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BEST TAKE-HOME BREW Minneapolis 2007 - Surly Brewing Co.Furious and Bender Beers

A little over a year ago, entrepreneur/beer lover Omar Ansari and veteran brewmaster Todd Haug began kicking out a new line of beers from their blocky little brewery tucked into the industrial hinterlands of Brooklyn Park. A scant 13 months later, this family-heavy crew can barely keep up with demand: In February Surly's blog pleaded, "Dammit, quit drinking so much of our beer!" Fat chance. The tiny operation is installing more brewing tanks and Surly beers are on draft at roughly 100 venues around town. Their trademark brews—the deep, malty Bender and tart, assertive Furious—are available direct from the brewery in moonshine-jug growlers. Lucky for us, you can also pick them up at your local liquor store in 16-ounce cans (a four-pack generally runs $8 or $9). Cans? You got a problem? Deal. As brewmaster Haug argues, not only do cans keep their small-batch beauty better than glass, but they travel beautifully in golf bag, kayak, or bottle cage. You see, these ain't the kinda brewskies you find in fridge-packs. The Bender's body and smoothness beats your local's best British brown ales. And the Furious, oh the Furious: That distinctive citrus-blossom twang sharpens up the luxurious depth of the malts; you'll never go back to your now-drab IPA. And don't we all prefer a 16-ounce pour?
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