Surly's Darkness Day and Plenty of New Beers to Try This Weekend

Surly owner Omar Ansari and head brewer Todd Haug

Surly owner Omar Ansari and head brewer Todd Haug

Happy Darkness Day Eve. May the black metal spirit be with those who wait in line and bask in some unseasonal warmth.

Tonight in Brooklyn Center marks the day before Darkness Day at Surly Brewing and also the final night this Brooklyn Center taproom will be open. At Mill City Nights in Minneapolis, Surly is sponsoring a Pentagram concert and will be pouring out samples a day in advance of the official release of Darkness 2014.

See also: After Darkness Day It's Lights Out at the Surly Taproom

Stub & Herb's is also in on the Darkness Day Eve festivities, tapping both Darkness 2013 and Darkness 2014 over the course of the night, with a total of 15 Surly taps at the popular beer bar.

Come Saturday, the brewery will properly release its annual Russian Imperial Stout to the general public. Live music, food trucks, and many Surly taps will be on hand for the date. No tickets are required, but the popular beer goes fast -- with the first 1,500 in line getting a bottle at $20 each. Food trucks include Chef Shack, Red River Kitchen, Stanley's on Wheels, Asian Invasion, Groveland Confections, Natedogs, and AZ Canteen.

Also on Saturday, Bemidji Brewing is releasing a new raspberry sour red ale at its taproom in Bemidji. The ale was aged for 13 months, nine in red wine barrels and another four in raspberries. Closer to home, Elevated liquor store will have Fair State Brewing Coop in-house for a tasting during the afternoon.

Darkness 2014 label

Darkness 2014 label

On Tuesday, tickets for the Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival, January 24, will go on sale. There is a "pre-sale" party at Stout's Pub in Falcon Heights with beer specials and reduced ticket prices. Thursday, the Freehouse will host the final 5K of the MN Brewery Running Series 2014.

In other beer news, the Tour de Fat event held by New Belgium Brewing in July made $39,088 for charity and Stillwater's Lift Bridge has announced an onsite expansion.

There are several new beers on the market as well. Urban Growler has announced a Candy Corn Imperial Cream Ale with a pumpkin saison now in the brewing process and Summit Unchained Series #17 releases on October 27. The new beer is a fresh hop IPA with 70 IBUs and 7% ABV. There are several corresponding events around town in celebration: Tiffany's on Monday, Brasa (Minneapolis and St. Paul) on Tuesday, and Lyon's Pub on Thursday. In non-Minnesota beers, Ommegang in New York just released Valar Morghulis, a dubbel ale that is part of their Game of Thrones series of beers.

Food truck-brewery combos this weekend include Potter's Pasties (Friday) and Vin's Italian (Saturday) at NorthGate, Kabomelette (Friday), Butcher Salt (Saturday), and O'Cheeze (Sunday) at Fulton, and Red River Kitchen (Friday) and Sandy's (Saturday) at Summit.

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