Ben Smith is the Head Brewer at Surly’s Minneapolis facility. Ben Smith looks like someone with that title: black t-shirt, black jeans, black boots. (Granted, he was wearing a Western-style plaid shirt during this interview, but go with it.)
Ben Smith also loves rosé.
“I’ve been a wine drinker my entire adult life, and really got into rosé once I started working here. I will buy it by the case.”
It also led him to wonder if he could craft a rosé-influenced beer.
“We’ve seen other breweries attempt rosé-style beers as a kettle sour, but that really doesn’t capture what makes a rosé tick,” says Smith. “Basically, I wanted to deconstruct the flavor profile of a rosé, then rebuild it using beer ingredients and some of our brewing processes to create something to match.”
That deconstruction soon became one of the most popular beers in our Beer Hall—outselling hazy IPAs, outselling flagships, outselling everything. It is also the latest in our series of BC Small Batch beers, as Surly Rosé is hitting store shelves the week of July 2nd, just in time for the holiday and the summer heat.
As noted, Surly Rosé isn’t a sour, but rather a lager.
“It’s fermented on lager yeast, then finished with champagne yeast to dry it out even further,” says Smith. “If you’re familiar with the brut IPA trend, we’ve used a ‘brut’ process on a number of beers in the Beer Hall, like Frisson and DAF. We used it here as well. Enzymes break down the carbs, allow sugars to ferment, and completely dry it out for a crisp, clean finish.”
Rosé’s fruit profile comes courtesy of measured doses of organic black currant and strawberry puree from Oregon Fruit. The end result is refreshing, sessionable, and, well, pink (for a beer).
- Very light body with notes of strawberry and concord grape.
- 5.2% ABV
- The pour is…rose-colored. Duh.
- As with previous BC Small Batch beers, this limited release (along with Mosaic Kettle Sour) will hit MN, ND, WI, and Chicagoland beginning the week of July 2.
Any final thoughts, Ben?
“Three words: Rosé. All day.”