Posted on August 24th, 2017

The Surly Guide to the Minnesota State Fair


Labor Day looms. The kids are dreading the first day of school. Football is starting. The leaves on that one tree on your block are changing colors. You realize it’s been a full calendar year since you’ve ingested something deep-fried that shouldn’t be deep-fried and definitely shouldn’t be on a stick.

That’s right: The Minnesota State Fair is underway.

Like any self-respecting Minnesota brewery, Surly is all over the Fair to give you something to pair with your heedless gluttony and the wafting, intermingling scents of grease, Scandinavian sweat, and animal barns. Please enjoy the following Surly location map and our tips for getting Surly at the Fair.

im the map

  • Our State Fair beer is Gose Blanche, which pairs the crisp tartness of a gose with the subtle spice and clove esters of a Belgian wit. Head brewer Ben Smith says it’s “perfect for a humid summer day.”
  • That humid summer day will almost definitely happen on the day you choose to go to the Fair, which will also be the day they set the single-day attendance record at the Fair. Just accept this now and plan accordingly.
  • If you want a Surly gimmick beer, we guess you could pour Gose Blanche into a discarded Sweet Martha’s tub, but we really don’t recommend this. The flavor profiles don’t line up.
  • We’ve priced it out, and we simply cannot compete with All-You-Can-Drink Milk.
  • This is also your chance to watch local news teams read the news to you, or see morning radio shock jocks do their thing, all while sitting on uncomfortable benches. This is wildly popular for reasons that are so purely Minnesotan (the PEOPLE on my TEEVEE and RADIO are REAL) that it’s more charming than weird.
  • One of those news stories will be about the people who work two weeks at the Fair and take the other 50 weeks off. We refuse to believe this is real, otherwise more local colleges would offer Deep Fried Foodstuffs as a minor or something.
  • Parking. As a Scandinavian might say, parking is interesting. Our brewery-wide encouragement of alternative modes of transport extends to Falcon Heights.
  • The Grandstand is going to give you both kinds of music: Country and Western. (Actually, they have Stevie Nicks and Usher this year, so there is some variety. Plus, uh, Nickelback and Garrison Keillor. Not together, but that would be awesome.)
  • Try explaining The Miracle of Birth Center to someone not from Minnesota. Or just watch the haunted looks of non-farm kids as they exit.

Watch our Twitter feed over the course of the Fair, as we’ll be checking in with our Surly-pouring partners to sample their offerings, from prawns to pierogies to prime rib.