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Best Local Beer Minneapolis 2011 - Surly Abrasive Ale

Surly Abrasive Ale

Surly Abrasive Ale

520 Malcolm Ave. SE

Minneapolis, MN 55414


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Compared to some of the easy-drinking local stalwarts—your Grain Belts, Summits, even the less-esoteric Surly variants like Furious and Bender—Abrasive might seem like a bit "too much." A four-pack of cans costs more than a 12-bottle pack of Summit, its ABV is a brain-jostling 8.8 percent, and it's got more hops than a grounder up the middle at Target Field. Plus, it's a seasonal, which makes it that much less accessible. But as double IPAs go, it's more than worth the investment. The heady buzz is backed up by a rich, imposing, yet deliciously tangy flavor that skirts the sharper corners of the citrus family and leaves sense-tweaking undercurrents of pine and malt in the finish. Yes, we're willing to state that a beer that has hints of grapefruit juice is the best the Twin Cities have to offer, but it's not just us. Ale enthusiasts from across the continent have turned it into a buzzed-about commodity, and out of thousands of submissions it now stands in the top 40 of the crowd-sourced, connoisseur-driven authorities at Just don't say you weren't warned. As the name on the label suggests, this is a no-compromise brew for people who know there's more to beer than just vortex bottles and coldness indicators.

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I have some Abrasive in the fridge right now. It's a pretty amazing beer. Like the article said, this isn't a tame beer by any means, but if you even slightly enjoy IPA's and other beers that aren't afraid to let you know they contain hops, I would recommend trying an Abrasive. It has a strong malt backbone to prevent that major mouth puckering bitterness you'd expect in a hop bomb. I've had red ales with far less IBU's that I thought were more bitter tasting.

Congrats Surly, keep up the good work and good luck on the new brewery!


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