Surly built its brewing reputation on not necessarily brewing to style. Our 15th anniversary beer embraces that ethos with a vengeance.
There is a lot going on with this one, so we called in Surly Head Brewer Ben Smith to write about Fifteen’s development:
The primary base beer is a Belgian Quadruple brewed with German and Belgian malt and fermented with Abbey Ale yeast. The beer was aged in Heaven Hill Parker’s Heritage heavy char 10-year bourbon barrels and put to bed last winter.
We then brewed a small batch of fresh Quad to blend as part of the final beer. We also blended a small amount of a Brettanomyces-fermented dark ale that’s been aging in High West Rye barrels for the past 4 years to add a kiss of funkiness and some acidity.
Overall, we ended up with about 80% barrel-aged Quad, and 10% each of the barrel-aged Brett beer and clean, fresh Quad. We’re calling the finished anniversary beer a Grand Cru – a term borrowed from the wine world that literally translates to “great growth,” but is used to represent a special blend of the highest quality.
Expect cocoa, milk chocolate, and dark fruit notes with a hint of tartness beneath, plus honey and vanilla from the barrel, and a little spice from the Belgian yeast for good measure.
Like the beer itself, the concept is fluid, unclassifiable, and wholly unique. Fifteen is a true celebration of following the road where it leads. Thanks for coming along on the ride.
Fifteen is available to all U.S. Surly markets beginning the week of September 6th.
- Style: Blended Barrel-Aged Grand Cru
- Hops: Warrior
- Malt: Pilsner Malt, Munich, Special B, Acidulated Malt, Aromatic Malt, Carafoam
- Yeast: Belgian
- Bitterness: Medium
- Pour: Amber
- ABV: 10.3%