A Surly Guide to Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is this week. You think you’re ready, but you’re not. The surprise snowstorm, the request to bring a side you don’t know how to make, the relatives who show up out of nowhere—these obstacles and more loom in the distance, foreboding in their quiet, gravy-laced menace. Here are the things to look out for, along with a recommended beer pairing.

The night before Thanksgiving when all your friends are back in town. Everyone’s back home to see the fam on Thursday. But Wednesday, that’s when you get to throw back a few with people who knew you in second grade. Unfortunately, the last time Brian and Katie were in town, it involved rail tequila, a confusing encounter with the actor Burt Reynolds (RIP) and waking up in a house that wasn’t yours in a town that’s not on Google Maps. You have kids and a mortgage now, and you need to function on Thursday. Enjoy in moderation, dummy.

SUGGESTED PAIRING: XTRA-CITRA. Low ABV with a ton of flavor, our hoppy pale ale is the sessionable choice for loading up TouchTunes with songs from the year you graduated.

Watching the weirdos in your family run a 5K at 7 in the goldang morning. The only people who should be up this early are those hearty souls in charge of the bird, but nope, your dumbass brother sold everyone on a Thanksgiving morning “fun run” because that third helping of stuffing ain’t gonna burn itself off.

SUGGESTED PAIRING: COFFEE BENDER. As they run past your house, shuffle out in your hoodie and pajama pants, raise a Coffee Bender to their collective delusion, and go back inside to snooze with the dog while Al Roker describes giant balloons.

A beer with dinner. You have strategically laid out your plate with the star of the show (baked turkey, smoked turkey, deep-fried turkey, turkey stuffed with other birds, tofurkey, actually it’s a ham) and the supporting cast of starch-intensive sides, but in all the wonderful chaos of building the perfect meal, you didn’t consider the beer.

SUGGESTED PAIRING: LIQUID STARDUST. Grab one of these sparkling IPAs out of our variety Frost Pack. It’s festive and crisp with a champagne-like finish.

Politics gets brought up. You managed to steer the entire dinner table conversation to the safe waters of holiday plans, your sister’s new job, and the weather. Then, right as you’re about to get into the pie, someone says the exact wrong thing. The passive-aggression gets less passive, the kids scatter for the basement, and mom’s crying in the bathroom.

SUGGESTED PAIRING: DARKNESS. You didn’t anticipate getting the 2018 Darkness out of the cellar this soon, but the minute your cousin says “No, fuck YOU” in front of grandma, that ship has sailed.

When the Bears and Lions are tied with three minutes left in the game. Vikings and Packers fans join each other this Thanksgiving as one to cheer for the Detroit Lions. Second-guessing every coaching decision and 50-50 call with your cousin from Marshfield/Pine City deserves a beer for this rare moment of unity.

SUGGESTED PAIRING: FURIOUS. Our flagship beer gives you the aggressive hop profile and caramel malt you need to yell at Matt Patricia about clock management.

When you agree to go Black Friday shopping. You’re at the mall the day after Thanksgiving. People are brawling over Instant Pots. You never asked for this. This isn’t what you wanted.

SUGGESTED PAIRING: HELL. Maybe it’s a restaurant by the Spencer’s Gifts. It could be a sports bar across the parking lot by the looming pile of dirty snow. Today, though, it is nothing less than salvation. You walk in. You sit down. They have our crisp German lager on tap. The bartender looks you in the eye. You just nod. Words are unnecessary. You enjoy a bracing pint of Hell and watch Days of Our Lives on the bar TV. John Black is still alive.

Of course, these are just suggestions, and you may find that Abrasive or Axe Man works better for the situation at hand. We’re not Martha Stewart, we’re a brewery, and can only do so much. (A tasteful centerpiece really does pull the whole table together, though.) If your travels take you to the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, the Brewery is the place to go:

  • Surly Pizza Upstairs will be open at noon instead of 4 pm on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
  • Mellow Motivations will be providing the soundtrack on Tuesday night from 7-10 pm.
  • The Beer Hall will be rolling out four new beers on Friday:
    • Krautrock Berliner Weisse
    • Vanishing Angle IPA (collab with South Africa’s Drifter Brewing)
    • Pyrotechnic Pils
    • Logical Rift IPA (gluten-reduced)
  • Really, just build your Friday around Surly. The Beer Hall and Company Store are also having a massive Black Friday vault release, with vintage beers, merch, and more. Read all about it here, it’s going to be incredible.
  • Surly is a designated dropoff point for Toys for Tots this year, starting Friday and going through December 16th.
  • The Joyful Riders are holding their 4th Annual Leftovers Ride on Friday as well. It starts at the brewery at 4 pm.
  • Finally, head up to Brooklyn Center on Friday and tour our original mothership for the can’t-miss cost of FREE. Omar’s leading the tour and we’ll be pouring five samples (including three new ones), offering exclusive BC merch, and accepting non-perishable donations to the Food Group.

One more thing that we can’t stress enough: Turkeys are incapable of sustained flight.

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