Furiously Surious

The strong hops and piney flavor may cause most casual beer drinkers to recoil in horror.  Resist this urge.  Upon first taste, my ‘buds were surprised as they had never quite experienced this type of flavor.  However, after this initial reaction I found that I really enjoyed the Furious and came to appreciate its unique construction.  You probably won’t want to knock back a 4-pack of pints at first, but once you acclimate to its hoppy goodness, you may find yourself changing your tune.


I almost passed out after my initial sip…wasn’t expecting that kind of hop flavor.  I’m still debating if it was a good or bad thing.  High quality, just better with as an ice cream flavor.

really just a little perturbed….

I appreciate the character of the furious.  Its hoppy and well brewed.  I prefer it on tap, but the can puts a little Dale Senior into the experience- like this can will end up in the back of my pickup when i’m finished with it.  Am I lame to admit i prefer the Bender? Probably, but i do think the Furious is a better beer, its just that the taste is a bit overwhelming for my delicate pallet.   

Please follow dosage instructions.

 The back of the staggering, Strongbow-esque, Surly Furious can asks this query, “A tempest on the tongue, or a moment of pure hop bliss?” Where doth this scribe come from? After reading this and taking a few swigs of the beer I felt my review was written for me.

That is, at first tongue splash, understatedly I am unequivocally unimpressed. But after imbibing and cocking my head to contemplate, I reconsidered. A subtle yet striking flavor. I definitely couldn’t drink the whole four-pack, which they are sold in, better yet finish off two. Though, it’s too solid and strong a brew to be downed with such frivolity and not recommended.

All in all, it’s a beer that catches its drinkers off-guard, after they’ve already made their own presumptions. It is after a good half-can that like a true tempest with all its furiousness comes out of the green skies and makes you realize just how strong a force of nature it really is. 


I love Surly’s Furious. I’m not afraid to say it either, I love it.  Being a fan of really hoppy beers and also being completely willing to jump on the bandwagon that is Surly, this is the beer for me.

I actually liked the Bender more than the Furious the first time I tried them both, but have since come around to appreciate the Furious more. The delicious smell of the Furious is only topped by the Hopslam that I had recently (which I definitely encourage people to try).

My first 5 star rating, but certainly not the last, at least for Surly.

Drink this one first.

The thing about this furious beer that is extremely important is that any beer, food, or heck even gum will ruin this complex “hop bombardment.” One should have a completely bland taste in your mouth and this will wake up all of your taste buds in an instant. The more that I think about, if I were the bender/alcoholic type, this would be my first choice for a “roll out of bed beer.” Alas, I’m not though so I guess I’ll just plan my eating etc, around it.

Filled with awesome

Great taste, strong on the hops but not surgery and sweet like some of the previous beers on the menu.  I really enjoyed this one a lot although it had the advantage of being my drink with pizza beer which it complimented perfectly.  But then beer and pizza is always wonderful.  It lost half a star for being a touch too strong, I dont think this beer would be my number one choice for drinking on a night long beer binge.  But as far as a tasty and refreshing beer goes the surly furious is pure wonderful.

I gotta stop reading the label first

The problem is this…I poured my Surly in a glass (like is says on the can), took a sip and thought “mmm, Summit Extra Pale Ale-y”, which was confirmed by the hoppy goodness I read about on the side of the can. Then I got to the part about citrus and pine. And I thought, “I don’t want pine in my beer! What retard would infuse beer with pine?!” and started sniffing the glass and combing my palate for some sort of piney aftertaste. I just want to drink and enjoy the beer on its own merits without outside influence. So from now on, no more reading about the beer until review time.

 Considering that the Furious didn’t go down in one sitting (it probably took an hour from start to finish during various chores), I wasn’t excited about it as I thought. However, I would like to try another out at a bar in a social setting to see how I feel about it. I like Surly for their design, the brand they’ve built so far and general chutzpah for starting a brewery and for me that goes a long way. 

Okay, yeah, hops. Seriously. Hops.

Only because I’ve homebrewed do I really know what hops smell like (probably because nobody’s ever pointed it out to me while drinking a beer). Hops smell like green. Grassy, earthy (but not like dirt), and a little sweet. Sniffing a can of Surly Furious is exactly like cutting open a package of hops and taking a big whiff. A sweet smell that turns into a sour taste on the tongue, and back to that sweet green on the aromatic finish (and upon burping). I needed a water chaser.

It’s definitely flavorful, just not my kind of flavor, so it gets a higher score than if I thought it was just bad.

Heavy on the Hype, I mean Hop

Don’t get me wrong, I love Surly, and I really enjoyed my can of Furious, but there’s something going on here. Something more than just the beer. Let me take a minute to throw out a few ideas on what’s gotten everyone so hyped up about Surly. Continue reading Heavy on the Hype, I mean Hop

Surly Furious – In your face.

I recall when first I tried Furious, being a hop-enthusiast, I enjoyed the first 1/4 of the beer, but then it became unpleasantly excessive for 1/2 the beer, and then good again.  Now it has grown on me, and I love it on almost any occasion.  Interestingly a friend of mine who hates alcohol and bitter beers sampled mine and compared it to the pint of amber he had bought, and found it “fruitier” and more drinkable.   If you find a tap that’s not so fresh, it does have a tendency however to have a gritty dry stale bread flavor.  Furthermore, despite Surly’s assertions to the quality of canned beer, i find it to taste different (even when poured in a glass) out of cans.  I admit there are a lot of variables at play like temperature, freshness, pour, carbonation level, atmosphere, and expectation to name a few, but generally the hops are more subdued and the beer has less body.  Nonetheless I am glad to have another tasty option in a narrow field of canned beers for outdoor activities in safe packaging.  In other news, I hate the name for reasons I won’t expound upon at this time, especially considering it’s pointlessness.  🙂  Despite all my criticism, the beer’s merits overshadow all else.

Pretty good but better on tap

I’ve had this beer a few times at bars and restaurants and liked it quite a bit.  In the can it losses a bit of something, it just isn’t as flavor full in the can.  With that said, it wasn’t bad in the can but if you have had it before on tap you probably won’t be as pleased.  For that reason I give the beer a 4 overall, the can alone would be 3 1/2 and the tap would be 4 1/2.

Beer is Balance…

… as is the case for food, wine, coffee, etc. Surly Furious, however, is the antithesis of balance. NW hop heavy, there is probably a good reason they put it in a can – any twinge of sunlight and I have no doubts this beer would start sprouting. There is no malt character to the beer, other than perhaps the body it provides, but that is easily eclipsed by the bitter “grapefruityness” that Cascade hops impart. My opinion of Furious may be the worst we’ll see of the Surly line, but so far my experience has deemed this brewery as one dimensional. Ick. I’ll give it a 1 cause it looks appealing.

Grapefruit in a can

Depending on my mood, I either love Furious or can pass it by. Sometimes it feels weird to drink beer that tastes like grapefruit, especially when it’s 5 degrees outside. This was not the case when I drank this particular can. My taste buds went all haywire just pouring it in a big tulip Duvel glass, and when it hit my tongue it was pure bliss.  If I’m in the mood for an IPA, Furious always exceeds my expectations.

…and don’t call me Surly

This beer pours a purdy ruby/copper color with a a nice think tan head. Lots of citrus in the nose, with some notes of resin-y pine and an aroma I can only describe as Hawaiian Punch-like that’s all in the Simcoe hops. I loves me teh Simcoes! A deeper sniff (or six) pulls out some nice, caramel malts. I can totally understand if people don’t catch this because this is a super hoppy beer throughout… huge bittering hops, huge flavor hops and huge hop aroma. Yup. More caramel sweetness and lots of citrus come through in the flavor. Yum!

It’s funny… two years ago when they debuted this beer at Winterfest, I couldn’t get over the hops… now I sit here on my couch and can’t help but notice the malt sweetness. In any case, a nice, local hoppy HOPPY beer. Good in the can, better on tap, best in a pin or firkin.

Surly – Furious in a can not a tap

I have had this one on tap at my favorite pub a couple of times. This time I tried it in the can. It can stay in the can. It is much better on tap. I am sure that everyone is surprised by that statement. I expected hops from my previous taps. Somehow the can seems to make it even more hoppy and bitter. I will have to switch to a nice porter to cleanse the palate.

Furiously strong

Pow. I like hoppy beers, don’t get me wrong, but Furious is pretty strong. It is definitely on the more bitter side of beers, but there were some nice hints of citrus. I also definitely tasted the pine taste that Surly boasts of it having. For some reason this beer always reminds me of summer.

What’s the alcohol content in this beer? It’s strong in more ways than one!


As in too much so. The bitter hoppiness was just too overpowering. Which is unfortunate, because I like the rest of the flavors in there. It was better after breathing / mellowing a little while and definitely better with food. I think the thing that killed it for me was the serious bitter aftertaste.

So overall, a good beer, but not my first pick by a wide margin.


I’ve had this on tap a couple times in the past month or so.  It was surprisingly strong tasting.  Initially the bitter taste was a bit too much for me but it must have been pretty potent because I didn’t notice that it was strong be the bottom of the glass.  Not my favorite beer, but still pretty good.


I’ve tried this beer numerous times, and each time I’ve wondered what I’m not getting, that something about Furious is going right over my head. I bought another 4 pack at the beginning of January before I found out that it was the week 4 beer.

The first two beers of four, I had the same reaction; something about the hops is just off. Not bad, but for me, it’s something different. The best I can explain it is “green”. It tastes green.

What other beer has Simcoe, Warrior, or Ahtanum in it? If I could break those apart on a hop-by-hop basis, I’d for sure find the hop that is pushing through. I’ve got an all Amarillo pale right now, so I don’t think it’s that. What do I know, though?

The third out of the pack, I thought, hey, this is pretty good, but then my review beer, beer four, I was back to where I started–with a tongue full of hops, but no greater appreciation for this beloved Minnesota beer. Sad.

Would I drink it again? Of course. I’m not that stupid.

Hey, kinda tasty!

I shared this beer with the wife, a true beer novice, and I must say she wasn’t a fan. She’s got a real sweet tooth so she doesn’t appreciate some as savory as this Surly Furious. My first impression overall was that it was quite tasty – malty finish. After quaffing the whole thing I’d have to give it an above average rating but not sure I’d buy a case of it.

So Much Better On Tap; Still Quite Good In The Can

Every Surly I’ve had tastes totally different on tap. The furious is amazing on tap. A revelation to a beer drinker. The smell of citrus, the aroma is wonderful. Then the hops hit you, and it tastes like a real beer, not one of those wheat beers that I’m embarrased to admit I like.

In the can; it’s good and borders on great, but it just isn’t quite there. I’m not sure why. I love the first taste, and the second, but when I get to the bottom of the glass, it’s just not as fantastic as I imagine it.

I’ve had it in a Gremlin Growler, and it’s much closer to the tap flavor there. Either way, this is a damn good beer. If you don’t like your beer to have flavor, you’ll hate Surly. That’s why it’s called Surly, not Girly.

UPDATE: Thanks to Eric for correcting my use of the word “Gremlin.”  This is why you shouldn’t review a Surly immediately after drinking it.

Surly on tap

The local burger-n-beer joint has Furious on tap.  This beer tastes like a hop nugget with medium malt poured on it.  It’s basically the epitome of homebrew flavors.  I’ve never had it in cans now which disappoints me, but they served it slightly warmer than I’m used to and it really made the malt stand out more than the hops.

What amazes me is how the flavor is so distinct and defined that it stays with you, I can even remember exactly what it tasted like this morning.

Surly? Yummy.

I love this beer.  It will be evident from the previous sentence that I also love the hop.  But although Furious is all about the hops, it is not just about hops.  This beer has a serious malt backbone, especially as it warms up.  If, that is, there’s any left by the time it warms up.  Call me a fanboy if you must, but Surly makes me proud to live in the Twin Cities.  And it makes me happy when I drink it.

American hop training beer

Want to know what tons and tons of Cascade and other American hops taste like? Well here it is. Lingers on your palette long after your last sip. From my review on it:

The hops assault you with a black pepper and pine spice, followed by a surge of citrus(grapefruit mostly). I noted a toffee and bread taste from the malt. You get a taste of alcohol at the finish, and its gin-like in complexity, probably my favorite part about this beer. Something about this beer always makes me describe it as “chewy”, I think its because you’re left smacking your lips with the long aftertaste. This beer just seems to stick to your palate, lingering at the top of our mouth and sides of your tongue. Its quite an intense experience, and an enjoyable one at that.  If you really enjoy this, try to track down some of Bells “Hopslam”.

Do stroll through forests. Don’t be a fanboy.

Hoppy as hell, and delicious as hell if that’s your thing. But the canned version doesn’t do Furious its full justice.

Out of the tap, it’s like eating a grapefruit while strolling through an evergreen forest. Out of the can it’s bitter Fresca. So do this: Go to a bar that has Furious on tap and get it alongside a plate of extra-spicy Buffalo wings. Bring a spare pair of knickers.

Though I must insist, Furious’s awesomenessness doesn’t justify standing like a rube next to a biffy at the ass end of an mile-long line to the Surly brew review table to the neglect of every other beer on the premises. You know who you are.

damned ellipses

used to hate American hops… still think they’re overused, and still really prefer European hops, but as they say- when in Rome… have come around to grapefruity beer in the last couple years… also in the last couple years, don’t wear as much vintage clothing…

prefer to drink this beer in the summer… drank a lot last summer… nearly went broke…

lined up a Furious and a Bender side-by-side last Wednesday evening… more on that later, I’m sure… did not do well at trivia that night, but it’s not Surly’s fault… maybe…

Not fruity, not zest, just pith

Three main thoughts on Furious; first, for a beer that says it’s for a glass the head leaves a lot to be desired.  In fact, the head had bubbled away before I could even take a sip.  Second, drinking it has no taste, only carbonation, it feels not tastes going down.  Third, the flavor is a bit like pine resin and a bit like the bitter pith of an orange.  The flavor is all in the after taste that will not go away, leaving the experience akin to what drinking Pinesol must be like.  If I were to drink it again I’d try it with a citrus wedge in the vain hope of sweetening this hopelessly bitter brew.

shot through the tongue, you give hops a good name

I love everything about this beer.  I love to take a can out of the fish killing rings (i do cut them up).  I love the “crack” sound.  I love first smelling the beer out of the can, then pouring it into a glass and smelling it more.  I keep smelling it until my tongue wants in on it.  The furious is so pretty in its glass, all amber and hazy, reminds me of this hippie chick…..    What can i say, if you dont enjoy intense hop flavor you probably wont like this.  If you see the Furious on cask, give it a try.  Even some hop-haters (joking, dont get so serious) like this beer on cask.  I really like this on cask and tea-bagged!

Shake it up, figuratively not literally.

As Tina Turner says: Every now and then, we like to do something nice.. and easy. Only there’s just one thing: we never do anything nice.. and easy.   This beer is like punk rock in a can for me.  If you have been drinking nice, pleasant beers with subtle flavors and mellow bitterness, sometimes it’s nice to just drag your fingernails across the chalkboard of your palate and shake things up.  Furious is a beer that does just that.  It’s like an alarm or a call to action.  It fairly screams “you are still alive and there are still flavors you haven’t become accustomed to!”   Purists and nerds will ask:  Is it a true IPA ? Is it well balanced?  Furious answers them with a resounding “Go sod yerself toolbag!” 

Feeling Surly?

Furious is definitely not your everyday session beer (well I suppose there are some out there crazy enough that it is). But when you are in the mood for an overly hopped beer than it definitely fits the bill. First thing when popping a can of this is to take in the smell as its a big one. Though it has loads of hop flavor Surly manages a way to also make it not overly harsh on your tongue.

The one thing I’m most impressed with Surly is the way they have managed their branding, from the name, tying themselves into a strong bike culture in the area, going with the pint sized cans, the logos and names of the beers, just all the little things that have really catapulted this brand to the top of the craft brewing industry.

This is one of my favorite hop heavy beers and I’ll give it a score to show that.

Crack for the Hop Head

Hops, hops, hops, hops, hops/ bed of Golden Promise malt/you are perfection…there ’tis, #3 in the haiku series, enjoy!Fresh off the tap. Cloudy and red, big head, leaving lace…lovely to look at, delightful to smell. Grapefruit, pine, pithy citrus, and loads of other tropical fruits, a bit of mango, too, I swear. Blissful bitterness!Drink up! A blast of beautiful hoppy flavor, mixed with lush Scottish malt, full of satisfying flavor for any hophead. Not one? Not for you!It’s a lip-purser, and a mouth puckerer, a palate smacker, a bitch slapper! Each swallow and sip brings it back. The hops slip under the tongue, lay on the palate, and hang around. Some don’t like that, some compare it to “aspirin”…I think it’s tingly tasty ‘tantastic!  If you hunger for the flavor of hops, this is your candy, your mistress, your heroin, your hustler. The malt is here in plentitude, too, and eventually reveals a hint of chocolate, as well. I’ve been loving this for two years now, and await a lifetime of more such love!Looking forward to the rest of your thoughts, but take it easy on the can copy…I wrote that stuff! Will you perceive it as a tempest on your tongue, or…will you love it? You know I do! 

You’re nothing but Bad News Bears, Surly Furious.

I should have listened when everyone tried to tell me that you were bad news. “Don’t fall for it,” they all said. “Surly Furious will just string you along and then leave you high and dry.” I didn’t listen, though. “Oh, they just don’t see what I see in you,” I thought to myself. “Deep down inside lies a sensitive soul just waiting for the right girl to bring it out.”

Wrong! You’re bitter. Unpredictable as in undependable. You left a bad taste in my mouth for a long, long time. You’re strong and aggressive, but not in a hot “I’ll man-handle you” way. More in a rude, offensive, “I wish I would have worn a less-revealing top tonight” way.

Nothing but Bad News Bears, Surly Furious…that’s all you are. This is one bad boy I don’t want to tame.