Posted on August 4th, 2017

What's Gonna Work? Teamwork.

Beer Release, Minnesota

We’re proud to be a part of Minnesota’s close-knit brewing community. There’s healthy competition, of course, but a fair number of people in the industry have worked together, drunk together, and oftentimes both. This camaraderie can lead to collaborations, which in turn can lead to some fairly amazing beers.

One of the best examples of this is Red Stag’s In Cahoots, where the Northeast supper club pairs up two local breweries to make a beer specifically for their annual Block Party, which is being held this Sunday, August 6th.

Last year, we joined forces with Duluth’s great Bent Paddle for Mother of the Gut, a chamomile-infused Belgian pale ale. This year, we paired up with our fellow hop enthusiasts at St. Louis Park’s Steel Toe (You ever have a Size 7? You should have a Size 7.). The result is a dry-hopped lager we’re calling Sticky Bubbler.

As our Head Brewer Jerrod Johnson told The Growler, “I think people like both of our brewery’s hoppy beers, and this is just a nice, sticky, dank, resinous hop profile, with a clean malt bill and small amount of Vienna malts. We think it will be great to drink at that outdoor festival.”

He’s not kidding about the dank hops. When the sun hits your glass, give it a whiff.


Sticky Bubbler will be squaring off against five other teams for the In Cahoots crown (it’s not an actual crown, but we’d wear it and wear it well, honestly). The real winners will be the attendees who get to sample some once-in-a-lifetime beers; that said, vote for Sticky Bubbler, as it is pretty goddamn swell.


Surly has a history of collaborating with other brewers (and non-brewers, for that matter). The full list is here. Some stories behind a few of them:

  • Rising North Pale Ale: The official beer of Minnesota United, our local Major League Soccer team. They didn’t brew it as they are, again, a soccer team, but they did come out to our Brooklyn Center production brewery to sample the finished product and make sure it would help the supporter groups chant and sing 27% louder. They were pleased with the results.
  • Blutpakt: This German porter was crafted with the good people of Dangerous Man Brewing in Northeast for Art-a-Whirl. We each made our own version with the other brew team’s input.  Surly’s Blutpakt was less roast-driven than standard English porters, with notes of toasted marshmallow and tangy/funky yeast.
  • Ginger Lager/Spice Boyz: Sierra Nevada asked us to take part in their 2017 Beer Camp series. We jumped at the chance, because it’s Sierra fucking Nevada. Head Brewers Ben and Jerrod flew out there, brainstormed with Sierra’s Michael Palmer, and crafted a ginger lager with cayenne called, appropriately enough, Ginger Lager. We were thrilled with the result, so much so that we asked Michael to come to Surly and help us brew our own version of the beer, called Spice Boyz. If you’re very lucky or have a favor you can call in from your liquor store guy, you still might be able to find a Beer Camp 12er out there, but if not, Spice Boyz is pouring in the Beer Hall.
  • Bash Action: Also on draft in the Beer Hall is Bash Action Cream Ale, the beer we made for Grumpy’s Bash 17 concert. It’s Surly’s first cream ale, and it is the perfect beer for watching legendary American rock bands in the parking lots of bars in major American cities (Bash 17, for example) or just beating the August heat.
  • Doomtree: Our collaboration with the legendary Twin Cities hip-hop collective. This gives us an excuse to share what Dessa wrote about it again: “We convene at the brewery to scheme. Working in extreme secrecy, we decided to make a beer Team Surly suggests, a “bastardized style” that will build on a classic, but buck convention. Doomtree cannot not vigorously enough. We know this style. Guided by instinct, we came up with this dark gold, toasty, aromatic, subtly spicy, bitter enough, dry-hopped brew. Best enjoyed cold, in a spare room, with new friends.”