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The Session #19 Surly Hell

September 6th, 2008 beckel

The SessionSo this month The Session is hosted by Jim over at lootcorp and he has come up with the wonderful topic of Deutsches Bier. Now German beer is not something I am particularly familiar with so this was a hard topic for me. Germans have done a lot to influence the way beer has been made in various parts of the world, by encouraging others to follow their “reinheitsgebot” or German purity laws which state beer can be made of only water, hops and barley (they didn’t know about yeast at the time), but have also discriminated against most beer that is made outside of Germany in the same breath. Regardless any country that allows its citizens to freely enjoy good beer as long as they can get on the bar stool is OK with me. Not to meantion they are only surpassed in breweries by the United States. Any how I rattled my brain for a while deciding what I should drink yesterday and it was so close to my nose I almost missed it: Surly Hell. Surly Brewing from lovely Brooklyn Center Minnesota recently brewed a single batch of a Munich Helles lager that they are serving at a few bars in the city. So I made my way to Mackenzie to see how Surly might interpret light German lager, Helles literally meaning “light colored” or “pale” in German. Unintentionally I managed to pick a style that fit what Jim had encouraged when fielding the topic. Helles is a Bavarian lager that they appear to be very proud of, they even claim to know the exact date the first batch of the lager was shipped by the Spaten Brewery of Munich: March 21, 1894 all the way to the port city of Hamburg where it was received well and so brewing continued. Surly doesn’t make light beers so when I sat down waiting for my beer I knew this was going to be a different experience. The appearance of this beer is a golden straw color that is very transparent. Head was a bit over a quarter inch off the tap and very white in color that remained for a few minutes. The aroma is full of immense sweet malted barley with some bitterness and alcohol present, reminding me a bit of a more grain filled pilsner. Grain is the first thing I taste when I sip this beer. Flavors of wheat, barley and even a bit of corn, I am curious what they actually brew it with. Sweet malt is detectable occasionally but the aftertaste can be a bit bitter and taste somewhat like a pilsner. The mouthfeel of this beer is medium even though it is quite drinkable you can tell your eating a lot of grain. This beer was OK and I’m glad I tried it but few lagers seem to hit the right spot for me. If you like lagers and light grain flavored beers you may very well enjoy this beer. Give it a shot and ride your bike.

Surly Hell