Surly in MA

Discussion in 'New England' started by brewme, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. brewme

    brewme Crusader (729) Mar 1, 2014 Massachusetts

    Browsing in my local packy tonight, was shocked to see a four-pack of Todd the Axe Man. When did Surly drop in MA? Any Furious or Abrasive sightings?
    waughbrew likes this.
  2. BRYeleJR

    BRYeleJR Disciple (354) May 18, 2013 Massachusetts

  3. dental

    dental Devotee (411) Apr 2, 2014 Massachusetts

    All of the 4 packs I’ve seen at multiple stores (south shore area) look kinda beat up. Almost like they got wet or something. I bought one and ended up dumping the 2 that I cracked. Very malty and didn’t taste like something canned a little over a month ago. Might give the other cans a try with a fresh palate.

    I had never had the beer before so maybe that’s just how it tastes? What is the general consensus on this one-off drop?
  4. mrmattosgood

    mrmattosgood Initiate (129) Nov 6, 2010 Monaco

    I wonder if at this point “malty” IPA (i.e. old school piney, resinous hop-forward beers with a bitter malty backbone) might be back to being an acquired taste again.

    Back when I got into craft, IPAs were an acquired taste, a scaffold to which we aspired to get. Now, IPAs are the gateway craft beer.

    So Surly Furious (which I had within the last few months), which is a great tasting beer, is being viewed as “malty” when it’s actually just a really well made beer with a pronounced beginning, middle, and end (not a one-noted NEIPA).
  5. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Meyvn (1,119) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    While I largely agree with you, Todd the Axe Man just tasted like a mediocre West Coast IPA to me.
    Rysk22 likes this.
  6. mrmattosgood

    mrmattosgood Initiate (129) Nov 6, 2010 Monaco

    That's fair. I've never felt terribly compelled to seek out that specific beer. As per my other post in the beer shop finds thread (and evidenced by other threads I frequent), I tend to choose local, established brands that I trust. Even when something new comes into the stores, it's very rare that I buy them. This stance is uncommon, I know.

    That being said, AlcahueteJ, it seems like we'd be good beer buddies. We have similar takes.
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  7. cmoney13

    cmoney13 Initiate (133) Sep 9, 2017 Massachusetts

    This makes some sense, and I do see at least a small trend away from juice bombs and back towards bitter, piney, citrusy but not sweet IPAs. Some of it I'm sure is reactionary hipsterism (guilty), but some of it is like "hey remember when we drank beer and not juice?"

    For my money, Melvin IPA is the best shelf IPA and that is fairly old school.

    I'm going to the store today and if I see any Surly I'll pick it up. I think I had a couple cans of Furious a few years ago, that's about it.
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  8. wasatchback

    wasatchback Disciple (330) Jan 12, 2014 Bahamas

    I would call most Surly IPAs rather malty. To me a lot of the Midwest IPAs developed around the same time have more malt backbone, similar to stuff from the NW.

    Wife is from MN so I’ve been drinking a fair amount of their stuff for a while now. Weird thing is it’s almost impossible to actually find it fresh in MN now. Everything is generally 2 months old at least. When Abrasive was only produced for one month a year and you could get it days after canning it was an amazing beer. And it was hazy as hell, just hop derived haze not the protein induced thiccness that for some reason people think is critical now???
    Davl22 and AlcahueteJ like this.
  9. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Meyvn (1,119) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Hell yeah...and...

    ...Celebration will be out soon. It'll be fresh, and if it's not, it holds up. Not a super bitter West Coast hop bomb, but I still consider it West Coast. Just more balanced than some of the more aggressive ones.
  10. jbertsch

    jbertsch Meyvn (1,174) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts

    I haven't had the Surly beer yet but I can attest to being someone who's re-calibrating my taste in IPAs. I think the juicy style has gone so far that I really began to miss IPAs that have depth, layers of character (including the malt), some bitterness, grassy, resinous or piney notes to balance out the juice character and provide dimension. Problem is, beers that accomplish that seem harder to find these days. And honestly, I find myself looking back towards Heady Topper again.
  11. dele

    dele Initiate (46) Mar 13, 2019 Massachusetts

    An ironic note along these lines: in about 2012, Surly started brewing something called Overrated. It was intended to be a massively piney west coast style IPA, and the title was meant to make fun of the hype around that style at the time. I don't think they make it anymore, but it shows how tastes and fads have changed. I think their IPAs are right down the middle - well balanced and certainly not overly malty unless you're expecting juice and haze. I prefer Furious to Todd. Abrasive, when fresh, is incredible, but I doubt we'll see it here, especially fresh.
  12. cmoney13

    cmoney13 Initiate (133) Sep 9, 2017 Massachusetts

    celebration is its own special category for me.
  13. Celtics76

    Celtics76 Crusader (702) Sep 5, 2011 Rhode Island

    I had Todd the Axe Man last weekend, picked it up at Yankee Spirits in Attleboro, MA. I thought it was awesome. If you've been exclusively drinking NE IPAs over the last few years, you won't like it. Definitely a strong west coast/Stone vibe, plenty of pine/bitterness. I wish I could find more fresh west coast IPAs these days..
    YS1977 likes this.
  14. Jaru1026

    Jaru1026 Initiate (139) Mar 25, 2011 Massachusetts

    The distribution company who sent this out is teamed up with a company called "Brew Pipeline" what brew pipeline does is find brewers not currently in distro they team up and bring a beer or couple to market.

    The distribution company then takes presells on said product. Presells go back to the brewery its then brewed then sent back to the distribution company to sell.
    jstilwell and AlcahueteJ like this.
  15. Rysk22

    Rysk22 Aspirant (219) Nov 12, 2014 Massachusetts

    I enjoyed the bitterness but I felt like the maltiness dominated everything
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  16. matthewp

    matthewp Initiate (189) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    Hmm, its been about 3 years since I've had Todd The Axe Man but I don't remember it as being a West Coast style IPA. In fact my check in of it notes that it was turbid. Surly even calls it "not quite West coast, not quite a NE IPA". Its got Citra and Mosaic, double dry hopped, and I believe it uses the same yeast most NE IPA's are made with (which explains why my check in notes it being turbid). So the descriptions here sound a bit odd, maybe the beer wasn't fresh when you guys had it. Based on the Surly description and my memory I would describe it as a balanced east coast style IPA (not NE IPA). More along the lines of Santilli from Night Shift, a bit of bitterness with a citrusy taste and not clear but also not a NE IPA. Personally I enjoyed the beer quite a bit.
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  17. Celtics76

    Celtics76 Crusader (702) Sep 5, 2011 Rhode Island

    I read the description as well and it doesn't match. It was relatively clear (or "mildly hazy") and tasted like a beer Stone would put out. It's the type of beer people would go nuts over before the haze craze.

    Mine was relatively fresh as well. Slightly under 4 weeks out.
    matthewp likes this.
  18. meefmoff

    meefmoff Devotee (426) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts

    This for me too generally (I haven't had Surly's Axeman). When I lived in the Midwest (2008-ish) Ska Brewing's Modus Hoperandi was my favorite IPA. When I had it again a year or so ago I found the thick, sweet, caramel maltiness way too much. I feel kind of the same about Newburyport's Greenhead.

    I'm still game for pretty much any level of bitter.
    AlcahueteJ and Rysk22 like this.
  19. AirBob

    AirBob Defender (661) Jul 15, 2014 Massachusetts

    I feel the same about Greenhead - I've enjoyed the pine and bitterness, but have always found it a bit too sticky and sweet for my tastes.

    First time with Todd the Axe Man - my first impression was that it was old and stale, particularly on the nose, and especially weird for a one month old IPA. Similar to the stale hop notes I get from an old can of Harpoon IPA.

    The more I drink, the more nuances I'm picking up -similar to Heady with the layers of complexity, but definitely not similar in flavor profile.The malt is more predominate accompanied by the typically mosaic profile and citrus. It's growing on me, but I can't get past the stale notes on the nose.
    Patches826, AlcahueteJ and meefmoff like this.
  20. jaxon53

    jaxon53 Meyvn (1,394) Mar 1, 2006 Connecticut

    I think you are right... I never thought of it that way. Boy do I miss those good old fashion IPA'S... The younger generation doesn't know what they are missing...
  21. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Meyvn (1,119) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts


    It just felt really muddled to me.

    I think it’s because these days many people simply lump any non-New England IPA into the West Coast style.

    I’m guilty of this myself. Although I don’t really care because it gets confusing to say Midwest IPA, East Coast IPA, Vermont IPA, New England IPA, American IPA, Milkshake IPA, Brut IPA..and then single, double, and triple versions of each of those...the difference becomes hazier than the beers we’re drinking.
    matthewp, lic217 and meefmoff like this.
  22. Patches826

    Patches826 Meyvn (1,124) Aug 28, 2013 Massachusetts

    Between the premature stale flavors and the warped packaging, I'm guessing MA's batch of Axe Man probably went in and out of refrigeration multiple times in transit. Maybe spent a little longer than it should have on a hot truck?
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  23. Rysk22

    Rysk22 Aspirant (219) Nov 12, 2014 Massachusetts

    The cans I got were over a month old so there's definitely a chance of mishandling and age playing a big factor
  24. dental

    dental Devotee (411) Apr 2, 2014 Massachusetts

    Having it on draft right now, tastes fine. The cans I got were definitely bad and had that taste of an ipa where the hops had fallen off.
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  25. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Meyvn (1,119) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Glad I only had one can.
  26. Rysk22

    Rysk22 Aspirant (219) Nov 12, 2014 Massachusetts

    I’ve got 3 more... want em? $5 a can... I pay you.
  27. redbill

    redbill Initiate (20) Nov 29, 2018 Massachusetts

    that's a shame the cans didn't travel well. I often go to MN for work, and AxeMan used to be my go-to on draft, until Toppling got more readily available out there. When fresh Todd is the slightly juicier of the 2 (Furious being more malty), reminds me a lot of Wormtown's Don't Worry. Sounds similar to the fate of some of the Toppling cans that we get out here. Sosus on draft in MN was one of the best tasting beers I've had in a long time, but the cans I got here were nothing special.