Posted on April 14th, 2017

Surly Brewed a Kölsch? Surly Brewed a Kölsch.

Beer Release, Minneapolis Brewery

Before this launches a 1500-comment Beer Advocate thread entitled “Surly Isn’t Brewing Beer It’s Brewing LIES,” yes, it is technically impossible for Surly or any non-German brewery to make a Kölsch. It literally translates to “from Köln,” the German city. A true Kölsch has to be brewed within 50 kilometers of Köln. It’s an actual law, you can look it up. As of this writing, Minneapolis is 6887 kilometers from Köln. That is *does the math* too far away by 6837 kilometers.

What you can do, though, is brew a beer in the traditional Kölsch style:

  • Pale/straw yellow in color
  • Top-fermented with ale yeast
  • Lagered in cold temperatures (Kölsch is a lager/ale hybrid)
  • Use German noble hops and German malts

That’s what Head Brewers Ben Smith and Jerrod Johnson did. And since this refreshing, pleasantly bitter beer is “from Minneapolis,” we’re calling it Minsch. That’s how you tiptoe around a 1986 European brewing law while still making a delicious beer, everybody.

This 5.0% ABV beer is a collaboration with our friends at Sea Salt Eatery, which is where it will debut this weekend. We love what they do there, and when they open for the season, it functions as a starter’s pistol for summer in the Twin Cities. A simple, uncomplicated Kölsch-style beer is a perfect complement to Minnesota’s warm-weather months (and their seasonal, seafood-intensive fare).

If you can’t get to Sea Salt, you’ll be able to find Minsch at the Destination Brewery starting Wednesday, April 26th. It’ll be Labor Day before you know it, so it’s in your best interests to get one soon.

Just don’t call it a Kölsch.