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Notes on beers brewed by

Surly Brewing Company
Surly Darkness


This is a beer that was so, so hyped and persued 15-20 years ago, but that I had almost forgotten about completely until a couple of weeks ago when I made this impulse purchase at Horrocks, Battle Creek, MI, USA. God, the lengths people were going to 15-20 years ago to get ahold of Darkness. All kinds of money exchanged hands, and all kinds of trades took place. I first acquired the beer about 15 years ago but made no notes. That bottle was not screen-printed like this one, rather it featured...

Coffee Bender

Coffee Bender

Thanks go out to the groovy one for a chance to crack this one. 16 oz can. Nice, garnet color with super clarity. Lovely, high mocha head that fades fairly quickly due to the low carbonation of the can. Lace is there, sticky but not huge. The coffee grounds hit the nose right out of the box, but the funny thing is that it seems to fade quite quickly. I was surprised at that. This is a beer that lends itself very nicely to a little coffee treatment. I love the way that Surly have kept this...

Coffee Bender

Abrasive Ale

Many thanks go out to Grant for the opportunity to try this one at one of the usual Friday afternoon Brick Store gatherings (NOT at the tasting on 1/10, the day before with about three or four of us present). 64oz growler, one of the last from Surly. At the time of tasting this was still called, "16 Grit". Pour is a hazed, light copper/orange body with plenty of white, sticky lace. Nose is HUGE and is ALL tangerines, clementines, oranges, lemons and other citrus fruits. More "orangey" than any...

Coffee Bender


Thanks go out to swnicholson for the chance to try this one. 16 oz can. Not much pop on opening the ring pull. Slightly hazed, golden pour with good carbonation and a high rocky head. Bubbles continue to stream from the bottom of the Pilsner type glass. Head has pretty good retention and some very nice lace. Rocky, ice-cream like top. Looks very nice. Nose reveals some hard fruits - apples, pears but is pretty light. A touch of sweet and sour tartness and perhaps a hint (no more) of funk....

Coffee Bender


Can split with Dave at The Brick Store courtesy of arkhamresident - many thanks. I *think* that this had the words "Oatmeal Brown Ale" on the can (whatever that is!) Anyway, on to the beer. Disappointing lack of pop on opening the can and this turned out to be a theme running through the sampling. Rather lifeless and lacking in carbonation. Not a huge problem for the style, but it seemed so low that I began to notice it. Simple brown pour that lacks much head at all, and doesn't offer any lace...

Coffee Bender


Thanks go out to Mikegroove for this unexpected bonus in a recent package. 1 pint can. Slightly murky, darkish orange pour with a VERY impressive head and some of the best lace I have seen in ages - amazingly thick and sticky. Nice hoppy nose. The taste invokes some serious dry bitterness from the hops. The malts that are advertised on the can are frankly not particularly apparent. Lingering bitterness. Plenty of citrus pine, but it slightly lacks the fresh, edgy nature of some similar, west...