Posted on September 15th, 2017

This Is How We Don't Fest Like the Rest

Events, Minneapolis Brewery

We don’t fest like the rest. You may have heard that. We didn’t adopt that tagline for SurlyFest, our fall seasonal beer and annual celebration, just because it rhymes, although that helped. We took the basic Oktoberfest concept, then we fucked with it until it was something more recognizably Surly.

It starts with the beer. A dry-hopped rye lager is not an Oktoberfest beer. Blending earthy rye notes and American hop aromatics in a crisp lager is a clear violation of Oktoberfest rules, but it is the fest beer we want to drink. In a flood of seasonal festbiers and malt bombs, SurlyFest stands out.

That’s what inspired us to make our annual SurlyFest celebration something beyond a riot of dirndls and accordions. We don’t brew to style, so fest-ing to style doesn’t make a whole hell of a lot of sense. Minneapolis is 4500 miles from Munich. Our brewery is a lot closer (unless you’re coming from Munich, in which case, willkommen), let’s just stay in town. We’re throwing the party we want to have, and the party Surly Nation deserves. The rundown:

  • The music is going to be killer: Caroline Smith. 4onthefloor. Heiruspecs. Black-eyed Snakes (featuring Alan Sparhawk from Low). Black Market Brass. DJ Shannon Blowtorch will close out the party and spin during band intermissions.
  • The party: We’re blowing out our entire building footprint. Everything from the Beer Garden to Scheid Hall to the parking lot to Festival Field is part of SurlyFest. Don’t go on the roof or play on the tanks. That’s about it. (We’re not kidding about the parking lot. That’s where the inflatables will be.)
  • The food: Our kitchen team was tasked with putting their twist on traditional Oktoberfest fare. They came through with a vengeance. We’re rolling out Reuben Frites, German-Engineered Tacos, Sauerkraut Fritters, Schnitzel Sandwiches, House-made Summer Sausage and Crepes in addition to our regular menu favorites. The Surly Food Truck will also be running with some of our local partners in food truckdom (not a word), including Chef Shack, Oh Cheeze, Aki’s Breadhaus, Maddy & Maize, Brava, and Dogwood Coffee.
  • The beer: SurlyFest will obviously be the star, but we’re also previewing Furious Black, our flagship beer’s heel turn. We’ll have pouring stations and select cans throughout the grounds, and our full lineup will be inside. Will there be some cask-related surprises? Yes.
  • Our concessions to traditional Oktoberfests: Our first band of the day, Dr. Kielbasa, does play polka music. It will be polka versions of popular music. We will have hammerschlagen, because hammers are cool. Glass boots and steins will be available, because, again, they’re cool. (There is a rumor that our brewers made a couple kegs of a traditional Oktoberfest beer, so keep your eyes peeled.)

To purchase advance tickets, go here. Admission is free, but advance tickets ensure your entrance if we hit capacity (we did last year), plus you can get cool shit like the glass boot.

Don’t fest like the rest. Fest like us.