SurlyFest | Surly Brewing Company

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
377 Reviews
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SurlyFestSurlyFest
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
surlybrewing.com

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with three different types of Rye and a single variety of American Hops. Malted Rye, Flaked Rye, and Crystal Rye impart a distinctive biscuit flavor to the lush Vienna Malt body, and dry-hopping with Sterling Hops adds bright, floral hop aromas.

Added by feloniousmonk on 09-03-2006

BEER STATS
Reviews:
377
Ratings:
907
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
10.67%
 
 
Wants:
231
Gots:
80
For Trade:
0
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 377 | Ratings: 907
Reviews by bwiechmann:
Photo of bwiechmann
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16oz can sold in a four-pack for 10 and a half dollars. Poured 6 days after canning date.

Pours a copper amber with a nice white heads which dissipates quickly to nothing. (tainted glassware perhaps?)

Smell is wonderful and the highlight of the beer. Rye comes through nicely and reminds of artisinal bread. Earthy hops make an appearance but don't detract from the bready malt.

Taste follows the nose, obviously, but is more muted in regards to the rye. Finishes very clean with a decent hop presence which compliments wonderfully.

Overall- a great alternative to the traditional Marzen. Drinkability is off the charts and if I were drinking this on tap, my wallet would not like me. Perfect for the fall season and one that I will look forward to each year.

 763 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of argock
2.87/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a 16 oz tallboy into a clear glass 20oz mug. Canned on 08/18/15 on bottom of can. Lugged by my parents from IA -- thanks M&D.

A; Slightly hazy light amber with 1/2-finger of off-white head with average retention but no lacing.

S: Minimal maltiness with a little bit of doughy, bready maltiness but none of the active aromas. Minimal to no hop aroma. No yeasat aromas. Bland.

T: Bland also with a bit of musty malitness. I will admit that I had a Bells Oktoberfest lage on tap this evening beforehand and it was not even close. The Surlyfest is very flavor-shy as a comparison.

M: Light bodied with moderate carbonation and clean finish.

O: Easily the worst Surly beer I have had. It was below average for the style and tasted like an average brown Munich Helles at best. This beer is overrated really badly -- not even close to 90.

 852 characters

Photo of warnerry
4.03/5  rDev 0%
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.

 625 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can provided by BitterBeerGuy.. Thanks George!! Poured into my trusty slim tulip so I get a 2nd pour... foamy white head.. the brew is clear light amber.

Big toasty maltiness with some slight cocoa notes in the nose.. hops are light and floral.

Flavor mirrors the nose with a sorta dry maltiness... rye malt is there (I guess) but I would not pick it out in the crowd.. again a little toasty on the finish..

Body is light/medium... carbonation seems light... small bubble...

Interesting... Not exactly right, but down the right street..

4/4/4/4/4

 556 characters

Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a four-pack of pint cans at the Trig's Cellar 70 in Rhinelander last week. The canning stamp says this one is good for another three months. Poured right from the fridge into my Samuel Smith pint glass.

L: Pours a clear, bright orange blossom honey color with about two inches of very dense off-white head that sticks around for a very long time and leaves considerable lacing on the glass. Profuse visible carbonation--like a whirlwind of bubbles--is present.

S: Caramel and bread-like malt notes are at fore, with grassy hops spicing things up. Just a bit of earthiness and floral notes, as well. At least at the initial pour, the bouquet is very pleasant but unassertive. As it warms, it takes on a more robust aroma.

T: Bread-like malts are there at the outset--more cracker-like than sweet. There's a tartness immediately lent to the malts from the hop presence--it's citrus, grassy, and floral in flavor. The middle retains the malt notes and brings a heightening of the hop flavor, with the citrus especially gaining some punch. An earthiness emerges here, as well. The back end has more of the nice malt bill showcased, an increase in the earthiness, and a nice level of citrus rind and slightly resinous hop bitter to close things out.

F: On the lighter side of medium-bodied, this one drinks just a touch more watery than the carbonation implied. It has a bit of astringency at the front, some creaminess to the middle, and a nice level of bitter at the close. There's just a bit of stick, as the hop bitter lingers on the palate for a short while.

O: Well, this one probably shouldn't be categorized as a Märzen; if we're gauging this one on those grounds, then it definitely misses the point/mark. However, as far as hopped-up lagers go, this one is impressive. Surly has deftly handled the competing flavors in this one and delivered a beer that should appeal to the both the lager and pale ale camps. I recommend giving this one a try.

 1,965 characters

Photo of Bighuge
1.66/5  rDev -58.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This beer is a bit of a conundrum. I'm not sure if anybody has touched on this yet, but this beer tastes nothing like a marzen. It's more like an IPA or actually more like a DIPA. The blue and white checkerboard background on the can reminds me of a German Oktoberfest banner (like the ones in "Strange Brew" eh?). But the beer inside is not even in the same ballpark. I understand it's a lager, but this has to be the most hopped up lager I've ever tried. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Well actually, in this case there is.

Hazy, tarnished copper. Thin coating of beige head. Lace is moderate in amount. Sickly pungent pine needle aroma. It's like smelling the gooey sap straight out of a pine tree. And then licking it. The flavor is all hops. And in truth, these hops don't appeal to me. My belief is that they're 100% Sterling. If that's the case, Sterling is one hop I'll avoid when homebrewing. I get garlic and onion and clove. And an astringent tannic presence that muddles everything up as well. Ouch. This is not good. And my ratings are not due to the nonconforming style. I rated this as if it were an IPA/DIPA/Rye lager.

This is the first beer from Surly that I have not enjoyed. I see others have, so drink up. But I will pass on this next fall. Unless they try a new hop, like Columbus or Palisade or Simcoe. My opinion is that Furious is 10 times better than this.

 1,401 characters

Photo of oberon
4.11/5  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.

 339 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.09/5  rDev -48.1%
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.

 716 characters

Photo of Schlais
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Xamonline
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16oz can; served in german 20oz becker pint glass

L: deep orange with thick, large head that dissipates leaving large gas bubbles;

S: strong hops similar to an ipa; as it warms up its more spice and floral than hops

T: starts with hops then floral followed by a zing of rye which lingers on the finish with hops

M: creamy and medium weight; very nice

O: one of the more interesting oktoberfest beers i've had. couldnt session it but would welcome a pint every once in a while when i'm looking for some hops but wiht more character than an ipa

 549 characters

Photo of warlock_with_a_backpack
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of blackearth
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

 332 characters

Photo of beaversfan12
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of NWer
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours from the can a hazy orange-amber with a light tan head that leaves spotty lacing.
The aroma is caramel and biscuit and light spice.
The taste is caramel, biscuit, a bit of sharp rye and hint of citrus. It finishes with a bold and pithy bitter bite.
Mouthfeel is medium and well-carbed.
Overall, not entirely traditional but tasty and refreshing. Very good beer.

 367 characters

Photo of DaftPatrick
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Afroman
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of MorganJ
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: poured 16oz can into pint glass. Nice mahogany amber color with good head.
S/T: little hoppy and some raisin. Finish is sweet with some malty.
MF: not smooth. Different from most of this style. Little bite and uniform carbonation with each drink.
O: good and different for this style. I love Octoberfest and marzen. This one is a bit more hoppy for this style -- I prefer the traditional carmel and malt.

 412 characters

Photo of 77apm
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Guinnsslvr
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of MrUse
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ryancl
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.2/5  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.

 422 characters

Photo of bsp77
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

 723 characters

Photo of CBorg
4.43/5  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!

 345 characters

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SurlyFest from Surly Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 907 ratings.
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