 2015
Photo of ramay86
ramay86 from Minnesota

5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wonderful balance of juicy citrus and sweet marmalade on the nose. Intense pale fruits define the palate. It finishes dry but every flavor lingers... much to my delight.

This is my desert island beer. Absolutely phenomenal in every regard.

Jun 09, 2015
Photo of RBCBrams17
RBCBrams17 from Illinois

4.74/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured on tap into a snifter

Appearance: This brew was a beautiful hazy golden orange color with a lingering white head. Nice sticky lacing clung to the side to the glass as I drank.

Smell: Loved the aroma on this one. Tons of ripe fruit, citrus, some pine, and some earthy dankness. I absolutely love the Citra and Mosaic combo, they go very well together. Faint sweet malt and yeast esters linger just under the wall of hops.

Taste: Absolutely awesome! There's a nice bitterness up front, but not aggressive. Tons of citrus flavor, more orange to me than grapefruit. Some pineapple and mango too. The Golden Promise malt lends a nice sweetness to underlie the hop flavors.

Mouthfeel. Medium body and carbonation. This beer has an almost creamy texture to it.

Overall: One of the best standard IPAs I've ever had, reminded me a bit of Focal Banger, though its been a while since I've had that. IPAs just don't really get any better than this. It's everything I want in the style.

Mar 02, 2015
Photo of joe1510
joe1510 from Illinois

4.24/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz Can
$16.49 4-Pack
Kenwood Liquors - Homer Glen

Canned: 3/31/16

A touch of haze runs through the Axe Man while the body runs toward the pale golden side of the spectrum. The carbonation is tiny and running to the surface in streams from what seems like every surface of the glass. The foam is dirty white and a little on the soapy side, bubbles of all types, growing to a finger in height on the pour. The foam dissipates rather quickly to a thin skim and leaves behind some patchy lacework here and there. A good looking beer.

This beer can be smelt from feet away. As it's cracked the hop profile fills the room. It's dank off the bat with big resinous notes and a big funky parmesan cheese character. This whole thing is quickly followed, and actually overtaken, by citrus zest and tropicals in the form of pineapple and mango, a touch of tangerine as well. The citrus zest is pretty bold yet softly sweet. All this over the top of a pale malt, barely noticeable base maltiness of sugar cookie.

The flavor profile is much like the nose. It seems to me there is a decent variety of hops used in this beer but they all seem to work well together. It's dank again upfront but not showing much of the cheesiness. The middle is loaded with big tropicals; mango, pineapple mostly and, although not tropical, tangerine. The finish is mostly citrus peel, orange and grapefruit, some candied most pure. A little bitter aspirin on the swallow. The malt base is sugar cookie pale and a base for the complex hop profile. Very good beer.

The body is silky smooth with a soft carbonation. Moderate in weight with a growing bitterness that runs along the sides of the tongue from the get go and really takes hold on the swallow. The bitterness eventually grows to a touch higher than moderate and while the finish is juicy upfront it dries up quickly, accentuating that lingering bitterness.

Todd the Axe Man is a damn fine beer and that much can be told from the second the can is popped and the hopping fills the room. While it's hugely hoppy and brightly bold it is in no way tough to drink in quantity. It sits right in that 7% sweetspot for IPAs. While the price tage is rather hefty, I'd pick this up in a heartbeat before I'd pick up any other overpriced Surly 4-Pack, Wet comes immediately to mind.

Apr 24, 2016
Photo of maximum12
maximum12 from Minnesota

3.62/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16 oz. can. I think you know what this is. If not, please see

The pour is liquid orange pulp with a head that falls like a sack of quartz, leaving behind fiddly white patterns skulking along the surface. Nose is very citrus & mango forward, leaning into a mucker of tropical fruit baskets. Pretty nice.

Todd the Axeman is one of those beers that I have to block the pedigree in order to savage it fairly. The tropical hook in the nose is still present in the taste, but the minimal carbonation flattens out the flavor profile, & not in a good way. Big peeled mango, razor-sharp bitterness, grapefruit, mild pine sap. Big malt sweetness that cuts the hops, but the bitterness makes a Vanilla Ice-style comeback to dominate the finish. Too heavy to drink much of.

I guess I’ll be that guy: I’d take Furious, Overrated, Abrasive, & several other local IPAs over Todd. The lack of bubbles might be impacting my enjoyment. A good beer, but not worth the price & I recall it being much better on tap.

Aug 07, 2015
Photo of inkdemention
inkdemention from Nevada

5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pineapple and mangoes !!! This is soooo juicy . The balance of bitter is perfect. Super light malt backbone that let's the hops shine ! This is a hopheads delight. I hope this isnt just a seasonal brew. Well done surly.

Aug 09, 2015
Photo of DrunkAl
DrunkAl from Illinois

4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can, bout 2 weeks old when I first tried it. 16 oz can. yellow. Big bitter hop aroma. Some tropical fruit under, pineapple, mango.. Fresh bitter hops. Juicy and sort of a pallet wrecker. Definitely high bitterness for the style. Damn good stuff. this is bigger and more flavorful than most IPAs. Bordering on a double. However, this is currently the 25th best beer in the world. Don't think it's that good. In fact I passed on grabbing another $17 4 pack yesterday. Little expensive for a single.

Aug 29, 2015
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.49/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When it comes to Surly and IPA, there's no shortcuts allowed. Greatness will be achieved. And it all comes down to Todd, you know- the axe man to see it through. Beatings will continue until morale improves!

But those beatings probably let up a little with Todd The Axe Man which pours a hazy golden amber color with dusty silt settling, and while casting a loosely knit cap to greet the rim. Its bright hop bouquet is eye-opening- illuminating with citrus and tropical fruit and the herbal dankness that reminds us of the similarities of hops and cannabis. Fragile sweetness of light caramel and honeysuckle soothes the early palate before the onslaught of hops set in.

As the middle palate unfolds, the hops come spewing out- pink grapefruit and tangerine strike the tastebuds first with a quick follow of pineapple, dragonfruit, mango, lemon and peach. Shaking its early sweetness, the beer trends dry in order to let the hops shine. Becoming more and more bitter, the final frame is one of fresh grass clippings, citrus peel, and that herbaceous leafy cannabis charm.

Medium-light on the tongue, the beer's dry taste and texture proves to weigh effortlessly on the mouth while the taste tightens; circulating around the smooth hop bitterness and its deeply resinous grip. A long aftertaste of citrus peel and pine resonate deeply and expanding with bitterness.

Jun 24, 2016
Photo of thorkelson
thorkelson from Minnesota

4.98/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Picked up a can of Todd at Zipp's yesterday after having Todd on tap about 3 weeks ago.
I was absolutely blown away when having it on tap at Surly.

Canned was also amazing - but not as much of the hazy color. Pours a beautiful darkish orange and the aroma is what draws me in. Unbelievable huge citra, mango and orange notes.
The taste is just as good and the nose hits with malty sweetness and excellent hop balance. The malt lingers and the hop stops a bit before that.

Best IPA I have ever had from Minnesota. Unreal.

Jul 29, 2015
Photo of Jslay013
Jslay013 from Massachusetts

4.06/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

To be far, I am very spoiled by having relatively easy access to Trillium, Treehouse, and the VT IPAs. This is rock solid, but is not in the same class as the aforementioned. Outside of TG, though, there is not much better IPA-wise available in MN.

Aug 25, 2015
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Can. Pours mostly clear. Not all that hazy. Aroma is of both assertive and sweet hops. Green, bitter-smelling, potent hops along with some blended tropical fruity hops. Flavor is interesting because the first sip demoralizes my bitterness sensors. It's got such a bitter initial zip. Then once my buds are blown into an abyss of confusion and massochistic sadness, all the sweetness and tropicality of the hops come out and dance on my tongue's vanquished soul. Lots of squished citrus, pineapple, nectarine and mango. The dank and grass slithers in and out of my mouthpiece. Finishes with a fruity sweetness and maltiness that tames the mouth dragon. Medium bodied. Reminds me of a grouchy, spiteful and diminutive Abrasive Ale. Very good! Thanks Todd?

Aug 08, 2015
Photo of Jetlag767
Jetlag767 from Minnesota

4.49/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stopped over at Surly to try a few of their local brews. This American IPA was exceptional, possibly due to its freshness, but smooth a a nice hop balance nonetheless. A top brew for me.

Jun 29, 2015
Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
DabblinWiscCraft from Wisconsin

4.84/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Passed a goblet of this at the Surly tap house in Minneapolis.

L: Pours a beautiful bright, hazy straw color with an inch-and-a-half of white head that lingers for a good bit and leaves nice lacing on the glass. Moderate visible carbonation where you can see through at the edges.

S: Big, bright citrus and floral hop notes. Some bubble gum and freshly cut grass. Biscuit malt notes underneath. This is a beautiful bouquet.

T: Incredibly tasty IPA. There's really bright citrus hops right in front, mingling with the biscuit malt underbelly. Grapefruit, tangerine, cut grass, and bubble gum notes follow. There's a bit of clear alcohol in the middle, but you really don't sense it much--surprising for an ABV this high. The close is delightful hop bitterness. It's more clean than sticky, but it definitely lets you feel the bitter.

F: Medium-bodied and expertly carbonated. It's smooth and creamy but also bright and bitter in turns. This one went down a lot easier than I thought it would.

O: I try a lot of IPAs. I'm a big fan of citrus bombs and pine bombs, but I also enjoy Belgians and more traditional West Coast and Midwest varieties. That being said, this might just be the best IPA I have ever tasted. It's really that good. You would do well to go out of your way to try this one on tap. You won't be disappointed.

May 25, 2015
Photo of Rimbimhoot
Rimbimhoot from Illinois

4.31/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Golden yellow with some haze
S: Mango, pineapple, sweet, berry, peach, resin
T: Mango, resin, balanced bitterness, orange peel, light sweetness
M: Medium light carbonation, standard
O: A good ipa but way too pricey at $17 for a four pack of 16oz. Buy Half Acre Vallejo instead!

Aug 26, 2015
Photo of Dirtyhands
Dirtyhands from Maryland

4.02/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It's pretty fucking dank, but that 99 rating is a little off. Clearly, the modern ipa has progressed quickly, but this is still a very solid brew. Would drink again. Clean hop profile that doesn't move to heavily into any specific hop character, more of a solid blend.

Sep 22, 2016
Photo of mjryan
mjryan from Minnesota

4.34/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Hazy gold. Head dies instantly. Smells awesome, like tropical fruit. Tastes awesomely tropical as well. Low bitterness. Low carbonation, and slight slickness keep it from being world class, buy I still dig it.

Jan 03, 2017
Photo of Stevedore
Stevedore from Oregon

4.41/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at DLD15.

Orange-yellow body, nice one finger white head, although this was a plastic cup pour. Smelled like oranges, grapefruit in the truest sense; very grapefruity without much grainy sweetness. Awesome. Tastes very similar, mild-moderate resinous and grapefruit rind bitterness; overall tastes like grapefruit hops. Fair amount of pale malt sweetness, but not too sweet. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but there is plenty of flavour to bring it through. Not too bitter, very drinkable. Overall a very juicy IPA that impressed me quite a bit. I will have to agree with everyone else and say that Surly needs to can this beer, STAT.

Apr 26, 2015
Photo of MattyG85
MattyG85 from Minnesota

4.61/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

On tap at the Surly taproom. 10 oz. pour in a chalice.

Appearance: Color is a bright golden orange. Moderate amount of bubbles and about one finger of white head that settles into a thin creamy layer. Leaves some good lacing.

Smell: A juicy and dank hop forward smell with a big scent of citrus fruits. Big upfront presence of citra hops with hints of passion fruit, orange peel, grapefruit, mango, lemon zest, pineapple, and apricot. Also some floral and earthy hints behind the citrus. Soft pale malt presence with hints of grains, cracker, and yeast. A very good juicy smell.

Taste: Like the nose indicates, a very ripe and juicy hop forward taste with a big presence of citrus fruits. Upfront juicy taste of citra hops with notes of grapefruit, passion fruit, mango, orange peel, lemon zest, pineapple, and apricot. Earthy and floral notes with some pine. Backing of pale malt with notes of biscuit, cracker, and yeast. A really good hoppy taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Crisp, creamy, and juicy with a drying finish. Very smooth with no sign of the alcohol.

Overall: Another top notch IPA from Surly. Very citrus dominant with a nice smooth body for such a hoppy brew.

Oct 18, 2014
Photo of Jpb123
Jpb123 from Iowa

4.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Obtained from HyVee craft beer growler fill

Appearance; darker amber, slight lacing, little head

Smell: slight citrus, hops

Taste: grapefruit sweet start, bitter finish, not sure what IBU is?

Feel: medium body, can taste carbonation

Overall: Fairly good IPA

Oct 30, 2016
Photo of jonhorn
jonhorn from North Carolina

4.61/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 16 oz. can:

Appearance: orange, cloudy. Poured without a significant head
Smell: fruit, orange / citrus, pineapple
Taste: citrus, pineapple, and hop.
Feel: low carbonation, oily, slick in the mouth. Clean, crisp finish
Overall: Great IPA. Good balance, great flavor. I don't have great access to this beer - got it in a trade, but I will definitely look forward to having it again.

Aug 30, 2015
Photo of Beer4B
Beer4B from Florida

4.39/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the can into a tulip. The nose jumps out at you. Beautiful fresh hops. There are waves of citrus flavors and even a little pine to my taste. It drinks like a big DIPA to me but has a nice and easy finish. If you like Abrasive this should be in your ballpark.

Aug 02, 2015
Photo of HoppyBastard
HoppyBastard from Nebraska

4.34/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 1 pint can into a Shaker pint glass, "canned on" date 3-7-18.

APPEARANCE: pours a hazy, orange color with less than one-finger tan head that quickly dissipated until a thin, broken layer of small bubbles remained, there is light lacing on the glass, medium carbonation.

SMELL: bread and tropical citrus, there is also a dank, musty note.

TASTE: initially dank and musty, then the sweet tropical citrus taste and bread.

PALATE: medium body and carbonation.

OVERALL: this is an excellent beer from an excellent brewer, I have not had a bad beer from these guys, I enjoyed this beer very much's a little pricey, glad I tried it but not really in my budget as a go to beer, I would recommend to anyone who enjoys the style and does not care about value.

May 09, 2018
Photo of mckag001
mckag001 from Virgin Islands (U.S.)

3/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not sure if I had an old one or not, but out of the can it was orange with an unfiltered look not indicative of a West Coast IPA, so not sure where they got that one from. Reminded me a lot of OTWOA by DC Brau.

Taste: Too malty. Again, not West Coast.

Can't see how this beer achieved a 99% rating. An almost perfect score with IPAs like Building 8 or Societe out of SD and about 50 others that should rank well above.

Jan 06, 2017
Photo of ucis
ucis from Minnesota

5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dank stank with bright fruity notes. Best surly ipa to date. Boing! This is better than a fuzzy kitten or drooling badger. Put on your shit kickers, this is not hype. Don't die without trying a Todd.

Life goals affirmed.

Dank, stank smell with pulsating mangos and oranges.
Beautiful orange juice hue.
Tastes like angels french kissing the devil. Bright fruits and citra gold.
Thick, luscious mouth feel like a hop smoothie. <wad of god >

This better become a permanent fixture.


Aug 13, 2015
Axe Man from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 3002 ratings