Every so often, one of the umpteen food blogs on the internet will run a “definitive” list of the best beers in America. Without fail, Surly Darkness makes that list.
This was the case when The Daily Meal released their 101 Best Beers in America gallery in May, listing the Russian imperial stout among the ranks. Apparently, Darkness has become such an obligatory entry that it made the list on reputation alone, because the writers over at the listicle generator have clearly never had the beer.
The Daily Meal’s entry starts off strong, noting that Darkness is a “complex, massive Russian imperial stout,” and that’s where the accuracy abruptly ends. They cite Darkness’s ABV at 10.3%, despite the fact that the beer routinely comes in at over 12%. The next illumination comes when the writer notes that the beer is flavored with “non-traditional aroma hops,” a bit of phrasing that is lifted nearly verbatim from Surly’s own description.
But the most baffling claim in the 51-word blurb is that Darkness is only available for purchase one day a year. While it is true that the ritualistic Darkness Day release is the biggest day in the Minnesota beer calendar, you could go to your local Total Wine and pick up a bottle of the 2017 version today. You could probably get a 2016 or a barrel-aged variant, too.
The whole article reads like it’s trying to explain beer to aliens, and every error is replicated in their 50 Best Beers for 2018 list. But this isn't the first time The Daily Meal has exposed itself when writing about the Minnesota beer scene.
In applauding Minneapolis-St. Paul as one of the 25 Best Cities for Beer Lovers earlier this year, they suggested tourists visit St. Paul to sample beer from northeast Minneapolis' Dangerous Man and named creative marketing agency Fast Horse among the North Loop’s best breweries. However, the Daily Meal’s SEO-programmed robots did manage to pen a story about this Blue Moon creamsicle beer shake being served at the Twins’ spring training facility without showing their ass too bad.
Though I’m sure the real, living people at Surly appreciate the nod, perhaps the Daily Meal should add Darkness to their own internal Craft Beers You Need to Try list before honoring it in ink again.