Surly Brewing Company

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IPA - American
3.88 | pDev: 9.02%
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Notes: This unpredictable beer takes a traditional IPA, spikes it with a variety of New Zealand aroma hops, then ferments the whole thing with Brett.The result is light-bodied and dry, and the Brett/hop combo offers earthy notes accented with lemon, floral, berry, and black pepper notes. Two different kinds of oats were added to give it a smooth mouthfeel and a bit of body.
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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 76 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into glass. Stamped bottling date is smudged but looks to be sometime in 2017.
Medium amber body color, with copper tint. One finger white head sticks around as thin cap and ring. Lots of lacing webbing.
Aroma of floral and citrus hops, funk yeast, and bready malt.
Taste of grassy and horse blanket funk, floral and citrus hops, and some underneath light malts.
Medium, slightly coating mouth feel.
Solid IPA with brett. Funk without sour or bitterness.
Definitely out of style for an American IPA, but where should this be classified?

Apr 28, 2018
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craigbelly from Iowa

3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a thick copper. Almost looks like an amber. Sweet smelling. You can already make out the floral notes headed yiur way. Crisp and earthy tones lead the way and then the floral aroma you smell comes front and center. Would love a little more hop bite from this one.

Jun 26, 2017
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vette2006c5r from Minnesota

3.57/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Unbridled pours a hazy bronze color with a long lasting and lacing head. Sweet aroma, with hints of spice and flowers. Taste is a little earthy, lots of fresh flowers, with hints of spice. A bit flat. Overall, its fresh tasting, lots of flower notes, not much of an IPA.

May 24, 2017
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Blackop555 from Michigan

4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours copper. Thick, medium, off white head that lasts a while.

Smells yeast, citrus, pine and malts.

Tastes grapefruit, bready malt and a light amount of funk. Followed by more funk. Finish is dry with a light Funk, fruit and citrus peel linger. Medium body add fizzy lower medium carbonation

May 15, 2017
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YalovaIA from Iowa

4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very strong aroma of horse blanket / barnyard. The Brett dominates the taste for me, super horsey- all in a very good way. I don't get a lot of hop in this at all. Probably would not guess this as IPA on a blind taste. Amazed at the vast differences in the reviews for this beer. I pretty much love this. More please.

May 06, 2017
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gatornation from Minnesota

3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep copper color with an off white head. Smell is brett and citrus with pale malts. Taste follows nose with lemon / citrus hops with bready malts and brett. Medium carbonation with light hops and toffee malts slight funk. @ $6.99 worth a try , it was drinkable and OK , would not buy again thou.

May 01, 2017
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tylerstravis from Colorado

3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I absolutely love a nice clean Brett IPA, light on malt, heavy on hops.

This is not that. This is is heavy on the malt and light on the hops. It looks like a barleywine and tastes like an old school Midwest IPA with a touch of brett... Which is not what I signed up for when buying a Surly IPA.

Apr 21, 2017
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Stevedore from Oregon

3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml capped bottle 2/28/2017, served in a willi becher glass.

Pours a darker orange-caramel body, two finger thick nitro-like white head, lots of retention and appropriately so, lots of lacing. Smell is lemon, citrus, grapefruit, light crackery grain, leather, light cobweb, but that’s fairly trace. Flavour is a rich leathery grapefruit, cobweb, fair bit of crackery grainy sweetness, mild caramel which makes this feel more like an IPA more so than the fruity hops. Mouthfeel is medium-lighter bodied, refreshing, slightly dry with a slight zesty and leathery finish. Bottom line: Smooth and hoppy beer, well-integrated with the malts and Brett.

Apr 17, 2017
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jcattey from Wisconsin

3.39/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I should start by saying I love Surly. They very rarely put out anything that isn't great. With that being said, this is one of my least favorite of theirs. The underlying ipa isn't the hop forward brew you would expect from Surly. And the Brett is lacking for me. It's almost hard to believe this is a 100% Brett beer. Worth a try but I wouldn't get it again.

Apr 17, 2017
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Mdog from Minnesota

3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Slightly hazy amber, good head.

Smell: Tartness, floral, spices.

Taste: Mild tart fruitiness, caramel, cloves, black pepper, finishes tart and quite dry.

Overall: 100% brett IPA from Surly. I haven't had a lot of brett beers, but am trying to expand and learn more. Unbridled reminds me of a "Belgian IPA" more than the American IPA it is listed under. Spicy and more tartness than your typical IPA.

Apr 16, 2017
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DaverCS from Arizona

4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a slightly hazy Amber color with good lacing and a finger of a fluffy white head.

Aroma is incredibly Brett-forward. Smells like a citrus-filled barnyard mixed with a slightly dirty diaper... but in a good way. A bit of a umami/mushroom character also.

Taste is very unique. Citrusy hops mix with a jam-like berry fruitiness. Maybe a bit of bubblegum. This transitions into the funky barnyard taste. It almost has a meaty quality. The finish is a bit dry and slightly herbal and medicinal.

Overall, this is a unique take on an IPA. The Brett adds such a unique twist. However, as an ipa, the beer isn't amazing, and as a wild ale, the beer is too bitter and unbalanced. I'm just not sure what to think. This beer needs to be paired with food; perhaps a banana cheesecake. It gets a 85/100.

Apr 11, 2017
Photo of pat61
pat61 from Minnesota

4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: I can smell Unbridled as soon as I fill the glass: wet horse blanket, light grains, a faint hint of oats, fruit, berries, pear, citrus, a hint of caramel malt, leather and traces of mild toast and biscuit.

L: It pours bright amber permeated with fine bubbles racing to the top under a 2" tight, mousse-like, persistent lacy cream colored foam cap. Unbridled starts with big fruit - berries, pear, lemon, orange, citrus that lead to and assertive bitterness that lingers. The fruit and berries are mildly sweet with a moderate intensity. The bitterness is medium high with the Brettanomyces knocking off some of the rough edges.

F: The medium bodied beer is smooth and creamy and bone dry. The carbonation is medium high but very fine and soft. There is a touch of astringency on the finish.

O: a truly delightful beer.

Apr 02, 2017
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DabblinWiscCraft from Wisconsin

4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a 750 ml bottle at the Trig's Cellar 70 in Wausau, WI. The bottling stamp says this one is just over a month old. Poured right from the fridge into a nonic pint glass.

L: Pours a ruddy amber with about an inch and a half of somewhat dense off-white head that sticks around for a good while, eventually falling to a healthy film that leaves moderate lacing as it goes down. Slightly hazy, with steady visible carbonation present.

S: Sharp and sour like a Belgian, with notes of clove and banana. These compete with other hop notes of citrus, stone fruit, pine, pepper, and funk. Some of the bready and caramel malt notes poke through, as well. Just a touch of raisin in the mix, as well.

T: Bright citrus hop flavor is present at the front, followed immediately by the characteristic clove and banana bread notes one would expect from a Brett. Caramel and bready malts provide a backbone. As the flavors progress, it's easier to distinguish individual fruit notes of grapefruit, orange, and apricot. Just a little bit of funk and pepper in the middle, along with a slight sense of warming alcohol. The back end gets a bit more of the raisin that was forecast in the nose, along with more of a pine and pepper sensation to close things out.

F: On the lighter side of medium-bodied/heavier side of light-bodied, this one doesn't have the effervescence I was expecting. It's not that it feels watery--it just doesn't have the carbonation or creaminess I thought would be present with this style. The whole affair is quite smooth, with a dry finish that leaves nice lingering bitterness on the palate.

I'm not a huge fan of Belgian beers, so this isn't one that I'll probably seek out again. However, it's a well-executed example of the style, with some very nice complexity and variety of flavors. Well-worth giving a try.

Mar 31, 2017
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t2thebro from Iowa

4.91/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- light copper/clear/2finger cream color head. Sticky lace.
S- smells of banana bread, rye, slightly peppery, licorice, earthy hops, like loads of centennial.
T- dry/sticky, starts like a fresh hop, then tons of flavors on the back end. Rye, oats, pepper, sweet licorice, slight butterscotch funky banana/lemongrass.
F- silky smooth, a bit of mouth watering stickiness, dry but makes my mouth watering.
O- top notch/ top shelf
Super impressive if you want a mind boggling change of pace IPA. SO MANY, flavors, a must try if you can get your hands on it.

Mar 31, 2017
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

apparently a 100% brett ipa, this has some of the most beautiful packaging i have ever seen on a beer, and an insanely fair price point for what it is, love when breweries offer something interesting and process intensive at a really friendly price! this is cool beer, although flawed a little to me, and well below my lofty expectations. clearish on the pout, brass colored, and supremely heady, with almost two inches of white foam rising up over the edge of my hotel room rocks glass, pretty pour. aroma here is straight fairgrounds junk food, i mean, saltwater taffy, cotton candy, bubblegum, candied apple, its all of that, sort of summery with the carnival aroma i guess, but lots of esters here, almost belgian gone awry, the brett is almost stupidly fruity, pear and orange notes, but not a lot of the rustic or wild funk we are used to in all brett beers. the hops seem somehow lost to this weird yeast complexion. the flavor is about like the nose, lots of dusty pink bubblegum, like the kind that came all rolled up when we were kids, bubble tape or something, it reminds me of that cheap sugary gum. some wildness to the flavor though, but its not at all dry. the hops seem underdosed to me, although its not hurting for bitterness, there just seems to be a lack of that dry hopped freshness i like so much with brett. the grain is simple and cleaner, and the esters from the yeast seem exposed and overdone. i liked the beer, its certainly different than anything else out there that i am aware of, but i would love for this to be drier, funkier and even hoppier. i suspect some cellar time would improve the first two of those shortfalls and maybe not make the third one much worse. worth it for the price, but i was expecting a beer dramatic in different ways. really belgiany and hot fermented tasting, but a learning experience (probably for both brewer and consumer)...

Mar 22, 2017
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Hopheadjeffery from Illinois

4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted in a Spiegelau IPA glass from a 750 ml bottle on March 18, 2017. Look is amber gold with a thick off-white head and sticky lacing. Smell is initially sweet then some brett funk. Taste is fruit and funk. Feel is medium in body.

Mar 19, 2017
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KarlHungus from Minnesota

4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a semi-hazy red color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes into nice lacing. The aroma is more brett than IPA. There is a nice barnyard funk with some tangerines and limes poking through. The taste is quite juicy with more of a hop character than there was in the aroma. Blood oranges, tangerines, and hints of grapefruit are forefront with hints of brett funkiness and a moderate bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation. Overall, this beer is really nice, enjoyable. It is also nice to see Surly finally pricing there limited release bottles reasonably (this one was $6.49).

Mar 19, 2017
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morimech from Minnesota

3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Attractive dark golden color with a nicely formed head and heavy lacing. Aroma of tropical fruit, musty grain, toast, and some barnyard. I am surprised that this is 100% Brettanomyces fermented. Just not as funky as I thought it would be. The hops are the big player in this beer while the Brett falls behind tertiary behind the malt. Flavors of tropical fruit, toast, musty grain, and funk. Bitterness is low to moderate. Must of been a lot of dry hopping. Medium body and lively carbonated but not harsh.

Mar 16, 2017
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jzlyo from Iowa

3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aroma is pears, Brett and a mix of spices and brocolli/brussel sprouts. The flavor is pears, tropical fruit, mild Brett funk and a spicy/slightly tart finish.

Mar 16, 2017
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ovaltine from Indiana

4.26/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I've been so disconnected with moving that I had no idea Surly was bottling a new beer, so when I popped into my local and they said, "We have something for you" and handed me this, I was shocked and thankful, because they only received 2 cases and saved me a 750 ML bottle.

It looks like a Surly IPA with the golden copper color, but there's a ton of carbonation as represented by the bumper crop of bubbles climbing the side of the glass.

The nose has spicy hop notes, but the Brett steals the show, as you would expect - lots of funk, which I love. The funk is also very forward on the taste, and there's peppery flavor coming through, too, which plays very well withe the spicy/citrusy hop flavors. Really tasty.

I was curious to see what the first "post Todd" new bottled beer from Surly would be, and how it would be executed, and I think they did a very nice job with this.

Mar 12, 2017
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MattyG85 from Minnesota

4.36/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into an IPA glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber orange. Moderate amount of bubbles and a big three finger off white head that slowly settles into a thinner patchy layer.

Smell: A funky and fruity aroma with a scent of brett and juicy hops. Big scent of brett yeast funk with some hints of black pepper and berries. Citrus hop scent of grapefruit, orange peel, tangerine, and lemon with some pineapple. Earthy hop scent of grass and pine. Malt hints of caramel, straw, grains, cracker, and oats. Also some hints of tobacco and horse blanket. A pretty nice aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a funky and fruity taste with big notes of brett and juicy hops. Big upfront presence of brett yeast with notes of funk, black pepper, and berries. Citrus hop notes of grapefruit, orange peel, lemon, and tangerine along with pineapple. Earthy hop notes of grass and pine. Malt notes of caramel, straw, grains, oats, and cracker. Some subtle tobacco notes. A pretty good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Crisp, smooth, and drying.

Overall: A pretty good funked up IPA. Nice mix of brett and bitter hop notes.

Mar 12, 2017
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bsp77 from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not sure what is up with the reviews to date. This is a well executed Brett IPA, with citrus, pine and farmhouse notes. Balanced, dry and drinkable. Not as complex as some.

Mar 11, 2017
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BigIslandfarmer from Minnesota

3.49/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a large tulip glass. Amber/orange in color with a pure white head that turns into a solid half finger cap fed by constant streams of bubbles.
Smells mostly of tropical fruits with a slight hint of the brett funk.
Tastes follows the smell with hops dominating up front. The brett comes through in the middle with a hint of hay and sweetness. The finish is very bitter and dry.
Mouth feel is medium, smooth, with a good level of carbonation.
Overall, a solid beer that blurs the line between IPA and farmhouse ale.

Mar 11, 2017
Unbridled from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 76 ratings