Surly Brewing Company was founded by Oman Ansari in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. He was homebrewing in 1994, and a few years later, founded Surly Brewing. In 2011, Surly planned to open a restaurant and Biergarten, but Minnesota law forbade it. However, with pressure from beer aficionados, the Minnesota Legislature changed that law (power to the people!), and Surly continue to work toward the opening of its facilities. The company states that they will open this year (2014). These days, Surly beer is available not only in Minnesota, but also in Chicago, which is definitely a big deal.
Furious is billed as an American IPA. This means one thing: it is an ale with tons of hops! I am definitely a hophead, so I look forward to trying any beer that bills itself as hop-heavy. Here is Surly’s description of the beer:
A tempest on the tongue, or a moment of pure hop bliss? Brewed with a dazzling blend of American hops and Scottish malt, this crimson-hued ale delivers waves of citrus, pine and caramel-toffee. For those who favor flavor, Furious has the hop-fire your taste buds have been screaming for.
STYLE: American India Pale Ale
MALT: Pale Ale, Golden Promise, Aromatic, Medium Crystal, Roasted Barley
HOPS: Warrior, Ahtanum, Simcoe, Amarillo
YEAST: English Ale
OG: 15º Plato
ABV: 6.2% v/v
COLOR: 27 ºSRM
AVAILABILITY: Cans and Kegs Year Round
Fair enough. Surly Brewing Furious IPA (6.2% ABV) sounds great, and it consistently receives high rating among experts. So, can it stand up to a review from a serious hophead? Let’s see!
Everything On Tap Review: Surly Brewing Furious IPA:
Bottle: Alright, so this is in a can. If you know how I feel about canned craft beer, then you know that I am not a huge fan, because I swear I can detect a taste difference. However, I am not dead-set against canned beer. I do not hold a prejudice against a canned beer in a review. This can is covered in red fire, with red and white lettering. The logo is an abstract illustration of a surly-looking man approaching a bubbly beer. It is certainly a can that catches your eye from across a store!
Pour: The color is a deep orange-brown, with ruby-garnet and amber subtexts. The head is a full two-fingers thick and foamy. It is bright white with long retention, leaving full lacing.
Aroma: The aroma is surprisingly tropical. The attack begins with pineapple, mango, papaya, and orange. How startling! This is followed by a hoppy bitterness consisting of pine and a bit of grapefruit. The aromatic finish include caramel malt, certainly a trait of the Scottish grains.
Flavor: As opposed as to the fruit-forward aroma, the flavor is certainly hops-forward, which I like. These hops are 80% pine sap and pine needles, 15% grapefruit and citrus, and 5% grassy. It is a good mixture. It is not the most complex hops mixture of hops that I have ever experienced, but it is more than respectable. The bitterness is at a wonderfully-high level. The finish imparts light waves of Scottish malted grain. Overall, lovely.
Mouthfeel: This is a magical mouthfeel. It begins s a crisp, dry, tart, citrus, hoppy tang, which then somehow manages to transform and transition into a creamy, malty ale. Overall, the body is full, and the carbonation is medium to high.
Structure: The structure is broad, deep, and stable, for the most part. It leans a bit to the tart, thin side, but for an IPA, it is solid, I must say.
Food Pairing: Something about this lovely IPA screams, lamb! I can see this pairing with Moroccan roasted lamb with cumin and mint, with a yogurt-dill sauce. It would also stand up reasonably well to spicy Mexican or Thai food.
Overall Rating Out of 5 Possible Beer Mugs: