Spirit of 77

Our latest So You Want to Brew a Beer entry comes from Derek Haubenschild, Surly’s HR Manager, and creator of Surly 77, a nod to one of his favorite cocktails.

First of all, who are you, where are you from, and what do you do here?

My name is Derek Haubenschild, I was born and raised in a small town called Blooming Prairie, Minnesota (Go Blossoms!), and I live in Minneapolis. I’ve been at Surly just shy of two years.

Surly 77 is inspired by the French 77 cocktail. What is a French 77?

A French 77 is a more dolled up French 75.  It’s a fairly simple cocktail made by combining champagne, gin, elderflower liqueur, and lemon juice.

How did you go about recreating that flavor profile for a beer?

Recreating the profile was a straightforward process, thanks to it being such a simple cocktail.  We used juniper for the gin component, real lemon, and then an elderflower concentrate.

What kind of flavors/aromatics should drinkers expect?

The aromatics are going to lean heavily on the lemon.  When you take that first sip, you will get that juicy lemon with a hint of elderflower, and the juniper is in there to help balance out all that sweetness.

If there’s anything else you’d like the drinking public to know about the beer, please leave it here:

Travis Hochsprung of the MSP Brewing Team did an amazing job helping me bring this beer to life.  Working in HR, I’ve never had an opportunity to do anything like this before.  I love that Surly gives us novices a chance to play in the brewing world and Travis did an amazing job of teaching me along the way.

Surly 77 taps Friday, September 16th at the Surly Beer Hall. As with previous SYWTBAB selections, the one with the most favorable customer reviews and sales velocity graduates to a bigger draft release at end of the year.


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