Janus is the Roman god of transitions. One face looking to the past, the other looking forward. A god of war and peace, beginnings and endings. Also, and this really can’t be emphasized enough: two ding-dang heads. That’s like a top 3 Roman god thing to have, along with a trident and a pet eagle.
As Surly enters its 11th year, Janus is an appropriate symbol. We have a proud decade of history in the books, and are now looking to the future. What’s next for Surly? We’re working on that. Step one is Eleven, our anniversary beer, with Janus featured prominently on the bottle courtesy of Adam Martin, our outgoing Featured Artist.
Our anniversary beers are about process. We have a brew team that is boundlessly talented, and we want to push those skills as far as they’ll go. We want to challenge ourselves, challenge our equipment (the Cranberry Massacre of 2008 comes to mind), and brew to unfamiliar styles. Janus was a perfect choice for Eleven, not just for cool-ass mythological reasons, not just because we have two head brewers, but because it is two beers in one.
This is not a play on words. Eleven involves the blending of two different beers, and it’s intended to showcase and layer various yeast-derived flavors and aromas. The breakdown:
Beer A: a Belgian Quad, utilizing Belgian Monastery yeast, as well as 100% Belgian malt and multiple types of sugar additions, including Amber Candi Syrup.
Beer B: a 100% German malt and wheat beer, fermented with 100% Brettanomyces.
After primary fermentation, the two component beers are blended, then allowed to condition for an additional 4-6 weeks, allowing for additional Brett finishing of the entire blend. Cellaring enthusiasts: This is an ideal candidate.
The result: layers of plum, spice, earth, tartness and funk, with a dry finish and a noble hop character. We call it Eleven. We think Janus would approve.
It will be available in 750 mL bottles (plus some draft availability) in all Surly markets starting the week of June 4th. The Beer Hall will also be featuring Eleven Part A and Eleven Part B for those who want to sample the component parts, either by themselves or as a flight of the three beers on Wednesday, June 7th.
Malt Part A: Dingemans Pils, Dingemans Aromatic, Dingemans Biscuit, Dingemans Special B, Amber Candy Syrup, Brewers Crystals, Invert Sugar
Malt Part B: Weyermann Munich 2, Weyermann Abbey, Weyermann Carabelge, Wheat malt, Weyermann Acidulated, Flaked Wheat
Hops: Warrior and Aurora