The root of the controversy: Surdyk's charged $36.99 for a 750 ml bottle of Surly Darkness. Most other retailers stuck around the $17 to $20 range.
"Your disgusting display of greed has pissed off the Surly Nation," wrote one poster. "Bad move."[jump]
Surly releases the beer every October, and it's become so popular that a long line of hop heads camp outside the brewery the day before. In stores, there's often a three bottle limit. In the off season, a bottle of Darkness can fetch astronomical prices on eBay.
Despite the rabid demand, several Surly lovers noticed the price difference at Surdyk's and began sharing the news with one another over various social networks. Eventually, they took their collective disgust to Surdyk's Facebook page, accusing the retailer of price gouging:
Jim Surdyk makes no apologies for his decision to charge roughly twice what his competitors did, and says the fact that he's already sold out speaks for itself.
"I sold it for what I felt it was worth," he says. "It sold out in a day and a half."
The controversy even found its way to Twitter, where Schell's brewermaster David Berg entered the fray on Surdyk's behalf:
Surdyk says he is not concerned that he has a boycott on his hands, calling his detractors "the same half-dozen guys, beer people that have nothing to do, apparently, but drive around looking for beer."
Meanwhile, an astute Surly fan tweeted that the price is actually $3 more at MGM.