Posted on June 14th, 2017

We Made a Whale

Beer Hall, Beer Release, Events

If you’re attending the 2017 Homebrew Con in Minneapolis, you don’t need us to tell you what a “whale” is. If you’ve ever shivered in an ungodly line outside of pole barns and converted warehouses in industrial parts of American cities you’d never otherwise visit, just for the chance to buy a beer that your rating site of choice calls a “must-have,” you know. You may never get feeling back in your pinky toes, but goddamn, that was a good beer.

Surly’s task in welcoming homebrewers to our Upper Midwest turf, then, was to make a true whale for the people who would appreciate it the most. Hence, Whalezbrah!, a beer made exclusively for Homebrew Con attendees (and some fortunate Beer Hall visitors).

In February 2017, we made an impossible-to-replicate oaked pale wheat wort for the American Homebrewers Association wort rally hosted at our MSP facility. Do not ask us how we did this. Feel free to speculate, get out a white board and make a T-chart for all we care, but it’s a secret.

We took the same wort 500+ homebrewers brought home from the rally, so we brewed it, aged it in virgin oak with Brettanomyces, and the result is Whalezbrah! It’s tart, a little funky from the barrel-aging, wheat-y, and has a unique oak character that will please beer nerds and noobs alike. It pours auburn and has an ABV of 7.5%

“It is literally a whale, because we are never making this again,” says Head Brewer Jerrod Johnson.

Speaking of literal whales, the bottle art and text is inspired by notable fictional whale Moby Dick, courtesy of Surly Creative Director Michael Berglund.


Homebrew Con attendees will each receive one wax-dipped 750ml bottle at registration. If you’ve already enjoyed your bottle or want to cellar it, the remaining Whalezbrah! is pouring in the Beer Hall now. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Thanks to Brewers Supply Group for providing materials!